Tag: Seattle Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Contenders face off on Monday night to conclude Week 14
The Seattle Seahawks saw any hopes of winning the NFC West evaporate when the division-rival Los Angeles Rams opened the season 8-0. The Seahawks’ playoff chances also appeared to take a major hit after back-to-back losses to both Los Angeles teams, but they have bounced back and carry a three-game winning streak into Monday night’s contest against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Seattle posted three-point victories over Green Bay and Carolina before routing San Francisco last week to vault into the fifth playoff spot in the NFC – one-half game ahead of Minnesota. “We need tough matchups with teams that really challenge us in many ways, and this is one of them, for sure,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters of facing the Vikings. “So we’ve got to get it cranked up, have a good week and get ready to go for a big opportunity on Monday night.” Minnesota owns a one-half game lead over three teams for the last postseason berth after losing at New England 24-10 last weekend and now must fly to the opposite coast to face resurgent Seattle. “It comes down to other teams are in the hunt, other teams are fighting for their division title and whoever has the best four-game stretch,” Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins told reporters. “It doesn’t really matter what happened before.”
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Seahawks -3. O/U: 45.5
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (6-5-1): Minnesota has alternated losses and wins over its last five games, a stretch during which Cousins has thrown nine touchdown passes against six interceptions. Running back Dalvin Cook was effective against the Patriots, picking up 84 yards on nine carries, but he has not had more than 10 rushing attempts since the season opener as the Vikings continue to struggle to find balance in their offense. Wide receiver Adam Thielen has registered nine 100-yard performances and just as many touchdowns, but he was held under 30 yards for the second time in the last four games by New England. Defensive pressure is critical for Minnesota, which is 6-1-1 when it notches at least three sacks and 0-4 when it fails to record three.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (7-5): Unlike Minnesota, the running game is a point of emphasis for Seattle, which features the top-ranked attack with an average of 148.8 yards and at least 32 rushes in eight of its last 10 games. “Because it’s the best way to not screw it up,” Carroll said. “That’s why the turnover issue is of paramount importance to us. It’s the most important thing that we taught.” Quarterback Russell Wilson is averaging only 226.4 yards passing but usually dials it up late in the season, and this year is no exception – he has 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last four contests. Linemen Frank Clark and Jarran Reed have combined for 16.5 sacks to lead a unit ranked ninth in scoring defense (21.6 points).
1. Seattle has won each of the last four matchups, including a 10-9 playoff victory in January 2016.
2. Thielen, who has made a league-high 98 catches, has recorded 48 receptions and five TDs in six road games.
3. Wilson has a 142.0 passer rating with eight TDs and zero interceptions in three career matchups versus Minnesota.
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Preview: Packers at Seahawks
The Green Bay Packers have been making fans of the home team happy this season, as they are 4-0-1 at Lambeau Field and, well, 0-4 everywhere else. The Packers look to put an end to their road woes on Thursday as they travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks, who begin a stretch of five home games in the next seven weeks.
“I like our chances at home, but we’ve got to win some road games or we’re going to be at home in January — for good,” said Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who tossed two touchdown passes to Davante Adams in Sunday’s 31-12 romp over Miami. The two-time NFL Most Valuable Player has thrown 10 scoring strikes against zero interceptions in the last five weeks overall and has seven TD passes without getting picked off in his last two Thursday games. Seattle has answered winning four of five by dropping two hotly contested matchups versus the Los Angeles contingents. Russell Wilson tossed three touchdown passes in a 36-31 setback at the Rams on Sunday heading into his return to CenturyLink Field, where he has 13 scoring strikes against one interception in his last six games.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Seahawks -2.5. O/U: 49
ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-4-1): Affectionately known as the “other” Aaron, running back Aaron Jones is making his presence felt after rushing for 306 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games — including a career-high 145 yards with two scores on a season-high 15 carries against the Dolphins. “He’s a great player. We just need to continue to give him more opportunities,” Rodgers said of the 23-year-old Jones, who aims to exploit the Seahawks’ rush defense that has been gashed for 5.0 yards per carry this season. A promising ground attack could create more opportunities for Adams, whose 31 touchdown receptions since 2016 are tied for the most in the league.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (4-5): Seattle appears to be getting healthier as running back Chris Carson (hip), right guard D.J. Fluker (calf) and strong safety Bradley McDougal (knee) are in line to be available for Thursday’s game. Carson rejoins a backfield that saw first-round rookie Rashaad Penny rush for a career-best 108 yards and a touchdown against the Rams while fellow running back Mike Davis had his first career receiving score. “It’s a good group, it’s a good problem. Not a great problem for the running backs, but it’s good for us and we’ll try to make the most of it,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters ahead of facing a Packers defense that has surrendered at least 123 rushing yards in each of the last four weeks.
