DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 14
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into a feature role and become an excellent play.
Also, check out numberFire's premium tools at your disposal. In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through this week's top plays on the DraftKings main slate.
Alex Smith ($6,500): Right when we're ready to stick a fork in Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs offense, he goes and drops 40.64 DraftKings points on the New York Jets. Given the Chiefs' struggles prior to last week, it's still best to temper expectations, but Smith is set up to succeed against the Oakland Raiders, who rank 31st against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, 25th in sacks (22.0), and last in interceptions (1). Despite Smith's rollercoaster season, he's averaging 8.1 yards per pass attempt, and the Chiefs have been one of the most pass-heavy teams over their last three games. In the same price range, if Matthew Stafford ($6,300) is healthy, he gets an excellent matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, numberFire's 29th-ranked pass defense.
Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,500): Although he didn't account for any touchdowns, Jimmy Garoppolo made a solid first start for the San Francisco 49ers, throwing for 293 yards and 1 interception against the Chicago Bears. He'll face a much more forgiving Houston Texans defense in Week 14 that ranks 19th against the pass, 30th in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.8), and 27th in passing touchdowns allowed (23). Garoppolo's lack of weapons puts a damper on his upside, but he remains at an appealing price point.
DeShone Kizer ($4,900): For as poor of a real-life quarterback DeShone Kizer has been, he's actually hit at least 14.9 DraftKings points in four of the last five games, which is about all we need from him to strike value at his sub-$5,000 salary. Kizer's rushing ability is the main draw, as he's fourth among quarterbacks in rushing yards (308) to go with 5 rushing touchdowns. He's an inconsistent passer -- evidenced by his league-high 15 interceptions -- but after a tough stretch of games, he finally gets a soft matchup against the 26th-ranked Green Bay Packers pass defense. You may have also heard he has some guy named Josh Gordon to throw to now.
Todd Gurley ($8,100): Todd Gurley has been a regular in these parts this season, and with Le'Veon Bell off the main slate once again, Gurley is your safest running back on the board. Gurley's volume is as secure as they come, sporting a strong 39.5% total market share of carries and targets while seeing 91.8% of snaps over his last three games. Even against a tough Philadelphia Eagles defense, the Los Angeles Rams are home favorites, and Gurley has dropped below 14 DraftKings points just once this year.
Alfred Morris ($5,500): The Dallas Cowboys finally got things going on offense last week. With a positive game script in hand, any fears of a split backfield quickly vanished as they rode Alfred Morris for 27 carries on his way to 127 yards and a touchdown. Rod Smith was still the passing-down back and saw 10 touches of his own, but his touchdown came in garbage time. It was clear the Cowboys' ideal game plan is to run, run, run with Morris. In fact, they ran 64.6% of the time in Week 13, by far the highest rate in the league. The Cowboys are on the road this time, but are 3.5-point favorites against the New York Giants and have a good chance to have game flow on their side again. Morris' lack of passing game involvement does lower his floor, but we have to like his chances of success against the Giants -- he's averaging 5.4 yards per attempt and New York ranks 18th against the run.
Giovani Bernard ($3,100): We have some intriguing value running backs that emerged from Week 13, but by far the cheapest and safest is Giovani Bernard. Joe Mixon suffered a concussion Monday and looks unlikely to play, leaving Bernard as the only show in town against the Chicago Bears. While the matchup isn't great, Bernard saw 15 touches with Mixon sidelined last week and should have no problem surpassing that mark versus Chicago. The Bengals are 6.5-point home favorites, and if we couple that with Bernard's pass-catching chops, he should easily exceed value at such a low salary.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8,500): Much like Todd Gurley at running back, DeAndre Hopkins' consistent weekly workload arguably gives him the safest floor among wideouts. Hopkins has survived the Tom Savage era through sheer volume, averaging 12.6 targets a game, giving him a 32.1% target market share over the last five games. He hasn't fallen below 16 DraftKings points in any of those games and now gets numberFire's 30th-ranked pass defense in the San Francisco 49ers.
Michael Crabtree ($6,700): Michael Crabtree is old reliable for the Raiders, hitting double-digit DraftKings points in seven of nine games. Coming off a one-game suspension, Crabtree could see a boost in targets with Amari Cooper still looking shaky to play. He also gets the luxury of facing a poor Chiefs defense that ranks 22nd against the pass and 28th in passing yards allowed per game. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, the Chiefs will be missing top cornerback Marcus Peters, who is suspended this week.
Josh Gordon ($5,500): Between last week's 11 targets, the matchup against Green Bay, and overall hype/talent, Josh Gordon will be extremely popular in Week 14. And even with just the one-game sample size and DeShone Kizer at quarterback, it's hard to argue with that given the projected volume at this low price. The only thing that could derail this hype train are some potential high winds in the forecast. Keep an eye on how things are looking Sunday morning.
Travis Kelce ($7,400): You don't really need a lot of convincing to use Travis Kelce, but with no Rob Gronkowski, and Zach Ertz in a tough spot, Kelce is by far the top tight end on the board. He leads all tight ends in targets, leads the Chiefs in red zone targets, and gets a matchup against the woeful Raiders defense. He's cracked 20 DraftKings points in four of the last five games.
Stephen Anderson ($3,200): With both C.J. Fiedorowicz and Bruce Ellington forced out of Week 13's contest against the Tennessee Titans, Stephen Anderson picked up the slack with a career-high 12 targets. Fiedorowicz and Ellington were lost to injured reserve this week, so even with the potential return of Will Fuller, Anderson should see a heavy dosage of targets against the 49ers at basement-level pricing.
Jacksonville D/ST ($3,500): What happens when the unstoppable force meets an... you get the picture. The top overall fantasy scorer, Russell Wilson, treks to Jacksonville to take on numberFire's top overall defense, leaving a bit of a conundrum for Wilson owners in season-long leagues. But for our purposes here, this is the cheapest the Jaguars' defense has been in a long time, providing a nice chance to buy low. It's not unreasonable to expect Wilson to manufacture some points, but we should also see the Jags get plenty of sack and turnover opportunities against a Seattle offense that typically struggles to run the ball. Jacksonville leads the league in Football Outsiders' adjusted sack rate by a wide margin, and is second in takeaways (27).
Buffalo D/ST ($3,100): Buffalo isn't a particularly noteworthy defense, but the Indianapolis Colts' offense continues to be one to attack every week, with Jacoby Brissett leading all quarterbacks in sacks (47). It's worth noting that while the Bills are the most expensive defense on FanDuel, they're just the 10th-most expensive on DraftKings.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.