With North America celebrating thanksgiving during the week, three NFL games are officially in the books. Usually this would leave us with slimmer pickings for the Sunday slate of games. However, the NFL decided not to schedule any byes this week and has served up a whopping 12 games for us this Sunday. With so many players at our disposal, finding the ideal line-up will undoubtedly be a challenging task. That’s why I’m here to help.
Russell Wilson ($8,200) and Colin Kaepernick ($7,800) should both serve as solid mid range plays this week as we are not left with any stand-out budget options. While a case can be made for paying up for the top end guys this week, saving some funds at this position to use elsewhere seems to be the most logical choice given the respective form and matchup of these NFC quarterbacks.
Wilson comes off another strong performance which saw him eclipse 20 fantasy points for the third straight game, throwing for over 250 yards and a touchdown through the air. Astonishingly, Wilson also caught a touchdown pass last week and while I don’t expect this to be trend going forward, it highlights the overall improvement in the Seattle offence. Wilson and the entire offensive unit as a whole has picked up the slack following a slow start to the season and with the Bucs on deck this week, they shouldn’t have any trouble putting up more points.
Kaepernick on the other hand does not have the same type of offensive firepower around him but given the 49ers tendency to fall behind in games, he will again be leaned on to play catch up against the Dolphins this week. Kap has been relatively consistent in fantasy output this season and due to his ability to scramble for yardage, he comes with a rather high floor. Sure, he’s not the most talented passer in the league, but when it comes to DFS, all we really care about is production.
Pay up: Jay Ajayi ($8,400) presents an alternative option to the very top end guys this week and given his matchup against the 49ers, he is arguably the top option on the slate. Ajayi has been a revelation since being handed the starting job in Miami and while a great deal of this can be credited to his offensive line, he has made the most of his opportunities. There really isn’t a whole lot to say here, the 49ers rank last in points allowed to apposing running backs and Ajayi has received 15+ touches in each of his last 5 games. He should be in for a monster week.
Value play: Thomas Rawls ($5,200) is this weeks ‘next man up’ following his strong return to the field last week. He was handed 14 carries and he added another 3 receptions to his line to amount for 88 yards on the day. With his teammate CJ Prosise set to miss this weeks matchup with the Bucs, it is likely that the Seahawks running game will lean on Rawls to an even greater degree. Given this and the relatively low price-tag that he comes with, expect Rawls to be a popular pick this week.
Pay up: Odell Beckham ($9,500) is most likely the can’t ignore play of the slate. You’re going to want to pay up somewhere with the cash you have to spend and OBJ should feast on the Browns this week. The Giants do not have a power running game to lean on if the game does get out of hand, so we can expect Beckham to receive enough targets to justify his hefty price tag.
Value play: Brandin Cooks ($7,700) is the type of guy that will win you a GPP given his big ability and the high ceiling he comes with. Whilst he is by no means consistent, Cooks actually has provided some steady numbers at home this season, eclipsing double digit fantasy points in all but one of his games at the Superdome. This included tough match-ups against the Seahawks and Broncos. Therefore, we can expect the Rams defence to provide little resistance to the connection he shares with Drew Brees. He’s a frustrating player to own, but just remember, Cooks scored a 98-yard touchdown in week 1. He can do that.
Delanie Walker ($7,000) should have plenty of opportunities to rebound from what was a somewhat underwhelming performance in week 11 as he will face the struggling Bears on Sunday. While the Bears defence has not been horrible, the offense has struggled to stay on the field. This should continue this week and given that Walker is Mariota’s favourite option in the passing game, he should see plenty of work, especially in the red zone.
I’ll continue to roll with the Titans ($4,000) theme here as the Bears will also be forced to roll out Matt Barkley at quarterback this week following another injury set back to Jay Cutler. We saw Barkley struggle when Brian Hoyer went down earlier this season and given the number of bodies they are missing on their offensive line; the Titans should feast on the Bears offence this week.
Stephen Gostkowski ($4,900) is attached to arguably the best offence in the NFL and should see plenty of the work given the way the Patriots have looked in recent weeks. I don’t expect the Jets to provide a whole lot of resistance in this matchup, so a double digit day may be on the cards. If you’re looking for a budget option, Chandler Catanzaro ($4,000) should also see the field quite often in what looms to be a shootout on the road against the Falcons.
Be sure to continue the conversation with me on twitter @damonmarcon where we can talk all things NFL as well as those line-ups that are pushing towards DFS glory.