Welcome to the Wild Card round. I don’t love these short slates, but I’m too much of a degenerate to not play. I’ll scale back my entries this week, and maybe build a couple teams with some contrarian plays. This week’s write up will be shorter than normal due to a much smaller player pool, but I’ll give you my thoughts on a few places I’m going. The format is also going to be a little different as I’m going to give you the more obvious plays along with some contrarian plays that I think have a chance to pay off.
Week 17 Plays
Obvious Play: Ben Roethlisberger ($8,500) – Big Ben is exceptional at home and he is one of the biggest favorites of the weekend. He is going to be chalky, but there aren’t any other negative points to mention.
Contrarian Plays: Eli Manning ($7,500) – I like Manning this week. He is an exceptional playoff quarterback, and the Green Bay defense is decimated. They were bad going into last week and they ended up with a bunch of back ups to the back ups on the field. Manning has thrown for 250+ yards in six of his 11 playoff games and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in seven of those 11.
Matt Moore ($6,900) – Moore hasn’t been completely incompetent as he has thrown for eight touchdowns in his three starts. In a game where the Dolphins are expected to be playing from behind, he could approach 40 pass attempts, which he hasn’t done yet. He’s the definition of contrarian, but if the high owned options happen to bust and Moore throws for 250 and three touchdowns, you’re WAY ahead.
Obvious Plays: Le’Veon Bell ($10,300) – In the same boat as Roethlisberger, but an even better play. I’m not sure you can fade Bell this week. Just play him and differentiate elsewhere.
Lamar Miller ($7,100) – Miller will probably be the second highest owned running back. His price is good and he already had one solid game against Oakland earlier in the year. He’s a safe bet for around 20 carries and a couple targets. He has a pretty safe floor with an enticing ceiling.
Contrarian Plays: Ty Montgomery ($6,800) – This is a contrarian play as the masses will be on other pieces of this offense. Montgomery should get plenty of pass game work and he should see more carries this week than he saw last week. I think we see 12-15 carries and around five targets. He has solid upside.
Paul Perkins ($5,900) – Perkins has been the obvious best running back on the Giants in recent weeks, and if the Giants want to win this game, he gives them a much better chance than Rashad Jennings. He won’t be highly owned, and as I mentioned above, the Packers defense isn’t near where it was to start the year – especially against the run.
Obvious Plays: Antonio Brown ($9,100) – I feel like a broken record here, but I like the full stack with the three B’s from the Steelers.
Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,900) – If I can only play one of these top two guys, it will be Beckham Jr. Cue the broken record again, but I think the Giants pass game is going to shred this Green Bay pass defense. This game has shootout written all over it!
Contrarian Plays: Sterling Shepard ($5,100) – If I’m counting on a huge game from Manning, I may be tempted to grab another piece of this pass game and Shepard is too cheap. The targets are there, and he’s scored two touchdowns in the past three weeks and saw 11 targets in one of those games.
Kenny Stills ($5,000) – Stills is a home run threat and he would be the guy I’d stack with Moore. Stills has double digit fantasy points in his last four games, five of his last six, and 10 total games on the season. I’ll probably be looking at him regardless of whether or not I play Moore.
I’m going to change up the format for tight end, because I don’t have a strong take for or against many guys. The one I do like is CJ Fiedorwicz ($5,300). Fiedorwicz is a first option for Brock Osweiler and he’s a big red zone target. I think his price, targets, and ceiling match up perfectly this weekend.
Obvious Play: Houston Texans ($4,800) – The Texans are the obvious play, facing the Raiders third string quarterback, Connor Cook, in his first career start. This may be the other spot on my roster that I just go with the chalk.
I like Nick Novak ($4,500) at the bare minimum kicking in his home stadium, where the roof will likely be closed.
Week 17 Stay Aways
Aaron Rodgers ($8,600) – Rodgers has been exceptional down the stretch, and for that reason he’ll carry a lot of ownership this weekend. However, the Giants secondary has played very well this season. If they played this game 10 times, I think Rodgers would probably pay off his salary five to six times. I’m willing to take the chance this weekend, that this will be one of the four to five times that he doesn’t.
Zach Zenner ($6,200) – Zenner is projecting to be the second or third highest owned running back. He has played well, but that alone has me on the opposite side of him this week. The chances of him putting up a big game against Seattle is minimal. Last week was the week to jump on Zenner. Now, let’s sit back and watch a large portion of the field go down in flames with Zenner this weekend. (FULL DISCLOSURE: As a Lions fan, I will be ecstatic if he blows up here and dominates the Seahawks. I just don’t see it.)
I’m going to steer clear of Jay Ajayi ($8,300) this week as well. He’ll be one of the higher owned options as well and in a game where the Dolphins will probably be playing from behind, I just don’t see Ajayi getting many chances past the first few drives. His price is too high for me.
Thomas Rawls ($7,100) hasn’t shown a pulse in weeks now, so I’m not going here either. The Lions have allowed very few rushing touchdowns on the season.
Well, that’s it for the Wild Card 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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