Crunch Time in DFS 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Week #16 of the NFL season. With just one more week of the regular season before we head into the playoffs, there’s not much time left in the season. However, there is still time left to turn your daily fantasy football play around. If you’ve had a less than stellar season, don’t worry. By looking at value and matchups on FanDuel, we can help you get started in the right direction with our start/sit advice.

This time of the season always sees a jump in the number of people that play DFS games. That can be a good thing for you. By picking the right tournament, you are going to improve your chances of finishing in the money thanks to the generally overall weaker competition. The key is to put together a strong roster before you enter.

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Running Backs in the Mix

David Johnson: Johnson has had a decent season, but he’s definitely not playing at the top of his game. Much of this is because of his team, but not all of it. Still, Johnson has shown some strong numbers this season, averaging 14.2 fantasy points per game. He has scored 9 TDs this season and is averaging 60.2 yards per game. With a salary of $7,200, Johnson could be a good fit on a lot of rosters. Before you draft him, it’s important to look at similarly priced RBs. When you do, you will find out that Johnson is not going to be your best choice. Johnson has a decent matchup this weekend against the Los Angeles Rams—who are ranked #21 against the rush. There’s potential from Johnson, he’s just not the best choice in this spot.

Marlon Mack: Mack is a lot cheaper than Johnson at $7,000. He is also averaging 14.2 fantasy points per game with just 8 TDs, but 75.5 yards per game, which is comparable to Johnson. His value is slightly higher than Johnson’s, but not enough to be fully convincing. Where Mack separates himself from Johnson is in the matchup. The Colts will be going against the New York Giants, who are ranked just #28 overall against the rush. Although the Giants are decent against the pass, they are quite weak against the rush. This opens up the door even wider for Mack. When it comes to performance this weekend, Mack has far more potential than Johnson.

RB Start: Mack

RB Sit: Johnson

Wide Receivers are a Good Catch

Julian Edelman: Edelman is a strong mid-tier WR but beware of him this week. Although he’s averaging 13.7 fantasy points per game with a salary of just $7,000, Edelman is in a tough place this weekend. The New England Patriots will be taking on the Buffalo Bills, who are ranked #2 overall defensively, and #1 against the passing game. QB Tom Brady is prone to rely on the pass more heavily than the rush, but he’s also quite flexible. When it comes to playing their division rivals from Buffalo, Brady can be flexible. Either way, Edelman’s stats are likely to drop considerably here. In other spots, Edelman can be a good pick, but not this weekend.

Amari Cooper: Cooper has recorded very similar numbers to Edelman this season. He also has the same price tag for Sunday: $7,000. He has scored 7 TDs so far this season and is averaging 73.4 yards per game, which is very competitive for a mid-tier WR. The most attractive part of Cooper this weekend is not his high value, though. No, it is the matchup that he will see. The Dallas Cowboys are up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have a fairly weak defense. When it comes to the passing game, the Bucs are ranked #27 in the NFL. This should help Cooper to have an above average performance this weekend. But, if that’s not enough, looking at what Cooper has done against similar defenses so far this season can be helpful. For example, when Dallas took on the Eagles, who were also ranked #27 defensively at the time of play, Cooper recorded 44.7 fantasy points. This performance should speak volumes about what Cooper is capable of doing this weekend.

WR Start: Cooper

WR Sit: Edelman

Quarterbacks Need to Throw

Jared Goff: Goff and the Los Angeles Rams are in an interesting position this weekend. The Arizona Cardinals are ranked #17 defensively, but this is skewed. When it comes to rush, they have the #30 defense in the NFL, but against the pass they are ranked #5. Unfortunately for Goff, this will naturally drive down his ability to score fantasy points. He will need to rely more heavily on his Running Backs which do not have as much benefit for a QB in a fantasy setting. So far this season, Goff has averaged 305.2 yards per game (which is great) and has 28 total touchdowns. These are impressive, but although he is priced well at $8,000 and has averaged 20.1 fantasy points per game, his value in this setting is much lower than what it appears to be on the surface thanks to the unfavorable matchup.

Deshaun Watson: Watson is in quite the opposite situation as Goff. Priced exactly the same at $8,000, Watson has almost the same fantasy point average at 20.2 per week. He has averaged 256.6 yards per game and has 26 TDs this season, but is in a position where he’s likely to outperform this weekend. While the Philadelphia Eagles have posted strong numbers this season, they have some weaknesses in their defense. The defense is ranked #27 overall in the NFL, and even worse against the pass at #31. The primary argument against Watson is that he has a low yards per game number. Against Philly though, Watson is in a prime place where he will be able to get more passing yards than normal this weekend, and inevitably, this will end up boosting other stats—including touchdowns—along the way.

QB Start: Watson

QB Sit: Goff