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Daily Fantasy Football Optimal Lineup
Daily Fantasy Football QB Pick: Geno Smith vs. Carolina Panthers ($6,200)
How. Is. This. Possible? Smith has scored 20 or more fantasy football points in his last four games and yet there are still 10 quarterbacks listed at a higher price. It makes zero sense for a quarterback who legitimately should be considered an NFL MVP candidate. Even if you consider this a flash in the pan still (for some reason), this matchup alone allows for enough optimism to justify this is a great pickup for your DFS team.
The Carolina Panthers have only allowed two quarterbacks over their last three matchups below 18 points. Those quarterbacks were Lamar Jackson who is having an inconsistent-at-best year as a passer and Marcus Mariota, who is now benched in favor of Desmond Ridder. There is very little reason to note that Smith has only thrown two interceptions at home this year.
Other QB Options: Tua Tagovailoa vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($6,800), Jared Goff vs. Minnesota Vikings ($5,600)
Daily Fantasy Football RB Pick: Derrick Henry vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,900)
In every article, there will be one player worth doling out the big money for. This was an easy pick. Unquestionably, this drop in price is justifiable given Henry’s recent struggles. Despite a decently good amount of use, Henry hasn’t topped three yards a carry in the last two weeks, particularly glaring in Week 13 in which he finished with 5.8 points against the Eagles.
However, the week before that, Henry still managed to score 14 fantasy football points despite only putting up 38 rushing yards. Yes, it was because of one particular long reception but that proves my exact point. Henry’s usage rate is so high in every aspect of this offense that even when he’s not doing well, he still has the potential to benefit you. Top this with the fact that the Jaguars are currently ranked as the 22nd-run defense in the league, I think this is the perfect bounce-back opportunity for Henry to remind people how dominant he can really be.
Oh, he’s also the third-most expensive running back despite being a higher scorer than one of the players above him.
Other RB Options: Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($5,500), D’Andre Swift vs. Minnesota Vikings ($5,800)
Daily Fantasy Football WR Pick: Chris Godwin vs. San Francisco 49ers ($6,700)
Death, taxes, and the San Francisco 49ers having a struggling secondary. Despite a strong start to the season, the Niners’ secondary has fallen to the 23rd-ranked defense against opposing receivers. This is excellent news for Chris Godwin, who is experiencing a late-season resurgence akin to his 2021 self.
I know it seems hard to trust anyone from the Buccaneers’ offense but stick with me here. Godwin has seen an absolutely insane 26 targets over the last two games including a 30-point performance against the Browns and a 14-point game against the Saints. The latter would’ve been 20 points had a late-game penalty not called back the initial Tom Brady clutch touchdown. It’s also important to note the 49ers have given up 20+ points to opposing receivers in three of their last four games, including 40 points against Miami.
Other WR Options: Isaiah McKenzie vs. New York Jets ($4,200), Marquise Brown vs. New England Patriots ($5,100)
Daily Fantasy Football TE Pick: Hunter Henry vs. Arizona Cardinals ($3,200)
Without a doubt, this is the riskiest pick in this article but there is a logic behind it. Henry has proven himself to be one of Mac Jones’ favorite targets, garnering 10 targets over their last two games. In one of those, he put up 15 points, in the other he scored three. What makes me so confident that this will be more of a reminder of the former is purely based on the matchup.
Henry is largely a touchdown-dependent tight end and this is a game where his scoring is as close to a certainty as it has been all season. The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 20 fantasy football points a game to opposing tight ends. This is shockingly bad. Not to mention the Patriots will likely be passing the ball often to keep up with a better offense, providing more opportunities for Henry to benefit from.
Other TE Options: David Njoku vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($3,900), Evan Engram vs. Tennessee Titans ($3,300)
Daily Fantasy Football FLEX Pick: Tony Pollard vs. Houston Texans ($6,700)
The Cowboys may be good but that still doesn’t mean Mike McCarthy is the reason why. Dallas’ running game strategy remains one of the most puzzling debacles of fantasy football during the 2022 NFL season. Tony Pollard saw five fewer carries than Ezekiel Elliott yet still managed to gain more yards and continue his hot streak over the last few weeks.
So while it may be unnerving to continue to trust Pollard in this role, he is still producing at an RB1 level with an RB2 price. The Houston Texans have the absolute worst run defense in the NFL and with Pollard being, both a legitimate threat both on the ground and the air, the potential is there. Pollard certainly carries more risk than some at this price but the reward potential offsets that.
Other FLEX Options: Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Arizona Cardinals ($6,600), Jerry Jeudy vs. Kansas City Chiefs ($5,400)
Daily Fantasy Football D/ST Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers ($2,900)
While Brock Purdy’s surprise takeover of the 49ers’ offense against the Dolphins led to a surprising upset, it’s hard to imagine that they can maintain that level of success. With a week of preparation against the rookie quarterback, it isn’t hard to imagine that a Buccaneers defense that undoubtedly has been underperforming but still has a lot of talent can help Tampa Bay pull off this upset. If you’re looking for a cheaper but safer risk to take, this is probably your best bet to do just that.
Other D/ST Options: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos ($3,900), Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens ($2,800)