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RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 14

Fri Dec 6 12:40pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Adams is a top play in Week 14


We have no teams on a bye in Week 14, so there are plenty of options to select from in DFS. Regardless if you are looking to spend big or find some cheaper value plays, there are several intriguing options to consider at each position. On top of that, there are some names you’ll want to avoid, so let’s get right to it and break down the slate.

QUARTERBACKS

Top-tier option: Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. DET ($6,500): Even though the Vikings couldn’t pull out the win, Cousins played well against the Seahawks last week with 276 passing yards and two touchdowns. He’s thrown at least two touchdown passes in four straight games, giving him 23 for the season. This is a great matchup for him to keep things rolling since the Lions have allowed the third-most passing yards per game in the league. The last time these two teams faced off, Cousins finished with 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Cheap target: Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA at NYJ ($5,700): Fitzpatrick has the ability to put up a gaudy stat line whenever he steps onto the field, which he did last week against the Eagles when he finished with 365 passing yards and three touchdowns. However, he has just as good of a chance to put up a dud, which makes him a risky option to only consider in tournament play. With that being said, this might be the week to take a chance on him with the Jets likely to be without star safety Jamal Adams (ankle). When Fitzpatrick faced them in Week 9, he threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

Player to avoid: Drew Brees, NO vs. SF ($6,200): Although the Saints defeated the Falcons in Week 13, it wasn’t a banner game for Brees, who finished with 184 passing yards and a touchdown. He only attempted 30 passes and failed to throw for at least two touchdowns for the second time across his last four contests. With the 49ers allowing by far the fewest passing yards per game, paying this much for Brees might be a bad idea.

RUNNING BACKS

Top-tier option: Christian McCaffrey, CAR at ATL ($9,000): It’s crazy to think that McCaffrey was a disappointment last week since he had 102 total yards, but that’s how high expectations are for him. The Panthers made a coaching change after that embarrassing loss to the Redskins, but McCaffrey is going to remain the focal point of their offense regardless of who is running the team. The last time he took the field against the Falcons, he ran 14 times for 70 yards and caught 11 of 14 targets for 121 yards. Don’t hesitate to pay up to get him into your entry.

Cheap target: Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. CAR ($5,000): Staying in that same game, McCaffrey isn’t the only running back to target. The Panthers have been just dreadful at slowing down opposing running attacks, allowing the fourth-most rushing yards per game. On top of that, they have allowed 22-rushing touchdowns, which is five more than any other team in the league. Freeman returned from injury last week and carried the ball 17 times while receiving five targets, so he should be set for a full workload in this contest.

Player to avoid: Alvin Kamara, NO vs. SF ($7,500): Kamara also had a quiet performance for the Saints last week, rushing 11 times for 61 yards and catching four of eight targets for 23 yards. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3 and has recorded 50 or fewer receiving yards in seven straight games. With the 49ers boasting one of the toughest defenses in the league, Kamara is way too risky at this price.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Top-tier option: Davante Adams, GB vs. WAS ($8,400): The Giants have one of the worst secondaries in the league, so it came as no surprise that Adams torched them for two touchdowns last week. He’s received at least 10 targets five straight games, which leaves him with an incredibly high floor. The Redskins are tied for the eighth-most passing touchdowns allowed, leaving Adams with a favorable opportunity to make his way into the end zone once again.

Cheap target: James Washington, PIT at ARI ($4,600): It looks like the Steelers aren’t going to have JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) for the third straight week. Washington has stepped into a leading role in his absence, posting at least 98 yards and a touchdown back-to-back games. Even though he has the inexperienced Devlin Hodges throwing passes his way, this is a matchup to exploit with the Cardinals allowing the most passing yards per game and the most passing touchdowns.

Player to avoid: Tyler Lockett, SEA at LAR ($6,800): Talk about a disappointing performance. Lockett threw up a goose egg against the Vikings last week when he failed to catch any of his three targets. Coming out the bye in Week 11, Lockett has received a total of five targets across two games. The Seahawks are a run-heavy team, so Lockett is going to have stretches like this where he isn’t overly involved. Things can turn on a dime, but with so many other viable options this week, rolling with Lockett against a Rams team that has allowed the 10th-fewest passing yards per game might not be ideal.

TIGHT ENDS

Top-tier option: Jack Doyle, IND at TB ($5,200): With Eric Ebron (ankle) lost for the season, Doyle is now the undisputed top tight end for the Colts. He cashed in his added opportunities last week against the Titans, catching six of 11 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. Not only was Ebron out for that game, but so was star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf), who might not be able to go in this game, either. Even if Hilton does suit up, the Bucs’ secondary is among the worst in the league, so Doyle could have a big afternoon.

