Last week’s lineup came in with the right intentions. Having exposure to the Texans-Bengals game as the primary stack turned out to be a good idea. Deshaun Watson had 362 total yards and three TD (30.76 points) while on the other side Tee Higgins put up a 6-99-1 line (21.90 points) at a modest 4,700 price tag. The problem for us was instead of having Brandin Cooks’ 7-141-1 we got Chad Hansen’s 1-8-0.
Both RBs were in potential blow up spots and while they didn’t bottom out, Nick Chubb and Miles Sanders’ combined 36 points wasn’t enough to do damage unless someone else in the lineup really went off…to be clear, they didn’t.
Tyreek Hill only scored 10.5 points as the Chiefs offense played surprisingly flat, costing me a Fantasy championship (I’m only 20% bitter, well..maybe 30%). Ito Smith didn’t get to capitalize on a negative game script and rack up catches (one catch for five yards, 46 rushing yards). Jordan Akins 4-39-0 wasn’t going to make up any ground either and the Jaguars Defense continued their collision course towards Trevor Lawrence with 41 points allowed versus known offensive juggernaut Chicago.
The only good thing about this lineup’s 113.96 total is it wasn’t the last one of the year. On to Week 17.
QB Matt Ryan @ Tampa Bay
After a forgettable late Nov-early Dec. stretch of games, Ryan has really picked it up over his last two (one of those already coming versus Tampa Bay). He’s completed 61 of 84 passes for 656 yards with five TDs and no interceptions. Games that were played without Julio Jones may I add, something that has been a deterrent for him recently as far as fantasy production.
This week the pass attempts should be plentiful as he faces the Bucs stout run defense and a Bucs offense that while Jekyll and Hyde-ish..does still average 29 points per game. QB’s also complete 69.3 percent of their passes versus Tampa Bay, the 3rd highest mark in the NFL.
The 300-yard bonus feels very attainable here and if the Bucs can keep their point scoring ways up we could have one of the bargains of the slate.
DraftKings salary: 5,900
RB Myles Gaskin @ Buffalo
Gaskin jumped right back in the lead back saddle last week, out snapping Salvon Ahmed 48 to 15 and handling 19 touches for 169 total yards, including five catches…one going for a 59-yard TD.
This week he faces a Bills team that allows 4.7 yards per carry has been coy about their motivations as it pertains to resting players.
Tua Tagovailoa is slated to get the start in this one and he’s only gone over 30 pass attempts in two of nine appearances this season…strengthening Gaskin odds of a 20+ carry game. Now if the game gets away from the Dolphins? Gaskin has at least five targets in two of the three games he’s played with Tua.
Gaskin has one of the more secure roles in the NFL and he’s actually good at football…he’s one of the top values on the slate this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,500
RB Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Seattle
This one will be popular, but I think we’ll afford ourselves some leeway in this lineup with some players who’ll fly under the radar. Wilson Jr. came thru in a major way with 204 total yards and a receiving score. Reminiscent of his 112-yard three-TD line in Week 7 at New England, Wilson crushes when given the opportunity to handle lead back duties.
With Raheem Mostert out this week, Wilson should be given every opportunity to lead the way again. Kyle Shanahan could always go back to his playa ways and involve Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon but he talked about settling down with the Mostert & Wilson before Mostert’s injury. Wilson Jr. out snapping the combo of Coleman and McKinnon 39 to 17 puts me a little more at ease.
The matchup versus the Seahawks is a middling one but it’s not something we’re worrying ourselves about with the upside Wilson Jr has shown when he gets a full complement of touches.
DraftKings salary: 6,000
WR Calvin Ridley @ Tampa Bay
It wouldn’t be a Falcons stack without Calvin Ridley who at 8,500 is probably still a tick too cheap. He’s gone over 100 yards receiving in each of his last four games and has at least 90 in nine of the 14 games he’s played this season, one of those being a 10-163-1 performance versus these Bucs in Week 15.
Bucs top corner Carlton Davis looks unlikely to play this week as they’ll probably opt to rest him for the playoffs…giving Ridley the runway to take off once again.
DraftKings salary: 8,500
WR Robert Woods vs. Arizona
With the playoffs on the line, no Cooper Kupp and a backup QB at the helm, I expect the Rams offense to look a lot like the Bel-Air Academy offense…just pass it to Woods.
Now normally going from the starter to a UDFA backup would be cause for massive concern but I’m not sure how much John Wolford takes off the table for the Rams offense. I’m sure I’m being too rosy, but Sean McVay’s offense facilitates QB production as well as any most any other in the league. Wolford also moves better than Goff and can execute some of the stuff they like to do on the move.
More than anything though, Woods gets so much work on jet sweeps and near the line of scrimmage that part of his appeal doesn’t even require the QB to be good. With the Cardinals working at one of the fastest paces in the league in most any situation, I could easily see Woods leading all receivers in targets this week, with a few rushing opportunities to boot.
DraftKings salary: 6,300
WR Darnell Mooney vs. Green Bay
With the Packers offense rolling and playing for a #1 seed and the Bears offense ummm, rolling? As well and playing for a playoff spot and jobs in 2021…I wanted to get a piece of this game. With the higher end players in this game not fitting into our budget…Mooney is my cheaper buy in.
With Aaron Rodgers insanely efficient current level of play, a negative game script feels like a virtual certainty for the Bears. In that spot in their Week 12 41-25 loss to Green Bay, Mooney had nine targets. He ended up with just three catches for 34 yards but if we can get that sort of volume again at this price tag, I’ll take my chances on Mooney’s 4.38 speed versus a non Jaire Alexander corner.
DraftKings salary: 4,100
TE Hayden Hurst @ Tampa Bay
With Julio Jones unlikely to play again this week, Russell Gage will be the more popular double stack partner so I’m gonna zig and go with Hurst. Hayden has remained involved all year, but it’s been hit or miss as to what level of involvement that is. Four to five targets feel like the usual floor but the hope here is that we can get a TD out of it like we did in their Week 15 matchup or a few more targets due to the Bucs imposing run defense. The Bucs have also allowed the 10th most TE targets this season.
TE has been such a disaster that playing one that is linked to my QB feels like the best approach. Especially when I can do inexpensively. If he bombs, I can absorb it but if he hits, with Ridley’s high probability of doing the same, we could be looking at something real nice.
DraftKings salary: 3,700
Flex Corey Davis @ Houston
Another game I expect to be a normally played, high-scoring affair. Davis followed up a 110-yard one-TD day with a two-target donut in the snow last week versus the Packers. Maybe that will scare a lot of folks away but I’m willing to go back to him in a plus spot. The Texans are bottom eight in most pass defense metrics and give up the 7th most DK points per game to WR’s.
With the 2nd highest implied team total on the slate and a popular Derrick Henry ahead of him with Dalvin Cook out, I like pivoting to Davis here in hopes of a bounce back.
DraftKings salary: 6,200
Defense Browns Def vs. Pittsburgh
We’re going back to the scene of the Mason Rudolph-Myles Garrett helmet swinging fiasco. Big Ben will sit this week out and I’m sure there will be other veteran players to follow suit as the Steelers try to go into the playoffs as healthy as they can. We all vividly remember the brawl the last time these team met in Cleveland but what we may not remember is Mason Rudolph throwing four picks and taking four sacks in a 21-7 loss. At this price I’m down to see if history can recreate itself…minus the violence of course.
DraftKings salary: 2,500