With the amount of football games dwindling down to just two this weekend, it’s going to be tougher than ever to really differentiate your lineup with everyone else’s. However, to take down a GPP this week, that’s just what you’ll have to do. Finding that “diamond in the rough” is going to be one of your main goals heading into this short slate. So with this article, we’re going to try and think outside the box as much as we can to find those players. In a slate like this, even if one of these players gets you 10 points, they could prove to be all the difference. These picks are listed in no particular order. As always you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Bennie Fowler WR Broncos ($2,300)- First and foremost, an active player that is going to run you for only $2,300 is a steal in itself. Fowler costs less than any defense on this slate and he was pretty active in the last game compared to his price tag. Fowler had four targets in the Divisional round catching two of them for 35 yards. He could have had an even bigger game, as he recorded two drops as well. Then again, who on the Broncos team didn’t record a drop last week. I wouldn’t go to crazy with Fowler, but for someone who could see the same amount of targets in this game is certainly worthy of a look. The general consensus in this game is that the Patriots are going to force Manning to throw, which could be viewed as their weakness. If that’s the case, look for Fowler to get a few more looks in this one. It certainly won’t hurt your salary cap to throw him into some lineups.
John Brown WR Cardinals ($5,200)- Over the past four games, Brown has led all the Cardinals wide receivers in targets, yet, he’s constantly overlooked. How is that possible? Well, a good reason for that is of the 33 targets Brown has seen since Week 15, he’s only caught 45% of them, or 15, for those who are mathematically challenged. With that being said, Brown makes for a fine tournament play. When thinking of who to pair Carson Palmer with, Brown isn’t the first name that comes to mind, that would belong to Michael Floyd. It certainly warrants the pairing, as Floyd has caught 15/27 targets, good for 56%. Brown is certainly capable of making that big play and Palmer loves looking in his direction. Brown also seems to perform better on the road than he does at home. When playing away, Brown is averaging 80.6 YDS/G while only averaging 57.9 at home.With all these types of plays, he’s extremely boom-or-bust. But this is a week where that’s 100% acceptable and needed.
Danny Amendola WR Patriots ($4,400)- With the healthy return of Julian Edelman, Amendola became a forgotten man during the Patriots 27-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. He’s certainly a risky play, but of course, isn’t that what this article is all about? Even with a healthy Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, Amendola was able to pull off two big weeks during the regular season. While facing the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets on back to back weeks, Amendola was able to amass 20.5 and 22.6 DraftKings points. In those two games, Amendola had 15 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown. Granted, it will be a bit of a stretch to think that Amendola will have a big game this week, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to rack up some points with him that can help separate you from the field.
Devin Funchess WR Carolina Panthers ($3,200)- It’s really hard to predict where Cam Newton is going to throw if it isn’t to Greg Olsen. Funchess is in an interesting spot this week, even with Ted Ginn Jr. expected to play in this one. I think Funchess could see some added targets this week with Ginn matching up with Patrick Peterson. If we eliminate Ginn, that leaves us with Olsen, Jerricho Cotchery and Funchess. He’s extremely boom-or-bust, but I have a little bit of hope for Funchess as Panthers coach Ron Rivera said that Funchess could be the “X-factor” in the playoffs this season. It certainly doesn’t set anything in stone, but it does shine a glimmer of hope that Rivera sees something in Funchess and this could be the perfect game to exploit that.
Peyton Manning QB Denver Broncos ($5,500)- Let’s be honest, Manning is by far going to be the lowest owned quarterback of the slate. When looking at his line against a Pittsburgh defense that is very generous to giving up passing yards, Manning was only able to muster 21/37 for 222 yards and no touchdowns. Now before all you Denver fans jump down my throat, he DID get the short end of the stick last week, as the Denver receivers were credited with six drops last week. Without those drops, we certainly could have seen a different game last week. But they happened as this is the position were in going into this matchup. With the amount of turnovers Manning had all season and his inability to throw for a touchdown (hasn’t had one since week nine), he’s an extremely risky play. Once again, the thought for this one is that Manning will be forced to throw in this contest, with the Patriots attempting to shut down their running game. That would be an advantage for us as DFS players, as it will, at least, bring us opportunities with Manning throwing. I just can’t guarantee they’ll be good opportunities.