Sound the alarms! Both Jags (us, not team) cashed last week, the first time all year both have hit on the same weekend – thanks Gruden. What a time to be alive, eh? DJ decided to celebrate by taking a weekend off and poppin’ bottles in Vegas (actually Georgia, but that’s not as fun). Tisk tisk, my friend. You should know better than to leave the site in my hands all by my lonesome… but I digress. This is not a time to gloat, nay! This is a time to crack a frosty IC Light, head dahn the North Shore, and throw aht your arm wavin’ that terrible towel. As you all know by now, I’m a die hard Steelers fan, and Sunday basically marks the first playoff game of the year and I can’t wait to be there. The AFC #1 seed is on the line and this game will be well represented in my lineup – it has to be. Yes, I’m a little biased, but truthfully, this game is full of significant fantasy implications. The Steelers are coming off of a 500+ yard offensive performance, and the Killer B’s are all rollin’ – SPECIFICALLY Boswell. Give that man a damn key to the city already. The Pats on the other hand, are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins in which they looked horrendous. If Brady and Belicheat are to fall this weekend, it won’t be without a fight. Vegas O/Us for this game are around 54 points, the highest of the weekend by far. I anticipate a shoot-out and am fearful of anything different for the Steelers’ sake. I’m doing my best to remember there are 28 other NFL teams all competing this weekend, but man is it tough. Side bar – yinz absolutely will not hear from me Sunday, use your imagination why…Alright, enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to it – Who Yinz Got?
Chris – Big Ben Roethlisberger ($6,700 vs NE) – I think it’s an inherent Yinzer trait to be able to spell Roethlisberger on the spot. Seriously. Know anybody from Pittsburgh? Quiz them and they will nail it first try. Alright, this pick is really pretty simple. Big Ben Roethlishomer is averaging 23.5 DKpts at Heinz Field this year, compared to only 15.8 DKpts on the road. Ben eclipsed 500 passing yards last weekend, and only saw a salary increase of $400. The Patriots defense has come around from the beginning of the year, but not nearly to the point where they scare me against Ben, Bell, AB, and #FreeJuJu. Since Week 10, they are a top 5 defense against the pass…tough sell, I get it. But Ben might throw the ball another 60 times this Sunday as he did against BAL and the Patriots are coming off of a Week 14 match-up that yielded 263 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs to Jay Cutler. Yes, really, Jay Cutler. The upside is tremendous this week at home for Ben and he and Brady are as close to can’t miss picks this week as it comes (as much as the latter pains me to say).
Chris – Kirk Cousins ($6,000 vs AZ) – Kirky…what will we do with you? Two games this season scoring single digit DKpts. Two games this season eclipsing 30 DKpts. Help us out here brother. Be bad, or don’t be. Figure it aht. In Cousins’ two lowest DKpt outputs this year (prior to last week), he followed up with huge performances. Week 2 he put up 11.86 DKpts, followed by 29.8 DKpts Week 3. Fast forward to a Week 9 performance of 9.28 DKpts, followed by a Week 10 near season-high total of 31.58 DKpts. Cousins faces off against a Cardinals defense, that since Week 10 have only allowed 6 passing TDs and have 5 INT. Cousins has 4 INTs in his past 3 games, and has only eclipsed a passer rating of 100.0 one time since Week 7. Cousins has regressed significantly from the beginning of the year, and I don’t foresee a bounce back in the District on Sunday.
Chris – Kenyan Drake ($5,800 @ BUF) – Aside from any Steelers or Patriots, this was the quickest lock for me. Drake has been as advertised over the past two weeks since taking over as the feature back. Registering outputs of 26.1 and 27.3 DKpts of the past two weeks respectively, Drake heads into a matchup against the Bills who have allowed the most DKpts to opposing RBs since Week 10 at 33.8 DKpts per game and 9 rushing TDs allowed during that time. Over his past two games, Drake has only found the endzone once, which makes his fantasy output that much more impressive as it’s really been all volume based. Add in that Damien Williams is doubtful for Sunday, and it figures that the Dolphins will be dialing Drake’s number all day – and I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.
Chris – Todd Gurley ($8,300 @ SEA) – *Ducking from rotten tomatoes being thrown*. Alright, alright, enough. Let’s dive in. The Seahawks have been a top 5 defense against opposing RBs since Week 10, averaging 18.6 DKpts given up. Even if no other Rams RB touches the ball on Sunday, an 18.6 DKpt output would just barely eclipse a 2x value at this price. Flashback to Week 5, where Seattle held Gurley to only 6 DKpts, 43 rushing yards on 14 carries. Pete Carroll is one of those coaches who schemes for specific players. Just like Belicheat, Carroll will try to take away the opposition’s best weapon…Gurley. I anticipate the Seahawks doing their best to limit him and make Goff beat them through the air. I’m high on any of the 3 LAR WRs this weekend for that reason alone, as they should see high volume through the air. But, paying $8.3K for Gurley who is a guarantee to be the focus for the Legion of Boom is not something I’m into.
