The Daily Dose for Wild Card Weekend
Wildcard weekend is here and you can still get in on the daily league action. Our Jamey Eisenberg breaks down the best options for FanDuel in his Daily Dose.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week $1.75 million Fantasy Football contest for Wild Card weekend. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $175,000. Starts Saturday, Jan. 3 at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now.
The AFC games are all rematches as Indianapolis beat Cincinnati in Week 7, and Pittsburgh and Baltimore split the two-game series during the regular season. In the NFC, this is the first matchup for both games, and the good news for Detroit is Ndamukong Suh won the appeal of his suspension and will play at Dallas. Unfortunately for Arizona, Ryan Lindley is still the quarterback at Carolina.
You can enjoy all the action by also playing on FanDuel, and we're talking about the $1.75 Sunday Million tournament here. It's $25 to enter, and the first-place prize is $175,000. The top 14,530 teams win money.
My team is listed below, and you can play against me by clicking here. This is a great tournament to play in because the talent pool is reduced with only eight teams to choose from, and we'll look at some players with good values and others to avoid. Good luck to everyone this weekend.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. BAL)
Let's make it clear: Roethlisberger has no chance to repeat his performance from the last game against the Ravens. It was Week 9, and Roethlisberger had 340 passing yards and six touchdowns for 35.7 Fantasy points on FanDuel. But he should still have a big game. The Ravens weakness is their secondary, as five quarterbacks had multiple touchdowns against them. And Roethlisberger has been awesome at home with either 300 yards or multiple touchdowns in seven of eight games. With Bell banged up, the Steelers could be throwing all game, so Roethlisberger could be in line for a big outing, especially as the No. 3 quarterback in price behind Andrew Luck ($9,700) and Tony Romo ($8,800). There are several good values at quarterback this week with Cam Newton ($8,300), Joe Flacco ($8,200) and Matthew Stafford ($8,000).
Andrew Luck (vs. CIN)
For the majority of the season, Luck was unstoppable, including Week 7 against the Bengals when he passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns at home, which was 20.26 Fantasy points on FanDuel. But lately, Luck has been struggling. He had limited playing time in Week 17 at Tennessee, but he's been at 16 Fantasy points or less in three consecutive games against the Texans, Cowboys and Titans. The Bengals have been hit or miss in pass defense this season with seven games with quarterbacks getting multiple touchdowns, including three in the past four games. But over that span, Cincinnati has allowed seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, including four interceptions on Peyton Manning in Week 16. Luck could easily have a monster game in this performance, but he might not exceed the stats from Roethlisberger, Newton or Stafford at a reduced price. That's why we'd shy away from Luck this week.
Jonathan Stewart (vs. ARI)
DeAngelo Williams (hand) is expected to play for the first time since Week 13, but we hope the Panthers don't take the ball away from Stewart. He's been a catalyst for Carolina winning the NFC South, and he should have success against the Cardinals. In the final five games of the season, Stewart has 91 carries for 486 yards (5.34 yard per carry) and one touchdown and seven catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. He has at least 12 Fantasy points on FanDuel in three of those outings. Arizona has struggled in run defense the past five games with Steven Jackson, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore all gaining at least 100 total yards with four combined touchdowns. Stewart should have the chance for another solid performance.
Giovani Bernard (at IND)
Bernard has done a nice job in a complementary role the past three weeks playing behind Jeremy Hill. He's scored at least 11.8 Fantasy points on FanDuel against Cleveland, Denver and Pittsburgh, with receiving touchdowns in both games against the Broncos and Steelers. I'm not counting on him to score in this matchup, and he's not worth the price for his role as a third-down back behind Hill. Now, the Colts have allowed six running backs to gain at least 50 receiving yards in a game, which helps Bernard. And even though only Roy Helu scored on a receiving touchdown, Bernard could still make plays as a receiver. But in their first meeting in Week 7 the Bengals held Bernard to seven carries for 17 yards and two catches for minus-1 yard. He's just not worth his price as the No. 5 running back behind DeMarco Murray ($9,000), Bell ($8,900), Hill ($7,400) and Justin Forsett ($7,000).
