Fantasy football advice, Week 16: What blowouts could help you in FanDuel?
It is time to swing for the fences in FanDuel. There are some great matchups with heavy favorites looking to blow out a cellar dweller. You can take advantage of these situations.
With two weeks left in the regular season, we’ve got minimal time to recoup our losses before the playoffs arrive, and you try to avoid convincing yourself that Ryan Lindley at the minimum is good value against the Saints. For some, the season has been a brutal march toward a quick end. A truly fair season would, in lieu of playoffs and head-to-head matchups, total your points and award the championship to the highest scorer.
Yet, we’ll never do that. We play head-to-head and bracket off the playoffs because, projections be damned, you’ll always have that chance of Toby Gerhart scrounging up a goal-line run. You’ll always look between the lines at press conferences, play armchair doctor, and start the backup RB with the starter active. We can mitigate risk or we can embrace it, put on our Adam Dunn jersey, and go for the goal line or get sacked trying. FanDuel is perfect for the gunslinger as your bold decisions are limited to one-week lineups. For these large tournaments, scoring 100 points looks pretty but gets you nowhere. We’re looking for the 200-point promised land, and we’re willing to land in the double-digit swamp to get there.
This week, we’re swinging for the blowouts. Owning the right side of a 35-10 beatdown can propel your team to the money; the art, and the risk, is determining what games to highlight. I’ve highlighted three pairings in seemingly lopsided games that can reap great rewards.
QB- Aaron Rodgers $10,000 and WR – Jordy Nelson $8,800 at TB
TOTAL COST: $18,800
I believe fully that Aaron Rodgers, normally a benevolent demigod who preaches relaxation over all anxieties, will take his surprising loss to the Buffalo Bills and use this week’s game as a reaffirmation of the Packers’ Super Bowl prospects.
Coincidentally, his opponent is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, proud owners of the 24th-ranked secondary — they average a statline of 250.4 yards, 1.85 TDs and .78 INTs. While Rodgers is near-matchup proof, a cupcake secondary is never unappreciated in our daily games.
We’ll partner Rodgers with Jordy Nelson, another Packer hoping to rebound after his brutal game against Buffalo. Nelson dropped what was a sure 94-yard touchdown, emblematic of the wide receiver’s tough day at the office. Yet, his target numbers are as high as ever — 12 last week, averaging 9.6 on the season — and he faces a TB secondary that allows the seventh most points allowed to WRs. Look for an immediate and impactful rebound for both players, more than justifying their price tag.
QB- Tom Brady $9,700 and TE- Rob Gronkowski $7,800 at NYJ
TOTAL COST: $17,500
We could be looking at the final chapter in the epic Belichick/Ryan rivalry, a storybook battle punctuated by buttfumbles, brutal regular-season losses, and the single greatest day in the NFL’s history: the Jets’ divisional round win in Foxboro over the Evil Empire. In the past, the Jets were able to occasionally stymy Brady and his passing attack with intelligent blitz schemes, consistent pass pressure, and unreal man-to-man coverage by Darrelle “Benedict” Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
This year, the secondary is so woefully hampered by injury and front office neglect that they bare no resemblance to the once-dominant unit. Quarterbacks average a 104.6 rating against the Jets, with the defense allowing the fifth highest points per game to QBs. While they struggle mightily through the air, the Jets do stop the run consistently; expect the Pats to enjoy little success on the ground Sunday.
The game sets up nicely for a classic Gronk statline. The Jets have struggled all year with containing the tight end, allowing the sixth most points per game to the entirety of tight ends this year. With Gronk as Brady’s favorite target and most dangerous weapon, he’ll enjoy a multitude of targets against the weak secondary. Here’s a breakout of Gronk’s production against the Jets over the last three games:
And, in perhaps the most solid indicator of a great performance, I will be attending this game, watching my prediction unfold in person. As that saying goes: no one has ever gone broke underestimating the Jets capacity for heartache.
QB- Matthew Stafford $7,300, RB Joique Bell $7,300, and DEF – Lions $5,200 at CHI
TOTAL COST: $19,800
Call this owning the entirety of an expected blowout. The Bears have turned to Jimmy Clausen at quarterback this week, a move that either concedes defeat for the season or hopes to spark a fire under Jay Cutler, two weeks before the season ends and Marc Trestman is fired. The Lions, an already elite defense and solid fantasy play, get a huge bump with this quarterback swap. Clausen has never thrown for more than 200 yards in his NFL career, and he boasts a career 58.1 passer rating. Detroit allows the fourth fewest points to the QB position, while Chicago-under the superior Cutler-have spotted the seventh most points to fantasy defenses.
On the other side of the ball, pairing Stafford and Joique prepares you for any result. If the Lions jump out to an early lead, you’d expect the early barrage to arrive via Stafford, with Joique churning out the clock toward the end of the game. The Bears have a paper-thin defense looking mainly toward the end of the season; they’re the 31st-ranked pass defense, and have been roasted the last three weeks by the Lions, Cowboys, and Saints. On the ground, they’re middle of the pack, but have still allowed double digit fantasy performances to Mark Ingram, Joique, and Demarco Murray over those last three games.