Collin Hulbert is back with another week of picks to help you fill out your Week 14 lineups.
Week 13 was our worst performance of the year, by far. Only one of three DFS lineups cashed, and the average score was 112. By the 120-point mark rule, it was a sub-par week. First off, we had a great run. Aside from Week 11, every other week has yielded winning picks. As I mentioned in the post last week, Phillip Lindsay made the “Fill-in, Honorable mention”. With the late-week development in the Kareem Hunt saga, I plugged Lindsay in for Hunt in one lineup, and finished with 128. The other two lineups only averaged 104.
What happened during Week 13?
The picks last week lacked the several booming performances we’ve grown accustomed to. Matt Breida was injured in pre-game, which really ruined a game ripe for an opportunity as Jeff Wilson took the majority of touches in the game and racked up 134 total yards. From our Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston led with 23 points while Watson (16) and Jackson (17) had decent outings. Jared Goff laid an egg. I was extremely shocked he struggled so much coming off the bye, but it’s worth noting the last time the Rams had a week off (healthy scratch) prior to a game, they had an even worse performance (2018 Wildcard vs Falcons). If you made that connection and avoided Goff, congrats to you, because no one thought Goff was a bad start in Week 13.
The running backs were a bright spot for us last week. Phillip Lindsay (28) edged McCaffrey (27) for the top spot, while Aaron Jones (13) found the end zone, but not much more. The receiver picks in Week 13 were about as flat as they’ve been all season with Hopkins (13) being an underperformer on the week. Woods was our top performer with 16, but JuJu came back to earth with a very disappointing 8 points.
Ertz (13) led our tight end picks, while Cameron Brate only managed 5. Matt Lacosse was held scoreless. Granted, he was going for almost nothing, it’s still disappointing from a guy who did so much just a week prior. Our defenses all performed well, which was highlighted by a 14 point performance from the Denver Broncos. The Rams (9) did not disappoint, and the Chiefs still managed 8 despite allowing the Raiders to somehow score over 30 points.
A look ahead to Week 14
There have been a number of late-season injuries, and it’s imperative you jump in and get value through the backups to those players. Week 14 features a number of Flex plays worthy of consideration for lineup fills. The floors for such players will undoubtedly be higher than the #2 and #3 receivers you’ll be sifting through, who can just as easily get zero points as they can get 20. We are going receiver-heavy this week as a result. To maximize value in DFS, it’s crucial to exploit the weaknesses in pricing. This week, the value at running back is immense. Therefore, we are going after the slam-dunk receivers and filling-in the rest of our lineups with value plays.
One Honorable mention that didn’t quite make the cut this week to fill-in your roster: TY Hilton He is cheaper elite receiving option in a high scoring matchup. If you can’t afford one of the big dogs this week, Hilton is a good buy in that second-tier price range.
Have a great Week 14.
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Ben Roethlisberger (DK-$6,800/FD-$8,600)
Let’s start this week off right. Big Ben is back in our picks after a brief hiatus. He’s traveling to Oakland to face a Raiders team who kept pace with the Chiefs last week. Ben’s line in Vegas is 340 yards passing and 3.5 touchdowns. Folks, it doesn’t get much better than that. The Steelers feature a running back who is averaging 13 carries per game over the past four weeks. With the absence of James Conner this week, don’t expect Samuels or Ridley to just pick up the slack.
The Steelers, on multiple occasions, have pivoted to a pass-heavy attack in certain games. If the running backs don’t produce, the Steelers will again shift to a pass-heavy approach. Vegas is anticipating just that. You should as well. Ben is a solid #1 option this week against the league’s 28th ranked defense.
Cam Newton (DK-$6,300/FD-$8,400)
I know Cam isn’t 100% healthy. I know he’s coming off a four-interception game. I know I favor the hot hand in many coin-flip cases, but I can’t get away from this matchup for Cam. In a must-win game against the Brownsbig game on the ground for Newton in this one. The best way to contain Newton is to give him tight passing windows down the field and collapse the pocket via hard outside blitzes and get a good push in the middle. By doing that in Week 13, Tampa was able to force three bad interceptions. I think the Browns will be able to pressure Cam, but I’ve noticed when Cam gets unbalanced pressure, he immediately takes off running and avoids forcing the ball. If the Browns don’t scheme for blitzes and instead rely on their ends for pressure, I think Cam will be getting quite a bit on the ground.