Torrey Smith (at PIT)
Smith is a free agent this offseason, and he could be playing in his last game with the Ravens. He's had a solid year in 2014, and we expect him to play well in this matchup. Smith had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 against the Steelers and, including that game, he closed the season with seven touchdowns in his final eight games and at least nine Fantasy points in six of those outings. Pittsburgh has allowed 15 touchdowns to receivers this year, and Smith should be heavily targeted if this game turns into a shootout. Also, if you're looking at some good cheap options at receiver you can go with Martavis Bryant ($5,600), Cole Beasley ($5,600), Terrance Williams ($5,300) and Markus Wheaton ($4,900).
Golden Tate (at DAL)
Tate has struggled down the stretch with one touchdown in his final eight games and only three outings with more than 62 yards over that span. He also has three games with less than nine Fantasy points on FanDuel in his final four outings, so he's probably not worth the price even though the Lions might be throwing a lot while chasing points at Dallas. We know Stafford will focus on Calvin Johnson in this playoff matchup, and it helps that the game is indoors. But I still worry about Tate having a big game based on his struggles to close the season.
Jermaine Gresham (at IND)
Gresham is dealing with a back injury, but he's expected to play this week. He had 10 catches for 48 yards in the first meeting with the Colts in Week 7, which was good for 9.8 Fantasy points on FanDuel. He closed the season with a touchdown in three games in a row against Pittsburgh twice and Denver, and the Colts have struggled with tight ends all season. Indianapolis has allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in the final nine games of the year, with three gaining at least 90 yards. I would actually spend money on Greg Olsen this week if you can, but Coby Fleener ($5,500), Jason Witten ($5,400) and Gresham are all good value picks as well.
Dwayne Allen (vs. CIN)
Allen has dealt with knee and ankle problems since Week 10, and he's been in and out of the lineup to close the season. He did score in Week 15 against Houston with two catches for 16 yards, but that's been his best performance heading into the playoffs. He should be close to 100 percent, but I'm not sure I'm willing to trust him yet. Fleener should remain a focal point of the offense even though one of Allen's best games this season was against the Bengals in Week 7 when he had three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on six targets. I hope Allen is healthy if the Colts are going to make a playoff run, but I wouldn't use him in this format this week.
Justin Tucker (at PIT)
Mike Nugent (at IND)
Matt Prater (at DAL)
Chandler Catanzaro (at CAR)
Steelers (vs. BAL)
Cowboys (vs. DET)
Ravens (at PIT)
Cardinals (at CAR)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (vs. BAL): $8,500
RB Jeremy Hill (at IND): $7,400
RB Jonathan Stewart (vs. ARI): $6,500
WR Antonio Brown (vs. BAL): $9,200
WR Torrey Smith (at PIT): $7,100
WR Martavis Bryant (vs. BAL): $5,600
TE Greg Olsen (vs. ARI): $6,400
K Justin Tucker (at PIT): $4,700
D Bengals (at IND): $4,500
I went with a lot of the guys we mentioned above in Roethlisberger, Stewart, Smith and Bryant because I expect them to play well at great prices. I love the outlook for Hill at the Colts because every time he's gotten at least 15 carries he's scored or run for at least 100 yards. You can count on the Bengals riding Hill in this game. Brown is worth the price as the No. 1 receiver because he was dominant all season, including both games against Baltimore with 18 catches for 234 yards and a touchdown. Olsen also is worth the price as the No. 1 tight end because the Cardinals have struggled with tight ends all season, including three touchdowns and two 100-yard games in their final five outings. Tucker is a good price at kicker given his potential, and I went with the lowest option at defense with the Bengals. Unless you spend for the Panthers D this week then most of the other options are questionable this week.
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