For the fantasy football player, success in daily fantasy formats comes down to your ability to find value, to identify players who are faced with great matchups, and to maximize the relationships among the players on your roster (otherwise known as correlation). In other words, what are this week’s best buys on the fantasy football schedule?
Each week, I’ll go through each offensive position and give you a few players I’m considering for my head-to-head lineups, as well as some of the better team defenses for you to select in order to round out those fantasy rosters. These are usually players who are getting as much volume as possible, while also coming in at value prices. I’ll also include some players I’m considering for my tournament pool play. And while things may change between this posting and game time, I’ll do whatever I can to keep people updated on my various social media channels all the way up until kickoff on Sunday.
With all of that in mind, here are my favorite plays for Week 14.
Joe Burrow ($7,000 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel), Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: Burrow, coming off another win against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, now gets to try to defeat the Browns for the first time in his career. The Browns are allowing a league-high 3.8 red zone drives per game, so there will be plenty of opportunities for TD passes. Burrow has logged eight games with 270-plus passing yards, tied for the most in the league.
Geno Smith ($6,200 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel), Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers: Smith has been kind of a warm blanket at quarterback on DraftKings for the past month, averaging over 20 fantasy points per game but never seeing his salary go above this week’s $6,200. Smith has had over 275 passing yards in each of his last four games and 20-plus rushing yards in four of his last five. When we look at how the Carolina defense has performed over the last six weeks, we see the sixth-highest completion percentage allowed and the fourth-most blitz-heavy team in the league. In 2022, Smith has absolutely shined against the blitz with a 74.1% completion rate that is five full percentage points better than any other quarterback and 12.5 percentage points higher than the league average.
Also interested in
Jared Goff ($5,600 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel), Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings: This game has the highest projected total of any game on the slate — by a full six points. That’s extremely significant as implied team totals correlate extremely well to QB fantasy scoring. Goff has posted much better fantasy numbers at home versus on the road, as well as playing in domes versus playing outside. He’s averaging 22.0 fantasy points at home compared to just 9.0 on the road. The Vikings, while being a team that’s won a lot of games, have not been a good defense. They rank 27th in pressure rate and have allowed 325-plus passing yards six times this season — three of those games were against the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Mac Jones, and Mike White.
Field Yates, Mike Clay and Stephania Bell break down Jared Goff’s fantasy production so far this season.
Dalvin Cook ($7,300 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel), Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: You’re going to notice a theme in this week’s best buys, being that I want to get as much exposure to this game as possible. The Lions are the second-worst red zone defense in the league and Cook has scored a touchdown in four straight games against Detroit. In those four games, he has totaled 87 touches, 572 yards, and six total touchdowns.
Derrick Henry $7,900 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel), Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Henry is going through a bit of a rough stretch, but looking at the teams that he has played over the last four games, it’s understandable. Sometimes you want to jump onto a premium player when they have not performed over the last few weeks since both the percentage of the competition selecting them in tournaments and their DraftKings price have gone down. This is exactly one of those spots. Henry has pwned the Jaguars, with 130-plus rushing yards in three of his last four games against them and a ridiculous 5.9 yards per carry across those four games. He has also seen multiple rushing touchdowns in four of his last six games against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed over 110 scrimmage yards to a running back six times this season.
Ezekiel Elliott ($6,100 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel), Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans: The argument over whether Elliott or Tony Pollard is the better running back has been solved, at least in my opinion. It is extremely clear that Pollard is the better back by just about every metric available to us in fantasy football. But, you know what? None of that matters. All we should care about in fantasy football is which running back is getting the most volume — and on this Cowboys team, Elliott out-snaps and out-touches Pollard when both are healthy. The Texans have allowed the second-most RB yards per contact in the league and 169.1 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys have the highest implied team total (31) on the slate, are favored by 16 points, and Elliott has scored a touchdown in five straight games.