1. Seattle WR Tyler Lockett has a touchdown reception in seven of nine games this season.
2. Packers TE Jimmy Graham has just six catches for 90 yards in his last three contests heading into a tilt with the Seahawks, with whom he collected 18 touchdowns in three seasons.
3. Seattle LB Bobby Wagner has recorded back-to-back 13-tackle performances and has 29 tackles in his past three home games.
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Complete NFC West Preview
Here is a look at what you can expect from the Rams, Seahawks, 49ers and Cards this season…
Los Angeles Rams
There’s no other way to interpret the Rams’ aggressive offseason: L.A. is aiming for the Super Bowl. A once-middling defense now might boast the best interior rush and secondary in the NFL. An explosive offense replaced one Pro Bowl vertical threat with another, better weapon and still has a 2,000-yard MVP candidate in the backfield. All signs point to the Rams continuing their NFC West supremacy and pushing toward a deep playoff run. But do they have enough for a Super Bowl run? In an insanely deep NFC race, they’re going to need all the weapons they can muster.
San Francisco 49ers
If the 49ers’ season-ending five-game winning streak wasn’t a mirage, they could contend for a playoff spot, assuming QB Jimmy Garoppolo stays healthy. The 49ers haven’t made the playoffs or had a winning record since going 12-4 and reaching the NFC title game in 2013, former coach Jim Harbaugh’s next-to-last season with the team.
The Seahawks lost far too much talent in one offseason to improve their situation. They conducted a major housecleaning that proved disconcerting to both fans and returning players. A glory era ended. “Every year it’s not fun when guys leave, but this hurt pretty bad,” outside linebacker K.J. Wright says. Realistically, a team revamp as extensive as this is going to take a few seasons — and more moves — to take hold. Expect Seattle to hover around .500 and be home during the playoffs again.
A healthy Sam Bradford at quarterback might be enough to make even the most skeptical critics rethink their conclusions about the Cardinals, but history isn’t on Bradford’s side, and with the departures of so many key players across the board, it’s difficult to believe this is a credible playoff team. If Arizona’s defense can keep the team in games and Johnson once again threatens 1,000 yards as both a rusher and a pass catcher, then maybe there’s a chance of a winning record. The wild card could be Josh Rosen. If the rookie quarterback gets thrust into the spotlight early, a lot of things could change.
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NFL Draft Fantasy League
One day, that is all that separate us from the 2016 NFL Draft, and it has yet to be determined who will go number one this year. There’s plenty of candidates, but there’s only one team with that significant pick. The Rams are in the midst of a major change. They will be relocating from St.Louis to Los Angeles starting next season. In fact, they will be making their return to the city of angels for the first time since 1994. This will increase their fanbase significantly. With a much higher population count, a wealthier metropolis and being the neighborhood of stardom, the Rams should do just fine there. They’ve already doubled in value from $1.5 billions to $2.9 billions, catapulting them in third place for the most expensive teams in the league. The number one pick, whoever that will turn out to be, will have an immediate popularity that will follow him in L.A. Does that mean that the other NFC West teams should be worried about this new franchise? What should they do? To maximize your selections for the NFL Draft Fantasy League contest, let’s find out what the NFC West teams needs are!
Arizona will have to be on the lookout for a high-pressure pass rusher. It would be time to look for younger option at defensive end rather than to bank on Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding for another few years. A young and talented middle linebacker with good size needs to be addressed as well. While Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are already receiving much of the defensive backfield play time, adding an additional playmaker who’s formidable against the pass could definitely help the Cards.
Top 2 round picks: 29th selection.
Entering the draft, the Seahawks should covets playmaking secondary players. It would also be a possibility that they could look for some cornerback talents. Since moving Justin Britt to inside guard, Seattle needs to figure out who should helm the tackle spot opposite Russell Okung. The middle of the D-line looks empty since the loss of Brandon Mebane, and Bruce Irvin’s speed will also be missed off the edge of the second-tier. The Seahawks have made a tremendous job at building their defense through the draft, they are expected to do so again.
