It was a really weird week last week and I was really up and down with my picks. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Charcandrick West were colossal failures. But I had some really nice hits as well such as Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, James White, Ronnie Hillman and Danny Amendola. I almost had my biggest cash-out of the season as I was in 2nd out of 138,000 in one contest after the 1:00 o’clock games on Sunday. The Cardinals’ nice offensive performance took my hope at a huge win away, but I still finished a more than respectable 236th out of 138,000. Not too shabby. Let’s see what this week has in store.
NOTE: I am ignoring the first two Thanksgiving games on the slate because DraftKings does not have a contest where you can play all 16 games. If you have some questions on Thursday’s early slate, don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter @AssemblyNeil or leave a comment at the bottom of this article. On with the show:
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($7,400): Rodgers gets a nice match-up on Thursday night against the Bears who are ranked 24th in defensive efficiency against the pass, per the always excellent Football Outsiders. Moreover, Rodgers always destroys Chicago as he has 13 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his last 3 starts against the Bears.
Bang for Your Buck
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($6,000): Wilson is starting to get hot as he had his best game of the year last week. He is at home this week where he has been much more effective – scoring an average of 19.2 DraftKings points, a full 3 points higher than he averages on the road. Wilson also benefits from a nice match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers who allow the 5th most passing yards per game. I like Wilson’s value today.
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins ($5,400): Speaking of quarterbacks who are much more effective at home – Cousins averages 21.9 DraftKings points at home and 12.4 on the road. He faces the Giants who are a middling 21st in defensive efficiency versus the pass and also allow the most passing yards per game. Cousins threw for over 300 yards against the Giants the last time these two teams played. I like him for another nice game.
Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans ($5,000): Minimum price. Playing against the Saints. Need I say more?? He will likely be heavily owned, so I like him better in cash games than GPPs.
Let me start by saying that I wouldn’t pay up for running backs this week. Many of the top guys are on the shelf and there is value to be had in the middle and lower tiers of pricing. That having been said, if you do want to pay up, these are my two favorites:
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings ($7,300): Well… the Falcons allow the fewest rushing yards per game and are a fairly solid 14th in defensive efficiency versus the run. That having been said, I feel like Peterson will get plenty of opportunity to run, and that usually means a stellar performance. 75 yards and a touchdown is a reasonable expectation.
TJ Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,800): Does the Jaguars’ rookie running back count as a “luxury item”? Either way, I like him this week. The Jags face off against the dreadful Chargers run defense who rank dead last in defensive efficiency against the rush and also the 2nd worst yards per attempt. Yeldon has quietly had over 60 total yards in every game this season except week 3. I like him for a bit of a breakout game this week.
Bang for your Buck
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers ($4,700): I know – Lacy is hard to trust this season. But after his first 100 yard rushing game of the season, I am fairly confident that he has regained his starting gig. And if that is the case, the Bears rank next to last in defensive efficiency against the run. Earlier this season, Lacy gashed the Bears for 99 total yards. I think he can do even better this time.
Buck Allen, Baltimore Ravens ($4,600): The Browns allow the most rushing yards per game at 138.8. With Matt Schaub playing QB for the Ravens, they will likely focus even more on the run on Monday night. There is no Justin Forsett, so Allen will likely get 20-25 touches, and that will most probably translate into a big fantasy day.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals ($3,500): This is a boom or bust play so tread carefully. San Francisco struggles against the run, ranking 30th in defensive efficiency. Chris Johnson is a bit banged up and has not been as effective in recent weeks. I have a feeling that Ellington will got some run this week to the tune of 10-12 touches and that could be enough to do some damage against the leaky 49ers defense.
Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans ($3,700): Andrews appears to be the clear-cut starter for the Titans as he has had double-digit touches in every game since week 3. The Raiders have a less than stellar run defense, ranking 7th from the bottom in yards per attempt allowed on the ground. Andrews is cheap and should produce.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($9,100): Hopkins plays against the terrible New Orleans Saints defense this week. I stayed away from Hopkins last week because he was on Revis Island, but Hopkins made Revis look like a journeyman, as Hopkins had over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Saints have no one nearly as good as Revis and I can’t see how they will contain Hopkins. Could be the high scorer of the week.
