by Byron Hamilton
Looking back at last week we saw quite a few big time performances from the top tier running backs and quarterbacks. Most of the winning lineups had some sort of combination of Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers and Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson. The main component that was relatively under the radar was Rob Kelley. He was a little over 5% owned and put up a whopping 34 points in Draft Kings. Rashad Jennings was another running back that boosted only 2.5% of lineups with his almost 24 point performance as well. We’ll take a look around the league this week to see if we can pick out some of the guys that’ll help you win some cash.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Value – $7,300
Man, did Big Ben fall flat on his face last week or what? He only managed to throw for 167 yards against one of the worst defenses in the league, which wouldn’t be so surprising if he hadn’t thrown the ball 36 times. The Steelers fed Le’Veon Bell 28 carries and seemed content to let their star running back do all the heavy lifting. I think Roethlisberger has a good shot to bounce back this week against Indianapolis. The Colts defense ranks second to last in the league against opposing quarterbacks and has allowed fewer than 22 points just twice this season.
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $6,700
Russell Wilson is developing a habit of starting the year off slow before exploding down the home stretch of the season. He has now put up over 25 fantasy points the last three games. Prior to week nine, there was only one other game where Wilson surpassed the 25 point mark. He looks to have recovered from the nagging injuries that plagued him earlier in the season and has finally gained his mobility back. His performance last week against the Eagles was bolstered by a receiving touchdown from Doug Baldwin, but Wilson should find a lot more room to operate this week against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are 28th against the quarterback position and are prone to giving up a significant amount of points. I think Wilson could finish as a top 3-5 fantasy quarterback this week, and he’s a steal at his asking price.
Eli Manning – New York Giants
Value – $6,500
The other Manning has been incredibly inconsistent this season, and it’s been hard for me to endorse him much due to his shaky play. Eli has posted three straight games of more than 220 yards passing and two or more touchdowns, which is something he hasn’t accomplished all season. If there’s a game where he has my blessing it has to be this week against the hapless Browns. Cleveland is simply an all around bad football team that given up 25 or more points in every game this season besides against Pittsburgh last week. At only $6,500 Manning has a solid floor and high ceiling.
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,100
I’ll admit as a Derek Carr owner in a few leagues I was yelling at my television Monday night. Carr wasn’t playing poorly, but his receivers were dropping passes and were not able to get a sustained drive going. Then Carr went off in the second half and all was well with the world as he finished with 295 yards and three touchdowns. Carr and his receivers will have a more advantageous matchup this week against a Carolina defense that has struggled against the pass this season. The Panthers are ranked 25th in the league against opposing quarterbacks and are prone to giving up points to high powered passing offenses. Carr is a relatively cheap option this week with a lot of upside.
Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $5,700
I have to admit I’ve been pretty surprised by Colin Kaepernick. Sure, the 49ers still suck and Kaepernick isn’t exactly rewriting the history books in San Francisco this season. However, he’s put his team in a much better position than I think Blaine Gabbert could of done, and he’s been surprisingly serviceable from a fantasy perspective. He’s thrown for more than 200 yards in each of the last three games and has six total touchdowns. His ability to scramble and gain yards on the ground also gives him an added layer of value. Kaepernick will face a middle of the pack defense on the road in the Dolphins this week, but Miami has given up 22 or more points in six games this season. He’s a cheap option with a floor of around 20 points. That’s solid value that will free up cash at other positions.
Rashad Jennings – New York Giants
Value – $5,600
Just a couple short weeks ago we were discussing when Paul Perkins was going to overtake Rashad Jennings for the starting running back job in the Giants offense. After Jennings posted season highs in carries, total yards, and most importantly fantasy points I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. Jennings flew under the radar and was under 3% started in most fantasy tournaments I played in. That won’t likely be the case this week against the Browns. Cleveland is the 30th ranked defense against running backs, and the Giants shouldn’t have much trouble moving the ball against them. He’s extremely affordable at only $5,600 and should put up solid numbers once again.
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $8,900
David Johnson is the best running back in fantasy football and is averaging nearly 27 points per game. He happens to face the 31st ranked defense against running backs this week in the Falcons. Don’t overthink it.
Rob Kelley – Washington Redskins
Value – $4,300
Fat Rob was the man on Sunday night, and it’s clear why the Redskins chose to bench Matt Jones in favor of the rookie. Also, can I just say it makes me happy that I have the opportunity to write the words Fat Rob in a fantasy football column? I’m not sure why. Either way, Kelley was a wrecking ball against the Packers and finished the night with 24 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns. That is the third straight game the rookie has seen over 20 carries, and he has over 85 yards rushing in each contest. He’ll have a more difficult matchup this week against an improved Cowboys defense that ranks in the top five against running backs. His usage rate and price tag are enough to roll him out again this week though.