Top 2 round picks: 26th and 56th selections.
San Francisco 49ers
What to say about the saga that is Colin Kaepernick! New coach Chip Kelly as likely already set up a plan to grab a quarterback in the first-round. The offensive line woes will have to be attended to in the following rounds. The 49ers should also target some wide receivers to fit into Kelly’s offensive scheme. On the defensive side, linebackers would be needed.
Top 2 round picks: 7th and 37th selections.
Los Angeles Rams
Yet another draft where the Rams have to find a premium wide receiver, where they can build their passing game around. And even if they can find a true number one wide receiver, they will first need a quarterback. Finding some more cornerback and safety should help the team, especially with the departures of Rodney McLeod and Janoris Jenkins.
Top 2 round picks: 1st selection.
NFL Divisional Round Weekend Recap
Kansas City at New England
With the return of Edelman and Gronkowski, the Patriots show that they are still a Super Bowl threat. Although the final score was 27-20, Patriots, they were far more in control of the game than that indicated. Brady had a solid day with 302 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown, totaling 29 fantasy points on the day.
Gronkowski led the league at tight end this weekend catching 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions for 83 yards. This brought his total to 25.3 fantasy points, back to his usual numbers after some disappointments throughout this season. Edelman also returned from injury with no hiccups as he caught 10 passes for 100 yards and a total of 23 fantasy points.
All the fantasy value however was centered around the Pats in this game, you weren’t going to win any NFL cash drafts this weekend by loading up on Chiefs players.
Green Bay at Arizona
This game had plenty of fantasy value to be found in both likely and unlikely places. The big surprise of this game was Jeff Janis for the Packers with a breakout performance of 7 receptions for 145 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns—36.5 fantasy points.
The Palmer and Fitzgerald stack also produced some serious numbers as Palmer threw for 349 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns for 27 fantasy points (after subtracting his 2 interceptions) and Fitz had 8 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown—34.6 fantasy points.
Seattle at Carolina
This game lacked both the competitiveness and the low scoring defensive battle that was expected. Carolina went up big in the first half with Jonathan Stewart scoring 2 touchdowns and running for 106 rushing yards. Cam Newton had the lowest scores of the season however with only 161 passing yards and a touchdown giving him about 11 fantasy points.
Despite the loss, there was a lot of garbage time value to be found from the Seahawks as they tried to rally in the second half. Russell Wilson led the quarterback for the weekend with 366 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. The big receiver to pair him with was Jermaine Kearse as he caught 11 passes for 110 passing yards and 2 touchdowns— 37 fantasy points.
Pittsburgh at Denver
This game was lacking the competitiveness from the start with Antonio Brown ruled out and Big Ben questionable. Ben took the field however and found Martavis Bryant to fill that top receiver role as Bryant tallied 9 receptions for 154 receiving yards as well as 40 yards rushing—31.4 fantasy points.
Denver came out ahead in terms of the game but in the fantasy world, CJ Anderson was the only worthwhile pick for Denver. He ran for 72 yards, got a touchdown, and 2 receptions for 14 fantasy points to lead his team.
As Sunday’s second game creeps up on us, we will update you on today’s first game, and take a deeper look at the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos.
- At 1 pm the Seattle Seahawks kicked off with Carolina to take on the Panthers in a clash of football titans. The two are going head-to-head to see who can earn a trip to the NFC Championship game next week.
Earlier this week we broke down the game as such…
“This game is going to have its fair share of scuffles and heavy hits. There won’t be much room out there for anyone, but with the apparent return of Marshwn Lynch, the Seahawks’ ground game just became one to keep an eye on. In a game like this Ted Ginn is the type of player who can hurt Seattle with his ability to take the top off the defense against this group of highly and sometimes over-aggressive defensive backs. That is IF he even plays. He says he will suit-up despite soreness in his knee (suffered vs Atlanta Week 16). Without him, Cam Newton could struggle to find open runners other than Greg Olsen in the short to intermediate spots, and a hot Russell Wilson may be just enough to squeeze by the regular season champs. ”
Update: Tyler Lockett has two touchdown receptions and Russell’s birds are fighting hard to claw their way back in this one. Super Cam has been contained, though efficient and the Panthers hold a fourth quarter 31-21 lead. Don’t miss this exciting ending to get you pumped for game two!!
