Every week, we as DFS participants, have choices to make. Do we want to go contrarian? What high-level player are we paying for? Who is someone I’m staying away from? What’s the best value this week? Lastly, what stack is the one to consider this week? What I’ve done is answer all of those questions in one article. Below you’ll find the top player for each of the questions above.
High-Level Must Start: DeMarco Murray $8500
In a week where the deviation in the price between high-level players and mid-level or low-level players is pretty significant, choosing the right elite player is key. I’ve rarely paid for Murray this season, but that all changes this week. The Cowboys are coming off of a bye week, and he should be well rested. Murray has scored over 20 fantasy points in all but one game this season, and that was against the league’s second best run defense. This will be the second time he faces the Giants this season. In their last meeting, he rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown. Murray has rushed for 100 or more yards in all but one game this year. He is averaging 91.2 rushing yards against the Giants in his career. The Giants are allowing 21.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns. No running back has scored fewer than 11 fantasy points in a game against the Giants. They’ve allowed at least one touchdown in all but three games. Murray is reliable, consistent, and on pace for a record breaking season. He’s the third most expensive back this week, and could easily finish with the most fantasy points at his position.
Great Value: Isaiah Crowell $3800
The Browns are clearly content with their young running backs Crowell and Terrence West as they just cut Ben Tate. Crowell led the team in carries last week, and is expected to be the team’s starting back this week. His matchup is one that fantasy owners dream of. The Falcons are the pits against the run. They have allowed the most rushing touchdowns this season (12) and are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs (21.5). Crowell carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards. Now that Tate is gone, it’s just Crowell and West in the backfield. Both will get carries, but it appears that Crowell will get the majority of the workload. The only downside to Crowell is that he’s fumbled a couple of times already, they stayed with him despite fumbling last game, but if he continues to fumble there’s a chance he hits the bench. However, that doesn’t concern me much this week. This is a great price for a starting running back going up against a terrible defense. He is your early black Friday sale on Draft Kings.
Contrarian Play: Zach Mettenberger $5300
This will be Mettenberger’s easiest matchup since getting the keys to the Titans offense. In the last three games he’s thrown for 741 yards, five touchdowns, and three picks. This week he faces the Eagles who have been very vulnerable against quarterbacks. They have allowed two or more passing touchdowns in all but one game this season. They are giving up 19.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and have surrendered 22 passing touchdowns. Their defense has yielded over 300 passing yards in 50 percent of the games. There’s no sugar coating this, the Eagles defense can’t stop the pass. There’s also a strong chance that the Eagles take an early lead in this game, which will force the Titans to throw the ball. Mettenberger has a good arm and doesn’t have a problem taking shots down field. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him exploit this suspect pass defense this week. If you’re thinking of going opposite of the field, he is a good option.
Player to fade: Larry Fitzgerald $5700
DeJavu? No, this is the second week in a row that I’m fading Fitzgerald. Last week I was skeptical about Fitzgerald and he had a bad game. This week, he has an even tougher task as he heads to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. Fitzgerald has struggled against the Seahawks in the last two seasons. He has a total of 10 catches for 103 yards and no touchdowns in his last for meetings against them. The Seahawks are giving up the fewest fantasy points per game to receivers (15.6). They have only allowed four touchdowns to receivers, and only two of those were at home. Not to mention, Fitzgerald is coming off of a two catch for 33 yards performance and is a bit banged up. Another thing to consider is that Drew Stanton is now the Cardinals quarterback. There are just too many red flags here, and even though he’s cheaper than he was last week, he is still not appealing. There is better value at this position, no need to settle for him this week.
Stack Play: Jay Cutler $7700 to Brandon Marshall $7100
These two are like a match made in heaven. This is probably going to be the most played stack of the week, simply because of the pricing. If you look at some of the other quarterback to wide receivers or tight end combos, it’s going to be very difficult to build around them, but not impossible. The Bears will host the Bucs this week. The Bucs defense is giving up 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and the second most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (26.4). They have surrendered 14 touchdowns to receivers and 20 passing touchdowns this season. The Bucs have been unable to stop the pass this year and asking them to do so against the Bears will be a tough task. Cutler is coming off of a big game against the Vikings. He threw for 330 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. He’s been hit or miss in his last four games, but should not have trouble throwing the football against the Bucs. Marshall is dealing with an ankle injury, but that hasn’t kept him out of any games. In the last four games, he’s been targeted 40 times (10 targets in each game). In that span, he’s thrown 24 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He’s scored at least one touchdown in back-to-back games. I’m expecting his streak to continue this week. The matchup is great and the price is fair. This is my favorite stack of the week for that reason.
Defense: San Francisco 49ers $3100
I usually pay less than $3000 for a defense, but when I looked through the list, the first defense that was appealing to me was the Chargers at home for $2900. However, after giving it some thought I decided to spend a couple hundred more and plug in the Niners defense. They will be hosting the Redskins in San Francisco. The Redskins team is in disarray. They have issues between the coaches and the quarterback; and it’s just a big mess. Not to mention that RG3 has been real bad this season. The Niners have only allowed one team to score over 20 points in a game at home. If I’m paying $3100 for a defense, it’s for a reason.