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Hunter Report Week 18 2017
By Dave Hunter
As we head into the NFL Wildcard weekend, I’m going to list my favorite picks regardless of salary and then my value picks.
So, let’s get right to this week’s suggestions. Keep in mind that I use DraftKings.com as the basis of my write-up. Good luck!
Wild Card Playoffs
Jared Goff, STL vs. Atlanta Falcons ($6,700) – Let’s face it, there are three good QBs at reasonable prices this week as we head into the Wild Card weekend of play. I like Goff’s matchup best though, and I appreciate the weapons he has it his disposal. The Falcons pass defense gave up enough yards on average per game in the regular season that Goff should get close to the 250 passing mark, with a couple of TDs tossed in. I’m not expecting a boom day, although he’s the safest option for me in cash game play. Drew Brees is my next choice. For tournament play in this price range, I like Cam Newton and Alex Smith a bit more.
Other choices: Cam Newton, CAR @ New Orleans Saints ($6,500); Drew Brees, NO vs. Carolina Panthers ($6,400); Alex Smith, KC vs. Tennessee Titans ($6,300)
Marcus Mariota, TEN @ Kansas City Chiefs ($5,500) – Mariota is my favorite value at QB this weekend, considering his solid matchup facing the Chiefs secondary. The Chiefs have given up almost 250 yards a game through the air, and I expect Mariota to take advantage on the ground with his legs. He seems to be close to 100 percent healthy, or as healthy as an NFL QB can be at this time of the year. I love Mariota for tournament play mainly, expecting his ownership to be low. For an extreme risky play, consider Tyrod Taylor. His salary alone gets him into a lineup or two for me. Plus, I like the way the Bills are playing ball right now, winning three out of their last four games. The matchup through the air is awful against the Jaguars, so make sure you take that into consideration. But for a contrarian play? Sure.
Other choices: Tyrod Taylor, BUF @ Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,700)
Todd Gurley II, LAR vs. Atlanta Falcons ($9,700) and Alvin Kamara, NO vs. Carolina Panthers ($8,600) – It’s going to be difficult to roster both Gurley and Kamara in your lineup this week, so you’ll likely have to pick one. It’s possible to roster both, with the values at WR this week, but it’s a risky proposition with the idea of having a balanced lineup. Gurley and Kamara both offer so much more than just being a runner, considering their outstanding receiving skills. Kamara is the slightly better value considering price tag, although Gurley has a larger ceiling. I’d be happy with either to build around. Kareem Hunt sort of scares me this week, so I’m willing to spend up for Gurley or Kamara. I have trust issues with Hunt producing.
Other choices: Leonard Fournette, JAC vs. Buffalo Bills ($7,400); Christian McCaffery, CAR @ New Orleans Saints ($6,400); Devonta Freeman, ATL @ Los Angeles Rams ($6,300)
Tevin Coleman, ATL @ Los Angeles Rams ($4,100) – The Rams are one of the worst teams in the league at defending against running backs. I fully expect Devonta Freeman to play this week, I expect the Falcons to utilize Coleman wisely in the passing game. And, if Freeman is having a tough time producing, I see the Falcons pulling him and slotting Coleman in for more touches. The price tag on Coleman is magnificent. Pairing him with one of Gurley or Kamara is an interesting strategy to use. Hint, hint.
Other choices: None
Tyreek Hill, KC vs. Tennessee Titans ($6,800) – If the Chiefs win this game, Hill is going to be the reason why. Hill averaged 17.2 FPPG over the regular season and he gets targeted a bunch by Alex Smith. The Chiefs will need Hill to take advantage of his yards-after-catch ability, which I expect him to do facing the Titans pass defense as he undercuts the zone with crossing routes. The price tag is reasonable as well, and a decent value when you consider Julio Jones is $8K and Michael Thomas is $7.8K.
Other choices: Julio Jones, ATL @ Los Angeles ($8,000); Michael Thomas, NO vs. Carolina Panthers ($7,800); Robert Woods, LAR vs. Atlanta Falcons ($6,600); Mohamed Sanu, ATL @ Los Angeles Rams ($5,600); Albert Wilson, KC vs. Tennessee Titans ($3,600)
Ted Ginn Jr., NO vs. Carolina Panthers ($5,200) – Ginn has quietly put together a very good season for the Saints, with almost 800 yards and 4 TD over the regular schedule. I like Ginn as a value and underrated commodity for lineups this week, cash or tournament play. Brees likes to spread the ball around and the Panthers will be paying more attention to Michael Thomas. That gives Ginn a chance to shine in a ShowTime atmosphere.
Other choices: Cooper Kupp, LAR vs. Atlanta Falcons ($5,800); Keelan Cole, JAC vs. Buffalo Bills ($5,400); Dede Westbrook, JAC vs. Buffalo Bills ($4,400); Eric Decker, TEN @ Kansas City Chiefs ($3,500)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. Tennessee Titans ($7,100)
Greg Olsen, CAR @ New Orleans Saints ($5,000)
Delanie Walker, TEN @ Kansas City Chiefs ($4,700)
Good luck this week! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @TheRolyPolyBoy