Thursday nights bring such excitement for American football fans around the world. Not only is it the night the first games of the NFL week begin, Thursdays provide yet another opportunity to “get it right” and show the world that you actually know what you are doing when it comes to fantasy football.
For me, this week is no exception and I am dying to erase last week’s football selections from my memory. The week started off poorly when Latavius Murray (UCF! UCF! UCF!) finally got some playing time and busted out in a huge way, especially considering he only had four carries before he was concussed and had to leave the game. It finished even more poorly when my studs wide receivers were barely even targeted!
Fortunately, however, Week 14 is a new week and we all get to start over. For those of you playing daily sports on FanDuel, you have no doubt realized that there are several different alternatives that are available, including games that involve all of the week’s games, Sunday only games, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. only games, etc. I like to play one of each because it provides for more variety and an opportunity to strategize against what I think other players will be trying to accomplish. For the games starting on Thursday, I typically like to play the “$40K Thu NFL Snap.” The entry fee is $2 and the first place prize is $2,500. However, because 3,720 places actually cash, this game provides a good opportunity to increase the size of my bankroll.
FanDuel December 2014 NFL (Games Starting Thursday) Bankroll
Now that I have started publically posting my FanDuel NFL lineups, I have decided to try to keep track of my bankrolls involved in each different type of games. I do this for several reasons, including giving me vital information on whether certain games are profitable for me, as well as the fact that it is fun to see these kinds of experiments. In any event, I’ve given myself $50 for this bankroll and I’ll be trying to keep track of them as I go forward.
December 2014 NFL (Games Starting Thursday) Week 14 Bankroll: $50.00
My FanDuel December 2014 NFL (Games Starting Thursday) Lineup
QB: R. Fitzpatrick – This guy was so bad that he lost his job. He sucked on the Bills and for most of this season, he sucked on Houston’s squad. Of course, when Ryan Mallet when down with an injury, he promptly put up an amazing performance which included six TD’s! Although his price skyrocketed this week (it went from $5,000 to $7,200), I am going with the hot hand, especially since the Texans are up against Jacksonville this week. Although I realize that the Jags are sneaky good on defense (i.e., two tds last week, a few forced fumbles against Luck and the Colts the week before), I still think Ryan Fitzpatrick will tear up their secondary and get me at least three scores.
RB 1: D. Herron – Dan Herron is so much better than Trent Richardson. That is true despite the fact that the Colts simply will not give up on Richardson, no doubt in part due to the fact that they gave so much for him. While I am all about starting players in “revenge games” (i.e., games against former teams that gave up on them such as Steve Smith, Jr.’s amazing game against the Panthers), I think Herron has established himself as the man over the past two weeks. I look for Herron to be the guy that runs all over Cleveland and I expect two touch downs: one receiving and one rushing. For a price tag of only $6,400, that would put my team heading in the right direction.
RB 2: A. Williams – With this selection, I am breaking one of my primary rules to never start someone in a fantasy game with games starting on Thursday when I am not sure if that person will play and/or start. Here, Jennings is hurt and is currently listed as “questionable.” Accordingly, I want to start Williams because the Giants are playing Tennessee, a team that has been absolutely lit up over the past few weeks. If Jennings starts, Williams have very little value. However, if he sits, I am looking at a “Trey Mason against the Raiders” kind of performance, something I am going to need to hedge my bet against one of my studs underperforming. I like Jenngings but I think the Giants should give him time to heal. Just saying….
WR 1: K. Stills – Kenny Stills is a freak, especially since Cooks went down with a season-ending injury. Over that time, Stills has been one of the primary targets of Drew Brees, something I hope continues this week. While the matchup is not perfect and the Panthers are capable of holding down an air attack, Stills is quick with good hands. I am looking for seven catches and 110 yards. For $6,400, that would be a nice day for my team.
WR 2: D. Bryant – For me, one of the reasons I love daily fantasy sports is to actually watch my players perform. As such, I always want to try to select a stud that will play in each of the primetime games for that week. Thursday night’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears has me drooling! There should be a lot of points scored and I want to get in on a piece of that action.
My first thought was to go with DeMarco Murray. That guy is a total beast and will no doubt run all over the Bears. The problem is, however, that I have Murray in my season long fantasy football league and the quickest way for me to ensure that he will suck is to select him on my FanDuel lineup! Of course, I am only half-joking but I cannot tell you how many times this seems to be the case and, as a result, I am going to steer clear of Murray this week and be content that he will help my season-long team.
With that said, Dez Bryant is a beast and has a nice matchup against the crappy Bears secondary. The problem is the Tony Romo is a Jekyll and Hyde type of player and you never know what he is going to deliver, especially when it gets cold and the games start to count. Additionally, it seems that lately a few of the other receivers and tight ends are getting in on the action and I am worried that Beasley, Williams or one of the tight ends (Witten or Escobar) will creep some of my touch downs. Of course, I am still going with Bryant despite those concerns.
WR 3: J. Nelson – There is not much to say about Jordy Nelson other than to reiterate that he and Aaron Rodgers are an amazing combo. Nelson is fast, has great hands, and is the number one option for Rodgers lately (although Randall Cobb is trying to take that away from Nelson). Against the horrible Atlanta Falcons secondary, I expect Nelson to go off and haul in 9 catches for 150 yards and two TD’s. Put it in the books!
TE: M. Bennett – Michael Bennett is a stud. While Bennett left the Cowboys at a time that Dallas wanted him to remain with them, he knew that he would always remain behind Jason Witten, something that was not acceptable to him. As a result, this is sort of a revenge game and piques my interest. Bennett has been really solid over the past few weeks after returning from an injury so I would guess that he is good for at least one touchdown and a handful of receptions.
K: D. Bailey – With this selection, I am breaking another rule where I do not pick players from my season-long team. However, I like Bailey way too much to not take him and his cheap $4,900 salary. I expect the game to be a high scoring affair so maybe Bailey will get some field goals and a bunch of extra points.
D: GB Packers – Finally, I am going with an obvious choice for my defense: the Green Bay Packers against the Atlanta Falcons. Green Bay has been on a scoring tear of late and the Falcons cannot run the ball very effectively. I am hoping that means that Matty Ice will try to force the ball to his top receivers and Green Bay can enjoy a few pick-six dances.