Week 14 DraftKings Breakdown
By: Nick Zylak
Justin Jackson - $3,800
Justin Jackson looked like the best RB on the Chargers on Sunday night…and it wasn’t very close. To make matters worse for Ekeler, a report came out that the coaching staff believed that he was “wearing down”. He’s been used heavily on special teams, and has been used as a chance of pace scat back on top of that. Could the reports be bogus? Sure. But he’s also never been over 13 carries…with only 4 games with double digit carries in his 2 year career. Given the opponent, we can expect the Chargers to lean run heavy, meaning Jackson is in line for around 10-13 carries, and 3-5 targets. For $3,800 that’s valuable against a bottom 3 defense, on a team projected to score 31 points.
Jaylen Samuels - $3,700
With Bell not feeling like playing, and Conner hurt, Samuels steps in as the Steelers lead back on Sunday. There are reports out there on the Steelers RB situation that suggest the workload will be a 50/50 split, with Samuels and Ridley will alternate drives. I find that very hard to believe. Each and every time the starting RB has gone down with an injury, the Steelers have predominantly used one guy as the lead back. Further adding to my suspicion is how they have used each of the backs this season. When we have seen Conner go own for stretches, Samuels has taken over as the lead back, with Ridley only getting real work in garbage time. Let’s take it a step further and look at the actual players. Ridley is not a great athlete, has never been an elite rusher, and has 30 career receptions over 8 seasons. Samuels is the Steelers rookie 5th round pick, who has 7 receptions (with two receiving TD’s) on the season…and dominated in college with 202 receptions, in tune to a 97th percentile college target market share. He’s exactly what the Steelers like to use, and is the best bet for a TD. With the Steelers implied to score over 30 points, I can’t even imagine going underweight on Samuels.
Christian McCaffrey - $9,300
Over the last three weeks CMC has 8, 11, and 10 targets. Oh and he’s playing 100% of snaps…100%. The dude has busted 59 and 53 yard carries each of the past two weeks…and went right back to the huddle the following play. To make the case stronger he’s had a massive red zone role in recent weeks, with 12 red zone carries and 6 red zone targets. With the Panthers implied to score 24.5 points, CMC has a solid floor and, yet again, a massive ceiling.
Saquon Barkley - $8,900
Barkley has 7.6 targets per game on the season…and is on pace for over 800 receiving yards. His receiving floor has resulted in week 10 being his worst week of the season, with a stat line of 20 carries for 64 yards and 4 receptions for 33 yards. That was his worst game of the season, and his only game under 20 fantasy points. His price, like that of the other 3 high priced RB’s I’ve listed, is more than fair for his floor and ceiling production. Saquon is 3rd in red zone carries and 6th in red zone receptions…which is extra impressive given how often the Giants make it to the red zone. This week they are 3.5 point road favorites against a Washington defense that ranks 24th in rush DVOA and has given up the third most receptions per game to RB’s.
Ezekiel Elliott - $8,600
Zeke has one game below 15 fantasy points this season…and hasn’t been held below 25 since week 9. He’s averaged just under 7 targets per game over that stretch, and has been unaffected by the Amari Cooper signing. On it’s surface the matchup is less than ideal. The Eagles are perceived as a stout run defense, but that just hasn’t been the case. Phili is ranked 20th in rush DVOA this season, and have given up the 6th most RB receptions per game. Zeke is 5th in red zone carries, and surprisingly 4th in red zone targets…with one more than McCaffrey. The Cowboys are 3.5 point home favorites…so to sum it up…he’s a home favorite RB…getting a ton of red zone work…and targets…against what’s been a below average rush defense. He should top 20 again this week. If you’re still not convinced then I’ve pasted Zeke’s career game log vs the Eagles
Aaron Jones - $7,200
Jones rounds out the RB’s I’ll be recommending this week, and he represents a tier of his own for roster construction. He’s not massively under priced like Samuels and Jackson…but he also doesn’t come with the same floor that the upper tier RB’s have. What he does offer is the same ceiling, at a reduced price point. The Falcons have been gashed by RB’s this season, giving up the following stat lines over their four game losing streak:
Nick Chubb: 20/176/1___3/33/1
Ezekiel Elliott 23/122/1___7/79/0
The Packers are 4 point home favorites, implied to score 27 points. I’ll touch on all the other pieces of this offense that I love later…but I fully buy into the anti Mike McCarthy narrative. The Packers will be going off this week.