- At 4:40 pm the shorthanded Pittsburgh Steelers go to Mile High to visit Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Antonio Brown has officially been ruled out with a concussion, no matter what Pacman Jones thought, DeAngelo Williams can’t play and Big Ben will be playing with torn muscles around his separated shoulder. This does not bode well for #SteelerNation, as Roethlisberger couldn’t muster up enough power to send the ball 10 yards in the air in the dramatic closing moments of last week’s Divisional Round instant classic in Cincinnati. Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton will do much of their work on screens, and while they do have the stuff to make some plays (especially Bryant) the Broncos do possess two very good, physical CB’s in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.
Fitzgerald Toussaint could be a big contributor in this game, and he needs to be if the Steelers hope to have a chance. He had four catches for 60 yards vs the Bengals last week and checkdowns and screens will be the name of the game for Pittsburgh. Jordan Todman was a personal favorite of mine coming out of college (he was a monster), as his quick feet and burst allow him to rip off big chunks at a time. He could be worth a gamble if your looking to roll the dice.
CJ Anderson seems to be the popular name around DFS circles today, but Ronnie Hillman may be able to do some damage on with his speed against the aggressive Steeler front-seven. While Anderson is often more consistent inside the tackles, they are both legitimate options and a long touchdown run by Hillman could be the difference in how much money you make this week!
While Ben can’t throw because his shoulder’s are a mess, Peyton Manning just doesn’t have any juice left in his. Demaryius Thomas is one of the leagues premier wide receivers, but Emmanuel Sanders ripped his former team for 10 catches, 181 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Play Sanders as his ability to find the seam could prove lethal to Pittsburgh.
NFL Divisional Round Stacks to look out for
Its hard to pick your stacks in the divisional round as almost all of the 8 teams remaining has a top 8 defense. The matchup in the divisional round are
Kansas City @ New England
Green Bay @ Arizona
Seattle @ Carolina
Pittsburgh @ Denver
The weak link as far as pass defenses goes is clearly Pittsburgh. The only reason they have made it this far is by relying on their offense with most of their games being very high scoring shootouts. Last time Denver played Pittsburgh this year Emmanuel Sanders caught 10 passes for 181 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown while Demaryius Thomas had 5 catches for 61 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. And this was with Brock Osweiller at quarterback and not Peyton Manning, who will be back and starting in their Divisional Playoff. Peyton, Sanders, and Thomas is the most predicable value stack of the weekend, which like always risks high ownership.
However, Denver still lost this game as Antonio Brown had a gigantic fantasy day with 16 catches for 189 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has a lot of question marks with health going into this game with Deangelo Williams out, Big Ben questionable with a shoulder injury, and Antonio Brown with a concussion. Despite the strength of the Denver defense, if Ben and Brown are healthy going into this game, they always have the potential for huge fantasy value.
In my opinion, anything could happen with the Seattle Carolina game. This is a matchup of the two top ranked teams in the playoff and is one most would probably like to see wait until the Superbowl. While arguably the top 2 defenses, their offenses are just as explosive. A Wilson/Baldwin or Newton/Ginn(Questionable)/Olsen stack is a nice contrarian stack that may end up profitable in a NFL Daily fantasy tournament.
The Patriots and the Chiefs game should be a low scoring victory for the Patriots, although Tom Brady may put up some big numbers. However, it is always a crapshoot who to stack Brady with since he spreads the ball out so much (the same could be said about Rodgers or Manning this week). That leaves Carson Palmer, who may be able to have a big day considering Kirk Cousins was able to put up over 300 passing yards in their loss against the Packers in the wild card round.
The top stacks are Manning/Sanders, Newton/Olsen, Wilson/Baldwin, and Palmer/Fitzgerald. The edge in my mind goes to Palmer and Fitz but anything can happen in the playoffs, and Palmer has less experience here than many of the other Quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, Manning, Wilson, Roethlisberger)
Fanpicks.com NFL Playoff Sunday NFC Wildcard
Fantasy Football Picks
Fanpicks.com bring the Wildcard NFL Sunday games preview. We select the best fantasy picks from these NFC playoff contests Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition. Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy football
Sunday afternoon will feature a gridiron battle between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. While the forecast does not announce rain or snow; the cold weather may be a determining factor in this game. These initially squared off on December 6th with the Seahawks showing all the momentum leading 21-0 at halftime and overcoming the Vikings by a final score of 38-7. The Seattle defence held strong against the Vikings offence. The Seahawks played a superb man to man strategy and staked the line to severely cripple and Adrian Peterson offence attacks. We think that the Seahawks will continue with this strategy in this game; offsetting the running game to force Teddy Bridgewater into his weaker position going to the aerial attack. No doubt, Peterson’s bad back will further offset his passing accuracy.
