Bink Inc. Week 17
As the season draws to a close this weekend, it was important to me that I let you all know how much I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read this column. We’ve had our ups and downs with respect to the recommendations, but in the end, the good far outweighed the bad…and that is because of YOU! Nothing makes me happier than seeing feedback from the people who read my columns, and I can’t thank you enough for all of those who sent me recommendations, words of encouragement and most of all, appreciation. The highlight of my DFS year was not my biggest cash, it was from a reader who wrote me a message on Twitter, explaining how this column helped him win a rather large GPP, which was the biggest cash of his career and with plans to buy a house with his wife, it will go a long way towards a down payment. Along with my colleagues, it felt great to be able to contribute in helping him with such a monumental life event like purchasing a house, and in short, that is what it is all about. So once again, thank you all reading this column, and the best of luck going forward!
Aaron Rodgers ($7,700)
Packers @ Lions
Projected Team Total: 26.25 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 23.6 points (3.06x salary multiple)
Aaron Rodgers leads the way this week in our projections, and he is also the highest rated quarterback according to H-Value. It is not hard to see why, as Rodgers has been on an absolute tear going back to week 7. In his first six games, Rodgers threw for 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. Since week six, he’s thrown for 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His stellar play reached its peak last week against Minnesota in a must win game for the Packers. Rodgers shredded the Vikings secondary to the tune of 347 yards passing with four touchdowns, while also chipping in 13 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. This week Rodgers and the Packers travel to Detroit to play the Lions in a game that has major playoff implications for both teams. If either team wins, they are in the playoffs, and the loser can get in the playoffs if the Redskins lose. However, if the Packers vs Lions game ends in a tie, then both teams are in regardless of whether the Redskins win their game. In their first matchup in week three, Rodgers threw for 204 yards and four touchdowns. The Lions have been solid as a defensive unit, but they rank 25th in the NFL in terms of giving up points to opposing quarterbacks. The Lions vs Packers matchup has a projected game total of 49.5 points, second highest of the week, and the Packers have an implied team total of 26.25 points, the second highest of any road team this week and third highest overall. Rodgers has been rolling and considering what is on the line, I fully expect to see Rodgers at the top of his game. Get him in your GPP lineups.
Alex Smith ($5,000)
Chiefs @ Chargers
Projected Team Total: 24.75 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 17.6 points (3.5x salary multiple)
Smith is the highest rated PP$ options this week, according to our Interactive Value Chart. At only $5,000, Smith is a bargain and he’s playing in a great matchup. The Chiefs have a lot of motivation to win this game against the Chargers. If they win and the Raiders lose to the Broncos (with Matt McGloin at quarterback), the Chiefs will win the AFC West, clinch the #2 seed in their conference and have home field advantage against anyone but the Patriots. If they lose, they become a wild card team that will play on the road in the first round. Quite a big difference for a team that depends on their defense as much as the Chiefs do. There are some risks to playing Smith in most weeks, mainly because his ceiling is not anywhere close to the top quarterbacks…that is unless he is playing the Chargers. In their week one matchup, Smith threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards and another touchdown, which was good for 32.02 points. That is his established ceiling this year, and it is 8.66 points higher than his next best point total, and 16.72 points higher than his average total this year. The Chiefs vs Chargers matchup has a projected total of 44.5 points, and the Chiefs have an implied team total of 24.75 points. In week 17, you want to stick with players who have something to play for, or a team that has been out of playoff contention for a while and has still shown that they are willing to play hard. The Chiefs fit the bill, and although Smith’s ceiling is lower than most other starting quarterbacks, his matchup is too good to pass up and he’s proven that in the right matchup he can put up 30+ points.
Matthew Stafford ($6,000)
Packers @ Lions
Projected Team Total: 23.25 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 19.2 points (3.2x salary multiple)
For many of the same reasons I recommended Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford is also a great play this week. The Lions need to beat the Packers in order to win their division and have home field advantage in the first round. Stafford has not had his most prolific season, stat wise, but that takes a back seat to his uncanny ability to rescue the Lions when they are losing the fourth quarter. He will need to have one more miracle performance this week, because as it stands, the Packers have the edge in terms of momentum heading into their matchup on Sunday. Stafford has topped 19 points only once in his last nine games, but he gets a dream matchup this week against a Packers secondary that has been horrific this season. The Packers rank 29th in the NFL in passing defense (265.1 passing yards per game) and 28th with respect to giving up points to opposing quarterbacks. In their week three matchup, Stafford had his best game of the season, throwing for 385 yards and three touchdowns, and establishing his ceiling at 30.5 points. The Lions vs Packers matchup has the second highest projected game total of the week at 49.5 points, and the Lions have an implied team total of 23.25 points. Stafford’s price at $6,000 is rather soft, and with the Lions vs Packers matchup expected to be a shootout, I would expect to see Stafford throw for 300+ yards and multiple touchdowns, making him an excellent play at a bargain price.
