I am deeply sorry to those of you who are checking into my Week 14 DFS Sleepers and Busts piece this week for DFS advice only because you failed to make the playoffs in your season long leagues…
Daily Fantasy Sports is still available people! We may see a few more people get in on DraftKings and FanDuel this week, as the Fantasy playoffs in most leagues have begun.
One tip I would like to share to every one of you is to make sure you check the weather reports prior to submitting your lineups. It is that time of the year. Weather tends not to be a huge deal for me, but if you are picking between two players that are very close, weather could very well be the deciding factor. A few days out from Sunday here but it does look like Buffalo could get absolutely dumped on. Lots of Fantasy goodness on the Pittsburgh Steelers, so make sure to check in prior to game time. For those of you who have Twitter, Kevin Roth is a fantastic follow for up to date weather information. @KevinRothWx is the handle. Lets look at last weeks picks.
|Ladarius Green, 26 DK, 20 FD||Cam Newton, 12.5 DK & FD|
|Latavius Murray, 25.5 DK, 24 FD||Kelvin Benjamin, 3.8 DK, 2.8 FD|
|Baltimore Ravens Defense 15 DK & FD||Greg Olsen, 6 DK, 4.5 FD|
Solid Buys and Fades
|Malcolm Mitchell, 16.2 DK, 12.2 FD||Carlos Hyde, 10.8 DK, 10.3 FD|
|Russell Wilson, 17 DK & FD||Demaryius Thomas, 12.1 DK, 9.1 FD|
Swing and Miss
|Dion Lewis, 7.8 DK, 5.8 FD||Jameis Winston, 16.3 DK & FD|
|Eli Manning, 13.7 DK & FD|
Lets get into the Week 14 DFS Sleepers and Busts column, shall we.
Week 14 DFS Sleepers and Busts
Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (5,500 DK, 7,700 FD)
I sure did have Eli Manning on the sleeper list last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers and he didn’t play so well, but prior to that game, he had been a very solid Fantasy quarterback in recent weeks. This week, Eli gets a Cowboys defense who has been very susceptible to quarterbacks on the season. The Cowboys have been better on that side of the ball, but they still give up plenty of points. They allow the eighth most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and they have the second least amount of interceptions this season with four. That has been the knock on Eli, turnovers.
In the first game of the year, Eli threw for 207 yards, had three passing touchdowns and one interception. Since Week 9, the Cowboys have given up eight touchdowns to zero picks and the most passing yards on top of that. Quarterbacks in that span have completed 74% of passes which is the highest mark as well in that span.
The lowest Fantasy scoring output from a quarterback against the Cowboys this season was Carson Wentz, as he put up 13.8 Fantasy points. Yes, Brian Hoyer, Blaine Gabbert, Cody Kessler and Sam Bradford surpassed that mark. I am plugging in Manning with confidence on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (6,400 DK, 8,000 FD)
This may be the only time this season that Aaron Rodgers will be on this list, as his price is the lowest in DFS this season given the matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. There are a few positives about rostering Rodgers in DFS . First, they are at home where he plays considerably better. Second, pro bowler Earl Thomas was placed on IR and third, if you look closely at Rodgers’ stats against the Seattle Seahawks, they aren’t too bad. In six total regular season games, he has a completion percentage of 67.72, six touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown and a QBR of 97.7.
Earl Thomas had played in their last three matchups and I think it is a huge loss for the Seahawks. I would also like to point out that people have been knocking the Packers this season and for good reason, they are 6-6 and fighting to get into the playoffs this late into the season, but not because of Rodgers. The guy still has the second most passing touchdowns with 29 (seven interceptions) and 3,283 passing yards. He also sneakily has 301 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
My last point on rostering Rodgers this week is that his ownership percentage is likely to be low due to people seeing him taking on the Seahawks, but you have to be different, especially in these big tournament games. Roll with Rodgers.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7,400 DK, 8,700 FD)
I never like taking the highest salaried quarterback in DFS, which is where Drew Brees falls on Sunday. There are way too many options this weekend at quarterback that are priced lower than Brees. The guy is also coming off a game where he failed to throw a touchdown pass and threw three picks. Luckily I didn’t own Breesy in any leagues this weekend, because he had to have hurt the chances of thousands of owners from making the playoffs in season long leagues and lost people some money in DFS for this awful performance.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also been very good against the pass since Week 9. They have only allowed four touchdowns and are tied with the Bengals for the most INTs at seven. Brees has struggled with turnovers and that has shown up this year with 11 interceptions. Over the last two seasons (total of four games), Drew Brees’ touchdown to interception ratio is 6 touchdowns to 7 interceptions and an average QBR of 81.275. Brees will get his yards, but at that salary, I will pass on Breesy.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (6,200 DK, 7,900 FD)
(Place any quarterback verses the Denver Broncos here)
Mariota has been great this season, but the Denver Broncos are a different beast. You can make the case that Mariota’s miraculous season has been due in large part to his favorable schedule. Since Week 6, Mariota has faced a bottom 10 defense in all but one game.
