This is shaping up to be quite the week in daily fantasy land.
Prices seem to have tightened up across the board this weekend as fewer teams are on byes and big performances have driven cost up while stars continue to float on their big names. We also have some frigid weather on the way that could affect a couple of matchups.
Who should you trust, and who should you avoid? Let's dive in.
Stacks of the Week
Robert Griffin III III, QB, Washington - $7,400
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington - $6,500
Unlike last week, stacks are a bit thin for Week 11. With so many high-priced quarterbacks out there, it is difficult to find a cost-effective pair with significant upside.
The latter has been a disappointment for much of the season, but he should have a great opportunity to get on the same page as his quarterback this week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers represent a plus matchup for the duo, particularly for the pass-catching half of the equation as they have given up the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.
As for Griffin, well, the matchup is pretty good there, as well. Even with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan tossing just one touchdown last week, the Buccaneers have given up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. Toss in Griffin's rushing ability and we have a recipe for good value and great success.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals - $5,300
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals - $6,000
This is strictly a GPP stack, but being able to form one with this kind of upside at these prices is difficult to avoid.
Andy Dalton was Tim Tebowesque throwing the ball on Thursday Night Football in Week 10. He completed just 10 of 33 passes in an epic meltdown, the likes of which we hadn’t seen since the last time Dalton was on primetime. An extra few days to sort things out and a better matchup during the daytime hours might be just what the doctor ordered to get Dalton right.
His No. 1 receiver had a horrendous night, too. It wasn’t just Dalton’s horrific play either—Green had a couple of bad drops that helped kill drives.
The New Orleans Saints might not be a doormat defensively, but they are far more generous than the Cleveland Browns. That defense has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and the fifth-most to wide receivers this year. That is not to mention the fact the Saints are heavily favored in what projects to be a fairly high-scoring affair. In other words, Dalton might be putting the ball up a lot in the second half.
With the odor from Dalton’s last performance still lingering and other quality options available at good prices, you might get the additional bonus of lineup diversification by investing in him this Sunday.
Interestingly enough, Dalton is nowhere near as cheap at FanDuel at $7,900, which points to higher expectations there than on Draft Kings.
Robert Griffin III III, Washington - Draft Kings (DK): $6,300
Of course, the RG3 stack works over at DraftKings as well with Griffin being priced so nicely.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints - DK: $8,300, FanDuel (FD): $9,300
As cash game options go at quarterback, Drew Brees is probably the best value.
He isn’t nearly as expensive as the Big Three—Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, though you could probably add a fourth with Tom Brady here—and he should have a similar floor. He has the added bonus of playing indoors, something Rodgers does not have in a game that should be below freezing the entire time.
The matchup isn’t fantastic—the Cincinnati Bengals are in the middle of the pack when it comes to giving up fantasy points over the past five weeks—but Brees is going to be at home, where he thrives. Besides, Cincinnati has struggled against opposing tight ends, and Brees can lean on one of the best in Jimmy Graham.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers - DK: $6,800
If you are looking for some lighter fare with a mostly solid 2014 history, perhaps you might be interested in a Philip Rivers soup and salad.
The Chargers quarterback is coming off an abysmal performance on the road against the Miami Dolphins, one in which he scored negative fantasy points. Hopefully the bye week has straightened the offense out a bit in San Diego, but getting to face the Oakland Raiders might be the real panacea.
Rivers lit the Raiders up for 313 yards and three touchdowns last time around, though it was a bit out of necessity with Oakland’s surprisingly strong performance on the offensive side of the ball. The script might not be so kind for Rivers this week, but he is still perfectly capable of a similar output.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles - DK:$5,800, FD: $6,900
The great game Mark Sanchez had last week wasn’t factored into his pricing for Week 11 because it came on a Monday night. This week he travels to Green Bay, where a shootout is brewing. The over-under is set at 55 with the Eagles as 4.5-point underdogs, which makes it seem like Sanchez is a shoo-in for a big game, right?
