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 those questions in one article. Below you’ll find the top player for each of the questions above.
High-Level Must Start: Antonio Brown $9000
It was a close battle between Brown and fellow teammate, Le’Veon Bell for this week’s high-level must start, but as you can see I decided to go with Brown. When you look at the receivers this season, he’s been one of the most consistent. He’s caught five or more passes in every game this year, has 10 touchdowns, 88 receptions, 1,161 yards, and is averaging 25.2 fantasy points per game. Besides the obvious, two other things stood out to me this week. First, he’s playing at home where he averages 31.3 fantasy points per game, and has scored six of his 10 touchdowns. Second, he will play a Saints defense that has not played so well this season. The Saints have allowed over 200 receiving yards in three of their last five games. For the season, they’ve surrendered 13 receiving touchdowns and are giving up 24 fantasy points to opposing receivers. The Saints will be traveling to Pittsburgh on a short week after a brutal loss to the Falcons on Monday night, and the Steelers are well-rested as they are coming off of a bye week. I’m expecting Brown to take full advantage of this vulnerable secondary.
Great Value: Mike Wallace $4600
It was only a few weeks ago that Wallace was a receiver that many owners felt comfortable starting on a weekly basis. However, in recent weeks, he’s seen fewer targets as Jarvis Landry has become Ryan Tannehill’s go-to receiver. With that said, Wallace has still managed to score a touchdown in two of his last three games. This week, he has a great matchup against the Jets defense who struggles against receivers. The Jets are giving up 22.2 fantasy points per game to receivers, and have allowed 12 touchdowns. Wallace scored a touchdown in five of his six first game of the season, and has scored twice in the last two games. Despite the lack of targets, he is still getting it done. This is the cheapest price he’s been all season, and it’s one of the better matchups he’s had. This is great value if you ask me, and he should have no issues hitting value.
Contrarian Play: Michael Floyd $3900
Here’s a player that has disappointed many fantasy owners. The bar was set pretty high for Floyd heading into the season, but his production has just not been there. In fact, he’s coming off of his second goose egg performance of the season. So, why start him, you may be asking? This is just me going against the grain in what I believe, is a good spot. Last week he had a tough matchup at Seattle, so expectations where low for me. Granted, I wasn’t expecting zero points. This is a good week for Floyd to bounce back and get some points. He takes on the Falcons that are giving up 24.5 fantasy points per game to receivers. They’ve allowed 11 receiving touchdowns and have yielded over 200 receiving yards in five of their 11 games. The talent is there for Floyd, it’s just a matter of getting the chance to put it to use. At this low price, the risk/reward factor seems about right for me. In a week where some people may be going with Robert Woods for the same price because of last wee’s game, I’ll be a bit different and throw in Floyd – Great matchup, high-ceiling, and low price.
Player to fade: Ryan Mathews $5100
Mathews has put together some decent performances since returning from injury. Last week he rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown. It was a tease to fantasy owners because he ended up leaving the game early with a shoulder injury. Reports are that he’s expected to play and that the injury isn’t serious. However, Mathews has proven to be fragile, and I’m not convinced to start him at less than 100 percent healthy. Not to mention, this matchup against the Ravens will be the toughest matchup of the season for him. The Ravens are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing backs (10.4). They’ve allowed just three rushing touchdowns, and have only surrendered more than 100 rushing yards in one game this season. This defense has not allowed a rushing touchdown at home, and this is where they will be playing this week. In addition, this may appear to be a good price to some, but this is the second highest price that Mathews has had all season and he is facing the best run defense in the league. No thanks.
Stack Play: Andy Dalton $6100 to A.J. Green $8200
It is quite apparent that the Bengals offense isn’t the same without Green. Besides that poor performance against the Browns, the Bengals offense has ran smoother in recent weeks. Dalton hasn’t thrown for three touchdowns and 300 yards in a game this season. If there was a team he should be able to do it against, it’s the Bucs. They have allowed 16.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, have given up one or more touchdown passes in all but one game this season, and have allowed 300+ passing yards in five games. Dalton has actually played better on the road than at home this year. He’s thrown seven of his twelve touchdowns in road games, and has thrown a pick just once. Green is back!!! He’s put together two strong games in a row. He has 18 catches, 249 yards, and a touchdown in the last two games. He scored more than 27 fantasy points in each of those games. The Bucs have allowed nine touchdowns in the last six games to receivers. Dalton and Green should have no problem connecting this weekend.
Defense: Miami Dolphins $3200
The Dolphins will head to New York to take on the Jets on Monday Night Football. Geno Smith is expected to start for the Jets. He has 10 interceptions and seven touchdowns in the nine games he’s played this year. The Jets scored the third fewest points per games, gained the fourth fewest yards per game, and have 19 turnovers this season so far. The Dolphins defense broke down last week against the Broncos, but this could be the matchup they need to get back on track. Miami has 10 picks, are tied in fourth for most sacks this season with 31, and have forced 12 fumbles. Not to mention four defensive touchdowns. They should have no trouble shutting down the Jets in Week 13.