The heat check. Familiar with it? When you’re comin’ in so hot to a matchup that you feel like you’re as on fire as the Mike D cheat code from NBA Jam TE, you just start trying anything. Shooting from 30′ in basketball, swinging at anything thrown to a catcher in baseball, or attempting to break free in football by running more horizontally than vertically. None of those things I just mentioned are sound decisions, but you’re in the delirium of the heat check. Mr. T and his entire A-Team couldn’t stop you from doing what you need when you’re on fire. But it’s in these moments where you forget what made you so hot…and you get stoopid.
That hot streak you rode in on just blew a tire to send you tumble-weeding face first into the embarrassment of soured achievements. Now before you get all defensive and read this as a prodding of your glorious and gluttonous track record in fantasy football, because I’m sure you’re the king of the world of the water cooler of your work, but deep breath…these fun little analogies are incredibly befitting of none other than me.
A new week, a new storyline. It’s the beauty of fantasy football. Week 10 brought with it some exciting highlights in my fantasy football season: my teams went 7-0, I came out strong in the DFS games, and I began my writing foray here at Razzball covering the weekly game we offer. How’d I finish in my inaugural attempt? 2nd. And with it a little bit of instant clout. I was feeling good about my entry until time failed to stop at Week 10, moved on with the calendar seven days, and brought with it Week 11. Ever had one of those moments in sports where your heat check cooled into something a frigid as Elsa’s fingertips way too fast (yes, I just referenced Disney. You’re welcome.)? Yeah, for Week 11, ‘hot’ was the last thing I was comin’ in as. Week 12? Still didn’t learn my lesson, even though we didn’t offer the Razzball FanDuel Contest. What’s that you ask?
Each week we offer a 22-man Razzball-only FanDuel Contest that pays out the top-5 finishers. Think you’re good enough to operate beyond just luck and work your way to the prize? Then put your money where your fingertips are and enter the $5 Contest for Week 13!
Time to remember what got us here and take advantage of the final week of the fantasy regular season. Here’s how to navigate Week 13 in a 22-man contest…
Jay Cutler, CHI – $7,000: While everyone will fall prey to the temptation of Cam Newton against New Orleans, go against the grain and save some cash while doing it. Before last week’s horrible conditions on Thanksgiving, and facing Denver’s intimidating D in Week 11, Cutler averaged 20 ppg across six straight contests. He’s at home this week against the 24th ranked 49ers pass defense. They’ve given up three TDs three times this year. With his weapons getting healthy, Cutler has a great shot of creating the fourth.
DeAngelo Williams, PIT – $7,200: While I’d avoid the obvious call at QB in Cam, at the RB position you almost can’t afford to pass up on Williams. He’s the 10th most expensive option, but could easily provide top 3 value. On a day when some names are getting healthy and creating timeshares, go with the sure thing in the Steelers backfield. His rushing yardage may have come back to earth the past two games, but he showed in Week 12 that he’s still a major force in the offense (7/88/0 receiving and a rushing score). The Colts are 25th against fantasy RB; adds up to a great day at a cheap price.
David Johnson, ARI – $5,900: Due to all the injuries in the Cardinals backfield, the rookie Johnson finally gets his shot. As the #1 option at RB in Arizona, look for 15+ carries on Sunday against a Rams defense that’s given up 100+ yards in three of their last four. He’s proven he’s capable in the passing game with 19 receptions in very limited time with three scores, so even if he doesn’t break the 100 yard barrier vs. St. Louis, he should be featured enough to really haul in some great ROI for his price tag, and the 34th most expensive RB.
Antonio Brown, PIT – $9,000: Yep, it’s a Steelers stack in Week 13. The Colts really struggle against both elements on defense, and Brown gets Big Ben healthy in the matchup. In case you forgot what the tandem of Ben and Brown can do for you (what up, UPS?), Antonio posted a two week line of 27/423/2 prior to the bye. That’s freakin’ ridiculous, and as much of a hot streak as you’ll ever find. Watch Sunday’s matchup be nothing but 60 minutes of a heat check for the Steelers through the air.
Jarvis Landry, MIA – $7,400: I normally shy away from players that carry the ‘Q card’ late into the week, like Landry has through practice. What’s the ‘Q card’, you ask? Those that are able for the quest, but are a bit unsure. In a word: Questionable. I hate it. Many times they translate to nothing more than the player was limited in practice, but if you choose a ‘Q card’ player in a late matchup in FanDuel, you’re locked into the game-time decision that could lead to zero points. Landry has a 1PM start, so you can switch out if needed, but the matchup’s just too juicy to avoid. The Ravens have seceded multiple TDs to fantasy WR in 5 of their last 6. Landry’s coming off a 13-catch performance and is about the only good thing going in Miami right now. He holds huge upside with a high enough floor to make him a great buy in Week 13.
Kamar Aiken, BAL – $6,100: It’s rare that a relative unknown actually succeeds in the productive role he’s projected for when he fills in for an injured starter. When Steve Smith went down a few weeks back, many people targeted Aiken as the fill-in, but it was by no means a certainty. He was an unknown, largely undrafted player back in August, so the doubts were legit. What’s he done since his Week 8 takeover is just average 6 catches for 66 yards, good for 9.6 points in FanDuel. At his price that’s solid return, but when you add in his touchdown in each of the last two weeks, Aiken becomes a potential top 20 option even though he’s priced outside the top 30.
Greg Olsen, CAR – $6,600: Oh, when the Panthers come marching in! Well, this year’s you could insert any team name in that lyric with a competent QB and it would hold weight. The undefeated Panthers travel to New Orleans for an afternoon kickoff that is sure to bring plenty of fantasy points for the Panthers receiving crew. And by their receiving crew, what I really mean is Greg Olsen. New Orleans has given up 6 TDs to TE in the past three weeks. That’s wretched. Look for Cam to find Olsen often, and for him to surpass his 13.78 ppg average over his past seven.
Graham Gano, CAR – $5,000: It’s the weekly ‘Who cares?!?’ segment! However, I’ll pay up a little for Gano, who is A) in a dome, B) goes against the Saints, and C) has scored double digits in five straight contests. Take the kicker of the offense that’s zooming, which is exactly what the Panthers will be doing Sunday.
Honorable Mention: Robbie Gould, CHI – $4,600
Defense & Special Teams
Bengals – $5,100: You really think Austin Davis is going to strike fear into an NFL defense? Eeeeeexactly. Neither does Cincinnati. They’ve given up 10 points or less in four straight games, and just put up 17 fantasy points against a similar, but much better, offense in St. Louis for Week 12. Look for double digits to come your way with this one. Sacks for days!
Honorable Mention: Bears – $4,400
Here’s to you catching a hot streak in Week 13! Just not as hot as mine…