Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the 15th week of the NFL season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, $12,000 – While it’s difficult to fathom one of the top quarterbacks (QBs) in the NFL producing two straight duds, Ben Roethlisberger will follow up last week’s difficult matchup against the Bengals with a showdown against the NFL’s best defense: the Denver Broncos. Last week’s game was the epitome of what Broncos football has become: defensive battles won by the team that makes the least amount of mistakes (Broncos turned the ball over twice to Oakland’s zero). The difference between Denver and the second best passing defense in terms of yardage allowed (Chicago Bears) is quite substantial…Denver allows 28 less passing yards per game (188 to Chicago’s 216). So while Roethlisberger is a great talent and has some of the better weapons in the league at his disposal, paying up for him does not make sense with such alternatives as Derek Carr and Philip Rivers.
Brandon Bolden, Patriots, $6,300 – LeGarrette Blount will miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury so naturally everyone will flock to Brandon Bolden at his discount price next week. I just flat out do not trust Coach Bill Belichick to act within reason because he has proven time and time again that’s not how he rolls. Daily fantasy football is about producing the greatest raw score so if Bolden isn’t going to produce 70 yards and a touchdown (TD) then he is not worth rostering despite the discount cost. The Titans have ranked in the middle of the pack against the run over the past four weeks but it’s not even about the matchup. Remember when Dion Lewis went down with injury on Nov. 8? The logical assumption was James White would immediately take over the passing down role and yet the next week he only received two total touches (one reception (REC)) for 11 total yards. Belichick just expects the opposing coordinators will think like fantasy owners and assume now Bolden will be pounded down their throat…so he throws a monkey wrench into their plans. I will be avoiding that trap like the plague and looking in other, more expensive options at the position.
Javorius Allen, Ravens, $8,800 – Instead of writing about nobodies who wouldn’t even warrant consideration, I’m going bold here and avoiding Javorius Allen despite his role in the passing game. Heading into week 15, Allen has caught at least four passes in four consecutive games including 12 RECs at Miami in week 13. The Kansas City Chiefs have allowed the third fewest RECs to opposing backs this season and have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points. If the Ravens are going to defeat the Chiefs at home, they’re going to have to ride the right arm of QB Matt Schaub. This week once again looks like a week to spend on the studs as Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson all draw beatable matchups and should come through once again.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers, $14,000 – Losing to the New Orleans Saints last week has placed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a tough spot this week as they are stuck in a must-win situation against the Rams on the road. Coach Jeff Fisher’s defense is stout as always and allows the eighth fewest fantasy points to the QB position and Mike Evans draws the single most difficult individual matchup. He’ll square off against Trumaine Johnson whom Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades as an 87 which is tied for eighth best in the NFL Why risk a drop prone expensive WR against a top 10 corner when Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all draw top four individual matchups of the week according to PFF. Avoid the potential misery of rostering the Bucs’ number one WR and bask in the consistency of Marshall and the Jets passing offense.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs, $8,400 – As noted in the Sunday Takeaways, the Chiefs’ usage of Travis Kelce continues to astound me. They have a top tier talent and they ignore him for extended stretches and instead rely on their backfield of second stringers and mediocre WR core outside of Jeremy Maclin. It took Kelce until the fourth quarter last week to catch a pass against a San Diego Chargers defense that struggles to cover tight ends (TEs). The Chiefs won 10-3 but they had plenty of opportunities to blow the game wide open if they would just take a shot down field. Coach Andy Reid just refuses to take chances if he believes there’s any chance of failure and therefore Kelce will remain underutilized. Save yourself the headache.