Between the Bankroll and Me: Fanduel Week 14

(Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

Welcome to Fanduel week 14! Overall last week was a success with many of our plays hitting, so I’ll keep this short and sweet and just get into who I like. Good luck!

Quarterback

Alex Smith ($8,200) vs. Oakland

Well, well, well, how the tables have turned from just a week ago. After being left for dead by many, Smith now finds himself as the second highest priced quarterback on the slate. A matchup with the 32nd ranked pass defense will help with that, but Smith’s resurrection last week against the Jets surely played a large part in his price hike. For the record, he’s still strictly a tournament-only play for me as I’m not ready to once again trust in him cash, but the matchup is drool worthy.

Dak Prescott ($7,700) @ NYG

Speaking of resurrection, while Prescott’s performance last Thursday against Washington wasn’t quite on the level of Alex Smith’s, it was reassuring to see him look like his old self. This week Dallas travels to face a Giants team that has seemingly checked out in all fazes. The Cowboys will be a four-point road favorite and you’d have to think he’ll do much better than his 24-39/268/1 line he put up when the two teams met in week one. I could understand reservations about not wanting to roll him out in cash, but the price is cash game worthy.

Case Keenum ($7,500) @ Carolina

The more and more I think about it, unless you prefer to look cheaper (which is totally viable this week – more on that in a second), Keenum makes for the perfect cash game signal caller this week. Over his past five games, he has amassed 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions, and has scored 17 or more fantasy points in each. Additionally, he has one of the best receiver duos to throw to in Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs, and is facing a Carolina defense that has surrendered 20 or more points in three straight.

Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,000) @ Houston

This price feels a tad high for a quarterback making his second start with a new team, but I’m going to chalk that up to the matchup against Houston, who are tied for the third worst in the league with 23 passing touchdowns given up. Despite not scoring last week against Chicago (which is no walk in the park, btw), Jimmy G was quite efficient completing 26 of 37 passes, for 293 yards. He showed immediate chemistry with several of his receivers, and even had four rushing attempts. All good signs. He probably won’t come with a lot of upside (yet), but if we see similar passing production with a touchdown or two, he could easily blow right by this price tag.

Blaine Gabbert ($6,600) vs. Tennessee

Gabbert doesn’t evoke much confidence from me this week, but if you’re absolutely looking to punt I suppose you could roll him out there. Tennessee is still putrid against the pass, ranking 25th, and Gabbert has scored double digits in all three of his starts.

 

Running Back

Lesean McCoy ($9,000) vs. Indianapolis

No brainer here. Buffalo is a huge home favorite, and McCoy is seeing just over 21 touches per game. He’s expensive and has had a couple “down” games in a row now, which could keep his ownership levels in check. If you go cheap at quarterback, you should have room for Shady.

Kareem Hunt ($7,200) vs. Oakland

My how the mighty have fallen. Earlier in the year, we couldn’t click on the green plus sign next to his name fast enough, now we have serious doubts. Those doubts remain heading into a dream matchup against Oakland this week, and it’s entirely possible he’s hit that infamous “rookie wall”, but we can’t ignore him in this spot, either (at least I can’t). The Chiefs have an excellent 25.5 implied total, and this game could shootout, like the first matchup did. He’s impossible to trust in cash games, but there is undeniable tournament appeal here.

Alfred Morris ($6,800) vs. NYG

If you’re looking to get exposure to Dallas this week but don’t trust Dak just yet, look no further than Morris. He looked tremendous against Washington last week, as racked up 127 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 27 carries. Look for Dallas to do the same this week, provided they do what they’re supposed to do and get out to a lead against the Giants. Morris should be quite chalky this week.

Lamar Miller ($6,600) vs. San Francisco

Miller is the personification of a “meh” or “blah” running back, but backs on home favorites that average 18 touches per game can’t be ignored. San Francisco ranks 20th against the run per DVOA, and have been a plug n’ play spot for opposing running backs all year. He makes for an awesome pivot off of our next player…

Jamaal Williams ($6,600) @ Cleveland

Williams is all the rage right now for fantasy football players, as he’s seemingly taken over the backfield in Green Bay with four straight games of 20-plus touches. I got scared off of him last week with Aaron Jones being active, but with Williams recent form it’s hard to imagine the team wanting to buck that trend. The price is still not reflective of his talent and opportunity, but the window to expose it will probably close after this week.