Cheap target: Mike Gesicki, MIA at NYJ ($4,000): All the buzz in Miami has been around the stellar play of DeVante Parker, who has stepped up in a big way since Preston Williams (knee) went down. However, Gesicki has also become more involved, receiving at least six targets in all four games that Williams has missed. He has posted a touchdown back-to-back games and had 95-receiving yards against the Jets earlier this season, so he might be worth a look in tournament play. 

Player to avoid: Jared Cook, NO vs. SF ($5,800): If I’m staying away from Brees, that means I’m avoiding most of his pass catchers, as well. Cook has played well of late, but this is a horrible matchup. Add in the fact that Doyle can be had for $600 less and passing on Cook is an easy decision for me.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Player Notes
Jimmy Graham Jan 23 1:33am ET

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham is expected to be released during the offseason, in the opinion of The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty, who called the prospective move a 'given.' Graham has one year remaining on his deal. Releasing him would free up $8 million in cap room.

Fantasy Spin: Graham posted a 38-447-3 line in his age-33 season, and despite playing well in the playoffs he has been a disappointment since signing with the Packers. Wherever he plays (if he does) in 2020, Graham's days as a TE1 seem far in the rear view.

From TheHuddle

Adrian Amos Jan 23 1:23am ET

Green Bay Packers S Adrian Amos (pectoral) is unlikely to require surgery on his injured pec, according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Amos suffered the injury during the NFC Championship Game.

From TheHuddle

Austin Hooper Jan 22 11:23pm ET

Updating a previous report, impending free-agent Austin Hooper (Falcons) is expected to receive overtures from the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins if he is allowed to reach the open market, according to sources via Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline.

From TheHuddle

Robert Quinn Jan 22 11:23pm ET

Impending free-agent DE Robert Quinn (Cowboys) would prefer to remain with the Dallas Cowboys, and sources have told Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline that team owner/general manager Jerry Jones has been 'aggressive' in letting Quinn know he wants him to return.

From TheHuddle

Austin Hooper Jan 22 11:03pm ET

Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper is not close to a contract extension with the team, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff Tuesday, Jan. 21. 'The reality right now is that we are trudging along,' Dimitroff said. 'Once we get back from the Super Bowl, after the Super Bowl week we'll continue to look and see how we are moving forward. But at this point there are no updates on Austin.'

Fantasy Spin: Hooper is coming off a career year in which he caught 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns. He's an excellent third option behind WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in Atlanta, but his play this year may have priced him out of the Falcons' budget for 2020 and beyond. His potential free-agent destination would have a big impact on his 2020 draft stock.

From TheHuddle

Josh McCown Jan 22 10:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Josh McCown spoke with head coach Doug Pederson about a potential role on the coaching staff, but McCown isn't ready to retire just yet. The veteran QB came out of retirement last August to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles. He's currently recovering from a torn hamstring that he suffered in the wild-card loss to the Seahawks. McCown threw only five passes during the regular season and served as a de facto player/coach as Carson Wentz's backup. He has some potential as a future offensive coordinator, but it's unlikely he would immediately be considered as Mike Groh's successor in Philly. Wherever McCown is playing in 2020, he'll strictly be a backup and won't have any fantasy value.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Jan 22 10:13pm ET

Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) had an arrest warrant on a felony charge of burglary and battery issued against him Wednesday, Jan. 22, by Hollywood, Fla. police. A moving truck driver claimed he was assaulted by Brown and his trainer. Brown also was charged with one count of burglary of an occupied conveyance and one count of criminal mischief.

Fantasy Spin: Dynasty owners should be preparing to move on from Brown before finalizing their rosters ahead of 2020 drafts.

From TheHuddle

Odell Beckham Jr. Jan 22 10:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. will sit down with new head coach Kevin Stefanski Thursday, Jan. 23, to discuss Stefanski's plan for personal conduct. 'I'm looking forward to sitting down with Odell face to face,' Stefanski said. 'I haven't had the chance to do that yet and I get the chance to do that (Thursday). And at that point, that's when I can start laying out my expectations for Odell and all of our players.' Beckham was caught on video at the College Football Playoff Championship Game earlier this month appearing to hand out cash to LSU Tigers players, as well as appearing to slap a security officer on the butt in the locker room. Charges had been filed against Beckham for the latter incident, but they were later dropped.

Fantasy Spin: Beckham totaled 1,035 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his first season in Cleveland. Bigger things were expected, and the hiring of Stefanski should help lead to improvements for 2020. He remains a top-end WR1.

