#Superbowl Showdown

Well, folks, we made it. One last game before a whole off-season of hot takes and hyperbole begins. I can’t say thank you enough for reading and interacting with me throughout the season. It’s been a real joy in a difficult year. If for any reason you’re not already, follow me on Twitter at @BestBallUKNFL – Once the season is over, it’s Best Ball time and I’m going to be bringing you so much content centred around that and draft strategy in general.

With just one game to play, we only have a showdown slate, so things shake out differently to normal. I’ll try and talk about Showdown theory and break down some popular ways to attack these games, along with contrarian theory. It’s important to consider the type of contest you’re playing, as the differences between a twenty man tournament and a six hundred thousand entry GPP can be as large as you’d imagine. I’ll start position by position and finish up with the theory. 

Bucs +3 vs. Chiefs: 56.5

Quarterbacks

The narratives run easily here with Tom Brady ($15000 captain/$10000 flex), taking on Patrick Mahomes ($18000/$12000 flex). Both quarterbacks face good defences, but you’d expect no less in the Superbowl. The obvious path to Mahomes struggling lies in his offensive line, which is severely banged up. Out of the five starters from the beginning of the season, just one remains (C Austin Reiter). The Buccs defensive line has done well against quarterbacks this season, ranking inside the top four in both sacks and QB hits. Vita Vea is now another two weeks healthier and will continue to make his presence known, after missing time with a broken leg. Mahomes should also be healthier from his turf toe injury, so I’m not overly worried about the o-line weaknesses. I would expect him to get the ball out quickly, or extend plays well enough with his mobility. Mahomes will be a popular captain choice at a reasonable price, and having scored over 20DK points in 16/17 games this season it’s easy to see why. When the teams met in week 12, Mahomes posted impressive stats of 462 yards and three touchdowns, for 35.3DK points. Meanwhile, Brady didn’t have quite as impressive a day, but still put up 26.7DK points, with 345 yards and two touchdowns. He did, however, have an uncharacteristic two-interception day. Brady’s ceiling maybe a little lower than Mahomes, but he still typically covers enough fantasy ground to pay off. Having only failed to clear 20DK points in one of his last seven games, all the way back in week 14. Since the Buccs week 13 bye, Brady has looked even more comfortable in this system, with a better QB rating than Mahomes in that spell, and I don’t believe either QB will have a poor day. 

Scores in the playoffs so far:

Mahomes – 21.6, 28.5.

Brady – 26.0, 22.2, 20.1

Chiefs Defence Points allowed to QB’s – 12.46, 27.28.

Buccs Defence Points allowed to QB’s – 28.84, 12.90, 27.84.

cbssports.com

Running Backs

Less straightforward than the Quarterbacks position, the running back rooms feature a couple of players we can largely disregard. LeSean McCoy ($600), has had 25 snaps for 132 yards and zero touchdowns all season. Unless somebody is injured, he has a tough path to relevance or revenge against a team who healthy scratched him for last years Superbowl. Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($200), has also been less than relevant, only gaining more than 5 attempts in one game this season, which was the Week 16 game when RoJo missed out and the Buccs were so heavily beating on the Lions it made no sense to keep Fournette in. On the Chiefs side, Darwin Thompson ($200), has only had one relevant game all year, when injuries meant he needed to be featured. His game log includes eleven 0.0 games for the year. 

Unfortunately, the top of the running back rooms isn’t an area we’ll be desperate to play either. ‘Playoff Lenny’ ($7800), has been in fine form over the three games, dating back to the wildcard round, scoring a total of 63.3DK points. Part of this can be attributed to Ronald Jones ($2200) lingering injury issues, but with two full weeks since his last game, he could be in line for a larger workload again. It wasn’t that long ago that Fournette was being healthy scratched for Jones. What is clear though, is that Jones is not going to be involved in the passing game in the same way that Fournette is. Jones has just five targets since the last time these teams met in Wk12. Meanwhile, Fournette has seen targets of four, six and seven in the playoffs. The Chiefs run defence, which ranks 21st overall, allows the fifth-most targets to RB’s per game (7.61), whilst allowing a league-worst average of 50.39 yards per game to running back receptions. It’s easy to construct a narrative where Fournette stays in a game script as the Buccs try to come back from a deficit and Jones misses out on snaps.

The Buccs defence also struggles to contain pass-catching backs, despite leading the league in run defence, they allow the most receptions to backs at 6.21. This didn’t count for much the last time the teams met, as Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7000) scored a season-low 4.9DK points. In the Conference game against the Bills, CEH still looked banged up and didn’t return after a hospital ball from Mahomes. Still, we’ve had a two-week break and he’s practised without limitations since then. I would expect more ownership to head towards Darrel Williams ($5200) after Williams has put up back to back 13+ point games. Williams does seem to have the edge in pass protection and third downs, which whilst it matters less to the Chiefs than some teams, may matter more with Todd Bowles blitz heavy defence attacking them. Lastly, Le’Veon Bell ($800), it’s been a far quieter season for Bell than some expected. It wasn’t long ago when the Chiefs signed him and segments of fantasy twitter declared it over for CEH. That wasn’t to be. He has two games with more than ten attempts and zero games with more than three targets since he joined the Chiefs. He has struggled to practice since the win over Cleveland, suffering from a knee injury. Against a tough run defence, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bell healthy scratched. I’ll take my punts elsewhere. All in all, I prefer the Buccs backs to the Chiefs backs.

Scores in the playoffs so far (X= missed game):

D. Williams – 13.4, 13.1

C. Edwards-Helaire  – X, 7.7.

L. Bell – 0.6, X.

Leonard Fournette – 23.2, 21.7, 18.4

Ronald Jones – X, 6.2, 1.6.

Chiefs defence points allowed to RB’s – 19.7, 14.2.

Buccs defence points allowed to RB’s – 14.8, 13.5, 18.9.

Wide Receivers

This is where things get interesting in my opinion. Both teams boast elite pass catchers and deciding which players to squeeze into your lineups will be the trickiest part. The Chiefs defence ranks 2nd best in the league against receivers, allowing just 138.28 yards per game on average. All the more impressive considering how often they put teams in come from behind situations where they would have to try and force the ball. The Buccs however do have a fine set of receivers to spread out and test the defence with. Draftkings has finally settled on Chris Godwin as the highest priced option on the Buccs side, coming in at $8800. Mike Evans ($8400), Antonio Brown ($6200) and Scotty Miller ($3400) fall in behind Godwin, it seems a fair ordering. Mike Evans seems to be over his knee issues he struggled through and will look for a similar performance to last time the teams met when he scored 20 points, despite only managing to catch three of nine targets. Chris Godwin was the only other Buccs pass-catcher to enjoy a good game that day, putting up 17.7 points. Those stats remind us that it’s not worth worrying too much about the ranking of the Chiefs defence in the passing game. Elite players find ways to score points, more often than not. Mike Evans leads the team in Red Zone targets with 18 targets for 11 receptions and nine touchdowns. Simply put it’s likely we see Godwin see higher volume, but Evans see higher scoring opportunities. I’ll not be looking at Tyler Johnson ($1200) unless Antonio Brown struggles to shake off the knee injury that has held him back over the last couple of weeks. Brown was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice.

On the Chiefs side of the ball, there’s nowhere else to start but Tyreek Hill ($10400). When the teams met in Wk12 Tyreek went 13-269 and three touchdowns. Scoring an otherworldly 60.9 Draftkings points and helping me to have my most profitable week of the season, thanks Tyreek. No longer just a big-play receiver Tyreek has a 27.3% target share as well as leading the team in end zone targets (14). Behind Hill, we have Mecole Hardman ($5600), the rarely seen Sammy Watkins ($4200), Byron Pringle ($1800) and Demarcus Robinson ($1400). Robinson is currently on the Covid 19, close contact, reserve list but stands a good chance of being cleared in time for the game. There’s a possibility people shy away from him because of this and he could prove a solid differential play. Sammy Watkins has a decent history of showing up in the playoffs for the Chiefs. Since he signed for the team he has five playoff appearances and has gone 24-464 and a touchdown. An average of 4.8 receptions and 92.8 yards. With his reputation, it’s fair to expect plenty of ownership to head to the exciting Mecole Hardman instead, who despite games in the regular season where Robinson would out target him, seems to have established himself behind Tyreek. Watkins was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday’s practice report. It’s worth noting that in games Watkins has played, Byron Pringle has averaged just 7.4% of offensive snaps, as opposed to 47.4% in games Watkins has missed. 

Scores in the playoffs so far (X= missed game):

Chris Godwin – 18.9, 7.4, 19.6.

Mike Evans – 20.9, 7.3, 14.1.

Antonio Brown – 15.1, 2.0, X.

Scotty Miller – 3.3, 3.9, 11.6.

Tyler Johnson – 0, 2.5, 2.6.

Tyreek Hill – 22.9, 29.2

Mecole Hardman – 10.2, 12.4.

Sammy Watkins – X, X

Byron Pringle – 3.4, 5.2

Demarcus Robinson – 2.4, 0.

Chiefs defence points allowed to WR’s – 38.3, 42.4

Buccs defence points allowed to WR’s – 46.6, 35.2, 57.4

ai.com

Tight Ends

I’m currently drafting my first best ball league of the off-season and Travis Kelce ($11000) was taken at the 1.06. In TE premium, that’s no longer a reach. The man has ascended to God-like status after this season. He’s kept his red hot form going into the playoffs, scoring a ridiculous 67.7 points in two games. Kelce is dominant in both the open field and the red zone, with the 3rd most red-zone targets in the league (20), and the 3rd most red-zone touchdowns (9). The Buccs defence ranks 22nd in the league against the position and has allowed the 12th most touchdowns per game to tight ends (0.56). The Buccs also allow the sixth most receptions per game to TE’s with 5.53. 

The Chiefs defence doesn’t shape up any better against Tight Ends, ranking 24th overall and allowing the sixth-most yards per game (59.5), and the eight most receptions per game (5.33). Fortunately for the Chiefs, the Buccs tight ends aren’t quite as dominant as Travis Kelce. Recency bias will push people towards Cameron Brate ($4800), over Rob Gronkowski ($3000), but there are reasons to believe the game may swing in Gronk’s favour. Aside from the narratives and history of Brady counting on Gronk in big spots, Brate has run fewer routes in the last two weeks than Gronk (28-42). Gronkowski has also out-snapped Brate 113-52. Whilst Gronkowski hasn’t been as reliable a target as he used to be, Brady still targeted him the second most on the Buccs when they were in the Red Zone, resulting in 14-6 and five touchdowns. When you’re making your lineups, you face the choice of recent form or years of a reliable relationship. It’s not an easy choice. 

Scores in the playoffs so far (X= missed game):

Travis Kelce – 27.9, 39.8.

(No others with a catch)

Rob Gronkowski – 0, 2.4, 3.9.

Cameron Brate – 12.0, 9.0, 10.9.

Chiefs defence points allowed to TE’s – 13.5, 16.2

Buccs defence points allowed to TE’s – 14.2, 7.5, 12.2.

Defence

I don’t particularly enjoy writing about defence but in a showdown, it’s worth touching on quickly. Tampa Bay ($2800) are priced slightly higher than Kansas ($2600), with the expectation their solid pass rush can rack up several sacks against a depleted Chiefs offensive line. The key stats are that the Buccs have a whopping 55 sacks on the season compared to the Chiefs 37. Meanwhile, both teams have similar INT totals, 20-17, in the Buccs favour. Whilst the Chiefs have four defensive touchdowns compared to the Buccs singular score, which came back in week six. The main reason to play either defence will be dependent on the game script you project, more of which we get into further below. 

Scores in the playoffs so far:

Chiefs DST – 6, 6.

Buccs DST – 4, 9, 9.

Kickers

Honestly, if you hate kickers, you need to give your head a wobble. There could be nothing more glorious than a team’s victory hinging on a 55-yard field goal. I say that from a safe and secure place as a Ravens fan who has barely sweated a field goal in years, thanks to Justin Tucker. It wasn’t too long ago Harrison Butker ($4000), was being touted as good as Tucker, but this season he finished as the fantasy K14, missing three field goals and a whopping seven extra points. Butker has managed five FG’s of 50+ yards so far this season, normally in better range thanks to his highly efficient offence. A lesser talked about the narrative is Ryan Succop ($3800) getting a chance for a revenge game against the team who he spent five seasons with at the start of his career. Succop has only missed three FG’s all year, but his leg isn’t as strong as Butker’s, only managing one 50+ yard kick this season. Ultimately, the only reason to play either of the kickers comes down to narratives, which we’ll get into below.

Showdown Theory

Tournament selection

I won’t go too deep into this, as there are plenty of articles out there that can provide more data-driven points than I can. I enjoy showdown and play it regularly, but not high stakes. Typically I’ll enter one to three lineups per primetime slate in the cheaper tournaments. If it’s a game I’m particularly interested in I’ll enter up to twenty lineups in the tournaments priced between 25c-$1. I don’t typically play the cash or 50/50 games in this setting. If you’re playing $10 Millionaire contest remember that people are playing up to 150 lineups, and a total of 653594 tickets available for the contest. To win it not only will your lineup need to be perfect, but you’ll also need to be contrarian. You can find better payout structures in smaller contests. My favourite types of tournaments are the small(ish) field tournaments with 15-20 players, like the great Season Long DFS contest that concludes this week. Shoutout to them for another great year and be sure to check them out on Twitter if you haven’t already.

Lineup construction

When constructing your lineup, try to have a narrative in mind. Here are a few examples.

Mecole Hardman + Chiefs D – Hardman returns a punt/kick for a touchdown. In this scenario, both Hardman and the D get points (very rare). 

Running back from one team and corresponding defence, without their QB. – If the Buccs are running the ball well it will drain the clock, reducing the scoring and if it’s become a run-heavy game, we wouldn’t want Brady. 

If you’re playing a defence plus a kicker, you’re assuming a team will be dominant, meaning their pass catchers probably aren’t going to go off. 

Similarly, try not to worry about having an even split of players from each team. Data shows often playing 5-1 from one team, or 4-2 can be more productive. 

Captain Picks

Who you pick at Captain will have a huge bearing on your team, as their salary will cost 1.5x but they’ll also score 1.5x the points. Many people will be drawn to quarterbacks, but thanks to Draftkings PPR format, pass-catchers can often prove more optimal in this spot. Typically priced lower than QB’s, a good pass catchers game could result in 6+ reception points along with the 3pt 100+ yard bonus along with touchdowns scored. Generally speaking, RB’s are sub-optimal in the captain spot.

My two most owned captains this week will be Tyreek Hill ($15600) and Travis Kelce ($16500). 

Value Picks

Ronald Jones ($2200) has been aggressively priced down and it won’t take much for him to outscore a typical projection. Scotty Miller ($3400) offers a type of speed and route running that none of the other Buccs receivers can, whilst also having Brady’s trust. Demarcus Robinson ($1400) is a boom or bust option, but due to his time spent on the Covid reserve list this week, he’ll probably catch very low ownership and has double-digit games in almost one-third of his games played this year. 

Dart Throw

Andy Reid has had an extra week and we all know how good he is coming off those extra weeks. Would it be surprising to see a trick play with a tackle catching a ball in the end zone, or Travis Kelce lining up in the wild cat? Probably not. There’s very little to choose from in the $200 range, but I do like Nick Keizer (TE – $200), as a complete dart throw. At times this season in broadcasts his name has been brought up as someone Andy Reid thinks highly of. Anthony Sherman ($400) is the Chiefs fullback and despite not seeing many snaps, would it be insane to see a 242lb guy brought in to try and counteract the might of Vita Vea in a goal-line situation? On the Tampa side, Ke’Shawn Vaughn at $200 could score enough on one play to reward you for taking a punt on him, but there’s little evidence to support that claim. 

Any questions about the format, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @BestBallUKNFL – stay tuned for Best Ball and Draft Strategy content throughout the off-season ready to come back strong for another year of DFS in September. 

Championship Prime Picks

Divisional Round Review

These small slates continue to be decided on small decisions, two bad choices can cause your lineup to bust. I had an awful week, losing on virtually every lineup (you and I both), despite having a decent mix of the top scorers. Unfortunately for me as a Ravens fan, I backed Lamar Jackson too heavily and it cost me. With that said, there were plenty of good verdicts in our preview and it hopefully helped some of you to profit. 

Amongst the plays I recommended were Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Devante Adams, Allen Lazard, Jarvis Landry, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Akers, Aaron Jones. A good mix of those players will have set you up fairly well. I’m particularly happy about the Lazard pick. I wrongly predicted Cole Beasley, Demarcus Robinson, Michael Thomas and Nick Chubb would be good plays. The Robinson one, in particular, I got very wrong after deep-diving into games where Watkins missed, I was highly confident in that play but it wasn’t to be. I was confident that Lev Bell wasn’t a good play, along with Kareem Hunt, Devin Singletary and Ram’s tight ends. I urged caution on Van Jefferson before Kupp was ruled out, and in hindsight, it might have been worth considering more. 

Enough good to outweigh the bad and more knowledge to build on for Conference Championship Weekend. 

