By Kevin Lewis
*Article geared more to Daily Leagues this week. But can be used for both.
WR Julio Jones, @Tampa Bay, $8,000- Jones has had a quiet recent stretch over the last four games which apparently has left an impression given his extremely reasonable price tag. Tampa is dead last in the NFL at defending WRs and Jones had a monster line the last time these two teams played. Depending on your RBs, Jones could actually be reasonably slotted as a WR2. Take advantage of that as it may legitimately never happen again.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, @Philadelphia, $6,700- Benjamin is a big, fast target who is heavily targeted in the redzone, priced very reasonably and going against a team who struggles defending the pass. Every game the Eagles participate in has shootout potential and if it happens that way on Monday it’s likely Benjamin will play a part in that. He’s a good bet to pay back his value in production.
TE Larry Donnell, @Seattle, $5,300- Actually advising starting a pass catcher in Seattle? Yes, I am. While Donnell can be frustrating and I’m not fully confident in this play, the Seahawks have given up the fourth most points to tight ends this season. They don’t give up much to wide receivers either and are great against the run. If the Giants are going to move the ball and score at all on Sunday I would think Donnell would have to play a part in it. And his dirt cheap price tag makes it worth taking the chance.
WR Davante Adams, vs Chicago, $5,200- This works best if you’re going to pair him with Aaron Rodgers. Adams is getting the majority of snaps as the third wide receiver in Green Bay’s prodigious passing attack and the already poor Bears defense are depleted in the secondary. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see a 5 catch/70 yard/1 touchdown effort out of Adams this week and the sheer possibility of that makes the $5,200 worth the shot.
QB Matt Ryan, @Tampa Bay, $7,800- I know how stressful Matt Ryan has been to own, whether in daily leagues or seasonal leagues. That said, the Buccaneers give up the second most passing yards in all of football and Ryan has had a week off that will hopefully help him. A Ryan/Jones stack for $15,800 combined actually isn’t bad at all. Hopefully the Falcons offensive line remembers to report to work as well.
RB Denard Robinson, vs DAL (London), $6,800- I’m not really keen on suggesting Jacksonville players with $$$ on the line but I’ll make an exception here. Dallas’ defense has still struggled this season despite the narratives that they are so much better. They still allow 4.6 YPC and one would think Jacksonville would try and keep the ball on the ground to make life a little easier for Blake Bortles. I think he’s a quality tournament play as he gives you a little wiggle room to go after big name WRs and is likely to make the modest investment worth it.
RB Justin Forsett, vs TEN, $6,500- Forsett averages 5.4 yards per carry on the season and the Titans give up 120 yards per game on the ground. A potential Ravens breakout makes Forsett that much more intriguing. He has a lot of yardage potential but the TD potential is somewhat capped by the presence of Lorenzo Taliaferro. That said, the $6,500 price tag is a reasonable one.
RB Bobby Rainey, vs ATL, $6,700- Rainey put up 87 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards last week. The Falcons let up the most fantasy points to RBs this year so Rainey is a good matchup assuming he gets the majority of the touches. This comes with a disclaimer though as I would closely monitor the injury situations of Charles Sims and Doug Martin.
RB Frank Gore, @New Orleans, $6,800- 39 carries 107 yards, 2.74 YPC average. That’s Frank Gore’s numbers the last three games. I can’t think of a matchup enticing enough to make me want to start Frank Gore anywhere at this current juncture.
QB Josh McCown, vs Atlanta, $5,700- I know, I know. He’s really cheap, and he would be quite the contrarian play in tournament formats. Don’t take the bait though. He’s a journeyman QB who got embarrassed by this same Falcons defense and hasn’t played in a game since. This is part of the reason I am endorsing Rainey in the same piece.
WR Dez Bryant, @ Jacksonville, $8,400- I know how good Dez Bryant is and that he’s liable to explode every week. That said, I’m skeptical to drop coin on him this week because I believe Dallas will do whatever it takes to lessen Tony Romo’s load. Three step drops, and lots (and I mean LOTS) of DeMarco Murray could be in order. While Jacksonville’s secondary isn’t very good, I’m not sure Bryant is going to get enough opportunities to make the $8,400 worth it. Jordy Nelson is $8,500, Julio Jones is $8,000 and Randall Cobb is $8,600 and I’d rather pay for any of them.
WR Martavis Bryant, @New York Jets, $6,100- While I think Roethlisberger has another nice game in MetLife, I think he comes back down to Earth a little bit. Bryant is a pretty touchdown dependent player, so if Roethlisberger has a more mortal performance on Sunday, where does that leave Bryant? I recognize the ceiling with this kid against a hapless Jets secondary but he also has potential to leave your scoreboard with nothing next to his name. He’s really risky.
RB Lamar Miller, @Detroit Lions, $7,200- Miller has had a solid year but this is more about the Lions defense than it is about him as they are arguably the best defense in the league at this current juncture.
QB Ryan Tannehill, @Detroit Lions, $8,000- See: Miller, Lamar. And Cutler is also $8,000 in a game with the highest over/under of the weekend. Ryan is $7,600, Sanchez is $6,600. Why even consider Tannehill? Avoid.
QB Matthew Stafford, vs Miami Dolphins, $8,500- Stafford has been inconsistent the entire year and this is the same Dolphins defense that just shut down a very good Chargers offense. He does get Calvin Johnson back this week and that may help but that’s a really high price tag for someone who hasn’t been a top 10 fantasy QB the majority of the season.
QB Tony Romo, @Jacksonville Jaguars, $8,100- Fresh off an injury, I think there are wiser uses of money here. On that note, if you like to spend at RB, DeMarco Murray for $9,300 is a sure bet.