Welcome to the weekly “one stop shop” for all things DFS. I tout my favorite plays of the week after breaking down all of the games, looking at matchups, and considering all relevant weekly and season-long injuries/suspensions. As a guide, you can think of the “Top Plays” sections as cash game recommendations and the “Under The Radar” sections as GPP tournament recommendations. Confused on the difference? Check out a recent DFS Strategy article I wrote. However, I refuse to specifically title the sections in that way because I believe it boxes in the picks. Many players can and do fall under both categories in any given week. I delve more into that in the article linked above as well. When reading, keep that in mind. Now let’s get to it, starting with my top Bonanza candidates.
Domination Bonanza Candidate: None
Back and Forth Bonanza Candidate: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Top QB Plays Of The Week
Jameis Winston vs NO, $8,200
Jameis Winston is in a great spot at home against a Saints defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game. Over the last two weeks, the Saints have been torched by Matthew Stafford and…Jared Goff.
Matthew Stafford vs CHI, $8,500
Matthew Stafford has had a phenomenal season and is even in the MVP conversation. This week, he is at home against a Bears defense that has statistically been solid against the pass this year. Still, with Matt Barkley behind center for the Bears and limited weapons around him, I see the Lions controlling this game. That means good things for Stafford.
Eli Manning vs DAL, $7,700
Eli Manning is averaging nearly 100 more passing yards and 0.67 more pass TDs at home this season. He will be at home this week against a Cowboys defense giving up the 4th most passing yards per game. In two of the past four weeks, the Cowboys have allowed 408 yards and 3 TDs to Ben Roethlisberger and 449 yards and 3 TDs to Kirk Cousins. Coming off a bad game, nobody is going to play Eli making him a very intriguing GPP tournament play.
Russell Wilson vs GB, $7,900
Let us not forget that the Packers pass defense is awful. It is their weakness as they have given up the 4th most pass TDs this season. However, they haven’t faced a QB capable of exploiting this weakness since Week 11 when Kirk Cousins threw for 375 yards and 3 TDs. They were lucky enough to get to face Carson Wentz and Brock Osweiler the last two weeks. Russell Wilson is one of the best QBs in the league and should have no problem finding success on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins vs PHI, $7,600
The statistics for the Eagles pass defense over the entire season look solid on paper. However, they have fallen apart as of late. They gave up 313 yards and 2 TDs to Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago and 332 yards and 2 TDs to Andy Dalton who was without A.J. Green last week. This Eagles pass defense is not good and Kirk Cousins isn’t going to have a problem exploiting it. Cousins has been solid all season as well as he is 3rd in the league in passing yards.
Top RB Plays Of The Week
David Johnson vs MIA, $9,700
Players with 1,000 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards through 12 games in a season: David Johnson 2016, Marshall Faulk 1998. End of list.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) December 5, 2016
Um. I think that tweet means David Johnson is pretty good. He gets a Dolphins defense giving up the 3rd most rushing yards per game and has seen double digit targets in the passing game in each of his last three games as well.
Le’Veon Bell vs BUF, $9,000
Just like David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell is highly involved in his team’s passing game. This makes Bell a dual-threat RB in one of the best offenses in football. Plus, he gets a Bills defense this week giving up the 7th most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 4th most rush TDs allowed.
Thomas Rawls vs GB, $6,500
Thomas Rawls showed us all what he is capable of when healthy last week rushing for 106 yards and 2 TDs. He did most of his damage in the second half before he got banged up a bit and the game turned into a blowout. Before those things happened, it was clear Rawls is now the unquestioned lead back in this offense. Despite the Packers defense having solid numbers against the run this season, I don’t think that really matters a whole lot. We know Russell Wilson is going to find success through the air which should increase the value of the entire offense, Rawls included. If Rawls is able to convert his inevitable red zone carries into TDs, he could be in for another big day.
Demarco Murray vs DEN, $7,900
Demarco Murray has been a beast all season as he currently ranks 2nd in the league in rushing yards. This week, he’s at home against a Broncos defense that has struggled to defend the run this year. The Broncos are giving up the 5th most rushing yards per game and are tied for the 10th most rushing TDs allowed.
Jeremy Hill vs CLE, $6,900
Jeremy Hill gets a Browns defense giving up the 2nd most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 8th most rush TDs allowed. Earlier this season, Hill ripped off 168 rushing yards and a TD on the Browns on only 9 carries. Without A.J. Green in the lineup this time around, I think it’s a safe bet Hill sees more opportunities in this one as long as he stays healthy. I will admit though, Hill’s 1.8 and 1.4 yards per carry over the last two weeks respectively don’t have me as excited for this matchup as I likely should be.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar RB Play
Rex Burkhead vs CLE, $4,500
With Giovani Bernard out of the picture, Rex Burkhead has seen 7 and 12 touches over the last two weeks respectively. He is getting more involved and has actually out rushed Hill in each of the last two games on fewer carries. If your lineup construction causes you to need a cheap RB2, take a look at Burkhead. Just like Hill, he benefits from the matchup against a Browns defense giving up the 2nd most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 8th most rush TDs allowed.
Top WR Plays Of The Week
Odell Beckham vs DAL, $8,500
Odell Beckham has seen double digit targets in eight of twelve games this season and just saw 16 targets a week ago. Beckham is by far and away the main man in the Giants offense and they’re going to need him to come up big this week against the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys. Luckily for the Giants, their biggest strength on offense mixes well with the Cowboys biggest weakness on defense as Dallas is giving up the 4th most passing yards per game. I see Beckham seeing double digit targets again this week and I don’t see how the Cowboys are able to stop him. Beckham is in for a big game at home on Sunday Night Football.
