Between the Bankroll and Me: Fanduel Week 13

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

Greetings, all! Welcome to Fanduel week 13. I shouldn’t be at this point, but I am always shocked at how fast the season fly’s by. It seemed like just yesterday that we were scheming for week one, and yet here were are with only a few mere weeks left in the regular season. It’s been a roller coaster of a year for your’s truly, but hopefully you’ve found more continuity and capitalized on the hits. Week 12 was overall a success, so let’s try and build off of that, shall we?

 

Quarterback

Russell Wilson ($8,200) vs. Philadelphia

Overall, I think the move this week is trying to save at quarterback and spend up elsewhere. However, if you’re looking to go a different route (in tournaments, perhaps?), RW3 is probably the most expensive one I’m considering. I’ll never try to talk anyone out of paying up for Brady, but at this point, with Wilson having to shoulder everything for his team, I think he provides a similar upside as Brady at a much cheaper price. Having said that, though, he does get a tough matchup this week at home against a nasty Philly defense. We can’t ignore his usage, though, which keeps him in consideration for me.

Philip Rivers ($8,000) vs. Clevaland

As a 14-point home favorite with a 28-point implied total, Rivers (and several other Chargers) will be very chalky this week. For the season, the Browns have given up 24 or more points in seven out of 11 games and have been a team we look to pick on week in and week out. Rivers himself has been much better as of late, tossing seven touchdowns to just one interception over his last three games.

Marcus Mariota ($7,400) vs. Houston

If you’re looking to pivot off of Rivers, though he could be somewhat chalky himself, Mariota, at home against the sieve-like Texans secondary, might be one to consider. He’s disappointed recently, but this is the perfect time to climb back on the train as Houston has surrendered 20 or more points in eight out of 11 games, including five straight. Tennessee is a tidy seven-point favorite and have an implied total of 25.

Brett Hundley ($6,400) vs. Tampa Bay

As I try to do most weeks, I try to give you someone to consider as a punt play. Up until after last Sunday night’s game against a very good Steelers defense, I wouldn’t have given Hundley a second thought. That all changed after he shredded that defense for 245 yards and three touchdowns. I’m not trusting him for cash, but I love him for tournaments as he gets an absolute peach of a matchup this week against a 30th ranked Bucs secondary that just got roasted by the Falcons.

*Note*: I’m not necessarily recommending him as a play, but if there was ever a week to be contrarian with Alex Smith ($7,500) (and other Chiefs players), this would be it. Yes, it appears he’s regressed back to “Captain Check Down”, but playing the Jets has usually been a good spot for passing games this year. 

 

Running Back

Leonard Fournette ($8,700) vs. Indinapolis

The star rookie has largely disappointed since returning from an ankle injury a few weeks ago, scoring in single digits in two out of his past three, but the Jags will be big home favorites this week meaning he should plenty of positive game script. Volume is never something we want to shy away from, and he’s still receiving over 22 touches per game.

Melvin Gordon ($7,900) vs. Cleveland

Like I said earlier, the Chargers are going to be chalky this week. Some of Gordon’s early season shine has worn off as he’s lost some passing down work to rookie Austin Ekeler, but in games where LA are favored (like they will be this week at home against Cleveland) he’s still averaging around 20 touches per game. I don’t see a scenario here where LA doesn’t get out to a lead and is able to drop the hammer with Gordon. He will be a very tough fade this week, but there is merit to doing it in tournaments.

Jordan Howard ($7,500) vs. San Francisco

With many likely to gravitate to the Chargers offense and thus Melvin Gordon, I like Howard as a pivot this week as he should see lower ownership and is in just as good – if not better – spot at home against the 49ers. In games where the Bears have been competitive and game script hasn’t gotten away from him, Howard is seeing bell cow work and is averaging close to 20 touches per game, with a high mark of 37 against Baltimore in week six. We could see something very similar this week.

Dion Lewis ($6,300) @ Buffalo

It’s taken a while, but it appears we finally have some clarity in the New England backfield, with Lewis and Rex Burkhead emerging as the lead dogs. And of the two, Lewis’ workload is a little more bankable as he’s gotten 14 or more touches in five straight games. That doesn’t generally sound like a back we want to target, but at that price and in this offense it most certainly is as he could easily pop off 15-plus fantasy points. Patriots/Bills games have traditionally been fairly high scoring, and with Buffalo’s recent defensive woes Lewis should be able to feast. As a quick side note, I do like his running mate Burkhead this week, but only for tournaments as his touches don’t quite seem to be as stable.

