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Four-Down Duel: Backing Brady

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.


Iím going to scratch my normal format this weekend and just come up with one lineup since there are only two games. If you go in and try out different lineups, youíll see this weekend is very tough to figure out a good lineup. My thought process heading into this weekís column was to back as much of the AFC game as I could. So hereís the lineup Iíll be using this weekend.

Tom Brady, NE, $8700 Ė Iím tempted to go with Manning ($11,000) here, but I think Brady is going to have to throw a lot if Manning earns that value. The Patriots have been running the ball a lot lately, but if they get behind itís easy to see a scenario where Brady throws it close to 50 times. Weeks 12-15 (including the game against Denver) he threw for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns in each game. Granted, the loss of Rob Gronkowski hurts, but weíve seen Julian Edelman emerge as his go-to guy. Considering Colin Kaepernick ($8,900) is more expensive, Iíll take my chances with Brady.

Knowshon Moreno, DEN, $8900 Ė Moreno has turned into a workhorse this season and had 24 touches against the Chargers. Heís been very consistent in this offense and if youíre not going to take Peyton Manning, it makes some sense to take Moreno. As I said earlier, Iím going to play as many players as possible in this game considering the NFC Championship game should be a defensive struggle.

Julius Thomas, DEN, $6800 Ė Iím going with Thomas here since it seems like thereís two tight end options this week Ė Thomas or Vernon Davis. In the two games against Seattle this season, Davis had 20 and 21 receiving yards. New England should be spread out trying to slow down the Broncosí wide receivers, which will leave the middle of the field open for Thomas. I donít see any of the Patriotsí linebackers being able to cover him.

Julian Edelman, NE, $7200 Ė Iím not purposely pairing him with Brady here; for his price being the teamís most targeted wide receiver just makes sense. Edelman has now caught at least six passes, 64 receiving yards and nine targets over his last seven contests. This season against the Broncos, Edelman had nine catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Iím also sold on him since heís cheaper than any of the three Broncosí wide receivers, one of whom always seems to post a dud.

Montee Ball, DEN, $5000 Ė I need to find some value somewhere and I think the play here is to take all of the Denver backfield. Ball is only $500 more than the cheapest running back and guys like Marshawn Lynch ($9900) and Frank Gore ($7300) might have a tough time running on the defense. Lynch averaged 3.5 and 3.6 yards per carry in his two games against San Francisco while Gore had a nine-carry, 16-yard dud against Seattle in their Week 3 meeting.

Danny Amendola, NE, $6400 Ė This week is really tough as there arenít many obvious values. I have to go with Amendola here to fit my budget, but heís a good fit since Brady is my quarterback. Vegas had Bradyís passing yards for the over/under at 269.5, and with Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins both looking iffy, I expect Brady to focus on Amendola and Edelman.

Doug Baldwin, SEA, $4900 Ė He fits my budget and had a 51-yard grab against the 49ers earlier this season. I donít love this play, but if Iím going to trot out the rest of my lineup, I have to go cheap somewhere and this is my discount spot.

Matt Prater, DEN, $5800 Ė Itís hard to imagine a scenario where the Broncos donít put up points Sunday. Prater is only $400 more than the lowest-priced kicker, and he gets the friendly confines of the thin air at home. Thatís enough for me.

Seattle Defense, $6200 Ė I donít want any part of the Denver or New England defenses this week considering all of the injuries both units have endured this season. Seattle is only $300 more than San Francisco, and with home field advantage, the Seahawks should at least be good for a few sacks.

Thatís going to be it for this season. Look for my FanDuel column to come back once baseball season gets under way. Hope everyone had fun and made a few bucks off reading this every week.