Recap from Week 8
Alas, Week 8 was a big let-down for me. While most of my players were productive, few of them managed to get the ball into the endzone. And in a week where Drew Brees and Eli Manning (neither of whom were in my lineup) led the way with 7 and 6 TD passes respectively, that was hard to overcome. Here is what last week's DFS team looked like for me:
QB Philip Rivers
QB Andrew Luck
RB Justin Forsett
RB Doug Martin
WR A.J. Green
WR Jarvis Landry
TE Clive Walford
D/ST New Orleans Saints
Flex Nate Washington
Flex Chris Johnson
While no one above can be cited as a bust (other than the Saints' defense that allowed Eli Manning to pass for 6 TDs and Clive Walford who cost the minimum weekly salary), I didn't have the kind of potency in my lineup to keep up with the teams that guessed right on Brees and/or Manning.
Studs with Great Match-ups
By now you know that my prevailing philosophy is to go ahead and shell out the big bucks for the elite fantasy players, when they have favorable match-ups. Right off the bat, I have to say that I love Tom Brady with the extra rest against a not-so-great Washington secondary. Brady is a safe bet as he has scored 20+ points in this DFS format every week so far this season. There is no reason to expect him to post less than his season average of 26.63 points, which makes his price at $157,900 very reasonable. Ridiculous floor, fantastic ceiling, great match-up, decent value -- what more could you want?
Sticking with the QBs, another guy I like this week is Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, I have him ranked #3 in my personal rankings this week, but he is priced as the #5 at $145,800. I know he is coming off the poor showing against the Bengals last week, but that was his first week back after having missed 4+ weeks with a knee injury. I expect him to look much better this week at home against the Raiders, making the long trip from the West Coast.
With the RB position becoming more and more of a crap-shoot every year and every week, there are really only two guys right now that I believe are must-starts every week: Devanta Freeman and Todd Gurley. With both of them in the $150K range, I do not have the budget to plug in both of them, given how much I have invested in my QBs. I love Freeman's match-up against the hapless 49ers this week, with Blain Gabbert likely to present both Atlanta's offense and defense with plenty of opportunities. So I am going with Devanta Freeman at $146,700, which is about $7,000 less that Fantasy Feud has priced for Gurley.
So that's four studs -- and four HIGH PRICED studs over $140K. I will have to do some serious digging as I will have to spend less for the other 6 positions.
I always love to shop for guys who I believe will have a short-term impact based on the opportunities presented to them in any given week. These guys -- typically filling in for an injured starter or promoted on the fly for other reasons -- are often under-priced. I know that I always remind fantasy owners not to confuse opportunity with production, but I really like a couple of guys in favorable situations this week.
Jeremy Langford will be filling in for Matt Forte, who will miss an undetermined amount of time with a bum knee; Forte hasn't been officially ruled out yet, but that looks to be a mere formality. Langford has done little so far in his short NFL career to garner much in the way of confidence from fantasy owners, but the Bears coaches appear to believe in him and insist that he has what it takes to be a feature back. We will see, but at just $80,900 I think it is a risk worth taking at the RB3 price point.
With Keenan Allen out for the rest of the year, someone else will need to step up in the Chargers' wide-open passing attack. Last week that was Malcolm Floyd with 4 receptions for 92 yards and 2 TDs. Floyd has been a little hit-or-miss so far this year, but I like for him to do well this week against the Bears. I have him ranked as a borderline WR2/WR3 this week, yet at $68,100 he is priced as a WR4. Interestingly enough, he costs over $20K less than Stevie Johnson, who has been far less productive than Floyd in San Diego's offense.
There are a couple of RBs I also like in this $70K - $85K price range. One is T.J. Yeldon, who had a breakout game against a tough Buffalo defense the week before his Week 8 bye. He has another tough match-up against the Jets this week, but I like for the Jaguars to try to make the rookie RB more of a focal point in their offense. And the Jets have so many injuries on offense, where both Fitzpatrick AND Geno Smith may be out, that I think the Jags could have some success if they are patient and stick with the running game.
C.J. Anderson was dropped in many seasonal leagues after under-performing throughout much of the season. His re-emergence last week against the Packers has led many to forget about Ronnie Hillman, who remains the team's favored ball carrier. The two are priced neck-and-neck, which I find interesting. While Anderson had the bigger plays Sunday night, it was Hillman who saw the redzone touches, and much of Anderson's work was game-flow dependent, as the Broncos rested Hillman in the 4th quarter of a game that had already been decided. Hillman gets a great match-up against the Colts this week, where I expect him to perform as a solid RB2. At $84,100 he is priced more as a borderline RB3.
There really won't be much of that this week, as I have already filled in my skill positions and have $95,300 to work with for a defense and TE. That isn't horrific, as I can always find a decent fantasy defense under $50K and there is sure to be a sleeper fantasy TE in the same price range.
Let's start with defense first. Maybe I am being silly making this same choice again, but I am going to give the New Olreans Saints one more shot. They are understandably priced low at $40,900 coming off the laughable display against the Giants. But I look for them to bounce back this week against the Titans, who are reeling after firing their head coach days ago.
Speaking of firings, the Colts also just let their offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton go. One could argue whether he was made to be the team's scapegoat, but he has been replaced by Rob Chudzinski, who has historically favored getting the ball to his tight ends in the passing game. That could mean great news for Coby Fleener. Against Denver's mighty pass rush, Luck is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly, and Fleener could very well be the apple of Luck's eye this week. It is worth a gamble at $54,100.
And that is it. I have $300 left over.
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