Week 14 optimal Yahoo lineup: Don't sleep on the Colts
This is a look at Week 14 in Yahoo DFS. As I will every week, I’ll remind you that it’s important to remember some of the subtle differences between daily fantasy and other types of fantasy football, as well as the differences between the aforementioned DFS game types. Daily fantasy operates under a budget, so the relative value a player offers at his respective price is just as important as his raw statistical production when constructing lineups. As far as cash games vs. tournaments, remember that 50/50s and Double Ups generally have a lower cash line while tournaments will require a unique and high-scoring lineup, so choose the ceilings and floors of your players accordingly.
Here’s my optimal Week 14 tournament lineup on Yahoo’s main slate, which as always includes the Monday night game (an important distinction from the two main sites).
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QB: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts ($31)
As I’ve written before, Yahoo’s pricing algorithm tends to be influenced more by matchups than the two main sites, which can be beneficial to the shrewd DFS player. A top-five quarterback in terms of price on the two main sites, Luck checks in as the 14th-most-expensive signal caller on Yahoo in a week where he gets a Texans’ pass defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. A deeper dive, though, reveals that they have been bottom 12 in that category in the last month, and are particularly appealing this week due to an injury in the secondary I’ll discuss below as it relates to my preferred stacking option with Luck. His discounted price relative to the other sites alone make him an appealing option, but Luck should also be lower owned than normal in a matchup that appears tougher than it actually is.
RB: Matt Forte, New York Jets ($28)
There are good running back matchups, and then there are the 49ers, who have allowed 100 yards and/or a touchdown to at least one (if not two) running back(s) on every single opponent this season save for the hapless Rams in Week 1. They have easily allowed the most fantasy points to the position in the league. In steps Matt Forte with fresh legs coming off a mere nine-carry game against the Colts on Monday night. Forte has pretty much been the definition of boom-or-bust this season; he has six games with greater than 80 yards and four with fewer than 30, with all seven of his touchdowns coming in the games he eclipsed 80 yards. Given the matchup and his light workload last week, I am betting on his Week 14 output residing on the higher end of his outcome spectrum, while his cost offers a nice discount on the top-priced backs.
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RB: Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals ($27)
The Browns aren’t far behind the 49ers in terms of juicy matchups for opposing fantasy backs, as they have allowed the third-highest weekly average Yahoo score to opponents’ running backs. In their last meeting earlier in the season, Hill needed only 9 carries to gain 168 yards (a decent 18.7 YPC) and a touchdown against Cleveland, also chipping in two grabs for 24 yards. Hill is coming off two straight games of sub 2.0 yards per carry (35 combined totes), but is still averaging over 4.0 yards on 170 total carries the season. Recency bias could create a lower-than-expected ownership percentage as a result. I also considered Jordan Howard ($26) here, but I like Hill’s upside and potential ownership better than his in a matchup with a surging Detroit defense.
WR: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts ($24)
Priced as the sixth overall wide receiver on DraftKings and FanDuel, Hilton is merely the 17th-most-expensive receiver on Yahoo. This is likely due to the aforementioned perceived tough matchup with a Houston pass defense that holds the third-lowest average score allowed to opposing fantasy receivers on the season. Over the last four weeks, however, they have slipped to the 11th-highest such average, and now look to be without top corner Johnathan Joseph this week due to injury. Luck and Hilton should be a great combination of low ownership and value this week.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($18)
This selection has as much to do with price as it does having a game correlation stack with Luck and Hilton. Hopkins was on his way to another disappointing outing last week, but salvaged his day late in the fourth quarter against Green Bay with a 44-yard touchdown. Sitting just outside the top 30 in wide receiver scoring, Hopkins has burned so many people this year in seasonal leagues that it’s safe to assume a low ownership percentage in DFS (justifiably so). Still, at this price, I think he and his eight targets per game are good value against a Colts defense that is middling at best against the pass. If Luck and Hilton hit like I think they will, Houston will be playing catchup, which could result in an extremely high volume day for Hopkins, who is priced as just the WR34 on Yahoo.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins ($17)
While many will (jokingly or not) focus on the narrative of Jackson going up against his former team as reason for looking his way this week in DFS, Philadelphia is actually a great matchup for him on paper as well. Over the last four weeks, they have allowed the third-most Yahoo points to opposing wide receiver groups. In those four games alone, they have allowed Julio Jones, Doug Baldwin, Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Brandon Lafell to all eclipse 90 yards while also giving up more than 50 yards to Taylor Gabriel, Tyler Boyd and Cody Core over the same span. With Jordan Reed at decidedly less than 100 percent, Washington is going to need production this week out of Jackson, who over the last three weeks has reeled in nine of 17 targets for 228 yards (25.3 YPR) and two touchdowns. His price is very palatable for his upside here.
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($15)
Ertz is coming off his best game of the season (nine grabs on 13 targets for 79 yards and a score), so don’t expect his ownership percentage to be low, but he offers value as the 12th-most-expensive tight end on Yahoo when he is within the top-eight-priced options at the position on DraftKings and FanDuel. His Week 14 opponent, the Redskins, have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends over the last four weeks following their bye. If you include the game prior to their bye, they have given up a combined 28 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns to Tyler Eifert, Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook, Jason Witten and Jermaine Gresham in those five games.
Flex: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos ($24)
While most still view Demaryius Thomas as Denver’s No. 1 receiver, Sanders quietly has had the second-highest wide receiver market share (percentage of team targets to the position) in the league this season. That includes the sixth-most red-zone targets among all players at any position (16). This week, he faces a Tennessee team that has been lighting up the scoreboard, forcing teams to throw against them. This has resulted in the Titans allowing the second-highest average fantasy points per game to opposing wide receiver groups under Yahoo’s scoring system on the season, and the highest such average in the last four weeks. Keep an eye on Trevor Siemian, who has been practicing this week but still hasn’t been confirmed to play. If he doesn’t, there are several easy pivots in this price range such as Golden Tate and Tyrell Williams.
D/ST: Cincinnati Bengals ($16)
The Bengals defense has been anything but stout of late, but that shouldn’t be a problem against a Cleveland team that thus far has been the second-most-favorable matchup in the league for opposing fantasy defenses, and now is attempting to re-introduce Robert Griffin III back into their lineup for the first time in over two months. They are also priced at a discount on Yahoo as the 10th-most-expensive option when they are top-five in terms of price on DraftKings and the top-priced defense on FanDuel.