Dak Prescott (DK-$5,600/FD-$7,400)
The Cowboys are hot right now. Now, I know people aren’t giving Dak much credit on the season, myself included, but he’s been a much better quarterback since Amari Cooper arrived. Last week, Dak had a very bland game. It’s worth noting, the Saints passing defense has been much improved since the beginning of the season, when everyone was torching them. Thanksgiving’s game gave us a lot to process about Dak, and honestly, he played really well. The Eagles are a shell of their 2017 Super Bowl team and they couldn’t even confidently closeout the Mark Sanchez-led Redskins on Monday. They also couldn’t do a damn thing against the Saints a few weeks ago.
With the Cowboys and Eagles going in opposite directions, it’s important to note the Eagles have one of the worst secondaries in football. If the Eagles hope to have a chance in this game, their focus will be on stopping Zeke, so there should be a lot of open passing lanes for Dak this week when the Cowboys host the Eagles and look to end the defending champs’ playoff hopes. Dak will be a key ingredient in their success.
Josh Allen (DK-$5,500/FD-$7,400)
The Red-hot Josh Allen gets to host the Jets this week in Buffalo. Following a heartbreaking loss to the Dolphins, the Bills are playing pretty good football and Josh Allen has been the best fantasy quarterback in the league over the past two games. It’s a small sample, but the Dolphins and Jaguars have been pretty good against quarterbacks this season. It appears Allen developed his game during his absence.
This week’s game, at home against the Jets, might be just the kind of matchup Bills fans need to get them through the rest of the season. The Bills appear to be a great choice this week and there’s no quarterback hotter than Allen. If you’re looking for a cheaper option at quarterback, Allen is worth a shot.
Ezekiel Elliott (DK-$8,600/FD-$8,800)
Zeke is averaging 27 fantasy points per game over the past four games. The Eagles are 10th against the run, but I like metrics and analytics. You know who’s good at that? Vegas is good at it. They currently have Zeke slated for 150 total yards. Once you add the likelihood of a touchdown (-140), Zeke is a good value pick, even at $8,800 on FanDuel. I think the Eagles are in for a long game. It’s likely the Eagles focus a lot on stopping Zeke early and it bites them later in the game. I know Zeke will have another good game because this offense is finally playing well and the Eagles have struggled mightily as of late. It will be a grind at times, but ultimately, Zeke will return his value and then some.
Aaron Jones (DK-$7,200/FD-$7,500)
Aaron Jones is back again! Last week, Mike McCarthy was finally fired. A home-meltdown against the impotent Cardinals was the final chapter in the McCarthy coaching experience. Thank goodness. At least now, we can see more of Aaron Jones and likely some better plays overall on offense. Aaron Jones has a beautiful matchup against the Falcons in a Week 14 showdown that looked a lot better on paper five weeks ago. Jones has a Vegas line of 85 total yards and is a (-150) favorite to score a touchdown. The Falcons are 27th against the run this season. Jones is a safe play and a smart play for the money.
Sony Michel (DK-$5,900/FD-$6,900)
Michel didn’t have a great week, but that was expected when you consider the bad matchup. Also, he did actually score a touchdown, but the Pats didn’t feel like challenging the play. This week’s game against the Dolphins and their 26th ranked rush defense looks as tasty as a matchup can get for the rookie running back out of Georgia. With the return of Rex Burkhead, the confidence in starting Patriots running backs might be tested. The good news is, Michel has proven himself effective and has the trust of Belicheck. In these types of matchups, Bill tends to focus the attack the other team’s weaknesses. The Dolphins are especially weak against the run, so Michel should be heavily featured.
DaVante Adams (DK-$8,400/FD-$8,700)
Adams is now firmly seated amongst the top three fantasy football receivers. Want to know how consistent he’s been this season? Adams’ worst game this season was 13 points. That’s remarkable. Following the firing of Mike McCarthy, Adams might see even more action out of spite as teams tend to try to make statements following the dismissal of coaches (see Baker Mayfield and David Johnson).
Adams will face the 18th best defense against receivers, not that it matters for him since he’s matchup-proof. For the highest floor outside of Adam Thielen, look to Davante to give you guaranteed point production this week.
Michael Thomas (DK-$8,600/FD-$8,300)
Michael Thomas is facing a weak passing defense. Michael Thomas is also coming off a frustrating week in which he was held to 6.5 points. This week, the Saints won’t be playing around. Thomas had 30 points versus the Bucs in the opener — on 16 receptions — so it isn’t likely the Bucs will have a miracle cure for him this time around. We are going heavy this week at receiver and Thomas has a very exploitable matchup. Fire him up this week because the Saints will be looking for revenge from their Week 1 loss to the Bucs and to bounce back from the loss in Dallas last week.
