I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and is now having a great “leftovers” day. I’m sticking to my convictions this week, so I’m hoping to have my lineups complete by Friday night/Saturday morning and enjoy the weekend with my family.
Last week I talked myself out of Saquon Barkley in the 23rd hour. It didn’t end well. Anyways, I’m going to keep it short this week, because time for the write-up is limited due to Thanksgiving festivities with family and the extra write-up for the Thanksgiving slate. But rest assured, the time was put into the research. Here we go.
Baker Mayfield – Mayfield was my guy a couple of weeks back and he was pretty good. He still left some out there, as Nick Chubb had the monster day. This week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, are terrible. In fact, I kind of look at them as the better option to target against than the Buccaneers, who was my target almost every single week through the first half of the season. Mayfield has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of the past four games, and I think he repeats that here.
Eli Manning – Eli rounds out my recommendations this week, and ironically, he was my QB on my main team last week, making Mayfield and Manning the last two QB’s I played on my main teams. It looks like it will be one of these two again this week. Eli continues to be serviceable and gets the Eagles this week, who are terrible on defense right now. They’re injured all over the field and coming off a drubbing at the hands of Drew Brees. Manning is cheap again and has the playmakers to pay off his salary and then some.
Jameis Winston – Another guy you can consider. Has a ceiling to match anyone on the slate. He also has a floor to match anyone. Turnovers are his Achilles’ heel. The good news is that the 49ers have only intercepted two passes all season, which is second worst in the league. They have allowed the sixth best QB rating as well. I’m worried I’ll end up on Jameis by Sunday.
Nick Mullens – On the other side of that same game is Mullens. He’s been serviceable so far through two starts and he’s really cheap. Last feather in his cap is the great matchup against the Bucs.
Nick Chubb – Speaking of Chubb. I think I’m going to come back to him off of his 34.4 point FanDuel game before their bye. I hope everyone forgets how good he looked in that game, since it was two weeks ago. He’s also priced as a top seven RB on FanDuel and RB9 on DraftKings, and that might be more than people want to pay for him. The reason I’m locking him in is because he will likely get 20 carries to go along with 3-5 targets. Chubb is averaging 6.2 yards per carry on 94 carries, and if he comes anywhere close to that here, he’ll have a great game.
James Conner – Conner has had a couple down weeks, which has depressed his price. That’s a good thing for us this week. I think he will be heavily involved in this game against a beatable Denver Broncos run defense. The Steelers fell behind last week, so he didn’t get his carries, but I don’t see the Broncos jumping out to a lead in this one. Another 20+ touches at the running back position, with a massive ceiling, as we’ve seen. Sign me up.
Matt Breida – Breida is one of the most explosive playmakers in the league. We’ve seen some really big games out of him. The problem is that he’s also been one of the most injured players in the league. Despite the injuries he’s toughed it out week in and week out. In fact, he probably would win “toughest player” this season if that was an award.
Anyways, he had a great game two weeks ago, posting over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries to go along with three catches and a touchdown. He looked healthy. Now, he had a bye week to heal up even more. I expect him at full strength and he is priced too low for his talent and opportunity.
Marlon Mack – The one thing I’m looking for in my running backs is a heavy work load. Mack is in an excellent spot this week against the Dolphins, who have been getting torched. He’s coming off two average games in two tough matchups, but I expect a bounce back here. I know I’m locking Chubb in this week, but I’m having trouble getting rid of one of these other three, because I like them all so much.
Odell Beckham Jr. – Beckham started hot last week, but fizzled down the stretch, with only four catches on four targets. Luckily he hit pay-dirt early to go with is 74 yards. He gets an amazing matchup this week against the Eagles. They were just torched by the Saints, as mentioned above. I expect Eli to give him plenty of targets this week to make up for the deficit last week and he’s my favorite overall wide receiver play.
Julian Edelman – I originally wrote up Josh Gordon here. After watching nearly all of the Patriots last two games, I’ve been chomping at the bit to be able to roster Gordon. Brady is really developing some chemistry with him and he’s going to have a solid finish to the season. However, I wrote him up on talent and targets alone. After I went and really dove into the numbers, I realized he’s got a very tough matchup against Morris Claiborne. Claiborne has been pretty good this season, locking down nearly all of the opponents he has faced. He will lineup across from Gordon most of the game. I’m hoping Gordon has an average game and we can go back to him down the road.
With that said, the Jets have been a slot funnel. Therefore, it should be Edelman that has the bigger game here. According to Pro Football Focus, the Jets have been the second worst in the NFL against slot receivers. If you take away the two games against Danny Amendola, the Jets have given up 100 yards receiving and/or a touchdown in seven of the other 8 games to the opposing starting slot receiver. The only other game where they didn’t allow 100 yards or a touchdown, was to Emmanuel Sanders, who caught nine balls for 72 yards. Not too bad. Edelman is a solid floor play with upside in tow.
Jarvis Landry – Landry is seriously the most frustrating player to roster in all of DFS. He has all the talent in the world, and with Mayfield at QB now, you would think he would be posting big games more weeks than not. Instead, he’s been one of the least efficient players in fantasy. The matchup sets up nicely against the Bengals, who I mentioned above I really want to target.
Last week, I had Eli, OBJ, and Saquon in what should have been my final lineup, but I tinkered Barkley out, as I mentioned earlier. This week, my early builds have Mayfield, Landry, and Chubb, and I’m going to do my best to not mess that up. Landry’s price is just too low for his name and talent. There was a game earlier this year against the Chargers, where Landry completely flopped with 2.1 FD points.
Then the next week I loved his matchup against the Bucs, but my bias from the previous week kept me off of him. That was the game he caught 10 balls for 97 yards and a touchdown. I don’t want to play Landry this week, but it looks like a good play, and I don’t want to miss out again on the big game after being burned by him last week.
Cameron Brate – Tight end is so bad each and every week. It’s either pay up or punt. I will likely lock Brate in every lineup I make. The reason is simple. OJ Howard hit the IR and Jameis Winston is back up as the starter. Earlier in the year I broke down his passer rating throwing to his tight ends versus wide receivers. To sum it up, he’s much better targeting tight ends, and he and Brate have great chemistry, which gives him a lot of upside at a solid price.
For what it’s worth, I really like Zach Ertz and George Kittle as well this week. I wouldn’t fault you for playing them, I’m just going to take the savings with Brate for nearly half the price on both sites.
I haven’t settled on a defense yet. It will be the last thing I plug-in. I’m leaning towards the Cleveland Browns at the moment. They turn their opponents over and they’re really cheap. They are also the perfect correlation play with Chubb.
If I have the salary, I’d probably go up to the San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals are actually showing a little life on offense, but Rosen is still willing to give the ball to the other team.
That’s it for this week. If you have any input about what you like or don’t like about the format, feel free to let me know on twitter @mrclutchdfs. Best of luck this weekend!
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