Ah yes, the unfamiliar Sunday morning grind… we meet here once again. I wasn’t expecting this and you weren’t expecting this, so I think that it’s only fair to be transparent with all of you when I’m inconsistent. My picks may be consistently good (most of the time) but sometimes my timing is a bit off! By that, what I am trying to say is, let’s not ignore the elephant in the room that we are waking up to Sunday DFS and chill instead of the usual Saturday morning we look forward to every weekend. So yes, it may be true that I stumbled my way on to the scene late this week and I promise it is within good reason. When I’m not busy crushing DFS slates all football season long, I trade that in for being busy working my other job every weeknight, weekend, and holiday. While I don’t mean to throw a pity party here for myself, this past week is probably my first and last chance to thoroughly enjoy one last Christmas with the fam before life HOPEFULLY restores back to normal and the pandemic won’t shut down my place of employment for next year. It’s my first time getting to do Christmas in over 10 years. There’s just nothing more important than the three F’s in life: Family, Football, and Friends. For me, it’s in that exact order to which I prioritize them. So this week, I took a step down and chose family.
But just as much as my family is important to me, so is my fantasy football fam, and I couldn’t let you down, so here we are! I think by the time we’ve gotten this far into the article that Alvin Kamara might have just scored his ninth touchdown on the week. That was something to see! If you had him in your lineup, then you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy with this luxurious Christmas gift headed into the championship week. For those who don’t or played against the guy… then I hope you have some counterpunches ready and are locked and loaded. I personally watched him explode in all my 3rd place matchups this weekend, as opposed to being in the finals, but hey! It was still something to see, and those red and green cleats should be hung up in the halls of Canton.
For the rest of us, you know DFS is always here to get some redemption money back, and I know I’ve already delayed this long enough, so let’s not drag it out any further so we can find the next Alvin Kamara-esque performance in some top value plays for this Sunday slate. I am so freakin’ pumped for this one, and I won’t be surprised if we smash the hell out of ALL the values across the board this week. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the most bad ass people on the planet. Let’s Kash out!
Jalen Hurts (Draftkings: $7,000 / FanDuel: $8,200)
To me, right now, Jalen Hurts is somewhat resembling what Justin Herbert became in my value plays for a while. He’s someone who just keeps on producing, but the sample size is small with it being just a couple rookie starts, yet still just so impressive. We just don’t quite know if we can continue to trust that it’s for real week after week. But the eye test doesn’t lie, and Hurts is balling the hell out– the guy is legit! In each of his first two starts, he gave us double-digit rushing attempts, while the Eagles have stuck to the script of trying to pass the ball a ton with at least 30 passing attempts each game as well. He is fantasy gold when it comes to the position because he gives you this large rushing floor, and any touchdown he throws to pair with it is just a bonus and more upside. The ceiling is to the absolute high heavens. I think he is in a great spot to keep smashing his value this week facing their division rival — the Dallas Cowboys. I just can’t ignore his value after watching him put up the performance he did last week finishing as the QB1. The Cowboys defense is even less scary than the Arizona Cardinals when you have the Cowboys allowing a massive 30.9 points per game and have particularly struggled against mobile quarterbacks such as Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson– pretty similar guys to Hurts’ playing style. Also, let’s not forget the narrative here where these two teams are still fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC LEast, which may sound pathetic to you or I, but someone has to win it and these teams are going to be fighting like dogs to get their chance. I can easily see this game being a shoot out, and one you’ll notice that I’d like to get some fantasy pieces in this week!
Mitchell Trubisky (Draftkings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $7,200)
If we are being honest here, I simply just don’t love the idea of paying down for a quarterback this week, with the exception of Jalen Hurts. I love Hurts and he’s going into all of my lineups BUT… we must pick regardless. So, if you are someone who demands they save money at the quarterback position, then look no further than our buddy, ol’ pal — Mitch Trubisky. While he’s taken some heat the last couple of years for being a terrible quarterback and the brunt of all jokes that the Chicago Bears could’ve had Patrick Mahomes, he’s actually been playing well of late, and elevating the fantasy assets around him. Granted, last week was really the first time all season that we saw the Bears take to the run game, and as a result, we saw Trubisky’s fantasy streaming appeal fizzle out. But, this week he see’s the Jacksonville Jaguars who, like the Dallas Cowboys, love to give up massive points per game! The Jaguars are also allowing a staggering 30+ points per game (2nd most among teams to QBs), and some of those are bound to be coming from Mitch. The Jacksonville Jaguars are also similar to the Jets, where you just start all opposing skill players against them because they struggle to stop everything. I’d imagine that this week, Trubisky goes back to giving us a somewhat safe floor, and is someone you can build around for a solid lineup.
Honorable Mention: Drew Lock (Draftkings: $5,000 / FanDuel: $6,800)
Deep Sea Dive: Sam Darnold (Draftkings: $5,000 / FanDuel: $6,700)
Miles Sanders (Draftkings: $7,000 / FanDuel: $7,300)
Someone last week brought to my attention the expression, “Put some Miles on Sanders,” and I am living for it. Mostly because that’s exactly what Philadelphia has started to do ever since they inserted Jalen Hurts into the lineup over Carson Wentz. His snap percentages in weeks 10-13 were in the 56-72% range, whereas the last two weeks, he’s sitting at 80-83%. This is extremely encouraging seeing as it is very clear watching Sanders that he is the Eagles most dynamic playmaker on the team. The more opportunities he gets to be out there, the better! This week, his matchup is mouthwatering against the Dallas Cowboys, who are allowing the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. They have just been pouring big days to the position with 13 games of 100+ rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns this season. Five of those games went for over 200+ rushing yards and two of those 200+ yard games occurred with Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. So yes, I will happily stack my Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders this week. I am very much here for it.
