Not a great week last week, as the National Fake You Out League continued to wreak havoc.
It was a rough week at QB with Tyrod Taylor (QB14) being the only good suggestion, and he was barely serviceable. I picked a bad week to try out Tom Brady (QB21) and cheap guys Jimmy Garoppolo (QB23) and Ben Roethlisberger (QB24) came up small.
I took a shot with Saquon Barkley (RB30) and it didn’t go well. Nor did it go well with Miles Sanders (RB35), who got hurt. Joe Mixon (RB2) got it done again, and Antonio Gibson (RB5) came through and could have had a huge game. James Robinson (RB19) was so-so.
My guy Deebo Samuel (WR5) came through at WR, and Diontae Johnson (WR12) was good. But Justin Jefferson (WR25) and Brandin Cooks (WR24) were only decent, and Michael Pittman (WR40) and Mike Evans (WR70) were flops, especially Evans. I tried out Laviska Shenault (WR47) for dirt cheap and it was so-so.
At TE, I had Rob Gronkowski (TE2) and Mark Andrews (TE4) profiled, but Logan Thomas (TE23) had a TD taken off the board or else he would have been TE8 for the week, and Evan Engram (TE22) failed to capitalize on a good matchup. Noah Fant (TE30) and Dallas Goedert (TE54) both showed that they’re too volatile to use.
Note: I’m ranking them in order of my favorite plays, mainly for cash games.
Justin Herbert (LAC, at Cin — $6700 DK, $8200 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites.
Herbert has thrown for multiple TDs in four of his five games, and he’s also run for 126 yards on 13 carries in the last two games, which is a key because the Bengals are giving up the third-fewest passing TDs per game (1.3) and the seventh-fewest FPG (17.3) to QBs, But I like the potential for a mini-shootout here, and I like Keenan Allen’s matchup in the slot.
Derek Carr (LV, vs. WFT — $6000 DK, $7500 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites. The Carr rollercoaster ride continues, as he’s had fewer than 2 TD passes in three of his four, but he did ball out in Week 12 with 373/1. Washington is giving up a league-high 24.2 FPG to QBs this season, and they’ve allowed multiple TD passes in 8-of-11 games. The football team won’t have S Landon Collins and CB Benjamin St-Juste, who had been playing about half their snaps. With the football team showing signs of life, this could be a mini-shootout.
Taylor Heinicke (WFT, at LV — $5600 DK, $7100 FD) — He’s a top-7 value on both sites, and the #4 value on DK. Heinicke has fewer than 16 FP in five of his last seven games, but he’s been better the last two weeks, so I like where he’s at now. He should also get more than he got last week from TE Logan Thomas and WR Curtis Samuel. If he runs a little, which he usually does, he’s a good bet to hit 3X return.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Tom Brady (TB, vs. Atl — $7200 DK, $8100 FD) — He’s only the 12th-best value on DK, but he is the #2 value on DK. Brady has now finished with fewer than 6.6 YPA in three straight starts and he has 6 INTs in his last four games, so it’s the perfect time to use him. Brady is certainly pissed about his recent poor play, so he could feast against a weaker defense in Atlanta’s. Brady, of course, put up 276/5 in this matchup earlier this season. This looks like a 4 TD game to me.
Antonio Gibson (WFT, at LV — $6700 DK, $6200 FD) — He’s the top value on the RB board on both sites. A complete no-brainer this week, Gibson has looked as healthy as he has all season since their Week 9 bye, averaging 24.0/90.0 rushing per game and he also posted seven catches last week. Obviously, JD McKissic being out is huge. The Raiders are giving up 141 total yards per game to RBs, and Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott combined for 33.7 FP last week, so Gibson is a lock for 15-20 points unless he gets hurt. They’re also giving up 7/51/.3 per game to RBs in the passing game, so 4-5 catches are a lock. Basically, his role is too big to fail.
Joe Mixon (Cin, vs. LAC — $8100 DK, $9400 FD) — He’s a top-3 value on both sites.
Mixon now has 24+ FP in four straight games and in five of his last six games with a TD in each of his last eight games. He’s an obvious play, but he’s one that must be listed against a Chargers’ defense that’s giving up a league-high 119.9 rushing yards per game to RBs. They’re also giving up the most carries in the league to RBs with a whopping 28.9 per game over the last eight weeks.
