On Tuesday night, the New York Football Giants announced that Eli Manning will not start on Sunday for the first time since I was a senior in college, 2004, when Kurt Warner was still suiting up for the GMen. I guarantee you that people will be all over Geno Smith this week in DFS against the Raiders, especially since he’s priced in the basement at $6,000 on Fanduel. I am not touching Geno Smith. I would rather pay a couple hundred more dollars for a more respectable option. I simply cannot believe that this team is behind Geno Smith after seeing their captain take a seat, and I just don’t think Smith can get it done. I also don’t think Smith has the mental makeup to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Keep in mind, Geno Smith is the guy who left the Green Room at the 2013 NFL Draft because he fell outside of the first round and was embarrassed to be there – a dude who leaves when things get tough isn’t the type of guy you want leading your team, in fantasy or reality.
It was kind of difficult finding some lower end guys to really get behind this week because there aren’t any guys who consistently get it done, that are low priced and also have great matchups. For example, Tyrod Taylor is $7,300 on Fanduel but he has the Patriots this week, which is scary. Marcus Mariota is $7,400 on Fanduel playing against the Texans, but he has come up very small in great spots lately. Derek Carr is only $7,600 on Fanduel and has a great matchup against the Giants, but he is missing Michael Crabtree and possibly Amari Cooper as well which is problematic. There are issues with a lot of these middle tier guys this week.
You really need to take a leap of faith with some of these lower end guys at the quarterback position this week. Jameis Winston has a great matchup against the Packers this week, but it’s hard to get on that train without seeing some positive practice reports. I know he got a full practice in on Wednesday, but you have to monitor how he feels later on in the week to see if he has any soreness. Before the Bucs decided to shut Winston down for a few weeks to rest his shoulder, he was really struggling and got benched at halftime a few times because he re-aggravated the injury. Winston is an intriguing option this week, but I almost need to see him stay healthy and survive an entire game before I roll with him. When it’s all said and done, if I don’t pay up for a QB this week, I will be scraping the absolute bottom of the barrel.
Jimmy Garoppolo @ Chicago Bears – $6,300 Fanduel – $5,100 DK – Jimmy G is making his first start for the 49ers this week and you have to believe he’s going to be better than captain checkdown aka CJ Beathard. The Bears have given up the 9th fewest fantasy points on the season, however, that comes partially due to stinkers from Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Brett Hundley. The Bears lost Leonard Floyd two weeks ago to a knee injury which limits their pass rush, making the matchup a little less scary. I understand this is Jimmy’s first start for the team and may not have a full grasp on Kyle Shanahan’s playbook. But the Bears shouldn’t have trouble scoring on the 49ers defense meaning the 49ers are likely to throw for a majority of the game. At his low DFS price, he’s likely to come through.
Brett Hundley vs Tampa Bay Bucs – $6,400 Fanduel – $5,100 DK – I am in no way a Brett Hundley fan. But I am a fan of starting opposing quarterbacks against that Bucs defense. Although Hundley isn’t the greatest NFL talent, he has proven capable of getting the ball to Davante Adams. The Bucs have given up over 250 yards passing in each of their last 4 games but have only given up 1 passing TD per game over that same span. Touchdowns are a little fluky, but the yardage should be there and Hundley is capable of getting it done with his legs. If he can come through with a TD or two, he will be ok.
Mitch Trubisky vs SF 49ers – $6,500 Fanduel – $4,500 DK – Trubisky hasn’t been putting up big numbers on the season, at all, but this week, he has the 49ers at home. Drew Stanton was able to toss 2 TD’s on them back in week 9, and if he can do it, then Mitch Trubisky can as well. The only concern with playing Trubisky is that Jordan Howard might go off for 150 yards and 2 TD’s limiting the number of throws Trubisky needs to make in this one. The 49ers have given up at least 2 passing touchdowns per game in each game they have played since week 6. The only game the 49ers haven’t surrendered a passing touchdown in this year was week 5 against Jacoby Brissett. At his low price, given the matchup, I feel good about taking a leap of faith with Trubisky this week.