Well, take that with a grain of salt. Ben Roethlisberger was supposed to light the Jets secondary up last week and look what happened. Furthermore, temperatures are supposed to be in the 20s at Lambeau this Sunday, so we could be looking at some depressed numbers all around if that’s the case.
Still, Sanchez looks to present solid value this week with good upside. Perhaps lightning will strike twice with rookie receiver Jordan Matthews.
Mark Ingram II, RB, New Orleans Saints - DK: $6,200, FD: $8,000
The New Orleans Saints seem bent on extracting every drop of value out of Mark Ingram II this season now that he is healthy and playing well. So why not continue taking advantage?
The former first-round pick has been fantastic the past several weeks, and he should be in line for another good game this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. That is a Bengals defense that has given up six touchdowns over the past three games, including one apiece to the three Cleveland running backs last week. The Saints are also favored in this game, and they have shown a propensity to feed Ingram with big leads this season.
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions - DK: $3,100, FD: $6,300
Reggie Bush is likely going to be out this weekend. The last two times Bush was out, Theo Riddick played a massive part in the offense—he ranked seventh in PPR scoring in Weeks 6 and 8. While that might be a bit of wishful thinking the third time around—especially against this defense—Riddick should still be in for a nice day catching the ball.
FanDuel was prescient in pricing, as Riddick is the same cost as Bush this week. He is still a pretty good value there, but you will maximize the bang for your buck over at Draft Kings, where the scoring is full PPR.
Granted, his upside isn’t as high as in previous situations simply because of the matchup—the Arizona Cardinals haven’t given up a ton of fantasy points this season. That should affect Joique Bell more so than Riddick, however, as the latter should have several targets that should buoy his fantasy value.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles - DK: $6,400, FD: $7,700
Is it secret? Is it safe?
It seems like LeSean McCoy has slipped on the One Ring this season. He hasn’t been able to get things going, even in supposedly good matchups. So why entrust him to do anything worthwhile this week?
Well, once again, the matchup, opportunity and upside are ripe for the picking. Hopefully he can capitalize this time.
Alfred Morris, Washington - DK: $5,400, FD: $7,300
Washington is favored by nearly a touchdown this weekend at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the latter has played better against opposing running backs as of late, but it’s still a bad defense. Morris, meanwhile, went off for a couple of touchdowns against Minnesota before the bye, and it’s a good bet that Robert Grififn III’s return had something to do with it.
Alfred Blue, Houston Texans - DK: $3,000
This is like eating your cauliflower or Brussels sprouts as a kid. But you have to do it, right?
The convergence of price point and impending opportunity make Alfred Blue a solid option. The question is whether his talent—or lack thereof—poisons the investment. Anything could happen, of course—the Cleveland Browns haven’t been terribly good against the run, for example—but what are the odds Blue puts up a better game than the aforementioned Theo Riddick?
All that to say, Blue’s upside is limited, making him a far better cash game option. Be warned, however—with the news of Arian Foster’s absence breaking early on Friday, it’s reasonable to assume many fantasy owners will flock to Blue at this price. His appeal is nonexistent at FanDuel, where he is priced at $6,400.
Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $3,800, FD: $5,700
Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $5,800, FD: $7,500
You are going to want to invest in the Patriots-Colts affair this weekend with an over-under set at 57.5, and two guys who might provide the best bang for your buck reside in the same backfield.
Ahmad Bradshaw has been a touchdown machine this season, particularly in the passing game. While it might seem unreasonable to expect him to continue scoring points in that fashion, he keeps thumbing his nose at regression. The New England Patriots, meanwhile, have given up the most receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. Seems like a match made in heaven, right?
He won’t necessarily have to score in the air to be a good value this week, either. The Patriots are giving up 4.4 yards per carry on the ground, and the Colts might run the ball a bit more this week to try to keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. Indianapolis is also favored—a second-half lead might lead to more rushing attempts all around.
Trent Richardson, meanwhile, continues to get a ton of touches when he’s healthy, which makes him a sneaky option this week at those prices. That receiving touchdown we might expect for Bradshaw might go to Richardson, who is no slouch catching the ball out of the backfield.