Adam Thielen (DK-$8,100/FD-$8,100)
Like I said earlier, we aren’t kidding around at receiver this week. Thielen will be free from a tough defensive matchup in New England and has a much better one against a team that just gave up 400 yards of passing to Nick Mullens, at home. Thielen is an incredible route runner and preferred target of Kirk Cousins. There’s little doubt Cousins will be looking to his favorite target plenty this week, especially considering the questionable status of Stephon Diggs. At $8,100 on FanDuel, it’s a bargain for the league’s top receiver.
Travis Kelce (DK-$6,700/FD-$8,000)
As good as the Ravens have been on defense this season, they’ve struggled against opposing tight ends (21st). Kelce managed a massive game last week and it’s very likely that another week of injury limbo with Sammy Watkins and the departure of Kareem Hunt will once again benefit the dynamic pass-catching tight end. Kelce nearly had three touchdowns last week and will be a top target in one of the league’s elite offenses, yet again. In this unpredictable year for tight ends, who else can you really trust this week? Get the best and forget about the rest.
Eric Ebron (DK-$5,700/FD-$6,400)
The fact Eric Ebron is my #2 tight end recommendation this week tells you all you need to know about the players at the position this season. It’s wildly unpredictable. Sadly, Ebron was the outright best offensive player last week in the team’s loss at Jacksonville. This week, Ebon faces the Texans, who are 25th against opposing tight-ends.
Jared Cook (DK-$5,200/FD-$6,300)
Jared Cook has been the lone, somewhat consistent, bright spot since the Amari Cooper trade. Though there isn’t a lot positives about the Raiders this year, Cook has had a touchdown in each of the past three games and faces the 22nd ranked defense against tight ends this week. If you are looking for a decent dart throw in a game with a lot of opportunity for the tight end, look no further.
Jaguars D (DK-$2,800/FD-$4,700)
The Jags played lights-out last week against the Colts. Though the Titans always seem to give the Jags fits, the team also struggles mightily against the pass rush and the Jags excel in that area. I expect a pretty high floor for the Jags this week against an inconsistent Titans offensive line.
Bills D (DK-$3,200/FD-$4,200)
Buffalo faces the Jets this week. I would say this matchup should speak for itself, but that’s never enough. The Jets are 27th in points against opposing defenses, so the opportunity for scoring is definitely there. It’s also a home game for Buffalo and the Bills broke double-digits in points in the last meeting against the Jets this season in New York.
Cowboys D (DK-$2,600/FD-$3,700)
Lately, the Cowboys are playing as well as anyone on defense. The Saints weren’t able to effectively block the Cowboys’ pass rush last week and the end result was a rattled Drew Brees. The Eagles have not been sharp this season on offense. The Cowboys are at home and will be playing to bury the inconsistent Eagles’ playoff chances. I think we will see some inspired play this week from the home team.
Dalvin Cook (DK-$5,800/FD-$6,200)
Cook has been inconsistent this season, but the second year FSU product still managed over 100 yards against an improved Patriots defense last week in Foxboro. This week, the Seahawks will face Cook and are coming off a week in which they surrendered over 200 scrimmage yards to the 49ers running backs in a game they led big throughout. Cook is a great value pick this week at $6,200.
Jaylen Samuels (DK-$3,700/FD-$4,600)
I’m making a case this week for Samuels because I think the value at $4,600 on FanDuel is hard to ignore. Last week, Samuels filled-in late for James Conner and turned three receptions into 20 yards and a touchdown in limited action against the Chargers. Though it’s possible he is schemed out due to splitting time with Ridley and/or a heavy passing attack, he should still see four or five passing targets out of the backfield and 5-15 carries on the ground. For that price and the matchup (Raiders are 31st vs the run), he’s a good low-priced play this week.
Zay Jones (DK-$4,200/FD-$6,400)
Jones is one of our hot-hand guys this week and very stackable option if you choose to go the Josh Allen route. Last week, Jones had two touchdowns and showed us why the Bills cut two receivers this Tuesday once thought to be crucial pieces to their offense. Jones is clicking with Allen and gets a great matchup against a mediocre Jets secondary.
Tarik Cohen (DK-$6,400/FD-$6,500)
The Bears are playing the Rams this week, so I don’t understand why Cohen is so cheap on FanDuel. In games expected to be shootouts, Cohen has been a major part of the offense. I don’t see it differently this week. Cohen had a huge game last week and should have another one this week, with or without Mitch Trubisky at the helm. If you want to ride with the big receivers this week, you’ll need to slot Cohen in a running back or flex spot. He’s a great bargain.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert