featured Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

12/05/2017
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Football Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 14 - 12/10/17

We are entering the home stretch of the NFL season, with only four weeks left to go before the playoffs. There are some intriguing games this Sunday, but the totals are low across the board for the main slate. That's what happens when the Pats, Saints, Steelers, and Falcons are all playing in primetime affairs. Additionally, FanDuel has followed DraftKings' lead and left the Sunday night game off their main slate of games. Let's take a look at how Week 14 is shaping up for cash.

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Quarterback

Carson WentzCarson Wentz FD 8600 DK 7100
Opponent LAR
Proj Points FD - 20.42 DK - 21.17
This isn’t a great matchup considering the Rams come in with a top 5 defense against the pass this season but some of the quarterbacks on their schedule leave a lot to be desired. Five of the last seven weeks they’ve played Gabbert, Savage, Eli, Palmer/Stanton and Bortles. QBs I would consider “competent” (Keenum, Brees, Wilson) have rocked a 68% completion percentage against them and thrown for TDs. This is all to say, even this late in the season we can take some defensive numbers with a grain of salt if a team’s run somewhat hot in bad competition. Wentz continues making an MVP case, ranking only behind Russell Wilson in quarterback fantasy scoring and he leads the league in touchdown passes. If anything, his numbers are slightly depressed on the season because the Eagles have played in so many blowouts where Wentz was barely used in the fourth quarter. Last week, he put up 45 passing attempts as the Eagles tried coming back against the Seahawks. It didn’t work, but we could see some of the same shootout qualities in this game. It has the highest over/under (50) and scripts to stay close (LAR -2). Wentz also has a high floor because he can get out and run (30 yards rushing in each of the last two games).

Alex SmithAlex Smith FD 8200 DK 6500
Opponent OAK
Proj Points FD - 22.91 DK - 23.64
Man, what the hell with the Chiefs? The start the season 5-0, are averaging 32 points per game and Smith is looking an MVP candidate. Then over the last seven, they go 2-5, average 21 points a game and look like a total mess with losses to the Giants, Bills, and Jets. Smith was the lone bright spot last week, though the numbers look a little better on paper than actual reality. He put up 366 through the air and 70 on the ground. All good until you see his relied almost exclusively on the long ball (19-33 for a 57% completion percentage) and had all of his running yards on one scramble. If anything, his line should have looked much worse. But as is often the case with the Chiefs, some context means we need to consider them this week. They have the third highest implied total on the main slate (25.75) and face an Oakland defense ranked dead last in overall DVOA and against the pass. Oof, here we go again. Even Geno Freaking Smith looked competent against them last week, completing 62% of his passes and throwing for a touchdown.

Jared GoffJared Goff FD 7700 DK 6600
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 17.11 DK - 18.13
Philip RiversPhilip Rivers FD 8100 DK 6800
Opponent WAS
Proj Points FD - 18.38 DK - 19.27
It’s tough to take a pass on the two quarterbacks with the highest implied team totals this week. Both Rivers and Goff are in fantastic spots to put up a lot of points considering their matchups and potential game flows. Both have been excellent in the short term and Goff in particular has seen a shift in offensive approach with him throwing the ball much more. In only rank them under the two guys above because both Wentz and Smith have the running attack in their arsenal while Goff and Rivers are simply pocket passers. That means you need to get there strictly on the passing touchdowns and that can be a higher variance play.

Running Back

Jamaal WilliamsJamaal Williams FD 6600 DK 5900
Opponent CLE
Proj Points FD - 16.39 DK - 17.51
It sure looks like the Packers have found their solution at running back. Williams has averaged 20 carries a game over the last four games, finally breaking out in the yards department last week with 113 on the ground. Prior to facing Tampa Bay, tough matchups against the Steelers and Ravens had hurt the YPC, but last week he averaged 5.4 yards on the ground. This week the Packers face a Browns’ team that might look good against the run on paper, but the strength of competition has really been in their favor. Their run D numbers are headed in the wrong direction with Joe Mixon tearing them up in Week 12 and Melvin Gordon/ Austin Ekeler averaging 4.2 ypc last week. Williams is in a good spot here and has only seen a modest price uptick on both sites.

Todd GurleyTodd Gurley FD 8500 DK 8100
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 19.78 DK - 21.92
Gurley didn’t find the end zone last week, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He saw elite usage with 19 carries and 7 targets on his way to 158 total yards from scrimmage. Getting skunked on touchdowns was a little run bad as the Rams were down and close a few times and Gurley just couldn’t get there. Among active running backs, he has the third-highest per game usage at 24 looks per game. And the Rams are content finding ways to get him involved in every phase of the game. He saw 55 of the 58 offensive snaps and is truly an every down back (increasingly rare in the NFL). This isn’t a fantastic matchup against the Eagles, but Philly’s numbers against the run this season are a little skewed simply because they’ve been blowing the doors off teams leading to very little opponent run game. Gurley is expensive this week, but the other running backs in this tier have questions surrounding matchup (Fournette) or quarterback play (Mccoy).

Melvin GordonMelvin Gordon FD 8600 DK 7800
Opponent WAS
Proj Points FD - 18.6 DK - 20.53
He isn’t quite at Gurley’s level in terms of touches (22.4 carries + targets per game) but he draws a better matchup against the Redskins who are merely league average against the run and heading the wrong direction. Three of the last four ‘Skins have featured lead backs with these lines:

Alfred Morris 27/127/1
Mark Ingram 11/134/1
Latavius Murray 17/68/1

They’ve also been decimated with injury on offense, calling into question their ability to control the time of possession and the Chargers come in as -6 favorites (the highest on the slate) and the likelihood we see a lot of Gordon. The emergence of Keenan Allen as a red zone threat has cut into Gordon’s touchdown share, but the amount of touches in this price tier has him still coming in as something of a value. I think I prefer Gordon, but it’s very close and could switch before Sunday.

