FanDuel Championship Round Values & Top Plays
With only two games on the slate, a lot more luck than skill will be involved than on a normal large slate. There are three running backs this week that deserve major consideration, and I will have exposure to all three. All the high-priced wide receivers have difficult matchups, I view wide receiver largely as a crapshoot this week. You can use our FanDuel Value Reports to select the best option that fits in your price range to fill out your wide receiver core if you can't fit the ones blurbed below into your lineup.
This week will likely boil down to a few key questions revolving around game plan and game script, which are outlined below.
Will the Patriots Continue to Employ a Run-Heavy Gameplan Against the Colts?
The Patriots have rushed for an average of 45 carries, 240 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Colts in their last two meetings, both with roughly the same key personnel. If the Patriots do this again—which I believe they will--one of their running backs could potentially be the top scoring running back on the day. I dive deeper into why I think LeGarrette Blount will likely be their guy in the player blurbs below.
Will the Patriots Fall Behind Early?
Even if they Patriots plan to run down the Colts’ throat, they will likely have to abandon that course of action if they fall behind. This is why I will have exposure to all three running backs I blurb below. Blount will not have nearly as much volume as the other starting running backs if the Patriots dig themselves into a hole.
Will the Packers Again Line Up Their Third Wide Receiver on Richard Sherman and Avoid His Side?
In Week 1, the Packers lined up Jarrett Boykin on Richard Sherman and proceeded to avoid his side, instead targeting Jordy Nelson 14 times. Nelson produced a 9-83 line, and in a slate with not many standout wide receiver options, another 14 targets would be very valuable, even against Seattle’s defense. On the other hand, Nelson may be hurt by the fact that Rodgers’ mobility is limited, as he and Rodgers are able to connect for a lot of chunk plays with Rodgers moving around after the play breaks down. Ultimately, I think there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the Packers' passing game. I’d be inclined to fade the expensive Nelson outside of a stack with Rodgers.
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QB Andrew Luck @ NE $9,200
All the quarterbacks are priced within $300 of each other, so the best play comes down to which quarterback is most likely to produce the best value in a variety of possible game outcomes.
Aaron Rodgers carries injury risk and risk of putting up a dud, as he threw for only 189 yards one touchdown in his first meeting with the Seahawks. Russell Wilson is a great GPP play as usual, but is prone to volatility because of the presence of his defense, Marshawn Lynch, and his reliance in rushing statistics. Common sense and history would suggest that Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game will take a backseat to their rushing attack this week.
That leaves Luck, who has accounted for 76 percent of the Colts total yards and 88 percent of their offensive touchdowns, numbers that increase if you discount the 86 snaps he lost to Matt Hasselbeck. Earlier this season, Luck threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns against New England.