On Sunday this weekend, we get the defending NFC champs to take on the 15 – 1 Panthers this weekend. Carolina comes in playing some of the best ball of the season, the lone exception was an unexpected loss to Atlanta in week 16. Aside from that game, Cam Newton has been by far the best QB for daily fantasy over the past 5 games and Wilson is right behind him. If you take out the Minnesota game, he was over 23 points in 6 straight games. The last game of the weekend is the Broncos against the Steelers. Ordinarily this would be a great matchup and their first go around was very competitive with a story of two halves but with Antonio Brown officially out this weekend and Big Ben unlikely to play, this could be a beat down for the Broncos as they look to move onto the AFC Championship.
Seattle @ Carolina
This game opened with Carolina being a 2.5 point favorite and now has been bet down all the way to a pickem’ game. That usually would indicate that you should take Carolina in the game. They are at home where they didn’t lose all season and they did beat Seattle back in week 6. The Seahawks have really turned it around since that game and that is why these two will put it down this weekend. From a fantasy perspective, these teams have probably filled your daily fantasy lineups down the stretch but against each other this is a difficult matchup. Both teams are known for their defense while their offensive games have played a huge role in getting each of these teams to the divisional round this season. Cam Newton will be the MVP of the league this year and Wilson would be in that category if he had played as well as he has the last 11 weeks during the first few games of the season going for 25 TD’s and 2 Int’s over that stretch. It should be noted that DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with Seattle accomplishing nothing on offense and only putting up 9 points while Carolina goes for their home average of 27 points. Personally, I like Seattle outright in this game but low scoring with Seattle scoring late to win 16 – 13. Now checkout the player analysis we have completed for you.
Seattle Notable Player Breakdown
- Russell Wilson – Has only averaged 19.9 fantasy points on the road this season and put up 18.94 in their last game against the Panthers. His hot streak however, quite different, he has put up at least 21 fantasy points in 5 of 6 and the one he didn’t was last week in the freezing cold up in Minnesota.
- Marshawn Lynch – He is expected to go this weekend but do you really know what you are going to get. We all expect a big performance but he is an older back, coming off abdominal surgery and the Carolina rush defense was 6th overall this season. He did average 14.5 fantasy points on the road prior to his injury, I’m saying to stay away this weekend.
- Doug Baldwin – He averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game on the road but only scored 5.3 against the Panthers earlier this season. His hot streak, over his last 5 games he has averaged 21.26 fantasy points, including a huge dud against the Rams in week 16. He has had at least 20 fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 games.
- Tyler Lockett – His road average was 11.8 points and DNP against Carolina early in the season. He has been at 13 over his last 5 but that includes a 31 point performance 5 weeks ago and since then he has been under 6 fantasy points in 3 straight games.
- Seattle Defense – On the road they averaged 11.2 fantasy points and put up 7.0 points against Carolina last time around. They have been under that road average over their last 5 games, coming in at 9.2 during that span but never scored more than 15 all season.
Carolina Notable Player Breakdown
- Cam Newton – Has averaged 27.5 fantasy points per game at home, this is the highest in the league this season. He did manage 21.76 against the Seahawks last time around and has been at 31.9 points over his last 5 games. In fact, Newton has only gone under 20 fantasy points 2 times since week 7.
- Jonathon Stewart – He averaged 12.4 fantasy points at home and did put up 21.6 against Seattle back in week 6. He has also increased his workload prior to his injury, over his last 5 games he averaged 16.48 fantasy points. His hot streak status is that he has had at least 10 fantasy points in every game since week 9.
- Ted Ginn Jr. – Prior to his injury he averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game at home but only managed 2.8 points against the Seattle secondary in their last meeting. Ginn was one of the hottest, still cheap value plays prior to his injury, going for over 25 fantasy points in 3 straight games.
- Greg Olsen – The most consistent player for the Panthers until week 16 this season, he averaged 15.2 points per game at home and had his 2nd best performance 29.1 fantasy points but only 12.72 in his last 5. His in on a cold streak and this is believed to be directly related to his injury against the Falcons and has only gone over 10 one time over the last 4 games.
- Carolina Defense – Averaged 10.8 fantasy points at home but only 4.0 against Seattle last time around. Their last 5 game average has been 8.6 points but they only went over 10 fantasy points 6 times all season.
