Daily fantasy can be a cruel beast. The difference between starting Ben Tate and Lamar Miller could be the difference between making money and losing money. I felt last week was pretty easy to call, and for the most part I was right—but I fell victim to the wrong combinations of players and thus turned what could have been an incredible week into an okay week.
This week again, I find the big plays a little easy to call—almost too easy. It’s great when the matchups just jump off the page at you, but it’s also likely they are jumping off the page for everyone else too.
One thing I always try to do with my teams, and this might be a failed theory—but for the most part it works out, is try to find the cheap option at QB. QB is generally a pretty easy position to rack up points quickly and even with a subpar game from a QB, you’re generally pretty unlikely to be completely shut out. Mike Glennon and Carson Palmer, are two nice options this week for cheap production from the QB position that didn’t make my perfect team.
Other options I like this week that didn’t make my list for whatever reason:
Andre Ellington: He’s getting yardage points like a madman and is seeing a million targets per game. He got vultured on two touchdowns, which is unfortunate as that would have given him a pretty epic week fantasy-wise. The Cards play Philly, which has been respectable vs the run, so maybe it’s not this week—but there is a god-week coming for Ellington and you’ll want him in your lineups as long as he is this affordable.
Ben Tate: I got burned playing Tate this past week and am a little gun shy to use him this week as a result, but this is where DFS gold is made: everyone predicts him for a huge week and he falters, then he goes off when no one is owning him cause everyone is scared off. I think last week was just a fluke for the Browns running game and he’ll return to normal this week—-BUT, I’m not putting him in my perfect team still….mainly cause I am a little scared off by the suspect performance of last Sunday.
Tre Mason: I was really close to putting him in the perfect team this week, but he missed the cut ever-so slightly. It appears the Rams are turning their running game over to him, as he saw a lot of work+ the all-important goal-line looks. The Rams have invested heavily in their O-Line and Jeff Fisher wants to run the ball….Mason is cheap for now, but may not be for long—If you need a cheap running back, he’s the guy to consider. He does come with a little worry, as it’s not quite set-in-stone what the backfield situation will be in St. Louis, but they invested a high pick on him…I think his role is safe.
Vikings Wide Receivers: I’d love to firmly state that Cordarelle Patterson will go off this week, but he has been so miserable running routes that I can’t recommended him with any confidence. That being said, Tampa Bay is the kind of team that gets shredded by WR’s similar to Patterson—I think both he and the super cheap Jarius Wright have nice fantasy prospects here.
QB: Teddy Bridgewater—Vikings, 5,400: Bridgewater has looked inconsistent at best in his previous two starts, which I’m hoping discourages people into a really low ownership percentage this week when he takes on the extremely pass-friendly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have been on the wrong side of a number of big blowouts a few times already, and have given way to some epic fantasy numbers from the likes of Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan. My fear is the Vikings implement another brutally conservative offensive game plan, which will limit the amount of throws Bridgewatrer gives up. That being said, if they are watching the same tape that I am—he looks a lot more comfortable when they have allowed him to open the offense up. They will have those opportunities next Sunday and I think you could get some quality bang for your buck at only $5,400.
RB: Jerick Mckinnon—Vikings, 5,800: Inexplicably is still a fairly big value on FanDuel, even after it’s been evidently clear that he is the main guy for the Vikings in their backfield. He piled over 100 rushing yards vs one of the five best run defenses in the NFL this past Sunday, and that was without being a major factor in the passing game, which he’s also shown flashes of. Tampa Bay has been a team that has been routinely torched, I’d bet on multiple Vikings going off—but McKinnon has the highest ceiling of all of them.
RB: Lamar Miller–Dolphins, 7,400: Miami takes on Jacksonville, which just shut down my choice RB from last week (and cost me a lot of money), Ben Tate, so I’m daring to go against the vaunted Jags run defense once more. Jokes aside, this feels like a star-making week out of Miller who has been as consistent as it gets and has earned an increasingly bigger role in the offense. Miller has the talent and the role of an RB that would charge north of 8,500 but you can get him at 1-1,500 cheaper.
WR: Dez Bryant—Cowboys, 8,800: Bryant faces the incredibly generous Redskins defense, which should have fantasy owners everywhere salivating. If you are going big on one or two guys, I would strongly recommend Bryant as your big money play. It seems you can never go wrong with Jordy Nelson, but Bryant has yet to have truly epic game and appears to just be sitting on the “win you your week” type of outing.
WR: TY Hilton—Colts, 7,900: Hilton’s value has sky-rocketed in the past few weeks as the touchdowns have started coming in. Hilton has been a target monster for Luck, but was in a mini-TD drought that hurt his value for the first couple weeks of the season. Now the Colts look to face the Steelers who have a very beatable secondary. The Steelers have really struggled with downfield passing this year, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Cameron and the Bucs passing game all had nice days against their rather pedestrian secondary. I could see another big week out of Hilton.
WR: Jordy Nelson—Packers, 8,800: Like I mentioned above, you can never go wrong with Jordy Nelson. When a “down week” for a player is 16 points, you know he’s worth the money.
TE: Dwayne Allen—Colts, 6,000: Allen has become the red zone machine for Luck and the Colts. The Colts are much more inclined to pass the ball in the red zone, rather than run the ball and Allen is the man Luck is zeroing in on repeatedly. The Steelers have given up big games to Tight Ends on Allen’s level like Greg Olson and Jordan Cameron, so I think Allen has another nice day too. Don’t be afraid to have multiple Colts going for you—a 4 TD game from Andrew Luck is not out of the question. Plenty to go around.
K: Greg Zuerlein—Rams, 4,800: This Rams team is better than you might think. Austin Davis is a reliable QB to move the ball down field and the emergence of Tre Mason has the running game back on track. Zuerlein might be positioning himself in the enviable “kicker for a good but not great offense” role that has brought many fantasy kickers glory. What’s even better is the Rams are playing the Chiefs, so a good but not great offense is playing a good but not great defense—-the perfect recipe for a big fantasy kicking game.
DST: KC Chiefs—4,800: This is a pretty nice value for a team that a) has a knack for big plays and b) is playing a non-playoff team at home. I like the Rams more than most, but Davis is very susceptible to the turnover and they haven’t looked nearly as sharp on the road as at home. I think the Chiefs have the makings of a big week fantasy-wise.