The PFF ultimate DFS guide for Week 14
Maybe you didn’t make the playoffs in your season-long league. Or heck, maybe you did. Either way, daily fantasy is still sitting there, just asking you to play, beckoning you with the chance at quick money.
There’s no sense in ignoring it. If you play season-long, you already have the knowledge base necessary to at least dabble in DFS. Our role is to take you from dabbler to profiter, and part of that role is this, our weekly DFS guide. Each week, our group of the best minds in DFS offer some of their top advice, and we summarize that advice here.
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Below, you’ll find our weekly video on DFS anchor plays, followed by a quick-hit trip through our Week 14 advice. Click through to find the writers’ full arguments, and check the bottom for a look at our other top Week 14 DFS advice. Thanks for reading, and good luck this week.
Contrarian plays (Scott Barrett)
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Brees’ ownership figures to be down this week after his poor Week 13. This week, he faces a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed several big QB performances this year, and Brees getting back on track in this game would make sense.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: Manning has 14 passing touchdowns in the past five weeks, two more than any other quarterback. This week, his Dallas opponent ranks fourth-worst in passer rating allowed. Pair him with Odell Beckham Jr. and watch the points come in.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Rawls put up the most rushing yards against the Carolina Panthers of any player all season last week, and now gets a crumbling Packers run defense in a bad-weather game that could mean Seattle will lean hard on the run.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: Benny Cunningham is likely out this week, which should lead to more attention to Gurley from the Los Angeles offense. Against an Atlanta defense allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs, that could lead to big Gurley numbers.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins: Jackson lines up on the right, meaning he’ll largely draw Philadelphia’s Leodis McKelvin in coverage. McKelvin is giving up the most fantasy points per snap in coverage this year and has been torched several times on the season.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots: Edelman’s three most-targeted games of the season have come in the last three weeks, with Rob Gronkowski ailing and/or sidelined. With the third-highest implied point total of the week and facing a formidable Baltimore run defense, Edelman could see a big target total again.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans: The Broncos famously don’t allow many fantasy points through the air. That said, 25 percent of the total receiving numbers put up against Denver are through the tight end, the fourth-highest total in the year. If you’re going to attack Denver through the air, the tight end is the way to do it, and Walker is still one of the top options.
Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints: Fleener saw his production and snaps decline in recent weeks as co-TE Josh Hill played more, but Hill fractured his fibula a week ago, and Fleener saw his target total and receiving yards jump as a result. Fleener’s upside is high again, with Hill out.
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Bargains of the week (Brandon Marianne Lee)
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: The last time these two teams played one another Dalton threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: The New York Jets allowed four passing touchdowns last week to Andrew Luck. This is a good matchup for Kaepernick to get back to high-end fantasy production.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Cleveland Browns: Griffin is a starting quarterback and priced at the QB minimum on DraftKings. Worth a consideration.
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Since the Indianapolis Week 10 bye, Gore has yet to score a touchdown. Last week he also didn’t even catch one pass. Look for that to change at home against the Texans.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Last year, Rawls averaged 5.6 yards per carry, 3.1 yards after contact. He’s getting back to that and should do well against a banged-up Packers defense.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Crowell’s numbers have been pedestrian as of late, but Cincinnati has given up at least one double-digit fantasy performance to an opposing running back every week since Week 5, regardless of the DFS platform.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: The week prior to his injury, Mathews rushed for over 100 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. He’s back and super cheap.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: The Titans are allowing an average of 185.6 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers, the third most in the league. With Trevor Siemian back under center, Sanders is a very interesting play.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, New England Patriots: Over the last three week Mitchell has 12 total targets and 322 yards and three touchdowns.
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Floyd went over 100 receiving yards in Week 10 and scored a touchdown in Week 13, so there is some upside, especially on FanDuel where he is by far the best deal.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers: Three games in a row with a touchdown. Six or more targets in five of his last six games. Ginn is a boom-or-bust play that priced just right for all your GPP needs.
Dontrelle Inman, WR, San Diego Chargers: Since Week 7, Inman has been targeted at least five times in every outing and he’s scored touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.
Antonio Gates/Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers: Carolina, Detroit and Cleveland have all given up nine touchdowns this season to opposing tight ends, the league-high. Both Gates and Henry scored touchdowns in Weeks 5 and 10.
Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers: From Week 9 to Week 12, McDonald had six or more targets and 50 or more yards in every outing. Last week the Jets gave up three touchdowns to Dwayne Allen. Go back to that well.