Marshawn Lynch ($6,200) vs. NYG

First off, Lynch was a mysterious no-show at practice today (Thursday) so you’ll want to monitor his situation, but assuming he plays he’s one of my favorites on the slate.  With 29 total touches, the kid gloves finally came off last week against Denver as Oakland was forced to adjust their offense with Michael Crabtree getting ejected and Amari Cooper leaving due to injury. Both receivers will be out again this week, which means, as long as he’s healthy, it’s full steam ahead for Beastmode.

Jamaal Williams ($5,700) vs. Tampa Bay

The Green Bay backfield has been a mess most of the season due to injuries, but after three straight games with 20-plus touches Williams looks like he might be the guy moving forward. He hasn’t been a world beater running the ball, but he’s also seen 12 targets over those past three games, too, which improves his floor and ceiling. At this price tag he becomes close to a must-start assuming Aaron Jones (who returned to practice on Thursday) is once again ruled out.

 

Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen ($8,100) vs. Cleveland

No brainer here, right? Allen has been a monster these past two games, seeing 13 and 14 targets respectively, and has turned those into 331 yards and three touchdowns. He’s the chalk play at the position, but it’s for good reason.

DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000) @ Tennessee

Okay, so it looks like we might have two chalky receivers this week. Hopkins has survived the loss of Deshaun Watson and clung to his WR1 fantasy status, even with Tom Savage slinging him the rock. Since the change, he’s seen no less than nine targets per game and has gone over 100 yards receiving or scored in all of them. Tennessee has been even worse against the pass than Houston, ranking 24th in pass defense DVOA.

Mike Evans ($7,500) @ Green Bay

It’s been tough going for Evans without Jameis Winston, but fortunately that all changes this week with Winston expected to return to the starting lineup. Green Bay just got shredded by Big Ben and Antonio Brown, and the Tampa duo should be able to continue to the trend.

Tyreek Hill ($6,900) @ NYJ

Again, we’ve entered “play Chiefs players at your own risk” territory, but the upside is there on the road against the Jets this week. The Chiefs are a 3.5-point road favorite and have a 23.5 implied total. For the year, Hill has been much better on the road than at home (weird), where all four of his scores have come from and has gone for 60-plus yards in each (including 100-plus in two).

Sterling Shepard ($6,700) @ Oakland

With the Giants making the switch from Eli Manning to Geno Smith, the now-healthy Shepherd moves from a near cash game lock to more of a tournament play. I’m no Smith believer, be the team should be playing from behind a lot and that means excellent game script against the 32nd ranked pass defense.

 

Tight End

Evan Engram ($6,900) @ Oakland

Again, like Shepard, due to the unknown that lies ahead with Geno Smith, Engram is probably just a tournament play. But, in a week where most will probably spend down, Engram is a sneaky play against an Oakland defense that ranks 25th defending the position. He’s only seen less than five targets once all year, and hasn’t seen less than six over the past six games. It’s a classic case of “someone has to catch the passes for this offense”.

Jared Cook ($5,500) vs. NYG

As I’ve said nearly every week, the Giants are the team to pick on when selecting our tight end. Outside of the shocker last week against Washington, they have let an opposing tight end score in every game. The offense is likely going to look like last week with Lynch getting a large workload, but when the team does look to pass, Cook figures to be a big part with Crabtree and Cooper sidelined.

Hunter Henry ($5,400) vs. Cleveland

The broken record continues to spin here as yet another Charger makes the list. It’s a punt week for me at the position, at least in cash, and Henry figures to be the chalk. Rolling him out there isn’t without risk though, as you don’t know if he’s going to see five targets or two targets, but in four out of the six games where he’s seen five or more targets he has scored double digit fantasy points. The Browns rank dead last in tight end DVOA defense.

 

Defense

Jacksonville ($5,600) vs. Indianapolis

While most will likely be on our next contestant, surprisingly, Jacksonville becomes my favorite tournament pivot on the slate. It’s hard not love a defense that has scored double digit fantasy points in eight out of 11 games.

LA Chargers ($5,600) vs. Cleveland

Chalk. They have perhaps the best combo of pass rush and secondary in the league, which is the recipe for turnovers. Playing against turnover-prone Deshone Kizer doesn’t hurt either.

 

Kicker

Ryan Succop ($4,800) vs. Houston

Succop is cheap, a home favorite and on a team expected to score well (25-point implied total).

 

 

 

 

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