First off, allow me to apologize for suggesting avoiding Aaron Rodgers last week. I had every reason to believe that the Giants defense would hold them in check. When Jordy Nelson got hurt, I thought it only strengthened my argument. Despite the domination that Rodgers unfurled last week, he will once again be a guy I avoid this week (hopefully with better results).
On the Saturday-only slate I like Russell Wilson and Tom Brady and I don’t hate Matt Ryan. I’m probably avoiding Lamar Miller, and rolling with two of: Devonta Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, and Thomas Rawls (with minor contrarian exposure to Tevin Coleman). At WR, I am going to have Doug Baldwin, one of the Patriots’ WRs (probably Julian Edelman), and then either Taylor Gabriel or Paul Richardson. At TE, I will take Jimmy Graham and use C.J. Fiedorowicz at DK FLEX. I don’t love any of the defense matchups, so I am going to go with the cheapest that is the Texans. On FD, I’ll choose any kicker not named Nick Novak.
On the Sunday-only slate I like Dak Prescott and Alex Smith the most. I don’t dislike Ben Roethlisberger, but I fear his home-road splits. I also fear the combo of Aaron Rodgers’ price and the return to health of Dallas’ secondary. Plus, I cannot believe Rodgers will outperform his salary in back-to-back weeks versus quality defenses. At RB, I will have mostly exposure to Spencer Ware and Ezekiel Elliott. Although I will definitely have a few lineups with both Zeke and LeVeon Bell. In lineups with Bell and Zeke, I will have to save money at WR. There I will have a threesome from the following: Eli Rogers, Geronimo Allison Randall Cobb, Cole Beasley, Tyreek Hill, and Jeremy Maclin. If I punt from Bell with Ware, I can consider Antonio Brown or Dez Bryant. At TE, I will have as much exposure to Travis Kelce as I can afford. If I cannot afford him, I will be happy with Jesse James or Jason Witten. I think there is a good chance one of those two will also be my DK FLEX. The best defense play of the weekend falls on Sunday with the Chiefs. On FD, I’ll probably put my faith in Dan Bailey as my kicker.
Of course, the big money slates will feature both days so here are my strategies for those All-Weekend GPPs.
My top DK lineup: Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott at 6K-6.9K, Ezekiel Elliott and either Thomas Rawls or Devonta Freeman for 14.4K-15.4K, Doug Baldwin or Dez Bryant at WR1 for either 8.1K or 6.6K, oppositely-paired with either Cole Beasley or Paul Richardson at WR2 for 5K or 4.1K, no more than 4.5K for WR3, 4.9K for Jimmy Graham, 3.5K-3.9K for either Jason Witten or Dion Lewis at DK FLEX, and 3.4K for Kansas City defense.
My top FD lineup: Wilson or Dak for 7.7K-8.2K, Elliott and either Rawls or Freeman for a combined 16K, 7.6K-7.9K for either Bryant or Baldwin, 6.6K or less for WR2, and 5.3K or less for WR3, 7K for either Travis Kelce or Graham, 4.8K for Chiefs defense, and 4.8K for your choice from: Dan Bailey, Steven Hauschka, or Stephen Gostkowski at kicker.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly Strategy – Tom Brady is an ok play this week, but I feel the Patriots will run the ball more than throw it. I’m concerned about how Aaron Rodgers will fare this week with no Jordy Nelson against a finally healthy Dallas’ secondary. Matt Ryan has the tools to be effective against a very good Seattle defense, but you still cannot expect a typical Matty Ice line in this one. I will be happy to play either Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott in most of my lineups. I will also have minimal exposure to Alex Smith, when I need to save some cash.
