QB Tom Brady vs. Miami
This one is more of a bet against Sony Michel. If there was ever a week for Michel to rush for over 100 yards and score three rushing TD’s, it would be this week, but with his lack of ability to create yards, the Patriots injuries along the offensive line, the loss of Gronk’s blocking at TE and no true FB, we haven’t been able to bank on New England’s run game.
We haven’t been able to necessarily bank on the Patriots pass game either, but Brady is coming off his highest yards per attempt game since Week 5, and a performance that came against maybe the best pass defense in the league besides the Patriots themselves.
It’s the Dolphins defense, so the ball will move, and points will be scored. I’m going bet that Brady is the one that cashes those in.
DraftKings salary: 6,000
RB Christian McCaffrey vs. New Orleans
The Panthers have been dreadful since the firing of Ron Rivera and have little to play for besides getting CMC in the record books. He needs 67 yards receiving to record a 1,000/1,000 rushing/receiving yard season. He also needs 216 yards from scrimmage to break the record for scrimmage yards in a season.
The Saints have one of the best run defenses and from a yardage standpoint, they held McCaffrey in check during their first meeting. He had only 64 yards on 22 carries, but being the matchup-proof machine that he is…he scored a TD on the ground and added 9 catches for 69 yards and another TD through the air.
The Panthers have publicly stated their desire to shoot for these records. I’d imagine they’ll try for the 67 receiving yards early on and see where he stands as the game goes along. Unless he ends up too far away from the scrimmage yard record late in this game, I’d imagine he’ll get his full complement of snaps and touches. Hopefully, his price point and the potential of him being rested scares some people off.
DraftKings salary: 10,000
RB Joe Mixon vs. Cleveland
We got late news last week that Mixon was battling a stomach bug, leading to outrage from folks who were competing for fantasy championships. Hopefully, that disappointment carries over to this week because the matchup is a lovely one for Mixon. The banged-up Browns have given up over 200 yards rushing in each of the last two games.
Mixon still ended up with 23 touches last week but clearly wasn’t himself. In the previous two weeks, he averaged 27 touches and 171 scrimmage yards per game. Mixon hasn’t appeared on the injury report at all this week so I think it’s safe to assume his tummy troubles are behind him. Fire him up with confidence.
DraftKings salary: 7,200
WR Courtland Sutton vs. Oakland
One of the breakout players in fantasy for 2019, Sutton has a chance to finish strong versus the Raiders. Oakland gives up the 7th most points per game to receivers and the 15.5 yards they allow per reception to the position is the 2nd most in the league. Sutton has averaged 8 targets per game with Drew Lock, including 10 in each of the last 2 games. Sutton is my favorite WR play on the slate this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,400
WR Vyncint Smith @ Buffalo
Smith has filled in for Demaryius Thomas in the starting lineup for the last 2 weeks and has 9 targets in that span. He played a season-high 80% of the offensive snaps last week and the 6’2’’ speedster should play a healthy share of snaps as both Demaryius Thomas (questionable due to injury) and Robby Anderson are both potentially playing their last game as Jets, so they’ll be incentivized to get a long look at Smith this week. He’s an under the radar, cost conscience option this week.
DraftKings salary: 3,200
WR Miles Boykin vs. Pittsburgh
I usually don’t double up one cheapy WR’s but you’ll see why in a couple of paragraphs. Boykin’s blocking and impressive height-weight-speed combination have kept him involved all season as the Ravens 4th receiver. They’ve been motivated to get him experience and I’d expect that to be ramped up this week with many of their regulars slated to either sit or play limited snaps.
I fully expect Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews to sit or be extremely limited this week. Boykin played 54% and 56% in the two full games Brown missed earlier this year.
Veterans Willie Snead and Seth Roberts also stand to play less than normal, lining Boykin up to see a season-high in playing time.
Boykin has big-play ability and has shown some preseason chemistry with 3rd string QB Trace McSorley, who is expected to see playing time this week as well. Boykin is one of, if not the highest upside dart throw on the board this week.
DraftKings salary: 3,000
TE Mike Gesicki @ New England
Going with a correlation to my QB play here. Devante Parker will have to contend with all world corner, Stephon Gilmore. The Dolphins will be playing from behind and Gesicki has a whopping 20 targets in the last 2 games. At tight end, you usually must choose between volume or big-play ability but Gesicki offers both. He should easily push for double-digit targets this week and has the athletic ability to make big plays downfield. In a week that isn’t ripe with inspiring TE plays, Gesicki is one for me at his price point.
DraftKings salary: 4,000
Flex Ezekiel Elliott vs. Washington
Now you see why I went double cheapy at WR. With Dak banged up and their season on the line, I expect the Cowboys to ride Zeke until the wheels fall off. Washington allows 4.6 yards per carry and the 7th most targets per game to RB’s. Zeke is the most volume secure RB on the slate and arguably the top play.
DraftKings salary: 8,000
Defense Bears @ Minnesota
With nothing to play for in Week 17, the Vikings have already announced that Sean Mannion will start at QB this week and the expectation is many of their regulars on offense will play little to not at all. The Dalvin Cook’less Vikings offense looked rough last week versus the Packers and I’m not expecting fireworks against the Bears and their #9 dvoa ranked defense.
DraftKings salary: 2,100