From TheHuddle

Travis Kelce Jan 22 8:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (knee) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Kelce will be just fine to suit up on Feb. 2 against the 49ers in the Super Bowl. He was the top fantasy tight end in 2019 and hasn't slowed down in the postseason, catching 13 of 16 targets for 164 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans and Titans. Most of that production came in the Divisional Round when he had 10 grabs for 134 yards and three scores, but Kelce can go off at any time and could be the X-factor in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Jan 22 7:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (shoulder) was unable to practice on Wednesday, but the team remains hopeful that he will be available for the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. The team didn't practice on Wednesday, but they were required to submit an estimated practice report. Coleman dislocated his right shoulder in the first half of the NFC Championship against the Packers and played just eight snaps. If he's active for the Super Bowl, Coleman will split snaps with Raheem Mostert, who ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers. Matt Breida will be the No. 3 back.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Jan 22 7:33pm ET

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) indicated that he will be ready for the start of offseason workouts. Cook is entering the final year of his contract and is a candidate for an extension this offseason.

Fantasy Spin: Cook was one of the top running backs in the NFL this season with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season. He will continue to be a focal point on offense for the Vikings next season and will be an early round pick in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Dee Ford Jan 22 7:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral), DE Dee Ford (hamstring, quadriceps) and S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) were limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 22. LB Dre Greenlaw (ankle) fully participated in practice. The 49ers did not hold a practice Wednesday, so the injury report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

Tevin Coleman Jan 22 6:53pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 22. The 49ers did not hold a practice Wednesday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: The 49ers are optimistic about Coleman's status for Super Bowl LIV, but he may be a game-time decision. He will share snaps with Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida if he plays and could be a flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Drew Brees Jan 22 6:43pm ET

New Orleans Saints impending free-agent QB Drew Brees is a player that the Saints want to keep as long as he wants to keep playing, according to general manager Mickey Loomis.

Fantasy Spin: Brees will be a free agent this offseason, but the Saints will try to re-sign him. He finished with 2,979 yards and 27 touchdowns in the regular season and can be considered a No. 1 quarterback in most fantasy leagues in 2020.

From TheHuddle

Jarvis Landry Jan 22 6:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip), who had a career-high 1,174 receiving yards and six touchdowns on his way to his fifth Pro Bowl selection in six years, said he played the entire 2019 season with a hip injury. "I'm good. I'm good," Landry said. "Just in this recovery process, this rehab process to make sure I can get back to my 100 percent self." The good news is that Landry won't require surgery on his hip in the offseason, and he should be fully healthy in 2020 under new head coach Kevin Stefanski. Cleveland's offense struggled to find consistency last season, but Landry was a consistent bright spot next to Odell Beckham Jr. He should once again be a rock-solid WR2 for owners in PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Jan 22 6:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Fantasy Spin: Kelce probably will be limited over the next two weeks but will be ready to play in Super Bowl LIV. He is a must-start fantasy option in all leagues as long as he is healthy.

From TheHuddle

Morris Claiborne Jan 22 6:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris D. Jones (calf) was limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 22. WR Mecole Hardman (back), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (hand) and C Austin Reiter (wrist) fully participated in practice.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Green Jan 22 5:23pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals impending free-agent WR A.J. Green is a player the Bengals plan to have on their roster next season, according to director of player personnel Duke Tobin.

Fantasy Spin: Green did not play during the 2019 season because of an ankle injury but could still receive the franchise tag this offseason. Green is a weekly starting option when healthy, but fantasy players should monitor his situation during the offseason.

From TheHuddle

Eli Manning Jan 22 5:20pm ET

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will hold a news conference on Friday to announce his retirement, according to sources. The writing has been on the wall for Manning after the Giants replaced him with rookie Daniel Jones during the 2019 season. The 39-year-old former first overall pick played in just four games for the G-Men in his 16th and final NFL season. Manning will finish his career with a 60.3 completion percentage, 57,023 passing yards, 366 touchdowns and 244 interceptions. He'll best be known for besting Tom Brady and the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl. Manning's best season came in 2011 when he threw for 4,933 yards, 29 TDs and 16 picks.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Jan 22 4:53pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton's future with the Bengals is uncertain at this time, according to director of player personnel Duke Tobin. The Bengals would save $17.7 million in salary cap space if they trade or release Dalton.

Fantasy Spin: The Bengals have the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and appear likely to take a quarterback with the pick, so Dalton could be let go this offseason. Dalton may have a chance to find a starting job in free agency but can be avoided in most fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle