Well that was my most successful week of locks yet.
Kirk Cousins lived up to my wildest expectations in his audition for starting quarterback of the 49ers next year, well surpassing my success line of 22 points and posting a week leading 28.8 points. Well done Captain. Sure my Jordy Nelson pick benefited greatly from Aaron Rodgers’ injury but a win is a win is a win is a win and I’ll take them however I can get them.
My steal lock was Rishard Matthews and this kills me because I was seriously contemplating locking Eric Decker instead of Matthews but decided Matthews had a little more upside. Oh well. For the record, Decker would have JUST made it past my 12 point success line with 12.3. Matthew finished with 8.9 points.
But, happy to have gone over .500 this week and I’m feeling good about this week too. Let’s keep the good times rolling!
Season record: 6-9
ICYMI: Here are four guys who I’m buying, selling and who I think will be steals based on their price and their matchups this week on FanDuel. Now, because it’s always fun to has some form of winning and losing, for one player in each group I give a success line, which is the minimum—or maximum for the “sell” guy—number of points they need to score for me to be happy about my choice. These will be the three guys I feel most confident in heading into the weekend.
With all that said, here are names to keep in mind, for good and bad, when you start to create your FanDuel lineups.
QB Carson Wentz vs Washington ($7,800): There are a lot of favorable quarterback matchups out there this week that have the potential to go nuclear. Matt Ryan is playing the Patriots that are giving up 25 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks. Dak Prescott is facing off against the 49ers while Marcus Mariota, after coming off a big game against the Colts, is playing the Browns. However, I picked Wentz above all those guys because a) I don’t feel like I need to convince you to start any of them and b) I think Wentz might out score them all. MIGHT. Wentz has been clicking recently and has looked every bit the franchise quarterback people expected him to be. He’s at home, going against a Washington defense that over the last three weeks has given up 21.4 FPPG to opposing QBs. Plus, Wentz is cheaper than all three options.
RB Jerick McKinnon vs Ravens ($7,000): It’s taken me awhile to buy ingot the McKinnon hype but now that I have, I hope I’m not too late. Most of us thought it would be Latavius Murray who became the guy in Minnesota but his 2.4 yards per carry leave a lot to be desired. Meanwhile McKinnon has been a play making machine the last two weeks, going for over 20 points in both and making plays on both the ground and through the air. He get’s an excellent matchup against the Ravens this week at home.
RB Carlos Hyde vs Cowboys ($6,700): I’m amazed Hyde is this cheap heading into a matchup against the Cowboys. Not only do the Cowboys suck at stopping the run—they’ve surrendered the fourth most points to opposing running backs the last three weeks (26.5 FPPG)—but Hyde is coming off a two touchdown game against Washington. But I’m not complaining. I’ll happily take advantage of this price dip. With the 49ers likely starting the rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, I could see a heavy dose of the run game from San Francisco this week.
WR Julio Jones vs Patriots ($8,800): You know why I’m picking this. I’ve broadcasted this on about every major platform I can think of. Just look at the Falcons’ opponents. Look at Julio. Now look back at his opponent. Jones has yet to have a truly monstrous, game changing performance this season and in fact has kinda been missing from the offense this season. Well, that all changes this week. He due. And I believe in players having “due” games. This will be Julio’s. This will be the week that he reminds the NFL that he is the most physically dominate and talented receiver in the NFL and he’ll do so by breaking the fantasy world. Oh, I’m clearly locking this up.
Success line: 20 points
QB Ben Roethlisberger vs Bengals ($7,200): Big Ben has been all over the place this season and none of those places is the Good place (which I just binged watched on Netflix, it’s not bad). In the last three weeks he’s put up 11.5, 7.6 and a particularly disappointing 12.9 against a Chiefs defense that’s been giving up 23 points per game last week. This week gets a ton harder for Big Ben as he’s facing off a surprisingly good Bengals’ secondary that’s allowed only 8.6 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks over the last three games. I’m not putting any money on Roethlisberger.
RB Melvin Gordon vs Broncos ($7,700): While Orleans Darkwa might have had a big game against the Broncos, that doesn’t mean they still aren’t the best run defense in the NFL. They’ve given up only 65.1 total points this season to opposing running backs and back in Week 1 were able to hold Gordon to only 54 yards on the ground (though he did get a passing touchdown). Gordon is coming into the game with a shoulder injury that’s not suppose to hinder him come game time, but I never like relying on players who’re coming into a game banged up. Pass.
WR Mike Evans vs Bills ($8,100): We’re still unsure of who will be the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback for this week—though fingers crossed for a Ryan Fitzpatrick revenge game—but regardless of who it is, I’m still passing on Evans. The Bills are slightly above average when it comes to defending opposing receivers, giving up 24.4 FPPG (13th in league) and they’ll be home where they’ve played their best football. I’m putting my faith in the Bills defense (crazy I know) and telling you right here, right now, Evans won’t score more than 10.5 points this week. Yea, I just did decimals.
Success line: 10.5 points
WR T.Y. Hilton vs Jaguars ($7,600): Remember two weeks ago when I showed you the picture of Keenan Allen’s fantasy output and it looked like a roller coaster? Welp, Hilton’s is the exact same way. He’s either really really hot, or very, very cold. Two weeks ago against the 49ers, he was ON FIRE. Last week against the Titans? He wanted to build a snowman. Sadly for Hilton owners and Colts fans, this week they’re facing off against the best pass defense in the NFL (per DVOA) and one that’s allowed only 18.4 FPPG to opposing wide receivers. I’m not expecting a lot out of T.Y. this week and neither should you.
RB James White vs Falcons ($4,800): Maybe the Patriots won’t be using the exact same gameplan against the Falcons they used in the Super Bowl, but never forget White setting an NFL record for most catches in the Super Bowl. He could see a lot of action Sunday night.
WR Josh Doctson vs Eagles ($5,000): Doctson has started to show what he can do when healthy, scoring two touchdowns in his last three games. The Eagles like to give away points to opposing wide receivers. Seems to be a nice pairing.
WR Cole Beasley vs 49ers ($4,600): Before the bye, Beasley had his best game of the season against the Packers, catching two touchdowns. Let’s hope he picks up right where he left off against the 49ers.
Success line: 9 points
TE Jimmy Graham vs Giants ($5,800): My weekly “tight end that’s playing the Giants” pick. It got me a win two weeks ago with Hunter Henry and Jimmy Graham doesn’t have a Hall of Fame tight end to compete with.