In their last appearance, Seattle limited Vikings offensive attack to 31 yards rushing and 118 passing yards. The Seahawks finished the regular season with the number one rushing and scoring defense and were number two against the pass. Seahawks will burn clock with a conservative approach on offense. No need to take chances when you have the defense to limit scoring chances for the opponent here. Fewer possessions will lead to fewer yards and points for the Vikings.
Play Seattle Seahawks Defense
Teddy Bridgewater will be a desperate quarterback as we believe this game will be taken away from Minnesota. Bridgewater will have to test the Seahawks secondary and will get picked off by the veterans of which Earl Thomas has five picks this season.
Play Earl Thomas
Seattle Seahawks S
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is coming off a successful regular season. He completed a career high 68.1% of his passes for 4024 yards with 34 touchdowns and 8 picks. Completion percentage, yardage and touchdown throws were all highs in his four years in the pros. In the playoffs, look for Wilson to take more chances in the run game. He rushed for 553 yards on 103 carries this year for 5.4 yards per carry average.
Play Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks QB
The Washington Redskins take on the Green Bay Packers for your evening NFL viewing pleasure. The Green Bay offence has shown some weakness in recent games; being held to only 9 and 13 points respectively against Arizona and Minnesota.
On the opposing side the Redskins were the surprise winner of the NFC East this year despite a measly 9-7 record which takes into account their 6-2 home record. Nonetheless, Washington’s offence have sparked to life scoring more than 34 points to win in their final three games of the season
The Redskins have been moving the football. Green Bay’s defense is good in the red zone. Washington has a good kicker in Dustin Hopkins who went 25 of 28 in the season. There is a possibility that Hopkins could be successful with at least three field goal tries in this game. The kicker in the Wildcard round you should take for your daily leagues will be Dustin Hopkins.
Play Dustin Hopkins
Washington Redskins K
NFL Wild Card Value Picks
With a small slate of games this weekend you’re quarterback choices are limited. So let’s run through the matchups. Houston and Kansas City has all the makings of a low scoring game. These are two defensive dominated teams and this matchup should be low scoring and slow paced, not places of high value for Fantasy NFL contests. Same can be said about Minnesota and Seattle. While Seattle’s offense is explosive, we saw what they did against the strong defensive front of the Cardinals last weekend, I’m saving my quarterback pick for an easier matchup.
The weakest pass defense of the weekend is by far the Steelers, but with the Bengals current quarterback situation, its hard to say anything for sure. In all likelihood AJ McCarron will be taking the field, but there is the small chance Andy Dalton will return for the game. Either way, they both should be able to provide great value with this matchup, just make sure you keep your eye on the injury report and you get the right one in.
Although the Bengals have a strong pass defense, it seems like nobody is able to stop Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown this year. I expect them to have a big game, but I also expect ownership to be very high on these two, so I’m playing the contrarian strategy and avoiding the Steelers stack.
Last we have Washington and Green Bay. This has all the makings for a classic shootout and I think there will be value on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers has been very subpar this entire season, but he has been to the playoffs before and I think he will perform. Kirk Cousins on the other hand has been red hot and putting up big numbers, and that does not look to be stopping anytime soon. You’re probably going to find lower ownership with Rodgers so I’ll give him the edge in a tournament, but based on his performance this year, that may be a risky play.
Our premium running backs for the week are Adrian Peterson, Deangelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Hill, Characandrick West, and Eddie Lacy. As of now Williams looks to be out for this weekend so lets rule him out now (even if he were playing I don’t love the matchup). Marshawn Lynch will be returning but with the offensive efficiency of the Seahawks lately, its hard to say they will need to make much use of him so I am staying away from Beast mode as well. The Vikings may find it hard to pass against the dominating defense and will certainly run the ball a lot to Peterson, but he has not been as dominant this year as in years past and the Seahawks may shut him down. West as well is facing a tough defense, especially recently, so my recommendation is stay away from any Chiefs back.
So we are left with Hill and Lacy, both on the cheap end as far as premium running backs go. The way the Bengals use Hill and Bernard is very dependent on the matchup. They utilize Hill to run the ball up the middle while Bernard is valued more highly for his speed in screen passes and short drops. This matchup may be better for Bernard than Hill, and Bernard comes at a much cheaper price. Not a bad pick for this week. Lacy is the only premium back I like for this week. Like Hill, he could take a backseat position to Starks but I think Lacy has asserted himself as the primary back after early struggles in the season.