Philip Rivers vs Cleveland Browns – $8,000 Fanduel – $7,000 DK – Joe Mixon ripped the Browns for over 100 yards on Sunday and as a result, the Browns no longer surrender the lowest yards per carry on defense. Nevertheless, the Chargers run game hasn’t exactly been hitting on all cylinders lately and the Browns are still surrendering only 3.3 yards per carry on the season, up from 3.1 yards per carry at this time last week. That being said, the Chargers are a hot team and need to get it done through the air–so look for Rivers to come through. Jason McCourty has been solid in pass defense for the Browns, but the Chargers are extremely deep at the wide receiver position and their tight ends and running backs are capable pass catchers as well. The arrow is pointing up for the Chargers and you need to ride this train while it’s rolling.
Jared Cook vs NY Giants – $5,500 Fanduel – $5,400 DK – Even after giving up a donut to Vernon Davis last week, the Giants have still given up the most fantasy points to the tight end position on the season. Last week, if you watched the Redskins game, you noticed that Vernon Davis stayed in quite often to help block while the Redskins offensive line was in shambles, missing Trent Williams on a short week. The Raiders offensive line is playing at a fairly high level and shouldn’t have that same problem as the Redskins did a week ago. With Michael Crabtree and possibly Amari Cooper set to miss week 13, Jared Cook may be the focal point of the offense.
Hunter Henry vs Cleveland Browns – $5,400 Fanduel – $4,700 DK – Hunter Henry returned to life and came through against the Cowboys last week. This week he gets the Browns who have given up the 4th most fantasy points to tight ends on the season and a touchdown to tight ends in each of their last 4 games. The Browns are solid against the run and Jason McCourty has been holding opposing #1 wide receivers somewhat in check, so it’s a good bet that Hunter Henry will come through this week.
Jack Doyle @ Jacksonville Jaguars – $5,700 Fanduel – $5,200 DK – I don’t really like TY Hilton or Donte Moncrief in this matchup, but the Colts have to move the ball down the field somehow, and I think that happens by the way of Jack Doyle. The last time Doyle faced off against the Jaguars he hauled in 6 of 7 targets for 44 yards, meaning he was active in the previous matchup. If Doyle can find the endzone this week, he will come through. I am not sure if I really like Doyle this week or if I really don’t like the Colts wide receivers.
Evan Engram @ Oakland Raiders – $6,900 Fanduel – $5,700 DK – Evan Engram had a few drops on Thanksgiving day against the Redskins leading to a really poor day for him. After Engram’s last few games, the hate train is rolling full steam ahead, but I don’t think it’s time to give up on him. Although Engram has come up small lately, he’s still getting the volume, and you cannot ignore the talent. On top of the volume, Engram has a solid matchup this week against the Raiders who have given up some serious yardage to tight ends lately. Engram has the volume and a plus matchup working in his favor this week, but on Tuesday night he got Geno Smith as his starting quarterback. I went back through Geno Smith’s old game logs from 2013 and 2014, the last time he played meaningful minutes, and in 2013, most of Smith’s targets went to Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland. In 2013 Smith fed the ball to his inside receivers and didn’t really look to feed it to the outside guys like Santonio Holmes. In 2014 Smith’s top targets were Eric Decker (who led the way), Jeremy Kerley, Jace Amaro, Percy Harvin and Jeff Cumberland. Once again, Smith looked to feed the ball to the inside of the field and not as much his outside guys. Based on Smith’s track record, I would feel ok with Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, but I would stay away from the Giants outside receiving options.
“Big Rigg” QB and TE Stack of the Week
Philip Rivers and Hunter Henry will get it done this week. Rivers has been on fire lately and Hunter Henry has a prime matchup against the Browns defense who hemorrhage touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Rolling Rivers and Henry out there makes sense, especially since Hunter Henry’s price is still a little depressed on the DFS sites because of the slump which he busted out of last week.
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