Consider Lamar Miller. Also consider Gio Bernard if Joe Mixon is sidelined this week.
 

Wide Receiver

DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins FD 8600 DK 8500
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 19.12 DK - 22.83
Sure, he still has Tom Savage throwing balls out there, but Savage’s deficiencies are somewhat mitigated simply because the plan is to just continue chucking Nuk’s way over, and over, and over again. He trails only Antonio Brown in targets and actually has the most in the NFL over the last five weeks. The problem, of course, is the conversion rate which comes in much lower than other WRs in his target class. But I think we can take the volume considering the matchup against the 49ers who rank 29th in DVOA against the pass this season and don’t have the plus corners needed to handle a WR like Hopkins. They rank 27th against WR1s and it’s no unrealistic to think he gets somewhere close to 15 targets in this game. You are paying a premium but there’s savings elsewhere and this could be a breakout spot for DeAndre.

Keenan AllenKeenan Allen FD 8400 DK 8300
Opponent WAS
Proj Points FD - 17.32 DK - 21.28
Over the last four weeks, Allen has been something of a revelation. He leads the NFL in targets over that time with an average 9/121/1 line. After a bad mid-season run of matchups, Allen has emerged as a top 3 WR and Rivers is happy going his way in every situation. He’s second in the league in Red Zone targets (20) and considering his conversion rate is much lower than anyone else in the top ten, we could make a case he’s actually run real bad on touchdowns this season. His only issue this week is matchup where he’s either draw some coverage from Josh Norman or Kendall Fuller in the slot (or a combo of the two). That’s a significantly worse matchup than what Hopkins’ faces though Allen’s quality of targets is much better. It’s a close call and I suspect a decision most will wrestle with this week considering it’s tough to roster both.

Jamison CrowderJamison Crowder FD 6800 DK 5900
Opponent LAC
Proj Points FD - 15.93 DK - 19.98
Crowder’s seen double-digit targets in three of the last five games and topped a hundred yards receiving in two of those games. He’s Kirk Cousins’ clear #1 option in the possession game and this one could script well for Crowder if the Redskins are forced to play catchup. The Chargers have an excellent secondary but I don’t think he’ll get the Casey Hayward shadow treatment considering how much Crowder lines up in the slot. His mid-tier pricing on both sites gives him a high floor with the target share and it’s tough to imagine the Redskins getting ahead and relying on the run in this matchup.

Sterling ShepardSterling Shepard FD 6400 DK 5300
Opponent DAL
Proj Points FD - 14.7 DK - 18.29
He looks over the migraine issue plaguing him a few weeks ago and this week gets Eli Manning back under center. Crazy enough, he’s only played in three games this season since the Beckham injury and averaged a 8/106 line in those with Manning at quarterback. Shepard lines up almost primarily in the slot and the Cowboys are getting slaughtered over the middle of the field (according to DVOA) and their primary slot CB Orlando Scandrick is pretty damn bad. This is shaping up for a possible monster game for Sterling if he creeps into double digit targets. We are possibly buying very low in a game the Giants will likely be playing catchup even at home.

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Tight End

Travis KelceTravis Kelce FD 8000 DK 7400
Opponent OAK
Proj Points FD - 16.27 DK - 19.72
Kelce started Week thing like a bat out of Hades with 3 catches, 90 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first five minutes of the game. And that was pretty much it. He added only one more catch for four yards the rest of the game. And while it’s hard to be disappointed with the overall line, I was expecting at least a little something more. This week he’ll get one of the worst pass defenses in the league who’ve been killed by everyone, tight ends included. Kelce leads all tight ends in targets (94), yards (871) and is second in TDs (7). Because we might not have to spend all the way up at WR, grabbing an expensive tight end could be in the plans this week.

Evan EngramEvan Engram FD 6600 DK 6000
Opponent DAL
Proj Points FD - 12.48 DK - 15.17
Engram has quietly emerged as one of the best tight ends in football. He is second in the league in tight end targets (93) though some conversion issues do have him behind the rest of the top group in yards. He’s more of a volatile play than Kelce of course and Dallas getting Sean Lee back isn’t great shakes for the Giants. But I still think we are buying low on Engram’s target share with Manning back in the mix.

Consider buying low on Vernon Davis in a potential bounce back game.

Defense

Cincinnati Bengals FD 4600 DK 3300
Opponent CHI
Proj Points FD - 8.67 DK - 8.67
 
Dallas Cowboys FD 4400 DK 2900
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 7.70 DK - 7.70
 
Minnesota Vikings FD 4600 DK 2700
Opponent CAR
Proj Points FD - 7.76 DK - 7.76
 

Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our NFL optimizer for FanDuel and DraftKings, our MLB Optimizer, and our new Player Lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with NFL? Be sure to read our free MLB and NFL Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.

7 Visitor Comments

  1. McCourty and Calhoun do not play for the redskins.

  2. The Chiefs are 1-6 since their 5-0 start, not 2-5. Their record is 6-6. Just a heads up.

  3. And it’s Nuk* not Nuck

  4. All the comments on this are stupid as usual! the value of the write-ups is in the substance not the picky little details you morons! Since you are so much smarter than the writer, why do you even bother reading the FREE info here??

    • Agreed! They should just be thankful for the site.
      Thank you guys for the free info everyday!

  5. #ihatemorans…I totally agree….Just a bunch of trolls.

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