This will be the last write-up of the season. Once again, I greatly appreciate anyone and everyone who has read this column this year and hope you have gained some sort of insight at some point along the way. I will see you back next season and will probably be doing some DFS articles during the MLB season as well. This week will be another short write-up with just four games. I’ll try to help you find the most solid spots where you can also differentiate yourself from the masses.
Week 19 Plays
You can’t go wrong playing Aaron Rodgers ($8,800). The guy is on fire and there’s no end in sight. I seem to like my roster construction better when I don’t play Rodgers, but I won’t tell you not to play him.
The quarterback I like the most will be on the opposite side of the field from Rodgers. Dak Prescott ($7,700) is sixth most expensive quarterback out of eight starters, but one could argue he’s got one of the best floors this week. This Green Bay defense has held it together with scotch tape the last two weeks, and I have a feeling this is the week it finally catches up to them. I don’t see them stopping or even slowing down the Cowboys offense, and I want to load up.
There’s one player you have to play at running back, or you probably won’t have a chance at winning. It’s probably not who you’re thinking. It’s Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500). Elliott will have his way with the aforementioned Packers defense. We’ve seen Elliott and Prescott have solid games together this season, and I won’t be surprised to see it again this weekend to move on to the semifinals. I see a handful of ways the Cowboys score over 30 points (they’re implied total is 28.5), and they all include Elliott having a big day.
I also like Devonta Freeman ($7,600), but his price is a bit high given his matchup and not receiving the full workload. He’s been productive alongside Tevin Coleman this season, but there is always a chance that Coleman finds the end zone and has the big plays.
I’m high on Spencer Ware ($6,900) this weekend, which is odd, because I haven’t liked him very often this year. His price is too low and he’s a home favorite on a team with Alex Smith as their quarterback. Smith isn’t going to beat a team with his arm.
Dez Bryant ($7,600) is a fine play, but I like him a little better on DraftKings. His teammate Terrance Williams ($4,500) is a sneaky play and a great way to differentiate your Prescott/Elliott lineups. He’s seen four or more targets each of the past four weeks. I expect the Packers to do everything they can to slow down Bryant (which they should still struggle to do), which will leave Williams with an opportunity to see 6-8 targets. That would be more than enough at this price.
Davante Adams ($7,400) is the Packers receiver that I am most interested in playing. If Jordy Nelson sits this one out, Adams is the guy I expect to soak up most of the extra targets. He should see 10+ targets and he has two touchdown upside, making him one of the strongest plays at the position.
Tyreek Hill ($6,600) has had nine double-digit FanDuel games this season, including his last four, and only five games without double-digit points. I love the double dip this week, pairing Hill with the Chiefs defense, which I’ll talk more on below. Hill is a threat to score a special teams and/or an offensive touchdown, making him a high upside play.
How many Cowboys are too many? Jason Witten ($4,900) is on my radar simply because of his price. However, I’m trying to win a tournament this week, so I’ll probably pass on him. I would probably play him in cash though.
Travis Kelce ($7,100) is the highest upside player at the position. He had a horrible game in Week 17 and had last week off with a bye. I’m hoping that will help suppress his ownership a bit, but with so few options, he’ll still be popular.
Jared Cook ($5,400) is the last guy that I’m considering. He’s seeing a ton of targets from the top QB over the past several weeks. That’s 30 targets in the past four weeks to be exact. If he gets that same workload, which is likely without Nelson, he’s just a touchdown away from having an exceptional game.
I’m considering two defenses. The first is obvious. The New England Patriots ($5,100). They face one of the weakest offenses in the history of the playoffs.
The sneaky play to me is the Kansas City Chiefs (4,800). I think the Chiefs will go overlooked, simply because everyone is going to want to play offensive players from Pittsburgh and we all hate playing guys against our defense. This should lead to heavy ownership on the Patriots. The Chiefs have an excellent home field advantage, and Ben Roethlisberger is well-known to fantasy players for his home/road splits. The Chiefs also have the most dangerous special teams returner in the league, as we discussed with Hill above. That gives them an above average chance of a touchdown.
I like the kickers in a dome this week, which is half of them. I prefer either Mason Crosby ($4,700) or Dan Bailey ($4,800) as I expect that game to be a shootout.
Week 19 Stay Aways
You may have noticed for the first time in a long time, I didn’t include Le’Veon Bell ($9,900) in my plays above. It is a scary proposition to fade him, but if there was ever a week, it would be this week. I think the Steelers are going to have problems moving the ball on the Chiefs. Bell needs a monster game to pay off his salary and I’m hoping that it won’t happen this week.
Russell Wilson ($8,200) hasn’t been near as good on the road this year. It took me too long to figure it out, but by years end I had vowed not to play him on the road anymore after he sunk my teams twice in the last four weeks of the regular season in good matchups. I think there are better spots this week.
Everyone will be loading up on Julio Jones ($8,300) this week, and he’s not a bad play. But we have to choose our spots on these small slates. We’ve seen him pop off for a couple huge games this season, but as a whole, he’s been disappointing. I think we can win without him on our roster.
Randall Cobb ($6,500) is a trap in my opinion. The masses will be flocking to him, and I honestly believe he is going to let them down. Volume alone makes me nervous about the fade, but last week everything worked perfectly in his favor to give him a huge game that the game log watchers will be drooling over. Even without Nelson, I don’t think we see another huge Cobb game. Adams is the smart play.
Well, that’s it for the Divisional round. Be sure to follow me on twitter at @mrclutchdfs if you want to get any updates from me on which way I’m leaning on some of these plays come Saturday.
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