As usual, the goal of this article is simple. At the end of the week, we’re taking our composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section in Week 11 and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing across the two major DFS sites in hopes of discovering some value.
Alex Smith – QB3
FanDuel: QB10 ($7,900) DraftKings: QB6 ($6,700)
Andy Reid led teams have smashed coming out of the bye, posting a 16-2 record for his coaching career. This week, the Chiefs come out of their bye in a dream spot against a Giants team that is circling the drain. The Giants just allowed 26 fantasy points to C.J. Beathard a week ago and now have allowed a top-9 fantasy scoring quarterback in six consecutive games with over 20 points to five of those passers during that run. The Giants are allowing .547 passing points per attempt to opposing passers, the most in the league. Smith is averaging .573 passing points per attempt, second for all active quarterbacks behind Carson Wentz (.593). It wouldn’t be surprising to see Smith end up as the highest scoring quarterback of the week.
Eli Manning – QB12
FanDuel: QB24 ($6,500)
Across the field from Smith is Manning, who is in almost an identical spot that he was a week ago when he was the QB12 overall with 16.9 points. The Chiefs are 28th in passing yards (270.4) and 25th in passing points (16.2) allowed per game to opposing passers. Manning is on the lower-end of the totem pole as far as quality of passers Kansas City has faced, but in a game that more overall scoring potential than the other cheap quarterback options on the board, that shouldn’t detour him from being a value play priced as a low-end QB2 of FanDuel.
Tevin Coleman – RB10
FanDuel: RB25 ($5,900)
Coleman isn’t on the main slate for either site, but presents a value for the ones that he is on if you’re playing on FanDuel. With Devonta Freeman out with a concussion, Coleman will assume the feature back role for Atlanta as they head to Seattle on Monday Night. In the two games that Coleman has played without Freeman, he’s carried 18 times for 110 yards and carried 20 times for 83 yards and a touchdown rushing. Seattle is not a good matchup on paper, allowing 2.6 yards per carry to opposing backs over their past six games, but Coleman’s touch count and versatility in the passing game present too much of an opportunity to bypass if playing on slates that he’s available.
Doug Martin – RB16
FanDuel: RB21 ($6,100) DraftKings: RB31 ($4,500)
No one wants to play Martin and I can hardly fault them for it. Over his past four games he’s been an empty-vessel of volume. He has 19 or more touches in three of his past four games, but has yet to eclipse yards from scrimmage in any of those games, and any game on the season for that matter. His volume has held up weekly outside of the blowout versus the Saints, however and this week the matchup for Martin is good enough to possibly coax out some fantasy points from that opportunity. The Dolphins have been gashed on the ground recently, allowing the best fantasy rushing games of the season for each of Jonathan Stewart, Marshawn Lynch and Alex Collins over the past three weeks and allowed a franchise-record 294 yards on the ground last Monday Night, 201 of which were produced Carolina running backs, who had been the worst rushing backfield in the league entering that game.
Sterling Shepard – WR7
FanDuel: WR26 ($6,500) DraftKings: WR16 ($6,300)
Shepard has been thrusted into a lead receiver position for the Giants to close the season, and in that position, things have been so far, so good. Shepard has received 26.5 percent of the team targets in his three games played with Odell Beckham out of the lineup. In those games, he has at least eight targets and 12 points in each game, finishing as a top-30 scorer in every one of those games, most recently notching a 11-142 line on 13 targets last weekend. While that game was a blowout against a soft pass defense, things don’t dramatically change for Shepard’s outlook this weekend versus the Chiefs. Opposing teams are targeting their wide receivers 64.5 percent of the time versus Kansas City, the most in the league and opposing wide receivers have accounted for 56.3 percent of the points scored against the Chiefs, the highest rate in the league. Shepard also plays in the slot nearly 90 percent of the time, which means he’ll avoid Marcus Peters on the perimeter and have the most favorable draw of the New York receiving options.
Jeremy Maclin – WR24
FanDuel: WR35 ($6,000) DraftKings: WR40 ($4,500)
Maclin has kind of been a forgotten player this season, but since returning from a shoulder injury has posted back to back WR14 scoring weeks, most recently catching 8-of-9 targets for 98 yards against a Tennessee team that has struggled versus lead receivers all season long. This weekend, Maclin draws a Green Bay secondary that has struggled just as much. The Packers are 28th in points allowed to wide receivers in the passing game per game and the lead receiving options for each team to face the Packers over their past eight games played has posted a WR18 week or better with a low of 14.8 PPR points.
Jamison Crowder – WR32
FanDuel: WR48 ($5,400) DraftKings: WR44 ($4,300)
It’s taken all season, but Crowder is finally starting show signs of life for fantasy. Crowder has tallied 24 targets over his past two games and has been targeted on 25.9 percent of his routes in those games played after receiving a target on 15.7 percent of his routes prior. He’s turned those opportunities into 9-123 and 4-76 lines, which present value for his current pricing this week. Crowder is another receiver who is primarily playing out the slot, running 76 percent of his routes from the inside. That will allow him to avoid Marshon Lattimore on the outside, who has had an excellent rookie season. The rub with Crowder is that he’s failed to score now in 12 straight games dating back to last year, but he still can be an option that outproduces his cost and frees up some big-ticket items for rosters.
Vernon Davis – TE7
FanDuel: TE16 ($5,200) DraftKings: TE9 ($4,600)
With Jordan Reed already declared out for Sunday, Davis the premier option for those unwilling to pay all the way to the top for Travis Kelce or Rob Gronkowski this week. Davis has 50 or more receiving yards in six of his past seven games regardless if Reed has been on the field or not, but in the three games that Reed has been inactive, Davis has received 23.6 percent of the Washington targets and turned them into three top-6 scoring weeks at his position. The Saints haven’t allowed a top-12 scoring tight end since the opening two weeks of the season, but the rogues gallery of those tight ends has been subpar outside of Cameron Brate and still have allowed a tight end to score in back to back weeks.
Tyler Kroft – TE10
FanDuel: TE15 ($5,300) DraftKings: TE19 ($2,900)
As mentioned, it’s a great week to pay up for a tight end, as both Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski present massive upside for those paying up, so selecting an option strictly for a floor can be a scary proposition. Also, Kroft is just as expensive as Davis is on FanDuel, so ther'es no way you're going with him there outside of variance. But if you are inclined to save your salary, Kroft is an option on DraftKings. His one catch game last week is a reminder that he’s far from a sure bet, but it was just his second game outside of the top-12 scoring tight ends over his past six games played. He also still had 17 percent of the team targets in that game. 28.5 percent of the fantasy points scored by skill players against Denver have been posted by tight ends, the highest rate in the league.