Chris – Antonio “Tony Toe Tap” Brown ($DON’T CARE vs NE) – I don’t have analysis, and you certainly don’t need it. This isn’t even a biased yinzer hot take, it’s just reality. I don’t care what AB costs this week. I. Do. Not. Care. Every single lineup I’m entering for Week 15 has him going in first. I know Belicheat always takes away the oppositions biggest threat. I know. Still, don’t care. Business is Booooooomin.
Chris – Josh Gordon ($6,800 vs BAL) – Well that was quick… $4,100 to $6,800 in two weeks, highlighted by a 15.9 DKpt output max. As anticipated, Gordon scores one time and is quickly overrated. Yes, he is a an athletic freak, but he does still have Kizer throwing to him. Add the fact that the Ravens defense got absolutely embarrassed last weekend after being a top 5 passing defense for the first 12 games of the year, and Gordon finds himself in a horrible matchup. I’m no scientist, but I believe the Ravens have to basically win out to have a shot at the playoffs. No, you don’t get style points in the NFL (#CFP), but I can’t imagine the Ravens defense surrendering another 500+ yards, or even another 300+ yards to anyone at this point, let alone to the DeShone and the Brownies.
Chris – Rob Gronkowski ($7,300 @ PIT) – RE: AB write-up. No analysis needed here, just lock it up. It pains me, but realistically the Steelers have nobody to cover Gronk. Not in the redzone, not at mid-field, not anywhere. Short of Gronk having another boneheaded moment and tossing a post-whistle, Mortal Kombat-esqe late hit on somebody, Gronk should find the endzone, potentially (and probably) multiple times.
Chris – Evan Engram ($5,600 vs PHI) – Engram has found himself as both a Payoff and Jagoff this year, and man has the going been tough for him (and us when he’s rostered). After another dud last week, Engram still ranks as the 3rd most expensive TE heading into Sunday. Engram has produced single digits in 3 of his last 4 games, and has only found the endzone once during that span. The Eagles have locked down opposing TEs recently, allowing the second least amount of DKpts to opposing TEs since Week 10, at 6.9 DKpts per game, including only 1 TD during that time. I don’t see passing on spending $5.6K for Engram as an even remotely difficult decision. If he goes off this weekend, tip your cap (unless you’re Cam Newton, with your ugly brimless hat…c’mon man). But save that money and pay up for some of the studs in Pittsburgh this weekend if you aren’t going to pay up for Gronk.
Chris – Jesse James ($2,900 vs NE) – Aside from the Killer B’s, this game screams Jesse James to me. Coming off his biggest performance of the year with 19.7 DKpts last week, James finds himself in a touch matchup with NE, who rank 3rd against opposing TEs since Week 10. However, the Pats defense will have their hands full with Bell and Brown, while simultaneously avoiding JuJu’s free candy (little Pens reference for you yinzers out there). James should go unnoticed and will provide value through volume. Alright, you don’t have to listen to me here – maybe I am a little biased. Sans James, go with one of the Rams WRs, or Dion Lewis/Duke Johnson as the “safe” flex play. But scared money don’t make money, folks – and I’ll ride or die with as much Steelers/Pats exposure as possible.
Chris – Arizona Cardinals ($2,900 @ WAS) – The Cardinals really intrigue me this Week against the Redskins, and are surprisingly affordable. I touched on this briefly with my write-up on Kirk, but he has thrown 4 picks over his past 3 games, and the Cardinals have 4 INTs themselves during that same period, ranking 2nd in the NFL. The Cards haven’t exactly limited opposing QBs, as over the past 3 weeks (sticking with the theme), they are a middle of the pack defense, but with big bucks spent throughout the rest of my roster, beggars can’t be choosers.
Chris – Steelers/Patriots – Ok so maybe I don’t want allll the Steelers/Pats exposure. I wouldn’t roster those two defenses even if DraftKings were to post them at negative salaries – seriously. All signs point to a Big 12 style shootout, with the potential for each team to score over 30 points (just like PIT/BAL last Sunday night). DK seems to agree, with the Steelers and Patriots both showing up as two of the cheapest D/STs available for Sunday. Don’t try to get cute here, roster offensive weapons from this game, root for the over and most importantly, the Steelers dub – no Jamies, you can’t eat it…
Check back Sunday morning for the Jags official lineups. Follow us on Twitter @fantasyjags412 – we look forward to hearing from you.