This is your last chance of the year to turn $20 into $1,000,000. I’m hoping to give you a few players or thoughts around how you can create a unique lineup while putting you in a spot to ship the cash. We want to focus on players with high touchdown probability and ideally the opportunity to score multiple times. I’m trying to find players that are elite and who are perhaps over-priced to a point that’ll keep the general public off of them. Let’s dig in.
If you’re new to the daily fantasy community, welcome, you’re in for a whole lot of fun. If you have questions, please find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots (vs. Tennessee Titans) -$7,800
With the questions in New England’s backfield right now, it’s difficult to see them leaning on anyone for 20+ carries. There’s no doubt that New England scores 28+ points this week, with an implied team total of 30.25, and all four of those scores could come from the arm of Tom Brady. This is an opportunity to pay up to be contrarian with your lineup construction. I think Cam Newton, who’s also $7,800, will be more popular than the G.O.A.T this week.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Cleveland Browns) -$7,000
I think quarterback ownership will be flat this weekend. I think that we have so many viable options to choose from that I’d be surprised to see someone owned at 20% or more. I think Russell Wilson is in such a great spot and that lack of a clear running game right now will force him to carry the load. I think some will be off of Russ simply because Seattle is such a large favorite.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. Buffalo Bills) -$5,200
There’s a ‘Kirk Cousins is better at home’ narrative that I’m not sure I buy in to, mainly because who’s consistently better on the road than at home? Probably no one. I think this is a good spot to use Cousins because his price will allow a ton of flexibility for the remaining spots on your roster and his upside is as high as anyone.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (@ Jacksonville Jaguars) -$7,500
The Falcons offense has been terrible lately. Freeman hasn’t had a 100+ yard rushing game since Week 7 in Tennessee but he’s still dominating the touches and he’s a popular check down option for Matt Ryan out of the backfield. If we’re looking for big-play talent that has multi-touchdown upside, Freeman is worth a look. His price will keep most players off of him, as well.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (@ San Diego Chargers) -$6,300
The Chargers are abysmal against the run, nearly as bad as Miami is at committing to running the football. Miller tweaked his knee on Monday night, but not to the point where he’s questionable for this week’s matchup. Look for Miami to pound the Chargers here and get Miller 20+ touches.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (vs. Buffalo Bills) -$4,000
The loss of Chris Thompson helps increase the snap percentage for Matt Jones, who’s stealing early down work from Alfred Morris more and more each week. We’ve seen glimpses of Jones’ elite talent this season, and his ability will shine if he keeps getting 60-65% of the snaps in Washington’s backfield. Buffalo is among the bottom five teams in the league against the run and they’re 29th in DVOA against the pass to the running back position.
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (vs. Carolina Panthers) -$9,200
I’m really intrigued to see the ownership number on OBJ this week. He’s on an absolute heater right now, and by right now I mean since he came in to the league. The challenge here is he’ll be shadowed all over the field on Sunday by the league’s top cover corner, Josh Norman. What does the public do here? I think the undefeated Panthers defense, lead by Norman, is enough to keep Beckham’s ownership levels slightly suppressed. Look for New York to increase Beckham’s snaps from the slot which will be a way for them to get OBJ matched up on a defender not named Josh Norman.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (@ San Francisco 49ers) -$7,900
You want a top-10 talent who’s owned in less than 5% in the Milly Maker? A.J. Green is your guy. The loss of Andy Dalton will likely keep most players off of the Bengals offense, but we saw A.J. McCarron wasn’t afraid to take chances last week, including a deep touchdown pass to Green in the first half. Green’s touchdown upside gets an uptick if Tyler Eifert sits this one out, which is possible due to his Week 14 concussion.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Nate Washington, Houston Texans (@ Indianapolis Colts) -$3,400
The Texans looked Nate Washington’s way four times on Sunday night against New England, all of them being vertical routes 15+ yards down the field. Obviously we’d prefer more than four targets but for a tournament, we just need him to hit on one of those deep balls and we’re good. Colts’ corner back Greg Toler has been torched by the long ball this season, and with much of the focus being on slowing down DeAndre Hopkins, Washington should be one-on-one all day long.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (vs. Buffalo Bills) -$5,900
Jordan Reed is just #good, y’all. He’s an exceptional athlete who’s a mismatch when he’s on the field. He’s an over-sized receiving running back, essentially, a position he played in college when he first enrolled at the University of Florida. Buffalo has done well against tight ends this season, but Jordan Reed has the ability to rack up scores and catch in bunches.
Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (@ Seattle Seahawks) -$5,000
Johnny Manziel’s insertion into the starting quarterback role has done nothing to hurt the consistent week-in-week-out production from Gary Barnidge. He’s a lock for 7-8 targets per week, and will continue to be the featured target in the red zone. Seattle will likely force Cleveland into a heavy passing game plan and Seattle has struggled at slowing down their opponent’s TE’s all season, ranking 28th in the league in DVOA against the tight end position.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders (vs. Green Bay Packers) -$2,600
If you’re punting at TE and leaning on a value play, all you really want is touchdown upside. Clive Walford has seen his role increase over the past few weeks and the rookie led all Raiders receivers in targets last week. His price could really free up a ton of flexibility for your roster.
Seattle Seahawks (vs. Cleveland Browns) -$4,200
Yet another example of paying up to be contrarian. It’s difficult to spend over $4,000 on your defense, but they’re in a great situation to force turnovers here. The game script here will likely put Seattle ahead in the second half, and create a spot where Johnny Manziel will likely be forced to make plays, and mistakes.
Houston Texans (@ Indianapolis Colts) -$2,500
Targeting a defense on the road in itself is a bit of a contrarian play, but we might be looking at JJ Watt and a suddenly rejuvenated Jadeveon Clowney rushing the edge against Clipboard Jesus, Charlie Whitehurst.