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On Sunday we get the best teams in the NFL facing off to see who gets the privilege of playing in this year’s Super Bowl. We get two games that are shaping up to be great, but quite different stylistically. You can tell that’s a fact just by taking a look at the over/under in both games. Up in Seattle where the 49ers and Seahawks meet, the total for the game is 39 points, while in Denver where the Brady’s meet the Manning’s it is up to 56. That 17-point difference is why we will try to avoid the northwest when setting our lineups this weekend.
QB Tom Brady $8,700 NE@DEN
I picked Brady last week, much to the detriment of my FanDuel teams. It wasn’t easy watching the Patriots rush for SIX touchdowns against the Colts, but it happened. The question is, will Brady be handing off all game or will he be forced to throw more than 25 times against Denver? The answer almost certainly is yes to the latter and "please no!" to the former. Would the Patriots like to run the ball 49 times again? Yes they would, because that means they are winning, but the Broncos at home average 37.8 points, while the Patriots average 25.1 points on the road. The last time these two met it was an extremely windy game and Peyton Manning handed the ball off 47 times. This game will be played in sunny Denver with high’s in the 60s and wind under 10 mph. Manning should be able to move the ball while Brady will need to keep pace.
RB Knowshon Moreno $8,900 NE@DEN
No, Knowshon won’t carry the ball 37 times for 224 yards and a touchdown like he did the last time these two teams met, but he will be the man once again after getting 24 touches for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers last week. On the season the Patriots are giving up 110 yards rushing yards and 148 total yards per game to opposing running backs. While San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle’s defense rank 4th, 5th and 6th in total yards allowed to running backs, the Patriots rank 27th. The Broncos are the odds on favorites to have the lead in this one, which bodes well for Moreno’s touches and goal line opportunities.
RB Shane Vereen $6,000 NE@DEN
While LeGarrette Blount and Steven Ridley were combining for six rushing touchdowns last week, Shane Vereen was watching in the wings, but this should be a different game, more suited for Vereen's ability. Blount doesn’t catch passes and the Patriots won’t be running all over the Broncos and surely won’t be if they are down a touchdown or two. That will leave Vereen, as a much needed weapon in the passing game.
WR Danny Amendola $6,400 NE@DEN
With just two games to choose from we have to predict closely how we believe these games will turn out. First off, I want my offensive players from the Denver/New England game. Secondly, I believe the Patriots will need to throw the ball to stay in the game. Thirdly, the Broncos should have some leeway to run the ball to stay balanced and kill a little clock with a lead. Of course with the Patriots’ passing game costing less in FanDuel, that narrative works out best for me!
Last week Danny Amendola had five targets, the second most on the team and caught three for 77 yards and that came on just 25 pass attempts for Brady. I like him to see more targets this week and be able to hit value.
WR Doug Baldwin $4,900 SF@SEA
I had to go away from the game in Mile High so I could find some value. Picking a Seattle wide receiver is usually fool's Gold(en Tate) and unfortunately that hasn’t changed this week. I’m leaning toward Doug Baldwin due to his price mainly. Baldwin should see more than his three targets last week with Percy Harvin out for this game. He's been inconsistent, but has been the Seahawks' leading receiver since Week 9.
WR Julian Edelman $7,200 NE@DEN
Edelman is the rock of that Patriots’ passing game this season and that shouldn’t change this week. The last time these two met Edelman caught nine passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns and last week he saw nine of Brady’s 25 targets and caught six of his 13 completions. His price is still reasonable, especially compared to the Broncos' big three, so I think he's a must own this Sunday.
TE Julius Thomas $6,800 NE@DEN
There really is no other tight end to pick this weekend that you can feel really good about. He was injured the last time these two teams met (another reason to like the Broncos’ chances), but the Patriots just allowed Coby Fleener six receptions for 74 yards while the only other tight end I am considering, Vernon Davis, has to face an extremely tough Seattle defense. I’d go with Zach Miller or Luke Willson if I thought they had a floor that wasn’t zero, but they do and we know Thomas averages five receptions a game and has caught 12 touchdowns this season.
K Steven Hauschka $5,400 SF@SEA
He’s the cheapest kicker. He’s playing at home. He’s in a game that may be decided by field goals. He’s the cheapest kicker.
D Denver Broncos $5,600 NE@DEN
Of course I’d rather have Seattle or San Francisco, but I can’t fit them onto my Knowshon Moreno centric team. I really don’t feel great about any defense and think they will all be fairly low scoring, so I’ll take my chances here with the Broncos at home and the Patriots playing from behind.