First off, happy New Year to all of our loyal Fantasy Assembly readers. I hope it is a great year for all of you and a really successful DFS one too.
It’s the last week of the regular season, which is a tricky one for DFS football. Some players won’t play full games and non-contending teams are really careful about injuries. I still feel like we’ll do well – let’s see how it goes:
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6,900): It was a disappointing week for Ben Roethlisberger last week, but I don’t think he will make it two bad weeks in a row. Roethlisberger still leads the NFL in yards per game and is 2nd in yards per attempt. The Browns are 4th from the bottom in yards per attempt and are 28th in Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency rating against the pass. Look for a bounce back game from Big Ben.
Bang for Your Buck
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions ($6,200): Stafford is quietly having a monster last month having thrown multiple touchdowns in 5 consecutive games and amassing an impressive 14 touchdowns over that span. He now faces the Bears secondary who he torched for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns in their last meeting. The price is right here for Stafford and I like another big game.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos ($5,100): Osweiler has thrown for 295+ yards in each of his last three games and has amassed 16+ DraftKings points in each game as well. He now faces a San Diego team that is 6th from the bottom in yards per attempt allowed. This is a great price for young Brock and he should be able to net you 20+ points.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons ($7,600): Freeman faces the Saints defense, need I say more? The Saints are ranked dead last in yards per attempt allowed versus the rush. Freeman is 8th in the NFL in rushing yards and is first in rushing touchdowns. He also went for 156 total yards and 2 touchdowns in only 21 touches in his first game against the Saints this year. Start him with confidence.
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers ($7,100): The Browns aren’t good against the pass, but they are no better against the run as they are the only team in the NFL who has allowed over 2,000 rushing yards this season. Williams has found the fountain of youth this year and has not gone under 15 DraftKings points since week 10 – which was coincidentally against Cleveland. I don’t think the Browns can stifle him again.
Bang for your Buck
Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys ($4,900): The Cowboys have no offense aside from McFadden and this is a great price for a guy who has not gone under 99 yards in his last 3 games. The Redskins have had an impressive resurgent season, but their one bugaboo is that they cannot stop the run, as they allow the 2nd worst yards per attempt at 4.8. I’m feeling McFadden this week.
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,000): Murray briefly emerged out of Chip Kelly’s doghouse last week and managed 50 total yards and touchdown before a costly fumble got him glued to the bench again. But Chip Kelly is now gone, and I would imagine that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has mandated that his multi-million dollar investment get a chance to run the ball in the finale. Could be a nice game for DeMarco against the Giants who allow the 8th most yards in the NFL against the run.
Rashad Jennings, New York Giants ($3,700): Jennings has started to play some really good ball, but you would not know it from his DraftKings price. Jennings has gone over 100 total yards in each of his last three games and also has had 16 or more touches in each of those games. The Eagles are not great against the run, ranking 26th in defensive efficiency. I am loving Jennings at this price.
CJ Anderson, Denver Broncos ($3,700): Anderson gets to face a Chargers team that ranks 30th against the run in defensive efficiency which should portend big things this week. Anderson has been hit or miss this year, but looked good against the Bengals last week and should enjoy the easier competition against San Diego.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ($9,300): Brown struggled last week, but that will not happen again. In his last game against Cleveland, Brown went for 40+ DraftKings points with 10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. I think he can do even better this week as the Browns give up an average of 8 catches for 75 yards per game against #1 receivers. Brown will be amazing in a must win game.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($8,500): Julio has not gone for under 90 yards against the Saints since 2013. It should be another big game for the Falcons’ #1 receiver. The Saints rank dead last in defensive efficiency versus the pass and no pass catcher takes better advantage of suspect pass defenses than Jones. He is worth paying up for this week.
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets ($7,900): Marshall has scored a touchdown in all but 4 games this year. He has had nine 100 yard games this year. He has caught 6+ balls 8 times. In other words, there are few receivers (if any) as consistent as Marshall this year. He had his worst game of the year against Buffalo earlier this year. In this must win for the Jets, I think he bounces back and has a huge game.
Bang for your Buck
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos ($6,700): Due to some poor red zone luck, Thomas is undervalued on DraftKings this season. He is 7th in receptions, 4th in targets and 8th in yards on the season, and yet he is outside the top 10 in terms of receiver salary on DK. Thomas had 16.1 points against the Chargers the last time they played – I think he does even better this time.
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints ($6,400): Cooks has been one of the best receivers in the NFL in the last few weeks going over 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 games and also scoring touchdowns in 3 of his last 4. He is still priced like an average receiver and he should again be elite.
DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins ($4,900): This is a bit of a dangerous play because Washington has nothing to play for and Jackson may get a breather in the 2nd half of the game. But Jackson loves playing against Dallas, having gone for 80+ yards in his last 3 meetings with the Cowboys and scoring touchdowns in 2 of those games. If Jackson plays, it might be a big game.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams ($4,100): I always like Austin in a GPP. Even if he doesn’t catch the ball, he has rushed the ball in every game but one this year and has gone for 30+ rush yards in 3 of his last 5 on top of his receiving output. Austin had 98 yards receiving as well as 21 yards rushing in his last meeting versus San Francisco and also scored a touchdown receiving and a touchdown rushing. Could be another nice game.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers ($3,800): Speaking of success against an opponent, James Jones absolutely torched the Minnesota Vikings in the last meeting between these two teams with 6 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. The hooded wonder should get some more chances in this ultra important game for Green Bay and should be able to come through.
Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears ($3,300): Alshon Jeffery is out for the season, making Royal the defacto #1 receiver. For a minimum price, anyone getting this many reps is a solid dart throw. Royal has had 5 catches in each of his last two games and could be in line for his best game of the year.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots ($7,400): This is a big game for the Pats and Gronk is their last remaining healthy top pass catcher. Gronk has scored against Miami in each of his last 3 matchups with his division rival and has gone over 90 yards in each of his last two. Could be another huge game for Gronk.
Bang for your Buck
Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns ($4,700). It has been an amazing breakout season for Barnidge, who had 6 catches for 65 yards and a TD in his last meeting versus Pittsburgh. Barnidge has been remarkably consistent with double digit DraftKings points in 5 of his last 6 games. Barnidge should be a good source for 12+ points in a cash game.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($3,600): This is a pretty low price for Ertz, who has had a remarkable run in his last three games. He has gone for over 78 yards in each of his last 3 games including catching an amazing 13 balls for 122 yards last week. The Giants are only 24th in defensive efficiency against tight ends. I like Ertz to continue his good form.
Bang for your buck
New England Patriots ($3,100) at Dolphins: The Dolphins’ offense is anemic and the Patriots have a solid defense. Let’s see if the Dolphins even show up to play. I like the Patriots for a few sacks and a couple of turnovers.
Washington Redskins ($2,800) at Cowboys: Kellen Moore is not a very good quarterback. At this price, I would choose any defense against him.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @AssemblyNeil