Also interested in
Zonovan Knight ($5,100 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel), New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: Life comes at you fast. Three weeks ago, none of us knew who Knight even was, and it appears that DraftKings hasn’t really paid attention to the volume and effectiveness that he has run with over the last two weeks. The matchup against the Bills is tough, but not unbeatable. The Bills defense is playing much differently after their bye, compared to how tough they were before the week off. Buffalo allowed 1.5 yards after first contact before their Week 7 bye, but have allowed 2.9 yards after first contact since — going from the league’s best in that category to the league’s worst! Knight is the only running back in the NFL with 65 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards in both of the last two weeks and he has seen eight targets across the last two games, which is more than enough volume in DraftKings full-PPR with bonus scoring.
Stephania Bell and Field Yates explain why they are not committed to Zonovan Knight in Week 14.
Justin Jefferson ($9,000 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel), Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: I told you I was going to be stacking up players from this game, and I wasn’t lying. Jefferson has either scored a touchdown or had 95 receiving yards in eight of the nine games since the Lions shut him down in Week 3. As much as the Lions defense have been the “Coors Field of fantasy football,” I’m willing to bet that they will not shut Jefferson down again here in Week 14. There’s enough value at both running back and quarterback to allow us to pay up for both Jefferson as well as our next WR recommendation below.
Amon-Ra St. Brown ($7,800 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel), Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings: I believe that St. Brown should be an $8,400 player, based on the volume that he projects to get in the Lions’ passing game. Anytime he is priced below that, I believe he is a bargain. St. Brown has six straight games with at least eight targets and four in a row with seven-plus catches. In Week 13, he finally got that little bit of red zone usage we have been longing for, with four red zone looks compared to a total of three such targets over his previous five games. Expect a “sprint to the finish line” not unlike last year, where St. Brown logged eight catches every single game over the final six weeks of the season.
The Fantasy Focus panel praises Amon-Ra St. Brown’s season for fantasy managers.
Also interested in
Garrett Wilson ($5,900 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel), New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: Wilson has been fantastic over the last couple of weeks, ever since the Jets switched to White at quarterback. A wide receiver has hit the 100-yard bonus against Buffalo six times this season — and five of those times, that wide receiver also scored a touchdown. The last time these two teams played, Wilson caught 8-of-9 targets for 92 yards and his volume appears to be safe in this Jets offense.
DeVonta Smith ($6,300 DraftKings, $7,000 DraftKings), Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Smith has really shined since Dallas Goedert has been out due to injury, logging more than a 30% market share over the last four games, with at least eight targets in all four contests.
T.J. Hockenson ($5,300 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel), Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Yes, when I told you I was going to play a lot of players from this game, I meant I was going to play a lot of players from this game. Detroit has allowed a tight end to score a touchdown on a league-high 10% of their targets and Hockenson has seen multiple red zone targets in three of the five games since being acquired by the Vikings. It’s always fun to talk about the narratives in a game, not unlike A.J. Brown going up against his old teammates in Week 13. We have a similar “revenge game” scenario here, with Hockenson squaring off against Detroit. Tight end is a “separator position” in tournaments as most tight ends cannot score over 20-25 DraftKings points, but Hockenson certainly can.
Pat Freiermuth ($4,500 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel), Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens: Freiermuth has been a source of “PPR gold” all season, with seven-plus targets in seven out of his 11 games. Baltimore sees opponents throw the ball 36 times per game, tied for the fourth-highest total in the league. They also allow the third-highest TE completion percentage at 77.9%. This seems like a very easy spot this week, at a middle price, for a very quality tight end.
Also interested in
Chigoziem Okonkwo ($2,700 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel), Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Okonkwu has seen five targets in both of the last two games, which is more than enough for him to pay off his DraftKings salary. However, there’s more to like than that, considering his ridiculous downfield ability. He’s managed to reel in a catch of 30-plus yards in four of his last five games and a catch of 40-plus yards in three of his last five.
Dallas Cowboys ($3,800 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel), vs. Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers ($2,800 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel), vs. Ravens
Carolina Panthers ($2,200 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel), at Seahawks
Disclaimer: Al Zeidenfeld (Username: Al_Smizzle) plays on his personal account in games for which he offers advice. He may also deploy different players/strategies than what he advises.