Overall, what this really means is taking Cam Newton should be a solid chalk play but due to price, having Palmer is better play on DraftKings but on FanDuel, taking Newton make a ton of sense. Beyond that it really comes down to Doug Baldwin and Greg Olsen. Both should have solid days but neither will go for more than 22 fantasy points this weekend. That said, those numbers were good enough to win and this might be able to get it done with that level of points as well.
Pittsburgh @ Denver
This game is going to turn out to be the worst game of the weekend and that is simply because of all of the injuries to the Steelers. 5 weeks ago, they might have been the favorite to take down the AFC with the Broncos QB situation, Bengals QB situation and all of the other injuries to the Patriots but now when it is time to play, Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams are out with Big Ben listed as questionable. This will be the first time that a playoff team will play a game without their leading runner and wide receiver in the history of the NFL. Big Ben will most likely be a GTD as it will come down to the medication he is able to inject in his shoulder and how much pain he will have to tolerate. The good news for Broncos fans is that if Big Ben does play, you know he won’t be able to throw it more than 20 yards down field so the Denver defense is in play. Now for the player stats:
Pittsburgh Notable Players Breakdown
- Ben Roethlisberger – If he plays here are some stats to consider, he only averaged 16.4 points per game on the road, this is 9.3 points less than his home average. He did produce 27.9 against Denver in their last meeting but has only averaged 17.44 over his last 5 games.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint – He did produce 15.88 points last week and did get 4 catches. If Big Ben can’t go then Toussaint is a very strong play simply because of what he represents in the check down game.
- Martavis Bryant – With Brown out you would think that he would be the guy but what that really means is that he will be covered by one of the top 5 corners in the game today. He has only averaged 11.2 fantasy points on the road this season and only 10.4 over his last 5 games. Look for him to be a boom or more likely bust play this weekend.
- Markus Wheaton – Now here is the guy that will reap the benefits of not having Brown in the lineup. He has produced 11.7 fantasy points per game on the road and did manage 18.2 against Denver last time around. Look for most of the targets to come his way in the short passing game as that is what Big Ben will have to manage, assuming he plays.
- Pittsburgh Defense – They managed 8.4 fantasy points on the road but only 6.0 points against Denver last time around when Brock torched them in the first half. That said, they have managed to average 15.5 fantasy points over their last two games and with Manning playing in colder weather, the chance of turnovers is a very high likelihood.
Denver Notable Players Breakdown
- Peyton Manning – Talk about terrible stats, only 6.4 fantasy points per game at home this season and 2.56 in the 2nd half against the Chargers in his last game. Prior to that he put up a negative 3 spot against the Chiefs so stat wise, you have no reason to take Manning based on his performance this season. However, the Steelers secondardy finished 31st against the WR position in terms of fantasy points per game and Sanders with Thomas are a dynamic duo that could produce well for Manning this Sunday.
- CJ Anderson – He finished the season with a 14.5 fantasy points per game at home this year, this is 8.5 points better than on the road but only produced 3.0 points last time around.
- Ronnie Hillman – Just like Anderson, Hillman also outperformed his road performance this season by over 8.5 points per game, finishing with a home average of 14.7 fantasy points per game. He too only put up 3.8 fantasy points against the Steelers last time around but has gone for 34.9 in his last 2 games.
- Emmanuel Sanders – He averaged only 10.3 fantasy points at home which was -12.0 fantasy points per game compared to his road average but that is because he put up a season high 39.5 fantasy points against the Steelers last time around. He has also averaged 13.9 over his last 3 since coming back from injury.
- Demaryius Thomas – Plain and simple, he is the most consistent player for Denver from a fantasy perspective, averaging 16.9 points at home and only went under 11 points 1 time all season. He did put up a nice effort with 23.1 points against the Steelers last time around.
- Denver Defense – This was the play each and every week for the first 5 weeks of the season but their ability to score on defense has since declined dramatically. In fact they have gone over 10 points only once since week 6 and only averaged 7.4 fantasy points at home this season. That all being said, considering the injuries of the Steelers, this is probably the most likely play at defense this week.
DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with Denver winning 29.95 – 16.8. That is a pretty likely outcome considering the information that we have just gone through and yardage wise, a huge difference in favor of Denver as well. The chalk plays in this one would really only be Thomas and so value plays are going to be Wheaton and Sanders with CJ Anderson and the Denver Defense being strong Sleeper considerations.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow before you set your lineups for this weekend as we will reveal our expert’s lineups for this weekend!
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