 

Wide Receiver

DeAndre Hopkins ($8,600) vs San Francisco/ Keenan Allen ($8,400) vs. Washington

Nothing special here. Both are the cream of the crop right now, are being targeted out the wazoo, and have excellent home matchups this week. Not sure you can fit both, but if you can more power to you.

Larry Fitzgerald ($7,600) vs. Arizona

Ah, the ageless wonder. If Gabbert is someone we’re at least considering as a play this week, naturally we have to consider his favorite target. In Gabbert’s three starts, he’s seen 28 total targets, has gone for 90-plus yards twice and has two scores.

Mike Evans ($7,300) vs. Detroit

Evans let us all down last week in a dream spot against Green Bay, but, like I’ve said all year, it’s after games like that where we need to have short memories and be willing to hop right back on that train. Detroit doesn’t appear to be a great spot on paper, and surely he will see plenty of stud cornerback Darius Slay, but Evans’ size/speed combo coupled with being at home and having Jameis Winston back for a second game should be enough to propel him in this matchup.

Stefon Diggs ($6,800) @ Carolina

I love Keenum this week, which means I also love his targets. Thielen is of course in play, but I prefer Diggs given that his price has dropped significantly. He has seen five or more targets in five straight games, which is something we can hang our hat on going forward. Carolina currently ranks 23rd in DVOA against number one receivers, surrendering 8.3 catches per game to the position.

Josh Gordon ($6,700) vs. Green Bay

Gordon is sure to be chalky this week, as everyone has now seen that he needed little to no time to apparently regain his elite form. Last week, IN HIS FIRST GAME SINCE 2014, he saw an unreal 11 targets, hauling in four of them for 85 yards, including a spectacular 28-yard catch where he beat stud corner, Casey Heyward. Coming from DeShone Kizer, the targets will be inefficient, but if he’s seeing this type of volume then we have to consider him, especially while his price is this low. The price and projected volume keep him in play for cash games, but obviously he possesses as much upside as any receiver in the league, making him an excellent tournament play.

 

Tight End

Travis Kelce ($8,000) vs. Oakland

With Gronk serving his (very deserved) one game suspension this week, Kelce becomes the highest priced tight end. I’ve already laid out how the Kansas City offense is in such a great spot this week, and obviously that extends to Alex Smith’s favorite target. The price is high, but so is the floor and very well the ceiling.

Evan Engram ($6,900) vs. Dallas

Even with Geno Smith slinging the rock last week, Engram continued his dominance with seven catches for 99 yards and a score. Eli returns to the lineup this week, which should only boost Engram’s outlook against a Dallas team that ranks 25th defending the position. He could very well end up being the chalk play this week.

Cameron Brate ($5,400) vs. Detroit

With Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, Brate had been basically left for dead by fantasy owners as he failed to see more than three targets in any of Fitzs’ starts. But, with Winston returning last week, the targets returned to level we’d grown accustomed to seeing with six, hauling in two of them for two scores. Detroit comes to town and brings their 31st ranked tight end defense, making Brate a prime candidate to stay hot.

 

Defense

Cincinnati ($4,600) vs. Chicago

Defense is a tricky position this week. Sure, you could pay up for Buffalo at home against Indy, or roll the dice with #Sacksonville at home against a white hot Russell Wilson and Co., but instead I’m targeting a couple cheaper teams in the mid to low range. Cincinnati is a 6.5-point home favorite against Chicago this week, and while they’ve been somewhat underwhelming from a counting stats point of view, they do rank fifth in sacks with 34 which should hopefully lead to some turnovers against an inexperienced Trubisky.

LA Rams ($4,400) vs. Philadelphia

On paper this doesn’t appear as a matchup we want to target with the total (48.5) being one of the highest on the slate, but the Rams rank third in sacks, fifth in interceptions and fourth in touchdowns. I like them to come to play against MVP candidate Carson Wentz, and should force him into a few turnovers.

 

Kicker

Harrison Butker ($4,800) vs. Oakland

Chiefs have one of the best implied totals on the slate, and like I said earlier this could turn into a shootout.

 

 

 

 

 

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