Daily Fantasy Week 16: Shootouts and Defensive Struggles
Hi Daily Fantasy Veterans and Rookies,
It was certainly an interesting week as many major studs put up some real stinkers, hello Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Peyton Manning. However our Over/Under strategy did pay some dividends in the Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles games. Note the performances by Dez Bryant (38 points), Le’Veon Bell (29), Harry Douglas (26), Antonio Brown (25), Matt Ryan (25), DeMarco Murray (21) and Tony Romo (21).
This week at Draft Kings is the Fantasy Football Championships, including the huge $3.1 Million guaranteed championship with a $1,000,000 top prize, the $50 entry $1 Million Contest with a $100,000 first place prize and the $5 entry $400,000 guaranteed Flea Flicker with a $50K top prize. To help you set the optimal team (and hopefully take home one of these major cash prizes), just like every week this season, we look for those games that the odds makers in Vegas see as high scoring affairs, which means a lot of fantasy points should be racked up and which should be low scoring games where the points will be hard to come by.
To check out the first article of this series for a complete description of the strategy: CLICK HERE
This week there is one game on Thursday Night (a real snoozer between the Titans and the Jaguars) and then two games on Saturday between the Eagles and Redskins and the Chargers and Nines. This will cut down on some of our options for the big contests. If you will be entering contests that include these Thursday and Saturday games, you should definitely avoid the Titans @ Jaguars (40 ½ O/U) and the Chargers @ Niners (41 ½ O/U), while the Eagles @ Redskins could provide some interest with its 50 ½ O/U. Interesting players here are your Eagles (Sanchez, McCoy, Maclin, Matthews, and possibly Sproles) and Morris and DeSean Jackson (in a revenge game) should they be good to go as both had injury concerns coming out of last week’s game. RG III could be an inexpensive QB play, but if the Eagles front line pressure gets to him early he could also be a disaster…be careful with him.
Here we go: Looking at Week 16 (Sunday and Monday Games which are included in the big contests), there are two games that meet our 50 point over/under threshold.
Over/Under with Positive Impact on Value: TARGET PLAYERS ON THESE TEAMS THIS WEEK
For our negative game(s) we look for games under 42 points.
Over/Under with Negative Impact on Value: AVOID PLAYERS ON THESE TEAMS THIS WEEK
Basic strategy with the above information is to look for studs and lower priced value in the “POSITIVE” games and look to avoid most but not all of the players in the “NEGATIVE” games.
Now with our tools (FFC Strength of Schedule, FF Champs Defense Stats Allowed , The FFCPI and the FFC Daily Fantasy Rank Tool) primed and ready to go, we can now review our target games and make some decisions and look for value:
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints:
I really like this game, especially since it’s in New Orleans’ Dome, which should help both teams as they are much better producers on a Dome’s fast track.
Both teams had big games in week 15 and the real bottom line is that both teams have horrible defenses. The Saints are ranked 26th against the pass and 29th against the run, while the Falcons are dead last (32nd) against the pass and 20th against the run.
The top plays in this game are the QBs, both Drew Brees @ $8,300 and Matt Ryan @ $7,400. Brees has 30 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games with 11 touchdowns in those games. He is spreading the ball around and should have a field day against the incredibly porous Falcons secondary. Matty Ice has 25 or more fantasy points in his last three games with a total of eight touchdowns. He has excellent value at $7,400 and if his number one target, Julio Jones is back, he could be considered a steal.
Speaking of Julio Jones, if he is back from his injury, he has to be in your lineup for only $7,700. The other Falcons receivers, Roddy White ($6,600) and Harry Douglas ($5,600) are also solid value, and if Julio is not on the field, they both become must haves, especially Douglas who went off last week to the tune of 10 catches for 131 yards and 26 fantasy points.
For the Saints, with Brees spreading the ball around, the WRs are a little bit harder to judge, but Colston at only $4,600 might be the best play, though Kenny Stills at $5,700 is also usable. Jimmy Graham continues to be a frustrating option. His price at $6,300 seems too good to be true, but he is not putting up the huge numbers that his name conjures up in our minds. He only has two games over 25 fantasy points and only five games over 20 points. At his salary, even in this potentially juicy matchup, I would probably look at one of the less expensive TEs who could put up similar numbers (like Olsen or Kelce).
At RB, Mark Ingram is attractive at $6,100, but he has definitely slowed down recently and with the return of both Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson, his carries are down. He is a solid #2 RB this week, but not an RB to build your roster around. Both Pierre Thomas @ $3,800 and Steven Jackson @ $3,600 are very interesting Flex plays who should provide a nice 13-16 fantasy points. Excellent for Cash Games, but probably not the best play for the big GPPs.
Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys:
The Cowboys are ranked 23rd against the pass, and recently have given up a ton of points to Jay Cutler (31) in week 14 and Eli Manning (28) in week 12. While Andrew Luck has slowed down a bit recently, this has basically had the good result of reducing his price and this week for only $8,900, he has the potential to be, while not a steal, extremely good value, especially if he has all of his weapons at his disposal.
