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 Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs:
Aaron Rodgers, Packers, $12,600 – Although the Packers scored 35 points last week, Aaron Rodgers put together yet another mediocre outing at least by his All-Pro standards. Rodgers completed 21-36 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns (TDs). This performance marks five straight games failing to reach 20 fantasy points. Despite the plummeting price, his play simply is not deeming him worthy of any sort of consideration. To make matters worse, Davante Adams was amidst a monster game this past weekend before suffering a knee injury that likely will force him to sit out of the upcoming game versus the Cardinals. With Rodgers already sans Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb still suffering through shoulder soreness, there is a sever lack of talent among those catching passes for the Packers. With that supporting cast, Rodgers is doomed for mediocrity yet again.
James White, Patriots, $10,200 – On most weeks, I love the pass-catching back on the New England Patriots. In fact, my infatuation with the role dates all the way back to Kevin Faulk and more recently names like Shane Vereen, Dion Lewis and now James White. However, this is simply a poor matchup for White who will face a Kansas City team that allowed the fourth fewest receptions (70) to the running back (RB) position this season. They also allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to the RB position. When they were beaten by opposing backs it was on the ground as they allowed seven rushing TDs this season which tied for 19th. Coach Bill Belichick is a master of scheming his best players into open space but there are too many other options this week for me to rely on six receptions for a back in a terrible matchup. If rostering a Patriots back, I actually think Brandon Bolden makes more sense but should be left for tournaments only.
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers, $10,900 – Did you see what the Seahawks defense did to Adrian Peterson last week? For the season time this season, the “Legion of Boom” held Peterson to less than 50 rushing yards and less than 90 yards overall. The Vikings offense is nowhere near as balanced as the Carolina Panthers but this is the most difficult possible matchup for Stewart. Sure it looks enticing for a starting back to return at $10,900 to a majority of the carries but a ton has to go right for him to provide value. The Seahawks allowed the fewest fantasy points to the RB position this year by a decent margin (almost two fantasy points per game) but they did allow 86 receptions (middle of the pack). Stewart and the Panthers actually squared off against Seattle in week six and he scored more than 21 fantasy points so people may put some faith into him. However, if it were not for the two TDs, he averaged less than three yards per carry (YPC) and only caught one pass. With David Johnson and possibly Marshawn Lynch playing in the same slate, I’ll happily take other workhorse backs with better matchups as opposed to Stewart his first week back from a foot injury since week 14.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, $12,300 – Larry Fitzgerald was a fantasy monster for the first 13 weeks of the NFL season other than one blip on the radar (a three catch, 39 yard week seven). During that span, he caught less than six passes just twice. Since week 13, Fitzgerald has caught six passes or more in just one of the four games. The Green Bay Packers possess a couple solid corners in Casey Hayward and Sam Shields and one will likely be guarding Fitzgerald at all times. If so, Carson Palmer will continue to spread the ball out to the likes of Michael Floyd and John Brown as well as Fitzgerald. It has been impossible recently to determine which of the receivers is going to get theirs on any given week as both Floyd and Brown scored more fantasy points during the final four weeks of the season than Fitzgerald. Since they can produce like number one wide receivers (WRs) and will face less difficult individual matchups, why not roster Floyd and Brown at cheaper prices instead of Fitzgerald?
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, $14,100 – Okay so admittedly I would not go into the weekend with zero shares of Rob Gronkowski but I think he can faded in tournaments for a multitude of reasons. Number one: Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen are both cheaper and I have them projected for similar point totals. Kelce would emerge as the team’s top target by far if Jeremy Maclin were forced to sit and the Seahawks’ weakness in their defense is against opposing tight ends (TEs). Therefore, you have to like Kelce and Olsen a serious amount. Secondly, Julian Edelman will return this week against a Kansas City team that allowed the ninth most fantasy points to opposing WRs so he could see the most targets of anyone on the team this week. Lastly, and maybe even most importantly, the Kansas City Chiefs allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs of any team this season. Gronkowski is certainly on a different level than most TEs but the Chiefs’ linebackers are the best in the business at covering their pass-catching counterparts. All-in-all Kelce and Olsen just feel like better values, but due to the lack of expensive players to pay up for this week, you could roster two or even three of the elite TEs on FantasyDraft. Gronkowski just would not be my number one choice although, as per usual, he obviously possesses legit upside…because he’s Gronk.