Picks so far this season:

Great plays: 131 (47%)

Good plays: 86 (31%)

Bad plays: 64 (22%)

Conference Championship Weekend

We have a shorter column this week as we round out the end of the DFS NFL season. Give strong consideration to how much you want to play this weekend. The smaller the slate the tougher the wins. The games this weekend are rematches of week 6 games, so we have a little more than usual to draw upon, but this deep into the playoffs form and snap counts can be a little harder to rely upon. As ever, if you’re setting multiple lineups some of your positional decisions should be dictated by stacks. Don’t be afraid of leaving money on the table this weekend, to try and create a unique lineup. Given the running back options, don’t be surprised if four-wide receiver builds are common. If Chad Henne is the Chiefs starter, it’s a big downgrade for all the Chiefs pass catchers, he’s functional but not potentially slate breaking, like Mahomes.

fox13news.com

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay Packers (Kick-off 20:05 GMT)

Packers -3.0 favourites

51.5 over/under

Previous Matchup

The Week six matchup in Tampa represents a blip on Green Bay’s otherwise excellent campaign. By far the worst game of Rodgers’ season, Davante Adams was returning from injury and Allen Lazard missed out completely. You might not remember, but the 38-10 victory for the Buccs was such a weird game that even Brady didn’t rack up a big score finishing with just 14.6 DK points. Much of the damage was done by Ronald Jones, who went 23-113-2. Since then the Packers have been near perfect and it’s fair to expect a much closer matchup in Lambeau. 

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady ($6100), comes into the Conference games as the cheapest starter of the four, a week after finishing 2nd highest scorer at the position. He will face a Green Bay defence that has improved as the season has progressed and they finished the season as the 4th best team against quarterbacks. The Packers defence hasn’t allowed a quarterback to put up 19+ DK points since week 12. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is priced at $6500, the third-highest priced of the four starters. He faces a Buccs defence that started the season strong and faded slightly at times. They rank 15th against the position with the second-highest interception rate (1.06), in the league. As a strong run defence against running backs, they play into Rodgers preferred option of passing the ball heavily. Whilst the Buccs defend running backs rushing well, they have allowed the fourth-worst rushing average to quarterbacks (5.27 per attempt). Whilst Rodgers is no spring chicken, he’s still agile enough to average over 10 yards per game and I’d expect to see somewhere around 20 rushing yards in this game. 

Verdict: The AFC quarterbacks are slightly more attractive from fantasy purposes, but these two veterans are incredibly motivated to add to their legacies. Neither will go down without a fight and both can turn this game on its head. I prefer Aaron Rodgers, as the Buccs defence funnels passing so heavily, whereas Tampa might enjoy more success on the ground.

Running Backs

As mentioned previously, the Buccaneers boast an excellent run defence, ranking best in the league. Allowing by far the fewest rushing yards per game at 60.94, whilst no other team allows less than 70. Whilst the defence is great against the rushing attack, it’s woeful against pass-catching backs, allowing the 2nd most receptions per game (6.06) and the 11th most yards per game (39.78). Green Bay boasts two solid pass-catching backs in Aaron Jones ($6500) and Jamaal Williams ($4400), with either capable of catching the ball. The Buccs held Kamara to a reasonable 13.5 points last week and probably fancy their chances against the Green Bay backs. Meanwhile, Leonard Fournette ($5300), seems to be the hot hand for Tampa, out-snapping Ronald Jones 48-21. Questions remain over Jones’ fitness but he’s priced nicely at $4600 and would have had a strong day against the Saints if a 44-yard run wasn’t brought back for holding. I’m not sure it should surprise anyone if the snaps flip this week. The Packers rank 27th against the rush and gave up 18.6 points to Cam Akers last week, despite it being obvious the Rams would lean on him with an injured Jared Goff. The Packers also gave up a big game to David Montgomery in Wk17 (28.2). At times this year, Fournette was a healthy scratch. It’s hard to forget that.

Verdict: These running backs are slightly more attractive than the AFC game, but as detailed, there are reasons to ponder all of them. I’ll be very interested in Ronald Jones if we get good practice reports. Failing that I’ll play Fournette and Aaron Jones in different lineups, but I won’t have huge amounts of Aaron Jones. I’m not expecting to see much of A.J Dillon unless we hear anything to the contrary. 

Wide Receivers 

The Packers defence ranks 5th best in the league against the position and they’ll need to be on top of their game to contain the Buccaneers trio of excellent receivers. Green Bay allows just 12.06 receptions per game to receivers, which wouldn’t go too far around Mike Evans ($5800), Chris Godwin ($5400) and Antonio Brown ($4700). Meanwhile, Tampa ranks 19th and allows the fifth-most targets per game (21.67) and the fifth most receptions (14.61). Davante Adams ($8000) is the joint-highest priced player on the slate and averages 26.7 points per game over the last six games. Fading him will be a risky choice and you’ll have to consider if Adams is at risk of being shut-out, like Michael Thomas was last week. Whilst Thomas was shut-out, Tre’Quan Smith scored 23.5 points, which followed Cam Sims 20.4pts in the Wildcard round and Russell Gage’s 25.2 points in Wk17. I’m not sure this is enough data to turn into a narrative, but it says to me secondary or tertiary receivers can have joy against this defence. Allen Lazard ($4200), out-snapped Valdez-Scantling ($3900) by three routes, 29-26. Both receivers caught four receptions of their eight targets. The Packers defence let Van Jefferson have a career day last week, scoring 16.6 DK points, having allowed 20.3 to Darnell Mooney in Wk17 and 22.2 to D.J Moore in Wk15. The Buccs receivers are too good for them to be all held in check, it’s just tricky deciding which one will have the best potential. 

Verdict: Looking at receivers who’ve had success against the Packers lately I’m most tempted by Godwin on that side of the ball, followed by Evans and Brown last. Brown is struggling with a knee injury that just screams out off-season surgery – NOW OUT. I always like playing Scotty Miller ($3400), and if Antonio Brown is struggling – NOW OUT it’s easy to see a game where Miller sees increased snaps. Miller also has proven to be a deep-shot target, if the Buccs fall behind he could see the big-play potential. As for the Packers, play Adams in confidence. Lazard will catch higher ownership after last week’s touchdown, but Rodgers likes him and will continue to feed him. I have no problem with MVS, I’d just prefer to pay up for Lazard than watch MVS drop 60-yard receptions. If you’re deep bargain hunting, Equanimeous St. Brown at $3000 is one of the cheapest WR fliers I’d take.

Tight Ends

This slate isn’t blessed with tight end options outside of Travis Kelce. Robert Tonyan ($3600), hasn’t scored over 11 points since Week 14, despite continuing to see a steady trickle of targets. Tonyan has remained efficient on these, it just seems with all cylinders firing, he’s not as dominant as he could be. Last week against the Rams he scored 10 points, after catching all four targets for 60 yards. If you can’t afford Kelce, Tonyan is a solid bet. No other Green Bay tight end has seen over two targets since week 12. Tampa ranks 21st against the position, allowing the 8th most targets per game (7.67), and the 7th most receptions (5.44). In the last two weeks, Cameron Brate ($3000) has seen eight targets to Rob Gronkowski’s one. Gronk comes in slightly more expensive at $3200 and it would seem right for him to catch touchdowns from Brady in such a big game, but Gronk hasn’t scored since week 16 and the Packers haven’t allowed a tight end to have double-digit points since Week 14. The Green Bay defence ranks 4th best in the league against tight ends, allowing just 4.06 catches per game. 

Verdict: Tonyan provides obvious stacking potential with Rodgers, and if you can’t pay up for Kelce, he’s the best option on paper. Brate has out-snapped and out-targeted Gronk in recent weeks but if the Buccs get down, in a huge playoff game, I just can’t see past Gronkowski at $3200. I would expect Gronk to come in slightly higher owned than Brate though so if you’re looking for a tournament play consider both in different builds. 

Defence

I don’t normally dig too deep into defence in these columns, preferring to make my decisions as I build my lineups. All four teams have good defences, with strengths in different places. This weekend I’ll probably opt to play the defence that correlates best with the other pieces of my lineup. Or I’ll just pay down. I’m ranking them:

  1. Chiefs ($3100)
  2. Bills ($2800)
  3. Buccs ($2700)
  4. Packers ($3600)
usatoday.com

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (Kick-off 23:40 GMT)

Chiefs -3.0 favourites

53.5 over/under

Previous matchup – Hopefully Sunday’s game will be a little more electrical than the last time they faced each other. Josh Allen struggled to pass the ball, particularly in the first half, going 5/15 for 27 yards before the second quarter two-minute warning. The Bills, however, did have joy running the ball, including several designed runs for Josh Allen. The Chiefs featured Clyde Edwards-Helaire heavily, giving the rookie 26 carries which he took for 161 yards and saw his largest DK points haul of the season. Buffalo did a good job limiting Tyreek Hill, as Demarcus Robinson led the receivers in targets and catches. The Bills defence largely sat deep and let the Chiefs take the shallow passes. The weather was poor to start the game but picked up as it went on. 

Score: Chiefs 26 – 17 Buffalo.

Quarterbacks

So much of this hinges on Patrick Mahomes recovering from his concussion/neck injury that removed him from the Divisional round game against the Browns. Regardless of his status Draftkings have priced him as the highest of the quarterbacks, at $7600. Josh Allen is the second-highest on the slate, set at $6900. The Chiefs were a below-average defence against the position through the season, allowing the 19th most fantasy points per game. Despite this and with Chad Henne in the game against the Browns, they held Baker Mayfield to 12.46 DK points. The Chiefs defence has given up the third-most rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks, 0.41, which is a noteworthy stat with Josh Allen being known to enjoy a RedZone run. On the other side of the ball, Mahomes will face the 13th best defence against the position and may have to rely on his arm to get the job done. The Bills have been poor against rushing quarterbacks most of the season until they faced Lamar Jackson last weekend. Regardless of that, Mahomes seems to be dealing with a turf toe and may opt to take on the defence through the air, with the Bills allowing the 9th most attempts per game. 

Verdict: If Mahomes is inactive Chad Henne ($5000) will become a popular dart throw to save salary and he showed last weekend he can be capable of running the team. As of Thursday, it’s trending in the direction Mahomes will play. I lean slightly towards Josh Allen. Allen is at full fitness and should see plenty of opportunities to both pass and run the ball. In Week 6 the Chiefs blitzed him constantly and forced him out of the pocket. If they come with a similar approach this time, expect the rushing floor to hold up as he escapes pressure. 

Running Backs

In Week 6 CEH ($5000) saw career highs in rush attempts (26), yardage (165 combined), longest run (31) and yards per carry (6.2). Since injuring himself against the Saints in Week 15 Edwards-Helaire hasn’t played. According to Adam Schefter, CEH is on track to play Sunday, and he recorded a limited practice on Wednesday and Thursday. When CEH has missed out, the backfield has been a mix of Darwin Thompson ($4000), Le’Veon Bell ($4100) and Darrel Williams ($4800). In Week 6 the Chiefs ran a lot of draw plays against the Bills to great success. The Bills 20th ranked defence against the position can be susceptible to the run but they did a good job shutting down the Ravens ground game in last weekend’s games. The Chiefs defence is the 7th worst in the league against the position, and struggled to stop the Bills running outside runs in week 6. The trouble with running on the Chiefs is you may find yourself down twenty points and having to throw the ball. Devin Singletary ($4500) has complete control of the Bills backfield with Zack Moss on IR. He saw only seven attempts against the Ravens with the Bills adopting a pass-heavy approach but he should fare better here. 

Verdict: It’ll be a lot easier to trust Williams if CEH is ruled out, but at $4800 there may be a path to playing him regardless. Even with CEH’s dominant performance in Week 6, Williams saw 6 attempts for 26 and a touchdown. On a small slate like this, plays like that could make a difference. If CEH returns I’ll fire him up in tournaments and aim to take advantage of anyone too scared to play him. I can’t believe the Chiefs have been saving Bell up to play him here, and it’s the boldest of bold plays to try and do so. Singletary is nicely priced at $4500 and I’m not too interested in T.J Yeldon at $4000. Antonio Williams is an interesting flyer at $4000, after his 21.3 DK points in week 17, but he didn’t see the field last weekend, so treat with caution and consider more for showdown slates.

Wide Receivers 

The wide receivers provide a far more attractive picture for this weekend than any other position group and it won’t be uncommon to see wide receivers put in the flex position over running backs. Both defences rank highly against receivers, with the Chiefs 2nd and the Bills 4th. In Week 6 the Bills held Tyreek Hill ($7200), to a season-low of 3-20 and no touchdowns, by largely sitting deep and stopping big plays. That opened up opportunities for Demarcus Robinson and Ben Pringle who both went over 45 yards. Hill is in great form coming off 8-110 against the Browns and is always a tough option to fade. Likewise, Stefon Diggs ($7000), who is averaging a huge 29.2 DK points per game over his last six games. Those games included tough defences like the Ravens, Miami and Pittsburgh so we have to trust the talent over matchup here. John Brown ($4300) made more of an impact in his second game back from injury, putting up 14.2 points against the Ravens, and both he and Cole Beasley ($4100), should experience better weeks. Gabriel Davis ($3500), picked up an ankle injury against the Ravens after failing to catch any of his four targets. As of Wednesday, he hasn’t returned to practice and until he does, it’s hard to predict too much for the impressive rookie. 

Verdict: Outside of the top two plays (Hill and Diggs), it’s quite tricky to differentiate. I find the price drops of Beasley (down by $800), to be attractive and perhaps ownership stays away from him after a zero against the Ravens. The question with Beasley is health-related and I’ll be watching the practice reports. The Chiefs have opted to use Robinson ($3700) over Hardman ($4000) at times this season, but last week that swung in Hardman’s favour slightly. Watkins ($3800) was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and has a chance to play, but in his last five games only scored double-digit points in one game. If I had to rank them in terms of my favourites I’d go:

  1. Diggs
  2. Hill
  3. Brown
  4. Beasley
  5. Robinson
  6. Hardman
  7. Davis
  8. Pringle

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce is the joint-highest priced player on the slate, at $8000. Averaging 22.5 points a game and having just four games under twenty points all season he’s a near-impossible fade. In a tougher matchup, you could make the argument, but against the 6th worst defence against the position, it gets very tough. The Bills allow the most targets per game to tight ends (9.0), the most receptions (6.11) and the second-most yards per game (64.28). Kelce went 5-65 and two touchdowns in Week 6. The Bills did a good job keeping Mark Andrews in check last week, with him only putting up 6.8 points. With that said, he had two end zone targets that very nearly changed the story. The Chiefs defence is also susceptible to tight ends, ranking 28th in the league against the position. Against the Browns, the Chiefs gave up plays to both Njoku and Hooper but held them to a combined 13.6 points. Meanwhile, the only Bills TE to see a target was Dawson Knox ($2800), who went 2-18. 

Verdict: Knox is the cheapest tight end flier on the board, but it’s not an appealing play unless you’re stacking the Bills and Chiefs game heavily. If it’s the difference between jamming in all the top studs and not, then it’s worth the play. Kelce is just too good to fade and even if it means paying down elsewhere, I’ll have a high amount of Kelce in my lineups (providing Mahomes plays).

Defence

I don’t normally dig too deep into defence in these columns, preferring to make my decisions as I build my lineups. All four teams have good defences, with strengths in different places. This weekend I’ll probably opt to play the defence that correlates best with the other pieces of my lineup. Or I’ll just pay down. I’m ranking them:

  1. Chiefs ($3100)
  2. Bills ($2800)
  3. Buccs ($2700)
  4. Packers ($3600)

Divisional Round Prime Picks

Super Wildcard Weekend didn’t let us down and with some of the poorer teams being weeded out, Divisional Weekend should be just as good. With only four games and eight teams to choose from it’s a little harder for me to provide as many value plays, so instead this week I’ll give a team by team positional breakdown and highlight my likes and dislikes. But before we get into that, let’s check back in on last week’s picks.

Wildcard Review

The high’s were very high and lows were flat out zeroes as many a slate was decided on small choices. Ben Roethlisberger managed more than just a few tears and put up the highest QB score of the weekend for us. Drew Brees was denied a goal-line QB sneak that would have made him very profitable, but he still achieved over 3x points/cost ratio, which is enough to make it a decent play.

J.K Dobbins had a quieter day than we’d hoped, only putting up 10.7 points, which included a short-yardage touchdown. Ronald Jones cost me quite a sizable chunk of dollars, failing to play a second despite not being declared out before the game started. That one hurt me hard and I know many others played him as well. Sadly there’s not much we can do about these situations. I was up till 1am U.K time waiting on the team news and it seemed like everything was stacking up for him to have a good game. C’est la vie. Thankfully we identified Cam Akers as a must-play and he went on to be the highest scoring RB of the weekend. Despite some concerns about his ankle. J.D McKissic wound up being an average play, but the moment Alex Smith was ruled out I mentioned on Twitter I would no longer be playing McKissic and hopefully, you took note too. 

Wide receiver worked out well for us, with JuJu Smith-Schuster leading the weekend in scoring and coming in at lower ownership than his teammates. Michael Thomas and Marquise Brown also had nice days and if it wasn’t for John Brown putting up zero receptions on four targets, we’d have a clean sweep. At tight end, both Jared Cook and Trey Burton did reasonably, but neither reached double digits. 

Picks so far this season:

Great plays: 115 (46%)

Good plays: 81 (32%)

Bad plays: 58 (22%)

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Divisional Weekend Breakdowns

touchdownwire.usatoday.com

L.A Rams @ Green Bay Packers (Saturday 21:35 UK time)

Packers -6.5 favourites

45.5 over/under (lowest of the week)

Quarterbacks 

On Green Bay’s side, it’s relatively straightforward with likely MVP Aaron Rodgers coming as the fourth-highest priced QB of the week at $6900. Rodgers finds himself facing the toughest defence in the league for quarterbacks to match up against. The Rams allow the fewest yards per game (210.29), the least touchdowns per game (1.12) and the fewest fantasy points per game (14.88). Rodgers has had just one game below 18 DK points all year, so it’s fair to assume his floor may be a bit higher but I’m not feeling confident that Rodgers is in play this week. The Rams side is a little murkier, but also not particularly anymore appealing. John Wolford was taken out of the game against the Seahawks by Jamal Adams, meaning the injured Jared Goff was reinserted to the starting lineup. Goff looked reasonable at times but was limited as he went 9-19 for 155 yards. The Packers defence isn’t as sack happy as last year but they still find a way to limit quarterbacks, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game. I can understand an argument to play the more mobile John Wolford at $4900 if he is given the nod, but with Jared Goff ($5200), still dealing with a thumb injury and recovering from surgery, it’s hard to imagine him putting up a multiple touchdown day when Green Bay hasn’t allowed any team to do so since week 12. Not to mention local weather reports estimate a possible temperature of -7c! As of Thursday, it appears Goff will be the starter. 