Jonathan Taylor (Ind, vs. Hou — $9200 DK, $10500 FD) — Despite his high cost, he’s a top-3 value on both sites. In his last three games against the Texans, Taylor is averaging a ridiculous 7.4 YPC with 106/1 on average. Taylor ripped the Texans for 14/145/2 rushing with a 13-yard catch for 28.8 FP back in Week 6, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t get another 150+ total yards and 2 or more TDs, especially if DL Jonathan Greenard (foot) can’t play or is limited. They did just put C Ryan Kelly on the covid list, so he’s out, but Taylor can still smash.
Miles Sanders (Phi, at NYJ — $5200 DK, $6600 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites. This is it. With Jordan Howard out again and Boston Scott out of practice all week, this is it. Sanders himself has an ankle issue, but he was a full-go in practice Thursday and Friday. The Jets defense is actually better than people think, but they won’t likely have DL Sheldon Rankins, and the Jets have been the best RB matchup for RBs all season long, allowing a league-high 35.8 FPG to the position. It’s looking like it’s Gardner Minshew, and I think the commitment to the run will be just as strong as it’s been, and there should be more rushing yards for the RBs to collect.
Myles Gaskin (Mia, vs. NYG — $5800 DK, $6400 FD) — He’s a top-10 value on both sites. For one, the Dolphins (6.5 home favorites) should smoke the Giants, who are starting Mike Glennon and are still down two key WRs plus starting CB Adoree Jackson. Gaskin’s seen 15+ touches in six straight games, and Phillip Lindsay (doubtful) won’t play. The Giants are giving up a generous 159.5 total yards per game to RBs this season. In their last four, RBs are at 4.7 YPC against them and they’re giving up a whopping 8/5/69 per game to RBs. This should be a 15+ PPR day for Gaskin.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
James Conner (Ari, vs. Chi — $5900 DK, $7300 FD) — He’s only a top-15 value on both sites, but he’s the 11th-best on DK. As Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins try to return from what seems like the longest injury recoveries of all time, the Cards should still lean heavily on Conner. Conner has seen 77% of the snaps in three straight and he will make it four straight barring injury with Chase Edmonds out again this week. The Bears are giving up the 14th-fewest FPG (22.4) to RBs this season, but they’re hurting with DT Akiem Hicks likely out and LB Roquan Smith pretty damn questionable with a hamstring. Plus, LB Khalil Mack is still on IR. They also are giving up 6 catches per game to RBs, so Conner is looking good with 20+ touches.
Alexander Mattison (Min, at Det — $7600 DK, $8700 FD) — He’s not even a top-15 value on either site, but I do trust Mattison this year after he really let us down in a start for Dalvin Cook last year. He’s been a lot more decisive, so he’s looked quicker and better. And we’re looking at 20+ opportunities for sure. The Lions have been decent against RBs lately, but let’s face it; it’s a great matchup. Mattison also somehow has averaged 21.2 FPG in this matchup in his last three, averaging 123 scrimmage yards.
Rex Burkhead (Hou, vs. Ind — $4800 DK, $5300 FD) — He’s technically not a value, since he’s only a top-18 value on both sites (16th-best on DK). But he is still dirt cheap and set to handle 15+ touches with David Johnson likely out. The Colts have been tough on RBs this year, but the top-2 Buccaneer RBs last week totaled 168 yards with 5 TDs against them. They’re now giving up 5.2 YPC and 4.8/53 receiving to RBs in their last four, so Rex has a chance to come through majorly at his low price and with 15-20 opportunities. Of course, knowing the Texans, they could give Royce Freeman 10+ carries. Yet, while I’d expect Freeman to play, I have to think Rex will be the main guy, as they are still trying hard to win now.
Darnell Mooney (Chi, vs. Ari — $5600 DK, $6700 FD) — There are not many WRs in the league right now who are as reliable as Mooney, which is something else because he was the WR46 off the board in drafts this summer. Of course, I had him at WR31, so I’m not surprised. He gets Andy Dalton again this week, and that’s probably a positive, plus Allen Robinson is out again this week, so volume won’t be a problem. He’s averaging 10 targets a game his last four and has 12+ FP in four straight. Tyler Lockett went for 4/115 in this matchup in Arizona’s last game, and that was with a struggling Russell Wilson.
