When I sat down to write this article I stared at a blinking cursor for seemingly forever. Nothing was coming to me. If you’re a writer of any kind, you’ll understand.
I’d looked over the stats, the matchups, the injuries, you name it. But I couldn’t get away from the fact that there are only eight teams. There are so few players available that I couldn’t wrap my head around excluding any of the them.
At the very least, I felt like when you looked at overall lineup construction you could make a case for anyone. Of course, some cases are stronger than others, but getting creative is a must.
Due to restriction of a smaller slate, this fades article is dedicated to the pros and cons and when to play a particular player.
A.J. McCarron versus Pittsburgh for $6,400
Pro: McCarron put up his best game versus Pittsburgh in Week 14. He completed 22 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. That brought his grand total to 18.0 FanDuel points.
Con: That’s his ceiling. Since then he’s yet to go over 15 FanDuel points.
Brian Hoyer versus Kansas City for $6,900
Pro: Unlike McCarron, Hoyer did put up multiple elite games this year. In fact, he put up four performances with 20+ FanDuel points over the course of the season, even when sitting out five full games due to injuries.
Con: The injuries, specifically his concussions, should have you concerned. If he gets hit in the head, he’s out. They will not take a risk like that. Unfortunately, his left tackle went out for the season and the Chiefs got one of their best pass rushers back.
When to play: You’re dedicated to those high-priced guys at running back and wide receiver and you think Cincinnati will be conservative.
Fitzgerald Toussaint at Cincinnati for $5,700
Pro: He’s incredibly cheap and the team is talking him up as the next bell-cow up now that FanDuel favorite, DeAngelo Williams, is out with a foot injury.
Con: We don’t know anything about him as a NFL player. He carried the ball a total of 18 times during the regular season. No catches.
When to play: You think this guy will get usage and the rest of the running back slate is bleak. If you spend the money you save on Toussaint elsewhere you can come up with a strong lineup. As far as Toussaint himself, it’s a dart throw and we all know it.
Adrian Peterson versus Seattle for $8,400
Pro: He’s the league rushing title holder playing in frigid temperatures on a team that needs to run the ball.
Con: He’s playing Seattle. The last time these two teams met Peterson only carried the ball EIGHT TIMES! Yes, I’m yelling. Back to Seattle, in Week 13 he carried the ball eight times (still annoying me) for 18 yards and caught four passes for an additional six, bringing the total to 4.4 FanDuel points. The Vikings are not going to make that same mistake twice. He will get carries. Even so, Seattle gives up the absolute fewest FanDuel points to opposing running backs.
When to play: Contrarian pick du jour. Great talent can overcome bad matchups. He’s the most expensive back this week (another con) at $8,400, but he could get things going.
Jeremy Maclin at Houston for $7,200
Pro: Maclin is on a very quiet hot streak right now. Over the last six games he scored 13 or more FanDuel points in all but one appearance. He found the endzone six times during that six game span. It’s hard to believe that only last year not one Chiefs wide receiver logged a touchdown all season…
Con: Houston gives up the 5th fewest FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers. He’s also dealing with a hip injury. He should play and they certainly need him, but it won’t be a walk in the park.
When to play: You look at his price and feel like 13-15 points will be fine. You want a safe floor and it’s hard to find a safer option than Maclin. You also want to play him if you feel like the Chiefs Defense will give the offense good field position which will ultimately lead to more points.
Doug Baldwin at Minnesota for $7,300
Pro: Baldwin scored 11 touchdowns in the last six games of the season. Since the teams Week 9 bye, Baldwin put up 18 or more FanDuel points in all but two of his performances.
Con: Marshawn Lynch is back. The team likes to lean on the run when BeastMode is out on the field. The HIGH on Sunday will be 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Zero….
When to play: I was excited about Baldwin and Wilson at the beginning of the week and plugged them into my Rotoworld/NBCSports lineup, but after seeing the weather I realize that this is a contrarian pick. Normally bad weather doesn’t scare me, but there are going to be some numb fingers on Sunday. I don’t want numb fingers on my roster.
With so few options, everyone is on the table. Look at the pros and cons, look over the entirety of your roster and fade the person that doesn’t fit the bill. It’s a really fun week to play FanDuel, so go out there and do it.
Good luck in Wild Card Weekend!