We had a solid outing last week and were able to piece together a winning lineup from the players that were suggested. While Jimmy Garoppolo and Marquise Goodwin stack didn’t put up huge points, it was a cheap pairing that allowed you to spend more money at other positions. Phillip Rivers continued to dominate, Alex Collins looks like Baltimore’s answer at running back, and most of our wide receivers had respectable stat lines. There are some great games on the slate this week, so let’s dive right in and make some money!
Side note: the values and scoring we use are from Draft Kings. I prefer them for two reasons. They utilize PPR scoring and have an additional flex spot on the roster with no kickers. Everyone hates kickers.
Phillip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $7,200
Phillip Rivers continues to shine down the final stretch of the season. The veteran threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins last week, which is the third consecutive game he’s thrown for over 300 yards. What’s also been impressive is the lack of turnovers Rivers has committed lately as he has thrown ten touchdowns in the last five games with only one interception. He’s a solid play once again this week against a Chiefs defense that has struggled mightily against quarterbacks this season.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Value – $6,700
Big Ben is probably my favorite quarterback on the slate this week. This matchup has the feel of a shootout, and Roethlisberger has been incredible at home as of late. Big Ben threw for a whopping 506 yards and completed two touchdown passes against a stingy Baltimore defense last week, which makes me think he has a chance to have a field day against a Patriots secondary that just let Jay Cutler pick them apart last Monday night. Considering all of the weapons this offense has, Roethlisberger has all of the tools he needs to fill the stat sheet this week.
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,400
It’s felt like a true gamble when you play Cam Newton this season. It feels like this guy has the potential to put up 30 points one week and 12 the next, which is evident when you look at the numbers. Newton has thrown for more than 190 yards just once in the last six games. However, his running ability has proven useful as the former MVP has put up 20 points or more in three games during that span. On paper this matchup against the Packers makes Cam a solid start this week. The anomaly here will be Aaron Rodgers if he suits up. If that happens and this game becomes a shootout, then we could see Cam Newton shine. He’s a risk with a lot of upside.
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $5,700
I feel dirty just typing out the name, but when you look at the numbers Bortles has been surprisingly consistent over the last few weeks. Jacksonville was rolling to start the season with Leonard Fournette, but the running game has stalled a bit in recent weeks. We’ve seen Bortles throw for multiple touchdowns in back to back games for the first time this season, and he even scored a pair of rushing touchdowns against Arizona in week 12. The advantage here is that the Texans have been decent against the run this season, but have been vulnerable against the pass. With the emergence of Dede Westbrook combined with Marquis Lee, the Jaguars have the weapons to move the ball through the air. Don’t be shocked if Bortles continues this little hot streak he’s on.
Hail Mary play:
Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $5,500
What a terrible end to Carson Wentz’s breakout season. The second year quarterback was playing at an incredibly high level in his second year but is now done for the season due to an ACL tear. It’s the next man up for the Eagles, and they could do worse than having Nick Foles has their backup. Foles was once a starter and earned big money in the league before falling into obscurity. This is a complete dart throw considering the limited sample size we’ve seen from Foles this season. However, he’s a capable passer with a lot of weapons that is facing a below average defense this week. He could pay off big time at his price point.
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
Value – $8,400
Out of all the top tier running backs, LeSean McCoy may be my favorite one this week. Although last week’s matchup against the Colts was played in what seemed like a foot of snow, Shady posted a season high 156 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 32 carries. I’m don’t necessarily think he sees that many touches again this week against the Dolphins, but the Bills clearly want to be feeding McCoy the ball as often as possible . He also has an advantageous matchup in the 24th ranked run defense of the Miami Dolphins.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
Value – $6,900
I’ll admit I wasn’t on the Jordan Howard train last week. After rushing for just 44 yards on 20 carries in the last two games combined, I just didn’t see him doing much against a decent Bengals defense. I was obviously mistaken as Howard posted his second highest fantasy total of the season with 147 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. He touched the ball more last week than in any contest since week eight and showed what he’s capable of when given the opportunity. I’m willing to roll the dice on him again this week as the Bears face a beatable Lions rush defense.
