The Fantasy Football Party has posted a values story each and every week at ZoneCoverage.com to help you set winning DFS lineups for the show listener league and all the other great games at FantasyDraft.com — our exclusive DFS partner for 2018!
Whether you’re getting in our weekly listener league for just $5 or playing for big money in tournaments like the Wishbone, Flea Flicker or Pump And Go, you’ll want to take advantage of the value plays on the board at FantasyDraft.com this week. And that’s where we come in. Below are some of the players at each position who stand out one way or another on this week’s main slate (13 games) using the modeling tool at FantasyLabs.com.
All scoring projections/rankings are from their cash model for Week 16. If you’ve never played at FantasyDraft before, use the listener league link above and deposit at least $10 and you’ll automatically get a free $4 GPP ticket! And if you’re not a FantasyLabs subscriber, get half off a trial membership with the code 50OFF.
And now, on with the countdown…
Dak Prescott vs. Tampa Bay — $11,200
Steelers/Saints could be a shootout in New Orleans; then again, both defenses could rise up and you’d be left holding a sticky sack of quarterback that cost you north of $12K. The pivot here is Prescott, who had a career-best 88.9 completion percentage and a rushing touchdown in his only career outing against the Bucs two years ago. Dak has nine touchdowns (eight passing) since Amari Cooper became a Cowboy, and his ability to run — against a defense that ceded 95 yards on the ground to Lamar Jackson last week — gives him a solid floor from which to build. FantasyLabs concurs, making Dak their No. 2 quarterback value in cash models this week.
Christian McCaffrey vs. Atlanta — $16,600
There’s no denying I like to pay up for running backs. It’s in my blood. I was raised on the wishbone and the “three yards and a cloud of dust” philosophy. But this isn’t exactly that. No defense has surrendered more receptions to running backs this season than the Falcons. No running back in the history of the NFL has more receptions in their first two years than McCaffrey. The last occasion of this confluence, McCaffrey caught 14 balls for 102 yards in the Panthers’ 31-24 loss in Atlanta. He’s caught at least five balls in each of the last seven games, so there’s his floor.
Oh, and I forgot to mention no running back since the NFL was formed has more receiving touchdowns in their first two seasons than McCaffrey’s 11. With Cam Newton out, here’s where the Panthers have to turn for offense, by land and by air. Either way, it makes McCaffrey a blue-chip investment for your DFS dollar this week. FantasyLabs agrees; even with the steep sticker price, McCaffrey is their No. 7 value at running back this week.
Sony Michel vs. Buffalo — $9,800
If you’re spending up at one end of your backfield, you’ll need to bargain shop at the other. Two sub-$10K candidates caught my eye this week, Michel and Elijah McGuire against the Packers. I let FantasyLabs break the tie for me; they have Michel as their No. 10 running back value and McGuire at No. 17. Either way, you save and you win. Sounds like the state lottery’s next slogan; who do I talk to about an endorsement deal? Also, we’ll be ganging up on the Pack later, so Michel it is. Yes, he’s part of a fractured backfield that also includes James White — FantasyLabs’ No. 2 running back value, by the way, at a couple Benjamins over $10K — but he’s had double-digit carries in every game since sitting out Week 9 with an injury. And five of the last six backs to get double-digit carries against the Bills have found the end zone. The James Develin vulture phase was cute, but now that things are getting real, the Patriots will let their big dogs hunt. And that means Michel.
Robby Anderson vs. Green Bay — $8,800
If you’ve been listening to the Fantasy Football Party podcast — and judging by the attendance you haven’t — you would have heard me extol the virtues of Anderson as part of our 50/50 segment. To recap: He’s seen 30 targets in the four games since returning from injury, including 11 last week when he scored for the second game in a row. It’s a juicy matchup with a Green Bay secondary that’s served up the fourth-most wide receiver touchdowns and fifth-most fantasy points to wideouts this season. All for a price tag that’s roughly half of his counterpart across the field, Davante Adams.
Chris Hogan vs. Bills — $6,400
The unfortunate situation with Josh Gordon’s suspension goes beyond fantasy football, and we wish the best for him. Back in the fantasy realm, Gordon’s absence pushes the door wide open for Hogan to pay ginormous dividends on his minuscule price. Not that Hogan suddenly becomes Tom Brady’s go-to guy, but who else is left? Julian Edelman will gobble up his usual targets, Cordarrelle Patterson has been more of a gimmick than a full-fledged wideout, and Rob Gronkowski is all kinds of banged up. Hogan is coming off a 68-yard, one-TD performance, and for almost bare minimum dollars I’m willing to bet he can do it again.
Chris Herndon vs. Green Bay — $6,000
Much as I wanted to go back to Kyle Rudolph again this week, it’s become apparent he’s purely in the back seat of the Minnesota offense — both the old version and the new and improved model we saw last week. That near-miss touchdown could have turned it all around, too. Oh, well… hey, let’s take advantage of the Packers defense again! Herndon has become the Jets’ go-to tight end, with at least four targets in five of his last six games — averaging 4-47 in those tilts. Over the last four games, Green Bay has faced three offenses who targeted tight ends at least four times, surrendering an average of 6-63 to those tight ends. That sets Herndon’s expectations around 5-50, which is a double-digit fantasy day in PPR scoring. Plus there’s always the upside of a touchdown; the Packers gave one up to Trey Burton last week, and both TE TDs Green Bay has surrendered this season have come in the last five weeks.
New England vs. Buffalo — $4,900
Tapped out for the holidays? You’re in luck, as the Week 16 slate offers a couple of legit defensive helpers for less than $5K. You could go with last week’s heroes, Atlanta — I’m physically incapable of patting myself on the back, but they were mentioned in this very space; hope you played along — as they face Cam Newton’s understudy Taylor Heinicke in his first NFL start. I’ll pivot to the classic chess-vs.-checkers matchup, pitting Bill Belichick against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
Allen was knocked out of the earlier meeting with New England, so the Pats’ stats — six points allowed, three sacks, two takeaways, and a defensive touchdown — are a bit skewed. But the floor is comfortably high against the Buffalo offense, and there’s plenty of upside with a motivated Belichick pulling out the defensive stops at home against a rookie quarterback not exactly known for his accuracy.
There is an endless trove of additional data plus incredible tools for modeling, lineup building and more at FantasyLabs.com. If you play DFS, FantasyLabs will make you a better player. Use the code 50OFF to get half off a trial membership. And be sure to get in on the DFS fun at FantasyDraft! Start by joining the listener league for just $5. Good luck this week!
The Fantasy Football Party is recorded each week by John Tuvey, Bo Mitchell and Anthony Maggio. You can also find a story from one of the three each week right here at ZoneCoverage.com. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode by clicking here for iTunes or here for Android.
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