Spencer Limbach

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FanDuel Must Plays: Week 12

Friday, November 21, 2014

Is it just me, or is there a “rookie renaissance” brewing in the NFL? I didn’t notice until after all write-ups were said and done, but four rookies made the cut in this week’s column: 3 featured and 1 honorable mention. Perhaps the strangest part resides in the level of comfort I feel while deploying these youngsters for daily fantasy purposes. Usually you have questions of inconsistency surrounding first-year players, but guys like Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Isaiah Crowell, and Jarvis Landry have altered that perception. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d need a google search to verify 2014 as their introduction to the NFL, because the on-field performance certainly suggests otherwise.


So with that, let’s dive into Week 12’s must plays on FanDuel: the “rookie takeover” edition.


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $2.5 Million Fantasy Football league for Week 12's games. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $300,000. Starts Sunday, November 23rd at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

PLATINUM ($10,000-$8,500)

Top-dollar options who will justify their hefty price tag.


BORDERLINE: Aaron Rodgers (QB) – GB - $10,200

He’s pricey; there’s no disputing that. Still, Rodgers represents the best blend of security and upside of any fantasy QB this week. Not only is he riding an unreal hotstreak (29 fppg in last five), but the matchup suggests more of the same. Rodgers has toasted Minnesota throughout his career, including a nice 3 TD performance in week #5. Jay Cutler and Robert Griffin III posted solid games vs the Vikings recently, and Rodgers may carry just as much (if not more) fantasy credence than those two combined.


MUST PLAY: DeMarco Murray (RB) – DAL - $9,000

It’s been awhile since Murray was mentioned in this column, but Sunday provides a great spot to deploy the NFL’s leading rusher. His $9,000 tag is pricey, but not obnoxious when considering a realistically high return on investment. The Giants rank 2nd to last in fantasy points allowed to RB’s, and Murray already scorched them for 128 yards 1 TD last month. New York’s run defense has seemingly gotten worse since then, while the Cowboys should be fresh coming off a bye.



GOLD $8,500-$7,000

Players priced in the “second-tier”, but could easily boast top flight numbers.

MUST PLAYMike Evans (WR) – TB - $8,400

Never mind the inflated salary, Evans should be worth every penny on Sunday. He’s on a roll, with a league-high 21 receptions, 458 yards, and 3 TD’s in the past three weeks. It’s no coincidence that Josh McCown started two of those games, as Evans’ targets, receptions, and overall production has spiked since the QB change. The Bears rank 25th against the pass, creating a favorable scenario for Evans to maintain this heater. A combination of matchup potential, supply, and gameflow (TB expected to trail) vaults Evans into “must play” territory.


MUST PLAY: Rob Gronkowski (TE) – NE - $7,900

You can pretty much expect Gronkowski to hold down this spot on a weekly basis. He’s on fire right now, averaging a 7-108-2 line in the past three contests. The draw vs Detroit appears middling on paper, but does that really matter? Gronk is a matchup nightmare regardless of the opponent, and I have a tough time envision the Lions containing him. Playing at home with a red-hot QB doesn’t hurt either.



SILVER $7,000-$6,000

Mid-range picks with favorable prices and situations.

BORDERLINE: Sammy Watkins (WR) – BUF - $7,500

The Jets secondary isn’t very good; this we know. Their dead last ranking in opponent passer rating only confirms that suspicion. Watkins torched New York for 157 yards and a TD last month, and I’m envisioning a similar line this time around. The Bills offense has been stagnant in recent weeks, but I’m expecting them to break the mold in this matchup. The location change to Detroit’s dome (played on Monday) should only help Buffalo’s passing attack.


BORDERLINE: Rashad Jennings (RB) – NYG - $6,600

Jennings returned from injury last week, posting 67 total yards against a tough San Francisco defense. Even though the performance was subpar, fantasy backers can take comfort in his 22 touches, solidifying his status as a workhorse RB moving forward. A breakout game is on the horizon, and a matchup against Dallas’ generous run defense (4.4 yards per carry, ranked 27th) may provide the opportunity.




The best of the bargain bin.

BORDERLINE: Coby Fleener (TE) – IND - $5,400

Dwayne Allen hasn’t practiced this week, and he’s considered doubtful for Sunday’s tilt. That means Fleener will become the primary TE for Indianapolis’ pass-happy attack. He was putting up respectable numbers in a part-time role, and last week’s 7 reception 144 yard showing in Allen’s stead unveiled some nice upside. Fleener already snagged a TD (4 rec, 46 yards) vs Jacksonville earlier this season, and a higher compliment of targets only bolsters his prospects this time around.


MUST PLAY: Isaiah Crowell (RB) – CLE - $5,500

Crowell has carved out a nice, little 12-15 carries/game role for the Browns, including some occasional goal-line reps. The Falcons have surrendered the most fantasy points to RB’s all season long, and I’m expecting Cleveland to pound the ball as much as possible to exploit that deficiency. Crowell is a relatively safe bet to find the end zone, and he may have multiple TD upside if the situation presents itself.




Kicker, Defense, and a few honorable mentions.

KICKER: Billy Cundiff – CLE - $4,500

Minimum salary, going against a bad defense, and kicking in a dome: Cundiff should near a double-digit fantasy output this week.


DEFENSE: Buffalo Bills - $5,200

The Bills defense has been surprisingly good this season, ranking 6th in yards allowed and 3rd in takeaways. The Jets’ turnover woes haven’t been rectified by a change at QB, and I’m expecting that trend to continue.



BEST OF THE REST: A.J. Green (WR) – CIN, Jay Cutler (QB) – CHI, Roddy White (WR) – ATL, Denard Robinson (RB) – JAC, C.J. Anderson (RB) – DEN, Jarvis Landry (WR) – MIA, Larry Donnell (TE) – NYG

Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.
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