I hope you did not get used to the extra late game we had last week; this week we have only four games from which to build our late teams. This player pool has some very nice elite quarterback and running back options. There are some elite wide receivers playing, though they also have unfavorable matchups. It will be tough to find a cheap quarterback with the potential for a big game this week. So much for the general overview, here are the players I like for this week’s late slate of games:
Tom Brady, New England, $8,400 — Of the three “elite” quarterbacks playing in the last games — Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Brady — Tom has the most favorable matchup, plus the lowest price. Brady has also managed 27.52 fantasy-points per game his last six games, and the Packers allowed Teddy Bridgewater to score 20.6 fantasy-points. Yeah, Brady is a good play at Green Bay.
Alex Smith, Kansas City, $6,200 — Sure, you know that you are not going to get a huge game from Smith, you are also pretty confident that he gets you a decent game. Denver ranks 27th against quarterbacks this season, and has been struggling lately. Smith is a better 50/50 than GPP league pick, but a solid option given his price.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, $8,600 — Yes, Denver ranks 10th against opposing running backs this season, but that stat is misleading. Denver has been ahead a lot so teams have had to throw. Miami average 4.6 yards per rush against Denver in week 12, and St Louis ran for 131 yards against Denver in week 11. Last season Charles averaged 4.9 yards per rushing attempt against Denver. So yeah, there are a number of reason to like Charles against Denver.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, $7,300 — The knock against Lacy entering week 12 was he was just not getting enough touches. That issue was rectified against Minnesota with Lacy seeing 27 touches on his way to a 30.8 fantasy-point game. Sure, the New England defense has been playing better lately, but they still rank 22nd against running backs this season making Lacy a nice play this week.
Shane Vereen, New England, $5,400 — Draft Street has a PPR format so Vereen’s lack of carries are not a major issue. Vereen is a good PPR RB, and unlike other Patriots’ backs, you know he will see the ball. In a slate of games very weak in cheap RB, Vereen is the best option for below the median player salary.
Lamar Miller, Miami, $4,500 — I almost missed Miller this week, I never would have thought to look for him in this salary range. I know he only had only 7.7 fantasy-points against Denver, but a lot of that came in the first half with Miami getting away from the run in the second half. The Jets “on paper” ranking against running backs is a little misleading as they have not faced many good running teams this year. Miller is a nice bargain at this price.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver, $9,500 — You have to go back to week three to find a game in which Thomas has scored fewer than 20 fantasy points. Over his last eight games, Thomas is averaging over 30 fantasy-points per game. Ignore the matchup, no one can stop Thomas right now.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay, $8,400 — Like Thomas, Nelson does not have a great matchup this week. I like him despite the tough matchup. I cannot imagine that the Green Bay/New England game being anything but a shoot out, and I expect Nelson to have a good game in said shoot out.
Jarvis Landry, Miami, $5,400 — Landry has sort of become Brian Hartline 2.0. Quietly, Landry has become a nice PPR wide receiver. Unlike Hartline, Landry seems to be able to find the end zone with regularity — he has four touchdown receptions in his last four games. He has also averaged six receptions per game in his last four contests. Sure, it would be nice if Landry could up the yardage totals, but you have to like him against a bad Jets secondary this week.
Mike Wallace, Miami, $4,600 — Yes, that is another Miami receiver in the economy section, what can I say, I think the Jets’ defense is not very good. Wallace is not as sure a thing as Landry is, but also has the potential for a bigger game, and is more proven. I have no issues using either of these Dolphins wide receivers this week.
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,800 — It is not like Gronkowski had a bad game last week; it just was not nearly as good as people expected. The two touchdowns by Tim Wright were not what Gronkowski owners wanted to see. Before you get too down on Gronkowski, realize that was his ninth consecutive game of over 11 fantasy-points. Green Bay has been solid against tight ends this season, though they also have not faced many good ones. Once again, Gronkowski is a good option this week.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $4,300 — What can I say? The depth of my daily fantasy love for Kelce knows no bounds. He once again makes my column. This week he checks off all the boxes: he is affordable — $4,300 — he has a nice match up — the 29th ranked defense against tight ends — and he is at home in a prime-time game.
Arizona, $3,500 — Yes, Atlanta has a home game in the late slate of games this week for some reason. That is good for us, since it means we get a shot to use the Arizona D/ST this week. Over their last four games, the Arizona defense has averaged 14.75 fantasy-points per game, and the Atalanta offense has been average this season.
Lesser Priced D/ST
Miami, $3,200 — Sure, if you used the Miami defense last week you lost a point, you also deserved to lose a point if you played them against Denver in Denver. This week they are on the road again, but facing a much weaker Jets offense. The Jets offense is what we “in the business” like to call “not very good”.
Good luck with your teams this week. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.