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: Aaron Rodgers $9000
Last week was the first time this season that Rodgers did not throw for a touchdown pass in a game. A quarterback like Rodgers will bounce back strongly, especially with such a good matchup and their division title up for grabs. The Bucs defense hasn’t been able to stop opposing quarterbacks. They’re yielding 16.6 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and have given up 26 touchdowns. They allow 250 passing yards per game. The last time Rodgers had a bad game was in Week 8. In his following game, he threw for 315 yards and six touchdowns. The Bucs got torched by Matthew Stafford two weeks ago for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers is playing at an MVP level, and paying up for him is worth it about 99% of the time. This is a good week to have him in your starting lineups.
Great Value: C.J. Anderson $6900
The Broncos handed over the keys to Anderson a couple of weeks back, and he has not looked back since. His worst game since Week 10 came in last week’s matchup against the Chargers where he totaled 96 yards. Since Week 10, Anderson has scored six touchdowns and has scored more than 19 fantasy points in all but one game. This week he faces the Bengals who have been susceptible against the run. They’re allowing 20 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and have surrendered 14 rushing touchdowns, including three in the last three games. The Bengals allow 124.8 rushing yards per game. Anderson is the eighth most expensive back this week, and could easily outperform some of the backs that are more expensive than he is. Value is not always about the amount you’re spending, but what you’re getting in return from what your investment. If you’re looking for a top level back at an affordable price, Anderson is your man.
Contrarian Play: Torrey Smith $4600
I was back and forth between him and Steve Smith, but I thought to myself, if anyone is targeting a receiver from Baltimore it’ll like be Steve Smith who is cheaper than Torrey Smith. With that said, I’ll go with Torrey. He’s did not appear on the injury report, so it appears that he’s passed his knee injury. Prior to suffering the injury, he had scored more than 14 fantasy points in six of seven games, and scored seven touchdowns in that time frame. He started off the season slow, but picked up steam in Week 6. There’s a good chance that Smith bounces back this week against the vulnerable Texans pass defense. They’ve allowed at least one touchdown to receivers in every game besides the season opener. They are allowing the second most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (25.6), and surrender more than 270 receiving yards per game. He may not be on many people’s radar this week, but that doesn’t mean he won’t produce fantasy points.
Player to fade: Marshawn Lynch $7000
This week I’m a bit hesitant to fire Lynch up in any of my lineups. He faces the Cardinals defense that allows the second fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backs (11.6). They are giving up just 90.4 rushing yards per game. In the last eight games, they have allowed just two touchdowns, and two 100+ rushing yard games. They were able to contain DeMarco Murray to less than 100 rushing yards, being the first team to do so this season. In fact, the last game that these two met in Week 12, Lynch rushed for just 39 yards on 15 carries, and that was in Seattle, this game is in Arizona. Another thing to keep in mind is that Lynch has yet scored a rushing touchdown on the road this year. There are backs with better matchups and even a bit cheaper in his price range. I’d roll with some of those instead this week.
Stack Play: Matthew Stafford $7000 to Calvin Johnson $8700
The Lions take on the Bears who have been just awful on the defensive side of the ball this season. They’ve allowed the most passing touchdowns (33), and are giving up 19.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The Bears allow 277 passing yards per game, which is second most in the NFL. In their last two games, the Bears have allowed six passing touchdowns and 580 passing yards. These two teams faced off in Week 13. In that game, Stafford threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns. In their last four meetings, Stafford has actually played solid against the Bears. He’s thrown nine touchdowns, three interceptions, and 1,123 passing yards. His price also makes him very intriguing. Calvin Johnson absolutely smashed the Bears defense in Week 13. He caught 11 passes for 146 yards and the only two touchdowns that Stafford threw. That was good enough for 40.6 fantasy points. In fact, Calvin has scored five touchdowns in the last three games he’s faced the Bears. He has a good history against them, as he has scored nine touchdowns in 14 career games against them. The Bears are surrendering 23.4 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. They’ve given up 17 receiving touchdowns, and allow the second most receiving yards per game (286.1). In the last four games, the Bears have yielded six receiving touchdowns. The Lions are playing for a division title race; this duo should take full advantage of the awful Bears pass defense.
Defense: Miami Dolphins $2800
Talking about defenses, the Dolphins haven’t played so well on the defensive side as of late. The good news for them is they will be playing the Vikings in Miami. The Dolphins average a little less than 10 fantasy points in home games. They’re defense allows just 19.7 real points per game at home. This Vikings offense is not much to be concerned about. I’m always taking the cheapest defense with the best matchup and situation, and that’s exactly what I saw in the Dolphins this week.