Most Fantasy Football players in seasonal leagues are kicking off their playoffs this weekend, as their season starts to wind down. For DFS players, there are still four solid weeks of the regular season, and that means plenty of time to make money.
If you trust Vegas, they’re expecting defensive struggles in the San Francisco-Cleveland game, as well as the Detroit-St. Louis battle. Those two games, as well as the Seattle-Baltimore game, have totals set at 40-41 points. That means, of course, that the sharps are expecting low-scoring games, and that means low Fantasy production as well.
On the flip side, the linemakers have totals between 50-51 points set for the New Orleans-Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh-Cincinnati divisional battles. Those games will be very popular for DFS owners.
For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville ($6,000 vs. IND): Last week, Bortles toasted the Titans’ pass defense, which ranks seventh in the NFL. He compiled 322 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, finishing with a season-best 35.78 Fantasy points. He has back-to-back 300-yard games, and now he faces a Colts pass defense that will be without LB Erik Walden and CB Greg Toler. That will make things interesting for Bortles, especially since the Colts have given up a league-high 54 pass plays of 20 or more yards.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville ($8,000 vs. IND): Robinson has emerged as a superstar Fantasy option, posting 11 touchdowns, including a career-best three last weekend in Tennessee. He has five or more receptions in each of his past eight games, and he has failed to score just two times since Week 4. Use the Bortles-Robinson combination against a suspect Indianapolis secondary missing a key member in Toler.
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas ($5,000 at GB): If the Cowboys are going to have any measure of success, following up their big win on Monday night in Washington, they will need to run the ball. Green Bay ranks 20th in the NFL against the rush, allowing 111.8 yards per game and 10 rushing touchdowns. The Packers have also yielded eight runs of 20 or more yards, so the big-play potential is there for McFadden.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami ($5,200 vs. NYG – Mon.): Tannehill will face a New York Giants pass defense that ranks last in the NFL, allowing 314.5 yards per game. That’s 27.2 yards more per game than any other club, while also allowing 22 pass touchdowns with an opposing QB rating of 93.9. In addition, the G-Men have been dinged for 49 pass plays of 20 or more yards, third-most in the league.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay ($5,500 vs. NO): Winston and the Bucs welcome the New Orleans Saints into town in Week 14. The Saints’ pass defense has been a train wreck this season, giving up a league-high 35 passing touchdowns, which is seven more than any other team, and 10 more than 30 others. Winston recorded his first-career victory in New Orleans in Week 2, throwing for 207 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score. He posted 19.58 Fantasy points that week, and that’s exactly what he did last week against Atlanta. He is generally good for 18-21 Fantasy points per outings, and against the Saints he has the possibility of going for way more.
BARGAIN BIN VALUES AND CONTRARIAN PLAYS
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay ($2,500 vs. NO): If you really want to punt the tight end position and free up salary to use elsewhere, Brate is worth a roll of the dice. He is cheap, but could easily exceed his Fantasy salary if he does what he has been doing in the past three games. During the span he has 10 receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns, posting 13.7 or more Fantasy points in two of the games. The Saints are one of three NFL teams to allow 10 or more touchdowns to opposing tight ends while allowing a league-high 1,016 yards.
Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco ($4,800 at CLE): Draughn has established himself as the top dog in the Frisco backfield, posting 13.6 or more Fantasy points in each of his past four games. Not only is he productive running the ball, but he sees plenty of targets out of the backfield, too. In fact, he has 22 receptions during the span. Draughn might have a chip on his shoulder Sunday, too, as he was waived by the Browns back in late October.
San Francisco 49ers Defense/Special Teams ($2,100 at CLE): The 49ers will be facing a mistake-prone Cleveland Browns offense with their third different starting quarterback in as many weeks. While QB Johnny Manziel is arguably the most talented of the trio, he has tossed two interceptions and lost three fumbles in his previous starts. The 49ers will bring the house with several blitz packages trying to confuse the brash signal caller. It should lead to at least an interception or two and a lost fumble as well as, perhaps, a defensive score.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami ($6,300 vs. NYG – Mon.): Landry disappeared last week against Baltimore, posting just two receptions for five yards. As such, his ownership is likely to be way down. As mentioned, the Giants are horrible against the pass. Toss in the fact Landry will be trying to outshine Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., a fellow LSU alum, and Landry could be in for a strong game – and you might have him all to yourself.
Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville ($4,200 vs. IND): Thomas is finally healthy after missing games early in the season, and he has found the end zone in each of the past three games, developing quite the rapport with Bortles. He has been targeted 23 times in the past three games, and he is a great mid-level DFS option.