Week 13 DFS Sleepers and Busts: We Got A Panther Down
It is a huge week for Fantasy owners in season long leagues but as we all know, DFS lasts forever! This week there are only two teams on a bye and one of those teams, the Cleveland Browns, are pretty much irrelevant. In my Week 13 DFS Sleepers and Busts column, you may see I don’t really like the Carolina Panthers for Sunday.
That’s actually a false statement. I HATE the Carolina Panthers in Week 13.
Can we also take a minute to discuss how we are already in Week 13! Where the … did this season go? Kind of a little depressing seeing the season go by oh so fast. Lets take a look back at my Week 12 picks.
|Ryan Tannehill, 26.8 DK & FD||LeGarrette Blount, 6.7 DK & FD|
|Jonathan Stewart, 21.6 DK & FD||Allen Robinson, 4.4 DK, 3.4 FD|
Solid Buys and Fades
|Carson Palmer, 18.6 Dk & FD||Todd Gurley, 12.9 DK, 10.9 FD|
|Tyler Boyd, 11.2 DK, 8.7 FD||Patriots Defense, 8 DK & FD|
Swing and Miss
|Titans Defense, 4 DK & FD||Mike Evans, 33.4 DK, 26.4 FD|
|Tyler Eifert, 17.8 DK, 15.3 FD|
With Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed out this weekend, I may look to punt the tight end position. I found the wide receiver position to not be as deep this weekend with some of the hot names in tough matchups and at the quarterback position, I found a lot of guys in the middle tier that having fantastic matchups. Lets get into my Week 13 DFS Sleepers and Busts piece.
Week 13 DFS Sleepers and Busts
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers (6,300 DK, 7,700 FD)
If I were to tell you before Week 12 started that Russell Wilson would run the ball eight times for 80 yards, I would think that the guy is out of the woods regarding his health and he was in for a big day. Unfortunately, he wound up throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns to show for his effort on the ground. The rushing is the main stats to take away from his past performance though.
Wilson has these kinds of passing games, as do all the other quarterbacks in the NFL from time to time. Wilson gets a Panthers defense who got torched by pinky less,Derek Carr on Sunday. They are in the bottom 10 in almost every passing defensive category this season. Passing yards, passing touchdowns, and completions.
The Panthers are very good against the run, so we may see more from Wilson inside the pocket, but with the way he ran last week, Fantasy owners would love a few designed runs. The Panthers allow the seventh most Fantasy points to the quarterback position this season. I pinky promise you that Wilson will be a great DFS option this weekend.
Eli Manning, New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers (5,900 DK, 7,900 FD)
I was player indexing team defenses against the pass since Week 8, and the Steelers have been pretty darn good since then. It probably helps that the last three weeks the names of the quarterbacks they have faced are as follows: Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, and Scott Tolzien.
Eli Manning is better than those three quarterbacks. Good call, Josh. Listen to these numbers though. Since the Giants bye in Week 8, Eli has 12 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. Odell Beckham Jr. has also played very well during that stretch as well. The price is fantastic and hard to pass up in any DFS format.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers (6,200 DK, 7,600 FD)
I bet this guy will be highly owned in DFS this weekend. He is coming off a big win against the Seahawks and what some may say as a great matchup this week, but I would not go near him if I were you. The Chargers defense may be getting overlooked this year, but look at the numbers. They are tied for the sixth fewest passing touchdowns allowed at 16 this year and who leads the league in interceptions you might ask? Yes, the San Diego Chargers with 14 picks. Winston is tied for fifth with 11 interceptions, as he does become careless at times with the football.
Since Week 8, they have had eight interceptions on defense. Take a look at some of the quarterbacks they have faced this year as well: Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, and Marcus Mariota. All of those quarterbacks listed were picked off once or twice against the Chargers and in fact, only two quarterbacks this season have walked away after facing the Chargers without throwing a pick (Ryan Tannehill and Trevor Siemian).
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (6,600 DK, 7,600 FD)
I don’t get the price on DraftKings as he is the seventh highest priced quarterback in Week 13. It looks like an absolute lost season for the Carolina Panthers and I think it is just wrong place, wrong time for Cam Newton.
