We are down to the wire. Pick the wrong guy in your RB spot and it’ll cost you. We are going to make the tough calls in this article on who is not worth the price tag going into the Conference Championship games.
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- Jared Goff vs. NO @ $5,400
There are four quarterbacks playing this weekend and you could argue for starting any of them…except for Jared Goff. I think this is my easiest fade of the week. In his last six games, Goff has only once scored more than 19 fantasy points. Twice in that same span, he’s scored single-digit fantasy points.
The Saints defense can be thrown on, and I think he will potentially have a good game, but he won’t have a great game. The other three QBs all have major boom potential. I just don’t think Goff does, so I’m staying away.
RB- Todd Gurley vs. NO @ $7,500
If I’m the Saints, I stack the box and focus most of my efforts on shutting down Todd Gurley. If Goff can outduel Brees, you can live with that. Stopping Gurley should be the top priority, though, for the Saints.
Pair that with the decent amount of work he split with C.J. Anderson last week and Gurley seems too expensive of an option for me. He’s the highest-priced running back on the slate, and there’s definitely the chance he is the highest-scoring back this weekend too. I just like other, cheaper options at running back.
WR- Tyreek Hill vs. NE @ $7,700
Last time Tyreek Hill played against the Patriots he scorched them for 7 catches,142 yards, and THREE touchdowns. For those keeping scores, that’s 42.2 fantasy points. The Cheetah makes secondaries around the league look silly on a regular basis, but do you really think Bill Belichick is going to let him do that to his team again?
The Patriots are masters at neutralizing your best weapon. Look for them to pay extra attention to Hill this time around. They’re aren’t going to allow him to torch them again. I am spending my cap elsewhere on players not facing one of the greatest coaching minds of all time.
TE- Rob Gronkowski vs. KC @ $4,100
Last week, the Patriots used Gronk primarily as a run blocker and decoy. They could do that again versus a KC defense who struggles to defend the run. Even in a high-scoring game in their last meeting, Gronk only tallied 12.7 points. He had 3 catches for 97 yards.
Since that game in Week 6, Gronk only has two games in which he’s scored double-digit fantasy points. Mind you, he’s been injured a few weeks of the season. I recommend paying up for Travis Kelce. You could also even consider punting at tight end this week in order to save your cap for your flex spot.
Flex- Brandin Cooks vs. NO @ $5,300
Brandin Cooks is the big play guy for the Rams. The Saints secondary hasn’t been great most of this season. Seems like a good flex. Wrong. The Saints have stepped up their defense the last few weeks, and Cooks will likely draw the shadow of Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore made some great plays against the Cowboys last week, and he is the best player in the New Orleans secondary. If anyone can limit the chunk plays Cooks has made his calling card, it’s him. Look for Robert Woods and even Josh Reynolds to be good ancillary targets, while Cooks is blanketed by Lattimore.
DST- Rams vs. NO @ $2,300
The last time the Rams came to the dome they scored -2 fantasy points. They surrendered 45 points and gave up four touchdown passes to Drew Brees. I don’t see them getting shredded that badly this weekend, but I can almost guarantee they will score less than 5 fantasy points. Better to pay up for an opportunistic Saints defense against a young QB in Jared Goff.
Best of luck to everyone and here’s to hoping your squad shows out — and you cash out.