Fantasy Football Mailbag: Friday 12/2/16

Is Aaron Rodgers a sneaky daily fantasy play? And can you trust Tom Brady without Rob Gronkowski against tough defenses?

Fantasy football research never stops, and roles change drastically from one week to the next. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Yeah, I love Aaron Rodgers this week as a tournament pivot from Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. The Houston Texans are just 21st in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) from Week 7 on, and Rodgers is pricey enough to divert others (I'm assuming).

As for stacks, I actually think he pairs really well with Jordy Nelson. Nelson has a target market share of 25.7% in his past three games. I also like him with Davante Adams, who is cheaper on FanDuel ($7,400 compared to $6,800), but Adams should be more popular because of the discount. Adams, though, has a target market share of just 15.4% in his past three.

Being concerned about Tom Brady is justified. Without Rob Gronkowski since 2013, Brady has averaged 19.19 fantasy points (five-point touchdowns) in 12 games, according to Rotoviz' Game Splits App. With Gronkowski for 43 games, Brady has averaged 25.14.

Then consider the matchups, like you pointed out, Matt. The Denver Broncos, who Brady plays in Week 15, are easily the toughest pass defense by our metrics, and they are the worst matchup for fantasy passers, per our DFS tools.

Before that, even, he faces the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14. Baltimore is 12th against the pass, per NEP, and 8th against fantasy quarterbacks in points allowed.

Despite this, our projections peg Brady for 22.31 against Baltimore, 20.03 against Denver, and 24.65 against the New York Jets in Week 16. However, his floor is below 12 points against the Ravens and Broncos, based on our confidence intervals.

You won't feel comfortable, but Brady can likely overcome this and flirt with 20 fantasy points per contest, based on his history without Gronkowski and our projections.

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