Verdict: On short slates like this playing an unfavourable matchup might win you a GPP, but I’m probably staying away from Rodgers. Goff and Wolford represent some of the cheapest plays at the position, but I’d rather save salary elsewhere this weekend than count on either of these two to deliver me a win.

Running Backs

The Packers are a defence I’ve targeted all season for opposing running backs and that won’t stop this weekend. Cam Akers ($5700), is potentially the best play on the Rams side of the ball and comes in as the fifth most expensive back on the slate. The Packers run defence ranks 27th in the league and is also susceptible to pass-catching backs like Akers. They allow the 3rd most yardage through the air to backs (47.75), and the fifth most yards per attempt (8.49). It’s hard to see the Rams game plan not heavily involving Akers. I’m not concerned about any other backs eating into his workload after Akers played 72% of the snaps and had 28/37 touches. Fresh off a bye the Green Bay RB room will no doubt continue to be Aaron Jones with Jamaal Williams and a sprinkling of A.J Dillon, who looks to have come on late in the season. The Rams defence ranks 3rd overall against the rush and will no doubt bring Aaron Donald led pressure against a weakened offensive line that is missing their star LT. 

Verdict: Akers will be a popular pick and rightly so. I will have a decent mix of Akers in my lineups. Jones is the second-highest priced RB on the slate at $6800, Williams $4400 and Dillon $4000. I think there are better routes to value than any of these plays this weekend. If I had to play one, I’d rather pay for Jones than pay down for the other backs. 

Wide Receivers 

Green Bay takes on the best defence in the league against receivers. Jalen Ramsey hasn’t given up more than 57 yards to any receiver this year and has only allowed one touchdown. They lead the league in fewest completions allowed (12), lowest yardage (131.94) and touchdowns allowed (0.53). D.K Metcalf found a way to fantasy relevance last weekend, largely in part to blown coverage. Rams receivers can be tricky to separate as Kupp and Woods have such similar numbers. Woods has 129-90-136 and 6TD’s. Kupp has 124-92-974 and 3TD’s. Woods does have a little more rushing equity, with 24 attempts for 155 yards and two touchdowns, but it’s hardly worth relying on. The Packers are a tough defence against the pass, ranking 5th overall and allowing just 144.75 yards per game to receivers. 

Verdict: Adams ($8600), has had an incredible season and it will take boldness to fade him. I won’t play Adams in cash games, but will for tournaments. I prefer Lazard ($3900), over MVS ($3800), if you’re looking for punt plays but I’ll have an eye on better matchups elsewhere. with questions at quarterback and potentially bad weather, I’m not planning on playing much of Woods ($5900). I think Kupp ($5300), has a safer floor in this matchup, due to his tendency to man the slot. If Goff is struggling to pass, it makes sense to keep things near the line of scrimmage. I’m happy to look at Josh Reynolds ($3200), as a low priced punt. He’s had a couple of big games against tough defences this year and looks as good a punt as any. Van Jefferson is an easy fade after zero targets last week. 

Tight Ends

Both teams rank well against the position with the Packers 4th overall and the Rams 8th. The stats are very similar for both teams with the Rams giving up more in touchdown equity (0.41 per game Vs. 0.31 on Green Bay’s side). The Rams haven’t surrendered a big game to the position since Week 13 against Dan Arnold (3-2-61+2TD’s), whilst the Packers allowed reasonable games in Week 16 (Jonnu Smith 12 DK pts), Week 14 (Hockenson, 16.3) and Week 13 (Goedert, 11.6).

Verdict: Tonyan ($4200) has seen a steady and consistent target share throughout the season. As the third-highest priced TE he probably won’t catch much ownership and is arguably a better play than either MVS or Lazard. I won’t be surprised if we see a 10-15pt game from him. The Rams TE’s represent way more of a punt, with both Higbee ($3000), and Everett ($2700) having just three double-digit performances each all season. They have an equal amount of targets (63) on the season and if I was going to punt on one it would be Everett. 

baltimoreravens.com

Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills (Sunday 01:15am UK time)

Bills -2.5 favourites

50.5 over/under

Quarterbacks

Two of the most in-form quarterbacks face off in one of the most eagerly awaited divisional games. How the two quarterbacks deal with pressure will be a key issue. When the Ravens beat the Bills in Buffalo during the 2019 season they blitzed Allen constantly and walked away with five sacks. This season, however, Allen boasts a QB rating of 111.6 against the blitz and has rarely been sacked in these situations. Lamar Jackson thrives in a clean pocket and whilst the Bills have an average sack rate of 6.2%, they failed to sack the much less mobile Phillip Rivers last weekend and let him put up 301 yards through the air. Since week 13 the Bills rank 25th in explosive run rates allowed, and the Ravens rank 2nd in explosive run rate. Lamar Jackson is averaging 94.3 rushing yards per game in that spell. The Bills also allow the 8th most yards per attempt to quarterbacks. Two of Josh Allen’s biggest points totals on DraftKings have come against tough defence’s, firstly against the number one rated Rams, in Week2 (36.2pts) and the fifth rated Patriots, in Week 16 (35.3pts). 

Verdict: With Lamar Jackson ($7600) the second-highest priced quarterback on the slate and Josh Allen ($7400), I expect them to be the subject of plenty of lineups where people opt to pay up. I’m a Ravens fan and I’m feeling very confident in how the team and specifically Jackson is playing. I like him a lot in all formats and I’d consider playing him without a stack. Josh Allen doesn’t have a friendly matchup on paper, but in their stadium, in a divisional-round game, I would expect Josh Allen to be giving it every bit of effort he can muster. Sometimes we have to overlook matchup slightly to bet on talent, and I wouldn’t be completely afraid of that here. With Zack Moss ruled out, Allen’s potential rushing upside increase to boost this play.  

Running Backs

The Bills lost Zack Moss for the rest of the playoffs to an in-game ankle injury, leaving Devin Singletary as the main back behind him. Singletary has had a reasonable season picking up exactly 1000 all-purpose yards, so far. He doesn’t carry much touchdown equity with Moss normally preferred around the goal line and the Ravens have only allowed 12 touchdowns to running backs all year. Singletary makes up for this slightly with an average of 2.3 receptions per game, for an average of 16 yards per game. The Ravens dominated Derek Henry, holding The Big Dog to 40 yards, completely removing his ability to influence the game. I wouldn’t expect the Ravens to pack the line of scrimmage in the same way for Singletary however, opting to free up more defenders to play coverage in the passing game. The Ravens run defence ranks 7th overall, whilst the Bills rank 19th. Over the last four weeks, they have allowed good DK point scores to Jonathan Taylor (16.4), Myles Gaskin (17.7) and Melvin Gordon (24.1). In their last six games, the Ravens are rushing for 262 yards per game. For context, this is 36 yards per game more than at any point during their dominant 2019 season. Dobbins continues to out-snap and out-touch Gus Edwards, with Ingram, frequently left as inactive, or unused. Neither Dobbins nor Edwards had a great day against the Titans, so it’s easy to imagine that might bring their ownership down a bit for this weekend. 

Verdict: Singletary ($4500) has as much opportunity as you could hope for and he could pick up 100 yards if the score stays close. I like Singletary for either cash or GPP’s. Gus Edwards ($4200) is very tempting potential value as well. He’s returned less than double digits for two straight weeks, but remains involved plenty and would be worth playing in tournaments. J.K Dobbins ($6000) is the clear talent of this section and has eight touchdowns in his last seven games played. Dobbins will be under consideration for both cash and GPP’s.

Wide Receivers

Whilst the Ravens possess the better running game, the Bills own the better passing game. Stefon Diggs was fantasy’s WR1 overall this season and helped elevate many others around him. John Brown has a revenge game against a team who opted not to extend him, but he arrives in it on the back of a big fat zero against the Colts. The Ravens defence is more susceptible to passes in the middle of the field and that might benefit Cole Beasley or Gabe Davis who both can line up in the slot. With the absence of Zack Moss, I would expect a heavy amount of 4WR sets, which could test the defence. The Ravens defence ranks second-best against wide receivers, with all three cornerbacks finding fitness at the right time. Marlon Humphrey had a bad day by his Pro Bowl standards, allowing A.J Brown to put up 83 yards and a touchdown on ten targets. Marcus Peters allowed just three catches for 29 yards and Jimmy Smith allowed zero catches. That’s not to say that performance is repeatable, but it should give caution to some of those receivers. As mentioned previously if the Bills lineup frequently in four-wide receiver sets, that could test the Ravens depth at secondary. Meanwhile, on the other side of this matchup, the Bills defence ranks fourth against the position with Tre’davious White deservedly earning a Pro Bowl nod. If White shadows Marquise Hollywood Brown, it could make for a difficult game for the in-form receiver, who has managed 98+ yards or a touchdown in his last seven games. Miles Boykin and Willie Snead are touchdown or bust options. Boykin has seen his most consistent usage of his career but still fails to get more than a couple of targets per game. For fans of meaningless statistical trends, his touchdown scores have gone 1-0-1-0-1-0, over his last six. Does this mean we get one this week? Meanwhile, Snead picks up near the line of scrimmage receptions with the occasional end zone look. Dez Bryant has seen his involvement never really take off and could be a candidate to be healthy scratched. 

Verdict: We’re into betting on talent picks here. Both Stefon Diggs ($7300) and Marquise Brown ($5200), are worthy of consideration for both GPP and cash, but neither has a great matchup. Cole Beasley ($4900), provides the most intrigue to me out of the other Bills receivers and at times this year the Ravens have given up points to slot receivers. Anyone else is a pure punt play. 

Tight Ends

In last week’s wildcard round neither Mark Andrews nor any of the Buffalo tight ends made an impact on the game, in terms of fantasy scoring. Andrews had some nice catches in clutch situations but the game script kept the end zone looks from happening. The Bills collection of below-average tight ends is normally led by Dawson Knox who managed two receptions for five yards and a touchdown but failed to break double digits. The Bills have the worse defence against the position, ranking 30th, compared to the Ravens 12th best. In a game where Hollywood could find himself in a tough matchup, there’s a lot to like about Andrews facing the team that leads the league in tight end receptions allowed (6.24) and has the second-highest yardage allowed per game (66.41). 

Verdict: Andrews ($5000) is in one of the most attractive spots of the weekend, I will have a lot of Mark Andrews in all types of lineups. Outside of Kelce, Andrews is the best play at the position. Dawson Knox ($3100), and Tyler Kroft ($2500), represent okay punt plays if you’re looking for game stacks and bring backs. Patrick Queen (Rookie LB) has been susceptible to coverage against tight ends and it’s something the Titans tried to take advantage of before the game was turned on its head. 

sportsnet.ca

Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 20:05 U.K time)

Chiefs -10.0 favourites 

57.5 over/under (highest of the week)

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield and the Browns stunned a lot of people in the Wildcard round and their belief should be sky-high heading into Arrowhead. The Chiefs might be favoured by 10 points but the last time they won a game by more than a touchdown was against the Jets in Week 8. In that spell, they played the Panthers, Raiders, Buccs, Broncos, Dolphins, Saints and Falcons. So there is optimism that this game could remain in a positive game script if the Browns don’t let the occasion get too big for themselves. Neither defence is particularly imposing for the opponent, with the Browns ranked 27th in fantasy points allowed, and the Chiefs ranked 19th. Both quarterbacks have good offensive lines and the game should be decided in other areas. It’s well known how good Andy Reid teams are coming off a bye, averaging almost 40 points per game in their last six. Mahomes leads the league in 20+ yard completions since Week 12, with 22. The Chiefs defend receivers well, which could harm some of Mayfield’s production, but they struggle against tight ends, and we know how much the Browns utilize theirs. 

Verdict: Both quarterbacks are good plays on paper and I would be happy playing either, depending on your lineup construction. Mahomes ($8000), is the highest-priced on the slate and might be a good contrarian play with people opting to pay down. Mayfield ($5300), is one of the cheapest quarterbacks available and will no doubt be popular for people wanting a part of this game without paying up for Mahomes. It’s hard for me to see Mayfield out-scoring last week’s 22.8 DK points, but that would return plenty of value. 

Running Backs

This game sees two drastically different approaches to the run game, with the Browns often veering heavily in that direction and the Chiefs often opting for a pass-first attack. Edwards-Helaire may not have lived up to the peak of his off-season hype, but he still finished ahead of Miles Sanders and other notable names. Coming off an injury that kept him out of weeks 16 and 17, I’m not desperate to play him against a tough run defence (ranked 10th overall) who give up the fifth-fewest receptions per game to backs, an area where CEH has capitalised on occasion. The Browns have a far friendlier matchup here with the Chiefs ranked 25th against the run and bottom three against pass-catching backs. Cleveland will need to keep the game close to lean on their run game, but if they can there’s a clear path to success. 

Verdict: CEH ($5500), is too risky a play coming off the injury for me. Barring any reports between now and kick-off, it’ll be an easy fade. Le’Veon Bell ($5100) has had one good fantasy performance for the Chiefs (Week 16 against the Saints), and in Week 17 Darwin Thompson ($4300) was preferred to Darrell Williams ($4000). I can’t find anything to convince me that playing any of the Chiefs backs is a good choice, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation up till game time. Nick Chubb ($6600) is the third-highest priced back of the slate and deserves to be so. This is his lowest price since week 2 and one can only assume it’s down to game-script concerns. Since his Week 10 return from injury, he averages 20.4 DK points per game and has seen an increase in his work in the passing game. In the wildcard round, Chubb out-snapped Hunt 39-25, ran more routes (19-10), out carried (18-8) and had more targets (4-1). Hunt has managed to score points by being efficient, but it seems like the Browns are leaning more on Chubb routinely. I’m not massively confident in Kareem Hunt ($4800), this week. 

Wide Receivers 

The Browns should have a far better defence against receivers than they do. In the last three drafts, they’ve used a top 5 pick and two-second rounders on cornerbacks and a safety. Yet they still rank 29th against receivers, allowing the 5th most receptions per game (14.59), the 5th most yards per game (188.82) and the fourth most touchdowns per game (1.35). Tyreek Hill comes into the matchup having made his way to the fantasy WR2, with just two games below 10.5 DK points all season. The Chiefs defence has allowed the second-fewest yards per game to receivers (135.19) and leads the league in fewest receptions allowed (10.69). Despite this overall rosy outlook for the Chiefs, they allowed Mike Williams (25pts) and Calvin Ridley (20.3pts), to have big weeks in the last couple of weeks of the season. The Browns will need to be efficient in the passing game to succeed. 

Verdict: Tyreek Hill ($8000) is an obvious play in all situations if you can find the money. Whilst Mecole Hardman ($3900), represents a potential value, he has only topped 50 yards three times all season, the last of which was in week eight. Hardman also fails to regularly score touchdowns having just four on the season. He’s a high ceiling play, that is fine for tournaments and if Watkins missed through injury, his value will jump dramatically. Watkins ($4800), is unappealing averaging just 8.9 DK points per game. On the Cleveland side, Landry ($5600) is the most obvious play, averaging 19.85 DK points over his last six games. Even with the tough matchup, you’d fancy him to be involved. Higgins ($4100), and Peoples-Jones ($3000), are fine pay-down candidates if you’re looking for game stacks, but with their boom or bust potential, they’re not in cash consideration. 

Tight Ends

I’d be surprised if you need me to tell you that Travis Kelce is a great player. He’s fresh off one of the best tight end seasons we’ve ever seen. The Browns rank 27th against the position and allow the third-most targets per game to the position (8.24) whilst also allowing the fourth-most touchdowns per game (0.65). In recent weeks they’ve allowed good weeks to Eric Ebron (19.2 DK points), Chris Herndon (13.4) and Mark Andrews (12.8). The Chiefs solid defence against the receiver doesn’t hold up against tight ends with them ranking 24th overall. They allow a bottom five average of 59.62 yards per game to the position and the seventh-worst touchdowns allowed average of 0.62 per game. 

Verdict: If you have the salary, pay up for Kelce ($7800) and feel confident. The Browns trio of Hooper ($3800), Njoku ($2600) and Bryant ($2500) can be a little tricky to dissect. Generally speaking, when Hooper is healthy he leads the way. Bryant has had slightly more fantasy relevant weeks than Njoku and if I was looking for a tight end flyer, I’d opt for him. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (Sunday 23:40 U.K time)

Saints -3 favourites

52.5 over/under

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady and Drew Brees in a matchup sure to feature a lot of age-related chatter. The Buccs defence started the season hot, but in recent weeks have regressed somewhat. Since week 9 they’ve allowed a completion rate of 70.3%, 2.1 touchdowns per game and have just five interceptions. Despite facing a tough Bears pass defence Brees looked good, delivering 265 yards and two touchdowns on 39 attempts, as well as coming inches away from a goal-line sneak. Brady also faced a reasonable passing defence against Washington and carved them up to the tune of 381 and two touchdowns, on 40 attempts. Two of Brady’s worst games this season have come against the Saints, where he threw a combined 448 yards for two touchdowns and five interceptions. Posting completion rates of 64& and 58%. 

