Victiv Wildcard Picks
January 2, 2015 | Justin Edwards
Welcome to the playoffs, ladies and gents! It’s obviously an abbreviated schedule this week and there will be a lot of parodies in lineups. Let’s go through some guys that will help make some monies at Victiv.com!
Three tiers or levels of players I will be looking at:
Arrogant Bastard: Some of the best around and a price tag to match
Budweiser: Solid choice with a solid price
Natural Light: The cheapest you can find while still obtaining value
Arrogant Bastard – Ben Roethlisberger ($10,500)
Big Ben is going for Big Money in this first week of the playoffs as they face off against a banged up corner back group. Ben has averaged 310 yards/gm through the regular season while Baltimore has allowed 270 yards/gm before their very favorable last 3 weeks of the season when they played two rookies and Case Keenum. He didn’t have much of a problem carving up this secondary in Week 9 when he threw 6 TDs with no picks and 340 yards. With Le’Veon not suiting up, the Steelers will need their pass game to pick up the slack against a Baltimore defense that has allowed only 88 yards/gm on the ground.
Budweiser – Cam Newton ($9,200)
How high or low Newton’s ceiling is obviously has a lot to do with what he can do with his legs. Arizona might actually be a nice matchup for him as they have already allowed a QB to rush for 50+ yards on four occasions during the season. Despite injuries and barrel-rolling a truck in December, Cam also got himself four such performances, including three in a row; 51, 63, 83, scoring on the ground in each. Newton has only bested a 300-yard game through the air once this season and I don’t see this being his second but if he can lay down 225 yards without an interception and a couple touchdowns will be all you need.
Natural Light – Andy Dalton ($7,900)
In your GPP plays this weekend you’re going to have to be sneakily contrarian. This Red Rocket has been one ridiculous sort of roller coaster ride this year and if any of you follow these Bengals and their playoff struggles over the past few years you’ll know that Andy is in the forefront of the problems. Being that he is the cheapest QB on the board (even lower then Ryan Lindley) this week and the very low own% he will have, I’m actually willing to stick my neck out there. Just don’t use him in your cash games, his floor is quite low.
Arrogant Bastard – DeMarco Murray ($7,600)
This is far from the easiest defense to run on but the NFL’s rushing champion has proved to be matchup-proof while racking up 1,800+ yards during the season. After all the hubbub about his hand surgery Murray just went out in week 17 and grabbed his 12th 100-yard game. The best rush defense in the league does have a weak spot while defending the RB catching balls out of the backfield, ranking in the bottom third of the league. He will still get all the touches we’re used to him seeing but I would lower the expectations at least a little bit against this front four.
Budweiser – Jeremy Hill ($6,800)
Now, if you’re a smart player who likes their money and doesn’t want to risk any bankroll on Andy friggin’ Dalton there is a much higher floor to be had in the guy who stands behind him. Hue Jackson will not allow the Bengals to go 0-4 in Dalton’s career by mistakenly forcing him to put it in the air the whole game. Indianapolis has had a pretty subpar rushing defense, actually ranking as the 31st D against running backs through the air according to Football Outsiders DVOA. Gio Bernard could have some success as the 3rd down back but his floor is much lower and his price ($5,900) is really not that much cheaper. The Colts have allowed the fifth-most rushing touchdowns this year which makes Hill just that much more enticing.
Natural Light – Daniel Herron ($3,800)
Trent Richardson got the call only six times in the regular season finale and Zurlon Tipton managed nine, though many of those were with the game well in hand. Boom Herron has developed a nice floor within the offense though his ceiling isn’t nearly as high as people thought it might have been when Ahmad Bradshaw went down. Cincy’s defense would have been much better if they weren’t surrendering so many rushing yards, ending the season as the 28th ranked rush D according to DVOA. This game could turn into a bit of a rush-off between these last two RBs and I’ll be rostering them both a whole lot.
Arrogant Bastard – Antonio Brown ($9,000)
It’s official now that Le’Veon will not be playing this weekend which will pretty much set the ceiling of targets to Antonio at about 22. Brown has only had three games this year that he didn’t get double digit targets so it’s not as if Bell had much of an effect when he was playing but now that he’s out Pittsburgh will have to lean heavily on the pass. Baltimore had a hell of a time keeping Andre Johnson last week as he went 10-134-1 after a very disappointing year against every other team in the league. Antonio Brown has had two games against this Ravens defense already, catching 18 passes for 234 yards and a score. You can absolutely not fade this man in your cash games, and possibly any game.
