Philip Rivers – Again, we’re treading back to the intro, but Rivers feels like the best value of the week at QB. Those offense vs. defense averages mentioned above predict Rivers will be the QB2 this week. He’s also the cheapest starting quarterback of the week at FanDuel ($8,000). The stats also say the Chargers passing offense has the best probability of scoring at least eight fantasy points this week – yes, an even better ranking than the Broncos.
Drew Brees and Tom Brady – If you play multiple lineups, you’re going to want more than just the Alpha and the Omega. I put Brady in a handful of my early lineups. He’s got a good mid-range price. Vegas likes the Patriots to score 4 TDs (30 points) and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady gets all four. New Orleans is slated to score the least amount of points this week, just under 3 TDs. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Brees throw for three. And, as my friend and former co-worker Damian said earlier this week, everybody else is going to look at last week’s performance and fade him.
*I’m not giving you a quarterback to avoid. The numbers all said to avoid Andrew Luck and Alex Smith last week. Everything is possible in the NFL playoffs.
Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount – I hate to put too much stock in any New England player not named Tom Brady. Bill Belichick hates us. But, based on the numbers, the Patriots should be able to run all over the Colts this week. There’s a beware of misuse sign here, but also a chance for a fantasy explosion.
Frank Gore – It’s a bad matchup for Gore, but Vegas thinks the San Francisco-Carolina game will be a close, low-scoring affair. That mean’s neither team should have to abandon the run. Bonus: Only LeVeon Bell averaged more red zone rushes per game than Gore during the regular season. Per game, Gore averages 3.56 carries, 10.06 yards and 0.50 touchdowns per game in the red zone. The 49ers are projected to score about 3 TDs.