Rex Burkhead – New England Patriots
Value – $6,400
I suppose it’s time to accept that Rex Burkhead is a thing. After a mostly quiet season, the former Bengal is now a focal point in New England’s rushing attack. He only carried the ball five times and gained eight yards against the Dolphins on Monday night, but he was able to score his fifth touchdown in the last three games. I expect this week’s matchup against the Steelers to be a slugfest, and Pittsburgh has been soft against opposing running backs often this season. Now that I’m in on Burkhead watch him fall flat on his face.
Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins
Value – 5,800
Jay Ajayi who? After Miami shipped Ajayi off to Philadelphia we were left wondering who would be the featured running back in this backfield. After the last two weeks there is no doubt that Kenyan Drake is their guy. He now has back to back games with over 110 rushing yards and tore apart the Patriots for 193 total yards last week. The fact that he’s only $5,800 is a little surprising, but I’ll take that sort of production at a discount. Drake should be able to continue his dominance against a Bills defense that next to last in the league against running backs.
Hail Mary play:
Jay Ajayi – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $5,000
What a blow for the Eagles losing Carson Wentz. This team was a legit Super Bowl contender, and having your starting quarterback go down with an injury this late in the season is just unfortunate. Jay Ajayi had 78 yards last week against the Rams, and his 15 carries were the most he’s seen in an Eagles uniform. Considering the loss of Wentz, I can only assume Philadelphia will want to run the ball to keep the pressure off of Nick Foles. If that turns out to be the case, then Ajayi could be utilized more than what we’ve seen over the last several weeks. There’s no doubting his talent. He just needs the opportunity to show this team what he can do when given a full workload.
Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $8,300
Keenan Allen has been absolutely dominant down the final stretch of the season, and I’m riding this train until it falls off the tracks. The veteran receiver now has over 100 yards in each of the last four games, which brings his total up to 39 receptions for 547 yards and four touchdowns over that span. Phillip Rivers is playing at a very high level and only has eyes for Keenan Allen. He’s a lock against the Chiefs this week.
Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
Matchup – New York Jets
While Michael Thomas has been consistent throughout the season, we’ve not really seen him dominate many games this season. However, he is coming off his best game of the season after scorching Atlanta for ten receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Thomas has double digit points in all but two games this season, so he’s basically guaranteed to score you at least ten points. I’m expecting a good deal more than that this week, however, as the Saints face a shaky Jets secondary at home.
Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,600
Carolina needed someone to step up after the departure of Kelvin Benjamin, and Devin Funchess has answered the call. He’s not had fewer than 13 fantasy points in the last five games and has found the end zone four times over that span. If Aaron Rodgers does in fact make a comeback this week, then we could be in for a shootout in Carolina. If that happens I’d expect Funchess to be heavily involved. He should be able to continue his little hot streak and is an affordable option this week.
Dede Westbrook – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $5,100
Dede Westbrook had quietly been gaining steam as he was targeted 19 times in two games heading into last week’s matchup with the Seahawks. All that attention turned into the biggest game of the rookie’s young career as he hauled in five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Jacksonville’s passing game is suddenly clicking, which should bode well for them heading into this week’s matchup with the Texans at home. Westbrook is a steal if he continues to see attention from Blake Bortles.
Hail Mary play:
Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Value – $6,300
Let’s go! Jordy Nelson has been an afterthought for Brett Hundley, who seemed to only have eyes for Davante Adams. When Rodgers is healthy Nelson is his favorite target, which is apparent when you look at the numbers. Jordy had six touchdowns through the first five games of the season before plummeting into obscurity with Hundley under center. With Rodgers back this week it gives a clear boost to his number one target. Let’s just hope that Rodgers doesn’t have too much rust from not playing for so long.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $6,000
This one is going to be a coin flip this week. Zach Ertz has been dominant when he’s been healthy this season and is the third highest scoring player at his position. The obvious issue here is we don’t know what this offense is going to look like with Nick Foles under center. We do know that he’s shown flashes and can be a competent quarterback when the situation is right. At the very least he should be able to lean on his tight end as a security blanket. Ertz’s price tag is the lowest it’s been since week three, so if he can click with Foles you’ll get solid production at a discount.
Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $5,200
While Jack Doyle has certainly struggled at times, it’s worth noting the he is still inside the top ten in terms of fantasy points per game at the tight end position. Jacoby Brissett has simply been unable to find his tight end in some games, but I’m deploying a strategy this week that’s paid off at times this season. The Broncos don’t have many weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball. However, one area of opportunity that the Colts have is the fact that Denver is 28th in the league against tight ends. If Doyle can rack up 50-60 yards and find the end zone, then that justifies his price tag this week.
Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $4,900
Seriously, what in the hell happened last week. Jimmy Graham has been incredibly consistent this season and had double digit points in every game since the second week of the season heading into the matchup against Jacksonville. And then poof, he disappeared. I actually had to double check to see if he’d been injured. Graham was targeted only two times and failed to record a single catch. I’m chalking this up as just a bad game for Seattle’s offense. That performance has caused Graham’s price to drop below $5,000 for the first time since week eight, and I’m pouncing on him considering the matchup against the Rams has the feel of a high scoring game. Jimmy Graham will be in the majority of my lineups this week.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $4,700
Kyle Rudolph is finally coming alive down the final stretch of the season. This guy was a dominant force in the red zone last year, but he struggled to connect with Case Keenum early on. However, the hulking tight end has now scored four touchdowns in the last three games and has double digit points in five out of the last six weeks. This matchup against the Bengals at home is particularly inviting when you consider Cincinnati’s defense is ranked 26th against tight ends.
Hail Mary play:
OJ Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $3,000
I think Cameron Brate’s days as the top receiving tight end for Tampa Bay may be numbered. We all assumed that would be the case, but OJ Howard has slowly been getting more involved in the offense down the stretch. The rookie has three games with at least 50 receiving yards in the last four weeks and finished the day with four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Lions last week. He doesn’t have the greatest matchup as the Falcons are in the top 12 against tight ends. However, he’s worth the risk considering the uptick in his usage rate.
Who I’m Stacking:
Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $12,900
It seems like Dak Prescott is finally learning to be effective without Ezekiel Elliott on the field. Prescott looked borderline unstoppable in the first half of the season. All that changed after Zeke’s suspension was finally upheld when the second year quarterback had a four game stretch where he failed to throw more than 180 yards in any contest and had eight turnovers to just three touchdowns. Prescott seemingly is getting back on track as he dissected the Giants secondary for 332 yards and three touchdowns last week. Dez Bryant has also come alive in the last two games has he’s caught eight passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Oakland’s defense can be exploited, and I’m banking on the fact the Dak and Dez have finally found their footing after some poor performances.
Jimmy Garoppolo/Marquise Goodwin – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $12,300
This one worked well last week, so we’ll give it another shot. The downside here is both Garoppolo and Goodwin saw a big jump in price, so this pairing isn’t the bargain it was last week. Still, Goodwin is the clear number one receiver under Garoppolo as he was targeted 12 times last week and caught six of them for 106 yards. Jimmy G has also improved his performances in each week as the starter and threw for 334 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Texans. Tennessee’s secondary should be a little more formidable than what the 49ers faced last week, but I’m hoping Garoppolo can continue to improve at home.
Hail Mary play:
Joe Flacco/Mike Wallace – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $9,800
Don’t look now, but Joe Flacco is finally looking like the type of player that Baltimore spent big money on after the team’s last Super Bowl win. He’s not been flashy, but Flacco has thrown for 269 yards in back to back games and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in consecutive weeks for the first time this season. While Jeremy Maclin has been peppered with targets, I think Mike Wallace is the wide receiver to go with here. The veteran has back to back games with 70 yards or more and is Flacco’s favorite target deep down the field. The matchup this week against the Browns is inviting, so if this duo can put up around 30-40 points it’s a huge win considering how inexpensive they are.
Steal of the Week:
Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $5,000
I honestly don’t understand why Alex Collins is so cheap this week. This guy has scored five touchdowns in four weeks and has rushed for 195 yards in the last two games. He’s seen at least 15 carries in each contest since week nine and is the clear featured running back for the Ravens. While Danny Woodhead and Buck Allen have stolen some touches, it’s clear that Baltimore is going to lean heavily on Collins to keep pressure off Joe Flacco. Combine that with the fact that he faces the Browns this week, and I’m all in on Alex Collins at only $5,000.
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!!!