Pay to Play
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ ATL ($6900 DK, $8200 FD)
Only twice this season has Atlanta not allowed multiple passing TDs at home. Overall, only two teams allowed more regular season passing TDs. Sure, Atlanta held Russell Wilson to a poor 270-0 line in Week 6, but that was when he had three different injuries. Wilson is healthier now, and his o-line has had time to gel. This game has the potential to be high scoring, making Wilson a very safe play at a price well below Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ DAL ($8200 DK, $8800 FD)
Aaron Rodgers blew away my expectations last week. I can’t believe he will do it in back-to-back contests. One key factor is that Dallas has gotten their secondary healthy. The other key factor is that Dallas has known for a full week now that Randall Cobb will play and be featured. Based on Rodgers’ skillset I still expect a 280-2 line from him, I can get that line from Alex Smith for a lot less.
Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. PIT ($5400 DK, $6800 FD)
Speaking of Alex Smith, here he sits at $2.8K less that Rodgers at DK. Back in Week 4, Smith threw the ball 50 times posting a 287-2 line against a Steelers’ defense that fared worse against the pass as the season progressed. At that point, Smith had just begun to find Tyreek Hill. Both Hill and Travis Kelce scored in that game and I think they both score again. This means that Smith should be safe to repeat that line.
Weekly strategy – I love both LeVeon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott this week, but I don’t know if either of them will substantially outproduce their high price tags. Elliott is far more likely to do so, but neither is guaranteed. Based solely on their potential for huge points, I will have moderate exposure to them. That said, I doubt either produces more than their weekly averages. Of course, their weekly averages are often two or three times better than the weekly averages of those below them. The two players who are going to be the RB backbone of most of my teams are Thomas Rawls and DeVonta Freeman. They are priced well below Bell and Zeke and actually have a great likelihood of producing value well above their price. I don’t mind LeGarrette Blount and Ty Montgomery at their prices, but I’m concerned about each of them splitting time. Spencer Ware could have a huge game at a discounted price, but I’m still not going to be heavily exposed to him. I’d rather save my DK FLEX for Dion Lewis, who may outproduce Blount based on game script. I should also mention that I will play at least one roster with Tevin Coleman instead of DeVonta Freeman just to be contrarian.
Pay to Play
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks @ ATL ($6900 DK, $7500 FD)
Thomas Rawls is clearly back after last week’s performance. He gets rewarded with a cake matchup against a Falcons team that allowed the most receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs to opposing RBs. Rawls missed the earlier matchup against Atlanta. In that game the imminently less-talented, Christine Michael ran for two scores, and Alex Collins even vultured a third. The only reason I’m mildly concerned about Rawls this week is that Seattle always seems to perform worse on the road.
Lamar Miller, Texans @ NE ($5600 DK, $7000 FD)
The Texans will fall behind in this game and likely will be forced to abandon the run.
Dion Lewis, Patriots vs. NE ($3900 DK, $5400 FD)
LeGarrette Blount is higher priced, he also has been the steadier TD producer. That said, Dion Lewis has produced solid numbers since his return. Houston has allowed only three RB rushing TDs since Week 8, and only one RB group topped 75 yards against them over that period. They have however been amenable to receiving RBs.
|Will Fuller V||$3,600||$5,000|
Weekly strategy – Certainly Antonio Brown and Julio Jones are worthy of roster spots, but much like Bell and Zeke they won’t heavily outproduce their salaries. I’m particularly concerned since they both face premium cover corners. Doug Baldwin or Dez Bryant will be on all of my rosters (I will also try to get both of them on a few rosters). I like Cole Beasley and Paul Richardson, but I doubt I want to pair them with their team’s #1 WR. I will have some exposure to those two, but it will be in a Baldwin-Beasley or Bryant-Richardson pairing as my WR2. Since WR3 is still up in the air, I will likely pick from Geronimo Allison, Malcolm Mitchell, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Floyd, and Eli Rogers. If I need to save some money here (to set a lineup with both Bell and Zeke), I could also bench Bryant or Baldwin for punt plays: Jermaine Kearse, Brice Butler, or Terrance Williams.