Verdict: It’s hard to separate either of these two from each other. Both Brady ($6300), and Brees ($5600), feel appropriately priced. With Brady’s price reflecting Tampa’s more aggressive passing game. I’m happy to play either, depending on the construction of the lineup. I wouldn’t play either without stacking them, however. 

Running Backs

On Wednesday it was reported that Latavius Murray has a calf-strain that puts his status up in the air. If Murray can’t play, Kamara’s value increases even more than it usually is. Whilst the Buccaneers defence may rank 2nd best against the position, they allow the most receptions to running backs in the league (6.18). An area we know Kamara can take advantage of. Although they held Devin Singletary to a modest eight points last week, the Buccs allowed Brian Hill 16.6 in week 17 and we’ll be slightly more confident in Kamara. The Buccs side of the ball is a little murkier with Ronald Jones not practising as of Wednesday, after suiting up but not taking the field against Washington. Leonard Fournette is the clear front runner if Jones doesn’t play, and he’ll have a tough task ahead of him with the Saints defence ranked best in the league against the run. They also give up the second-fewest receptions to running backs (3.59). 

Verdict: Kamara ($7900) is always a great play and your only hesitance should be down to roster construction. I’ll be trying to fit him in both cash and GPP’s. I’ll need to hear full practice participation reports on Jones ($5200) to even consider him, but given the matchup, I’m probably fading both him and Fournette ($4900) in favour of Cam Akers or Devin Singeltary. 

Wide Receivers

Neither secondary is particularly scary on paper, with the Saints ranked 16th and the Buccs ranked 19th against the position. The highlight of the matchup will be seeing how Mike Evans fairs against Marshon Lattimore, who despite having an average season, has consistently had Evans number. In two games this season Lattimore has held Evans to 68 yards on six receptions and no touchdowns. Evans and Godwin front the Buccs receivers, with Antonio Brown, often sitting at around 60% of routes. On the Saints side of the ball, Michael Thomas returned from IR to have a productive game against a tough Bears secondary, posting a score of 5-73-1TD. We haven’t had enough games with Thomas on the field to be able to tell, but Brees spread the ball around much more than normal and through three games with Brees under centre, Thomas saw only a 17.8% target rate, which is much lower than his average of 30% in previous seasons. 

Verdict: Despite tough defences, we should see a feisty matchup with enough passing game volume to sustain most top options. Michael Thomas ($6700), stands out as a particular value having not been priced up to where we’d normally see him as he returns from his injury. Evans ($6400), will be an obvious fade for those savvy to the Lattimore narrative, and because of this, he may provide GPP leverage. Chris Godwin ($6100), is in good form averaging 20 points per game over his last four and should be a fine play. Antonio Brown ($5400), is a nice sub $6k option, whose friendship with Brady is paying off. His week 17 massive performance against Atlanta (39.8pts), seems to be an outlier, but you should be able to rely on him for around 15 points. In games where Michael Thomas plays, Emmanuel Sanders ($4500), production takes a noticeable dip. He’s the fourth choice in the passing game behind Thomas, Kamara and Cook. Fine for a GPP punt play, but be conscious of his low floor. Deonte Harris ($3500), could be worth a speculative low-cost flyer to free up salary, after seeing seven receptions for 83 yards on seven targets. 

Tight Ends

Neither team defends the tight end particularly well, with the Saints ranked 20th and the Buccs ranked 23rd. Last week the Buccs allowed 12.4pts to Logan Thomas and Hayden Hurst went for 12.8 in Wk17. It would be fair to expect Jared Cook’s ceiling is around 12-15 points, without multiple touchdowns. Cook has seen a target share of 15.8% in the four games since Brees returned. Before Jimmy Graham’s garbage-time touchdown the Saints had held him and Cole Kmet to a meagre day. Gronkowski was held to zero points in the wildcard round whilst Cameron Brate was favoured. 

Verdict: Cook ($4000) is a fine play against an average defence, as the fourth-highest priced tight end of the slate. Gronkowski ($3600) is a far better play than Brate ($2900), who despite last week out-scoring Gronk, he only has three games of 4+ receptions this year. 

F10Y DFS Picks

Just because the regular season is over it doesn’t mean we can’t get our fantasy fix. Set your line-up over the spread of the 6 wildcard matches and settle in for over 18 hours of football over the course of the weekend. Welcome to January football everyone……


QB – Ryan Tannehill $6,600 – Tannehill has had a career year posting career highs in passing touchdowns with 33, and rushing touchdowns with 7. 5 of those 7 rushing scores have actually come in the past 3 weeks as teams focus too much attention on Derrick Henry, allowing the quarterback to sneak in through the back door. His passing however is always seemingly efficient and his deep ball to AJ Brown when needed at the end of regulation last week illustrates why he has become such a brilliant player. He had 259 yards and 2 passing touchdowns when these 2 met earlier in the season.

RB – Derrick Henry $9,200 – I pair the quarterback with his best friend, Mr 2k himself Derrick Henry. The NFL rushing leader racked up 133 rushing yards against the Ravens back in week 11, his big run in overtime for a touchdown sealing the deal on that day. There is no reason to think that a repeat dose isn’t on the cards in a game that figures to feature an awful lot of plays on the ground. Henry averaged a ridiculous 22.8 fantasy points per game over the regular season and as was the case last post season, you feel the Titans will go as far as he can carry them.

RB – J.D. McKissic $4,900 – Pairing up Henry with more of a pass catching back seems sensible and J.D. McKissic certainly fits that bill. The Bucs are strong up front so it may will be lots of screens and short passes to the running backs, particularly with Devin White sitting out for Tampa. Antonio Gibson will eat into some of the work McKissic may have otherwise seen, but regardless he still figures to see a fair share of targets. He actually tied the team in that category with Terry McLaurin last weekend even with Gibson taking on a greater role in his comeback from injury.

Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry reacts to reaching 2,000-yard mark
Troy Taormina – USA Today Sports

WR – Stefon Diggs $7,700 – Diggs has proven to be match up proof over the course of the season and the undoubted number 1 receiver in this red hot Bills team is an easy selection for me here. Even in limited playing time last weekend against Xavien Howard and Byron Jones he managed 7 catches for 76 yards. He has posted at least double digit points in this draftkings scoring system in every game this year, finishing with an eye catching average of 21.9 points per game. He is officially questionable but all inidications are that he will be a go. Being the 1st game of the weekend however does allow you to pivot once the early game inactives come through if there are any unexpected setbacks.

WR – Antonio Brown $6,100 – Brown has seemingly settled really well into the Tampa offence in the lead up to the post season. A comfortable season high line of 11 catches for 138 yards against the Falcons last weekend bared evidence of that. He also has found the end zone 4 times over the course of the past 3 contests and with fellow wide out Mike Evans dealing with a knee issue, Brown could be in line for an uptick in workload. The Football Team are obviously potent up front so expect more quick strikes from Brady and company. Browns versatility as route runner means he can pick up underneath work with the likes of Godwin and Scotty Miller stretching the defence deep.

WR – Chase Claypool $5,200 – We know that the Steelers are struggling to run the ball which in theory means the wide receivers should be in for a big day. Claypool played in the contest last week and was a constant deep threat for Mason Rudolph. With the QB1 back under center it would seem sensible for the Steelers to continue to look in his direction. Add that to the continued issues for the Browns at cornerback with Denzel Ward still on the COVID list and number 2 corner Terrance Mitchell questionable and number 3 corner Kevin Johnson on the COVID list its easy to see big numbers from at least 1 of Pittsburgh’s top 3 guys.

The $250,000 reason Tom Brady kept throwing to Antonio Brown
Mike Ehrmann – Getty

TE – Jimmy Graham $3,300 – With Travis Kelce resting up this weekend the tight end market seems bare. Most expensive option Mark Andrews has only topped 20 points on 3 occassions this season so I will sterr clear there. Time for a punt on a touchdown dependant play. Graham is an obvious red zone target for Mitch Trubisky and managed 8 touchdown grabs on the year. Against his former employer the big man will look to find pay dirt in the post season once more.

FLEX – Rashard Higgins $4,100 – Higgins has been a favourite target of Baker Mayfield for year now in the Browns offence. With practice limited to just 1 day because of the teams COVID issues it is likely that familiarity and comfort becomes a big part of what the Browns do offensively. Higgins has become the deep threat in this Browns passing game, averaging 16.9 yards per catch since the mid-season bye week. If Cleveland are to have a chance of winning this game then you feel it will have to be in a shoot out which will mean plenty of points on offer in this format.

DEF – Seattle Seahawks $2,700 – The Seahawks haven’t given up north of 23 points since back in week 9. The most recent tussle between these 2 teams was only a fortnight ago when the Rams only managed 9 points. With uncertainties for the Rams offensively and a nice cheap price tag I will take my chances with the improving unit for Pete Carroll’s Hawks.

Seahawks need to be complete team to advance in NFC playoffs – The Athletic
Christian Petersen – Getty

Don’t forget to watch the full10yards live stream podcast on Monday night when I along with the regular gang will discuss all things “Super Wild Card Weekend” in the NFL.

Super Wildcard Prime Picks

First up, a quick note that we’re running a Picks contest for the Playoffs on runyourpool.com – £25 entry, most of that goes to the prize pool, currently 14 in there, so a nice post at the moment – more info at TDTips playoff comp

Week 17 Review

Week 17 delivered in a way that only week 17 can. Players nobody drafted in August became integral to the slate and the usual amount of playoff-bound stars were rested. Not to mention the usual Covid related shenanigans. We had a pretty strong week smashing it at quarterback with two of the top six in Tannehill (28.44), and Cousins (37.3). Andy Dalton and John Wolford didn’t do enough to be effective for us. Dalton was a real disappointment but if you were playing Wolford it was heavily caveated with the knowledge you did it to put the money elsewhere. 

At running back Melvin Gordon bounced back from his week 16 disappointment to hit 21 points and ratify the points I made. Alexander Mattison recovered from a concussion in time to play and hit 29.5 points in a Dalvin Cook like performance. Gus Edwards put up his lowest total since Week 12, only managing 8 points and I’ll have to swallow that as a bad play. The Raven’s dominance saw them get up so big Gus was held out in favour of third choice Ingram. I did mention on Twitter Sunday afternoon when Ingram was active that I would move away from Gus, so hopefully, you saw that. I’m always updating on Twitter as we get close to game time, so do check in on there from time to time. 

Other plays worth mentioning include a fantastic performance from Sterling Shepard, with 36.6 DK points to finish the week as WR4 on DK. Sadly our Cowboys picks fell in the bin with Andy Dalton’s performance, Dez Bryant didn’t have a single catch and James Washington had two worthless targets when the Steelers first-team receivers were given a full game worth of snaps in a surprising move. At tight end we hit the Hayden Hurst play at low ownership for his best performance since week 6. Unfortunately, Gesicki didn’t do quite enough to hit real value and Mark Andrews missed out on two end zone targets that would have changed his day dramatically. 

Overall for the regular season that leaves us…

Plays so far this season (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 109 (45%)

Good plays: 77 (31%)

Bad plays: 56 (24%)

Week 18 Picks

Welcome to Super Wildcard Weekend, everyone! Normally this slate would provide us with four games but thanks to the playoff expansion, we have a full six-game slate to play with. Having looked over the pricing and dug into the stats it looks like a great weekend. We have some of the very best talent involved and squeezing them in will take some work. For the first time in NFL history, there was no home-field advantage this season. Teams went 127-128-1. Will this change in the playoffs? It’s hard to say. The Bills plan on having fans in the stadium and others will too. Regardless though, it would be fair to expect that advantage counts for a lot less still. 

Tom Strachan

@BestBallUKNFL

Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger – $6100 v Cleveland

Over/under 47.5

Steelers -6.0 favourites

This is about as high as I can say qualifies for my value picks, but I will say I won’t be afraid of paying up further this week. That said, if you’re looking to pay down somewhat you could do worse than Big Ben. At $6100 Roethlisberger represents the 5th most expensive quarterback, out of twelve starters. The matchup isn’t particularly frightening with Cleveland being one of the softer defences left. Myles Garrett may be a legit monster, but all season we’ve seen Roethlisberger get the ball out faster than any other QB in the league, nullifying the pass rush and only being sacked thirteen times all season. The Browns allow the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks of any playoff team (22.88). Most recently they allowed Mason Rudolph to put up 22.7 DK points on them in a must-win game. That defence was affected by several positive Covid-19 cases, but I’m not sure it matters. On the season Cleveland has just one interception. Big Ben should be a fine play here. 

Drew Brees – $5700 v Chicago

Over/under 47.0

Saints -9.5 favourites

Brees is potentially suiting up for the last time this week, but it would take an upset from the Bears for that to happen. Since his return in week 15, he’s been priced at $5900, so we’re getting a small drop here as he faces the 12th best defence in the league, against the position. I do see value in the play however as Brees is set to regain his superstar receiver, Michael Thomas. There’s always a danger that Taysom Hill vultures some of Brees points, but at $5700 in the safety of the Superdome, I feel confident Brees will hit 20 points. Brees has managed that in half of his starts this season, along with two of his last three games. According to PFF, the Saints boast the second-best explosive pass rate of any playoff team (16%). There’s enough good in there to like this play for tournaments.

Alex Smith – $5100 v Tampa

Over/under 44.5

Bucs -7.5 favourites

Smith’s fitness is a minor concern and he’s not the most fantasy friendly quarterback at the best of times, but if you’re looking for a saving then this is as low as you can go. The Buccaneers defence will scare some people off but they’ve not been great in certain areas, allowing the second-most completions per game (26.56), and the 18th most fantasy ppg to the position (20.25). Football Outsiders expect this game to have the highest rate of play of any this weekend and more plays mean more points. Smith might just be the lowest owned quarterback on the slate and if you can build lineups that make up for his lack of ceiling elsewhere, then it’s worth tournament consideration. 

Running Backs

J.k Dobbins – $6600 @ Tennessee 

Over/under 55.0 (biggest on the slate)

Ravens -3.5 favourites

I had to wait for the fourth player on this list before I could squeeze one of my beloved Ravens in and it’s a great one to start with. The Titans have the third-worst run defence of any playoff team and allow an average of 4.57 yards per attempt. Expect a lot of rushing attempts in this matchup with the Ravens coming in on the back of 52 attempts against the Bengals for 404 yards. The Ravens have averaged 6.8 yards per play over their last five games and got hot at the right time. Central to that has been the decision to feed Dobbins and demote Mark Ingram to the bottom of the depth chart. Since week 11 Dobbins has rushed for an average of 82.5 yards per game and scored at least one touchdown in every game. Dobbins will lose some work to Gus Edwards but he’s shown he’s trusted in all situations and we want exposure to the game with the highest over/under of the weekend (55.0).

Ronald Jones – $5500 @ Washington

Over/under 44.5

Bucs -7.5 favourites

Jones returned to the starting lineup in week 17 with 12 attempts for 78 yards and a touchdown against a good Falcons run defence. His production was far better than Fournette’s who managed 13 yards on five attempts. It is worth noting however that Fournette was on the field for 45% of snaps. Adding to this the matchup isn’t entirely favourable. Washington rank 4th in the league against the position, allowing 14.25 points per game. Jones, however, has a strong chance to see a lot of touches and when talking about running backs we always want to consider the opportunity. In recent weeks Washington has allowed Boston Scott 15-65, Curtis Samuel 7-52 and Carlos Hyde 2-55. Whilst those aren’t mind-blowing stats, they are stats achieved by two backup running backs and a wide receiver.  In games where Jones has had ten or more attempts, he’s reached double-digit points in 80% of them. Purely from the perspective of the public favouring Tampa, I would expect Jones to pick up reasonable ownership. 

Cam Akers – $5100 @ Seattle

Over/under 42.0 (lowest on the slate)

Seahawks -3.0 favourites

Akers injury came at a time where he seemed to establish real momentum, thankfully against Arizona he didn’t suffer any dip in usage and saw 25 total touches, including 4-52 through the air. Since taking control of the backfield in week 12, Akers has seen at least 15 touches in every game he has played, averaging 14.8 DK points. This includes the week 15 game against the Jets where he left early through injury. Ageless wonder Andrew Whitworth has returned from IR in time for this matchup and that should help Akers case. The Seahawks rank 15th in the league against the position, whilst also ranking third-worst in targets allowed to the position. Whilst Darrell Henderson is on IR, Malcolm Brown will inevitably be involved having seen 32% of snaps in week 17, turning them into just 2.8 points. Brown shouldn’t worry us but games involving the Seahawks haven’t been great for fantasy value lately and if it wasn’t for Akers ability and involvement through the air, I’m not sure I’d be interested in this play. Generally speaking, I’ll be avoiding this game in what could easily be a low scoring affair… unless Pete Carroll lets Russ cook… 

J.D McKissic – $4900 v Tampa

Over/under 44.5

Bucs -7.5 favourites

Regular readers will probably have picked up that I have a soft spot for Antonio Gibson after drafting him as high as round 20 in early best ball drafts this offseason and I do like Gibson this week but Mckissic has a little more value on paper. McKissic led all running backs in targets with 106 this season and now he faces the defence that allows the most receptions per game to the position (6.31). In games Alex Smith has started, McKissic averages 17.06 DK points. This figure includes some time that Gibson missed, but it also shows how much the team likes to involve him and if Smith can play this week, I would expect 7+ receptions that help rack up points in this PPR format. 