Michael Thomas - $8,600
Thomas is going to swing a lot of money this weekend. The matchup couldn’t be better…he gets to face the Bucs disgrace of a defense as 10 point road favorites, implied to score north of 32 points. The Saints have been scoring points at will this season, and MT ranks 3rd among WR’s in red zone targets, and leads the league in catch rate. For every target this week, he’s going to have a reception. So, if we can project him for 9-10 targets, then he’s worth the price tag. Your ability to afford him is going to come down to which RB’s you choose. If you use Samues and Jackson then you will have plenty to use on Thomas. If you prefer Godwin and Tate/Sutton then you should pay up for the stud RB’s and you’ll have to fade Thomas. He’s for sure the safest WR, but also keep in mind that the safest WR is still more risky than most RB’s at that same price point. You MUST use a RB in the FLEX, and you need to be confident in all of your RB picks. If you don’t feel good about the cheap RB’s, then you can’t play Thomas.
Davante Adams - $8,400
Adams is matchup proof. His worst game this season was 6/40/1…his second worst game was 8/81/0. You don’t find that kind of safety, outside of maybe MT and AB. Adams has 12+ targets in 6 games already this season, with 11 TD’s through 12 games. He also leads all WR’s in red zone targets on the year. Oh and he gets to face the Falcons this week…who have given up the 4th most WR TD’s, rank 2nd to last in pass DVOA, and have given up 28/22/31/26 to the Browns, Cowboys, Saints, and Ravens. Aside from the Saints those aren’t exactly offensive powerhouses. With the terrible play calling of McCarthy off Rodgers back, this offense will finally be unleashed. I fully expect the Packers to drop 30+ this week, in a game that is already up 2.5 points from it’s open. If I end up making one lineup this week (genuinely not sure yet) then it’s going to have a Rodgers/Adams stack…and potentially Jimmy Graham added to that.
Keenan Allen - $7,400
Keenan Allen roasted the Steelers last week in tune to a 14/148/1 stat line on 19 TARGETS! While not every team is as bad at game planning as the Steelers, I’m not expecting the Bengals to shut down the Chargers this week. Cinci is a bottom 5 pass and run defense, allowing the most yards per game in the league. Ideally the Chargers would like to run it every play and shorten the game. The issue with that is who they have at RB. There are still going to be plenty of run plays, but I find it very hard to believe they will lean on Ekeler and Jackson for anything more than 25 carries. That still leaves plenty of targets for Allen, who has posted air yard market shares of 24%, 33%, and 70% over the last 3 weeks. He should be in line for 10-12 targets, and he leads all active Chargers pass catchers in red zone targets on the season.
Chris Godwin - $4,900
Godwin leads the group of cheap WR options this week…as he did last week. Speaking of last week, this is what I wrote:
“I haven’t decided if I’m making 1, 3 or 100 lineups this week…but whatever I decide…I know that Godwin will be on all of them. He’s in the top 5 of my favorite WR’s in the league, and it’s an absolute travesty that the Bucs coaching staff hasn’t gotten him on the field more. Well, now they have to with D.Jackson out. Godwin is an elite athlete, rankings 11th in QB grade when targeted, having 0 drops, ranking ahead of Keenan Allen and TY Hilton in Y/RR out of the slot, while converting all of his red zone receptions into TD’s. Oh and he’s caught 100% of his last 14 targets. Godwin’s stat lines when he’s been given 6 or more targets in a game are as follows:
There isn’t a single game in there that you would be upset about at $3,900. Add to it a 25.5 point implied total, against the 27th ranked pass defense, and you get an absolute smash spot. PFF currently has Godwin at 5% projected ownership. That’s not going to happen. But if he stays under 20% then just thank the other 80% for their money.”
His ownership was around 15%…and you can now add 5/101/1 to that line. His price went up to $4,900, but that’s still $600-$700 too cheap. He’s going to see another 8-9 targets, and given his catch rate and red zone role, I’d expect another stat line like last week. It’s also worth noting that the Bucs were actually up late last week. As 10 point home dogs against the Saints…I have a hard time believing they will be killing the clock late. Another week of 100% could be in store, but he’s by no means the lock he was last week. Go 2X-3X the field though.
Golden Tate - $4,800
I’m sure most of you watched the Monday night football game, so I don’t need to tell you that Tate has been more involved in this new offense every week. What I do want to point out is his snap share. Unually I would never rocommend someone with his kind of snap share at this point in the season. It’s different with Tate though. He’s been seeing 7-8 targets a week, even while only playing 75%(a lot of those snaps were in garbage time) 65% and 48% of snaps as a member of the Eagles. He crushed last week on under half of the teams snaps! The Eagles need to win this week in their matchup with the Cowboys if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive…so you can bet that Tate (who’s proven to be their best WR) is going to be out there on as many drop backs as possible. He should push 8-9 targets in this game, which is more than enough given his 4.8K price tag. The only question is roster construction as you may not need his savings this week.
Courtland Sutton - $4,500
With Sanders out (sad face) Sutton is going to have to step it up. If you remember back at the start of the season I said that Sutton was the Broncos second best WR…ahead of DT and behind Sanders. While he hasn’t exactly backed those claims up, he’s going to have another chance to do so this week in their road matchup with the 49ers. These are the names of the rest of the receivers Keenum will have the pleasure of throwing to…DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, and Matt LaCosse. Is it possible that Denver goes run heavy and avoids giving these guys too any targets? Certainly. But they do have a nearly 25 point implied total, and the 49ers have given up the most WR TD’s in the NFL.
