It feels like just yesterday we were talking about Week One, but the season is getting closer and closer to the end. This week we really need to pay attention to weather. It’s early in the week, but it looks like we have some snow, rain and wind in the forecast this weekend. Dome games can be a big bump this time of year, but we will have to monitor that closer to Sunday. Let’s get into my top quarterback and running back picks for this weekend at FanDuel.
Cash Game Targets
Matt Ryan: $8,500 (vs. San Francisco)
Ryan is the highest-priced quarterback this weekend, and I think he has a safe floor in this matchup. With this game being played in a dome, I like the idea of paying up for Ryan in cash games. The 49ers are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and an average of two passing touchdowns per game. Ryan is one of the few guys who has thrown at least one passing touchdown in every game this season. With the Falcons tied for first in the division with the Bucs, I expect them to come out hungry in this very plus matchup.
Philip Rivers: $7,800 (vs. Oakland)
With Melvin Gordon doubtful this weekend, I expect the Chargers to rely on the pass more than normal. Gordon leads the NFL in red zone carries this season, and this could be a bump to the passing game if he misses. Rivers was able to keep the streak alive and has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in six straight games now. Oakland is ranked 21st in DVOA against the pass this season, and they’re allowing an average of 274 passing yards per game. The Chargers are out of the playoff race, but they can play spoiler in this division. In front of the home crowd, I expect this game to be one of the higher scoring games on the week.
Tyrod Taylor: $7,600 (vs. Cleveland)
Rex Ryan is on the hot seat right now, and if he loses to the Browns this weekend, I expect him to be fired by Monday night. Taylor doesn’t present a lot in the passing game, but he has a ton of upside because of his rushing ability. He has five rushing touchdowns in the last seven games, and on the season, he has eight games with at least 30 yards rushing. Cleveland gives any quarterback a bump in the passing game, and they’ve allowed 30 passing touchdowns (most in the league) this season. I love the upside of Taylor this weekend, and I expect the Bills to leave their foot on the gas pedal in this game.
Derek Carr: $7,900 (vs. San Diego)
This is a great game to target, and the only reason I’ve listed Carr as a tournament target is that I’m a little concerned about his finger issue. Last weekend, Carr had the lowest completion rate of the season, as well as his lowest passing yard total of the season. The Chargers are ranked 13th in DVOA against the pass this season, and they’ve been playing much better lately. Nevertheless, this game has one of the highest implied totals on the slate, and the Raiders are in the toughest division race for the playoffs. I really like this spot for a bounce back game, and this is a game I will be targeting a lot this weekend.
Cash Game Targets
Le’Veon Bell: $9,400 (vs. Cincinnati)
Bell was suspended for the Steelers’ game against the Bengals earlier this season, but this was the team that ended his season last year. I expect him to be fired up for this matchup. Williams ran for 94 yards and caught a touchdown against the Bengals earlier this season, and he ran for 76 yards and two touchdowns against them in Cincinnati last season. Bell should have no trouble putting up similar numbers, as he has at least 27 touches in four straight games, including 100 yards rushing in each of those four games. You’re paying up for his extremely high floor, but even though he’s expensive at FanDuel, he continues to be cheaper than David Johnson.
Carlos Hyde: $7,000 (vs. Atlanta)
The Atlanta defense destroyed the Rams last weekend, but it should come back down to planet Earth this weekend against the 49ers. Last week represents the best possible scenario for this defense, as it is ranked 23rd in DVOA against the pass and 28th in DVOA against the run this season. They’re also ranked 27th in DVOA against pass-catching running backs this season. After the New England game a few weeks ago, Chip Kelly said he wanted Hyde to be the focus of the offense. In the three games since then, Hyde has 350 rushing yards and two receiving touchdowns. With Vance McDonald going down for the season, I could see Hyde more involved in the pass offense this weekend. This is a great matchup indoors, and I actually think Hyde has a high floor.
LeSean McCoy: $9,000 (vs. Cleveland)
I mentioned Taylor above, and I like McCoy for a lot of the same reasons in this matchup. With his price so high this weekend, I feel like he will be much lower owned than he should be for this matchup. Cleveland is ranked 32nd in DVOA against the run this season, and they’re allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. On top of that, they’re allowing 129 rushing yards per game and an average of 1.08 rushing touchdowns per game. Last weekend was a perfect example of how McCoy stays in the game no matter what the game script is. He’s a great GPP option this weekend, and he’s one of the only running backs not named Bell or Johnson with 30-point upside.
Jeremy Hill: $6,600 (vs. Pittsburgh)
Hill has 18+ touches in four straight games, and even if A.J. Green returns this weekend, I doubt he’s going to be at full strength. With Giovani Bernard out, Hill should continue to get a large workload out of the backfield. The Steelers have been solid against the run this season, and they rank 10th in run defense DVOA. They’re ranked 19th in DVOA against pass-catching backs, and they’re allowing the third-most receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. I like the upside for Hill out of the backfield this weekend, and he could crush value at this price if he finds the paint.