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams
Value – $5,700
Gurley’s price has finally dropped to a point where I feel comfortable giving him a look in daily fantasy leagues. After starting the year near the $8,000 mark, last year’s standout rookie has plummeted as the season has wore on and hit a low point last week of only $5,000. I see Gurley getting plenty of opportunities this week with Jared Goff making his second appearance after being selected by the Rams first overall in the draft. He’s seen over 20 carries in the last two games and should stay busy again this week against a soft Saints defense. You have to assume the Rams will want to control the clock and run the ball as much as possible to keep Drew Brees off the field. If that’s the case Gurley very well could have his best game of the season.
Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $4,200
I still can’t get over how bad the Jaguars are this season after all of the preseason hype surrounding this team. Blake Bortles has thrown a pass off of his own teammate’s in each of the last two games for crying out loud. Either way as long as the Jags are still playing football there will still be players to keep an eye on. Ivory is that guy for me this week. TJ Yeldon suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, and his status for the matchup against the Bulls is uncertain. If he can’t play I think his counterpart in the backfield is a sneaky play this week. Ivory only gained 37 yards on 17 carries, but he was able to snag six catches in route to 75 yards through the air. Somebody on this team has to carry the ball, so I’ll roll the dice with the former Jet this week in a lineup or two.
Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Value – $7,700
Remember earlier when I mentioned Derek Carr had nearly 300 passing yards on Monday night? Well I left off the part about Amari Cooper only having 57 receiving yards. His day was salvaged with a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Cooper was only targeted five times and has been relatively quiet over the last couple of weeks. I think this is the week he gets back on track. He’s been an up and down player all season and has a season high fantasy point total of over 38 points with a season low of just 6.9 points. Cooper will have the luxury of facing an exploitable Panthers secondary that boasts a strong run defense, which means we see should Derek Carr throwing the all quite a bit. Cooper is a little pricey given his recent fantasy production, but I see him bouncing back in a big way this week.
Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,700
You know what cures a lackluster fantasy day for a wide receiver? Facing an Oakland Raiders defense that’s playing on a short week after just allowing Brock Osweiler to throw for 243 yards. Cam Newton has been inconsistent at best this season, but I think he’ll find room to move the back through the air this week. Benjamin hasn’t been the model of consistency either, but he’s coming off his third worst performance this season. He was targeted only four times last week against the Saints and caught three passes for 56 yards. His fantasy production is obviously directly related to how well Cam plays, and I think both players could get back on track this week against a Saints defense that has been very friendly to opposing offenses this season.
Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $6,400
I considered putting Baldwin in my Steal of the Week section, but he’s ventured just a tad bit out of that price range. This happened last year with the Seahawks. Both Wilson and Baldwin were fairly decent throughout the season, then they absolutely exploded. Baldwin now has back to back games of 22 fantasy points or more and happens to face the Buccaneers this week. My six year old daughter could throw for 200 yards against this defense, so I expect big things from Russell Wilson this week. Baldwin is still extremely affordable considering his upside, and I’ll probably be plugging him into most of my lineups this week.
Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins
Value – $5,800
I really like this kid. He saw some success in his rookie season last year and has continued to entrench himself as one of if not the go to guy in the Redskins passing attack. He’s posted six straight performances of either 100 yards receiving or a touchdown. Crowder is also involved in Washington’s special teams as a return man, so there’s an added benefit considering he’s returned one punt for a touchdown this season back in week five. Kirk Cousins has played at a very high level lately and is essentially using this season as a long term tryout to become the Redskins quarterback moving forward. Washington will face off against Dallas on Thanksgiving in what should be a very competitive game. While the Cowboys have improved defensively, they’re still prone to giving up points to receivers and rank 25th in the league against the position. Crowder has been a consistent source of fantasy production and is still priced under the $6,000 mark. I’m in.
Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Value – $5,900
This one may seem like a cop out considering the name value, but if you look at Jarvis Landry’s numbers it’s clear that he’s not the elite receiver this season many thought he would be. Landry hasn’t posted more than 20 fantasy points since week three and has only one game since then where he has scored more than 15 points. To say he’s been disappointing up to this point in the season would be an understatement. However, Landry faces an 1-8 49ers team this week that will be trotting out a defense that is ranked second to last against wide receivers this year. His recent performances have been lackluster at best, but Landry has a shot to put up solid numbers at his price point.
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
Value – $5,800
Greg Olsen has been a fantasy staple for what seems like an eternity. The veteran tight end has consistently been a dependable source of fantasy production at his position. Unfortunately, Cam Newton’s regression has left his tight end hanging over the last few weeks. Over the last four weeks Olsen has scored more than 9 points in Draft Kings scoring just one time. Similar to Kelvin Benjamin, I think the veteran gets back on track this week. The Raiders were notorious for giving up lots of yards to tight ends last season, and that trend has continued as Oakland is 24th in the league against the position. Again, Olsen’s production is entirely based on Cam having a decent day. If they don’t put something together this week I think you can scrap the Panthers offense for the rest of the season.
Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $5,300
Jimmy Graham is finally putting together a strong season for the first time since joining the Seahawks. He already has more fantasy points so far this season than he did in all of 2015, and he looks to have recovered from the injuries that plagued him last year. In case you haven’t noticed, I like the Seahawks this week with Russell Wilson finally playing at the level we saw last season. Graham is one of the pricier tight ends this week, but I think he’s well worth the investment against a soft Tampa Bay defense.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $3,700
After a four game stretch in which Ertz was essentially a non-factor, he seems to be reconnecting with his rookie quarterback. In weeks five through eight Ertz scored a combined 18.2 fantasy points and was only targeted by Carson Wentz a total of 13 times. Over the last three games we’ve seen his point total jump up to 44.7 points and his targets increase to 26. The Eagles will face a Packers defense that is allowing over 38 points per game over the last four weeks and is ranked 25th against tight ends. Ertz will only cost you $3,700, and I think he’s a solid option this week.
CJ Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans
Value – $3,300
Fiedorowicz has become one of Brock Osweiler’s most reliable receivers in the Texans offense. His numbers aren’t flashy, but he’s put up anywhere between 10 to 20 fantasy points in five out of the last seven games. That’s consistent production considering Fiedorowicz hasn’t been priced over $3,500 yet this season. The Chargers are ranked 11th against tight ends, which is respectable. However, they have a tendency to give up a lot of points and Osweiler has shown a lot of trust in his tight end.
Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $3,200
I keep waiting for Pitta to be in a situation where his price tag and matchup make sense, and I think it could happen this week. Pitta hasn’t scored more than 10 fantasy points since week five despite being targeted five or more times in all but one game over that stretch. He’ll face off against the Bengals this week who are second to the last in the league against the tight end position. Pitta’s $3,200 asking price is the lowest we’ve seen since his big 22 point performance back in week two against the Browns. He’s worth a flier this week if you’re willing to take the risk.
Who I’m Stacking:
Ben Roethlisberger/Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers
Total Value – $16,300
I don’t usually stack quarterbacks and running backs, but it makes sense in this situation. Bell has no less than nine targets over the last four weeks and is one of the best pass catching running backs in the league. Big Ben looks his way early and often, and the superstar running back even has a tendency to lineup in the slot in passing situations. This one is a little pricey, but I love Pittsburgh’s matchup this week. The Colts will likely be without Andrew Luck, and Roethlisberger will want to make a statement after coming off a terrible game against the Cleveland Browns.
Marcus Mariota/Rishard Matthews – Tennessee Titans
Total Value – $13,000
I almost feel like this could turn out to be a trap game for the Titans, but both of these guys have been too good to ignore. Mariota is riding a three game hot streak in which he has scored 10 touchdowns and has no less than 22 fantasy points over that stretch. Matthews is without a doubt the go to receiver in this offense and has at least 60 yards receiving with three touchdowns over the same three game stretch. The Bears secondary has been decent, but I don’t see them being able to score many points which favors Demarco Murray more than anyone. However, $13,000 is a solid price to pay for two of the hottest players in fantasy over recent weeks.
Carson Palmer/Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
Total Value – $12,300
Carson Palmer has been entirely unreliable from a fantasy perspective this season, which is reflected in his $5,300 asking price. For reference, $5,000 is the minimum price at the quarterback position which makes Palmer only $300 higher than Matt Cassell and Landry Jones. That being said, Palmer did put up two decent games against Carolina and San Francisco back in weeks eight and ten. I refuse to think he’s forgotten how to play football, and I think we’re looking at a potential shootout against an Atlanta team that has proven to be weak against the pass. Larry Fitzgerald is the obvious choice to stack here, but I also like pairing Palmer with David Johnson if you can afford it.
Steal of the Week:
Lamar Miller – Houston Texans
Value – $5,800
I know Miller has been inconsistent, but the guy is coming off a game where he just rushed for over 100 yards and scored a touchdownon on 24 carries. The last time he received 24 carries was back in week six against the Colts when he racked up 149 yards and a touchdown. I can’t imagine the Texans will want Osweiler slinging the ball around and will want to lean on the running game. Miller faces a Chargers defense at home that’s ranked 28th in the league against running backs. There’s a lot to like here at a discount.
I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it each week. I’m truly passionate about fantasy football and love any opportunity to share my opinions with you. As always, hit us up @No_HuddleFFB on Twitter for any questions you might have. Get rich this week!!!