Jordan Howard ($6,800)
Bears @ Vikings
Projected Team Total: 18.25 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 16.9 points (2.4x salary multiple)
This has been a down year for the Bears, but the one bright spot has been rookie running back Jordan Howard. Despite starting only 11 games this year, Howard has already amassed 1,178 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns, to go along with 29 receptions for 298 yards and one receiving touchdown. He has six 100+ yard rushing games on the season, and has gained at least 75 rushing yards in 10 of his 10 starts. Howard also shown an impressive ceiling, putting up 28.3, 33.2 and 32.7 points on his best weeks. This week Howard and the Bears face off against a Vikings defensive front that started out the season very well, but has since dropped off dramatically. The Vikings rank 15th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game at 101.9. Howard has gained 100+ yards from scrimmage in eight consecutive games, and this week he gets a Minnesota team that he shredded for 153 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 49 yards. He put up 33.2 points in that game, which established his ceiling for the year. The Bears vs Vikings matchup has a projected game total of 42.5 points, and the Bears have an implied team total of 18.25 points. The low point total for the Bears has not prevented Howard from being one of the most consistent running backs this season, and with the Vikings eliminated from playoff contention, he should have another fantastic game to end his rookie season on a high note.
Devonta Freeman ($7,000)
Saints @ Falcons
Projected Team Total: 31.75 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 17.1 points (2.4x salary multiple)
Sticking with the theme of teams that have something to play for, Devonta Freeman and the Falcons are looking to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Freeman is closing in on his second consecutive 1000+ yard performance, as he currently sits at 983 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns, while also chipping in 49 receptions for 381 yards and two receiving touchdowns. The return of Tevin Coleman has made Freeman’s week to week production somewhat inconsistent, as he’s had four weeks of less than 10 points this season. On the flipside, Freeman has still provided the upside that made him the best fantasy back in football last season, scoring 34.7 and 37.5 points, with four other games of 20+ points. His 34.7 point performance came in week three against New Orleans, his week 17 opponent. The Saints run defense looks pretty good on paper, as they rank 12th in the NFL, giving up 98.9 yards per game. However, much of that is a function of their 30th ranked passing defense, which is giving up 270.5 yards per game. The Falcons offense is about as good as it gets in the NFL, with balance at the running back and wide receiver positions, and MVP candidate, Matt Ryan leading the way. The Saints vs Falcons matchup has by far the highest projected total of the week at 56.5 points, and the Falcons have the highest implied team total at 31.75 points. The Falcons are the only team projected at 30+ points this week. While the Saints have nothing to play for in terms of playoff positioning, they are a unit that plays hard regardless of the circumstances. This is a great thing for fantasy purposes, as the game should remain close, and if the Falcons happen to get a lead they will not take their foot off the gas pedal. This ensure four quarters of the Falcons running their high-octane offense, which will allow Freeman plenty of opportunities in the red zone. He is one of the safer plays at running back this week, and he won’t break the bank for you at $7,000. Freeman is an excellent GPP option, and you should play him with confidence.
Jordy Nelson ($8,100)
Packers @ Lions
Projected Team Total: 26.25 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 22.9 points (2.9x salary multiple)
I am a firm believer in the acronym K.I.S.S., which stands for Keep it Simple Stupid. In DFS terms, this means don’t overthink things, especially on a week where there is so much chaos and uncertainty. I am also a fan of the phrase “chaos creates opportunity”, which is a fantastic way of looking at week 17. If you were to pare down all the teams where only the starters will be playing, or, you realistically have an idea of which backup’s will be playing for an entire game, then there would only be about half the teams left to choose from. Now, go through that list and look at the matchups that are projected to be high scoring. From there you are only left with three or four games to choose your players from. As previously mentioned, the Lions and Packers matchup is the choice game to choose from, because both teams have so much on the line and will be playing their starters the entire game. The #1 target in that game has got to be Jordy Nelson though, as not only has he been on an Award Tour this season, he is coming off his best game of the year to date. Last week against the Bears, Nelson put on a clinic and burnt the Chicago secondary to the tune of nine receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns, on only 11 targets. That helped him establish his ceiling with 39.4 points, making him one of only four wide receivers to reach that point total this season. Last week’s monster game has helped put Nelson within spitting distance of his career high in both receptions (98) and touchdowns (15). For a player who was coming off major knee surgery, Nelson has put all of his past health concerns to bed with his dominant performance in 2016. The Lions vs Packers matchup has a projected game total of 49.5 points, and the Packers have an implied team total of 26.25 points. Not only is Nelson coming off his best game of the season, he gets a matchup against the Lions, for whom who beat up in their first meeting with six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He is my #1 receiver this week, and I will have massive exposure to the Rodgers/Nelson stacks, and a fair amount of Green Bay super stacks, with Rodgers, Nelson and/or Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and a now healthy Randall Cobb.