If you are looking for value at Running back however, there is a lot to be found. Starks and Bernard, as previously mentioned, will both only cost you less that $4000 on Fanpicks. Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas both are a threat to accumulate fantasy value with their run and pass threat. The real value pick of the week is Jonathan Grimes, who put together a big game last weekend and comes at only $2700.
The same analysis on Quarterbacks applies to receivers as well. We want to stick with the good matchups: Steelers/Bengals and Packers/Redskins. Skipping out on Antonio Brown may just cost you a win, but I think there is more upside potential on fading Brown, especially for NFL Daily Fantasy Tournaments type contests. AJ Green should be able to put up some big numbers this week regardless of who gets the starting position at Quarterback.
I also like Desean Jackson or Pierre Garcon if you are looking to save a little money at the position. We know Cousins is going to throw the ball and we know he is going to throw it a lot. He may throw a couple interceptions but that doesn’t hurt his fantasy value too bad. It all just depends on which receiver can manage to get open between these two and Reed.
A good contrarian stack is Rodgers and either Cobb or Jones. They haven’t done much this year and are not on many people radar, but like I said before, the Packers know the playoffs. Cobb should get more targets but Jones is more of a long threat. The choice is up to you, I’m going Cobb.
For me, the viable tight ends for this week are Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert. While you can make the argument for Heath Miller and Richard Rodgers, I think you will find much more value with Eifert and Reed. Reed is an obvious pick as he has had some very big games lately and is arguably the top tight end in the league. However, that also means he is going to come with a high ownership level, bad news for a tournament play.
That’s why I’m going with Eifert. I can’t stress enough how weak Pittsburgh is against the pass as all of their games end up turning into a shootout. Eifert will especially benefit if Dalton returns this weekend as there is usually great synergy between the two.
NFL Week 17 Recap
Pittsburgh Punches their Ticket
The Steelers earned their spot in the playoffs with their victory against the Browns this weekend. Their playoff hopes had less to do with beating the Browns however and more to do with the Jets losing against the Bills. Antonio Brown had his normal huge performance with 13 receptions, 187 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown. Although he threw 2 interceptions, Big Ben still had a solid fantasy day with 349 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns (Antonio Brown, Marcus Wheaton, and Heath Miller). They lost running back Deangelo Williams early on in the game. If he is not healthy for the playoffs, Pittsburgh’s offensive game will be very one dimensional.
The Patriots Struggle
New England had already secured their spot in the playoffs and the division win, but this weekend they still had the AFC championship home field advantage on the line. They appeared to be putting in full effort for that goal with Brady taking the field. However, nothing seemed to be working in their offense. The offensive line provided Brady very little time to work with and lead receivers Amendola and Gronkowski caught only 2 passes each for minimal yardage. The lack of protection resulted in Brady leaving the game late and being replaced by Garoppolo. Things are not looking positive for the Pats going into the playoffs.
Houston Defense Dominates
JJ Watt is back and the Houston Defense is hitting their stride. They had a huge 8 sacks in their season leading fantasy performance (27 fantasy points). They had two interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and a pick 6 while only allowing 6 points scored from the Ravens. Its a good time for them to be coming around too with their 9-7 record earning them the AFC South champions and a spot in the playoffs.
The Sheriff returns to the Field
This season has seemed to be a disaster for Peyton Manning. His body betrayed him in his final NFL season and when he was healthy enough to return, his job had been taken by Brock Osweiler. However, he had a chance to return to the field late in this week 17 game against the Chargers. He looked like his old self out there and potentially may have earned the starting spot in the playoffs. The Broncos have a week off which may be just what Peyton needs to be 100 percent ready to go.
Carolina Coasts it in
The Panthers didn’t have much of a problem getting the win over the Bucs. Their defense shut the Bucs to only 10 points while Cam Newton passed for almost 300 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and ran a couple goal line touchdowns in himself. Carolina doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses going into the playoffs.
Seahawks take the top of the rankings
With a blowout victory this weekend over the top ranked Cardinals, the Seahawks are the top ranked team going into the playoffs. They have been getting better and better as the season goes and with the return of Marshawn Lynch for the playoffs, they seem unstoppable.