Wide Receiver

Michael Thomas – $6400 v Chicago

Over/under 47.0

Saints -9.5 favourites

Before Michael Thomas was sent to IR he looked to be hitting form. Scoring 38.9 points across two games. Some reports state Thomas could have continued to play but the team felt it was best to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Caveats are part of the exceptionally cheap price you pay and there’s no doubt Thomas hasn’t been quite what he was, but what if we’re only just seeing a healthy Thomas and Brees play together for the first time since last season? The Bears are a tough matchup against receivers, ranking 8th best in the league but as usual, with season-long stats, you want to dig a little deeper for potential value. Whilst the Bears did hold Davante Adams below his usual standards in week 17, he still put up 16.6 points whilst MVS went for 17.1. In week 16 both Chark (16.2), and Shenault (15.8), managed to score well and in week 15 Justin Jefferson scored 21.4 Draftkings points. I would expect the savvy players to find these details and load up on Thomas, whilst more casual players leave him alone. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster – $5500 v Cleveland

Over/under 47.5

Steelers -6.0 favourites

It must be said that I like all three of Johnson, JuJu and Claypool in this matchup. In situations like this with three good receivers, it’s common for ownership to float towards the top and bottom priced options. JuJu sitting in the middle may be the sweet spot for us. Early in the season, there was some talk in the fantasy world of JuJu being a bust but despite five single-digit games across the season, he’s been a decent performer. Entering the offseason as a free agent, a big playoff performance could help his future. In week 17, despite having Mason Rudolph as his quarterback, JuJu put up 18.5 against Cleveland. The previous week, fellow slot receiver, Jamison Crowder, scored 29.32 points against the Browns. Even if we take off his passing touchdown it’s a great number. Of playoff-bound teams, only the Titans have a worse defence against the position than Cleveland. Speaking of the Titans…

Marquise Brown – $5400 @ Tennessee

Over/under 55.0 (biggest on the slate)

Ravens -3.5 favourites

This Ravens fan is enjoying the resurgence in Marquise Brown’s season… whilst also feeling somewhat relieved. As I mentioned before the Titans have the worst defence against the position of teams left chasing the Lombardi. They give up the 2nd most receptions per game (16.75), the 3rd most yards per game (196.0), and the 3rd most touchdowns per game (1.38). For a passing game like the Ravens, which relies on efficiency and picking its moments, this is a good spot. Marquise Brown is steadily putting a little more ‘Hollywood’ back in his name lately. Over the last six weeks, he’s the WR9 in fantasy and averages 15.9 Draftkings points. Whilst his body type hardly makes him the prototypical red-zone receiver, his friendship with Lamar earns him a level of trust. Through two seasons, which included an injury-riddled 2019, Brown has 26 red-zone targets resulting in 18 catches and 10 touchdowns. The Titans have allowed the second-most passing touchdowns in the red zone this year (11). The Ravens may never be the pass-first offence that Hollywood dreams of, but the team wants him involved and they’re finding ways to make it happen. Brown is one of the best value plays of the week in my opinion. 

John Brown – $4700 v Indianapolis

Over/under 50.5

Bills -6.5 favourites

It’s been a difficult year for Smokey Brown, battling injuries after two relatively injury-free seasons had started to shift the injury-prone talk away from him. When he has played we’ve mostly seen the same reliable performances we saw last season. In his nine games, we’ve seen five that would comfortably return value for salary. Against Miami and their talented cornerbacks, Brown went 4-72-1, on just four targets. The Colts allow the 7th most receiving yards per game (175.69), and the 9th most yards per target (13.51). The Bills roll into the game with their passing game on fire and I don’t see any reason for that to stop. People will point to Diggs and Beasley as good plays, and I’m completely fine with either, but as the lowest priced I like Brown in this spot. 

Tight End

Jared Cook – $4600 v Chicago

Over/under 47.0

Saints -9.5 favourites

Cook finished the fantasy season as the TE19 in PPR, which in a year where tight end disappointed all over, felt like a big disappointment. Cook’s most disappointing stretch coincided with Taysom Hill’s quarterback starts and thankfully since Drew Brees returned, Cook has averaged closer to ten points per game. The Bears rank 30th against the position on defence, giving up 7.94 targets per game and allowing the third-most fantasy points per game (9.38). Against Chicago in week eight, Cook had his best performance of the season going 5-51-1, returning 16.1 DK points. Flashier names may pick up more ownership, but Cook might warrant inclusion as part of Saints stacks. 

Trey Burton – $2800 @ Buffalo

Over/under 50.5

Bills -6.5 favourites

Burton’s fantasy appeal has dropped off somewhat with no usable returns since week 12, so there’s reason to proceed with caution but also a matchup that provides opportunity. No team in the NFL allows more receptions to the tight end position, with Buffalo allowing 5.75 per game. The Bills also allow the 2nd most yardage per game to tight ends (62.06). With a crowded position group ownership will probably stay away from the Colts tight ends, but I do like taking a punt here on Burton who leads the group with five touchdowns. If things play out the way most people expect it to, the Colts will be trailing and have to throw a lot. Those are the kind of opportunities we want to chase for punt plays. 

Quick Hits

Ryan Tannehill set career bests this year in TD passes and QBR rating. 

Lamar Jackson faces the worst ranking defence against the QB position, of all playoff teams. 

Baker Mayfield faces the second-best ranking defence against the QB position, of all playoff teams. 

Philip Rivers suits up potentially for the last time. He has thrown for over 300 yards just twice this season.

Russell Wilson has gone over 20 DK points just once since week 11. This was against the Jets in Wk14. 

Mitch Trubisky will face New Orleans for the third time in his career. In the previous two matchups, he has averaged a 55.8% completion rate. 

Derek Henry has rushed for 328 yards and one touchdown in his previous two meetings combined, versus the Ravens. This game will be the first time Henry gets to take on the Baltimore DL when they’re at full health. 

Alvin Kamara led the league in running back receptions (83). 

Kareem Hunt has lined up as a receiver on just 35 snaps this year. Despite off-season quotes about him being used there more often. 

Stefon Diggs led the league in receptions and yardage at wide receiver. On Saturday he will get to play in front of Bills fans for the very first time. 

D.K Metcalf has a career average of 3.5 receptions when facing the Rams. Averaging 52.25 yards and .25 of a touchdown per game. 

Miles Boykin has touchdowns in three of his last five games with the Ravens finally deciding to try and involve him more. 

Logan Thomas finished the year as the TE3 in fantasy. He faces the 23rd best defence against the position. 

Mark Andrews is averaging seven targets per game over his last five games. In Wk11 he went 5-96-1 against the Titans. 


Good Luck with your lineups. If for some reason you’ve not signed up to Draftkings then use the banner below for $10 when you deposit $10

Prime Picks Week 17

Welcome to the final regular-season edition of my column. Thank you so much to everyone who has read along, shared it and interacted with me and Adam on Twitter. It takes more hours than I’m willing to admit to bringing you this and it’s 100% worthwhile because of those interactions Editor note: Seconded, I know the hours we put in each week and apprecaite all comments. I’ll still be putting out content through the playoffs, although the column will look a bit different due to fewer teams taking part each week. I’m pleased with my record on the season and hopefully, I’ve helped you find some great plays along the way. Please do give us a shoutout if you appreciate our efforts. It was only July when I decided I needed a Twitter account specifically for my fantasy ramblings and it’s turned into this column that I’m rather proud of. Happy New Year!

Tom Strachan

@BestBallUKNFL

Week 16 Review

Another week that was adversely affected by Covid designations and it stopped us being able to play Baker Mayfield or Rashard Higgins. We also didn’t get any clarity on the Jaguars running back room before the game, which made it obvious we needed to fade both Ozigbo and Ogunbowale. Let’s start with the bad plays because there was some last week and I won’t hide from them. Jared Goff, in particular, played a stinker and I was probably trying too hard with that one and hoping the game would explode into a shootout. Antonio Gibson looked healthy enough but Washington’s complete ineptitude killed the play and forced him to play fewer snaps with McKissic (who I did also suggest), being the preferred pass down back. Lastly, Lev Bell let down the entire industry who thought he’d be in for a decent week and Russell Gage didn’t find himself in the shootout we hoped for with the Chief’s surprisingly kept to a low total alongside the Falcons. Slightly better plays were found in Ito Smith, Darrell Henderson, J.K Dobbins, Evan Engram and Donald Parham, who all scored enough to justify their plays at their price tags. 

Finally to last week’s great plays and there were some. Andy Dalton balled out with 30.58 points returning almost six times his points to dollar ratio. Matt Ryan and Drew Lock both surpassed a 3x value. J.D McKissic and David Johnson were great play’s undoubtedly, and neither picked up high ownership. Amari Cooper could have had an even bigger night with a dropped touchdown opportunity, but he still returned great value. Jamison Crowder at $4500 got us 29.32 points and might easily have been one of my best suggestions of the season. 

Plays so far this season (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 102 (45%)

Good plays: 71 (32%)

Bad plays: 50 (23%)

Week 17

Before we get into the picks, it’s important to point out how many teams may look to rest playoff-bound players or take a look at rookies if they have nothing else to play for. The games we’ll focus on will predominantly have something to play for. Whether that’s playoff position and seeding, or if it’s a coach or players last chance to put some film out there before their contract expires. Week 17 isn’t easy, but with the right plays, we can take advantage of the causal players not paying as close attention to the news. 

Quarterbacks

Kyler Murray $7500 @ Rams

40.5 over/under

Cardinals -3.5 favourites

In terms of the playoffs, this game has huge implications. Both the Rams and the Cardinals need to win to be sure of a playoff spot and both sides of the ball are dealing with issues. With Jared Goff having thumb surgery on Monday, the Rams are set to start former Arizona Hotshot quarterback, John Wolford. Kyler Murray is also dealing with a leg injury but expects to suit up. After picking up far too early talk of being the MVP, Murray’s season has come back to Earth somewhat but he still averages 26.9 Draftkings points per game. The Rams defence ranks best in the league in PPG given up to the QB, but they are 16th in the league in yardage per QB rush attempt allowed, with 4.37. In Kyler’s last three games he has averaged nine rushes per game, as opposed to three per game in the previous three. It seems clear his health is better and he’s more confident rushing again. The Cardinals cannot get into the playoffs with anything less than a win, they will attack this game all guns blazing and even above my usual value thresholds, this play is one I can’t ignore. 

Ryan Tannehill $7000 @ Texans

56.5 over/under

Titans -7.5 favourites

Here’s another slightly higher priced quarterback who finds themselves in a must-win situation. The Titans could win the AFC South or with a loss, possibly find themselves sitting home during January wondering how they missed out. Fortunately for them, they face a Houston Texans team that J.J Watt called out this week for a lack of effort. They might be lacking in effort in some areas, but for fantasy purposes, the Texans still put up points. Having put up 20+ points in all but one of their last five. This tells us we can expect Deshaun Watson to keep things competitive and push the game all the way against a division rival. Tannehill will face a poor secondary that allows the seventh-most passing yards per game (273.93) and ranks dead last in interceptions (3). There’s always the danger the Titans turn the game over to Derek Henry, but given the nature of this game, I expect Tannehill to put up numbers as his depleted defence fails to stop Deshaun Watson. 

Kirk Cousins $6300 @ Lions

53.5 over/under

Vikings -6.5 favourites

Strictly speaking, this matchup lacks a little oomph, but it will probably be Darrell Bevell’s last game as Interim Head Coach of the Lions. Hopefully, this pushes him to be aggressive and with Dalvin Cook ruled out the Vikings may choose to pick on what I believe is the league’s worst defence, through the air. The Lions allow the most fantasy points per game to the Quarterback (26.93) and the most passing touchdowns per game (2.33). Cousins finished the fantasy season as the QB12 with only two games in the last eight featuring less than two passing touchdowns. The Lions have allowed the fourth-most 20+ yard completions in the last six weeks and 9.2 yards per attempt over the last five weeks. The Vikings may have nothing to play for, but does Mike Zimmer need to see Sean Mannion on the field instead of Cousins?

Andy Dalton $5600 @ Giants

44.5 over/under

Cowboys -2 favourites

Boy oh boy, did Andy Dalton deliver for us in week 16. I believe if it wasn’t for the injuries and Covid related time missed, Dalton would be getting talked about in much brighter terms. In his last four weeks, he has more fantasy points than Mitch Trubisky, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Justin Herbert to name a few. Somehow the NFC East went from the most disgusting division to one of the most intriguing. With a win against the Giants, the Cowboys will secure a chance to lose in the first round of the playoffs to a team that deserves to be there. I digress… in recent weeks the Giants were talked up for having a resurgent defence but they still lack pass rush and playmakers. Simply put I believe the Cowboys passing game is far too good to be stymied here. On any given week Cooper, Lamb or Gallup can go off and if the Giants are going to stop Dalton they’ll need to show something they haven’t recently, having surrendered 20.6 DK points per game over the last three games along with five touchdowns. They also surrender the fifth most 20+ yard plays per game over the last six weeks. It all sets up for a good game for the Cowboys passing attack.

Massive Punt Alert 

John Wolford (Good surname, though he can’t spell it correctly) $4900 v Cardinals

40.5 over/under

Cardinals -3.5 favourites

I won’t be playing Wolford. Let’s make that clear from the jump, this will be his debut and Blake Bortles returning from Denver to a system he knows is a worry in terms of playing time, but it’s week 17 and the Rams have to win to get in. Wolford was legitimately a star of the AAF but he has played very little since. You also won’t need me to explain the differences between the AAF and the NFL. In his two final years at college Wolford ran for over 1200 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also ran for more than 20 yards per game in his time in the AAF, so we know he has some mobility. That rushing stat, combined with Arizona giving up 26.47 rushing yards per game to the quarterback, made me understand why someone might consider this punt play if it meant guaranteeing salary for a great play elsewhere. Arizona plays the highest rate of man coverage in the league, which we know makes a rushing quarterback’s life easier… maybe… just maybe?

Other quarterbacks with something to play for: Tua Tagovailoa ($5100), Baker Mayfield ($5500), Phillip Rivers ($6000) & Mitch Trubisky ($5600). 

Running Backs

Melvin Gordon $5700 v Raiders

51.0 over/under

Raiders -2.5 favourites

Something just didn’t sit right for me with Melvin Gordon last week. Despite Phillip Lindsay being ruled out, I couldn’t bring myself to play him anywhere and he went 16-79 for 7.9 Draftkings points. As I look back on it I think it comes down to the Denver passing game. It feels broken and I lack faith in Drew Lock keeping the team in games. However, in week 17 the Broncos play the Raiders who have flopped to the finish line failing to take advantage of some favourable matchups. There is nothing to play for in this divisional matchup but I imagine Gordon still finds the field a lot as behind him there is the injured Royce Freeman and the UDFA, LeVante Bellamy, who saw a few snaps this past week. The Raiders rank 30th against the run, giving up an average of 106.47 yards per game and the third-worst touchdown average per game (1.13). In recent weeks they’ve given up huge games to Myles Gaskin (33.9) and Jonathan Taylor (33.5). Gordon may not be quite what he once was and despite last week’s performance, he ranks as the RB11 in the last four weeks, ahead of Austin Ekeler, Kareem Hunt and Kenyan Drake. Coming off a disappointing game we may be able to catch him with low ownership. 

Nyheim Hines $4900 v Jaguars

49.0 over/under

Colts -13 favourites

With Jonathan Taylor’s late-season breakout Hines has been somewhat pushed aside from fantasy lineups. Despite Taylor’s great form, Hines has averaged 12 Draftkings points per game over his last five. Whilst that’s not quite the value we’re looking for, on Sunday the Colts face the Jaguars in a must-win game after they crumbled against the deeply average Steelers last weekend. They’ll need to win and have help elsewhere or January will be spent writing thank you letters for their Christmas presents. Fortunately for the Colts, they face a Jaguars team that has actively tanked in recent weeks. The Jaguars rank 29th on defence and give up the third-most yards per game (117.40) and more importantly for Hines, the sixth most receptions per game to the position (5.67). They also give up the fifth most yardage to pass-catching running backs (46.0). Taylor may be the headline play, but I fancy Hines to continue his reasonable form and do well here. 

Gus Edwards $4900 @ Bengals

44.0 over/under

Ravens -13 favourites

Two weeks ago I preached my love for Edwards at $4400 and sadly he only returned 9.8 points, then last week he turned in a 14.2 point performance and I hadn’t played him anywhere. Edwards has seen back to back weeks with over 35 receiving yards. This is a new area to Edwards’ game and not yet one we can count on, particularly with Lamar Jackson not favouring the checkdown. The real reason I bring Edwards up again is his astonishing jump in agility between last year and now. Edwards was seen as the back who would pick you up three yards no matter what. A strong downfield runner with good ball security. In recent weeks, however, The Gus Bus has shown an ability to shift on a dime, with previously unseen lateral movement. There’s no doubt Edwards will share time with J.K Dobbins, over the last two weeks it was 25 carries to 24 in favour of Dobbins, and both saw 4+ carries inside the ten. They are both usable and both worth playing against a Bengals team that is only playing for pride. If the Ravens win, they guarantee they’re in. 

Phil Hoffman/baltimoreravens.com

Dare Ogunbowale $4500 @ Colts

49.0 over/under

Colts -13 favourites

In week 16 I suggested it was too dangerous to play either Ogunbowale or Ozigbo as we had no clear lean from the coaches as to who would play more. Against the Bears, we saw that Ogunbowale is the first choice as he out-snapped Ozigbo 39-11 and had 17 of 21 running back touches, along with a season-high 13.5% target rate. I prefer paying for Edwards at $4900, but if you need the salary, I’ll understand the play. The Colts will have to win to get into the playoffs and if the Jaguars win they’ll still retain the first pick of the draft. Is this Doug Marrone’s last stand? If so, can he inspire a performance? I’m not sure, but if saving money here opens up a big play, roll with it in tournaments. 

