With only a couple more weekends to win some cash, we need to separate the studs from the duds. Here are a few players who just may not be worth your salary cap dollars this weekend.
I use the DraftKings salary cap as my basis for picks, which operates on a 50k salary but I know we have many FanDuel players as well. For reference, Fanduel operates on a 60k salary, so prices will appear higher on that platform.
QB- Tom Brady vs. LAC @ $5,600
Before you start in on all the Tom Brady is the goat blah blah blah talk, I need you to focus on today and now. Only twice this season has Tom Brady scored over 26 fantasy points. For reference, Patrick Mahomes did it 11 times this season.
There’s a good chance the Patriots somehow win this game and Brady looks pretty decent doing it. But his numbers haven’t been that impressive of this year. Blame it on injuries, lack of a wide receiving corps, or father time catching up to Tom. Any way you slice it, he’s not an elite fantasy option. Spend your money elsewhere on a quarterback facing a more favorable defensive matchup.
RB- Mark Ingram vs. PHI @ $5,200
I think when Mark Ingram returned from his suspension, we all expected a thunder and lightning situation in the Saints backfield. It hasn’t really worked like that. Alvin Kamara has been the featured back. While Ingram has had a few blowup games, he’s mostly been option B.
Philadelphia is much better against the run than the pass, so I expect the Saints to go retro Saints and sling it quite a bit. Kamara is the much better pass-catching back, so I expect him to get the bulk of the snaps per usual. I don’t see a path to an explosive performance from Ingram, which at this stage in the game is what you need. Look elsewhere for that spark.
WR- T.Y. Hilton vs. KC @ $6,700
T.Y. Hilton can be a boom-or-bust player, but he has shown when he blooms he really explodes. He didn’t quite look all the way healthy last week against the Texans, who he tortured this season in their two meetings. While he is not on the injury report this week, I don’t know if I can count on him for a huge game.
In my Stream ‘EM article, I talk about wanting as many Colts as possible. It’s totally conceivable that Hilton gets behind the defense for a big bomb that accounts for half of his fantasy points for the day. But if I’m Kansas City I make Eric Ebron and Dontrelle Inman beat me. I’m doubling or shading the safety over to Hilton’s side of the field. If you feel differently payout for him, but I’m taking a little bit different approach this week.
TE- Rob Gronkowski vs. LAC @ $4,600
I’m no Patriots fan, but it’s a little sad not seeing the Gronk spike much this year.
Only twice this season has Gronk eclipsed 15 points or more in a game. Chalk that up to his health, team scheme, or whatever you want. Gronk isn’t the best TE in the game anymore. He may not even be top 3. You can throw a dart and hope this is a big game for Gronk, but his consistency and his health are both major concerns. Not only for this game but for the rest of his career, which may not be much longer.
Flex- Golden Tate vs. NO @ $4,600
We had a Golden Tate sighting last week in a critical moment of the Wildcard Weekend. That was cool.
He has a favorable matchup with the Saints this weekend to keep it going, but he hasn’t shown a great connection with Foles. Tate had not scored double-digit fantasy points in any of the previous four games before last week’s playoff matchup. He has the ability to be very useful in PPR format which DraftKings is, but I don’t think he seeing enough volume to warrant the roster spot. I have a lot more faith in Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, and potentially even Nelson Agholor this weekend.
DST- Cowboys vs. LAR @ $2,200
The Cowboys defense played great last week against Seattle. But the Rams have Shaun McVay calling plays, not Brian Schottenheimer slamming Chris Carson into a wall over and over.
Things are going to be different. You can expect some of those bells and whistles from McVay to get the Cowboys out of position and take advantage. Not only do the Rams have Todd Gurley, they have excellent receivers in Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. They just have too many weapons to stop. The Cowboys defense will play well, but they won’t force enough turnovers and they won’t hold the Rams potent offense in check. I’ll take my chances elsewhere.
Best of luck to everyone and here’s to hoping your squad shows out — and you cash out.