Pierre Garcon, Washington - DK: $4,000, FD: $6,500
Once again, pairing Garcon with RG3 at these prices is a nice GPP tandem.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons - DK: $7,000, FD: $8,200
He didn’t quite hit a Bingo last week, but Julio Jones wound up having a pretty good line against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We are patiently awaiting a trip into the end zone or two, something that can come any Sunday.
This week is a good bet as the Falcons take on the Panthers, who have given up 39 points per game in PPR formats this season. The Panthers aren't very good at any facet of the game right now, and they have been carved up by opposing wide receivers on several occasions.
The over-under is set at 47.5 with just a 2.5-point spread, so we should see some offensive fireworks on both sides of the ball if Vegas is any indication.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos - DK: $8,600, FD: $9,100
The cost is high, but so will be the pain if you eschew Demaryius Thomas if he goes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He is a quality anchor this week.
Peyton Manning spreads the wealth, and it has been three long weeks since Thomas has gotten into the end zone. He has surpassed 100 yards each of those weeks, however, which gives him a decent floor even if that won’t meet value. Touchdowns are finicky, even for the best receivers in the game, but bet on Thomas getting into the end zone at least once against the St. Louis Rams, who have given up 11 to the position this season.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers - DK: $4,500, FD: $6,400
The Raiders held Keenan Allen to just three receptions for 27 yards in their last meeting, so this doesn’t come without risk.
That was on the road, however, and Allen is getting a ton of targets this season. Opportunity is key, and Allen should have plenty of that. It's difficult to find a No. 1 receiver who will likely garner double-digit targets at these prices, so get in while Allen is at a discount.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DK: $5,600, FD: $6,500
He hasn't done a whole lot with those targets in the fantasy realm, but the opportunity is inarguable, as is the matchup against a soft Washington secondary.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $5,300, FD: $6,900
How Reggie Wayne is so under-valued and under-owned heading into the weekend is a mystery.
The Indianapolis Colts are slightly favored in a game that has an over-under set at 57.5. New England’s defensive attention will likely be shifted toward T.Y. Hilton, who is among the league leaders in receiving this season. Even if that isn’t the case, there is going to be plenty of scoring to go around if oddsmakers are anywhere near correct, and Wayne is going to garner at least six or seven targets.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs - DK: $4,000, FD: $5,900
Kelce was probably due for a decent workload regardless, but Fasano’s likely absence probably means Kelce will see a larger share of playing time than in weeks’ past. A couple of more targets could go a long way for a guy who is among the league leaders in yards after catch.
The second-year tight end also has a pretty good matchup against a Seattle Seahawks defense that has allowed 15.6 points per game in PPR formats to opposing tight ends this season.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $4,200, FD: $6,100
Once again, the Colts and Patriots are set to wage offensive war this weekend. That makes Dwayne Allen a great option in GPP tournaments.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers - DK: $3,300, FD: $5,100
Last week was ugly for the entire Pittsburgh Steelers offense. What seemed like a slam dunk matchup turned into a nightmare for anyone who invested, especially those who put their faith in Heath Miller.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots - DK: $7,300, FD: $8,100
As anchors go, you will be hard-pressed to find a cheaper option with higher upside than Rob Gronkowski at tight end.
Simply put, Gronkowski is back to form, and he is currently the best tight end in the land. Couple that with a game that should be a barn burner and a Colts defensive matchup that is giving up 15.1 points per game in PPR formats and you should see huge returns if you invest in the T-1000.
Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals - DK: $5,500, FD: $5,900
Looking for a great deal at quarterback? Look further than Drew Stanton.
He might seem like a great deal given all the weapons he has, but take a closer look at what he has done and you might run away shrieking.
Stanton threw a total of two touchdowns in his three starts earlier this season, both of which came against the San Francisco 49ers. He may well meet value in a cash game given he does have three great wideouts not to mention a fantastic pass-catching back in Andre Ellington, but the risk is too great to invest.