The Seahawks are coming off of a stunning loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cam is coming off of a tough one against the Oakland Raiders. Teams are sick and tired of hearing Cam complain and I don’t think the Seahawks have any sympathy for the guy. I see Seattle rolling in this game. He has never had two touchdown passes against the Seahawks in four regular season meetings and has never rushed for more than 42 yards. There were 11 total sacks in those four games for the Seahawks and Cam has been sacked the fifth most this season. I think that continues this weekend. No on Cam.
Running Back Sleepers
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills (5,400 DK, 6,700 FD)
Don’t look at his yards per carry over the last couple of weeks, please don’t. I’ll wait as you go check it out… Did you at least stumble upon his rushing touchdowns though? I hope. Well, he is sneakily ranked fourth in rushing touchdowns, only behind LeGarrette Blount, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson. That is good company.
The real reason for starting Murray on Sunday is the matchup. In four games, the Buffalo Bills have given up five rushing touchdowns. In 11 games this season, the Bills are tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns allowed at 13.
It was also very nice to see Murray lead in snaps as he had 49 in Week 12 compared to 27 divided between Jamize Olawale, Jalen Richard and Taiwan Jones. The Bills don’t give up many rushing yards, but when opponents get in close, they allow them into the end zone. FEED MURRAY.
Dion Lewis, New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams (3,800 DK, 5,000 FD)
Amazing tournament play here. I may end up rostering Dion Lewis in both double ups and tourneys this weekend, as he is still extremely underpriced. As Lewis begins to ramp up his snaps, his price will continue to rise. Last week we saw he snaps pretty evenly distributed between LeGarrette Blount, James White and Dion Lewis.
Pass catching backs have fared very well against the Rams this season and especially as of late. They have given up three receiving touchdowns to different running backs in the last TWO weeks. Again as I mentioned last week, you have got to love Lewis’ production on the ground. He has seen 5 and 6 carries since returning from injury, unlike their other pass catching back, James White, who hasn’t seen a rushing carry since Week 10. White’s last carry came on the two-point conversion in the 4th quarter to put the Patriots up by a touchdown and he failed to get the ball over the plane on an easy score. Give me Dion Lewis who is a tad bit cheaper in both DraftKings and FanDuel this week.
Running Back Busts
Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (6,700 DK, 7,500 FD)
This is the lock of the week on the bust side for me as Jay Ajayi will be meeting a totally different animal in the Baltimore Ravens. Also, why is the price so high?!
Since Ajayi’s crazy three game stretch of over 100 yards on the ground, he has since been an average back. Last Sunday, he bailed himself out with a rushing touchdown but the guy had 45 rushing yards on 18 carries which was good for 2.5 yards per attempt. This stat line came against a San Francisco 49ers team who has boasted a RB sleeper against the team every other week. If you can’t get anything going against the worst run defense, what makes you think Ajayi will bust one against the best run defense.
The Ravens have allowed four rushing touchdowns all year, tied for the best with the Chiefs. They have allowed 3.4 yards per attempt (second best in the NFL) and 824 rushing yards allowed (best in NFL). Since their bye in Week 8, the Ravens have not allowed a running back to total over 12.7 Fantasy points. The last player to do so was Ezekiel Elliott, which was a down game for him. No, no, NO.
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (5,300 DK, 6,700 FD)
The Bears defense has been a lot better than people realize this season. Now they aren’t the Broncos or Seahawks but they are very good against the run this year as they are tied for seventh best in yards per attempt at 3.8. They have been slightly better since Week 8 as well, sitting at 3.6 yards per attempt. The Bears also give up the sixth fewest Fantasy points to running backs this season. Hyde is way too inconsistent for Fantasy owners to rely on in DFS.
Wide Receiver Sleepers
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers (4,900 DK, 5,800 FD)
The price is what places him here, as he has been a big beneficiary to Eli Manning’s recent second half surge. Sterling Shepard has found the end zone in three consecutive games and the targets are there. Since the bye and with Eli playing well, his targets have been increasing (6, 7, 11). The yards haven’t shown up but if he can continue to find the end zone, he’s going to be an intriguing receiver going forward.