Mike Evans vs NO, $8,900
Mike Evans leads the league in targets, the Buccaneers second best option in the passing game is their TE, he is at home this week, and he gets a Saints defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game. I mean, what else do you need to know?
Golden Tate vs CHI, $6,300
Matthew Stafford is going to have a good game at home against the Bears and with Marvin Jones banged up right now, I see Golden Tate having another very good game. Tate leads the Lions in targets and has seen double digit targets in four of his last seven games.
Doug Baldwin vs GB, $7,000
Doug Baldwin leads the Seahawks in targets and after a few down games in a row, could be in line for a big night against a Packers defense that has given up the 4th most pass TDs this season. We know Baldwin has multi-TD upside.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Plays
Tyler Lockett vs GB, $5,100
Over the last four weeks, Tyler Lockett has only seen seven fewer targets than Doug Baldwin yet is priced $1,900 cheaper. We know he has game breaking potential as he showed us on a 75 yard TD run last week. This week, his big play could come in the passing game as the Packers defense has given up the 4th most pass TDs this season.
Taylor Gabriel vs LA, $5,400
If Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu both miss this game, then Taylor Gabriel becomes extremely interesting. Prior to last week, Gabriel had scored in four straight games getting it done in both the passing and rushing games. Gabriel has seen at least 5 targets in each of his past four games and his opportunities would likely increase without Jones and Sanu on the field. Plus, the Rams defense doesn’t scare anyone.
Tyler Boyd vs CLE, $5,700
Tyler Boyd has been extremely consistent since A.J. Green was lost due to injury. Boyd has at least 4 catches and 54 receiving yards in each of his past three games. He added a TD to his totals back in Week 11 as well. This week, Boyd gets a Browns defense giving up the 12th most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs in the league. I won’ be surprised at all if Boyd catches a TD this week.
Dontrelle Inman vs CAR, $5,500
Dontrelle Inman has quietly averaged 7.2 targets per game over his last five games. He has been a steady presence for Philip Rivers with both Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin dealing with injuries of late. Inman actually led the Charges in targets last week and now gets a Panthers defense giving up the 3rd most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 6th most pass TDs allowed.
Top TE Plays Of The Week
Cameron Brate vs NO, $5,600
With Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts now both out for the year, Cameron Brate is by far the Buccaneers second most reliable option in the passing game behind only Mike Evans. That’s all I need to know to make Brate my favorite TE play of the week at home against a Saints defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game. Brate saw 9 targets last week and I expect him to see a similar number again on Sunday.
Jordan Reed vs PHI, $7,500
It sounds like Jordan Reed is going to play this week. Despite likely not being 100%, he should still have a solid game against a bad Eagles pass defense. However, I believe Brate can give you similar production for $1,900 cheaper.
Jimmy Graham vs GB, $6,600
Jimmy Graham has been solid all season and is in play once again against a Packers defense that has given up the 4th most pass TDs this season.
Tyler Eifert vs CLE, $6,700
It’s a bit troubling Eifert only saw 2 targets last week. Still, he should have a solid game against a Browns defense giving up the 12th most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs in the league. They have struggled to cover the middle of the field this season as well.
Ladarius Green vs BUF, $5,800
Ladarius Green is being targeted on 29% of his snaps this year. Second place at tight end is Trey Burton, who's at 17%. Ridiculous usage.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) December 7, 2016
Ladarius Green’s snap percentage has been trending up since he finally got on the field back in Week 1o. That’s a huge positive because when Green has been on the field, Ben Roethlisberger has been targeting him. Green saw 11 targets last week despite only seeing 48% of the snaps. Clearly, there is more upside to be had here as Green continues to play more snaps.
Top Kicker Plays Of The Week
Matt Prater vs CHI, $4,900
Matt Prater has scored at least 9 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. He showed us what his upside is last week when he put up 18 FanDuel points. Prater is tied for the 4th most made field goals this season and has made all five of his attempts from 50+. Prater also has the added benefit of playing in a dome at home this week while many other kickers around the league will have to deal with cold weather.
Dustin Hopkins vs PHI, $4,800
Dustin Hopkins is tied with Justin Tucker for the most made field goals in the league. He has also attempted the most field goals this season and should see more opportunities again this week with Kirk Cousins taking advantage of a suspect Eagles defense.
Adam Vinatieri vs HOU, $5,100
Adam Vinatieri has only missed two kicks all year and has made six from 50+. He is at home this week in a dome against a Texans team led by Brock Osweiler. The Colts should control this game relatively easily.
Top Defense Plays Of The Week
Minnesota Vikings vs JAC, $4,800
Fans loved this one last night:
Blake Bortles: 11 career "pick 6s" … 10 career wins
Tom Brady: 12 career "pick 6s" … 201 career wins
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) December 9, 2016
The Minnesota Vikings are tied with the Denver Broncos for the most FanDuel points per game scored from a defense this season. This week, the Vikings get to face a Blake Bortles led offense that will be without Julius Thomas and Allen Hurns. They might also be without Chris Ivory as well.
Detroit Lions vs CHI, $4,600
The Detroit Lions defense has been playing very well as of late. This week, they get to face a depleted Chicago Bears offense led by Matt Barkley at home.
Cincinnati Bengals vs CLE, $5,000
I imagine there were many others just like myself that loved to target defenses that got to face Robert Griffin III over the past few years. Well, rejoice RGIII non-believers! RGIII is back and will start this game for the Browns. Sacks and turnovers could be coming.