Kareem Hunt (Draftkings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $7,200)
Kareem Hunt’s value has just absolutely catapulted with the recent news of a COVID outbreak among the team’s wide receivers. I mean, they lost damn near everyone, and who better than their top pass-catching back to fill a huge void this week? The shift in opportunity for this week alone makes Kareem Hunt an absolute must start. This news is tough-sledding for the Browns, as they are, for once, playing with the playoffs in mind to end the season. In what you’d think would be a cake matchup against the New York Jets, is now a little misleading because they tend to play it tough to running backs, allowing only the 22nd most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. But this week, we have to just throw that idea out the window. While Hunt is listed as a running back, we may find him slotted much more as a receiver in this one, where the Jets do surrender a ton of fantasy points– they are giving up the 9th most fantasy points against opposing wide receivers. But it’s really much more than that because other than Austin Hooper, Kareem Hunt, and Nick Chubb, they do not have much of an offense to work with in a must-win situation for them. The value will pay massive dividends this week with Kareem Hunt.
Honorable Mention: Giovani Bernard (Draftkings: $4,800 / FanDuel: $6,000)
Deep Sea Dive: Gus Edwards (Draftkings: $4,400 / FanDuel: $5,700)
Diontae Johnson (Draftkings: $6,300 / FanDuel: $6,700)
Remember that scene from the Little Giants where they had to use stickum for the kid to catch balls? Yeah, if only it were legal for Diontate Johnson and the rest of the Steelers pass catchers– they could surely use some right about now! The drops have been killer, but other than his short benching stint a couple weeks ago, Diontae Johnson has remained fairly consistent for us this season. He is heavily targeted in this offense, seeing double-digit targets damn near every week. While most would think the Colts aren’t the most ideal matchup, they kind of have been recently for opposing wide receivers. The Colts still don’t allow much on the ground but they have struggled through the air, finding themselves in shoot outs. I mean, they’ve allowed 300+ receiving yards in four of their last five games. The one outlier game where they allowed 221 receiving yards was King Henry’s 178 rushing yards, three touchdown game, so the passing game wasn’t needed as much that week to take away from what could’ve easily been another 300+ passing yard performance. I’m cool with firing Johnson up with confidence in my lineups for this one.
Tee Higgins (Draftkings: $4,700 / FanDuel: $5,800)
This isn’t the prettiest pick, but honestly, the wide receiver position is extremely tough this week for DFS. There is not many value plays with a clear cut path to fantasy success. Tee Higgins, however, finds himself with a little bit more opportunity this week having fellow teammate Tyler Boyd ruled out with a concussion. One thing is for sure with Higgins– no matter who has been playing QB for Cincinnati, they still get him the ball. I know the idea of Ryan Finley starting doesn’t appeal much to anyone, including myself, but Higgins’ matchup is just too good at this low of a value to pass up cementing his WR1 status this week. The Houston Texans allow the 7th most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Over the last couple of weeks, and really all season, we’ve seen opposing wideouts put up huge fantasy days, and Higgins has the talent to outplay his price tag this week.
Honorable Mention: Michael Gallup (Draftkings: $4,100 / FanDuel: $5,600)
Deep Sea Dive: Tyron Johnson (Draftkings: $4,000 / FanDuel: $5,600)
Logan Thomas (Draftkings: $4,900 / FanDuel: $6,000)
Hey, somebody put some respect on this man’s name! I know I rant and rave about guys who don’t get talked about enough, but I mean, really, the man has been in the league for seven years and is experiencing his first breakout season in a big way. Logan Thomas is the freakin’ TE5 on the season. He has been especially consistent as of late putting up double-digit fantasy outings in the past four weeks. This week, he finds himself with their best running back returning (Antonio Gibson), but without the top playmaker on the team (Terry McLaurin). This gives Logan Thomas the stage to set himself up for a nice fantasy day. The guy has been essentially matchup-proof of late, and this week, he doesn’t need the added pressure because he’s facing the Carolina Panthers defense who have allowed the 12th most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. He’s easily in TE1 territory again, as per usual, and comes at the discounted price worth starting!
Noah Fant (Draftkings: $4,800 / FanDuel: $6,200)
Just stay healthy, would ya Noah?! I mean, please! He is so productive when he is healthy and on the field, so it was encouraging he didn’t find himself on the injury report this week. The upcoming game just reeks of a shoot out to me, with a Vegas implied total of a 48.5 over/under. He’s probably the one and only Bronco I would feel confident playing week in and week out, so long as he is healthy. The Los Angeles Chargers play it tough to other surrounding skill positions, and I think Drew Lock can exploit their one weak spot in the tight end position. He should provide you with a safe floor this week!
Honorable Mention: Austin Hooper (Draftkings: $3,500 / FanDuel: $5,100)
Deep Sea Dive: Jordan Akins (Draftkings: $3,300 / FanDuel: $5,100)
Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Draftkings: $3,200 / FanDuel: $4,300)
Washington Football Team vs Carolina Panthers (Draftkings: $3,000 / FanDuel: $4,800)
Honorable Mention: Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys (Draftkings: $2,900 / FanDuel: $4,200)
Deep Sea Dive: Carolina Panthers vs Washington Football Team (Draftkings: $2,700 / FanDuel: $4,000)