Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell will be here all season delivering the edge you need to dominate your fantasy football league. Visit 1500espn.com each Wednesday for a new column and each Thursday for a new episode of the Fantasy Football Party podcast.
Win and you’re in.
It’s a familiar scenario this week – the final week before the fantasy playoffs in the majority of leagues. The mere fact that you are reading these words (i.e. still consuming fantasy analysis) this deep into the season indicates you are still in the thick of the race. Congratulations if that is you!
Of course, it could also mean that you’re here for the tasty DFS values we deliver each week in this space. In which case, you’ve probably skipped this appetizer text and have gone right to the entree below.
Before we skip ahead, however, it’s worthwhile to touch on a few interesting developments for Week 13 over which I am fielding a lot of questions. First, the Giants have decided to bench Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. Please note: this does not appear to be head coach Ben McAdoo’s decision; it has all the markings of a decision that came from the front office. If we didn’t already know, the Giants are punting on December and looking ahead to next year. Besides the fact that it’s an awful, disrespectful decision that has infuriated the locker room, it also kills off whatever fantasy value you might have gotten from your other Giants players this season – most notably Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. Hold Engram in dynasty formats. Other than that, drop all your Giants.
Secondly, Josh Gordon is going to return to action for the winless Browns this Sunday in Los Angeles against the Chargers. The gifted wide receiver has his addictions under control by all accounts and is worthy of a pickup in all leagues of all formats. I won’t pretend to predict what he will do upon his return. Absolutely nobody knows. What I will say is that when he last played a full season in 2013 (he also appeared in five games in 2014) he was one of the most dominant wide receivers I have ever seen.
Should you start him? It’s the definition of boom or bust. The most likely short-term outcome will be disappointing stat lines with flashes of the talent that made him such a punishing player. It’s Week 13… are you feeling lucky?
As we always do, let’s now pivot our attention to this week’s daily fantasy bargains.
For DFS players, we provide the best values at QB/RB/WR/TE on a weekly basis, including pricing from Fanball, DraftKings and FanDuel. Good luck!
QB: Josh McCown vs. Kansas City
The Chiefs are going backwards in a hurry now that the offense is racing the defense to see which unit can be inepter. Former Jet Darrelle Revis will be back in the Big Apple in uniform for the Chiefs for what it’s worth but it appears too little, too late. The Kansas City secondary has been shockingly pedestrian overall and downright awful against wide receivers. Meanwhile, McCown is humming along with multiple touchdowns (passing and rushing) in six of his last seven games.
QB: Drew Brees vs. Carolina
The Saints’ rushing combo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram has been so spectacular, it’s relegated Brees to the role of (gulp) game manager. For the most part anyway. The future Hall of Famer can still be a fantasy producer; it’s just that he hasn’t had to be one with his running backs doing so well. What 38-year old wouldn’t let younger colleagues do the heavy lifting? Well, this is one of those weeks in which Brees might have to do more than hand off. The Panthers have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Meanwhile, they have given up two or more touchdown passes to seven of the last nine quarterbacks they have faced. The two outliers were Mitch Trubisky and an injured Jameis Winston. Brees had three scoring strikes against the Panthers back in Week 3. And to top things off, I’m not sure his DFS price tag has ever been this low.
RB: Jordan Howard vs. San Francisco
The DFS retailers have extended Cyber Monday pricing with Howard. It lasts all week! Probably because he’s done absolutely nothing two of the past three games – including seven carries for six yards (!) against Philly last week. Take advantage of these slashed prices because the Bears host the 49ers this Sunday and no defense has allowed more yards from scrimmage to running backs this season. And if you’re into patterns and stuff, Howard has rushed for over 100 yards in his last three odd-week games.
RB: Rex Burkhead vs. Buffalo
RB: Dion Lewis vs. Buffalo
The combo platter of Burkhead and Lewis is in play this weekend. Both of them can be stacked in the same DFS lineup – yes, it can be done; I’m doing it. Okay, it’s not a traditional stack unless one throws a touchdown pass to the other, which seems unlikely. However, they both carry an inviting price tag. Because Patriots running backs. The perception is that one never knows which back Bill Belichick will feature from week to week. He can and will feature both of these guys against the Bills. Belichick is all about picking on the opposing team’s weakness, and the Bills have not been able to stop running backs since trading Marcel Dareus.
WR: Davante Adams vs. Tampa Bay
Brett Hundley leveled up last week against the Steelers and resembled a solid NFL quarterback. Aaron Rodgers isn’t hearing footsteps and fantasy owners shouldn’t be contemplating using Hundley; however, Adams is certainly a viable option. He’s been, by far, Hundley’s favorite receiver. To wit, Davante has 298 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the past three games while Jordy Nelson is appearing on milk cartons in the greater Green Bay region. The DFS price-makers have left Adams undervalued, and his matchup is pillow soft as he faces a Bucs defense that has allowed 997 yards and seven touchdowns to wideouts in the past five games (h/t Julio Jones).
WR: Robby Anderson vs. Kansas City
If you are taking my advice and employing the aforementioned McCown in DFS lineups this week and don’t want to leave him naked without a stack (and why would you?) might I suggest the reasonably priced Anderson? The Chiefs have allowed a league-worst 16 touchdowns to wide receivers and Robby has six touchdowns in his past five games. I’m not sure anymore dots need to be connected on this one.
WR: Seth Roberts vs. New York Giants
You know to start the Raiders defense against the Geno Smith-led Giants offense this week, but you can keep adding Raiders to the pile. Roberts appears to be Oakland’s de facto No. 1 wideout heading into their matchup with a lousy Giants secondary because Michael Crabtree has been suspended for throwing hands with Aqib Talib and Amari Cooper suffered a concussion and sprained ankle against Denver on Sunday. The G-men have allowed six wide receiver touchdowns in their past five games. You can really roll the dice on Cordarrelle Patterson or Johnny Holton but there’s no need when Roberts is already a DFS free space.
TE: Jared Cook vs. New York Giants
See the above comments on Seth Roberts. Cook could actually be Derek Carr’s top target this week ahead of Roberts. Even before the injuries to Cooper and suspension of Crabtree he was locked into DFS lineups regardless of price this week because of the matchup against the worst defense against tight ends in the history of all things played on a gridiron. You could spend more on several other tight ends this weekend but why do so when Cook is such a lock?
Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell co-host the 1500ESPN Fantasy Football Party podcast. Bookmark the podcast page for upcoming episodes and subscribe to the podcast now! Don’t act like you’re not impressed.
Maggio hosted Fantasy Football Sunday on 1500ESPN from 2012-2013 and is the Fantasy Football Editor at Zoneblitz.com. Mitchell is Vice President of Content for Sportradar. And Tuvey is Senior NFL Analyst and Director of Content for Fanball, a SportsHub Technologies company. All three men are kind of big deals, enjoy leather-bound books and have homes that smell of rich mahogany.
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