By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Now I have an anecdote for you. Nothing too long. Just something I’ve been pondering lately.
Did you know that almost 80% of Americans hate their jobs? It’s true. Or at least that’s what the-polls-that-don’t-survey-everyone estimate that rough number to be. Still, that’s a lot of people that get up in the morning with a frown and breathe a deep sigh of disdain before heading off to do something they don’t enjoy.
It made me think of this because I just recently started a new day job. Yes, I have to work to help keep this site up and running because I’m passionate about it. But when you do something you like or even love, it never feels like work. So the long hours you put in don’t feel as long.
I’ll take this site for instance. After I get home from work, I come home and start planning. I’m recording and editing our podcast; I’m researching and compiling our weekly rankings; I’m using most of that research to write this column; I’m coordinating with my girlfriend to make our Instagram page awesome (you should check it out and send her a thank you); I shoot our DFS videos for Instagram now as well; and I make sure to watch all the football games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday night so I can talk about it on the podcast.
But you know what? If I weren’t doing all this, I’d be talking with my friends about the games I watched Thursday, Sunday and Monday (kind of like a podcast, just without recording it); I’d be researching to set the best lineup I could in both season-long (unofficial rankings and Confidence Plays) and Daily (DFS videos); I’d likely be posting throughout social media what I saw throughout the week and root for my players to kick some ass and win me fantasy matchups.
So you see, I don’t consider this work. I would be doing all of this stuff anyway. That’s what work should be. Being miserable at work sucks. But I wouldn’t know what that’s like anymore because I have two jobs that allow me to smile when I wake up and smile when I come home. Hopefully you’re in the same boat as I in this lovely ideology.
Below are my Confidence Plays for Week 13. To refresh what this column is, these are my confidence plays in a Start/Play/Bench format. “Start” represents your studs and number twos that will overachieve. Get them in your lineup, stat! “Play” represents some bench or FLEX plays that should outperform their draft position based on matchup. “Bench” presents your studs that you should temper expectations for or FLEX plays you should swap out with a bench player. And really, it’s based off my rankings. Check them out and use them as a guide!
QB Drew Brees & WR Michael Thomas (NO) – Have you watched Thomas lately? He’s morphing into a better version of Marques Colston. He’s creeped all the way up to 11th in Club Fantasy scoring and leads the Saints in catches, yards and touchdowns. And if you needed more reason to start Drew Brees at home, consider this: he is averaging 35.7 fantasy points per home start this season. Even against good defenses like the Seahawks and Broncos, he is as safe a play as there is this week.
RB LeSean McCoy (BUF) – You know who’s been awesome lately? Shady, baby. He leads all NFL RBs in DVOA (most value per play). You know who’s been awful this season? The Raiders’ run defense. They rank 27th in DVOA. When great goes head-to-head with abysmal, great tends to win out.
WRs T.Y. Hilton & Donte Moncrief (IND) – This is predicated on Hilton and QB Andrew Luck playing on Monday night. As of this writing, both were still iffy but with 11 days between games, I’m banking on them both. The Jets give up the 7th most fantasy points to wide receivers. And the Jets are 2nd worst in the NFL against #2 WRs. Big game for both on the horizon.
TE Travis Kelce (KC) – Against Atlanta, everyone looks like a star. And when stars face off against Atlanta, they morph into gods. Kelce is on a tear lately with 35.4 fantasy points combined in his last two games. Alex Smith can’t throw it deep, but he can find Kelce.
QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) – 8 passing TDs in his last 4 weeks and last week he topped 100 yards rushing. It’s always good to have a set floor with QBs, and Kap’s rushing ability provides that. Plus, he plays Chicago and we saw last week what Marcus Mariota did against them (226 passing yards, 2 TDs, 46 yards rushing).
QB Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – Another QB known more for rushing, he now has his top playmaker at WR back (Sammy Watkins) and his star running back is clicking on all cylinders. They’ll need to put up points to keep up with the Raiders potent offense, and I think Taylor keeps it close — he has at least one rushing TD in 4 of his past 5 games.
RB Jordan Howard (CHI) – Yes, the 49ers held Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi to 45 yards rushing. But their rush defense still ranks in the bottom three in the league and Howard has acted like a bulldozer lately, plowing through lines en route to 414 yards rushing the past four weeks. With Matt Barkley at QB, the Bears will lean even heavier on the ground game and Howard should have a nice day because of it.
RBs Mark Ingram & Tim Hightower (NO) – Many thought this time share would destroy Ingram’s fantasy value. Truthfully, it’s helped him. Ingram has posted 2 weeks of 140+ rushing yards in his past 4 weeks, en route to 85.6 fantasy points. Hightower has been no slouch either, posting 65.8 fantasy points in the same time span. The Saints’ backfield is large enough for the two of them, and this week against Detroit, at home, both will be worthy of starting lineups.
WR Golden Tate (DET) – Stafford is going to have to throw to keep up with the high-powered Saints offense. you’ll see my thoughts on Stafford soon, but I like Tate a lot this week. Since Week 6, Tate has been the preferred target of Stafford, totaling 98.1 fantasy points since. Over the same span, Marvin Jones has 42.4 and Anquan Boldin has 71.8. Give me some Tate this week against a Saints pass defense allowing, on average, 35.1 fantasy points per game to WRs over the same time frame.
WR Tyler Boyd (CIN) – With the loss of A.J. Green, someone else has needed to step up. If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you know my infatuation with Tyler Boyd. In two weeks without Green, Boyd has posted 17.4 and 11.2 fantasy points. The Eagles defend TEs very well so I’m downgrading Tyler Eifert a little and I expect Boyd to pick up some catches and yards to keep the Bengals in this contest.
QB Matthew Stafford (DET) – Yes, I think the Lions will be throwing a lot to keep pace with the electric Saints offense. But here’s why I’m down on Stafford: after a great start to the season, he’s averaging 16.7 fantasy points over his last 5 weeks. That’s in the bottom half of fantasy QBs in that span. The yards may be there, but the TDs seem to be fading.
RB Jay Ajayi & WR Jarvis Landry (MIA) – The Ravens have one of the top defenses in the league. Ajayi, without three fifths of his starting offensive line, has struggled to run the ball effectively in their absence. Landry has less of an excuse, as QB Ryan Tannehill has been passing with authority, just not in Landry’s direction. Passing on both this week in favor of better options.
RB Thomas Rawls (SEA) – I’m hoping that because I put him here, he’ll prove me wrong. When I like him, he disappoints, and when I’m not as high on him, he does well. Here’s hoping that trend continues!
TE Coby Fleener (NO) – The big money free agent has shown flashes, but backup tight end Josh Hill has been cutting into his snap count in recent weeks, which has resulted in better rushing numbers for Ingram and Hightower. But then Hill caught six passes last week which further dumps on Fleener’s potential. In a great matchup for TEs against the Lions, I’m not going there with Fleener this week.
TE Jason Witten (DAL) – The Cowboys play the Vikings on Thursday. While Elliott and Prescott are seemingly matchup proof, Witten is not. There are better TEs this week.