Brandon Aiyuk (SF, vs. Sea — $5600 DK, $7000 FD) — He’s a better value on DK (#6), but he’s a top-13 value on both sites. Aiyuk is 100% back, even last week to his dominating form at the tail end of the 2020 season. He has 85+ receiving yards in three of his last four with a team-best 27% target share since Week 8 and Deebo Samuel is out. Deebo went for 8/156/2 receiving as the top WR in the first meeting this year.
Hunter Renfrow (LV, vs. WFT — $5800 DK, $64000 FD) — He’s the 12th-best value on both sites. It is an absolute joke how little Derek Carr looks for wideout Bryan Edwards, but it’s all about trust for Carr and he clearly doesn’t trust Edwards. But he trusts Renfrow like a brother, and Renfrow is Carr’s clear top option if Darren Waller is out, and Waller is out. Refrow exploded last week with season-highs across the board with 8/134 receiving and 21.6 FP. He has 5+ catches in nine of his 11 games, and it will be 10 of 12 after this one as the WTF has been one of the worst teams in the league covering the slot. They currently give up the fifth-most FPG to slot receivers the last eight weeks.
Josh Reynolds (Det, vs. Min — $3400 DK, $5100 FD) — I have had poor results backing dirt cheap guys this year, but Reynolds at least on DK should be an easy 3x return guy at his extremely low price. Reynolds did look good last week with his boy Jared Goff, and he’s certain to get WR1 treatment barring a complete shutdown by the Viking secondary, which is unlikely. We still don’t know about Patrick Peterson getting off the Covid list, but as of Saturday at 5pm ET, it was not looking good because PP was still on the list. The Vikings are giving up the second-most receiving yards (189.3) and 14.5 YPR to WRs this season, and Goff should be able to get off 35+ attempts in this one. No LB Eric Kendricks helps and with DT Michael Pierce back, the Lions may need to throw.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Justin Jefferson (Min, at Det — $8200 DK, $8000 FD) — He’s actually the top value on FD, but only the 23rd-best value on DK. I called the last meeting earlier in the season a Jefferson game and it was, as he put up 7/124 on eight targets against the Lions in October. Jefferson has 9+ targets in three straight, and this is a blowup spot.
Jaylen Waddle (Mia, vs. NYG — $6400 DK, $6900 FD) — He’s the 11th-best value on FD, but down the board on DK. Waddle is looking good with Tua looking good against a Giants defense that has no pass rush. Waddle now has 15+ FP in five of his last seven and has now seen 8+ targets in six of his last seven. No CB Adoree Jackson for the Giants helps his chances for sure, and guys like Chris Godwin (6/65/1) and Hunter Renfrow (7/49/1) have had success out of the slot in recent games against the Giants. This dude’s going to be a fourth round pick in drafts next year.
Keenan Allen (LAC, at Cin — $7500 DK, $7300 FD) — He’s the 6th-best value on FD, but far down the DK value list. Allen has just 2 TDs on the season, but he’s seen ridiculous volume since their Week 7 bye with 10+ targets in five straight games and the league’s second-highest target share (31%) with 15+ FP in each of those five games. The Bengals are giving up the seventh-most catches per game (13.4) to WRs, and the Bengals give up the sixth-most FPG and the 11th-most yards per game to slot receivers the last eight weeks, as CB Mike Hilton has actually been the weak link in their secondary.
DK Metcalf (Sea, vs. SF — $6700 DK, $7300 FD) — Guys, after that debacle last week, DK is scoring this week. Seattle’s offense is dead, but they will get some help with some key defensive injuries for the 49ers, like DL Dre Greenlaw and LB Fred Warner (d). DK has averaged 6/82/1 in his last three matchups dating back to just 2020, so he has history on his side. The old overcorrection is forthcoming.
Logan Thomas (WFT, at LV — $4000 DK, $5600 FD) — He’s a top-8 value on both sites. Thomas wasn’t quite back to his full-time role from early in the season last week, but he did look good and played a promising 79% of the snaps last week. He posted only 3/31 receiving on six targets, but he also had a TD taken off the board. His role should increase this week, and he will be needed to step up with the second-best TE matchup in the league against the Raiders, who are giving up 17.4 FPG, the third-highest EPA/attempt and the sixth-highest FP/target number against TEs.
Rob Gronkowski (TB, at Atl — $5300 DK, $7000 FD) — Gronk now has 4+ catches in each of his five full games with 19+ FP in three of those four. He also has 8+ targets in four games. He put up 4/39/2 on only five targets in this matchup earlier this season and should continue to be leaned on heavily by Tom Brady. Teams are taking away the downfield passing opportunities, and it’s opening up the middle of the field for Gronk to eat.
