Jimmy Garoppolo has been an intriguing DFS option as of late, but this week, in a plus matchup against the Titans, his price has actually crept up a little bit to $7,300 on Fanduel and $6,300 on DK. Although it’s tempting to use him, his body of work is still limited, and given his price, there are actually more proven options that are a little cheaper. Matt Ryan has a dream matchup against Tampa Bay this week, but the problem is that the Falcons are likely to play with a lead in this one and it’s likely they exploit a horrible Bucs run defense. Matt Ryan did throw for 317 and a TD against them back in week 12, but that was largely due to Julio Jones exploding in that one. I am not saying Julio can’t do it again, but it’s just hard to envision the Falcons not running the ball a ton in this one, making Ryan a dicey play. Bryce Petty is starting for the Jets this week and only costs $6,000 on Fanduel, but the problem is that Nick Foles also costs $6,000 on Fanduel. If I had to choose one of the two, I am going Foles all day. Bryce Petty is a gunslinger and I understand he may put up 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns, but there’s also a solid chance that he throws 4 INT’s to Marshon Lattimore and implodes. If you play Petty at all in DFS, he’s nothing more than a big tournament dart throw.
Dak Prescott @ Oakland Raiders – $7,800 Fanduel – $6,400 DK – If you played Dak last week against the Giants it took somewhat of a leap of faith, but he came through for you in a big way. You have to believe that the Cowboys have figured out how to play offense without Zeke and they will continue to roll against the Raiders this week who have given up the 14th most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season and have been shredded for the most part. The Raiders have given up less than 15 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in each of the last 3 weeks, however, that came against Alex Smith who is always capable of putting up a dud, Geno Smith (no comment) and Trevor Siemian (no comment). The matchup is right and Dak is primed to destroy the Raiders this week with the Cowboys’ playoff hopes hanging on by a thread.
Nick Foles @ NY Giants – $6,000 Fanduel – $5,500 DK – Nick Foles has been a meaningful fantasy quarterback in the past and as long as he’s in a good situation, he should be successful. The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles are in a good situation and that good situation is aided this week by a matchup against the New York Football Giants who give up the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season. Last week, Dak Prescott shredded the Giants for 337 and 3 touchdowns. In week 13, Derek Carr threw for 242 and a touchdown against the Giants. Derek Carr’s stat line might not look impressive, but you need to remember that he did so without Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, his top two receiving options. Back in week 12 Kurt Cousins threw for 2 TD’s and 242 yards in a respectable effort. Given Foles’ price in DFS, he’s a solid option and I would feel alright rolling with him in season long if you were previously relying on Carson Wentz or Josh McCown.
Jameis Winston vs Atlanta Falcons – $7,000 Fanduel – $5,900 DK – I know Mike Evans hasn’t come through this year and has been an underperforming 1st round pick, but Jameis Winston has other options to distribute the ball to. Winston hasn’t lit the world on fire since returning from his shoulder injury, but he’s remained healthy and hasn’t needed to exit any games, which is a positive. Atlanta is middle of the pack in fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks this season and have given up at least 2 passing touchdowns in 6 of their last 9 games. The only times the Falcons have not given up at least 2 passing touchdowns over their last 9 games were when they faced Dak Prescott without Tyron Smith, Cam Newton in a low scoring game where Carolina mainly got it done in the ground game, and in their previous matchup against the Bucs where Ryan Fitzpatrick was shaky, throwing for 283 yards and 0 TD’s. If you play a Monday night slate or need a streamer in season long, Winston is a solid option.
Case Keenum vs Cincinnati Bengals – $7,400 Fanduel – $6,100 DK – Case Keenum is my favorite QB play of the week in DFS given his price. In season long, I am playing Keenum where I have him unless I have somebody with the last name of Wilson or Brady on my team. I am a Bengals fan, I love my Bengals and I probably stay on the Bengals bandwagon longer than I should. However, if you watched the Bengals game last week, they were clearly beat up and emotionally drained from their week 13 matchup against the Steelers. Moreover, they are banged up at each level of their defense with Nick Vigil, Vontaze Burfict, Pacman Jones (IR) and Geno Atkins all out or questionable to play with injuries. That being said, this is not the same Bengals defense from week 12 or 13. This is a depleted unit with (almost) nothing left to play for. The Vikings need this win badly to keep pace with the Eagles for the #1 seed in the NFC and they will come out firing. Although the Bengals have given up the 12th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, over the last 3 weeks they have given up at least 19 fantasy points to DeShone Kizer, Big Ben and Mitch Trubisky – that’s right, Mitch Trubisky lit them up last week. Moreover, the Bengals have given up at least 16 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks each week since week 7, that’s consistency right there. Simply put, Case Keenum is my guy this week if I don’t pay up for Russell Wilson.