Speaking of Luck’s weapons, it ultimately all comes down to TY Hilton. His “questionable” tag could keep people “off” him, but his MRI was negative and is he is practicing in full by Friday, feel confident to put him in your line up at only $7,600 and watch him run wild on Dallas’ weak secondary. Donte Montcrief has totally crashed back to earth with both Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen back on the field. Even with his inexpensive $4,100 salary fade Moncrief, unless TY is out of action. If TY is not a go, then Moncrief becomes excellent value. It’s sad, but Reggie Wayne is probably not worth a play in GPPs as he just does not have the upside needed anymore to take down the big contests.
Dallas is really, really bad versus the TE and the Colts have two of them, Fleener @ $4,200 and Allen @ $3,800. With Allen in the mix, Fleener loses a significant amount of value as Allen is Luck’s red zone target and is the more likely of the two to score. My pick here is Dwayne Allen.
For the Colts at running back, Trent Richardson, even at $3,000, is hard to play with only one game over 11 fantasy points all season. Boom Herron is somewhat better as he is involved in the passing game and does have a higher upside in the pass heavy Indianapolis attack. At $4,300 he makes a nice RB2 or Flex play in Cash games and a solid “floor” Flex “flyer” in GPPs.
The Colts defense is middle of the road, 19th versus the pass and 16th versus the run. The big, super, major question is what will the Cowboys do about DeMarco Murray and his surgically repaired hand this week. RBs have played with this type of injury, but even the great Emmitt Smith sat out a week. The Cowboys have been making noises like they expect him to play, but with backups Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar perfectly capable of handling a reduced running game plan, I just don’t see them risking further injury to Murray and potentially losing him for the playoffs. At a price tag of $9,300, I am going to leave Murray on my bench this week, and possibly plug in the super cheap Randle ($3,000) into the flex. Keep an eye on this and watch the injury and practice reports.
Tony Romo has 10 touchdowns over the past four weeks, and except for the real stinker versus the Eagles on Thanksgiving on a really short week, has posted between 20-25 fantasy points per week. This is good value for his $7,300 price tag and he is a solid, safe play versus the Colts this week.
Dez Bryant is expensive at $8,600, but he is a beast and with the running game possibly somewhat less than optimal this week, the Cowboys may have to put it all on Dez’s back and ride him to a victory in what should be a high-scoring passing extravaganza. Cole Beasley is cheap at $3,500, and he keeps popping up on the field and seems to be becoming a target for Romo when Dez gets double coverage. If he doesn’t get in the end zone he is pretty worthless, there are other options out there.
The Colts are pretty bad against TEs. Jason Witten is Romo’s safety blanket. In the bleak desert that the TE position has become this year, Witten could be a play this week at only $4,000. If the run game is somewhat curtailed with a less than 100% Murray, Witten will be freed from some of his blocking duties and could see more action in the passing game. As long as Escobar doesn’t vulture too many of his plays, I like Witten this week.
Now, on to the games to avoid:
NEGATIVE GAMES: (Remember, a negative game does not mean that all players will stink and not put up fantasy numbers, it just means that there is generally better value to be had elsewhere)
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans:
Oy Vey! Case Keenum or Thad Lewis? What are the Texans going to do? Your guess is as good as mine. With no QB to take advantage of the weak Ravens’ secondary, Baltimore will be able to stack the box and turn an already impressive run defense into an impenetrable wall, making Arian Foster @ $8,600 a tough play and make DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson (if he returns from his concussion) very difficult to use.
The Texans are ok versus the run (ranked 14th) but soft against the pass (ranked 27th). This makes Justin Forsett @ $6,700 somewhat risky, but does open the door for Joe Flacco ($6,600) and the Smith boys (Steve and Torrey) both well priced at $4,100 and $4,600, respectively.
Both defenses should also be solid plays with the Texans at $2,800 and the Ravens at $3,400.
Buffalo Bills @ Oakland Raiders:
The Bills showed in the last two weeks that their defense is for real putting a beat down on first Peyton Manning and then Aaron Rodgers. They did show some susceptibility to the run, so Latavius Murray may have some value at $4,600. That is if the Raiders’ coaching staff remembers that they have a good running back and give him the ball, instead of passing 50+ times. Come on Oakland, run the ball!!!!
Oakland has been tough against the pass (ranked number eight) and with Sammy Watkins’ mostly pedestrian performances over the past few weeks, both he and Orton are tough to use this week, especially in the Black Hole in Oakland. The Raiders can be had on the ground (ranked 25th), so the ageless wonder Fred Jackson could provide some cash game value at $5,500.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals:
Last week the Cardinals only allowed 6 points and the Seahawks smacked the Niners all over the field. We have two monster defenses going up against one another and with an over/under of 36 points, even the boys in Vegas think this one is going to be a 17-13 type snoozer. If you absolutely must start someone in this game, Marshawn Lynch at $7,000 is probably the one.
Personally, I hope they flex this game out and put the Indianapolis vs. Dallas game in its place.
Well, that is it for this week, remember to do your research and look for more daily fantasy articles in the upcoming days.
If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk fantasy, hit me up on Twitter (@Beaudog2).
Good luck this weekend!!!