This week’s Wild Card edition of FanDuel Must Plays will be a little more brief than usual. After all, we only have four games to sift for fantasy gold, as opposed to the regular 15-16 game slate.
So with that, I decided to outline three “must plays” and three “borderline” secondary plays to work into your FanDuel lineup, instead of listing the customary Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze pricing categories.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $1.75 Million Fantasy Football league for Wild Card Weekend's games. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $175,000. Starts Saturday, January 3rd at 4:35pm ET. Here's the link.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB) – PIT - $8,500
Big Ben owns tremendous splits at home this season, boasting a 115 passer rating and a 23:4 TD/INT ratio. With Le’Veon Bell likely out for this Wild Card showdown, expect Pittsburgh to go “pass heavy” for majority of this game. Roethlisberger threw for 340 yards, 6 TD when these teams last met in early November. Baltimore’s secondary has been suspect in the second half of the season, and Ben could have a field day in this one.
Antonio Brown (WR) – PIT - $9,200
If Mr. Roethlisberger falls into the “must play” category this week, you better believe his #1 WR makes the cut as well. As I noted in the previous write-up, Baltimore’s secondary is reeling, allowing the 5th most fantasy points to opposing WR’s. In two games vs the Ravens this season, Brown put up 7-90 and 11-144-1. He’s the safest WR play on the board, and potentially representing the highest upside as well.
Joique Bell (RB) – DET - $6,600
I really like Joique as a steady, mid-range RB2 this weekend. He’s averaging a solid 17 fppg in the past five, and Dallas has given up 4.2 yards per carry this season. The price point is extremely comfortable, especially considering realistic 2 TD upside. I’ll likely turn to Bell as a fixture in my cash game lineups.
Steve Smith (WR) – BAL - $6,400
The mid-range WR tier looks pretty barren, and Steve Smith emerges as the most appealing commodity. His targets have been rising as of late, getting 10+ looks in three of the past four contests. That creates a reasonable floor, and he still has 100+ yard upside if things break the right way.
Calvin Johnson (WR) – DET - $9,000
In the Antonio Brown write-up, I mentioned that the Pittsburgh WR could “potentially” have the highest upside of the week. Calvin Johnson is the only other who could outperform Brown on this Wild Card Weekend. He’s been banged up all season, but that hasn’t stopped him from producing 19 fppg over the past month. With Detroit checking in at 7 point underdogs, the game script may call for a heavy dose of Megatron to keep pace.
Heath Miller (TE) – PIT - $5,000
I’ve already mentioned how Pittsburgh may pass the ball more than usual without Le’Veon Bell suiting up. That holds true for the red-zone as well, which could ultimately benefit Miller with some looks inside the 20. I had a tough time deciding between Miller, Dwayne Allen, and Owen Daniels as a cheap TE. However, Miller stands out with a potentially increase workload on top of an already reliable floor.
Mike Nugent (K) – CIN - $4,600
He’s the least expensive kicker on the board, playing in a dome. If you have the cap space, I’d prefer Adam Vinatieri at $4,900. However, Nugent is a satisfying pick for this near-minimum salary.
Carolina Panthers (DEF) - $5,300
The Panthers defense has been improving as of late, and they have the best matchup this weekend against Arizona and their 3rd string QB (Ryan Lindley).