I’m back folks. After taking last week off to travel from Cleveland back to completely functional, not-hostile-whatsoever Washington D.C., I am ready to get back to gluing my eyes to NFL Redzone. Today’s slate is the most confident I have been about a slate all year. I’m hoping I can hit it big this week and move up a tax bracket or two, and catch myself a break.
1 p.m. only:
QB – Case Keenum – While Mike Zimmer may refuse to commit to Case Keenum, even though he’s won six games in a row, I am 100 percent in on Keenum until further notice. He has thrown for at least 280 yards and has 10 touchdowns in the last four weeks. Averaging over 22 fantasy points per game the those four games, Keenum faces an Atlanta defense that has given up 51 points the last two weeks. At just $7,600, Keenum should hit value at 15 fantasy points pretty easily.
RB – Dion Lewis – I’m usually pretty cautious playing New England running backs, because you never know if it’s going to be Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkehead, or Mike Gillislee who sees the action, but Lewis has seen double-digit carries the last five weeks and is averaging well over five yards per carry on them. He has totaled just over 50 fantasy points the last three weeks, so 50 yards and a touchdown out of him will be plenty. Lewis’ production will rely heavily on whether or not he finds the end zone, but with the Patriots’ history of torching the Buffalo Bills, I like Lewis’ chances today.
RB – Kareem Hunt – I have avoided playing Kareem Hunt for several weeks, as his price tag has been inflated since his unbelievable start to the year. Hunt scored 92 fantasy points in the first three weeks, but has scored just over 70 in the last eight. Hunt’s price tag has finally dropped to $6,900, which I deem low enough to finally play! He has not found the end zone in eight straight weeks, and that has played a big part in the Chiefs losing streak. Going up against the New York Jets’ 26th-ranked rushing defense, I imagine the Chiefs will try to get Hunt going early and often, and will do their best to get him in the end zone. At under $7,000, the rookie has tremendous upside.
WR – DeAndre Hopkins – It doesn’t matter who throws the ball to DeAndre Hopkins, he just knows how to make plays. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one week this year, and even with Tom Savage attempting to throw him the ball the last four weeks, Hopkins is still averaging 16 points per game. With the wide out averaging 12.5 targets per game with Savage, he is a no-brainer going up against a Titans defense that gave up 51 points to the Texans earlier this year.
WR – Adam Thielen – Thielen is quickly becoming one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL. Thielen has already surpassed 1,000 yards for the season, including 476 yards and three scores the last four games. Since we are playing Keenum at QB, playing Thielen here makes perfect sense. Averaging over 20 points his last three weeks, and coming off a long week since he played on Thanksgiving, Thielen should be ready and rested to tear up the Atlanta secondary.
WR – Devante Adams – I can’t be sure, but I think Brett Hundley believes he has to throw the ball to Adams, which is perfectly fine with me. Adams has seen 36 targets from Hundley in the four weeks they’ve played together, accumulating over 350 yards and two touchdowns in those games. With 50 points over his last three games, he is an easy call at $6,500 going up against the 30th-ranked Tampa Bay passing defense.
TE – Travis Kelce – Averaging over 12 points per game, Kelce is an always reliable option at tight end. He got just four targets last week, after getting 33 the previous three weeks. After last week, I’d expect Alex Smith to go back to his main target in Kelce. The tight end offers huge upside out of the tight end spot, as he’s scored over 20 points three times this year. Hopefully Kelce and Hunt can share some red-zone opportunities for my sake.
K – Stephen Gostkowski – I’m continuing my trend of spending up at kicker. Gostkowski averages 11 points per game and should see plenty of opportunities today against a Bills defense that should get shredded by Tom Brady and company.
Defense – Detroit Lions – The Lions are becoming a regular in my line ups. While they give up a whole bunch of points, their defense still finds away to come away with fantasy value, having scored seven touchdowns this year. Going up against the Ravens 32nd ranked passing offense (Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?), the Lions should be able to hold them to minimal points and hopefully find their own way into the end zone.
