If you’ve been listening to the ‘Across the Fantasy Pond Podcast’ then you know Rob and myself are mired in a weekly battle for starts/sits supremacy. Well, based on our points system we both had a rough week (in the negatives) and I trail by one point. Nevertheless, it’s a new week and time to get back on track as we navigate through the many injury obstacles ahead in Week 13 to get you set for this edition of the starts/sits column…
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins (START)
DraftKings – $6,600 / Fanduel – $8,300
It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have been ice cold defensively over the past three weeks. The defense has been abysmal since losing Sean Lee to a hamstring injury (nothing new here), giving up 817 pass yards and 7 TD’s to Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz and Philip Rivers. Oh yeah, and Kirk Cousins loves playing at AT&T Stadium. In his last two games in Dallas he’s thrown for 625 yards and 6 TD’s — I like his chances Thursday night.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (SIT)
DraftKings – $5,800 / Fanduel – $7,700
If you’re a Lions fan, then you probably held your breath last Thursday when Stafford had his ankle rolled on and was seen limping pretty badly as he hobbled to the sidelines late in the 4th quarter. Sure, he returned for the final two drives on Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure he’s going to be 100 percent on Sunday in Baltimore. I wasn’t in love with the road matchup against a Ravens defense that has given up the 2nd-fewest FP/G to opposing QB’s, while allowing just two passing TD’s in their last five games.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders (START)
DraftKings – $4,800 / Fanduel – $6,200
Lynch might have finally turned a corner last week with 111 total yards from scrimmage and finding the end zone against a stiff Broncos run defense allowing the 11th-fewest FP/G to RB’s. Now, he gets a 2-9 Giants team in complete shambles on both sides of the ball (the Eli Manning benching was a head scratcher), but the run defense especially has struggled recently. Over the past four weeks the Giants have surrendered 104 total yards and 2 TD’s to Todd Gurley, 104 total yards to Carlos Hyde, 77 total yards to Kareem Hunt (who isn’t doing that these days) and 130 total yards to Samaje Perine. The opportunity knocks for the veteran Lynch and look for the Raiders to lean on the ground game as they will be without their two starting WR’s, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans (SIT)
DraftKings – $5,600 / Fanduel – $6,200
A lot of you might be thinking ‘revenge game’ for the Titans this week after they were blown out by the Houston Texans, 57-14, in Week 4. But, not so fast. The Texans’s run defense comes to play as they have given up the 4th-fewest FP/G to opposing RB’s and have only allowed three rushing TD’s all year. Need some more convincing? The Texans have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs (Kareem Hunt).
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins (START)
DraftKings – $6,000 / Fanduel – $6,900
Crowder is becoming increasingly comfortable and built a rapport in recent weeks with Cousins — we are seeing shades of their chemistry from last season. Over the last four games he’s been targeted 42 times and rewarded his QB to the tune of 27 catches for 412 yards and a TD. Not to mention Crowder’s speed should help him flourish over the middle on Thursday as the Cowboys again expect to be without Lee at linebacker.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams (SIT)
DraftKings – $5,200 / Fanduel – $6,400
This is purely matchup based for me as Watkins will likely lineup across from All-Pro cornerback, Patrick Peterson, this Sunday. Peterson yielded 65 receiving yards to DeAndre Hopkins in Week 11 — the highest total he’s allowed to a WR all year. The Rams took advantage of the Saints without their two starting cornerbacks last week and Watkins benefited, but for me, I would look towards Cooper Kupp in your DFS lineups considering his higher upside.
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (START)
DraftKings – $4,700 / Fanduel – $5,400
This is a dream matchup for Henry this week against the Browns and I’m sure many DFS lineups will feature a combination of Rivers, Henry and Melvin Gordon. But, Henry would be my pick of the lot for the simple fact that the Browns have allowed a TE to catch a TD in four consecutive games. Plus, they’re allowing the 3rd-most FP/G to opposing TE’s and after all…they’re the Browns.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (SIT)
DraftKings – $4,500 / Fanduel – $6,000
Either TE in this game between the Vikings and Atlanta Falcons has a tough matchup this week, but I’m leaning towards benching Rudolph. The Falcons’s defense is allowing just 51.2 REC YDS/G to TE’s and have been beaten in the end zone just twice by the position this year. Case Keenum has really been gelling with his right-hand man in Adam Thielen and I think the Vikings continue to lean on the run game in this one.