This is going to be a good weekend for me in daily fantasy land, I can tell. It’s like that time I got the girl to do that one thing… never mind. Anyway, let’s celebrate my impending windfall with a Week 14 Razzball Tournament*with a $2 buy-in. Sounds good? Good. Now I’ll tell you who to pick, but, you know, good picks, so you can take my money. Wow, the whole premise of this column is kind of flawed when we’re competing against each other, huh?
*Not really a tournament and limited to 20 players.
Jay Cutler (at Min, $6,600): Cutler is kind of like Lindsey Lohan. Some days he’s capable of looking like the next great QB who has finally pieced everything together, and other days he seems like something you would use to mop up your bathroom floor. At this price,with this matchup, he’s worth a flyer to see if you can get Mean Girls and not “Courtroom Sentencing.”
Nick Foles (at TB, $5,500): It’s an old record by now (for the kids out there, a record is what old people used to use to play music on. Now some hipsters and listening to them again because for the first two listens or so, it’s a purer quality than digital, or some ridiculous crap like that. It’s really more like a Rolex, pure status symbol and not actually functionally better in any way), but the Tampa Bay pass defense is really bad. As bad as that episode of Star Trek Voyager where Janeway and Paris turn into amphibians and have alien children. Now, Nick Foles is no “Year of Hell” either (that’s the one “not terrible” episode of Voyager, for those of you who aren’t dorks. Though it’s not very good either, since it uses a lazy reset at the end. But it’s about the journey, right?), but he’s so cheap you can pretty much start celebrating the second he scores his second touchdown. Seems like a decent chance that happens.
Montell Owens (vs. NYJ, $5,200): Starting running backs that cost just over five grand are more wonderful than a Twix bar (and I do love Twix bars), but you raise some very poignant questions: Isn’t the Jets run defense good? (Not this year.) Isn’t the Jags offense terrible? (They’ve only been “bad” since Chad Henne showed up.) Why is Mark Sanchez still starting? (Because Rex Ryan is dumber that the frat boy who thinks “Nah, I don’t need a condom with this girl I just picked up at the bar.”) Though the rub here is than the Sanchize’s inevitable interceptions (yes, plural) should set Owens up in pretty good field position at least once. One score and you’ve made a profit here.
Fred Jackson (vs. STL, $5,900): No Alex Green here? Nope, I refuse to trust the Packers running game, even against the Lions. Instead, I offer up the chronically under-appreciated Jackson. Like it or not (and your answer should be “not”), Jackson is still stealing half of Buffalo’s touches from C.J. Spiller (which in and of itself is enough of a reason for Chan Gailey to be fired). The Rams rush defense isn’t the pushover it was last year, but it doesn’t mean a productive day from F-Jax isn’t still very possible.
Mike Thomas (vs. GB, $4,700): The guy who is in just about every lineup I’m making this week. He’s starting in a high-powered offense and even though he might only be the fourth option, Detroit could easily be down enough that that translates into a line of 5-65-1 without breaking a sweat. Love this play.
Jeremy Maclin (at TB, $5,800): If we accept the above premise that Foles could do well, it means he had to throw to somebody, right?
Pierre Garcon (Bal $5,300): This is yet another “too good to be true” WR play. Garcon has been on fire like the Library at Alexandria since returning from injury and Robert Griffin III has realized how much getting the ball deep to Pierre opens up his natural playmaking ability underneath. It’s really fun to watch because one opens up the other. And the Ravens defense isn’t living up to their reputation this season (“What is reputation? Is talk. Is gossip”). This has the makings of a high-scoring game with Garcon netting as many as 20 fantasy points. For this price, you want to be a part of that, don’t you? Sure you do. Come on, just do it. Put Pierre in your lineup. Yes! Go peer pressure!
Martellus Bennett (vs. NO, $5,300): Oh what a matchup for the former Cowboy. There’s very little like a visit from the Saints to set you up for a bigger payday than Scrooge McDuck (we saw him working, sometimes, right? That room full of money wasn’t just investment capital and thus counts as a payout? Regardless, it seems like diving into a stack of gold coins would actually hurt. A lot. They’re not a liquid…). Uncertainty about Hakeem Nicks could also help boost the tight end’s value with Victor Cruz hardly lighting up the stat sheet as well. There’s actually a universe in which Bennett is Eli’s top target Sunday. Maybe it’s even this one.
David Akers (vs. Mia, $5,000): Look, I get it. It’s a lazy cop-out for me to always pick Akers (or Shayne Graham – who is above the minimum this week – finally) as my kicker. I don’t make the rules, I just exploit the system. And if FanDuel is going to be idiotic enough to let you keep getting Akers at this price, I’m going to be brilliant enough to keep recommending him. That’s just the kind of guy I am.
Cleveland Browns (KC, $5,000): I’ll level with you, even as I write this, I’m not completely sold on this pick. It hinges on several assumptions: 1) The Browns defense isn’t just awful. 2) The Chiefs offense is awful. 3) The emotion that fueled Kansas City’s victory last week was a one-time thing and won’t play a factor against an also-not-great Browns team. 4) The Cleveland offense won’t give away points with ill-timed turnovers. Now, none of the defenses listed at the minimum this week are particularly interesting, so if you can buy into all of those assumptions, then your reward could be huge. But #3 is the one I have the biggest problem with and there are serious questions about all the others. So maybe if you can spare a few hundred bucks this week, splurge on a decent defense.