Only Drew Brees has had more than two passing touchdowns this season against the Broncos. They still give up the fewest Fantasy points to quarterbacks and only two quarterbacks (Brees and Cam Newton) have surpassed 20 Fantasy points this season against the Broncos.
One of my favorite Denver Broncos defensive stats that I mentioned above is that only two quarterbacks have thrown more than one touchdown on them this season. Extraordinary stuff which is one of the many reasons why I am straying away from this game.
Running Back Sleepers
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (4,000 DK, 5,400 FD)
Coleman’s stock has gone down in recent weeks but this could be an interesting time to look at him again. After a month on the shelf, Coleman returned and faced the Cardinals and the Chiefs, two stout defenses.
It was nice to see Coleman tie his season high with 12 carries last week, but he only saw two targets. One of the main reasons I like Coleman this Sunday is the matchup and the game flow could be a major factor. Since Week 9, the Rams are giving up an average of 144.75 rushing yards per game and 5.51 yards per attempt which are both the highest by far in that span.
A little side note, since their bye in week 8, they have allowed two teams to have multiple running backs on the same team score over 10 Fantasy points. Look for the Atlanta Falcons to feed both backs.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars (3,600 DK, 6,000 FD)
The DraftKings price for McKinnon is pretty great for a starting running back who will get 10 or more touches. It was nice to see him used in the passing game against the Cowboys as he caught five passes on six targets for only 14 yards, but he did have a touchdown. Of course, in one of my big time leagues, my opponent played McKinnon and he managed 14 Fantasy points… Come on man. No one wants to hear about my team anyway, I know.
McKinnon has struggled in recent weeks but that is also due in large part to the Vikings struggling and they have played against some very tough opponents. This week the Vikings catch a break and play a Jaguars team who is in the bottom 10 in total points, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns allowed. For the price of a starting running back, I wouldn’t mind sticking him in my flex.
Running Back Busts
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (6,200 DK, 7,300 FD)
Many of you may ask, “But look at that matchup against the Saints!”
I would have two things to counter your loud point. One being that I am guessing you haven’t read my other articles where I have pointed out how much better the Saints defense has been this year. My second point would be that the Saints defense is much better this year. I guess that’s just one point. But it’s true!
Now when I say the Saints have been better, I mean against the run they have been extremely better. They rank ninth in yards per attempt, sitting at 3.9 Y/A. The Saints have been even better since week 9 as they rank 1st in yards per attempt at 2.95. The closest is the Houston Texans at 3.33. They have also allowed just one rushing touchdown in that span.
Now, this isn’t the only reason why Doug Martin makes the bust list. Health and more guys in that back field for the Bucs returning is one major factor in play on Sunday. Charles Sim is available for activation from the IR and looks to make his return right away as reports have come to fruition as of Tuesday. Doug Martin did only play 36 of 65 offensive snaps on Sunday. This was due to landing awkwardly in the third quarter. Another troubling sign is that Martin has gotten plenty of touches with Sims out but has yet to reach over 4 yards per carry. Too high of a price for me this weekend.
Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (6,400 DK, 7,800 FD)
32 carries, 117 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Monster stats which probably won people weeks, but this performance was against the San Francisco 49ers. Jordan Howard is a touchdown machine, but he does run into a Detroit Lions defense who has only allowed sixtouchdowns on the ground all year. They also give up the seventh fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs. Since Week 9, only one running back has scored 10 or more Fantasy points. Guess who it was? Matt Asiata.
Since Week 4, the highest rushing total by a running back was 73 yards by Washington Redskin Chris Thompson. I can also see game flow getting in the way of his production and forcing the Bears to throw the ball. I see this game looking like the Week 7 matchup against the Packers where Matt Barkley actually played in that game and we saw 18 rushing attempts split between two running backs. In that game, Jordan Howard had seven carries and game flow really paved the way to a poor performance. Repeat possibly? I think, yes.
Wide Receiver Sleepers
DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (5,200 DK, 5,800 FD)
Would you look at that price in FanDuel, would you just look at it! Youtube ‘would you just look at it’ You are welcome.