Pay to Play
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks @ ATL ($8100 DK, $7900 FD)
Doug Baldwin gets to face an Atlanta pass defense that remains without its only decent CB. This game could turn point-happy despite Seattle’s strong defense. I expect Russell Wilson to look Doug Baldwin’s way early and often, just like last week when he posted 11-104-1.
Davante Adams, Packers @ DAL ($7000 DK, $7400 FD)
Dallas has spent the last week planning to shut down Davante Adams as the Packers’ top outside WR. They know that Jordy Nelson is not going to be a factor, so they can actually plan on rolling their coverages to Randall Cobb and Adams. I actually have more faith in Cobb (and Geronimo Allison) since they won’t draw the Cowboys best options in coverage. Only once since Week 6 of this season did Dallas allow more than one WR touchdown in a game, and now it sounds like their secondary should be a full go.
Paul Richardson, Seahawks @ ATL ($4100 DK, $4700 FD)
All the reasons to love Baldwin against this defense hold true for the Seahawks #2 WR as well. Plus, did you see that catch last week. I know he had a handful of facemask, but Odell Beckham dreams of making catches that sick. Paul Richardson has scored in two straight and there is zero reason to doubt that he won’t do it again (for 4K cheaper than Baldwin on DK).
Weekly strategy – Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham are too obvious and their reduced price (compared to that of other positions) make it a consideration to play both on DK. I will have one of those two on the large portion of my rosters. The only other players I might have some exposure to are C.J. Fiedorowicz and Jason Witten.
Pay to Play
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. PIT ($6100 DK, $7100 FD)
Travis Kelce has topped 100 yards in five of his last seven games. Only four other players still active in the playoffs had more receiving yards this season (and one of them is likely to miss this week’s game). The Steelers have given up 22 receptions to the TE position over their last three games. If Kelce nets only seven catches he should have a solid line, but I expect a lot more from him.
Martellus Bennett, Patriots vs. HOU ($4000 DK, $5900 FD)
Houston doesn’t allow a ton of yards or receptions to opposing TEs. Since Week 8, no team has topped 60 yards with their TEs against them. Not to mention, that only twice all year did any team top that mark. They’ve also given up the second-fewest TDs to the position. Martellus Bennett has done well recently, but he may be asked to stay in more to block this week against the fierce Houston pass rush.
Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. GB ($3500 DK, $4900 FD)
The Giants just became the 11th different team to top 50 tight end receiving yards against Green Bay. Amongst TEs still active in the playoffs, only Travis Kelce has more targets this season than Jason Witten. He’s not going to give you Kelce receiving numbers, but 5-50 is still 10 points on DK (and that is realistically his floor).
Weekly strategy – It is ugly this week. The Patriots are probably the safest play against the bone-headed, Brock Osweiler. That said, their defense is just so-so, and I doubt they outperform their price. I will likely use Kansas City on most of my rosters, but I may also have minor contrarian exposure to Houston (since their price is so low).
Pay to Play
Kansas City Chiefs vs. PIT ($3400 DK, $4800 FD)
Ben Roethlisberger claims his foot is 100%, if anyone can heal up quickly it is him. That said, Roethlisberger has horrid home-road splits this season. During the regular season, his home numbers are 20-5 TD-INT, on the road he is 9-8. Meanwhile, Kansas City leads the entire league in interceptions, and fumble recoveries.
Green Bay Packers @ DAL ($2800 DK, $4300 FD)
Green Bay has the pass rush to cause some headaches for Dak Prescott, but they don’t have the secondary to take advantage of any mistakes the rush might cause. Not to mention, that they have to figure out some way to stop Zeke. I expect the Pack will get 2-3 sacks, but they will also give up nearly 30 points.
Houston Texans @ NE ($2300 DK, $4200 FD)
The Texans have 12 sacks over their last four games. They also have six interceptions over that period. Tom Brady doesn’t throw INTs but he can be pressured and sacked (he is not a spring chicken anymore). There isn’t really a lot of value options this week, so If you find yourself short on dollars, take a flier here. New England will score some points against them, but I also expect Houston to get to Brady a couple times.