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants ($8,700): Beckham has averaged 110 yards and 2 touchdowns in his encounters versus the Redskins. I expect more of the same this week as the ‘Skins rank 25th in defensive efficiency versus the pass. I like Beckham for at least 100 yards and a score this week.
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets ($6,800): Miami has struggled against #1 receivers, ranking 30th in defensive efficiency versus top targets. Marshall is a bit banged up, but he has been one of the top receivers in the league this year, scoring double-digit DraftKings points in every game and going over 14 points in every game but 2. Marshall should do some damage again this week.
Bang for your Buck
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($6,500): Cobb has struggled as of late, but I have some confidence in him this week. Since 2013, Cobb has scored in every game that he has played against the Bears, including finding the end zone in week 1 this year. There is no reason to think that the Bears have finally found the secret sauce to stop Cobb and I think he’ll find the end zone again.
Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders ($6,400): Tennessee really struggles against #2 receivers, ranking in dead last in defensive efficiency. Crabtree has been among the best, if not the best #2 receiver in the NFL. He has had at least 50 yards receiving in every game since week 3 and has 5 touchdowns over his last 5 games. I am feeling a big game for Crabtree
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints ($6,400): Cooks is pretty underpriced as he has been one of the top receivers in the NFL recently. Cooks has scored touchdowns in his last 3 games, including having multiple scores in 2 of those games. He has also gone over 70 yards receiving in each of his last 4 games. Houston has played nice defense recently, but are ranked a mere 23rd in defensive efficiency against #1 targets. I like Cooks to continue his hot streak.
Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers ($4,500): Keenan Allen’s injury has really hurt the San Diego passing attack, but Stevie Johnson has had 8 or more targets in 4 of his last 5 games and has caught 7 balls in his last two games. He will continue to get volume and that should translate into a big fantasy day soon. Could be this week against the Jaguars.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals ($3,800): Floyd’s price has not caught up with his recent performance as he has found the end zone in the last 4 games and gone over 100 yards in his last 2 games. Floyd does have a hamstring boo-boo and is listed as questionable for this game, but if he plays, you won’t find any better value.
Keshawn Martin, New England Patriots ($3,000): The Patriots essentially ran out of receivers last week as Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson went down, leaving Brandon LaFell and Chris Harper as their only two healthy receivers. Martin has been hurt since week 6, but if he can get back into the lineup, I think he plays the Patriots’ all important slot receiver position and should get significant volume. Watch the injury reports carefully but this might be a great value play.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans ($5,400): Walker has been a target machine, hitting double-digits 3 times and being at 6 or more in every game but 2. Walker has also made the most of those targets with more than 50 yards receiving in his last 6 games. Mariotta will throw the ball to Walker and Walker should continue to produce.
Bang for your Buck
Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,400): The Jaguars have finally started to use Thomas as he has gone for 5 or more targets in his last 5 games. San Diego ranks 29th in defensive efficiency against the tight end and are an opponent Thomas is familiar with. I think he breaks out this week.
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears ($2,900): Martellus Bennett has already been ruled out for the Bears, so Miller will step in as the #1 tight end. Miller has made the most of his opportunities recently with multiple catches in his last 3 games, including two scores two weeks ago. Let’s see if he can keep his good form going with increased opportunity.
Bang for your buck
Cincinnati Bengals ($3,000) vs. Rams: The Bengals have a pretty formidable defense and they match up with either Case Keenum or Nick Foles, both of whom are not so great. The Bengals should force some turnovers.
Cleveland Browns ($2,000) vs. Ravens: The last we saw Matt Schaub, he was the king of the pick 6. The Ravens are out of weapons, and for a minimum price, the Browns could put up double-digit points.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @AssemblyNeil