This weekend represents your last chance to qualify for Fanduel’s World Fantasy Football Championship Final that will take place Sunday, December 18 in California. Let’s cut to the chase and look at some players of interest in that quest. This week, it’s hard to get away from the chalk quarterbacks and running backs, which means I’m going to slum it at wide receiver and tight end.
Drew Brees (9,300) averages 28 ppg in the Superdome. The former Charger likes to spread the ball around, so playing him alone makes sense, though pairing him up with Coby Fleener makes sense too as an inexpensive and efficient way to buy more shares of the Saints offense.
Aaron Rodgers (8,500) has strung together six straight games of 23+ points, a result of a number of running back injuries that forced the Packers to do what they do best: throw the rock. That trend will continue. Davante Adams is their most physically gifted receiver, but Jordy Nelson remains Rodgers’ favorite target. Jared Cook can gobble up targets if Green Bay sees a matchup they want to exploit, and either Randall Cobb or Ty Montgomery steal some looks from time to time, so going naked is definitely an option here as well. But if you prefer to stack, pairing the Packers QB with Adams presents the highest ceiling.
Colin Kaepernick (7,800) posted 296 yards passing and 113 yards rushing on the way to a 34-point performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago designates someone to spy on Kaepernick to keep his legs in check, but he remains an option if you need salary relief and don’t want to sacrifice upside.
You don’t need me to tell you that David Johnson (9,200) is a good play against Washington’s run defense, or that Le’Veon Bell (9,300) is a good play almost every week no matter the matchup. The only problem is you can probably only afford one unless you really sacrifice a lot elsewhere. They truly are the only two "money in the bank" plays at RB, so if you can swing it, it’s definitely worth it to roster both.
Jordan Howard (7,400) will be highly owned this week given the matchup against San Francisco. It’s fine to pair him with Bell or Johnson, but you will need to diversify at other positions.
Theo Riddick (6,500) will be tasked with helping Detroit come from behind in a shootout. The fourth-year back out of Notre Dame has been targeted 10 or more times twice in the last four games. FanDuel gives you just a half-point per reception, but it’s something and the YAC in a game with a lot of offense creates a high ceiling.
Tyrell Williams (6,800) has emerged as Philip Rivers' number one target, with 25 targets over the last two contests.
Davante Adams (6,800) trails Jordy Nelson in number of targets but is the most explosive wide receiver in the Green Bay offense.
DeVante Parker (6,500) has the upside you need in a GPP and some players may be off him this week because he caught just three passes last week. But he had a couple of big plays erased by replay, including a touchdown, and with 24 targets over the last three games, the sophomore has become Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target.
The word is out now on Tyreek Hill (5,800) and Tyler Gabriel (5,700) after their breakout production in Week 12, so their ownership will shoot up, but they still offer salary relief and an acceptable ceiling. Just keep in mind that defenses may start to pay more attention to them.
Dorial Green-Beckham (4,500) gets my vote for best wide receiver value on the board this week. With 18 targets the last two weeks, and Jordan Matthews dinged with an ankle injury (supposedly minor), I’m not sure the reasoning behind the minimum salary. No, I don’t trust anything Doug Pederson says when it comes to injuries or player usage.
Anquan Boldin (5,000) offers the least expensive exposure to decent production in the Lions-Saints shootout. Matthew Stafford has targeted the veteran nine times in each of the last two games.
Coby Fleener (5,500) has gone six straight weeks producing less than 10 points. I anticipate that trend changing against the Lions. Detroit has yielded the most touchdowns and fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Antonio Gates (5,300) came out of the bye week and posted a bagel for owners. Philip Rivers didn’t even target the future Hall of Famer in Week 12, even though Rivers looked his way at least nine times each of the previous four weeks. Gates needs just three more touchdowns to break Tony Gonzalez’s record.
Vance McDonald (4,900) has a weekly floor of six targets and at least one red zone look. Last week he couldn’t corral an easy catch for six points, so his stat line would have looked better. He is somewhat touchdown or big play dependent, but if you need an extra $400 or $500 freed up for upgrades at other positions, McDonald is worth a look.
Mostly luck at this position so just roll with what your salary allows, using favorites playing at home as your filter if you can. Justin Tucker (5,200) and Matt Bryant (5,100) represent the chalk if you have the funds. If you’re scrapping for salary, Caleb Sturgis (4,500) and Mason Crosby (4,600) are the money saving plays.
San Diego (4,500) vs. Tampa Bay
Green Bay (4,500) vs. Houston
New England (4,600) vs. Los Angeles