DFS Gut Plays week 19 2017

By JJ Buck
JJ Buck >Just like Blake Bortles surviving and getting another chance to change his narrative this weekend, gut plays gets a chance to evolve through the playoffs. Fewer players and games means we have to address all the possible outcomes. I will rank players and then give my thoughts on Draft Kings, Yahoo Sports and Fan Duel scoring. The beauty of DFS is there is always another chance to make it a memorable weekend.


1. Tom Brady – New England – (DK $7,000 – YS $41 – FD $8,800)

Alex Smith threw for 231 yards in the first half against the Titans and you know Brady won’t have a second half let down. Selecting the highest priced QB across the board still provides plenty of lineup opportunities thanks to some value at running back.

2. Drew Brees – New Orleans – (DK $6,300 – YS $41 – FD 8,100)

The Saints are the most balanced team left in the playoffs because Drew Brees is the most underrated quarterback of the last decade. Carolina stuffed the Saints dynamic run game and all Brees did was drop 376-2 while completing 69-percent of his passes. The Vikings had the league’s second best rush defense (83.6 yards) and we could see a game similar to last week where Brees will need to open it up down field.

3. Case Keenum – Minnesota – (DK $6,100 – YS $29 – FD $7,600)

It’ll be tough to go back 18 weeks and take a lot from the Saints-Vikings week one matchup, especially since Keenum was not the starting QB for Minnesota at that time. The Vikings didn’t need much from him the last three weeks of the season. This weekend he’ll need to reignite the Adam Theilen connection (who did go 9-157 week one) and Kyle Rudolph should be a bigger factor after two weeks to rest his ankle.

4. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee – (DK $5,900 – YS $28 – FD $7,500)

Delanie Walker spoke up prior to their Wild Card game saying that sometimes you have to play backyard football. That was a reference to Mariota using all the tools he has available. The last two weeks, game against Jacksonville and Kansas City, Mariota ran for 60 and 48 yards. He’ll need to use his legs plus take shots even as the Titans want to ground and pound this game to take air out of the ball.

5. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh – (DK $6,200 – YS $34 – FD $8,000)

He’s facing the toughest matchup on paper and we know all about the five interceptions he threw last time the Jags’ came to town. The one thing we know is no matter what’s happening the Steelers will dial up the pass. Antonio Brown is on track to return from his calf injury giving the Steelers three solid targets to attack the Jags’ secondary with help from that dude in the backfield.

6. Matt Ryan – Atlanta – (DK $5,700 – YS $24 FD $8,000)

Ryan only scored 13.22 fantasy points last week as he did what was needed to win on the road; no turnovers and he completed 21-of-28 attempts. The Eagles found themselves in two shootouts (@ LAR, @NYG) in the final four weeks of the season and there’s always to potential for a big day thanks to Julio Jones. That said I think the ceiling is limited, but there could a solid floor here to load up on skill players in lineups on DK/YS with Ryan at QB.

7. Nick Foles – Philadelphia – (DK $5,200 – YS $20 – FD $7,100)

There are no limitations on the offense as he attempted 38 passes in his first two starts. Foles is the perfect backup QB; he has his moments, but struggles in the long run. If you’re messing around with lineups featuring these last two at QB, I lean Foles.

8. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville – (DK $5,000 – YS $30 – FD $7,100)

Tony Romo made it sound like Bortles was throwing in a hurricane last weekend. We have to balance real life and fantasy football; Bortles can salvage the day with his legs. But I am having a hard time talking myself into how he makes sense this weekend, especially on YS.

Running Backs

1. Dion Lewis – New England – (DK $6,600 – YS $22 – FD $7,600)

How are we still getting Lewis at this price? Injuries are still hampering the rest of the Patriots running backs; he’s locked into a #1 work load and has performed all season long. Click it and forget it.

2. Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh – (DK $9,600 – YS $40 – FD $9,400)

Bell is the highest priced back across the board and should be the focal point of their offense this weekend. He caught all 10 targets in the first meeting against the Jags’ and Jacksonville isn’t a rush defense that presents a fade approach. Over their last three games (@ SF, @ TEN, vs. BUF) the Jags’ gave up 131, 116 and 130 rush yards.

3. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans – (DK $7,800 – YS $33 – FD $8,900)

He played 10 more snaps than Mark Ingram (37-27) and Kamara cashed in on a two-yard score in the fourth quarter as the Panthers bottled up both backs. The passing game pop also gives him an edge over Ingram and I expect we’ll see a lot of work to Kamara against a stout secondary.

4. Derrick Henry – Tennessee – (DK $7,300 – YS $21 – FD $6,700)

He’ll get all the carries he can handle and is still a value play on YS and FD. On Yahoo he creates some interesting lineup options pairing him with Lewis and taking a shot on a three back approach or getting two stud receivers into the lineup.

5. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville – (DK $6,900 – YS $31 – FS $7,900)

In case of emergency give the football to Fournettee. The Steelers have four games of 150-plus rush yards against and Jacksonville has one of the 200-plus yards games on them.

6. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta – (DK $5,600 – YS $23 – FD $7,200)

Freeman only out touched Tevin Coleman 19-17 against the Rams but held a 45-29 advantage of snaps played. If Ryan can move the football, Freeman will get the first shot to finish off the drive.

7. Jay Ajayi – Philadelphia – (DK $4,600 – YS $18 - $6,900)

Ajayi out carried and out played the other Eagle running backs to end the season. He’ll be given plenty of chances to create as the Eagles need to put Foles in the best position and that starts with leaning on the run game.

8. Mark Ingram – New Orleans – (DK $5,600 – YS $25 – FD $8,200)

If you want to take a chance on Ingram on FD, as he’s the third highest priced back, his ownership could end up in single digits! I love both backs, but again the matchup could dictate more Brees than RB’s.

9. Latavius Murray – Minnesota – (DK $5,400 – YS $21 – FD $6,800)

Murray handle 20 or more carries in the Vikings last three games. Jerick McKinnon handles pass game duties, but Murray gets the call in the red zone; 40 attempts inside the 20, 26 inside the 10 this season.

Wide Receivers

1. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh – (DK $8,100 – YS $8,100 – FD $9,000)

Brown is matchup proof. The news of a full practice only adds to the confidence of going right back to the well upon his return.

2. Adam Thielen – Minnesota – (DK $7,600 – YS $29 – FD $7,600)

The Vikings had a comfortable finish to the season as they secured the number on seed in the NFC. Keenum needs to feed the slot and get them going once again and that begins with the hands of Thielen.

3. Julio Jones – Atlanta – (DK $7,900 – YS $35 – FD $8,800)

If I’m paying up, I’m going Brown, but Jones is the one we can’t let go of. We’ve been burned before and his hands pull us right back in. If the Falcons want to cash in as road favorites, Jones will have to do something special.

4. Brandin Cooks – New England – (DK $7,000 – YS 23 – FD $ 7,700)

The assumption, Lewis and Rob Gronkowski dominate touches. Cooks only has one double-digit TD game this season, but his speed can beat any defense and Tyreke Hill (4-84 in the first half) was well on his way to a big day against the Tians before that second half.

5. Michael Thomas – New Orleans – (DK $7,200 – YS $29 – FD $8,200)

I like Drew Brees this week, but Thomas a little less. Xavier Rhodes should follow Thomas around and Rhodes only allowed one touchdown catch this season.

6. Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta – (DK $5,700 – YS $ 18 – FD $5,800)

Sanu has been my safety valve this season. When in doubt he’s my WR3. He brings a decent ceiling with the trust of Matt Ryan.

7. Stefon Diggs – Minnesota – (DK $6,200 – YS $23 – FD $7,300)

Diggs is riding a streak of three straight games with a TD. It’s good to see him get some confidence back with Keenum finishing with four strong weeks. The return of Kyle Rudolph cuts into the targets and red zone opportunities.

8. Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia – (DK $5,500 – YS $18 – FD $7,200)

Jeffery destroyed fantasy title games with his week 16 score of zero, yes ZERO points. I can see him taking a backseat to Zac Ertz and the hope is he spent some extra time with Foles during the bye week getting on the same page.

9. JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh – (DK 6,000 – YS $22 - $7,000)

JuJu on the beat can take any pass to the house. His price and the matchup make me think he’s low owned and that’s the difference we are looking for.

10. Ted Ginn Jr. – New Orleans – (DK $5,800 – YS $12 – FD $5,900)

Outside of the 80 yard touchdown last week, Ginn caught three passes for 35 yards. We still are getting the snaps and looks as the Saints number two WR, but he’s far from the WR3 lock this week that he was against the Panthers.

11. Chris Hogan – New England – (DK $5,200 – YS $21 – FD $6,500)

Rishard Matthews, Martavis Bryant, Nelson Agholor, Danny Amendola, Eric Decker these are the names we get to at this tier. Hogan is back at practice and if he’s cleared for Saturday night, I’ll take the Patriots pass catcher as a doing something different play.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski – New England – (DK $7,100 – YS $32 – FD $8,500)

He looks like a value play on DK compared to the other two sites. The best thing about his season, he ended the year with 69 catches.

2. Zac Ertz – Philadelphia – (DK $5,800 – YS $26 – FD $7,200)

A Gronk fade for Ertz due to the volume? In weeks 15 and 16 with Foles at quarterback Ertz was targeted 23 times.

3. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota – (DK $4,700 – YS $17 – FD $5,900)

Rudolph caught eight-of-nine targets inside the 10 yard line this year scoring four times. He’s had two weeks to rest his ankle and the touchdown potential at the price is oh so nice.

4. Delanie Walker – Tennesse – (DK $5,000 – YS $22 – FD $6,200)

Walker appeals to me more on DK as Mariota’s top target in PPR scoring.

5. Austin Hooper – Atlanta – (DK $3,200 – YS $15 – FD $4,900)

5a. Josh Hill – New Orleans – (DK $2,600 – YS $10 – FD $4,700)

5b. Jesse James – Pittsburgh – (DK $3,500 – YS $11 – FD $5,500)

Have fun figuring out which one of those last three will have a two touchdown game this weekend.