Last weeks’ “Redemption Candidates” DFS article came through for you with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, Evan Engram and Julio Jones all proving pivotal for those of you who managed to win some cash with your DFS lineups and proving you can start them when the matchups are in their favor despite underperforming this season.
This week is a vital one for all of the teams currently in the hunt for the NFL playoffs. Teams such as the Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, and Pittsburgh Steelers are clinging on to a Wild Card place, with the likes of the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans and bizarrely the Cincinnati Bengals still considered ‘in the hunt’.
It’s do or die for these teams with some juicy looking match-ups ready to quench our fantasy thirsts in Week 15, but who has the best-looking fantasy days for your DraftKings or FanDuel lineups? Take a look through my must-start players in DFS for this week, why they will do well and I’ll also throw you some GPP ‘Bargain Bin’ dart throw plays to top it all off.
QB – Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – @ San Francisco 49ers – DraftKings: $6,700
Russell Wilson has had a disappointing year in general and certainly hasn’t lived up to his QB2/QB3 ADP in regular redraft leagues this season. However, amidst the poor season totals, there have been some nice games in there for the Seahawks’ signal caller.
If you throw away last week’s dismal showing against Minnesota, Wilson has only scored under 20 points twice since Week 5, and that’s without any rushing touchdowns and minimal rushing yards.
The 49ers find themselves 3rd worse against QB’s in fantasy this season when it comes to giving away receiving touchdowns (28), despite being just outside the top 10 for air yards given away. This is the perfect matchup which compliments Wilson’s 2018 campaign, pencil him in for 200 yards and 4 TD’s, with the rushing option as the ever-present upside.
RB – David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals –@ Atlanta Falcons – DraftKings: $7,100
Another player who has not lived up to expectation this season is David Johnson. There has been a lot of fundamental issues with the Cardinals offense in 2018, none more so than the lack of offensive line that has failed to open up the opportunities for D.J to explode.
That being said, there has been a couple of monster games that have shown glimpses of the explosive talent we all know and love. This week could well be one of those games. Atlanta is pitiful defending the rushing attack, but also can’t cope with pass-catching backs either. In fact, the Falcons are bottom 5 in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and fantasy points given up to running backs.
With Larry Fitzgerald being the only mainstream option in the passing attack, look for Josh Rosen to exploit the opposition’s main weakness and feed D.J a healthy amount of touches and letting him prove to NFL fans that he is still an elite talent despite the dire situation he is a part of in Arizona.
WR – Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears – vs Green Bay Packers – DraftKings: $5,500
The Bears know they are only one win away from effectively guaranteeing a playoff berth. What better way to do that than to win at Soldier Field against the old enemy from Green Bay.
Despite missing the Wednesday practice, Robinson finished off the week as a full participant and will likely be lining up come the first snap at 1pm on Sunday. This is good news for the Bears and great news for fantasy fans. The Packers are fresh off leaking a monster day to Julio Jones (who, coincidentally was in this column last week), and they now find themselves allowing the second most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season.
Robinson hasn’t moved mountains since his off-season switch to Chicago, but he has been fantasy relevant with Mitch Trubisky under center. The floor when Trubisky is QB is around the 10 point mark, meaning if he is able to take advantage of this plus matchup and find the endzone this week as I am predicting, Robinson could well be in for a top 5 day.
TE – Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders – @ Cincinnati Bengals – DraftKings: $5,600
Man, it does not feel good writing about this game. But here’s the skinny – Jared Cook is actually good. So good in fact, he is the TE 5 in PPR scoring this season. Hard to believe, isn’t it. The fact remains though, with the loss of Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, and Martavis Bryant through different circumstances in the last calendar year, someone needed to be the guy in Oakland.
Cook has proven to be that man and finds himself the most consistent performer in Silver and Black this season. He’s not scored under 10 fantasy points since Week 9 in the scary looking tight end landscape of 2018 and that trend looks to continue this week in Cincinnati.
The Bengals give up the third most points per game to tight ends and have seen the position score 8 times this season. In the last four weeks, Cook has amassed 19 receptions for 279 yards and 3 TDs – I expect those numbers to continue to rise during this tasteless matchup of the underperformers class of 2018 and for Cook to once again be the shining light for Jon Gruden.
Bargain Bin Dart Throws
QB – Cody Kessler, Jacksonville Jaguars – vs Washington Redskins – DraftKings: $4,700
I just threw up a little in my mouth, excuse me. Statistically, though, this could be a nice day for the new starting QB of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Washington has seemingly self-imploded since losing both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, along with Paul Richardson and now Jordan Reed.
Not to mention a plethora of defensive players currently carrying the ‘Q’ designation including linebackers Ryan Anderson, Tony Bergstrom, and lineman Matt Ioannidis. The Redskins are in the top 10 of giving up both yards and fantasy points to opposing QB’s, as well as coming off that thumping at home to the Giants last week. The ‘Skins are waving the white flag and Kessler could legitimately be fantasy relevant and a cheap addition for your DFS lineups.
RB – Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens –vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DraftKings: $4,400
Despite ‘sicknote’ Kenneth Dixon getting the most productive work last weekend in Kansas City, Edwards still saw 16 carries for 67 yards. Over the last 4 games, that was by far his fewest, after 115, 118 and 82 in weeks 12, 13 and 14 respectively.
Just because Dixon found the paint last week doesn’t deter me from selecting Edwards this week and calling him the RB1 in Baltimore. I expect ‘Gus Bus’ to be a top performer this week as he faces a lackluster Bucs defense, currently giving away 30.8 DK points to running backs per week. $4,400 is a proper bargain.
WR – Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers –DraftKings: $3,900
Not only have the Bucs been bad against running backs this season, but they have also been woeful against slot receivers. Playing the slot guy against the Bucs each week has almost been a cheat code in DFS and it’s no different this week.
Snead has flown under the radar this season but has one of the safest floors in the position. It’s the TD’s, or lack of, which have proven to be the difference between him being a flex consideration week to week and an out and out starter. There has only been 4 weeks in the season where he has scored under 10 PPR points – Weeks 3, 7, 12 and 13. This could well be Sneads’ most productive game of the season and will allow you to spend more on the studs.
TE – Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – vs Miami Dolphins – DraftKings: $3,500
The tight end position is a dart throw in general after the top 5-6 players. That’s exactly what the 2 x Pro Bowler is in Minnesota is this season. He has not had the best of seasons, in fact, it’s likely the worst of his 8-year career to date.
He hasn’t found the endzone or scored over 10 PPR points since week 3, but he’s facing a Miami Dolphins defense that has given away the joint most touchdowns to tight ends this season. If you want a cheap option with a glimmer of TD upside whilst spending more on the bigger positions, Rudolph might be the best of a bad bunch.
by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller