We are getting closer to the NFL playoffs and are getting even closer to the playoffs in season long fantasy leagues. If your team(s) are out of the running in season long and are trying DFS for the first time as a result – welcome aboard!
Last week was another good one for me, so hopefully you all profited. Some of my big hits were Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, Stevie Johnson, the Bengals D and, my best pick of the week, Julius Thomas. I also had some whiffs, including Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Andrews, DeAndre Hopkins, Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks and Keshawn Martin.
I always strive for perfection, so let’s see if I can do even better for you this week.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers ($7,400): Newton gets the easiest match-up on the board as he faces off against the New Orleans Saints who are a terrible 32nd in the NFL in defensive efficiency versus the pass, as calculated by my favorite football website, Football Outsiders. Newton has already played the Saints this year and went for over 300 yards with 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown, amassing 32.9 DraftKings points. I see more of the same this week.
Bang for Your Buck
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,200): Dalton faces off against the Cleveland Browns who are 5th from the bottom in the league in yards allowed per attempt. Dalton ranks 4th in the NFL in yards per attempt passing. The Red Rifle will likely be able to rip off big chunks of yardage against his Ohio rivals. Dalton completed 78 percent of his passes and threw for 3 touchdown passes in his last outing against the Browns in week 9. Another good game is in order.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets ($5,200): A criminally low price for Fitzpatrick against the struggling Giants’ pass defense. The Giants rank last in the NFL allowing 309 passing yards per game – no other team gives up more than 284. Fitzpatrick has also been pretty solid of late, throwing multiple touchdowns in 3 of his last 4 games. I like Fitzpatrick to have a big game this week.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears ($6,900): While I do think Jeremy Langford will still get some runs, Forte looked OK in his return to action last week with 53 total yards against the Packers. He’ll be even better this week as he faces off against the 49ers who are a mere 27th in defensive efficiency against the run and also rank 27th in defensive efficiency defending the pass versus running backs. Forte is a great pass receiver and a good runner and should be good for 100 total yards and a touchdown.
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,600): DeAngelo has been a force this season both before LeVeon Bell started playing and since his injury. In his last 4 games, he has gone over 100 total yards 3 times and has scored touchdowns in 2 of his last 3 games. The Colts allow the 8th most rushing yards in the NFL and Williams should find some room to roam.
Bang for your Buck
Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys ($5,300): There are very few true bell cow running backs in the NFL this year, but the previously fragile McFadden has become one of them. He has had 20+ touches in 5 of his last 6 games and has been over 100 total yards in 4 of his last 6. The Redskins allow the 5th most rushing yards and rank 4th from the bottom in yards allowed per attempt. I like McFadden for a strong game this week.
Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers ($4,000): Since Carlos Hyde’s injury, Draughn has hogged the carries for the 49ers, as he has had exactly 20 touches in his last 3 games and has gone for over 13 DraftKings points in each. If he gets 20+ touches against the Chicago Bears, I like him for a big game as the Bears rank 31st in defensive efficiency against the run. For this price, I like a big game from Draughn.
CJ Anderson, Denver Broncos ($3,500): I believe! After a really rough start to his season, CJ Anderson looks like he wants to take over the 2nd half, much like he did last year. Anderson looked like a beast last week while amassing 153 total yards and 2 touchdowns against the Patriots. This week he faces a much worse rushing defense in San Diego, who rank dead last in yards per attempt allowed in the NFL. I think Anderson runs for 125 yards and at least another score this week.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals ($3,400): The Cardinals rookie will be a popular play this week after Chris Johnson was put on IR and Andre Ellington is still on the mend. That means that David Johnson will get nearly all of the running back touches for Arizona this week. The match-up also isn’t as bad as you might think as the Rams, surprisingly, allow the 12th most rushing yards in the league. This could be a nice game at a low price for Arizona’s other Johnson.
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants ($8,900): Darrelle Revis is unlikely to play for the Jets, which is great news for the Giants and OBJ. Beckham is really hot, going over 100 yards in each of his last 4 games and has scored at least a touchdown in 3 of those 4 games, totaling 5 scores. I don’t see OBJ slowing down this week, and I like him as the centerpiece of a few lineups this week.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($9,000): I love me some Julio. The Bucs have played some solid defense recently but still rank a middling 23rd in defensive efficiency against #1 receivers. Julio also absolutely torched the Bucs the last time they played with 12 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown in week 8. I am going to have some Jones exposure this week.