Back to Fantasy Football. I like DeSean Jackson this week because of the matchup being favorable and it is against his former team. Over the past few weeks, there have been talk about the Eagles taking a look at bringing back Jackson next season, so I would think he will bring his A game on Sunday. He is one of those boom or bust guys that could win you a week.
Kirk Cousins, in a small sample size, has absolutely torched the Eagles. In four games, he has 10 touchdowns to only two interceptions and an average QBR of 101.3. Now those are some numbers right there. His best games have come on the road in Philadelphia as well.
Jay Gruden has said this week that he cannot predict when Jordan Reed will return but either way, I like Jackson in this game. If Reed does sit, it only boosts up Jackson’s value.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers (4,800 DK, 5,500 FD)
Since Week 7, we have seen Philip Rivers target Inman around 5-9 times a game. We have also seen this season that the Carolina Panthers defense can be had. The Chargers offense reminds me so much of the Patriots, in the sense that you never know what you’re going to get from the pass catchers because they spread it around so well.
Inman has seen a steady number of snaps since Week 1. His lowest total came in Week 5 where he saw 44 snaps but was still the team leader at that position. He has lead the team in snaps all year except this past weekend where he saw two less targets than Tyrell Williams. They both saw 70-plus snaps while Griff Whalen was third with 55 snaps. He will be on the field catching passes from Rivers against a mediocre Panthers defense. I am IN on Inman.
Wide Receiver Busts
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings (5,000 DK, 6,600 FD)
What is FanDuel thinking with this outrageous price sitting at 6,600? Allen is one of the biggest busts of the year and that is due in large part to Blake Bortles regressing drastically. In his last three games combined, he has eight catches for 73 yards.
It doesn’t help his cause with the Vikings coming to town and Xavier Rhodes likely to draw Robinson in this one. I read this stat the other day that Robinson has 116 targets which is tied for sixth most in the league but he has a 48.2 percent catch rate which is one of the worst in the league. His past game sums up his season where he saw 10 targets and hauled in only three of them. It has been a rough year for Robinson and the whole Jaguars team. This is my lock of the week on the bust side.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6,700 DK, 6,600 FD)
Thomas has got to be one of the most frustrating options over the past few weeks. I mean that whole Saints team is up and down this year. He was held in check against the Detroit Lions as he saw five targets and caught four of them for 42 yards. We can place the blame solely on Drew Brees because he wasn’t anywhere to be found on the football field, that is for certain.
We never know what wide receiver is going to be on Drew Brees’ good side. Can the Fantasy world please just once be given some information on which wide receiver gives Brees an extra cookie before each game, pretty please? The Buccaneers defense is nothing to look past either as I discussed while talking about Brees on the bust list. I am a bit worried about the Saints team on the road.
Tight End Sleeper
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (3,100 DK, 5,100 FD)
In his first game with Dak Prescott under center against the Giants, Witten managed nine catches on 14 targets and 66 yards. I think this could be a high scoring game in New York. In Witten’s last three games against the Giants, he has averaged 10 targets and caught eight of them for an average of 66 yards. In that three game span, he has two touchdowns as well.
The Giants have been better this season against the pass but tight ends have been able to succeed. They have allowed the 10th most Fantasy points to the tight end position. Witten could be a very nice double up play this weekend. Lock of the week on the sleeper side this week.
Tight End Bust
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (4,400 DK, 6,200 FD)
Walker’s price is lower compared to other weeks due to the matchup against the Denver Broncos. I still can’t go near any of the Titans offense in Week 14. Only Hunter Henry and Travis Kelce have surpassed 10 Fantasy points at the tight end position this year against the Broncos. I am passing big time on Walker.
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (2,600 DK, 4,400 FD)
The last two weeks the Pack have allowed 13 points per game. It helps when you have a healthier Clay Matthews on the field to help out in the run game and get after the quarterback. The Seahawks have put up points but it hasn’t been because of Russell Wilson. He has struggled a bit in the last three weeks. If the Packers get up on the Seahawks, can Wilson bring them back? The Packers at home when they are controlling the game, that is when the defense makes plays.
New York Jets at San Francisco 49ers (3,100 DK, 4,500 FD)
I don’t think that Colin Kaepernick is the player we saw last week but I also do not think he is the player who played like a hall of famer prior to his stinker in Week 13. I believe he is somewhere in between. He is a California guy who doesn’t like playing in the snow and we have seen plenty of those guys in the NFL over the years. The elements definitely played a big factor in his performance. We also saw on Monday Night the Jets get absolutely embarrassed. One of the worst showings by a professional football team in a while. Don’t look at the 49ers and say, you like the matchup.
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