There are no parades for fantasy football. But there are for 0-16 seasons (enjoy what you can Brown’s fans) and fictional National Champions (good for you UCF). The focus this year has been on Draft Kings and Yahoo Sports. I am going to add Fan Duel prices into the conversation to expand opportunities for Wild Card weekend.
Tennessee at Kansas City (KC -8, O/U 44)
Atlanta at L.A. Rams (LAR -6.5, O/U 48.5)
Buffalo at Jacksonville (JAC -9, O/U 39.5)
Carolina at New Orleans (NO -7, O/U 48.5) Odds from vegasinsider.com, as of 1/4/2018.
Alex Smith – Kansas City – (DK $6,800 – YS $32 – FD $7,700)
Smith is better when Kareem Hunt is the focal point of the offense. From week 14-through-16 Hunt averaged 26 carries per-game and added 14 receptions. The boost this weekend is the Titans have handled the run well (88.8 yards/game) thus Hunt should be a nice outlet for Smith underneath and allow him to attack a secondary that gave up 381-1 to Jimmy Garoppolo and 301-4 to Jared Goff in weeks 15 and 16. Smith is the highest priced QB on YS sports and fourth on DK/FD.
The last two weeks of the regular season were bad for Newton; four interceptions and one touchdown. Can we catch a little ownership break this weekend with Cam being the second highest priced QB across the board? We know that Newton can turn an average passing day into a solid fantasy performance thanks to his legs. Over the final four games of the season he averaged 12.5 carries for 59.7 yards.
Blake Bortles has posted some nice fantasy days at home this season, but I expect the Jaguars to lean on their rookie running back to try and get their first playoff win since 2007. I like that Fournette is coming off a 4-67-1 receiving game against the Titans. That’ll be a big swing-factor this weekend. The volume is there and if the receptions can be a factor we have ourselves the Melvin Gordon of the postseason. Questionable yards per-carry but all the volume to be effective.
Mark Ingram – New Orleans – (DK $6,900 – YS $26 – FD $8,000)
Pairing Ingram with Alvin Kamara seems like a great idea. Ingram also saves you a nice chunk of salary. He averaged 104 total-yards with one touchdown against Carolina this year which won’t wow you when compared to what Kamara did down the stretch. Pairing him with Fournette on YS/FD which is.5 PPR scoring creates some interesting lineup combos and means we will have our fingers crossed when they enter the RZ.
Freeman’s week 17 performance against the Panthers makes me feel better about his chances against the Rams (and Kamara’s potential vs. CAR). While he was held to just 23 yards on 11 carries, Freeman caught 9-of-11 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Rams defense is anchored inside by All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Getting to the perimeter and neutralizing the impact of the Rams inside means screens, wheel routes and shots down field from Matt Ryan. He’s an easy RB2/flex play on DK.
It’s easy to lay out the top plays at quarterback, running back and tight end this week. WR is where I will be taking a few chances to try and cash in on that wild card winning play. Watkins is the fourth receiving wheel with Robert Woods back into the mix, priced $100 more than RZ target Cooper Kupp on FD and doesn’t bring a solid floor to the table. Tell me you are not sold on putting Watkins into your lineup now?
Ted Ginn Jr. – New Orleans – (DK $5,200 – YS $18 – FD $5,900)
Ginn and Watkins are the poster boys for cashing in on one-or-two receptions. Ginn’s role as the Saints number two wide out makes him less of a ‘dart’ throw but the output keeps him as a WR3 play when building lineups. Ginn’s four touchdown receptions this season went for 40, 20, 36 and 54 yards. With all the focus on the running backs, I’ll be using Ginn on all three sites this weekend.
Hurns returned from an ankle injury and took over slot duties for the Jags’. Keelan Cole has emerged as the teams target leader over the last three weeks (30) and Marqise Lee will try and comeback from an ankle injury he suffered week 15. Lee’s return would muddy the outside snap count some so leaning on Hurns roll could be the best bet against the Bills nickel defense.
Researching this weekend you’ll see everyone remind you that the Saints allowed the fewest catches and yards to TE this season. Olen’s foot injury and Newton’s struggles late could make this a fade spot any other week, but not when we only have four games.
The only Bills player with more targets and receptions than Clay is LeSean McCoy, who will be trying to play through an ankle injury this weekend. Clay is a better play on DK where he can rack up those PPR points.