FanDuel Market Watch: Conference Championship Round
Let’s take a look at notable salary changes as we head into Conference Championship Round of the NFL playoffs.
Matt Ryan (ATL): $9,200 vs. GB (+$900)
Ryan’s price spiked after a 25.22 FDP outing against the Seahawks last weekend, and he could be looking at an even bigger performance this week. The projected total of this game sits at a whopping 60 points right now, and this is a good matchup for Ryan to continue his MVP-caliber season.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): $8,000 @ NE (-$100)
Roethlisberger failed to score more than 10 FDP against the Chiefs, but I don’t think we’ll see a repeat performance this weekend. His salary dropped just $100 after that outing, which suggests that the minuscule drop is related to the upcoming matchup. I think the Steelers will need to throw the ball in an effort to keep up with the Patriots, thus making Roethlisberger a fine tournament play this week.
Dion Lewis (NE): $7,000 vs. PIT (+$1,600)
Lewis’ salary rose the most among all positions this week, as he turned in a 23.4 FDP performance against a tough defense. Lewis stepped up as the Patriots limited LeGarrette Blount’s touches, who was coming off an illness during the week. I expect the workload to even back out against the Steelers, so I would be careful chasing points with Lewis this weekend.
Le’Veon Bell (PIT): $9,500 @ NE (-$400)
Well, FanDuel decided to drop Bell’s price yet again, despite amassing 170 rushing yards on 30 carries last week. He is an integral part of this offense regardless of the opponent, and his ability to contribute in the passing game gives him a high floor. Take the discount yet again, but know that he will be extremely popular this week.
Taylor Gabriel (ATL): $6,000 vs. GB (+$500)/Mohamed Sanu (ATL): $5,800 vs. GB (+$400)
Keep an eye on the status of Julio Jones, as it sounds like he is dealing with a toe injury that kept him out of action late in the regular season. Even if he does play, he could wind up limited, thus opening the door for both of these players to see targets. Neither of these receivers put up a breathtaking line last weekend, so the rise in salary is likely due to their modest output as well as Jones’ injury status leading up to this weekend.
Antonio Brown (PIT): $8,400 @ NE (-$400)
The Steelers couldn’t find the end zone on offense, but Brown still saw a lot of targets (11) while converting six of those into catches for 108 yards. As I noted earlier, the matchup is less than desirable, but Pittsburgh could be forced to throw a lot in an effort to keep up with the Patriots, thus increasing the likelihood that Brown is heavily involved in this game.
Jared Cook (GB): $6,400 @ ATL (+$1,000)
A $1,000 price increase is tough to swallow at any position, but at tight end it’s incredibly difficult. Toss in the inconsistent nature of Cook’s production, and you have a situation where it might be prudent to play the fade. The salary increase was definitely a result of Cook’s performance against the Cowboys, but he can disappear at times, and Aaron Rodgers tends to spread the ball around to his receivers. These factors, coupled with the likelihood that people chase points, and a potential return of Jordy Nelson, might lead me to look elsewhere.
Martellus Bennett (NE): $5,500 vs. PIT (-$400)
Despite being on the field for 64 of the Patriots’ 69 offensive snaps, Bennett caught just one pass on four targets for four yards last week against the Texans. This caused his salary to drop heading into a showdown with the Steelers, and it might be a good buying opportunity. There’s risk involved here, as he could easily replicate last weekend’s dud, but he also has multiple-touchdown upside when the Patriots get inside the red zone.