NFL Week 16 Review
Washington Shows up when it Counts
The Redskins won a “must-win” game against the Eagles on Saturday night locking up their playoff position. Kirk Cousins continues on his hot streak. He threw for 365 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns totaling 32.2 fantasy points. He connected with the weekend leading tight end, Jordan Reed 9 times for 129 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns for 36.9 fantasy points.
Big upsets around the League
This week saw losses from the top teams all over the league. These teams are already locks in the playoffs though so who knows if they were playing at the full level. The first loss was the Patriots overtime loss against the Jets. Brady played the whole game and produced very poor numbers: 231 passing yards, 1 passing touchdowns, and an interception for only 14.8 fantasy points. Fitzpatrick for the Jets provided some good fantasy value with 3 passing touchdowns (2 to Marshall and 1 to Decker), with 296 passing yards for 26.9 fantasy points.
The next big upset was the Falcons taking down the undefeated Panthers. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones got back in sync with Ryan totaling 306 passing yards and a touchdown (19.2 fantasy points) while Julio had 178 yards and a touchdown on 9 catches (35.8 fantasy points). Cam Newton threw for only 142 passing yards, no touchdowns.
Lastly, the Seahawks, who have been red hot over the past 4 weeks, fail to generate much offense against the Rams. Doug Baldwin, who totals 10 receiving touchdowns over the previous 4 weeks scored only 1 this weekend for 1 of 2 passing touchdowns by Wilson.
Johnny Football plays Running Back
Manziel put up the worst game of the weekend as far as passing stats but he helped save a little fantasy value by running the ball. While passing only 136 yards and 1 interception, he ran for 108 rushing yards on 11 attempts. This brought his total score to 17 fantasy points.
Megatron gets some attention
Calvin Johnson put up a decent game this week after catching only 1 pass in each of the previous 2 weeks. He caught 6 passes for 77 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. This made 19.7 fantasy points. Far from the 3 touchdown game he put up on Thanksgiving, but an improvement.
Brees and Bortles Shootout
The Jaguars and Saints had a high scoring shootout game, which is no surprise with those aggressive quarterbacks and weak secondaries. Although injured, Brees threw for 412 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns in the win, totaling 31.5 fantasy points. One was a long 71 yard touchdown pass to Cooks, giving him a 5 catch, 123 yard, 1 touchdown game (26.3 fantasy points)
Bortles was less effective throwing 2 interceptions, but with 368 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns, he stayed close to Brees with 32 fantasy points.
Steelers finally stopped
Big Ben and Antonio Brown seemed unstoppable after putting up big numbers against the Broncos defense last weekend. They were finally stopped this weekend however by the likes of Baltimore. Roethlisberger only there for 215 yards and 2 interceptions, a measly 10.6 fantasy points. Brown had a touchdown get called back and ended the day with 7 receptions for 61 receiving yards and 13.1 fantasy points.
Cardinals and Vikings prove contenders
The Cardinals had a big 38 to 8 win over the Packers. Carson Palmer and the Cardinals prove to be serious contenders, especially with the other big teams showing poor results. There was no huge individual fantasy value in this game, only team contentions.
The Vikings won a blowout of their own winning 49 to 17 against the Giants. Minnesota was very effective running the ball with Peterson rushing 104 yards with a touchdown and McKinnon rushing 89 yards with 2 touchdowns.
Some Premium Receivers Deliver
Brandon Marshall caught 8 passes for 115 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. 31.5 fantasy points.
Deandre Hopkins caught 7 passes for 117 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. 24.7 fantasy points.
Julio Jones caught 7 passes for 178 receiving yards and a touchdown. 35.8 fantasy points.
Allen Robinson caught 6 passes for 151 receiving yards and a touchdown. 30 fantasy points.
Week 16 Value Picks
The shootout of the weekend should be between Jacksonville and New Orleans, assuming Drew Brees is healthy enough to take the field after tearing his plantar last week (the same injury Peyton Manning is struggling with). These two quarterbacks love to throw the ball and their defenses love to let the ball be thrown. I give Bortles the fantasy edge though since the Saints defense is more flawed fundamentally and Bortles just loves to throw the ball way down the field.
Kirk Cousins could be a great value pick this weekend as well. He has been on fire lately and we see the weapons he has in Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson (even Alfred Morris as well). Thats not even considering the fact that the Eagles secondary is great at making any quarterback look like Tom Brady out there.
