Thanksgiving, a great American tradition that brings families and friends together nationwide, is also a great excuse for three NFL games on a Thursday. And three games is just enough – just enough for daily fantasy football. And while I hope you pumped up your bankroll on yesterday’s action, I don’t know if I’d want it every week. Because even with every team active for Week 13, Sunday’s contests have the feel of a bye week. You find the bottom of the barrel pretty quickly, so choose wisely.
In a week with so little depth at a bunch of positions, you’re going to want to nail those more expensive picks, so lets take a look at a few possibilities:
Rob Gronkowski ($7,800) & Jimmy Graham ($7,100) – They are so much more expensive than every Tight End, sometimes it seems crazy to spend on one of those two when the other options just save you so much. But there really is no comparing these two to the likes of Coby Fleener or Delanie Walker, or even Julius Thomas and Greg Olsen. So, if you want a fair comparison, look in their price range at other positions, such as Randall Cobb ($7,500) and Mike Evans ($7,300) or Eddie Lacy ($7,300) and C.J. Anderson ($6,900). And then that becomes the question – do I want Rob Gronkowski or Randall Cobb, not really do I want Gronk or Walker (because, obviously). But I can tell you this: Coby Fleener or Delanie Walker still end up being part of the equation if you choose Cobb, in this scenario.
You have to play someone at TE, and once you’ve spent the money elsewhere, you are choosing the worst of a bunch of bad options. And yes, you might be right, but if you are, it was luck. From TE #3 (Olsen) on, every single one of these guys has at least three weeks of single digit fantasy production in their last ten. “Do I ‘spend’ on Olsen or take a chance on Tamme or Niles Paul if Reed misses?” A couple grand to avoid that mess is money well spent. Let’s say in the above scenario, you chose Cobb and that left you with $5,300 to spend on Tight End. If, instead, you took Gronk and left yourself that same $5000-$5500 to spend on a wide receiver, you’d be able to pick up and start DeAndre Hopkins ($5,400) or Steve Smith ($5,000), who, at the very least, have some upside.
Le’Veon Bell ($8,700) – At the running back and wide receiver positions, unlike tight end, the choice of whether or not to spend up happens in much more of a vacuum. By that I mean, the choice is explicitly between a guy like Bell or someone cheaper at the same position. And when you choose one of those cheaper guys (say, a Dan Herron for $5,000 or a LeGarrette Blount at $4,400), you are typically choosing someone you think at least has a good chance, this week, of performing like the top guys. And when you do decide to spend up, what you’re getting is a better chance. Bell has scored at least 14 points every single time out, and he’s gone over 20 in five of his eleven games. And he’s at home, playing the Saints.
A.J. Green ($8,200) – As the sixth wide receiver on the board, he actually does represent a savings over the very highest priced options. But he’s someone you have to make a conscious decision to target, and why not? He might only be sixth on this list, but he’s got the chops to play like he should have been #1. We know the talent is there, and the issue is more the talent at the QB position, but in a matchup with Tampa Bay, the potential is certainly there for Green to perform, with or without a monster game from Dalton. In his last two games, he’s got 18 catches for just under 250 yards and a score. Riding that kind of momentum doesn’t take a big leap of faith.
Cardinals D/ST ($3,500) – When the difference between the best fantasy option of the week and the Jaguars is only $1,200, just choose who you think can play well. You can pick from a game you think will be low scoring, and just hope for a few positive points, or target a defense you think can wreak some havoc in the backfield, getting pressure and creating turnovers, like the Cardinals, the most expensive option for a reason. Their opponent, the Falcons, has all the skill players you need, but Matt Ryan is constantly on the run behind what can generously be described as a shaky offensive line, and that leads to opportunities for your fantasy defense, even if they do give up a couple of scores along the way.