As season-long Fantasy Football seasons came to a close, my Weekly Value-Based Drafting strategy had another profitable week. The All-Value lineup netted about 130 points, which should have won many heads-up contests, but the other suggested plays were even better.
Between my value of the week, David Johnson, and the four other running back suggestions, I gave you four of the Top 6 scoring backs last week. If you went with any of my suggestions besides Charcandrick West, then you had maximum value at the position.
At wide receiver, the results were not as spectacular but still decent. I suggested two of the Top 6 scoring wide outs and Antonio Brown was the bust there. Blake Bortles finished as the second leading scorer at quarterback to back up my stance on him last week. I was not strong with tight ends as Ben Watson had his worst game of the season and Rob Gronkowski was sub-par by his standards.
As we head to the last week of the regular season, almost everyone is down to only the daily version of the game. With the last regular season week, there are plenty of backup running backs and elite receivers to pick from to continue my themes.
As usual these prices and projections are for the FanDuel style of play, but I have thrown in a few DraftKings nuggets as well. The Value Factor (VF) is a quantity of the player’s projected points against the cost to put him on your roster.
Value-Based Drafting Targets
Value of the Week
Jeremy Langford, VF: 4.04
This is a very flexible spot as the status of Matt Forte is up in the air at this point. However, I do think he either does not play or is limited. The Bears are out of it and it serves no purpose to rush Forte back with an injury or to give him a heavy workload.
Last week, Langford ended up with 19 carries for 83 yards. In the two starts he had earlier this season with at least 14 carries, Langford had no less than 72 yards on the ground and 70 yards through the air. He scored 57.4 points over that two-games span and at just $4,900, he provides too much value to pass up.
Matt Ryan, VF: 3.74
Eli Manning, VF: 3.79
Matt Ryan has not had a good season by any standards (trust me, I had him in my biggest money league). However, there is a remedy for a bad first 16 weeks: playing against the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans has given up 281 passing yards a game and 43 passing touchdowns. This is an all-time terrible defense and Ryan is a must start.
Eli, on the other hand, gets a team with no head coach and no semblance of unity or motivation. If you feel like Ryan is too much of a risk, then the Giants’ stack is a great way to go.
Devonta Freeman, VF: 4.32
David Johnson, VF: 4.61
DeAngelo Williams, VF: 4.74
Frank Gore, VF: 5.12
Freeman is the most expensive back this week, but, you know … New Orleans. The Saints also give up 132.3 yards rushing a game and 5.0 yards per carry, most in the league. DeAngelo Williams is in a similar boat against the Browns, who have actually given up more rushing yards than the Saints. I have these two projected as the top scorers at the position this week.
David Johnson might be matchup proof at this point. He only had nine carries last week, but still topped 20 Fantasy points. He is still averaging almost 25 points a game since taking over, and that includes a couple of really good defenses. I am not worried about Seattle shutting him down and he will be so sparsely used, it might be a great contrarian play.
Frank Gore busted out last week with his best game in months. With all of the quarterback injuries, I think the Gore train continues, and I have him projected to be the fourth leading scorer at the position while costing you the 13th most money.
I love Gore on DraftKings at just $4,000 and Darren McFadden at only $4,900 is also another steal.
Julio Jones, VF: 4.87
Odell Beckham, VF: 4.92
Jeremy Maclin, VF: 5.13
Kamar Aiken, VF: 5.14
As you can see from my top selections, I think the Falcons’ and Giants’ stacks are the most profitable I have seen this season. Julio has been the dominant receiver many have thought since the pre-season and won many people season long leagues with his evisceration of Josh Norman last week. Beckham will be coming back with a vengeance and I have these two out-scoring the rest of the position by a large margin.
I have Jeremy Maclin projected as the fifth highest scoring receiver this week and he costs you the 21st most money. Maclin is averaging almost 18 points a game over his last five including a 24-point game against Oakland, who he faces this week. Kamar Aiken is basically the last option standing for the Ravens offense and at just $6,500, he provides solid value.
With no Dez Bryant and the practice squad familiarity, Brice Butler for the Cowboys is a sneaky cheap play on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Greg Olsen, VF: 5.13
Gary Barnidge, VF: 5.27
I went away from Olsen last week and it burned me. I am not making the same mistake again, as I have Olsen projected as the top tight end this week. The Panthers still have to win to secure the top seed, so I can see him getting plenty of looks early.
With so many injuries and possibilities of resting guys, I am rolling with Barnidge. Johnny Manziel might not play, but either way the big tight end has been the go-to guy for that offense.
Eric Ebron provides a cheap value on DraftKings at just $3,000.
My All-Value Team
QB: Matt Ryan
RB: Jeremy Langford
RB: Devonta Freeman
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Odell Beckham
WR: Brice Butler
TE: Greg Olsen
D/ST: Indianapolis Colts
K: Greg Zuerlein
I am rolling with the Falcons’ stack because that Saints’ defense is just absolutely atrocious. I could see them scoring 40-plus points and I want to try and double-down on as many of those scores and yards as possible.
I am still sliding Odell Beckham into the lineup and it does cause me to use Brice Butler. Kellen Moore will have to throw to someone.
The Colts’ defense is a good value play against a Titans team looking to lock up a top draft pick.
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