Week 14 Daily Fantasy Football: Picking the Optimal Lineup
Our week 13 daily fantasy football optimal lineup was so close to winning big money. It just had three problems: the Houston Texans defense totally bombed against the Bills, C.J. Anderson got hurt and as awesome as Tom Brady was, several cheaper quarterbacks did just as good – if not better.
The lesson to be learned? Use a defense you can trust and typically it doesn’t pay to spend big on a quarterback. I don’t regret the logic behind the moves, though. Anderson going down is what it is. The guy had been coming off two strong weeks and before getting hurt had 42 rushing yards on just seven totes. He was in for a big day.
Brady crushed with 37 DraftKings points, so despite paying up for him, it’s tough to regret that. All of our value picks (Scott Chandler, Danny Amendola and David Johnson) panned out beautifully.
The defense is where I made the big mistake, as the Texans got us exactly ZERO. That came as a pretty big surprise to me, considering they had put up 11, 8, 15 and 20 fantasy point outings in the previous four weeks.
Getting burned is getting burned, though. It’s probably better to just punt defense and go as cheap as possible, or pay up for the defense with the completely fool proof matchup. There lies the dilemma as we start on our mission for the optimal lineup in week 14. Let’s see how it all works out:
QB: Tyrod Taylor – Bills ($5.4k)
A good amount of people are going to be on Taylor, but even more should be on Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston this week. Taylor gets a bad Eagles defense and has been red hot with 3 touchdown passes in each of his last two games. We need to ride the wave – especially at this price – and hope his streak runs into a third week.
RB: Ameer Abdullah – Lions ($3.6k)
Here comes Abdullah’s signature breakout game. We hope. The guy hasn’t done much since a solid week one debut, but what we do know that he’s carrying the ball at least 10 times a game and draws a Rams run defense that is getting totally carved up over the past four weeks. In a game that features Todd Gurley, perhaps it’s the cheaper Adbullah that goes nuts. There is clear risk involved, but this is a major contrarian play that not only saves us salary cap space, but also could pay off.
RB: C.J. Spiller – Saints ($3k)
I don’t trust Spiller in the least, but I’m tired of paying up for stud running backs and watching them go spare. Todd Gurley can’t be trusted, Devonta Freeman is on the road against a good run defense and a bunch of the other running backs are in time shares or have tough matchups. It’s a tough position to gauge, so why not pay next to nothing for a guy who can’t help but get some touches now that Mark Ingram is down for the year? Spiller is an explosive back that could see 10+ touches if all goes well, so he’s a solid shot in the dark if you’re entering in a GPP this week.
WR: Sammy Watkins – Bills ($6.1k)
If we’re banking on Taylor performing well, it only makes sense to grab his most explosive weapon. Watkins and Taylor are flat out clicking at the moment, while Watkins has produced 20+ fantasy points in the last two weeks. Like Taylor, let’s hope Watkins can stay hot for at least one more week.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. – Giants ($9.1k)
I love a MNF closer if it makes sense and ODB against Miami makes plenty of sense. The Giants have a lot to play for and this is a solid matchup, while ODB has also been on a nice tear with 20+ fantasy points in five straight games. Make it six in week 14.
WR: Antonio Brown – Steelers ($8.9k)
Brown struggled against the Bengals in the first game largely due to Ben Roethlisberger being a little rusty after returning from an injury. Now he’s put up 40+ fantasy points in three of his last four games and Big Ben is nothing close to rusty. I’m not sure I need much more reason than that to plug him in this week.
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Buccaneers ($2.7k)
I understand some hesitancy around ASJ due to just making it back to the field last week, but this is his second game back and he carries a good amount of upside. He’s also dirt cheap this week and faces a really bad Saints pass defense that has been second to last against tight ends over the past four weeks. After getting 6 fantasy points in his return last week, notching even 10 would be a big win at this price.
FLEX: Julio Jones – Falcons ($8.9k)
This is what using a few high upside cheap plays does for you – it opens the door to three elite wide receivers. I know Jones faces Josh Norman this week, but that’s exactly why I want a piece of Julio – because hardly anyone else will be willing to take this dive. Jones getting “shut down” probably would have him around 10 fantasy points and a decent game would be around 15. I’d be willing to take that if that ends up being the case, but the upside is always going to be through the roof. Atlanta has nothing left to lose and we did see this Panthers defense get lit up by the Saints last week. Perhaps Jones and co. find some holes and make me look like a genius this week.
DEF: San Francisco 49ers ($2.1k)
I’m either taking the Seahawks against Jimmy Clausen or paying as little as possible with the Niners. To get all the guys we want, we’re taking the dive for the Niners, who have looked good in general lately and face a bad Browns offense led by Johnny Manziel. Manziel might come in with a chip on his shoulder and play well, but thus far he’s turned the ball over a good amount, taken sacks, and has struggled to consistently put points on the board. If any combination of that happens, the Niners will be the value play of the week.
Remember, my optimal lineup doesn’t necessarily have to be your optimal lineup. If anything, this can be a starting point for you. Hate a couple of my picks? Don’t want to pay up for a certain guy or don’t trust another? Swap them out and re-build this team yourself. We’ll be entering this one in a big GPP in week 14 and we’ll report on how it did next week. No matter which way you go in DFS this week, good luck!
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