Zay Jones - $4,200
This one feels gross…but Jones has already won someone a Million multiple times this season. His target counts since week 4 are as follows:
The random one target game looks a bid odd, but it was against the Jags who, despite what you might think after last night, have been really good this season. Kelvin Benjamin was also finally cut this week, leaving Jones in a similar situation to Sutton with just Deonte Thompson and Charles Clay behind him. The matchup against the Jets is fine…scoring opportunities won’t be abundant…but he’s going to see 7-8 targets…and his 11 red zone targets ranks in the top 25.
Jameis Winston - $6,200
Bucs QB’s have 4,307 yards and 29 TD’s. That’s nearly 400 more yards then the second and third ranked Mahomes and Big Ben. The Bucs get a home matchup against the Saints, in a game that, even after being bet down 3 points, still has the highest total of the week…by 3.5. We know the yards will be there, as Winston is the likeliest of any QB to throw for over 350 yards, and if he can throw for multiple scores then he’s in line for a monster week. Stacking him with the best pass catcher isn’t always the easiest…but we all know who I’ll be using!
Aaron Rodgers - $6,000
Like I said above, if I’m only playing one lineup…then it’s going to have Rodgers. I’ve been waiting for McCarthy to be fired for years now so I genuinely believe his departure will be a positive for the team. If there’s one person that wanted him gone more than me though, it’s Rodgers. He hasn’t exactly kept his displeasure for McCarthy silent. There was a serious issue in the communication between the star QB and the coach. This week…all the plays will go through Rodgers. The matchup is as good as you can ask for as 4 point home favorites, implied to score 27 points against a mediocre defense. To the right is Rodgers game log vs the Falcons in his career. I expect him to go over 300 passing yards…the question will be the TD’s. Jones could steal a few scores…but at just 6K I’ll take that risk.
Baker Mayfield - 5,800
Cleveland enters their week 14 matchup as 2 point home underdogs, implied to score 22.5 points. The Panthers rank 28th in pass DVOA, and have been terrible in red zone defense. Baker’s week 13 started off rough, but he was able to salvage the week with nearly 400 passing yards. I like Baker, but I don’t love him. He’s yet to post a week winning stat line, but he’s fairly safe for around 20 points. I’d play him if max entering, but not as a single lineup or cash game play. It’s going to be tough to stack Baker with someone…but I’m ok playing him naked.
Zach Ertz - $6,400
Ertz has been by far the best TE this season. He has double digit targets in 8 of 12 weeks and has been over 20 fantasy points 6 times. His targets haven’t taken a hit with the addition of Tate, as Alshon and Agholor have suffered instead. This week we get Ertz at a discount, against a Cowboys defense that gives up above average production to the TE position. We have enough value to pay for Ertz this week. When that’s the case, it’s usually a good idea.
Eric Ebron - $5,700
If you can’t afford Ertz then Ebron is your next best option. The Colts ideal game plan would be to run the ball early and often. Their o-line is a lot better than it’s been in recent years and they have some solid RB’s that can pound the rock. Their issue this week is that Houston is on a roll, and are projected to win this game. If the Texans put up points, then the Colts will be forced to throw. In step Ebron who has 23 TARGETS over the past two weeks. The matchup couldn’t be any better as well as Houston has given up a 27% DVOA increase to TE’s…and have allowed the 6th most yards to the position. On top of these targets between the 20’s, Ebron is tied for the second most red zone targets among TE’s…with just 3 less than the leader in Kelce. Oh and a lot of that production was with Doyle healthy. With Doyle in IR Ebron is going to be the first option in the red zone on every trip. If he was a WR then he would be hyped up this week as a lock play. But he’s not, so he’ll be under 20% owned. You still can’t play him in the FLEX spot because of how important it is to fit in 3 RB’s…but you should strongly ocnsider him, even at a similar price point to Ertz.
Jimmy Graham - $4,400
If you can’t afford Ertz or Ebron…then play Graham. I’ve already made McCarthy feel bad enough about himself so I’ll stop trashing him, but remember that I think this offense is going to score a lot. Graham was limited in week 12 with his thumb injury, but looked to have no restrictions last week after his 11 target performance. As of writing this on Friday, he’s been cleared of any injury designation. Atlanta isn’t horrible against TE’s, but they are just bad on defense in general. Graham has a good chance of scoring this week, and won’t need to do a whole lot to pay off his price tag. The Packers need to win to keep their playoff homes alive. Rodgers is going to want the ball in his hands with the season on the line…and that’s a good thing for Graham.
Jets - $2,400
Cardinals - $2,300
Rams - $2,500
Packers - $2,100
Bills - $3,200
Lions - $2,900
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