At the tight end position, your usual high-end guys such as Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski should all come through. I especially like Gronk to come through this week against the Steelers given Tom Brady’s struggles as of late. Brady will likely feed Gronk the ball, especially in the endzone. The only problem with Gronk is that he’s so highly priced that if he doesn’t blow up, the rest of your lineup likely won’t be good enough to come through for you in DFS. The Giants have been ok against opposing tight ends lately with Landon Collins really coming on, but now Landon Collins re-injured his troublesome ankle and isn’t likely to play, meaning Ertz should be in for a big day. Eric Ebron had a big game last week but this week he runs up against Christian Jones, an ascending young linebacker for the Bears who is likely to slow the inconsistent Ebron down, if not render him completely irrelevant in both fantasy and reality, making his week 14 performance an aberration.
Kyle Rudolph vs Cincinnati Bengals – $6,000 Fanduel – $4,700 DK – The Bengals have given up the 17th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends on the season which is middle of the pack, and that is somewhat deceptive because they have faced the likes of Nick Boyle, Lance Kendricks, Vance McDonald, Jess James, Adam Shaheen, you get the idea. Josh Shaw figures to cover Kyle Rudolph this weekend and if that holds true, Rudolph has a huge size mismatch and will be a serious redzone threat for the Vikings. Rudolph is the #6 fantasy tight end on the season and with the current landscape of tight end in fantasy and reality, Rudolph is about as consistent as it gets. Rudolph was added to the Vikings injury report late on Wednesday with an ankle issue and is in a walking boot. If Rudolph sits, David Morgan will be an intriguing, low-cost play in DFS that almost nobody will be on.
David Njoku vs Baltimore Ravens – $4,800 Fanduel – $2,700 DK – The Ravens have given up the 10th most fantasy points to tight ends on the season and were shredded by Jesse James last week against Pittsburgh. David Njoku poses an athletic mismatch on Tony Jefferson who is best suited as an in the box run supporting safety and could come through if the Ravens make a serious effort to shut down Josh Gordon. Wow, all of a sudden the Browns skill position players look pretty talented.
OJ Howard vs Atlanta Falcons – $5,200 Fanduel – $3,000 DK – Over the last 2 weeks OJ Howard has outsnapped Cameron Brate at almost a 2:1 ratio. Howard’s athletic ability and pedigree is really starting to show in a Bucs offense that has struggled. Howard will be d’ed up by Keanu Neal who is an absolute body rocker but you can catch balls against him. Howard is an ascending talent with an ascending role who has demonstrated the ability to break a big play.
Evan Engram vs Philadelphia Eagles – $6,300 Fanduel – $5,600 DK – I wasn’t quite sure who else to put up as my 4th tight end recommendation for the week, so I reached out to Bobby Cables for input. Bobby Cables responded by text, Evan Engram. I asked why, and I have yet to get a response. I looked into Engram’s matchup and recent performance, and Engram wasn’t horrible against the Eagles in their previous matchup, coming down with 5 balls for 45 yards off 7 targets. The Eagles have been using Malcolm Jenkins to cover tight ends lately and he has excelled in that role. However, Evan Engram is extremely athletic and can take the ball to the house at any time. Engram has been seeing consistent targets–at least 7 of them in each of his last 3 games. He simply hasn’t broken a big one and has committed a few bad drops. All Engram needs to do is break one long one to come through and he definitely has the talent to do it. In a PPR, and on DK, Engram is a good bet to come through with 10 fantasy points and if he scores he will really get it done for you. Moreover, Roger Lewis and Sterling Shepard are a little banged up, so Engram is the healthiest, most viable passing target for the Giants who are facing the NFL’s best run defense this weekend.
“Big Rigg” QB/TE Stack of the Week
I was going back and forth between the Case Keenum/Kyle Rudolph stack and the Jameis Winston/OJ Howard stack this week. Since this article is published on Thursday morning, I need to go with Jameis Winston and OJ Howard given Kyle Rudolph’s shaky status with his ankle. I cannot recommend stacking Keenum and Rudolph if Rudolph may not play. Winston is a solid value on DFS and OJ Howard is one of the cheapest tight ends on the weekend. Given Howard’s upside and game breaking ability, he’s worth a shot. Moreover, if you play Howard and he doesn’t go off, or Winston distributes the ball elsewhere, you aren’t breaking the bank with your tight end anyways. If Howard comes down with 5 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, he goes 2.6x on Fanduel and 5.3x on DK, so it’s worth the shot.