Alexander Mattison $6100/Ameer Abdullah $4000 @ Lions

53.5 over/under

Vikings -6.5 favourites

Sadly Dalvin Cook’s father passed away earlier this week, resulting in him understandably missing out for a meaningless game in week 17. Mattison has been dealing with a concussion that has seen him miss out since week 15, but reports are trending in the right direction. There’s a sneaky revenge game narrative for Abdullah who was cut by the Lions in 2018, after never quite showing the promise his second-round draft pick deserved. This feels like a possible trap play for both players, but the Lions do rank last on defence against the position allowing 25.67 points per game, so it’s possible that without Cook, one or both can return value. If Mattison gets in some full practices I’ll be much more confident about playing him. Editor Note: Keep an eye on Boone TD prices, he has a nose for the endzone, scored last week at 16/1

Rodney Smith $4000 v Saints

47.5 over/under

Saints -6.5 favourites

With CMC and Mike Davis missing out it looks highly likely Rodney Smith will lead the backfield with only Reggie Bonafon behind him. For what it’s worth, Bonafon was CMC’s backup in 2019, but this year has fallen out of favour. As Davis has struggled with knocks, Smith has seen an average of five rushing attempts per game since week 10. Smith has also seen seven receptions on eight targets, in his last three games. The Saints defence are very good against the run but with them needing the Packers to lose to the Bears to grab the 1 seed, they may decide that outcome is unlikely and rest starters. I’m not confident in this play, but it’s week 17… this is how it gets. 

Latavius Murray $5600 @ Panthers

47.5 over/under

Saints -6.5 favourites

With Alvin Kamara hitting the COVID-19 list we’re gifted a real value play that will be heavily owned for good reason. In last weeks game Kamara stole all the headlines with a six touchdown performance but Murray was in good form also, averaging 6 yards per carry for 72 rushing yards and adding 3-24 through the air. Murray has a reputation for being a strong downhill runner but the Saints don’t see him that way and have happily used him in the passing game with 23 receptions on the season. The matchup also works in his favour, with Carolina’s 8th worst rushing defence having nothing to play for. Ranked 3rd worst in the league for rush yards per attempt (4.86), it would be surprising if Murray doesn’t hit 15 points in this game. If you’re looking for a pivot away from this chalky play, maybe it’s possible Ty Montgomery ($4000), gets some involvement but he’s only totalled three offensive touches on the season. My bigger concern would be Taysom Hill coming in and vulturing goal-line work. 

Wide Receivers

Michael Gallup $5000/CeeDee Lamb $5200 @ Giants

44.5 over/under

Cowboys -2 favourites

As I mentioned earlier, the Cowboys play in a must-win game for both sides at the Meadowlands. I like this game a lot for stacks and it can be hard to pick just one receiver out of the talented Dallas trio. Against the Eagles the group went:

(targets-receptions-yards-touchdowns)

Cooper: 6-4-121

Lamb: 5-3-65-1TD

Gallup: 8-6-121-2TD’s

This kind of situation can lead to people deciding to leave all three alone or play just the cheapest. In that situation, I like to play the middle priced player, In this situation, Lamb. It’s not scientific but often people pay up or pay down, leaving the middle man slightly under-owned. Lamb averages 14.3 DK points per game and has seven games scoring over 16 DK points this year and leads the Cowboys receivers in points per game over the last four weeks. Michael Gallup is the hot hand coming off his best performance of the season. He’s been used mainly as a deep threat and in this must-win game that projects to have a lot on the line, it’s not ridiculous to project several deep shots to him. 

Sterling Shepard $5200 v Cowboys

44.5 over/under

Cowboys -2 favourites

I like Shepard, to the point where I snapped him up in 25% of my best ball leagues this off-season. Despite Daniel Jones atrocious quarterback play this season, Shepard has managed to return reasonable fantasy value at times, with five of his eleven games returning over 12 DK points. Against the Ravens, in a negative game script, Shepard went for 22.7 points and now he gets a far friendlier matchup against the 3rd worst defence against the position. The Cowboys defence leads the league in touchdowns allowed to the position with 1.67 per game. The next nearest is 1.40. I’ve mentioned previously how much I like this game for stacks and I lean Shepard on the Giants side of any bring backs. 

James Washington $3500 @ Browns

42.5 over/under

Browns -8.5 favourites

This play is speculative so please don’t consider it for cash, unless you need the savings. Mike Tomlin has talked about resting key personnel this week as the Steelers have very little to play for. Washington has been the consistent WR4 on the team and would be the main beneficiary of any receivers taking snaps off. During 2019 when the Steelers were quarterbacked by a combination of Rudolph and Hodges, Washington turned in a run of solid games. Routinely putting up double-digit fantasy scores. The Browns are in a must-win scenario and will hope Mason Rudolph is more focused on avoiding Myles Garrett than finding Washington, but their defence gives up the 24th most points per game to the receiver position and if Rudolph can retain his composure, Washington has as good a shot as any receiver in sending the Browns home regardless of their winning record. 

Dez Bryant $3100 @ Bengals

44.0 over/under

Ravens -13 favourites

Win and in time for the Ravens against a Bengals team that has taken great pleasure in preventing them from getting to the playoffs in the past. Bryant has had a tricky road back to the NFL with his Achilles injury soon after signing for the Saints in 2018 and then landing on the Covid list the day of his chance to face the Cowboys this year. Seemingly now he’s established his role in this team and he’s established trust with Jackson. Through four games Bryant has eleven targets but more importantly, he has touchdowns in back to back weeks. Jackson seems to trust Dez in the end zone and wants to make this relationship work. At $3100, this is the cheapest play I’ve found that I can get behind at receiver. If you’re looking to stack Lamar Jackson, this will be a way to leverage off Marquise Brown.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews $5800 @ Bengals

44.0 over/under

Ravens -13 favourites

If you’re looking for a pricier tight end this week then Mark Andrews seems like the most likely option to have something to play for. The Ravens must beat the Bengals to secure their playoff spot. Above him, Kelce, Waller and Kittle all have nothing to achieve. Andrews gets a cupcake matchup against the 29th worst defence against the position. The Bengals allow the second-most yards per game to tight ends (64.0), the third-most yards per catch (12.31) and have seen big games for Andrews in the past. Most recently in week 5 where he went 6-56-1TD. The Bengals have also allowed massive games to Evan Engram (6-129), and Mike Gesicki (9-88-1). Andrews has seen 22 targets in three games since his return from the Covid list. Lamar and Andrews will be a popular stack.

Mike Gesicki $4200 @ Bills

44.5 over/under

Bills -1.5 favourites

In 2019 the Bills were often a team to avoid when looking at tight ends, but in 2020 they’ve softened up dramatically, ranking 27th against the position. The Dolphins will face a Buffalo team likely to rest key players as the game goes on, whilst they must win to get into the playoffs. Whether it’s Tua or Fitzpatrick under centre we’ve seen Gesicki have a rapport with both. Over his last four games, Gesicki has averaged 17.05 DK points and has four touchdowns in that spell. In the week 2 matchup of these teams, Gesicki went 8-130-1TD. With the wide receivers still banged up, Gesicki continues to be the focal point of this passing offence.

Hayden Hurst $3700 @ Buccaneers 

50.5 over/under

Buccs -6.5 favourites

One of the fantasy world’s favourite candidates to breakout at the position in the off-season, sadly it hasn’t quite materialised but Hurst did still finish as the TE8 in PPR. Through the season he’s been a solid if an unspectacular option, averaging 36.2 yards per game. In what is believed to be Raheem Morris’s last game in charge of the Falcons, Hurst gets a reasonable matchup and has some semblance of form. In the last two games, Hurst has back to back touchdowns and averages five targets per game going back to week 12. The Buccs defence started the year in great form but in the last four weeks has given up an average of 12.7 DK points per game to Tight Ends. 

Good luck with your entries and we hope you’ve found these columns useful through the season.

Keep an eye out for our contests in the post-season we will be setting up slates for each weekend and probably a few showdown slates on individual matches as well.

Tom, and Adam.

Prime Picks Week 16

Each week I’ll bring you a mix of DFS value plays that I like for cash and tournament games. I won’t be focusing too much on the elite plays such as Christian McCaffery, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas instead, I’ll look for value in matchups that have the potential to be high scoring and return good points to dollar ratio. If we can find that we can open up our lineups to be built better. Through the season I’ll also review my previous weeks plays so you can judge for yourself how good my takes are. 

Tom Strachan

@BestBallUKNFL

Week 15 Review

Going into week 15 I remarked that it felt like a ‘play your studs’ week and that rang true with three of the top five running backs, being the three most expensive (Cook, Henry and Jones). The value did shake out of the middle and lower tiers however and we had a strong week to get back into form. At quarterback, Jalen Hurts (40.82), led the way and topped all scoring for the week. Meanwhile, Phillip Rivers and Dwayne Haskins both scored enough points to justify their plays at their prices. Jared Goff was surprisingly bad against the Jets but still came close to the three times value we’re after (16.26pts). 

At running back J.K Dobbins had a nice day with 15.1 points. Gus Edwards didn’t quite get there, managing 9.8pts, but it was great to see him involved in the passing game with a 38-yard reception. Kenyan Drake stung us badly when he picked up a knock, finishing with just 6 points. That play probably cost me a large chunk of profit on Sunday! Leonard Fournette wasn’t somebody I was confident in but I wanted to make sure you all knew the pro’s and con’s and he exceeded my expectations with 21.5pts. David Johnson became a late addition to the column with Duke Johnson out and that turned out to be one of the best plays of the week as he racked up 11 receptions and a total of 27.3 points.

Receivers were a steady set of picks with only Marquise Brown (15.8), and Russell Gage (17.8), hitting triple dollars to points value. Hilton, Chark and Godwin all got close but couldn’t quite manage it. Finishing up at the tight end I had a poor week with Gronkowski failing to get to 6 points. Dan Arnold did okay managing 8.4 at reasonably low ownership and despite the Rams struggles Higbee saved the group and hit 16.7. 

All in all the plays were there and if you built your lineups around the right studs and stacks, you could have had a very nice week. 

Plays so far this season (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 92 (45%)

Good plays: 68 (33%)

Bad plays: 45 (22%)

Week 16 Picks

Just a quick reminder before we jump in that though your fantasy playoffs may be over, we’ll still be here as long as there’s football being played. The NFL playoffs offer less value typically, but there’s plenty of interesting nuggets to learn about the matchups and I’ll still be here trying to find those for you. This week a lot of the plays come from a small range of matchups and I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable stacking all of these. Remember we’re trying to find building blocks to get us to the high-value plays. 

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield @ Jets – $6100

Browns -8.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

In week 12’s column, I mentioned that Mayfield’s cupcake matchup with Jacksonville looked like the perfect time to get the quarterback throwing more. That has shown to be true with Mayfield averaging 25 completions per game in the four-game stretch that started there, as opposed to 14 per game in the previous four. Mayfield who has played his best football since his rookie year in that stretch and is the fantasy QB4 over the last four weeks gets another easy looking matchup as the Browns continue their playoff push. Despite last week’s surprise victory over the Rams the Jets are still a fundamentally poor defence allowing 25.14 fantasy points per game and eight top twelve performances to the position. He’s a little on the pricey side for me, but it’s definitely in play. 

Jared Goff @ Seahawks – $5900

Seahawks -1 favourites

47.0 over/under

There’s no doubt that people expected more from Goff against the Jets in week 15. Fortunately for him, he gets a bounce-back spot in a very important divisional game. The winner of the Rams trip to Seattle will likely be the division winner and gain favourable playoff seeding. The Seahawks defence has looked better on paper lately, but their last four matchups have been against the Eagles, the Giants (without Daniel Jones), the Jets and Washington. I feel it’s fair to say that’s not the toughest stretch and they can expect a firmer test this week. Seattle has allowed eight top twelve games to the position, which ranks joint-worst in the league. Their defence allows the most attempts per game (42.43), the most completions per game (28.64) and importantly for Goff’s hopes of the 300 yards 3pt bonus, they give up a league-worst 307.43 yards per game. If you want exposure to a game with the potential to shoot out this might be the choice. I like the idea of stacking Goff, Woods and bringing it back with D.K Metcalf. 

Matt Ryan @ Chiefs – $5800

Chiefs -10.5 favourites

54.0 over/under

Ryan is coming into this game on the back of his second 30+ point total of the season. Despite the Falcons being dead and buried they’ve continued to provide us with fantasy-relevant weeks and my Calvin Ridley shares appreciate it greatly. Matt Ryan has let us down in several reasonable spots this year and for that reason, I couldn’t advocate this play in cash, but in tournaments where stacking is more important, I see reasons to like it. The number one ranked offence led by Mahomes faces the worst defence against the pass. The Chiefs lead the league in pass rate above expectation (h/t Michael Leone: @2hats1Mike) and seemingly don’t have an interest in establishing the run. This leads to quicker drives that don’t take time off the clock and can give Atlanta more opportunities to strike back against a Kansas defence that averages the 8th worst touchdown rate per game (1.71 per game). 

Andy Dalton v Eagles – $5500

Eagles -2.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

This marks Andy Dalton’s fourth appearance in this column this season and I continue to feel like we can find value in a quarterback surrounded by such weapons. Since the week 10 bye Dalton ranks ahead of wannabe comeback player of the year, Ben Roethlisberger, in fantasy points. In those five games, Dalton has thrown multiple touchdowns in all but one. Now he faces an Eagles team that has allowed a joint-worst nine top 12 quarterback performances. Jalen Hurts will attract more ownership on the other side of the matchup and choosing which receivers will hit big for Dalton is occasionally challenging, but I like the game and with somehow there still being a playoff spot on the line, it could get interesting. 

Drew Lock @ Chargers – $5000

Chargers -3.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

I’m not a big fan of Drew Lock and despite some weeks having over twenty different lineups, I don’t think I have played him once this year. It’s a little hard for me to ignore his price though. Tyrod Taylor, who will be on the opposing bench and hasn’t played since week one is $300 more expensive than Lock this week. Despite the nice passing game options around him Lock has failed to progress as we’d hope with seven games under 15 points. The other games, however, have seen him score as high as 33.2 and also included a 20.8 point return against the Chargers in Week 8. The Chargers defence hasn’t lived up to the team’s hopes, starting with losing Derwin James before the season began. Joey Bosa is struggling through his second concussion in the space of several weeks. The defence ranks 25th in fantasy points allowed to the position and ranks bottom six in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks and second-worst in rushing touchdowns allowed to the position (0.50). Lock isn’t known for a dual-threat ability but he did put up 37 yards on the ground in week 15. This is a real punt play and can only be recommended in tournaments.

Running Backs

Antonio Gibson @ Panthers – $6600 (or J.D McKissic – $6400)

WFT -1 favourites

43/5 over/under

The Panthers season has steadily gone down the toilet with three consecutive losses and with nothing to play for, it’s hard to see them standing up to a Washington team that few envisaged as being this competitive at this point in the season. Only seven other teams give up more points to fantasy running backs and with continuing issues (both off and on the field), Washington would be wise to rely on their run game. Gibson returned to practice on the Friday before Week 14, before being ruled out and on Wednesday through Friday of this week he was a limited participant. He should have a much better shot at returning against Carolina. Before suffering turf toe, Gibson had averaged 23.25 DraftKings points per game over his previous four games. It’s not a given that Gibson plays, but if he does at a suppressed ownership I’ll be looking at him in tournaments. If Gibson can’t go, McKissic at $6400 looks great. He’s slowly absorbed more and more of the work with Gibson out and if Alex Smith is back, the Mckissic angle becomes even more promising with Smith loving the check-down option. 

J.K Dobbins @ Giants – $6200

Ravens – 10 favourites

43.5 over/under

It’s no sure thing that Mark Ingram is a healthy scratch for a second consecutive week but it really shouldn’t matter. The Ravens have turned the majority of backfield touches over to Dobbins and Edwards and Dobbins has shown he is the first choice. Over the last four weeks, Dobbins ranks as RB20, despite having missed an entire game due to Covid-19. In the three matchups that he’s played in, he’s averaged 14.5 points per game and has a touchdown and 50+ yards in all of them. Due to the nature of Lamar Jackson’s play, Dobbins doesn’t see many receptions but this week’s matchup could change that. The Giants defence ranks 17th overall but is by far the worst defence in the league against pass-catching backs. They rank 32nd in targets (8.07), 31st in receptions (6.43) and 30th in yards (48.64). Normally when a team’s defence is so bad against one aspect of a game, it’s down to scheme. Without a clear history of Dobbins being involved in the passing game, this is a purely speculative theory but the ground game and touchdown’s give Dobbins a solid enough floor to keep him in play and the possibility of more receptions could lead to an eruption spot. 

Le’Veon Bell v Falcons – $5800

Chiefs -10.5 favourites

54.0 over/under

Bell will be a popular name on waiver wires and DFS columns this week as he gets a chance to show what he can do as the lead back in Kansas. With Clyde-Edwards Helaire ruled out until the playoffs at least, Bell gets an average matchup against the Falcons. Despite their troubles against the pass they remain solid defending the run, ranked 5th overall. Much like last week’s Leonard Fournette play against the Falcons, where he scored 21.5 points, this play comes down to opportunity and cost. A potential three-down running back at $5800 in an offence that likes to throw the ball, including to their running backs. Bell has seen multiple targets in three of his last four games and the Falcons defence allows the sixth most receptions to the position.

David Johnson v Bengals – $6100

Texans – 7 favourites

46 over/under

Let’s start by saying it’s unlikely Johnson has eleven receptions again. Deshaun Watson has never been one to target his running backs so heavily but maybe Johnson sees a more steady and appropriate amount of targets going forward. On the year Johnson has just 16 if we exclude Sunday’s game against the Colts. The Texans don’t have much to play for but neither do the Bengals with both sides rating poorly on defence this game could have potential for scores to run up and maybe even lower owned stacks. The Bengals rank 24th against the run and it’s clear that their defensive strength (used loosely), is through the air. If this pushes Watson into handing or dumping off more often, Johnson could easily reach 20 points. As of Thursday, Duke Johnson still hasn’t practised so the keys to the car remain David Johnson’s for now.

