Nothing says Christmas time like football! This year, we have a 12-game slate dialed up for Christmas Eve, all played on Saturday. That slate will be the focus of this column. I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer than some great value plays, so let’s get right into it. Merry Christmas!
Blake Bortles vs. Titans, $5,300
Bortles is #bad, but this is one defense he should actually be able to handle. His best game of the season came at Tennessee earlier this year, passing for 337 yards and three touchdowns. The Titans have continually been abused by signal-callers, allowing six 300-yard passers in their last nine games. Only Alex Smith in freezing cold temperatures failed to pass for 300 yards or two touchdowns against them over that span. This is a terrible defense and one that Bortles should be able to exploit for a big day.
Tom Savage vs. Bengals, $4,900
It doesn’t get much cheaper than this, and I think Savage is going to end up making for a great play in the final game of the slate. He passed for 260 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions in less than a full game of play against the Jags, who are a solid pass defense, and he will be the starter in Week 16. Cincy has allowed a shade over 250 yards and 1.5 touchdowns passing per game this year, and that’s really all we need from Savage at this price.
Todd Gurley vs. 49ers, $4,900
Listen, I get it. It’s Todd Gurley. The same guy you probably took in the first round of fantasy drafts only to bust. The same guy who you’ve convinced yourself was a good DFS play week after week only to see him not pan out. The same guy who has a rookie quarterback running his offense and may never be the same again after experiencing this:
But this is a 49ers run defense that has been by far the worst in the league this season from a fantasy perspective. They have allowed 11 different 100 yard rushers on the year, along with 22 rushing touchdowns. It’s a dream spot for Gurley and one he should definitely be able to take advantage of. He should especially see a lot of work with Benny Cunningham out for the year.
Dion Lewis vs. Jets, $4,600
This seems to be really cheap for someone who was an RB1 last season and is coming off of the heaviest workload of his career against the Broncos. The Jets are a stout run defense but struggle most with players of Lewis’ skillset who can beat them in the passing game. It’s possible that the Pats give Lewis a bit of a rest with this not being a super important game for them, but for $300 less than LeGarrette Blount, I think he’s worth the risk. New England has an implied team total of 30 points in this contest.
Malcolm Mitchell vs. Jets, $4,400
If I had a dollar for every wide receiver on the Patriots better than Mitchell, I would have exactly zero dollars. The rookie has been outstanding, averaging 4.4 receptions for 55.4 yards and 0.8 touchdowns over his last five games, including a matchup with the Denver Broncos. He has at least 12 Fantasy Aces points in his last four games against teams other than the Broncos, and he posted two touchdowns when the Jets and Patriots met earlier this year. Mitchell played by far the most snaps of any Patriot wideout on Sunday and is simply too cheap.
Robby Anderson at Patriots, $4,250
Anderson is the most reliable target for the Jets for as long as Bryce Petty is under center, and he showed it again on Saturday, going for 80 yards and a touchdown. That marks the third straight game Anderson has exceeded 14 Fantasy Aces points, and it is clear that he and Petty have a connection. In a game the Jets will almost certainly be trailing, I feel pretty strongly about Anderson seeing double-digit targets. For this price that’s a steal.
Coby Fleener vs. Buccaneers, $3,900
Fleener has been much better at home this season if we take a look at the RotoViz Game Splits App.
Fleener is also assisted by the injury to Josh Hill, whose absence should allow him to see a majority of the snaps at tight end for the Saints. This game with the Bucs already has a projected total of 52.5, second-highest of the week.
Garrett Celek at Rams, $3,000
Celek is the best pure value at the position on the board. He saw six targets last week against the Falcons, with Vance McDonald out for the year, catching two of them for 22 yards and a touchdown. That obviously doesn’t sound like much, but at this price that is over 3x value. The 49ers are currently four-point underdogs and should do enough passing for Celek to be involved plenty.
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