I failed to mention while talking up Manning in the quarterback sleeper section that this game is all about game flow as well. This game is on the upper end of over/under set at 49 as of Tuesday. The Giants defense has been one of the best in the league this year but the Steelers offense will get going at some point. Points will be scored. My lock of the week on the sleeper side goes to Shepard.
Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams (3,600 DK, 5,600 FD)
I love Malcolm Mitchell’s price tag in DraftKings in particular but he could be a very interesting option in tournament games this weekend. As I was re-reading the piece, I got an alert stating that Rob Gronkowski would undergo back surgery on Friday. Now that the Patriots know for sure that they will be without Gronk for possibly the year, they may end up drawing up some plays for Mitchell specifically in the redzone.
He has been used a bunch in the last two games in the redzone as he has been on the receiving end of three Tom Brady touchdowns. One play that caught my eye was not the two touchdowns from last week, but the 3rd and 10 catch that Mitchell had on a comeback route that he had to go up and fight for. They haven’t had a guy like that, on the outside, in quite some time. This is a great matchup as well against the Rams.
Wide Receiver Busts
Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (6,200 DK, 6,800 FD)
I am shocked that he is still priced this high for a guy who has just one touchdown in his last seven games. If it weren’t for his 44 yard touchdown catch to bail you out, his final stat line would have looked ugly … 1 reception for 9 yards.
I am not sure what Cam Newton has been doing this year but he is a totally different player from last year. The week before his bail out touchdown, he had three catches for 56 yards against the Saints. I know they have played better as of late, but come on man. The Seahawks defense is also very good, obviously. On the road against the Seahawks and he hasn’t shown much since his hot start? Hard pass.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (6,600 DK, 7,100 FD)
Really praise Demaryius Thomas on how consistent he has been this year but he has only hit the 100 yard mark (on the nose) once back in Week 3. It looks like Trevor Siemian will not be playing this week as he is in a walking boot. Paxton Lynch will be at the helm for the Broncos. He did throw a touchdown pass to Thomas against the Falcons, albeit in garbage time.
The Jaguars have also been surprisingly good against the pass this season and especially since Week 8. In that span, they have allowed the fewest passing yards and the second fewest passing touchdowns at four. The Jaguars (since Week 8) have not allowed a wide receiver over 10 standard Fantasy points. Overall they give up the seventh fewest Fantasy points to the wide receiver position. They are also Top 10 in both passing yards and touchdowns allowed for the season.
Tight End Sleeper
Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants (2,800 DK, 4,500 FD)
This is the minimum salary on FanDuel for Ladarius Green who came from the San Diego Chargers and they were in love with him. The guy is so gifted and physical at 6’6” and 238 lbs. Ben Roethlisberger has also loved going to his tight end in Heath Miller.
There’s been so much talk this week from the Steelers about Green. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that he expects Green to have an increased role. Roethlisberger talked about how he loves Green being able to stretch the field and how excited they are to see him making plays. His two receptions for yards last week is one performance to build on as they take on the Giants in what looks to be a high scoring game.
Tight End Bust
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (5,100 DK, 6,200 FD)
Maybe I am going way too hard on the Carolina Panthers. No, I don’t think so. I just don’t see any way the Panthers pull this one out after the Seahawks got embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks are really good defensively, especially against tight ends as they have some of the best covering linebackers in the game. They are eighth best against tight ends this year.
Greg Olsen’s last three games have been very pedestrian for his talent; Five catches for 39 yards, four catches for 33 yards and four catches for 45 yards. No thanks.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins (3,000 DK, 4,600 FD)
This week will tell you all you need to know about the Miami Dolphins, whether they are for real or not. I believe this streak that the Dolphins are on is a bit of a fluke. I mean take a look at their opponents while on their winning streak: Steelers, Bills, Jets, Chargers, Rams, and 49ers. I will give you the Steelers and maybe the Chargers but that’s it. This Ravens defense is no joke and much better than any defense they have faced this year other than the Seahawks in Week 1.
Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills (3,200 DK, 4,500 FD)
The price has to come from the opponent and in your mind you would say nice matchup, aye? The Buffalo Bills are actually eighth in points for this season and they have some weapons offensively from Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins that you have to account for. The Raiders are also in the bottom 10 of pretty much every defensive category. I like that they are at home but I would not touch this defense this weekend, especially with the high price tag.
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