Daily fantasy football is in a weird spot this week, as week 14 provides six divisional showdowns and six games overall between teams with .500 records or better.
With so much on the line, this week could provide some tough defensive battles, which may mean DFS production across the board could suffer.
Last week certainly saw some of that, so it could be more important than ever to load up on studs and hope your NFL DFS sleepers pan out. One way to make sure that ends up happening is to target the best possible daily fantasy football value picks. Matchup and talent play a key role, but sometimes a price is so obvious, you can’t bypass a player.
That figures to be the case with several options at DraftKings this week. Let’s take a closer look and see which NFL DFS value picks should be in play for week 14:
It’s crazy to say it, but Aaron Rodgers might be the best pure NFL DFS value play for week 14. Sure, he has been dealing with a bad hamstring and a tough Seattle defense is in town, but when you can get a fantasy beast like A-Rod for less than $6.5k, you don’t think twice.
Adding to the allure is Rodgers’ ability to win despite his ailment, as he still managed a solid 16 fantasy points last week against a solid Texans defense. Seattle is a better unit, but they’ll be without stud safety Earl Thomas (broken leg) and that could be huge for Rodgers. None of this locks Rodgers in as an elite DFS play, but he’s at home in a game the Packers have to have. Betting against him feels unwise.
Andy Dalton has the better matchup and might be safer, of course. He’s taking on a Brown team that has zero wins and ranks 31st against fantasy passers in 2016. Dalton will still be without star wide receiver A.J. Green, but he has enough weapons to produce at a solid level.
Carson Palmer looks like a solid play in week 14, too, as he’s fresh off of fantasy outing (26 fantasy points) and like Rodgers, needs to keep winning games for his Cardinals. He has a solid enough matchup, too, with Miami ranking just 28th against quarterbacks in fantasy circles. Oh, and after Joe Flacco just obliterated them, Palmer is looking even better.
The true value play just might end up being Eli Manning, as he’s insanely cheap ahead of a huge battle with the Cowboys. Manning rocked Dallas in week one (3 TDs) and could easily do so again, as he’ll be at home, where he averages over 20 fantasy points per contest. He could also take a dive like he did last week (just 13 fantasy points), but this game is as big as it gets and he’s too cheap to ignore.
Running back looks like a pretty stacked position these days, as you have to pay quite the price to get the top studs. David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell will undoubtedly be popular plays, but with somewhat questionable matchups, it’s not crazy to think they fail to exceed their lofty expectations.
Whether that happens or not, paying down at running back makes sense, especially with so much interesting value at hand. Devonta Freeman kicks that notion off, as he’s barely over $6.1k and is coming off of two straight gems (21 and 26 fantasy points). Freeman has a nice matchup, as he gets a Rams run defense that ranks 31st against running backs over the last four weeks.
There is a lot of value to be had at the running back position, as Jeremy Hill is also pretty cheap despite being pretty consistent (10+ fantasy points in five of his last six games). Hill doesn’t explode much, but he could this week in a tasty matchup with a bad Browns defense. Cleveland has improved slightly over their last four games, but on the year they still rank just 31st against fantasy running backs.
It is tough to be all in on the likes of Carlos Hyde, Todd Gurley or Lamar Miller this week, but they’re all so cheap that we have to pay them notice. Gurley has been tough to trust all season, but here he is again at a fantastic price and he gets a Falcons defense ranking 30th against running backs in 2016. The situation is about as nice for Miller, who gets a Colts defense giving up the 8th most fantasy points to runners this year.
Lastly, we should consider the seasoned Frank Gore, who doesn’t explode much, but has been very reliable all year long. He could be in another fine spot, as he put up a solid 14.8 fantasy points the last time he took on the Texans.
Wide receiver is loaded in week 14, making it one of the best positions to pay up at. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value, as Tyrell Williams heads a solid list of cheap options that could pay off.
Tyrell Williams has stepped up for the Chargers lately, producing 10+ fantasy points in five of his last six contests. With Philip Rivers trusting him as San Diego’s top weapon in the passing game these days, Williams looks like a fine play versus a Carolina secondary ranking just 30th against wide receivers on the year.
Emmanuel Sanders looks to be in a good spot in week 14, as Trevor Siemian is due back and the Broncos face a bad Titans defense. Tennessee has specifically had issues with opponent’s passing games, as they’ve allowed the third most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2016.
Seattle presents a tough matchup for the Packers, but they’ll be without their top cover safety and Davante Adams has been prone to some big games this year. He could be in for another big one in week 14, as Richard Sherman will likely be busy covering Jordy Nelson. Even if Adams doesn’t score, his should have a high volume role and rack up a good amount of receptions.
We shouldn’t forget about DeSean Jackson and his big play ability, especially as he heads back to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Jackson is always a threat to spring a long touchdown, but that could especially be the case this week when he takes on an Eagles pass defense that ranks 30th over the last four weeks.
Tight end could be a tough position to excel at in week 14, as Rob Gronkowski is out for the year and Jordan Reed won’t be 100% healthy if he plays. That hurts the position at the top, but with Greg Olsen’s price reduced due to a poor run as of late, he could be one of the better value plays.
Olsen was a monster in 2015 and has certainly had his moments this year, but he’s been quiet for roughly a month. Week 14 could bring out the best in him, as Olsen and his Panthers face a Chargers defense that has been an average unit against the position in 2016.
Zach Ertz might end up being a more comfortable play, as he put up a nice line last week and has a better matchup by the numbers in week 14. Ertz has been very hit or miss all year long, but perhaps a date with a Redskins defense that has ranked 26th versus tight ends over the last four games could make him more enticing than usual.
Ladarius Green was looking like a bust all summer, but finally blew up last week and is now without a doubt one of the top value plays going into week 14. He may not be quite as big as he was last week (26 fantasy points), but the talent, role and price all combine to make him an excellent value pick.
C.J. Fiedorowicz is shaping up as a fine play in week 14, as he’s maintained a steady role in Houston’s weak passing game. The Texans take on a weak Colts defense that ranks just 24th against the tight end position on the year, as well. The odds look good that Fiedorowicz could top 10+ fantasy points for the third time in four games.
Picking the right defense is extremely problematic on a weekly basis, but week 14 figures to provide plenty of suitable options. Miami is usually a reliable unit to roll with, and despite a bad showing in week 13, they could again be in play. Of course, your perspective on the Dolphins may hinge on how you think Carson Palmer will fare.
Indianapolis and San Francisco aren’t normally reliable defenses in daily fantasy football, but they could be in week 14. The Colts and 49ers both have very positive matchups, with Indianapolis facing a lethargic Houston offense, while San Francisco gets Bryce Petty and the Jets. The Colts and 49ers are risky plays, but they are cheap and could easily end up panning out.
The Buccaners have to be one of the top value plays this week, as they are on quite a roll these days. Playing anyone against an explosive Saints offense is dangerous, but Drew Brees and co. will be on the road in Tampa Bay and they tend to struggle away from home. Tampa Bay’s recent play is rather inspiring, as their defense has produced 12+ fantasy points in three of their last four games (all wins).
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