Darrell Henderson @ Seahawks – $4500

Seahawks -1 favourites

47.0 over/under

If you’re not wild about my suggestion of Jared Goff against the Seahawks maybe Henderson will be more tempting. Cam Akers has been ruled out with an ankle injury and at $4500 Henderson deserves our attention. Before Akers broke out the backfield was a bit murky, but each time Henderson was given over ten carries he turned them into fantasy viable days. At this price, you’re looking for at least 14 points from Henderson and the Seahawks run defence sits pretty middle of the pack, ranked 17th. It’s not a play I’m wild on but if you’re after salary saving and exposure to a game that could be high scoring, Henderson has the potential to do that for you.

Ito Smith @ Chiefs – $4000

Chiefs -10.5 favourites

54.0 over/under

On Monday Raheem Morris announced that Smith would be the ‘lead runner’ for the team for the time being. It’s not hugely surprising as Smith has out-carried Gurley 25-15 in the previous three games. Unfortunately for us, this isn’t the gold sealed free square we love to play at this price as Smith hasn’t shown a lot in those games. He is currently the only Falcons back to have a contract beyond this season, so it makes a lot of sense that the organisation wants to see what Smith can do with opportunity. The Chiefs have allowed ten top 24 performances to running backs and rank 21st against the position. It’ll be surprising if Kansas doesn’t score a lot of points and that could take away the game script from Smith. If he gets to double-digit points it will probably involve touchdowns and I’m not in the business of counting on that for cash games. Much like the Henderson play, this is about potential opportunity and price, that helps get exposure to a high scoring game. 

Devine Ozigbo/Dare Ogunbowale v Bears – $4000

Bears -7 favourites

47.0 over/under

Another almost good type of play comes with Pro Bowl snubbed James Robinson looking set to miss out. The Bears represent fairly tough competition ranking 10th best against the position, and it’s hard to imagine the Jaguars will be able to put up too much of a fight against them. The Bears have given up a total of 12 top 24 games to the position, but a lot of that has come in games they were outmatched. Robinson has been the Jaguars offensive star this season and to expect similar production wouldn’t be fair. It’s a punt play to open up salary elsewhere and I’m not sure it’s worth touching unless we get a clear indication one back is favoured over the other. If you were looking to correlate a play against Allen Robinson these are reasonable choices. 

bleacherreport.com

Wide Receivers

Amari Cooper @ Eagles – $5700

Eagles -2.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

I’m not sure too many people would have expected Cooper to return just 2.3 DK points in a game where the Cowboys scored 41 points. If we remove that score, Amari has averaged 18 DraftKings points per game over the previous four. Despite up and down quarterback play Dalton has managed to keep Cooper fantasy relevant this season and he currently stands as the WR13 in PPR. Over the last four weeks, the Eagles have allowed four top 24 games to the position and continue to struggle with injuries in their secondary, which ranks 20th worst in the league against the position. Jalen Hurts revival of Philadelphia gives the game a better chance of retaining a positive game script and developing into a shootout. 

Russell Gage @ Chiefs – $5100

Chiefs -10.5 favourites

54.0 over/under

Last week we were on Gage at $4700 and he delivered us 17.8 DraftKings points in return. On paper, he meets a tougher defence in the chiefs, as they rank 3rd overall against the position, but in the last four weeks, they’ve allowed a joint-second worst four top 24 performances. Over Gage’s last five performances he’s averaged 8.4 targets per game and has averaged 14.18 DraftKings points in that stretch. The Falcons ruled out Julio on Friday, pushing the value of this play even higher. 

Rashard Higgins- $4800 – @ Jets 

Browns -8.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

Against the Giants, Higgins failed to score a touchdown for the first time in three games, but he still picked up four receptions for 75 yards to lead the team in yardage. Higgins has established himself as the number two option behind Landry, with Peoples-Jones ($3700), the third receiver. Their targets since week 9 are  Landry – 45, Higgins – 34 and Peoples-Jones – 13. The Jets are in a poor state at cornerback and safety, giving up the fifth-most yards per game to receivers (186.57), along with the fifth-worst touchdown per game average (1.14). Higgins is the WR21 in the last four weeks. Cleveland is susceptible to slot receivers, so if you’re looking for a correlated play perhaps you’ll be interested in my next suggestion…

Jamison Crowder v Browns – $4500

Browns -8.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

$4500 for Crowder? Back in week six if you’d have told me that a receiver averaging 11.5 targets per game would come at this price I’d have assumed he was coming off a suspension or similar. Crowder hasn’t been as consistent as he was in 2019 but he has started to show a sliver of that dominant slot receiver skillset over his last few games. In the last four games, Crowder has averaged six targets per game and went for two touchdowns against the Raiders. Against the Rams, in week 15 Crowder saw a team-leading 29.6% of the target share. Cleveland allows an average of 14.7 fantasy points per game to slot receivers, whilst also giving up the sixth-most targets per game to receivers (21.43), and the joint fifth-worst touchdown average per game to the position (1.14). If you’re playing Jets receivers you’re assuming an element of risk in exchange for salary relief and whilst Crowder is the most expensive of them, he also has the safest floor. 

Chad Hansen v Bengals – $4400

Texans – 7 favourites

46 over/under

I’m still hurting from the Will Fuller fiasco. <insert gif of Obi-Wan Kenobi ‘You were the chosen one!’ etc etc.> Chad Hansen has seized his opportunity in Fuller’s absence and despite none of us knowing who he is, the former California Golden Bear has finally made an impact in the NFL on his sixth team. Over his three games since Fuller’s suspension, Hansen has seen 17 targets, resulting in 212 yards and one touchdown. Those scores have been 18.1, 12.6 and 13.5. Only two teams in the NFL give up more 20+ yard receptions than the Bengals and that could play to Hansen’s strength’s with Coutee and Cooks playing closer to the line of scrimmage. With Monday night’s surprise outcome for the Bengals against the quickly fading Steelers, don’t be surprised if Houston players are slightly less-owned. I doubt the Bengals get themselves up for this game in the same way as they did against a division rival and I’ll be happy to stack the Texans in tournaments. 

Darnell Mooney @ Jaguars – $4000

Bears -7 favourites

47.0 over/under

The Jaguars find themselves in an unexpected spot with the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence. All they have to do is lose two more games and it’s theirs for the taking. Against the Ravens the Jaguars managed to let bit-part players such as Dez Bryant and Miles Boykin score touchdowns, in week 16 Darnell Mooney should be very ready for his chance to get into the paint. Over the last four weeks, Jacksonville has allowed five wide receivers to put up top 24 numbers and on the season they average the seventh most receiving yards to the position (180.29), and the fourth-worst average touchdown rate (1.21). Mooney ranks as the WR28 over the last four weeks, ahead of the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cooper Kupp and Robbie Anderson. Mooney has scored touchdowns in back to back games and has 22 targets in the last four games. 

Tight Ends

Evan Engram v Ravens – $3900

Ravens – 10 favourites

43.5 over/under

This play hinges a little on the availability of Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith for the Ravens. Both corners haven’t practised before Friday and both missed out against Jacksonville due to injury. Smith, in particular, has matched up with tight ends recently. I also would feel more confident about this play if Daniel Jones is healthy and he seems to be trending in the right direction. Despite Jones missing time, Engram has maintained some level of floor over the last four games, ranking as the TE12. I’m high on this play partly because I believe that in a week where Engram’s Pro Bowl position was scrutinised, many people will avoid playing him but if we look back before Daniel Jones started having injury issues, Engram was playing fairly well and averaging almost 13 DK points per game. The Ravens allow the 8th most catches to the position (5.29) and in their last four have averaged 5.5 catches allowed for 58 yards (about 11.5 DK points). It’s not amazing but the Giants have shown a desire to push the game towards Engram at times and if you’re interested in Lamar, or Ravens running backs, correlating that play with Engram may pay off in tournaments. 

Donald Parham v Denver – $2500

Chargers -3.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

Surprisingly the Broncos rank well against the tight position with an overall rating of 8th best but with Hunter Henry on the Covid-19/reserve list, Parham becomes the best-priced punt play at the position and one I’ll be all over. Parham has seen 13 targets on the season and turned them into 5-75 and two touchdowns. Parham was widely seen as one of the most talented tight end’s in the XFL and with Virgil Green on IR, Parham is the only rostered tight end with more than one catch. The Broncos haven’t given up many touchdowns to the position but Herbert has shown he trusts Parham in the end zone and at this price, that would be all we need against a beaten up Denver secondary. 

Full 10 selections W15

With several games being played outside the traditional Sunday evening window there is a smaller pool to pick from but I’m confident I have found a winning group this weekend. My selections are below, good luck to anyone playing DFS in the last weekend of NFL action before xmas.


QB – Lamar Jackson $7,500 – The Ravens have finally realised that they are what they are. A run heavy team which is at their best when they allow Lamar to do what he does best. It was so successful last year that it is almost puzzling as to why they went away from it but with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance they are finally getting back to the ground attack. Lamar gashed the Browns on Monday night, having 2 trips to the endzone in the process. The odd big play through the air also helped his overall production and against a weak Jags defence I expect more of the same.

RB – Jonathan Taylor $7,200 – If you were patient enough in regular fantasy to ride Taylor all the way to the playoffs then your decision is paying off. No such concerns of course in DFS but the principal of Taylor getting a combination of easier looking opponents and growing in comfort level to a new environment still rings true. His best fantasy day of the season last weekend could be set for a repeat as the lowly Houston run defence comes to town in a game that th Colts really should dominate, allowing plenty of opportunities for Taylor’s continued improvement to shine.

RB – Jeff Wilson Jr $5,100 – There are always plenty of carries to go around in a Kyle Shanahan backfield so I take a bit of a punt on Jeff Wilson jr here. Technically slated as the backup to starter Raheem Mostert, Wilson only saw 4 less offensive snaps against the Football Team last weekend and importantly, saw the short yardage goal line work. He has had 33 touches over the past 3 weeks. A Dallas defence that has given up the most yards per game on the ground in the league should provide ample opportunities for Wilson to add to his 5 rushing scores on the season so far.

IDP Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 15 | 4for4
Ezra Shaw – Getty

WR – Cooper Kupp $7,000 – The Rams have transitioned to more of a running attack in recent weeks but the Jets should provide more opportunities in the passing game for Jared Goff and company. When the Rams do go to the air, then make no bones about it, Kupp is the guy they turn too. He has turned his 14 targets over the past 2 weeks into 13 catches, 106 yards and a touchdown which illustrates the high floor that he always operates from. The Jets rank 31st against the pass comparted to 12th against the run, the only concern could be like Seattle a week ago, will Kupp be pulled in the 3rd quarter with this game already out of hand?

WR – Russell Gage $4,700 – Gage has been a really nice piece of the Falcons puzzle this season. He has a 5 catch, 82 yard performance on Sunday against the Chargers whilst also adding a beautiful 39 yard passing touchdown. The Bucs defence provides the opposition this weekend and although the defence is much talked about, against the pass they have been less than stellar. Surrendering the 9th most fantasy points to opposing wideouts look for Gage to once again be a big part of what the Falcons do, particularily with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley battling injuries.

WR – CeeDee Lamb $4,500 – Lamb was quiet last weekend, but to be fair the Cowboys played ball control offence in a blow out against the Bengals. In a game where running the ball could prove much more difficult against a stout 49ers defensive line, Lamb will look to get back to the form he was displaying earlier in the season. His price has now dropped back to what it was at the beginning of the campaign so he provides a value option this weekend in a passing game that will need to produce this weekend to keep the Cowboys competitive.

Top DFS Stacks on FanDuel and DraftKings: Week 15 | 4for4
Mark Brown – Getty

TE – Irv Smith jr $3,600 – We finally got the type of game we have been expecting from Irv for a while. Back after a 2 week absence he secured all 4 of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs. Kyle Rudolph didn’t play last weekend and he is likely to miss another game meaning Smith should see most, if not all, of the tight end targets. He draws a Chicago defence that has been vulnerable to tight ends this season ranking 29th against the position. That should have been worse last week with Jordan Akins inexplicably dropping a wide open touchdown. Another big day for Smith ahead hopefully.

FLEX – Cam Akers $6,600 – Yes I have talked about Cooper Kupp getting opportunities through the air earlier, but the Rams will not completely abandon the hot hand that is Cam Akers. 50 rushing attempts over the past 2 weeks would seem to suggest that finally the Rams have committed to their rookie to carry the backfield responsibilities for the team. A 171 yard rushing day is obviously going to be tough to repeat, but with involvement in the passing game as well, Akers provides a great value for a player with a high floor and potentially super high ceiling.

DEF – Miami Dolphins $3,700 – Either way you look at this matchup this has to be the selection if you don’t mind paying for defence. The unit is strong and opportunistic, creating turnovers last week against the Chiefs and generally plays tough week in and week out. The team opposing them have been woefully bad on offence all year long. A no brainer.

Week 14 Recap: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Miami Dolphins
Mark Brown – Getty

Don’t forget to watch the full10yards live stream podcast on Monday night when I along with the regular gang will discuss all things week 15 in the NFL.

Prime Picks W15

Each week I’ll bring you a mix of DFS value plays that I like for cash and tournament games. I won’t be focusing too much on the elite plays such as Christian McCaffery, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas instead, I’ll look for value in matchups that have the potential to be high scoring and return good points to dollar ratio. If we can find that we can open up our lineups to be built better. Through the season I’ll also review my previous weeks plays so you can judge for yourself how good my takes are. 

Tom Strachan

@BestBallUKNFL

Week 14 Review

Not quite as strong a week as we’ve had recently. The theme of the slate seemed to be to play your studs. I had a nice lineup with the likes of Rodgers, Henry, Ridley and Ekeler that took down an eighty person tournament. I only got to those studs by paying down elsewhere, but across the board, value picks seemed to be difficult choosing this week. I’m never going to sit here and tell you to play Derek Henry or Tyreek Hill because so much of the rest of the industry dedicate time to making it obvious when they’re in even bigger than usual smash spots. If each week we can find a handful of names that offer you two or three times dollar to points value, then that will enable the rest. 

Quarterback started well with Taysom Hill, finally reaching 3x value late in the game. Andy Dalton came close to that value with 15.3 DK points, but even with a $5500 salary, you’d hope for a bit more. Unfortunately, Tannehill (16.48) didn’t quite get it done as Derek Henry took over. I mentioned that I thought both Henry and Tannehill could get there against a bad Jags defence, but we were a few points away from where we’d want to be. Aaron Jones was a bad call, and I’ll own that. It seems pretty clear now Jones has an easier time when Adams isn’t playing. Ekeler redeemed us with 23.6 points, Montgomery smashed at 27.5 for back-to-back weeks and rewarded our continuing faith. CEH hit 14.9 points at 5900 and came so close to a bigger game at low ownership. Unfortunately, Gio Bernard, Corey Davis and Allen Lazard all flamed out. My guy of the season, Curtis Samuel, smashed at 16 points and rewarded what was a good call based on obvious points. Rounding out, we had average calls on Perriman, Schultz and a bad call on Tyler Eifert. So a mixed bag really, but we’ve been in red hot form and regression will always catch up to you. Week 15 looks pretty murky a few days out, so be thoughtful with your plays and be sure to check in on my Twitter to see what additional thoughts I throw out.  

Plays so far this season (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 83 (45%)

Good plays: 61 (32.5%)

Bad plays: 42 (22.5%)

Week 15 Picks

This week feels quite murky. Despite having fourteen weeks behind us, we enter week 15 with a lot of straight forward looking match-ups and that only serves to make DFS more confusing. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter. 

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff – $6300 vs NYJ

Rams -18 favourites

43.0 over/under

The chances of the Jets getting a win look pretty slim as we roll into the last three games. For the Rams, they couldn’t ask for a much easier game, with the Jets travelling cross country and being -18 underdogs. The Jets give up an average of 32.6 points in 2020 road games and it’s hard to see anything other than an L.A rout. So far this year Goff has averaged 19.1 DK points per game and has managed five games over 24 points. The Jets defence gives up an average of 2.15 passing touchdowns per game and that combined with McVay’s offence gives me a reasonable amount of confidence in Goff. 

Taysom Hill – $6000 vs Chiefs

Chiefs -3 favourites

51.5 over/under

I liked this play with Hill starting but now Brees has been declared starter it’s too risky at the price and I’m not wild about Brees either.

Jalen Hurts – $5900 @ Cardinals

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

Over/under 49.0

This play has grown on me as the weeks went on. The Cardinals defence runs more man defence coverage than any team in the league and time and time again we’ve seen how this can spell big games for rushing quarterbacks. With the defenders eyes on their assignments it makes life easy for a quarterback to take off. Given Hurts lack of experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still playing a lot of one to two read plays, that if he doesn’t see anything quick, time to take off. The Cardinals give up the 6th most rushing yards per game to the QB (24.31), and the 4th most yardage per attempt (5.45). Hurts put up 106 yards on the ground against a very good Saints defence and unless the Cardinals change their scheme dramatically, I like his chances to do similar here. 

