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 we are 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 answered all those questions in one article. Below you’ll find the top player for each of the questions above.
High-Level Must Start: Le’Veon Bell $9600
Bell has quickly become one of my favorite backs to watch in the NFL. He’s patient, and when he finds the holes his burst allows him to run right through them. In the last three weeks, he has scored more than 30 fantasy points in each game. He’s totaled over 200 yards in each of the last three games, and has scored five touchdowns. What’s even better is that he heads to Atlanta to play the league’s worst run defense. The Falcons are giving up 22.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. They’ve allowed the most rushing touchdown (16) and are allowing 122.9 rushing yards per game. The Saints just got crushed by Eddie Lacy who totaled 110 yards and two touchdowns. This is setting up to be another big game for Bell.
Great Value: Matt Ryan $6600
Remember the first six weeks when getting Ryan under $7800 was impossible? Well, since then he’s has had his ups and downs, and that has caused his price to decrease. However, in the last two games, he’s played two of his best games of the season. Last week he was $7000 and scored the most fantasy points he has all season. This week, he has a better matchup at home, and is $500 cheaper. Ryan has thrown more than 350 yards in each of his last two games, and has thrown six touchdowns. As most already know, he plays well at home. In six home games, he’s thrown for 1,867 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. The Falcons host the Steelers which have been a friendly matchup to quarterbacks all season. The Steelers have allowed two or more touchdown passes in each of their last seven games. For the season, the Steelers have surrendered 26 passing touchdowns, and are giving up 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. He’s the 13th most expensive quarterback, is playing at home, has been on fire in his last two games, and has a promising matchup. What’s there not to like?
Contrarian Play: Chris Johnson $3600
Chris Johnson has carried the ball more than 15 times in each of the last two games, something he hadn’t done all season. He also rushed for more than 100 yards in Week 13, which was the first time he passed the century mark in a game this season. Johnson will take on his former team, which have been unable to stop the run. The Titans are allowing 141.5 rushing yards per game which is most in the NFL. They have surrendered 14 rushing touchdowns, and are giving up 21.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. While some may be looking to start Chris Ivory vs. this defense, I’m more inclined to start Johnson. I’m not huge on revenge games, but this could very well be that. He’s been getting the touches in recent weeks, and is dirt cheap with a great matchup.
Player to fade: Eddie Lacy $7500
Lacy is coming off of yet another great week, but there are a couple of things that concerns me. First, he hurt his hip last week and was limited in Thursday’s practice. Second, this matchup against the Bills is not as attractive as some may think. The Bills are giving up less than 100 yards per game to opposing backs. They’ve surrendered just seven touchdowns, and are one of two teams who’ve not allowed a receiving touchdown by a running back this season. They did get run over by C.J. Anderson last week, but in the three games prior to that they didn’t allow a rushing touchdown in any game. This is also the second highest his salary has been all season. Based on price and matchup, I feel that there’s better value elsewhere. Therefore, I’m steering away.
Stack Play: Jay Cutler $7500 to Alshon Jeffery $8200
Cutler is coming off of a nice game against Dallas. He threw 341 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also scored a rushing touchdown. This week he will take on the Saints who have been very vulnerable defending the pass. The Saints are allowing 18.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and have surrendered 22 passing touchdowns. In the last four games, they’ve allowed nine passing touchdowns. Now that Brandon Marshall is out for the season, Jeffery officially is the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, even though he’s been putting up better numbers than Marshall in recent weeks. He has scored a touchdown in five of his last six games, and has six touchdowns in that time frame. The Saints have allowed at least one receiving touchdown in all but two games this season. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed six touchdowns and 150 or more receiving yards in four of the games. Jeffery should see his role increase and should have no trouble getting the job done against the Saints. Cutler will likely lock in on Jeffery this weekend, and there’s a good chance this combo will hook up for a touchdown or two.
Defense: Tampa Bay Buccaneers $2400
A couple things are appealing to me about the Bucs defense this week. First, Derek Anderson will start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. The other thing is their price. The Bucs have 15 sacks over the last four games. They’ve also forced three fumbles and have five interceptions in that time frame. The Panthers offense is averaging 20.7 points per game, which is 11th fewest. Without Cam Newton, it could be difficult for this offense to score more than their already low season average. I’m always looking for the cheapest defense in the best situation, and that’s exactly what the Bucs are this week.