DFS: FANDUEL WEEK 14, Payup for WRs and TE
The approach for DFS Week 14 is a little different than most. Typically we focus on the top-three RBs in great matchups and then build around them. This week, there is a strong argument to be made for nearly all the elite WRs and TEs, while there appears to value at RB.
As we saw last week with Chiefs RB Spencer Ware, value at RB does not always pay off as much as we project that it should. WRs are also more likely to have an off day than a stud RB who is getting plenty of touches in a plus matchup.
We are still going to try to take advantage of some the cheaper RB plays and focus on elite players elsewhere.
Recent past performances are part of what went into our decision-making to take the approach we did this week. We have reached the point of the season where teams are playing divisional opponents for the second time. By looking back on the first matchup, we can get an idea of what the game plan may be or this time around.
QB Deshaun Watson (HOU, $7,800 on FanDuel) completed 29 of 43 passes for 375 passing yards and two TDs against the Colts in Indianapolis in Week 4. Watson also rushed for 41 rushing yards and TD in the game and he scored a massive 32.1 FanDuel points. The Colts have allowed a second worst 72.0 completion percentage. Watson projected ceiling on FantasyPros is 31.9 points, which is slightly higher than Drew Brees (NO, $8,500, 31.8 projected ceiling), but at a much cheaper price.
RB/Flex: It’s very tough, and may prove unwise, to not take the virtual guarantee of high production by stacking up on elite RBs. To not play RB Christian McCaffrey (CAR, $9,100) is worrisome because he has practically become the entire Panthers offense.
The choice to combine Saints RB Alvin Kamara with two cheap RBs was made because Kamara appears to be at a discount considering his matchup, and the two extremely low-priced RBs chosen are in extremely prime matchups while poised to see plenty of work which should lead to them easily securing value.
RB Alvin Kamara (NO, $8,300) has the highest projected ceiling (27.9 points) of all RBs in the Main Slate on Fantasy Pros. That’s probably because Kamara faces a Bucs team that has been dismal at stopping the run of late.
“The Bucs are a team they should absolutely dominate on the ground,” Mike Tagliere wrote in his weekly column The Primer for FantasyPros. “They’ve allowed 705 yards on 124 carries (5.69 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns on the ground, and then another 252 yards and two touchdowns over the last six games. That amounts to 181.7 PPR points, or 30.3 per game, which essentially allows for two top-12 running backs. That’s their average over the last six games against the Panthers (twice), 49ers, Giants, Redskins, and Bengals run-games. Those teams pale in comparison to the Saints running backs. Kamara should be played like an elite RB1 who should be in the driver’s seat.”
RB Jaylen Samuels (PIT, $4,600) will get the start against the Raiders who are second to last against the run with 153.2 yards a game allowed. Samuels said on Wednesday that he will be in a timeshare with RB Stevan Ridley (PIT, $4,500), but there should be plenty of work to go around for Samuels to make value as is he is a threat as a pass-catcher, and will likely see the bulk of the RB touches for the Steelers.
RB Justin Jackson (LAC, $4,500) saw more work than perhaps many expected with Melvin Gordon (knee) out last week. Jackson carried the ball eight times for 63 yards and a TD, plus he had a catch for 19 yards against the Steelers. Jackson will likely continue to see a decent workload against the Bengals who have the worst run defense because the 1,840 yards rushing they have allowed is one more yard than Raiders have surrendered. The Chargers are favored by 14 points in this game, so there is a good chance Jackson will be eating carries and clock come the fourth quarter.
WR – This position is difficult because there is a strong case to be made for all the elite WRs which comprise the nine most expensive. This especially holds true for the top-five: Antonio Brown (PIT, $8,800), Davante Adams (GB, $8,700), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, $8,600), Julio Jones (ATL, $8,400), and WR Michael Thomas (NO, $8,300).
For the Main Slate, we went with Hopkins and Thomas because they are facing defenses that allow the two highest reception rates and have had great performances against the same opponent this year.
There is nothing wrong with diversifying your lineups and using Browns, Adams, and Jones. They all have great CB matchups and should have big days.
WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, $8,600) is the obvious stack with Watson. Hopkins caught 10 of 13 targets for 169 yards and TD against the Colts in Week 4. Hopkins has posted at least 74 yards and/or a TD in every game this year. If Watson has a good day, so well Hopkins.
WR Michael Thomas (NO, $8,300) will likely play many more years the NFL, yet he may never have a game again that saw as much volume as he did against the Buccaneers to start the season. In Week 1, Thomas caught an astonishing 16 of 17 passes for 180 yards and a TD. The Bucs defensive woes against the pass have continued all season. Tampa Bay has allowed a league-worst 72.4 completion percentage and second-worst 28 receiving TDs.
WR Courtland Sutton (DEN, $5,600) has been thrust into the number one receiving option in Denver with teammate WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) being placed on IR this week. Sutton has an excellent matchup against 49ers CB Akhello Witherspoon.
“Sutton, at this point, has the chemistry with Case Keenum, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sutton receive 10 targets against Witherspoon,” Mike Woellert wrote in his weekly WR vs. CB Matchup Analysis at 4 for 4. “He’s yielding 1.91 fantasy points per target and is allowing 13.1 yards per reception.”
TE Zach Ertz (PHI, $7,400) caught 14 of 16 passes for 145 and two TDs against the Cowboys in Week 10. It was his best performance of the year. While we can’t expect Ertz to duplicate this performance, he may be half as good and would still be a fine day.
The Chargers Defense ($4,600) faces and Bengals team that is missing QB Andy Dalton (thumb) and WR A.J. Green (toe) who have both been placed on IR in recent weeks. Only five teams have scored more than 20 points against the Chargers, and without Dalton and Green it does not look the Bengals will add to that list as they are only projected to score 17. The Chargers defense has improved in recent weeks with the return of DE Joey Bosa who had has three sacks in the last two games. With the Chargers favored by 14 points, the defense makes for a nice stack with RB Justin Jackson as game script should see him with plenty of touches late to run out the clock.
Dan McLellan’s Main Slate and Sunday Million Lineup:
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