Phillip Rivers – $5900 vs Texans

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

I’ll hold my hands up and say I thought Rivers was washed coming into this season and I’m still not quite ready to believe he can take them to the Superbowl, but I have been surprised by his play at times this year. The one downside lately has been Jacoby Brissett’s usage. Over Rivers’ last four games he’s hovered close to the 300-yard passing mark in three of them. We’d love to see him surpassing that as on Draftkings it activates the 3pt bonus. In the reverse of this fixture in week 13 Rivers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. It’s hard to envisage Rivers hitting 25 or more points, but he has averaged 19.5 points per game over his last five and might be the safe floor and cheaper option needed to open up salary elsewhere. It can be tricky playing the Colts receivers as Rivers spreads the ball around so much, but if you believe in Indy this week, Rivers and Hilton might be a good tournament pairing.

Dwayne Haskins Jr. – $5000 vs Seahawks

Seahawks -5.5 favourites

44.5 over/under

Haskins failed to light the world on fire as he took over from the injured Alex Smith in week thirteen’s win over San Francisco, completing seven of twelve passing attempts and they were all relatively short throws. As of Wednesday, there has been no news suggesting Smith can play in week 14. If that’s the case and Haskins gets the start with a game plan and a full week of practice as the starter, there may be an argument for starting him against this terrible Seahawks defence which ranks 28th against the position. Admittedly the Seahawks defence has played much better of lately allowing an average of 14.5 points across their last four. That average is slightly skewed by facing the Jets who only managed three points if we take that out the average rises to 17.5 over the previous four. So I’m not exactly selling this as a great play, and in truth, it’s all about opening up money elsewhere. If Haskins gets you 12-15 points has he done enough to justify his inclusion if it opens up $1000-2000 for players elsewhere… that’s a decision you’ll have to make as you build your rosters, but I’m not averse to it in tournaments and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see McLaurin be more productive than he has been lately. 

Update: Haskins has now been named the starter with Smith ruled out.

Running Backs

J.K Dobbins – $5900/Gus Edwards – $4400 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

The Ravens reappear on the main slate for the first time since week 11 and they are in far better form than the last few times they were playable here. The backfield has cleared up somewhat in that time with Mark Ingram playing just one snap against Cleveland. J.K Dobbins has vaulted himself into the main role in this backfield, playing on 61% of snaps against Cleveland, whilst Edwards featured on 27%. Edwards’ transformation from a downhill runner to a more quick-footed back with sneaky lateral movement has kept this from being entirely Dobbins’ backfield but against the Jaguars I have no problem playing either. The Jaguars run defence ranks 28th overall, 31st in attempts allowed per game (26.0), 30th in allowed rushing yardage (118.0), 23rd in rush yards per attempt (4.54) and 25th in touchdowns allowed to running backs (0.92). There will always be an element of murkiness with this backfield, but that allows us to play these backs with lower ownership.

Kenyan Drake – $5500 vs Eagles

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

Since Drake’s return from injury, it has been clear that Kliff Kingsbury sees Drake as the RB1 for the Cardinals. No matter what my 31% share of Chase Edmonds in best ball drafts thinks. In those five games, Drake averaged 16.8 DraftKings points per game, scoring five touchdowns to take his season total to nine. To add to that, Drake is the RB5 in the last four weeks, only being outscored by Cook, Montgomery, Chubb and Henry. Importantly in that time Drake has seen an uptick in targets and has the seventh most running back receptions, over the last four weeks. To get a running back in this form, with such a clear workload, at this price, is something we have to look to take advantage of. Even though the Eagles defence is ranked well against the position (9th overall), they give up the joint second-worst rate of touchdowns to the position (1.0). 

ninersnation.com

Jeff Wilson – $5100 @ Dallas

49ers -3 favourites

45.0 over/under

Jeff wilson update

Update: Until Friday night it sounded like Mostert would miss this game, but when the injury reports came out Mostert was listed as a full participant. That makes it really hard to like this play despite Wilson’s goal line work and I’d only consider it for tournaments.

As of Wednesday, it sounds like Raheem Mostert will miss Sunday’s game in Dallas with an ankle injury. Earlier in the season, the 49ers leaned on Jerrick McKinnon when injuries piled up but in recent weeks Wilson has seen an increase in workload. On Sunday McKinnon played no snaps on offence, whilst Wilson had 12 touches for a total of 44 yards. Over his last two games, serving as the backup, Wilson has seen eight targets and a goal-line carry for a touchdown. These are all high-value touches and could add up to a good fantasy output if Wilson is given the lead back role in a scenario where Raheem misses out against the 27th worst rush defence of the league. 

Leonard Fournette – $4500 @ Atlanta Falcons 

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

Leonard Fournette is not a good running back, I want to make sure everybody knows that before we go any further. In half PPR Fournette is the RB45 on the season, one spot below Christian McCaffery who has played just three games this season. However, we’re in the business of value and Ronald Jones had surgery on Monday to insert a screw into his left pinky before being placed on the covid19-/reserve list on Wednesday. Serial liar, Bruce Arians, has stated if Jones missed out, Fournette would assume his role against the Falcons. The Falcons are a poor defence, but mainly so through the air where they allow a league-worst 296.23 yards per game. On the ground however they allow the second-fewest yards per game, 70.0. It’s not all terrible news for Fournette though, as the Falcons rank bottom eight against running back receptions. It’s easy to construct a narrative where the 5.5 points favoured Buccaneers go ahead and decide to run the ball to drain the clock and we know opportunity and touches can mean everything for running backs. I won’t be playing Fournette in cash, regardless of workload and price, but I will look to him in tournaments. 

David Johnson – $5100 @ Colts

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

Earlier in the week I liked Johnson’s price but wasn’t fully convinced of his workload, as the weeks gone on things have swung in his favour. Both options behind him, Duke Johnson and C.J Prosise, haven’t been practicing on Thursday or Friday and are listed questionable for the game. If Johnson is the out and out only choice at the position I’m happy to play him. He gets an average matchup against the 17th ranked run defence, who haven’t allowed more than one hundred yard game in their last eight. This play is opportunity over matchup, and I’d be happy with it in tournaments. 

Wide Receivers

Chris Godwin – $6200 @ Falcons

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

Godwin has been relatively quiet recently. Putting up just 17-175-1 in his last three games. As I mentioned in the Leonard Fournette section, the Falcons are a pass funnel defence. Doing well against the rush, but terrible against the pass, allowing a league-worst 296.23 yards per game. On average wide receivers, all score higher than their averages against this defence. This feels like a get-right spot for Godwin who will be playing his second game since having screws removed from his finger and might catch low ownership due to recency bias. Both Tampa and Atlanta rank highly in a neutral game script, and with the reliable Ronald Jones missing out, short passes to Godwin could help us rack up a large point total. 

Marquise Brown – $5600 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

If you’re unaware, I’m a Ravens fan, so you can disregard this play if you feel like I’m sniffing the glue. Brown has struggled with drops, totalling six on the season, and the breakout so many hoped for hasn’t materialised. What’s gone under the radar a little is the fact that Brown has scored touchdowns in his last three games, averaging 54.6 yards per game in that period. The Jaguars have allowed a 100+ yard game to an opposing receiver on nine straight games this year. On Wednesday evening Brown landed on the Covid19/Reserve list due to a close contact. If he continues to test negative, he’ll be able to play on Sunday. Hollywood would be in a good spot against a Jaguars defence that has given up the eighth-most completions of 20-plus-yards and averages an extra 2.5pts above expectation to WR1’s. If however, Marquise Brown can’t play….

Devin Duvernay – $3200 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

On Wednesday evening the Ravens placed Hollywood, Boykin and Proche on the covid-19/reserve list. This leaves them with just Willie Snead ($4300), Dez Bryant ($3000) and Duvernay as their active receivers. Duvernay and Snead both predominantly play out of the slot and with Snead’s reliability being needed at times it has eaten into Duvernay’s opportunities. This was evidenced on Monday night when Snead returned to the team and Duvernay failed to see a target. However, if Boykin or Hollywood were to miss the game the Ravens may be left with little choice but to scheme more plays for Duvernay. Snead is a fine play and at a stone minimum so is Bryant, but if I have to pick one it will be the more explosive and exciting Duvernay. If Hollywood, Boykin and Proche are activated to play in this game, I would be removing Duvernay from lineups unless looking for a super-low owned differential.

T.Y Hilton – $5500 vs Texans

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

The ghost of T.Y Hilton rose from the fantasy football grave to knock me out of my home league playoffs this week. Hilton had become an afterthought for many and was completely droppable in redraft formats until his week 12 matchup against Tennessee. In that game and since he has put up 4-81-1, 8-110-1 and 5-86-2, rocketing to WR3 over that spell. Sandwiched in the middle of those three is the reverse of this fixture when the Colts were on the road at the Texans. Hilton has typically gone off against the Texans totalling 30-516-2 over his last five games against them. The Colts may choose to try and dominate this game through the ground attack against the league’s second-worst run defence and that may be where the majority of ownership goes, but I believe there’s something to be said for Hilton going up against a defence that allows the third-most touchdowns per game to receivers (1.38) and just lost safety, Justin Reid, for the season.

D.J Chark – $5000 @ Ravens

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

D.J Chark Update:

Update: On Friday Peters was ruled out and Smith is listed as doubtful, most likely it will be Humphrey and practice squad CB’s.

The Ravens secondary is one of the best in the league, but they do give up receptions. Despite ranking top eight in nearly all metrics, they rank 24th in most receptions allowed to receivers per game, (14.31). Marlon Humphrey will deservedly get his second pro bowl vote this season, but Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith are dealing with injuries and have struggled to stay on the field at times. When they’re out of the game a host of journeymen corners replace them and if Chark can match up with them, he’ll be in business. Since their Week 8 bye, Chark has averaged 8.2 targets per game, as the clear alpha of the passing attack. Minshew has made Chark fantasy gold before, with seven games over their shared nineteen starts, resulting in Chark totalling 15 or more fantasy points. I doubt I’d consider this play unless it was correlated against Ravens running backs, or a bring back as part of stacks, but it’s worth mentioning at such a cheap price. 

Russell Gage – $4700 vs Buccaneers

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

On Friday Julio Jones was ruled out for a second consecutive week and that gives us another opportunity to roll out Gage, who has shined at times this year and tends to see an uptick in volume when Julio doesn’t play. The Buccs defence allows the 10th most targets per game to the position (21.15), and the 7th most yards per reception (14.46). As a slot receiver Gage can be in position for a high volume of safe targets and at this price I like it a lot. He makes for a good bring back option in Buccs stacks. 

Tight ends

Rob Gronkowski – $4200 @ Falcons

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

The Falcons rank bottom three in points given up to the tight end. Averaging a very Gronk friendly 0.69 touchdowns per game to the position, which also ranks bottom three. If you’ve made it this far into this column, you’ll probably be well aware of the Falcons deficiencies as this is our third recommendation to play against them. I’m not ready to stack this game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if not all of Godwin, Fournette and Gronk return value. There are only so many plays to go around after all but I’m here to try and flag value and help you pick the plays you like as you construct lineups. With Gronk going up against such a friendly matchup he would be my preferred play on the Buccs side. If I had to rank the three, it would go, Gronk, Godwin, Lenny. 

Tyler Higbee – $3800 vs Jets

Rams -18 favourites

43.0 over/under

My weekly research can normally begin with taking a glance at who the Jets play and taking it from there. The Jets allow the most fantasy points per game to the position with 11.54. The next closest is the Bengals a full two points less (9.38). This is partly a product of the Jets haemorrhaging touchdowns to the position, with a league-worst 0.92 per game, again a large amount more than the next worst (0.77 by the Jaguars – Hello, Mark Andrews!). Since their Week 10 bye, they have allowed Hunter Henry (14.8), Mike Gesicki (11.5), Darren Waller (48.0) and Will Dissly (10.3) all to have big DraftKings hauls. Whilst Gerald Everett has done well for us at times this year, he has been out-snapped by Higbee, who has had 78% to Everett’s 67% in the last three games. 

Dan Arnold – $3500 vs Eagles

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

Two weeks ago when Dan Arnold went 2-61-2 against the Rams I told myself to stay calm and not chase the points. Last weekend he followed that up with a 2-27-1 total and forced me to take notice. The targets haven’t crept over four per game all season and it’s far from ideal to rely on touchdowns, but if you’re down to this price range in the tight end market, you’re doing it to open up plays elsewhere. Kyler Murray looked better last weekend than he has in the previous few. Putting up 244 yards, compared with the previous two weeks totalling 343 yards combined. If Kyler is turning the corner on his fitness issues and feeling able to throw the ball better again then I’ll be looking to play pieces from that offence, and none are cheaper than Arnold. If you’re looking to stack Kyler and Hopkins, adding Arnold could give you a real differential from the crowd. 

Adam Shaheen – $3300 vs Patriots

Dolphins -2.5 favourites

42.0 over/under

Adam Shaheen update:

Update: Mike Gesicki Practiced on Friday and if he plays, I would avoid this play. 

In Tua’s six starts he’s averaged 9.6 targets per game to the tight end position. Totalling 58 to Mike Gesicki, Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe. Gesicki has seen the majority of those (38) but will miss out this week due to a shoulder injury. The Patriots rank 2nd best against the position and are by no means an easy matchup, but Tua has shown a propensity to pass to the position and Gesicki led the team in red-zone targets (12). This matchup won’t be an easy one to stomach, but if you’re looking for an almost minimum price tight end, Shaheen might be the guy. 

Shauns Selections

A pretty decent day last Sunday with many of the players that I tipped up providing some nice returns on the day. Still kicking myself for going with both Chubb and Henry in the same game but even as a Browns fan that first half was beyond my wildest dreams. No such mistakes this week with a split backfield but I have stacked a couple of players this week…..


QB – Andy Dalton, $5,500 – The ginger prince returns to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals who have seemingly found reverse gear since losing Joe Burrow. Dalton has done enough against better defences for me to like the match here against a Bengals team conceding over 275 passing yards over the past 7 games stretch. They also give up plenty of big plays (more on that later) so the selection is confirmed. He will look to add to his 6 touchdowns over the past 3 contests in a game the Cowboys simply have to win to retain any small post season aspirations they may have.

Other QB’s to target – Expensive = Aaron Rodgers $7,500 / Cheap = Mike Glennon $5,100

RB – Aaron Jones, $7,600- Jones has been seemingly stuck in a timeshare with Jamal Williams for the past month but the signs are pointing towards that coming to an end. He had 75% of the carries last week including the highlight reel 77 yarder to put the game to bed. Go back to this match-up in week 2 and Jones scored 48.6 pts on the day. It may be asking a bit too much for a repeat of those dizzy numbers but the Lions rush defence is non existent so fingers crossed.

RB – J.D. McKissic, $4,900 – McKissic will see the majority of the backfield work as Antonio Gibson has unfortunately been ruled out for Washington. Against a stellar front I’m expecting plenty of dinks and dunks from Alex Smith and that is where McKissic should shine. He caught 10 balls against the Steelers and I’d imagine the plan will be rinse and repeat. He isn’t much of a threat as a pure runner and will lose carries to Peyton Barber but its hard to envisage a scenario where Washington is that far ahead that they can essentially just run clock. Expect double digit targets for J.D.J.D. McKissic 'no slouch at all' — and just a third-down RB – The AthleticScott Taesch – Getty Images

Other RB’s to target – Expensive = Derrick Henry $8,700 / Cheap = Todd Gurley $4,800


WR – Davante Adams, $9,300 – I mentioned the match-up when I talked about Aaron Jones so lets just focus on the sheer brilliance of Adams. He has found the endzone every week since week 7, registering 11 scores in that time. From a fantasy perspective he has averaged 30.8 draftkings points over that span. Just incredible numbers and he will be licking his lips about adding to those totals this week. I do like Allen Lazard here also for a cheaper price but I have the cash with this combo so why not?

WR – DK Metcalf, $8,400 – Metcalf paced the Seahawks in their disappointing showing against the Giants last week. Its a game that Seattle simply has to get back to winning ways and against a Jets team surrendering the 2nd most passing yards per game I’m betting on DK. He only has 1 touchdown over the past month but that has coincided with a downturn in Seattle’s play more so than DK dropping off. Expect a statement from the NFC West team on Sunday to quieten the critics.

WR – Michael Gallup, $3,800 – Almost the forgotten man in the Cowboys receiving room is Michael Gallup. He however registered his best weekly output since week 3 with a nice performance against the Ravens. As I mentioned earlier the Bengals give up chunk plays and Gallup could be the man to benefit. I like the price here compared to Amari Cooper ($6,500) and see him continuing his trend of progression since the return of Andy Dalton to the lineup.Davante Adams Injury Update: Will ankle injury keep him out in Week 11?Dylan Buell – Getty Images

Other WR’s to target – Expensive = AJ Brown $7,300 / Cheap = Tim Patrick $4,200


TE – Jordan Akins, $2,900 – We need a cheap flyer to afford all that wider receiver power. Akins didn’t really get the expected uptick in workload despite the turnover at the receiver position that the Texans saw last week. The matchup though is a nice one against a Chicago side that has given up 9 touchdowns to tight ends across the season. He is certainly out playing Darren Fells from a snaps and targets perspective so he is definitely the tight end to be on in Houston.

Other TE to target – Expensive = Travis Kelce $7,400. Cheap = Dalton Schultz $3,500

FLEX – Melvin Gordon, $5,200 – Gordon had his most effective day as a Broncos rusher last week. His performance alone essentially kept Sunday Night Football close. He draws a favourable contest here against a Panthers side that have conceded an average of 25.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs during the course of the season.

DST – Dallas Cowboys, $2,400 – The Cowboys defence has been steadily improving as the season has progressed and against a pedestrian Bengals attack I will take my chances.

Other D/ST to target – Its a crapshoot!Fantasy Football Week 10: Tight end stream candidatesSimon Cooper – PA Images


Good luck if you are playing in week number 14. Catch me tomorrow on the Full10 Yards NFL podcast where we will be reviewing all of the action.