The last week of the regular season brings about the New Year and what better way to celebrate that than with some PlayON Daily Fantasy. It’s a funny time of the season when playoff spots are all wrapped up and players are rested, making it difficult to really piece together a team that will play. Hopefully I can help.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles ($11.2M)
It’s an absolute must-win game for the Eagles which means that there will be no resting players against the Redskins. They also need the Minnesota Vikings to lose vs the Bears, but they can only control their own game.
A month ago, it looked like the Eagles needed a miracle to make the post-season, but Nick Foles has put the team on his back in the last two games to get them within striking distance with one week to go. He was masterful last week against the Texans throwing for 471 yards passing and 4 touchdowns on 71.4% completions and only the one interception. It’s all on the line for the reigning Superbowl champs and the Redskins are hurting right now. Foles is in line for another huge game.
Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers ($??M)
The Panthers are on to their third quarterback in the last three games, but rookie Kyle Allen comes in to a great situation in his second career game and first career start. The Saints are already one of the poorer pass defenses in the league, averaging 269 yards and allowing 28 passing scores. Then with the bye week already locked up, it wouldn’t shock to see the Saints starters get a rest week to avoid injuries.
Allen came in for his first NFL action last week in place of Tyler Heinecke and threw 4/4 for 38 yards. It’s not much but it’s a start, and with no consequences in the result I see no reason for the young guy to hold back and against a subpar pass defense, at basement price proves the perfect value play.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts ($12.5M)
There are two quarterbacks in the history of the NFL who have perfect records over 10 games against the same franchise. John Elway vs the Patriots and Andrew Luck vs the Tennessee Titans. A perfect ten wins.
The winner of the Titans vs. Colts game goes to the playoffs and Luck has been on an absolute tear recently. He has thrown over 300 yards in three of the last five games, as well as throwing multiple scores in all but three games this season. The last time he played the Titans, Luck posted a stat line of 297 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. With the post season on the line, there’s no reason for Luck to hold back here.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots ($11.9M) vs. Jets, Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams ($12.8M) vs. 49ers
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks ($12.1M)
Seattle is locked into a playoff spot so this pick comes with some risk, but the seeding isn’t settled just yet. Lose and the Vikings win, they could fall to sixth spot into a matchup with the Bears. But win and they will head to Dallas. It’s entirely up to them.
However, making the choice a little bit easier is the fact that they play against the Arizona Cardinals who are in full tank mode. They’re ranked last in a number of categories across the league, but primarily yards per game at 153.1 and touchdowns allowed with 23. CJ Anderson just stepped into a starting role last week and tore the Cards apart for 167 yards and a score. Carson, who is averaging over 100 yards in his last three games, could be a game winner.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers ($10.7M)
Here’s the scenario. Jamaal Williams is the Green Bay starter. Aaron Jones returns and takes the spot, rendering Williams virtually unusable. Jones gets hurt against Chicago and Williams replaces him. In the following (almost) two games, Williams totals 150 rushing yards, 103 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions have been fairly stout against the run this year, allowing 114 yards a game and just the 11 scores all year. But due to the nature of Williams’ season, his price and his scoring potential, everything suggests that he should be able to return a sizable score for your squad.
Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs ($10.7M) vs. Raiders, Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens ($8.6M) vs. Browns
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions ($12M)
Nine catches, 140 yards, 1 touchdown. That’s the numbers that Robby Anderson had against the Packers last weekend. The same Packers that Golladay and Detroit will be facing in Week 17 action.
Golladay has averaged 11 plus targets over his past two games and is making the most of the heavy usage by turning it into 102 yards per contest. He hasn’t scored for a few weeks but last time these teams met, Golladay did get in the endzone to go along with 98 yards. The scoring drought doesn’t have me too concerned. These trends don’t last forever with someone as talented as Golladay and against a team that has allowed 27 receiving touchdowns in 2018, it seems as good a time as any to bust out of it.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers ($15.7M)
Unlike some other teams, the Steelers are in a must-win situation. If they lose, they’re definitely out of the playoffs, so they won’t be resting any healthy players. And the good news is, they play the Cincinnati Bengals who are one if, if not the worst defenses in the NFL.
Cincy is ranked 28th for pass yards allowed per game, equal 2nd last in receiving touchdowns allowed, 28th in average yards per reception, and equal 21st in interceptions. It’s a great matchup for both of the Steelers top receiving options, but at a saving of $1.6M, I’m taking Juju.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs ($13.9M) vs. Raiders, Robby Anderson, New York Jets ($10.1M) vs. Patriots
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($12.9M)
In the last week on the year, I’m taking the big dogs at the tight end position, primarily Zach Ertz. Pair him with Nick Foles and watch the points tick over against this banged-up defense.
Ertz just broke the all-time receiving record for a tight end, and in this must win encounter, neither Foles nor Ertz should be seeing a whole lot of time on the sidelines. Which is great news, because the quarterback and tight end were locked in together last week against Houston. Ertz went off for 12 catches on 16 targets, with 110 yards and two touchdowns. Another day like that against a much weaker defense will have him rolling in points.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs ($14M)
And the other big-dog is clearly Travis Kelce. He’s been the premier tight end all season. Kelce is slightly more expensive than Ertz, and isn’t in a must win game, so I don’t like him as much but if he plays he’ll still get the job done. He hasn’t let us down so far.
The Raiders have been leaking points to tight ends this season. The last time Kelce played them, just four weeks ago, he put up a monster line of 10 catches, 168 yards and two scores. Even half that would make him one of the best options at the position once again.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers ($7.9M) vs. Bengals, Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams ($5.7M) vs. 49ers
Seattle Seahawks ($6.8M)
I wrote about how bad the Cardinals offensive line is just last week, and the Seahawks are primed to take advantage of it. Arizona have given up 11 sacks in their last two games, so it doesn’t particularly matter if the Seahawks are resting players this week I don’t think. There’s room there for anyone to take advantage and pick up some points.
But the ‘Hawks are locked into a wildcard playoff spot so they may in fact be resting some starters. One to watch, but I think the reward outweighs the risk.
Atlanta Falcons ($6.8M)
All defenses cost roughly the same amount, give or take a few hundred thousand, so why not take a flyer on a team that is on the up. The Falcons defense has been torn apart by injury all season long but has just got starting linebacker Deion Jones back into the lineup and they now look like a different unit.
In their past two games, the Falcons have allowed just 24 points plus have recorded nine sacks and seven takeaways. That’s a big effort from a team that is the 27th ranked defense in the NFL. Get on board for one more shot against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Philadelphia Eagles ($6.4M) vs. Redskins, Baltimore Ravens ($7M) vs. Browns
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Any resting player
I mean, obviously, but it pays to keep a close eye on the final team lists as much as you can heading into Week 17. With so many teams already having wrapped up playoff berths or seeds, there are usually a few shenanigans that get played out during final week games.
We’ve already seen some quotes from Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter saying he won’t rule out giving Ryan Griffin some snaps at quarterback this week, which would obviously hinder Jameis Winston.
The Saints are more than likely resting their starters this week so no Brees, Kamara or Thomas. Christian McCaffrey is also expected to rest. Then teams like the Cowboys, Chargers and Seahawks have all stated that they won’t rest starters but who knows if that means for a whole game or just partially. Just be careful out there.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.