FanDuel NFL Week 14 Picks: Stage set for Crabtree
For week 14 of the NFL DFS season, we will continue with a strategy that has worked for the last two weeks. Find cheap RBs that are good matchups and should see significant touches, while loading up on elite WRs that are heavily targeted and are in a good position to perform well.
In all honesty, except for QB Phillip Rivers, my selection of QBs surprised me. When I began my research for the week, I had no expectation of suggesting either QB Josh McCown or QB Eli Manning, but that is why it’s important to do the work.
QB Philip Rivers (LAC $8,100) has averaged two passing TDs per game over the last nine games and has thrown at least one TD in each of those games. Rivers faces the Redskins who have surrendered a fourth highest eight passing TDs in the last four games. Those stats suggest you can almost pencil Rivers in for at least two passing TDs.
QB Josh McCown (NYJ, $7,600) may not be heavily owned because he plays for the Jets and he faces the Broncos. McCown, however, has averaged 300 passing yards game over the last three weeks and has thrown for five TDs. Over the last four weeks, the Broncos dreaded no-fly defense is tied for the league-worst 10 passing TDs allowed.
QB Eli Manning (NYG, $6,000) is a strictly GPP play, but he has something to prove and is in a good position to do it. Over the last four weeks, the Cowboys have allowed the fourth most 1,068 passing yards and a third most nine passing TDs. Manning’s price is based on him being benched last week and not expecting to start this week. Manning was re-installed as the starter when head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired on Monday. The Giants are still missing weapons to predict Manning will have a huge day, but he has an excellent chance of exceeding value against the Cowboys.
As in recent weeks, we can again find cheap RBs in good situations who will receive a healthy amount of touches. Last week we focused on RB Kenyan Drake (MIA) and RB Marshawn Lynch (OAK). Drake cost $5,800 and scored 21.6 FanDuel points, Lynch cost $6,200 and scored 19.1 points.
The strategy is to find RBs who are similarly priced and are in a position to do well. This will leave plenty of money to fill our rosters with elite WRs.
RB Peyton Barber (TB, $5,500) was announced as the lead back shortly before kick off last week against the Packers in replace of Doug Martin (concussion). Barber cared the ball 23 times for 102 yards and added four catches for 43 yards. It currently appears Barber will continue as the lead back role this week against the Lions pours rush defense. Over the last four weeks, Detroit has given up 526 rushing yards and six TDs to RBs, second worst in both categories, according to fantasy.nfl.com.
RB Frank Gore (IND $5,500) is a consideration because of his low price and he is in the best matchup of any RB this week. The Bills have been absolutely atrocious against the run. Over the last four weeks, Buffalo has allowed 628 rushing yards and nine TDs to RBs, by far the worst in both categories. The problem with Gore is that he shares a significant amount of touches with Marlon Mack (IND, $5,400). Therefore it’s easy to believe Gore can exceed value, but despite the matchup not put up a monster game.
RB Latavius Murray (MIN, $6,400) has four TDs in the last four games and has consistently out-touched teammate Jerick McKinnon (MIN, $6,000). Murray didn’t score a TD last week, but he did have 16 carries for 76 yards and three catches for 21 yards. Many will shy away from playing Murray because he faces the Panthers who are perceived as a strong against the run, but in reality have struggled of late. Over the last four weeks, Carolina has given up a fourth highest average of 24.17 fantasy points per game to RBs, which includes four rushing TDs.
RB Alfred Morris (DAL, $6,800) is coming off of his best performance of the year. Morris cared the ball 27 times for 107 and one TD against the Redskins last week. Morris faces the Giants who have been relatively poor against the run all season and is an organization that is shambles.
By spending on WRs and using out three out of this pool, you can likely put together a combination that will combine for 40 or more targets and could exceed 30 catches. Good things usually happen with that many opportunities.
My favorite grouping of the five is Keenan Allen, Michael Crabtree, and A.J. Green.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, $8,600) has been targeted 139 times this year, just two less than target leader Antonio Brown. My exposure to Hopkins will be limited because he faces the 49ers defense which has only allowed 373 receiving yards and two TDs to WRs over the last four weeks.
Keenan Allen (LAC, $8,400) is on a historic run. Over the last three games, Allen has hauled in 33 receptions for 436 yards and four TDs. In doing so, he became the first player in NFL history to have at least 10 catches for 100 plus receiving yards, and at least one TD in three straight games. Allen has averaged 21.5 FanDuel points a game in that span. This week Allen will likely see a fair amount of star Redskins CB Josh Norman, but Allen moves around and Rivers will likely still find a way to get him the ball.
A.J. Green (CIN, $8,3000) is coming off a monster 17 target game where he caught seven passes for 77 yards and two TDs against the Steelers. He also had an apparent 61-yard TD called because of a holding penalty. Green still scored 23.2 FanDuel points, for his second score over 20 points in the last four games. Green faces the Bears who have allowed the second highest 719 passing yards to WRs over the last four weeks and four TDs.
Michael Crabtree (OAK, $7,100) is often a big fantasy producer, but it is often difficult to predict who will be more targeted in a given game between Crabtree and teammate WR Amari Cooper. That does not appear to the case this Sunday. Crabtree will return from a one-game suspension by the NFL and with Cooper (ankle) still not practicing, Crabtree will likely assume the role as the Raiders undisputed lead WR for their game against the Chiefs.
“It’s going to be huge,” Derek Carr said of the return of Crabtree, according to Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Anytime you can get a piece back, it’s nothing against anyone else but those guys are starters for a reason. … It’s no secret: I love throwing him the ball.”
The Chiefs, who have recently struggled against the pass, will be without star CB Marcus Peters (suspension). The combined scenario of not having Cooper to compete for touches, and no Peters to go up against, could lead to a huge day for Crabtree.
Josh Gordon (CLE, $6,700) impressed in the first NFL game in two years. He caught four of 11 targets for 85 yards and looked good doing it. Gordon faces the Packers defense which has allowed 625 yards and five TDs to WRs over the last four weeks.
TE Evan Engram (NYG, $6,600) is coming off a seven reception for 99 yards and a TD performance against the Raiders. He will likely continue to be a target hag against the Cowboys who have given up 198 receiving yards and two TDs to TEs over the last four weeks.
TE Hunter Henry (LAC, $5,600) has 12 receptions for 157 yards and one TD over the last two games. Henry faces the Redskins who have given up a third-worst three passing TDs to TEs over the last four weeks.
TE Stephen Anderson (HOU, $4,500) may be a steal. He has emerged as a starter after the Texans placed C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) on IR. He is coming off a 12 target performance where he caught five passes for 79 yards and a TD. Anderson is in a very favorable matchup this week against the 49ers. Over the last four games, San Francisco has given up 219 receiving yards and three TDs to TEs.
McLellan’s NFL Week 14 Player Pool