Players to Avoid: No, Adrian!

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 first weekend of the NFL Playoffs.

Brian Hoyer, Texans, $10,600 – There’s simply no need this week to sink to Brian Hoyer levels…or really any punt quarterback (QB) levels other than A.J. McCarron. The trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins appear to be the prime candidates to win tournaments with because they are head and shoulders above the rest. Roethlisberger averaged 22.34 fantasy points per game (FPPG), Wilson averaged 21.89 FPPG and Cousins averaged 20.52. Aside from those three, only Aaron Rodgers averaged more than 17.57 (Alex Smith) of the remaining healthy QB options. In order to win tournaments, or even cash games this week, pricing is so flexible that you won’t want to leave QB points on the table. There are plenty of values at other positions so make sure you spend up for QB. Choose the guy you think will be the top scorer and move on.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings, $13,700 – Speaking of players unnecessary to spend up for, Adrian Peterson certainly fits the bill against a solid Seattle Seahawks defense. The Vikings took on Seattle in week 13 and Peterson only managed eight carries for 18 yards and four receptions (RECs) for six yards (6.40 total fantasy points). No team allowed fewer fantasy points to running backs (RBs) this season so the Seahawks are literally the toughest possible matchup Peterson could draw. If you’re looking to spend up for a back, Marshawn Lynch is slated to return this week and should see all the work his body can handle. The Seahawks are quite obviously playing to win and re-establishing a running game that has been lost since Thomas Rawls went down should be a top priority for Coach Pete Carroll. Lynch costs $1,400 less and I would bet he outscores Peterson in fantasy points by a fair margin.

Randall Cobb, Packers, $10,900 – The tilt between the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins was tied for the highest projected scoring game of the week with an over/under of 45 points when the lines opened. Since then, the Steelers/Bengals total has moved up by a half point but, regardless, both should be high scoring affairs. For those looking at Aaron Rodgers thinking to themselves “he can’t possibly bad this bad,” the next logical step is to search for a pass-catcher on his team to roster. If this resembles your train of thought, make sure Randall Cobb is not the direction you choose to go. Cobb has not broken 20 fantasy points since week three despite consistently being priced in the WR2 range. His price has dropped all the way to $10,900 this week because his play has dictated the freefall. To be fair he’s playing through shoulder pain which is hampering his ability to get open. If playing this week, you might as well play to win, and this shell of a man isn’t going to be the one to do that for you especially matched up a couple solid corners in Bashaun Breeland and Will Blackmon. I prefer both Davante Adams and James Jones at their respective prices.

Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs, $12,000 – Just because Jonathan Joseph hasn’t been talked about as a top corner for a few seasons now does not mean he still does not possess serious coverage skills. Of all corners playing this weekend, Joseph grades the highest of any this season according to Pro Football Focus. Jeremy Maclin will likely be shadowed by him considering he has emerged as the team’s true number one WR. The last time these two teams squared off Travis Kelce stole the show by catching six passes for 106 yards and two TDs and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs use a similar scheme to that 27-20 victory. He’s a fine play in tournaments but I just don’t like the idea of using a player in an offense that doesn’t throw very often (Alex Smith’s 470 attempts ranked 19th in football) and is matched up against a solid corner. It makes more sense to spend up for either Antonio Brown or DeAndre Hopkins or save some money and roster DeSean Jackson or James Jones.

Tyler Eifert, Bengals, $9,300 – The thought process here is simple: the alternative is better. Tyler Eifert is priced a few thousand dollars lower than Jordan Reed and I would rather pay up for the tight end (TE) still playing with his starting QB. Earlier in the year, Andy Dalton and Eifert developed quite the connection but Dalton is now out for the season and Eifert just returned from a concussion last week (four RECs for 51 yards and a TD). Last week was the first full week A.J. McCarron and Eifert played together so it’s encouraging he scored but the lack of chemistry is discouraging. I just simply feel much better about Reed and his 11 TDs (all with Kirk Cousins) prior rather than taking the shot on Eifert. I have Eifert projected as the fourth highest score at the TE position this week behind Reed, Travis Kelce and Heath Miller yet he costs more than Kelce and Miller. The value simply isn’t there with the backup QB under center.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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