Shaun Hill, St. Louis Rams - DK: $5,000, FD: $5,000
Similar logic applies to the Rams newly re-minted starting quarterback, Shaun Hill.
On the surface he seems like a decent GPP value, given the Denver Broncos are likely to run out to a big lead. The game flow could put St. Louis in garbage time mode relatively early, which would make Hill seem like a nice option.
The problem is twofold, however—Hill was only given the job because head coach Jeff Fisher thinks he is better prepared to face the Broncos. If that doesn’t appear to be the case by the third quarter—say, the Broncos defense plays like it did in Oakland last week and holds the Rams below 10 points—then there is a real possibility Hill will be yanked.
Then there is the fact the Broncos didn’t give an inch until the very end of the game, despite a huge lead last week against the Raiders. The Rams might not be so lucky as to get the ball with a minute left to march down the field. As enticing as Hill seems at minimum salary, you are playing with fire in your lineup if you invest.
Rashad Jennings, New York Giants - DK: $4,700, FD: $6,600
Rashad Jennings is on his way back from a sprained MCL. He is ready to roll this weekend against a San Francisco defense that is now without star linebackers Patrick Willis or NaVorro Bowman, so it would seem like a good time to squeeze some value out of Jennings.
Unfortunately, he may not have the volume to meet value for this week.
Coughlin said that Rashad Jennings, if he plays, will probably not take a full workload in his first game back.— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) November 13, 2014
While that may be a bit of gamesmanship on head coach Tom Coughlin's part, that automatically makes Jennings too risky to pick up for this week.
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos - DK: $4,400, FD: $6,700
C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos - DK: $4,800, FD: $6,500
Who is going to get the workload for Denver over the next couple of weeks now that Ronnie Hillman is out? Will it be C.J. Anderson, who impressed last week against the Oakland Raiders in lieu of Hillman? Or will Montee Ball be given an opportunity to win his job back?
That will be an interesting question to answer this weekend, one that you should watch from the sidelines in daily fantasy formats. Sure, both could wind up getting significant touches if the Broncos take a huge lead into the second half, but we could be seeing a 50-50 split where neither scores a touchdown and everybody loses.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - DK: $10,100, FD: $9,300
If you’ve read this column in the past, you may have noted Matt Forte being touted as a solid anchor despite an exorbitant price. That is not the case this week.
Forte is going to have a good game against the Minnesota Vikings, to be sure, but he will not be able to meet value at that enormous price tag. He is too expensive for cash games, let alone GPP lineups.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals - DK: $6,300, FD: $6,600
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals - DK: $3,800, FD: $6,300
Basically speaking, fade the entire Arizona Cardinals offense. Someone is going to have to score—unless the defense and special teams go nuts—but investing in any player is a particularly big risk given the quarterback situation and the matchup.
Yes, that even goes for John Brown. The speedy receiver may have caught three touchdowns from Stanton this season, but if he doesn’t hit on a long one he is liable to put up five points in your lineup.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders - DK: $3,100, FD: $5,800
The last three weeks have been great for Mychal Rivera, including a late touchdown last week that made his investors happy. That run is over in Week 11 as he gets set to face the San Diego Chargers, whose defense has allowed few points to opposing tight ends. That includes a big goose egg by Rivera in their Week 6 meeting, despite the fact starting quarterback Derek Carr threw four touchdowns in that game.
Rivera is going to draw a lot of attention at that price, which is fair given he is nearly a minimum salary player on a hot streak. It's probably too good to be true.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings - DK: $3,600
Kyle Rudolph is back after a long layoff this week, and he should be a sight for sore eyes in Minnesota. The question is whether he can be a quality pickup for fantasy owners right out of the gate.
Rudolph has always been a red zone threat, but he has failed to live up to expectations for much of his career. He could see a limited workload in his first game back, too.
The Chicago Bears do give up a ton of points to tight ends, so this fade might come back to haunt me, but it might be better to wait a week and see what Rudolph truly brings to the table before putting him into lineups. If anything, he is a decent GPP option at that price.
Interestingly enough, he is nowhere to be found on FanDuel at the time of this writing.