Budweiser – Dez Bryant ($7,700)
Another great option at WR for $1300 cheaper is the big Dallas pass catcher. Dallas might have to back off of the DeMarco Murray usage against the Football Outsiders’ No. 1 ranked DVOA rush defense. In contrast, there are 9 defense in the league better at bottling up wide receivers. Detroit has had some trouble with WR1s over the past couple of months; allowing a multitude of scores from the position and 34 points to four different offenses. Dez has had only one single-digit performance all year long and led all WRs in TDs, he has developed a floor very near Antonio Brown’s.
Natural Light – Martavis Bryant ($3,100)
If you aren’t using Brown this week (hell, maybe even if you are) you’ll need a piece of this Steelers passing offense and Bryant is a great #2 option. Martavis is a perfect amount of cheap cheap to slip into your GPP plays as he has found the endzone in 6 of his 10 games this year. On only 48 targets he has scored 8 TDs, which translates to a TD for every 6 targets. Seeing that Roethlisberger is almost guaranteed to throw 40+ passes with Le’Veon sidelined and I would be more than surprised if 6 or more of those don’t go to his 6’4” receiver.
Arrogant Bastard – Greg Olsen ($4,000)
Hey look it’s the playoffs! That means we don’t have to even think about whether or not Jimmy Graham will underperform. The tight ends are all at a punt price this week as the MOST expensive is only a measly $4700. I think Greg Olsen’s ceiling is actually a little bit higher then Coby Fleener’s, and for $700 cheaper. Arizona has had a pretty stout defense this year but the TE position is one that they’ve had trouble defending. The Cardinals have allowed the most receiving yards to the position and the 6th most fantasy points. Olsen had only 3 targets in consecutive weeks to end the season but Carolina had some fluky huge wins in which they didn’t need to move the ball in big chunks. His stance in the offense will return to normal this week in Charlotte.
Budweiser – Jason Witten ($3,900)
I don’t feel too great about trying to attack this Detroit defense but there’s obviously not a whole lot of choices with a minimal four-game slate. The Lions have done well to keep opposing tight ends out of the end zone but have allowed 84 receptions and eleven games of 5+ receptions to the position. Witten has faded out of the offense a little bit this year but hasn’t completely gone away; he ended the year with target totals of 9, 7 and 6.
Natural Light – Owen Daniels ($2,900)
Owen has been a polarizing TE this year, having stretches of good games and stretches in which it looked like Joe Flacco wanted nothing to do with him. Daniels still has a relatively nice ceiling and makes for a great ‘punt’ play against a Steelers D that has allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends including 6 straight weeks from weeks 8-14.
Arrogant Bastard – Panthers ($6,300)
After a career game in which Lindley threw his first two TDs he is sporting some lifetime numbers that look something like this; 2 TDs-11 INTs-50.8 Cmp%-5.0 YPA. That last number is the eye-popping one. The 32nd ranked QB in yards per attempt this year was Blake Bortles and his YPA was 6.12. The Cardinals with no Andre Ellington and this guy ‘slinging’ the ball around are going to have one hell of a time moving the chains against this defense that came alive down the stretch.
Budweiser – Colts ($5,300)
We come full circle in the argument for/against Dalton this week with his god awful playoff play in the last few years. It’s looking as if AJ Green will not play this Sunday which will only hurt Andy’s chance of having a decent game. The Orange Goblin has 6 INTs and a 5.8 YPA in his three playoff games. Indy has a nice floor considering the Bengals propensity for turnovers with the TCU grad at the helm.
Natural Light – Cowboys ($4,700)
Dallas is the cheapest D/ST on Victiv this week as they face off against the 22nd ranked scoring offense. Matthew Stafford kept his interception total down to 12 this year but did manage to get sacked 45 times this year, fumbling the ball 8 times.
Here’s how I’m going to incorporate my mixed bag of good, decent, and cheap beer bottles into a winning Victiv 9-pack:
QB Cam Newton
RB Jeremy Hill
RB Daniel Herron
WR Dez Bryant
WR Martavis Bryant
TE Greg Olsen
FLEX Mohamed Sanu
FLEX Justin Forsett
With AJ possibly missing the game Sunday you need to stick a Bengals WR in your lineup and Sanu is the most reliable option. Forsett is the most consistent RB at his price point.
Good luck fantasy nerds, hope you’re rolling in profit soon, and if not remember: “That’s the way she goes. Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t. She didn’t go. That’s the way she goes.”