4 p.m. only:
QB – Phillip Rivers – Rivers is averaging 17 fantasy points this year, which is about four shy of how many children he has (I think). He goes against a Browns defense that has allowed 30+ points three of the last four weeks, and has seen Case Keenum, Matt Stafford, and Andy Dalton have successful fantasy days against them. Rivers is almost a lock to throw at least 30 times, which should be plenty of opportunities to find the end zone against Cleveland.
RB – Alvin Kamara – Until Alvin Kamara doesn’t score 20 fantasy points, he’s going to be in my lines. Kamara has over 100 fantasy points in the last four weeks, and that’s with splitting time with Mark Ingram. He has a chance to break a big one every time he touches the ball. Having scored in double digits each of the last nine weeks, including over 20 each of the last four, Kamara is a lock against the Panthers at the Superdome.
RB – Isaiah Crowell – A Cleveland Brown! A slight risk, but at just $5,400 against the worst rushing defense in the NFL, Crowell should be able to hit value at 10-11 points. Crowell has 50 carries his last four games, and has found the end zone twice. With the Browns still looking for their first win, I’d expect them to try and get the ground game going against the Chargers’ poor run defense.
WR – Devin Funchess – With Kelvin Benjamin no longer in the picture, Funchess has quickly emerged as Cam Newton’s favorite target. Funchess has seen 25 targets the last three weeks, and has turned those targets into 12 catches for 286 yards and two touch downs. Playing inside in a game that should be filled with plenty of scoring, the wide out has potential for a huge day against a Saints defense that has given up 57 points the last two weeks.
WR – Keenan Allen – Keenan Allen has been on fire the last two weeks, going off for 331 yards and three touchdowns on 23 receptions, which comes out to 63 fantasy points in two games. Since we are playing Rivers here, it would be crazy not to include his favorite target. While I expect Allen to have some type of regression from the last few weeks, I still expect him to see plenty of action, and more likely than not find the end zone.
WR – Cooper Kupp – With Robert Woods out last week, Cooper Kupp became Jared Goff’s primary target, seeing 11 targets come his way. He turned that into eight catches and 116 yards. With Woods still out, Kupp should see the same type of volume and hopefully find pay dirt. He is still just $6,300, so if he receives the same type of volume, he will easily meet value.
TE – Jared Cook – The tight end has been a little inconsistent this season, but any tight end playing the New York Giants’ defense is a good play. Cook is seeing upwards of five targets per week, and going against the Giants who give up the most touchdowns to tight ends this year, Derek Carr will be targeting Cook frequently.
K – Greg Zuerlein – The best fantasy kicker this season, he has scored 70 points the last five weeks, and that includes a week where he only scored one. The other four weeks he has gone 17, 17, 17, and 18. At just $5,300, Zuerlein makes the case for spending up at kicker even easier.
Def – LA Chargers – The Chargers defense has scored 85 points the last five weeks, scoring four touchdowns to go along with 10 interceptions and 14 sacks. Going up against a Browns offense that is used to giving the ball to the other team, as well as letting them sack Deshone Kizer, LA should be in for a huge day against Cleveland.
QB – Carson Wentz – The guy that the Browns claimed wasn’t a top-20 quarterback is lighting up NFL defenses for 22 fantasy points per game. Going up against a Seattle secondary that has given up some big games this year, and is now without Richard Sherman, Wentz should have an easy time hitting value at just $8,000. He has thrown for 22 touchdowns his last seven games, and in a game that should remain competitive, Wentz should be throwing well over 30 times tonight.
RB – Alvin Kamara
RB – Dion Lewis
WR – DeAndre Hopkins
WR – Davante Adams
WR – Alshon Jeffery – Alshon Jeffery has emerged as Wentz’s favorite target, hauling in five touchdowns the last four weeks. While he hasn’t done much damage with his yardage, he is still seeing nine targets per game the last four weeks, and should have plenty of chances to find the end zone tonight.
TE – Jared Cook
K – Greg Zuerlein
Def – Baltimore Ravens
Good luck in your fantasy matchups this week, guys. For many leagues, this is the last week of the regular season. Hopefully many of you will make the postseason!