Golden Tate ($6,600)
Packers @ Lions
Projected Team Total: 23.25 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 16.3 points (2.8x salary multiple)
It is only fitting that I include Golden Tate in this week’s recommendations, as I firmly support a Green Bay vs Detroit game stack, and the best way to take advantage of a game stack is to have players on both sides of the ball. Tate got off to a rough start this season when Marvin Jones Jr came in and made a splash as the Lions top free agent signing of the off-season. That relegated Tate to #2 wide receiver duties, which is actually where he fares best because he is far too talented for many #2 cornerbacks to handle over a whole game. Tate’s versatility has made him a favorite of Matthew Stafford, as he can play all three receiver positions, and excels from playing on the outside or in the slot. After catching only 17 passes (3.4 receptions per game) for 134 yards (26.8 yards per game) in his first five games, Tate bounced back, catching 68 passes for 866 yards in his next ten games (6.8 receptions and 86.6 yards per game), effectively doubling his receptions and tripling his yards per game. While Tate averages only 11.8 yards per reception, he’s proven to have great hands, snagging 68% of his targets on the year, which places him in the top 20 among all receivers who have caught at least 50 passes. This week Tate takes on a Green Bay secondary that has allowed seven 100+ yard receivers this season, and the Packers are the only team to have allowed two 200+ yard receivers in 2016. Last week, Adam Thielen terrorized the Packers cornerbacks, catching 12 of 15 targets for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Despite Jordy Nelson’s monster game, Thielen led all receivers in points last week with a whopping 47.6 points, second only to Julio Jones 51 point game. The Lions vs Packers matchup has a projected game total of 49.5 points, and the Lions have an implied team total of 23.25 points. Tate is in a great position to have a big game, and his price of $6,600 is soft enough to allow you to build a balanced roster with sacrificing the upside you need to win a big GPP.
Travis Kelce ($5,000)
Chiefs @ Chargers
Projected Team Total: 24.75 points
Footballguys IVC Projection: 15.8 points (3.1x salary multiple)
There was no other way I could possibly end this column for the year, than to feature the NFL’s top tight end this season, the incomparable Travis Kelce. While it is amazing that Kelce is still priced incredibly soft at $5,000, the most surprising part is that he is not even the highest priced tight end, nor is he the second highest priced tight end. That goes to Greg Olsen ($5,500) and Jordan Reed ($5,100). Kelce averages the most points among tight ends at 15.9 points per game, which is two more points than Olsen, and 2.9 more points than Reed. On the year, Olsen and Reed have combined for two 100+ yard receiving games, while Kelce has six 100+ yard games on his own, including five of his last six games. No other receiver or tight end has done that this year, and with one more 100+ yard game in week 17, Kelce would tie Julio Jones for the most games in that department this year, at 7. Only four wide receivers have more than four 100+ yard games, and no other tight end has more than three. Plainly put, Kelce has been thee difference maker (along with Tyreke Hill) for a Chiefs offense that struggles to move the ball. Without him, I highly doubt they would be a playoff team, let alone one that can secure the #2 seed in the AFC with a win on Sunday. In their first matchup, Kelce caught six passes for 74 yards on seven targets against the Chargers. San Diego will be hard pressed to slow down Kelce on Sunday, and this has all the makings of another monster game for the talented tight end. Kelce has already set career highs in both receptions (84) and yards (1,117), but the most impressive stat for Kelce is that he’s caught 73% of his passes on 115 targets. The only other tight ends to have a better catch percentage are Martellus Bennet (68 targets, 12.8) and Jack Doyle (70 targets, 10.1 yards per reception), but they’ve seen a lot less targets and do not equal his yards per catch rate of 13.3. The Chiefs vs Chargers matchup has a projected total of 44.5 points, and the Chiefs have an implied team total of 24.75 points. There are only a few tight ends I would recommend for meaningful exposure this weekend, but that is more of a relative statement than anything, because the tight end position has been very weak overall this year. I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 60%+ exposure to Kelce, as his price is super soft, and he’s proven to have the type of upside (established ceiling of 36 points) that can separate a GPP into those who played him, and those who did not. And if you didn’t play him, my bet is that you have no chance of winning or even running deep because the chasm that Kelce is creating between him and the next highest point scorer is too much to make up with such a low salary. Get him in your GPP lineups, and feel confident in having massive exposure. Then, just sit back and watch the show, as you’ll get to see perhaps the greatest tight end of our generation (Antonio Gates, or second greatest to Tony Gonzalez) pass the torch to the tight end that will give Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed a run for their money in the coming seasons.
Thanks for reading! Best of luck the rest of the way, and please always feel free to reach out via Twitter or email.
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