Which wide receivers and tight ends should you be selecting for your FanDuel NFL lineups? One of the best daily fantasy players, ehafner, dishes out his top picks below for Week 12.
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Tier 1: Studs Worth Paying For
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, $9,000
Stud WR Demaryius Thomas is in line to join Calvin Johnson in the record books. He’s got seven straight games of 100 yards receiving and Calvin’s record is eight. Peyton Manning’s the type of guy who’s hyper aware of everything, I can see him looking to Demaryius a bunch this week. There’s a great corner in Brett Grimes awaiting, but the whole idea of a dominant corner should be down-weighted this year. Stronger emphasis on defensive penalties has hindered a corner’s ability to lock a WR up. There have been 73 illegal contact penalties so far this season. There were 38 all of last year. (www.nflpenalties.com)
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, $8,500
I’m expecting a big bounce-back week for T.Y Hilton. I’ll be using Hilton in throughout my different lineups this week. He pairs well with my favorite QB of the week – Andrew Luck, and his targets should be reliable enough to pay up for in daily fantasy 50-50 games. Matchup specific information makes me like Hilton too. The Jaguars are especially bad against #1 WR’s this year, according to footballoutsiders.com’s DVOA statistic (last).
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, $8,000
Not my favorite cash game play, but paying up to be contrarian can certainly pay off in GPPs. Joe Haden and a stomach bug will likely scare most of FanDuel players off of Jones this week. My thought process is that the Falcons are one of the least dynamic teams in the league. They’re throwing to Julio/Roddy no matter the circumstance. The way tournament prize pools are structured, it really pays off to take chances on low-owned guys with potential.
Tier 2: Midrange Plays
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans, $6,400
How good is Ryan Mallett? We probably can’t say for sure. What I do know is that he can’t possibly be significantly worse than Fitzpatrick from a fantasy football standpoint. So, I’m willing to buy low on this passing attack, and that will start with Andre Johnson. Targets are my favorite thing to look at when predicting WR production, and Johnson ranks just inside the top 10. This week’s matchup with the Bengals Defense isn’t as tough as it likely sounds to you. The Bengals have been bad at rushing the passer this year, (according to PFF), which should help the young QB’s comfort level.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints, $6,000
Colston or Stills? We all know there’s value to be had here with Brandin Cooks out. It’s looking like I’m out on an island this week with another contrarian pick, as I like Colston. Stills was owned more than twice as much as Colston was in the FanDuel Thursday Bomb. So why Colston? Well, Brandin Cooks wasn’t utilized in the way many would have anticipated this year. The dude is a burner, but the Saints gave him lots of underneath/catch-and-run routes instead of deep routes. In those situations, I think those looks translate more to Colston now than they would to Stills. The gas tank might be close to E on Colston, but in one-week fantasy, I think we can squeeze out some value here.
Tier 3: Bargain Bin Ballers
This one might fly under the radar since most people don’t roster Jaguars. Allen Robinson, the WR leading the team in receptions, broke his foot and is out for the year. The next men up are these two and I’ll have exposure to both. From what I’ve seen of them, I’d say Hurns is the higher upside, boom/bust play, and Shorts is the better value overall that’s cash-game playable. The Jaguars will likely throw a ton late in the game to keep up with the Colts.
Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers, $5,600
Floyd’s been fairly consistent lately despite profiling as a boom-or-bust player. The Rams rank in the bottom 5 at defending opposing WRs. I like Floyd’s chances of continuing to getting more targets in this offense. Gates is in decline and appears limited between the 20s, and Keenan Allen’s been one of the bigger disappointments on the year.
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Three to Target:
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, $7,900
Tony Gonzalez evolved the TE spot about 15 years ago. We’re seeing a new evolution here with Rob Gronkowski. He’s a special talent and I’ll like his chances of being the top scoring TE week in and week out. Detroit’s defense has played well this year, but their strengths bode well for Gronk. The Lions have been a run-stuffing team and they have a quality pass rush. Given that info, I think Brady attacks them with lots of short passes to Gronk, and we all know how great he is in the red zone.
Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $5,500
I’ve rostered Larry Donnell quite a bit this year after he surprised with 5-56 and a TD in Week 1. He’s been consistently cheap on FanDuel, so I look to him as a source of salary relief when I want studs at other positions. I like Donnell’s matchup this week with Dallas. The Cowboys rank near the bottom at defending the TE, and they lost their LOLB, Justin Durant, to a torn bicep a couple weeks ago.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts, $5,400
I was surprised to see how heavily owned Coby Fleener was Thursday night. I guess that’s what happens when recency bias, added opportunity via injuries and a great matchup all converge on one player. With Dwayne Allen and Ahmad Bradshaw both out, I expect Luck to look Fleener’s way often and give him plenty of looks in the red zone.