Ben Roethlisberger- Quarterback is extremely direct to me this week, with two option sticking out above the rest. The first option is Big Ben, who is leading the NFL in pass attempts, has a tremendous matchup with the Oakland Raiders, and is now without James Conner, which could lead to an even more pass-heavy game on Sunday. He has been better on the road this season, and this is not a 1 PM game so we don’t really need to worry about those splits anyways, and he feels like a lock for the bonus on DraftKings and you could realistically see three-four touchdown passes as well. That being said, he is almost $7,000, which is why I prefer out next guest..
Aaron Rodgers- Rodgers is my top overall quarterback on this slate and I really don’t see myself getting off of him at this point. He’s only $6,000 on DraftKings, he’s a home favorite, he has a great matchup with the Falcons, there’s juice on the over, and we have the potential F you narrative from him in his first game without Mike McCarthy. It’s pretty well known that a lot of these Packers players weren’t fond of McCarthy’s stale offense, so it wouldn’t shock me to see a big-time inspired performance on Sunday, at home, in a game plan centralized around whatever Rodgers wants.
Top Tier: Zeke/CMC/Barkley- There’s not much separating these guys this weekend, not even price as they are all priced above $8,600 on DraftKings and you can even through Alvin Kamara into this range as well if you really want to. I don’t think I really need to deep-dive into why these guys are in play for cash games, that’s rather obvious, but it’s all going to come down to how you build the rest of your roster this weekend. I think there are two very clear ways to go, take two of these names + Jaylen Samuels + Chris Godwin + Courtland Sutton + Larry Fitzgerald OR take one of these names + Jaylen Samuels + Jeff Wilson. You either jam the two value backs plus one of these guys, or take Samuels and two of them with all $5,000 and below WR’s. I haven’t fully decided because I see strengths in both routes, but for now I have them ranked McCaffrey, Zeke, Barkley, Kamara in that exact order.
Low Tier: Jaylen Samuels/Jeff Wilson- As mentioned above, these guys are both under $4,000 on DraftKings and are both going to be highly-owned with James Conner and Matt Breida out. Of the two, I prefer Samuels, who we know is extremely good in the passing game and can confidently project 14+ touches from at under $4,000. Wilson SHOULD take the passing down work after he had a monster Week 13, but there is still the chance that Shanahan plugs in anyone else he can find and the risk factor is greater in my opinion, but he is still a fantastic play FOR THE PRICE.
Top Tier: Davante Adams- I don’t really think this is going to be a popular target in cash games this week, but that’s fine with me. Given that I’m so interested in Rodgers, I am equally as enamored with Davante Adams. If this game plan truly is built around what Rodgers wants, it would be no stretch to think that he wants to pepper Adams with targets, and even then this is someone who has topped 20 DK points in three of his last six, and has more than 16 in all of those games. He hasn’t seen less than seven targets in any game this season, and you will have money to fit him in should you really want to.
Mid Tier: DeAndre Hopkins/Keenan Allen- The mid tier is very interesting this week, and given the value at running back you are going to be able to fit in one of these guys. Earlier on in the week I was pretty dead-set on Keenan Allen, but I’ve come around on Hopkins as well given that he is only $400 more. I am entirely comfortable with either guy at their price in their matchups, and I most likely will end up playing whichever one fits my roster construction more, that’s how closely I have them graded. If I have the $400 I’ll go Nuk, and if not I’ll drop to Allen. I will note I think the ceiling is a bit higher on Hopkins given the expected game script.
Low Tier: Chris Godwin- Godwin erupted for 24 DraftKings points last week in the absence of DeSean Jackson, and we have another situation were Jackson is set to miss this game. Godwin’s price came up, but not enough for his ability with Jackson out, and despite the expected ownership Godwin the an overall LOCK for me on this slate. Another player I expect to be popular in this tier is Courtland Sutton, but I don’t think I will end up needing him.
Eric Ebron- Ebron is coming off a 16 target game last week, and with Jack Doyle/Mo-Alie Cox out once again for the Colts he is going to be locked into massive volume, on a team that averages over 40 pass attempts per game, in a game with a 50 O/U. His price has sky-rocketed, but this isn’t the Ebron we knew in Detroit, and the price hike is warranted given the volume he has regularly seen without Doyle this season. It’s really hard for me not to just jam him in for cash games, but there is one other option I’m considering if you really don’t want to play Ebron…
Travis Kelce- That option is none other than Travis Kelce himself. Kelce has topped 28 DraftKings points in three of his last four games, and he finds himself “just” $1,000 more than Ebron. Ebron is the easy play, but the Ravens have been regularly beaten by tight ends this season and I can definitely see the case for finding $1,000 and locking in the ceiling of Kelce.
D/ST Options: Chargers, Steelers, Giants, Chiefs
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)