This edition of the NFL DFS playbook will consists of two games that are polar opposites. Tonight’s game should be high scoring with fantasy points coming from every which way, while the Thursday game will be far less exciting. As we draw closer to the end of the regular season, teams will be either packing it in for next year or going full throttle. Lucky for us, neither of these games features teams that are actually eliminated from playoff contention. The Giants and Rams have coaches fighting to keep their jobs, Tampa is (struggling) to make a playoff push, and Miami is trying to figure out which players will remain on the team next season. My lineups will heavily feature the Monday night game with the Thursday night game sprinkled in there.
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I have a lot of opinions on Eli Manning coming into this week, but the short version is that I think he is going to put on a show tonight. He has at least two touchdown passes all but four games this season. The run game doesn’t exist for the Giants, and Manning has been forced to throw at least 32 passes in all but one game this season. That puts him at a baseline of around 24/39 for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns. Miami’s defense is almost as bad as his own, and he should have no problem exceeding those numbers tonight.
I know, I know Tannehill sucks. No way around it. The dude is a gar-bage QB on a bad team. Add in the fact that he only threw 19 passes last week, and he isn’t going to be fantasy relevant until he shows something in this new offensive system. With all that being said, it leads me to two points: 1) He makes a perfect GPP play, which is basically a Monday/Thursday contest 2) He is going up against the worst passing defense in the league, which includes the New Orleans Saints. Things line up for Tannehill to have a decent game and I’ll take my chances on him in tournaments.
To put it nicely, Winston and the Tampa team as a whole crapped the bed on Sunday. Saying that the offense was a disappointment is a gross understatement. He still managed to throw a touchdown and put up decent yards, but don’t let the box score fool you. He had under 100 passing yards in the fourth quarter and only really did anything at the end of the game. The loss of Vincent Jackson really hurts him, but he’s the only other viable option out there besides Manning and Tannehill. If you’re looking to get some action on the Thursday game, he’s the obvious choice over Case Keenum because of his rushing ability and big receivers.
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If someone told you that there’s a running back that has low ownership, costs slightly more than minimum price, and averages over 10 fantasy points a game in a PPR, wouldn’t you want to put him in all of your lineups? Meet Charles Sims, one of the most underappreciated players in all of fantasy. Doug Martin has been great this year, but Sims still gets around 40% of the offensive snaps compared to Martin’s 56%. I do think Martin is a solid play this week, but Sims is the type of player that will make the difference between hitting the pay line or staying in the middle of the pack. St. Louis is also the third worst team at allowing running backs to catch passes put the backfield. If you’re playing on a site that’s a full PPR, Sims is basically a must start this week.
Sunday was the return of the Todd Gurley we all fell in love with at the begging of the season. Every rookie has their ups and downs and he is trending upwards at a low salary this week. Tampa Bay’s run defense has been much better as of late, but they let Tim Hightower look like Adrian Peterson out there on Sunday. Imagine what a talented back that wasn’t out of the NFL for four years can do to them. He’ll be the chalk this week, but for good reason.
If you weren’t seeing red dots of anger with my Tannehill pick, you definitely will be with this one. The Giants backfield is one of the worst in football and has only 3 rushing scores on the year. Disgusting and putrid are two words that come to mind amongst many others that aren’t suitable for this article, but Jennings could be one of those shots in the dark that you draw a bullseye around once you turn the lights on. Miami is a bad defense that has a lot of injuries and Jennings has been their best back all season, which obviously isn’t saying much. He’s not a smart play in DFS, but the smart plays don’t win you tournaments. If you want to be contrarian (re: borderline stupid) like me, take a shot on Jennings in a good matchup and pray to the DFS gods outside of New York he can get you 8-10 points.
I’ve always said that Lamar Miller could be a top 10 fantasy player if he was given the chance to touch the ball over 15 times a game. Obviously nobody in Miami believed with me except for Zac Taylor, offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. I don’t expect him to carry the ball 20 times again like he did last week, but it isn’t out the realm of possibility for that to happen again. The Dolphins will want to keep the Giants offense off the field and will do just that by giving him the rock. Jay Ajayi wont eat into his snaps in this new system so a heavy dose of Miller means good things for DFS.
If you want a good laugh, go search Mike Evans on twitter right now. It’s world class banter. For this week, Evans may be an addition by subtraction with Vincent Jackson leaving the game on Sunday with an injury. There’s no news about the extent of it, but Jackson already missed three games this season with a knee injury. Expecting him to play on a short week is wishful thinking. Jameis and the Bucs offense will make it a point this week to give Evans the ball, and his ownership will be lower because of his lackluster week 13.
If you haven’t learned from all of my writings, I’m guy that loves a good narrative in fantasy sports. ODB and Landry are best buds and want nothing more than to outshine the other. Now it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to know that ODB is the more talented of the two, but Landry might have the best work ethic in football. I had the privilege of seeing both guys play at LSU, and they were always competing at everything they were doing. It would not surprise me to see both guys with 6+ catches, 100+ yards, and at least one score. I’m playing both of them every where and I suggest you to do the same.
Side note: Rueben Randle makes for an interesting play for GPP’s if you want an LSU trifecta at receiver. He’s also good friends with ODB and Landry so he will be bringing his all tonight as well.
I absolutely loved Parker coming into this year, so nothing makes me happier to see the kid make an impact like he has the past couple weeks. He has found the end zone in the previous two games, and this Giants defense does nothing to make me think that tonight wont result in a similar manner. He doesn’t have the upside of other guys, but Tannehill trusts him and he’s been the number two guy now that he’s healthy and playing full time.
ASJ is another chalk guy this week, but there isn’t much else out there at the position. He’s the most talented of all the tight ends, and he’s also heavily involved when he is on the field. He hasn’t played a full game of snaps since coming back from injury, but he’s a big red zone target that Jameis looks for inside the 20 yard line. If Vincent Jackson is out this week, he’s a lock in cash game lineups.
Tye has scored 10+ fantasy points in a PPR in each of his three previous games. He’s Eli checkdown receiver when ODB is double covered. He costs next to nothing and makes for a great pivot from ASJ. I love him in GPP’s especially.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers/St. Louis Rams
I want no part of the Monday night game defensively, so these two are the best options by default. If Tampa can get some of their injured players back for Thursday night, then I give them the slight edge because the Rams are one dimensional on offense. Tampa has been solid at defending the run and they’ll stack the box against Gurley. The Rams defense is the most talented of the group, but they have been plagued but injuries as well, and are without Robert Quinn. Also, they are going up a rookie QB who can melt down at any moment. Either one should serve you just fine and their price difference won’t make much of a difference in your lineups.
Brown has been the best kicker in football not named Stephen Gostkowski. He’s the safest play of the bunch. Barth has been inconsistent this season, but Tampa should be able to move the ball enough to get within his range on Thursday. I don’t trust Andrew Franks on the Dolphins and Greg Zuerlein only kicks PATs. Brown is the safest play, but Barth has the most upside. I still hate kickers in fantasy football.
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