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Arizona Cardinals: Gresham has six or more targets in three of his last four outings. He has touchdowns in two of his last four games. And he’s priced as the tight end minimum on every platform.
Fades of the week (Mike Tagliere)
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: This is more about Roethlisberger than his matchup. He turns into an average quarterback on the road, maybe even below average, averaging just 1.1 touchdowns per game over the last three years. On top of that, the weather is also supposed to be pretty bad for this game.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: The only hope Mariota has in this game is running the ball, something he hasn’t done much of this season. The Broncos have allowed just one quarterback to top 15 fantasy points while actually throwing the ball. If Mariota walks out of this game with 18 points, it’s a massive success for the matchup, but not for DFS.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: You can choose any running back in the league to play in DFS, so why play the guy who has a banged-up offensive line, playing against one of the best run defenses in the league? Since their bye in Week 9, the Cardinals haven’t allowed a running back to top 65 yards on the ground. Ajayi will need to score (and maybe two) in order to justify his price. He’s just a contrarian play.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots: The Ravens are the best run defense in the league, bar none. They have allowed just one running back (Matt Forte in Week 7) to score more than 16 PPR points over their last 10 games, and keep in mind that they’ve played against Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott during that span.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Among the 112 wide receivers with at least 20 targets, Moncrief ranks No. 68 in yards per game (39.6) and No. 102 in yards per target (5.9). He’ll match up with Johnathan Joseph (if healthy) and A.J. Bouye, who have allowed just two touchdowns on 115 targets in their coverage.
Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins: After facing off against the best defense against tight ends last week (Cardinals), the Redskins tight ends match up with the second-best defense against tight ends in Week 14. The Eagles are allowing an average of just 2.6 receptions and 27.3 yards per game to tight ends this year, and have allowed just four touchdowns to them.
Player stacks (Dan Schneier)
Kirk Cousins, QB, and DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins
- Cousins is just the 17th-most-expensive QB on FanDuel despite facing a collapsing Eagles defense that ranks just No. 23 in our pass-coverage grade.
- Jackson is just the 45th-most-expensive WR against an Eagles secondary that doesn’t have one cornerback ranked in the top-70 of our individual pass coverage grades.
Eli Manning, QB, and Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
- Manning faces a Cowboys defense with the 30th-best pass-coverage grade. He already threw for three touchdowns against them earlier this season and he has 981 more yards and four more touchdowns at home than on the road in equal games this season.
- The Cowboys play top cornerback Brandon Carr on one side of the field only. The Giants can have Beckham avoid him by lining him up at the right wide receiver position across from struggling Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown. Otherwise, they can hope Beckham just repeat what he did the last time he was at home in primetime and matched up against Carr…
Andy Dalton, QB, and Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
- The Browns have made every quarterback look good this season, including Dalton, who scored more than 20 fantasy points in his first game against the Browns. This one is easy money against a Browns defense that ranks near the bottom of all of our pass defense metrics.
- The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season, but just the 24th-most points per game to opposing wide receivers. Eifert is going to eat.
Locks of the week (Mike Tagliere)
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: The Packers have allowed the third-most fantasy points per pass attempt this year, and they have allowed at least 17.5 fantasy points in each of their last four games, despite playing against Brock Osweiler and Carson Wentz over the last few weeks.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: The Redskins pass-catchers match up extremely well with the Eagles cornerbacks, and the Eagles have now allowed four straight quarterbacks to throw for at least 8.0 yards per attempt. Cousins is one of the hottest quarterbacks in football, while the Eagles are one of the defenses heading in the wrong direction.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: As was the case with Spencer Ware last week, you want to play running backs who see volume against the Falcons, as every running back who has seen at least 17 touches has scored 14.6 or more PPR points. Cross off the brand name and Gurley is a fine play this week.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Some may be scared to play Hilton because of his performance against the Texans earlier in the year when he totaled just three catches for 49 yards, but he didn’t get to match up with PFF’s No. 186 cornerback in that game. He will this time around.
Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Getting a wide receiver like Smith in a primetime matchup is always a good thing, especially when it’s nearing the end of his career, and when he’ll be matched up with Logan Ryan, who has allowed plenty of production to slot wide receivers this year.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: Gates is now just three touchdowns off breaking the all-time touchdown record, but we have just four games left in the season. Fortunately for him, the Panthers have allowed more touchdowns that any other team this year, including one in each of their last three games.
Other Week 14 DFS content
- Optimal Week 14 DraftKings lineup
- Optimal Week 14 FanDuel lineup
- Optimal Week 14 Yahoo lineup
- Week 14 DFS initial thoughts
- FanDuel lineup advice: The best plays of Week 14