Foster Moreau (LV, at Cin — $2700 DK, $5500 FD) — I don’t know what the folks at DK are doing with his pricing, but it’s insanely low for a guy who is very good at football and might be a star by now were it not for the emergence of Darren Waller starting the same year Moreau was drafted in 2019. Moreau dropped 6/60/1 receiving while filling in for Waller in Week 7, and the guy has 10 TDs on just 53 career targets. Gerald Everett posted 5/37/1 receiving in this matchup last week and over the last eight weeks, TFT is giving up the fifth-most FP per target to TEs and the third-highest EPA/target (expected points added) against TEs.
CJ Uzomah (Cin, vs. LAC — $3200 DK, $5200 FD) — He’s a risky play, but he’s still top-8 on both sites due to his upside in this matchup. Uzomah hasn’t scored in four straight games, but the Chargers have given up five TDs to TEs in the last three weeks, and they’re giving up a league-high .9 TDs per game to the position and give up the most FP per target on the season, so I think he will be a bigger factor in this one, if not a huge factor because the Chargers are quite stingy against WRs.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
George Kittle (SF, vs. Sea — $5900 DK, $6300 FD) — He’s actually the top value on FD, but only the 13th-best value on FD. With Deebo Samuel out, it sets up well for this week to be a Kittle week. Kittle posted 4/40 receiving on 10 targets in this matchup earlier this season and the Seahawks are giving up the 10th-most FPG (14.0) to TEs this season. Pretty encouraging, but no Deebo is huge, and he’s due for a big game after last week’s flop.
Pat Friermuth (Pit, vs. Bal — $4200 DK, $5400 FD) — He’s only the 13th-best value on DK, but he’s the 7th-best on FD. Patty F landed in concussion protocol this week, but he was a full participant in practice all week, so he’s good. He came through last week with 4/40/1 on a 76% snap share with Eric Ebron on IR, and Freiermuth is the man again this week. He has 5 TDs in his last five games, and the Ravens are giving up the fourth-most TDs per game (.6) to TEs this season.
Tyler Conklin (Min, at Det— $3700 DK, $5200 FD) — He’s pretty volatile, but when I did his projection, he came in pretty high and I came away encouraged. Conklin managed just 2/25 receiving on three targets in this matchup back in Week 5, but TEs are getting 11+ targets a game against the Lions in their last four, good for 7.5/74 receiving.
Teddy Bridgewater (Den, a KC — $5400 DK) — DK only, where he’s the #7 value at QB this week. Teddy is definitely hard to trust, especially since he has just three TD passes in his last four games (plus a rushing TD), and the Chiefs defense has tightened up against QBs. But he also completed 36 passes against this same defense last year as a Panther for 310/2 passing with a 74% completion rate. I love Javonte Williams, and he will bring some explosiveness to the offense, hopefully in the passing game, but Teddy is likely going to have to throw it 30+ times, since this game has one of the highest expected totals this week. I’m confident Teddy can get 16 FP here.
Javonte Williams (Den, at KC — $5500 DK, $5700 FD) — He’s a top-5 value on both sites. Obviously, with Melvin Gordon out, he’s looking good. Williams is averaging over 5.0 YPC and 10.0 YPC his last four games, and now we’re looking at 15+ carries and 5+ targets. Shot out of a cannon and a big play waiting to happen, Williams can make guys miss and he also has good power for his size to gain yards after contact. He’s also a very good receiver with upside due to his big-play potential, and it could be a big catch game, since they are 10-point road underdogs and since Chiefs are giving up just under 7 catches a game to RBs in their last four. Regardless, with 20+ opportunities, I think we can bank on 15+ PPR points.
Devin Singletary (Buf, vs. NE — $4300 DK) — DK only, where he’s the 9th-best value on the board this week. He’s tough to trust, but it does look like Zach Moss is out of the mix right now, and Matt Breida is not a volume guy. Simply put, the best way to attack the Pats is to run on them, so the Bills might actually try. Singletary led with a 68% snap share last week with 16 opportunities, and we should be looking at another 15-20 looks this week. The Pats are giving up 4.6 YPC and a generous 160.4 scrimmage yards per game to RBs, so I like DS for 12+ PPR FP.