This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
Miss your fantasy playoffs? The greatest part about FanDuel's weekly contests is that every week is a new season for the possibilities of building a winning lineup. Let's look at some options for this week.
The quarterback pool for the main slate is more diluted than ever and while it seems odd, both Tom Brady and Drew Brees (both at home) don't seem to be close to the top 5 at the position given their production this season. Sam Darnold ($7,700) is very much in play at home against the Dolphins, who have allowed big games to quarterbacks in their last three games. The top-2 price options at the position — Lamar Jackson ($9,000) and Patrick Mahomes ($8,400) — are tough to trust at their given prices. That said, there's a high ceiling for both and at a minimum build at least one GPP lineup with each. Jameis Winston ($7,700) had his first game of less than 17.1 fantasy points in his last 10 games, so logic would suggest he'll be back to that mark and probably more. There's as much upside pairing him with either Mike Evans ($7,700) or Chris Godwin ($7,900) as any other quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Looking at the other side of this game, Jacoby Brissett ($7,400) is in a great spot against a defense (TB) that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Stacking Brissett with Zach Pascal ($6,100) and Parris Campbell ($4,800) is a sneaky stack that will have a low ownership. Lastly, Matt Ryan ($7,600) shouldn't be a forgotten man playing at home (no weather issues) and now has both Julio Jones ($7,800) and Austin Hooper ($6,600) back as weapons. Ryan should have no problem finding 300 passing yards and a couple of scores in this game.
While we were all waiting and hoping to plug in a cheap Alexander Mattison ($5,100) it looks like Dalvin Cook ($8,700) will man-up and play in this one. The Jets' Le'Veon Bell ($7,100) is under the weather and questionable to play. If he's out, Bilal Powell ($4,900) is a must play in cash; check back 90 minutes before the early kickoff. The other injury situation to watch this weekend is the Raiders' Josh Jacobs ($7,700). He's played with a fractured bone in his shoulder and it would seem that both Jalen Richard ($5,000) and DeAndre Washington ($5,000) would be good values if Jacobs is out. The lean here is Richard between the two although both would be on the fantasy radar. The Steelers have been kind with their early injury reports over the last few weeks and we know James Conner will miss another game with his own shoulder injury. That puts Benny Snell ($6,100) as a running back to consider against a Cardinals defense allowing the 10th most fantasy points to running backs. Snell will get both the early down and goal-line work. Do we dare talk about Patrick Laird ($5,500)? He had 14.8 fantasy points last week, is cheap and no longer has Kalen Ballage (IR) to worry about. Laird is relevant for this week. Finally, Darwin Thompson ($5,200) deserves a mention as an integral part of the Chiefs' running backs situation this week. Along with LeSean McCoy ($6,100), the two are the last men standing in a Kansas City backfield this week. While on paper it's a tough matchup with New England, Thompson will have a low ownership, making him a great GPP play.
I've been preaching for weeks and pointing out that the Miami Dolphins are without Xavien Howard, their best corner and arguably best defender. This week, both Robby Anderson ($6,400) and Jamison Crowder ($6,100) warrant attention as a result. It's worth noting for whatever reason the Jets play better at home. Odell Beckham ($6,800) seems to be mentioned here on a weekly basis and a big week is still coming for him. This could very well be that week at home against the Bengals and the price is too cheap. Use him in at least one tournament lineup. I can't believe I'm saying this, but is this a chalk DeVante Parker ($7,200) week in cash? Parker has been consistent and now gets a Jets defense that had basically every secondary player on the injury report this week. After a couple quiet weeks, D.J. Chark Jr. ($6,200) likely will be forgotten, but he has had some big games this season. Don't forget about him in GPPs. Michael Thomas ($8,600) had a down game on Thanksgiving and hopefully that'll drive his ownership down. Against a tough 49ers defense, I'm buying in cash and tournaments. He'll be fine after an off week.
Usually it's a struggle to find good TE options. However, this is not one of those weeks. Jack Doyle ($6,300) is a good play after having a big game without Eric Ebron. He faces a Tampa Bay defense that allows the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. Next is Darren Waller ($6,200), who averages the sixth-most fantasy points at the position. Waller will have a home matchup against the Titans who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. If you're looking to punt at the position then Ian Thomas ($4,000) is your man. Greg Olsen (concussion) is out this week, putting Thomas in line to be the main tight end. While the Falcons are middle of the pack as far as surrendering points to the position, Thomas' price makes him an option for both cash and tournaments.
It's an odd week in that there isn't an over/under of 50 or more. The Texans ($4,600) at home against a rookie quarterback in Drew Lock seems like one of the better options among the higher-priced options. While the 49ers have a solid offense, it's tough to ignore the Saints defense/ST ($3,800) given their price and home matchup. They've scored at least 11 fantasy points in six of their 12 games this season. The longshot of the day has to be the Raiders ($3,400). They're finally back home and play much better in Oakland than on the road. Look for this to be a good bounce-back game on both of the sides of the ball for the Raiders.