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets ($7,100): In my humble opinion, Marshall continues to be underpriced on DraftKings. He has scored in 8 of 11 games, totaling 9 touchdowns, and has been over 100 yards 6 times. He ranks 6th in receiving yards and 2nd in receiving touchdowns, yet is only the 13th most expensive receiver. This week, Marshall faces the Giants pass defense, who, as I mentioned earlier, tend to struggle. I think he scores again and goes over 100 yards.
Bang for your Buck
TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts ($5,700): Pittsburgh allows the 3rd most passing yards per game at 284, and Hilton may be a prime beneficiary. The Steelers struggle against #1 receivers, ranking 24th overall. Hilton seems to be building some rapport with Matt Hasselbeck as he had a nice outing last time. I like more of the same this week.
Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens ($4,800): Aiken has quietly put up some solid fantasy numbers since Steve Smith went down, going over 50 receiving yards in his last 4 games and scoring touchdowns in his last 2. And while he isn’t a brand name #1 receiver, Aiken is the Ravens top target right now and Miami ranks dead last in defensive efficiency versus top receivers. I like another nice game from Mr. Aiken.
Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots ($4,800): I am mostly fading the Patriots this week, because it is a real guessing game as to who will get the opportunity to shine. But the Eagles rank only 31st in defensive efficiency against #1 receivers and LaFell is probably the defacto #1 receiver for the Pats. I think this is a nice game for LaFell, who the Patriots need to shine.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks ($3,800): Baldwin will likely be very popular this week after his huge performance last week, so he has better value in cash games than GPPs. Having said that, Jimmy Graham is injured and Baldwin is the unquestioned #1 target in Seattle. And he has had 6+ catches in his last 3 games and has gone over 130 yards in 2 of those 3. Minnesota is a nice defensive team and ranks 13th against the pass, but Baldwin will get his looks and has nice value.
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers ($3,700): I will be pairing Funchess with Cam Newton in a couple of lineups as I think the rookie Panthers receiver can take advantage of the Saints porous defense. Funchess has had 4+ targets in 3 of his last 4 games and has gone over 60 yards in 2 of those games. This is as good a spot to play him as any.
Ted Ginn, Jr., Carolina Panthers ($3,600): I’m all in on the Panthers today. Ginn has had 7+ targets in 4 of his last 6 games and had a season high 93 yards receiving against the Saints the last time these two teams played. Cam Newton will be looking for Ginn, and if you get targets against the Saints, you have value.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers ($6,400): Word to the wise, don’t take all of the Panthers I just recommended in one lineup as you limit your upside tremendously. But if you are playing multiple lineups, play your Panthers this week. Olsen has had 5+ targets every week since week 1 and 50+ receiving yards in every game but 2 this year. More importantly, against the Saints in week 3, Olsen had 8 catches for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s the play of the day at tight end.
Bang for your Buck
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills ($3,500): Clay has had 5+ targets in 7 of his last 10 games and gets to face off against the Texans who rank 30th in defensive efficiency versus tight ends. While Clay has not scored since week 3, I like him to get a bunch of looks and I think he breaks his scoreless streak this week.
Scott Chandler, New England Patriots ($2,500): Even with Rob Gronkowski playing most of the game last week, Chandler still had 11 targets and managed 5 catches and a touchdown. Now that Gronk is out for a couple of weeks, Chandler will likely be a popular target for Tom Brady, and the good news for him is that the Eagles rank a pretty pathetic 31st in defensive efficiency versus tight ends. Chandler is an excellent play this week, even in the flex spot if you are looking to roster a bunch of expensive receivers.
Bang for your buck
Cincinnati Bengals ($3,400) vs. Browns: The Bengals worked for me last week. and I think they can do the job again this week against either Austin Davis or Johnny Football for the Browns. There will be a couple of turnovers forced for sure. Count me in.
Houston Texans ($2,500) vs. Bills: While this match-up isn’t necessarily the best, the Texans have been one of the hottest defenses around. JJ Watt will get a sack or two and the Texans should score around double digits for a low price.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @AssemblyNeil