NFL DFS Week 17: It’s A Trap!
December 27, 2014 | Renee Miller
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In the final week of the NFL regular season, isn’t every player a trap? It sure seems that way as we think…and over think…and then re-think what might happen in Sunday’s games. We have games full of meaning, like Carolina-Atlanta and San Diego-Kansas City. Games for seeding like Cincinnati-Pittasburgh, Detroit-Green Bay, and Oakland-Denver. There are a whole bunch of games where neither team is playing for anything at all, like Philadelphia-NY Giants, Buffalo-New England, or Chicago-Minnesota.
How different teams handle these different scenarios varies quite a bit. Some teams like to rest key players, to get or keep them strong for the playoffs. With nothing to play for, others want to see what they have in youngsters. Still others want to go into the playoffs strong with a decisive win, even if it doesn’t matter much. Figuring out who’s doing what is no easy feat. There will be traps. A couple I’m leery of this week…
Trap 1: New England is being vague about how much time their starters will get. We’ve all seen Patriots games vs the Bills where it’s 30-0 at the half. We have a much improved Bills defense this season, but that’s still not out of the question with a full strength Pats team. If Brady and Gronkowski play a full first half, Gronkowski is quite likely to rack up enough targets and TDs to meet value. He’s been incredibly hard to fade over the second half of the season. That said, I think playing any Pats is a mistake this week, in part because of the reported rest and in part because of the Bills defense. In fact, the Bills defense makes a nice contrarian play this week.
Trap 2: The Cowboys practiced with the starters taking all the first team reps all week. That indicates that they fall into the “go into the playoffs strong” camp, despite two of their key players, Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray, being less than 100%. Whether Dallas wins or loses doesn’t affect their seed, it’s what everyone else does that affects them. So do you gamble on Romo and Murray this week? The matchup with Washington combined with the practice reports scream YES! But… I’m fading them in cash games. There are too many safer options, despite the league best matchup with the Redskins. It might be worth using Romo and Dez Bryant in a GPP, but I’ll be spending a bit more on Le’Veon Bell no matter the format in lieu of Murray.
The trick to winning this week more than any other so far will be to avoid the land mines. I feel safer using Steelers, Bengals, Packers, Chargers, Broncos, and Ravens in cash games than Patriots or Cowboys…despite the temptation.