As you can see from the above, there are not many great options at running back this week with the highest projected running back as Doug Martin (CHI @ TB) with only 20.6 projected points. You can spend the money at Running back if you wish and go with the likes of Doug Martin (CHI @ TB) and Matt Forte (CHI @ TB) in what should be a run off, or you can save your money for the higher value at the Receiver position and go for the bargain picks of Darren Sproles (WAS @ PHI), Tim Hightower (JAX @ NO), Christine Michael (STL @ SEA), or Ameer Abdullah (SF @ DET).
The stack of the week should be Allen Robinson and Blake Bortles against the Saints. There is no denying that the Big Ben and Antonio Brown connection has been unstoppable this year, no matter what the matchup. He is going to cost you a pretty penny but fading Antonio Brown may just kill your chances of winning big, as it has plenty of weekends this year already.
Or you can go with Doug Baldwin who has scored over 10 touchdowns in the past 4 weeks. Can he keep this streak going against the Rams? I’m saying yes, not that he will score another 3 touchdowns, but he should be able to haul in 1 or 2 providing some good fantasy value. Seattle doesn’t seem to be stopping this charge until the season ends.
If you are trying to find a cheap value receiver to fill that last spot in your lineup with limited funds, you can look to Jeremy Maclin (CLE @ KC), John Brown (GB @ ARI), Michael Floyd (GB @ ARI), Willie Snead (JAX @ NO), Bradon Cooks (JAX @ NO), or Golden Tate (SF @ DET).
The tight end decision has been made easier in the previous couple weeks with Gronk out. Up until then the decision was go for Gronk, accept the 50+% ownership and $7000+ price tag and hope its his week, or choose from the list of alternative tight ends. The Gronk versus the field decision is back. This week it is easy though.
Gronk has not shown his dominance of previous years this season and is only projected about 1 point higher than the Saints‘ Benjamin Watson. The value picks here are Ebron and Kelce. Kelce has been stagnated slightly since his explosive start to the season and his salary reflects that decline. However, he has high end potential against the Browns, which is what you are going to need to win any big NFL Daily Fantasy Tournament. Ebron as well has shown brilliance at times this year and is getting more action lately with Calvin Johnson all of the sudden becoming obsolete in their offense. Ebron comes much cheaper than the other highly projected options and allows you to spend the cash where you want this week, with the receivers.
NFL Week 14 Weekend Highlights
Seattle is on a roll
In the past 3 weeks Russell Wilson has scored 14 touchdowns, 8 of which were to his favorite target Doug Baldwin. This team is matching their stiff defense with an explosive offense that has scored 29 or more points for the past 5 weeks. These two led the weekend in fantasy points as well with Russell Wilson totaling 32.28 fantasy points with 292 passing yards and 5 passing touchdowns while Doug Baldwin had 6 catches for 82 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
As impressive as those numbers are, Baldwin wasn’t the only receiver to score big this weekend. Tyler Lockett had 2 receiving touchdowns for himself and over 100 receiving yards for a total of 28.4 fantasy points and 4th on the list of fantasy performers for the weekend, putting Seahawks players at 1st, 2nd, and 4th for the weekend, the clear winning stack of the week.
Golden Tate takes over in Megatron’s absence
While Calvin Johnson did take the field, he only had one catch this weekend on 5 targets, far from how we saw him performing just a couple weeks ago. Stafford and Johnson both have yet to produce the video game numbers from Thanksgiving. Golden Tate however took over with 9 catches on 10 targets (very impressive efficiency), with 60 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns for a total of 28.5 fantasy points, for third on our list of weekend fantasy performers.
Green Bay Running Backs
Very rarely do we see multiple running backs on the same team generating good fantasy value. Generally, in committee running schemes, the hot running back of the day will get most of the attempts while the others see little action. This weekend however saw big fantasy performances from both Starks and Lacy. Starks had 2 touchdowns, 1 receiving and 1 rushing for a total of 26.3 fantasy points. While lacy only had 1 touchdown, he beat out Starks in yardage with 124 rushing yards and a total of 21.8 fantasy points.
Jordan Reed may be the only promising player on the Redskins
While the Redskins still are in the hunt with a 6-7 record and a win over the Bears this weekend, they have clearly been very subpar this season. The one shining light however is Jordan Reed who caught 9 passes on 9 targets this weekend, leading the charts at Tight End with 120 receiving yards, a touchdown, and 27 fantasy points.