So last week was a bit of a debacle when it came to fantasy football, and it really hammered home how tough the game can be. The top scoring player of the round was the Kansas City Defence, with 29 Fantasy Points. The highest ranked projected defence heading into the round, the Seattle Seahawks, score 9, and our other highly ranked defence put up 4 points. That means if you played the wrong defence (which is almost impossible to predict) you instantly found yourself in the whole for 20-25 fantasy points. Given that turned out to be about 20-25% of an average score, it was almost impossible to recover. Here’s hoping this week is a bit less random.
Carson Palmer $9500 – Hands down the #1 QB play today, especially given the lack of lower priced alternatives (we miss you AJ McCarron). Only put up 2 TD’s in this matchup a few weeks ago, but that’s because the defence scored two of it’s own to put the game out of end. We expect the Cardinals to have a little more time of possession this time around, so 2 TDs should be his floor.
Peyton Manning $7900 – This is definitely a risky pick. On the one hand, he’s had a ton of time to rest, and could come back and resemble last years Peyton, in which case he is the steal of the century in a great matchup against the Steelers. On the other hand, he’s been terrible all season. With all of the weapons the Broncos have, as well as struggles that the Steelers will likely be facing, even 50% of Peyton should be able to produce, and the savings from the big guns is nice.
Unlike last week, there are actually real running backs playing again. Not in love with anyone outside of David Johnson, but the landscape is a little less bleak.
David Johnson $7300 – Must play. Must play. I repeat. Must play. On a typical week, he’s the only guy who would make the column here, as he’s a premier player in a nice matchup. His price has shot up, but he’s still underpriced, especially when you consider people were forced to pay $9.1k for the privilege of owning AP last week. Play him!!!
Jonathan Stewart $7500 – Tough matchup, and has missed a couple of games, but at least he has the job to himself. He had 20+ carries in 8 straight games before his foot injury, and unlike AP and Minnesota, his team is good enough to give him some red zone opportunities. While his line may be ugly, something like 60 yards and a touchdown is probably the mean result, which is something we’ll take on a tough slate.
Spencer Ware $5600 – While our teams performed reasonably well last week outside of the KC defence fluke, the one mistake I made was picking West over Ware as the number one back to play in KC. Over the last two weeks, Ware has played on more snaps and has more rushing attempts, and has been much more efficient as well. While the Patriots run defence has been solid of late, Ware is probably the best of the part timers.
Fitzgerald Toussaint $4700 – How good is his name? You’d swear it was made up, but apparently it’s real. Got some nice usage last week against the Bengals, and saw a lot of action in the passing game, which is important because the Steelers will probably struggle to run against the Broncos.
James White $5800 – Tournament play only, he probably has one of the highest upsides on the board, but also has a low floor due to his lack of touches. The other two NE running backs make reasonable tournament plays as well, but we certainly don’t trust any of them. White has the highest floor of them all.
Demaryius Thomas $8300 – Probably the #1 WR play this week, which speaks volumes. While his yardage and receptions aren’t always amazing, he’s the best bet of the Broncos at scoring a TD. While it’s concerning that the vast majority of his TD’s come with Osweiler at the helm, we’re of the believe that Peyton will be at least competent this week, so hopefully he can produce at a level where his receivers are playable.
Emmanuel Sanders $7700 – Pretty similar narrative to that of Thomas, though at least Sanders seemed to have a bit more TD chemistry with Peyton early in the season. Coming off a nice game against the Steelers a few weeks back, putting up 10 receptions for 181 yards and a TD, and more importantly, 31 fantasy points.
Michael Floyd $6700 – Does have a scarily low floor, with 3 of his last 11 games resulting in just two fantasy points. However the other 8? Scored 6 touchdowns, and put up 5 100 yard games, with only one of those 8 games not reaching at least 13 fantasy points. Both him and Brown have overtaken Fitzgerald in targets over the last 5 weeks.
John Brown $6900 – Had a dud against Seattle in the last game of the season, but prior to that produced TEN straight games with double digit fantasy points. If unsure how to differentiate between then two Arizona receivers, we will be going Brown in cash and Floyd in tournaments.
James Jones $5600 – Has been Rodgers go to guy down the stretch, averaging 9 targets/game over his last 3 regular season games, up from just 5.5 on the season. While has a tough matchup, he has continued his form into the post season, with 11 targets and 7 catches against the Redskins in the Wild Card round.
Greg Olsen $7100– We’ve got Olsen as our number one TE play today, as he offers slightly better for value for money than Gronk based on season to date numbers, and has a few less question marks. The Chiefs allow the 4th fewest points to tight ends, while the Seahawks, in a stat that surprised us, allow the 6th MOST points to tight ends. Their defensive reputation is earned in the fact they are top 4 in terms of defending wide receivers, not the fact they slow tight ends. Olsen also has less competition in the passing game, as both Edelman and Amendola are players who are capable of seeing double digit targets. Finally, if we’re being simple, Olsen put up 22 fantasy points last time these two teams played.
Travis Kelce $5600 – I have less of an argument for Kelce. New England are middle of the pack in defending the position, but on a short slate there aren’t any better options. Kelce has been solid this season, and is coming off a nice game against the Texans. He may also see a boost in targets if Maclin is out.
Chandler Catanzaro $5600
Graham Gano $5400
Brandon McManus $4500
Denver Broncos $5800
Arizona Cardinals $5600