Week 14 is here and the end is nigh. There are a lot of plays this week that I like at different price levels. The one thing I’m going to try to keep in mind when constructing rosters is floor and guaranteed workload. I’ll be less likely to take chances this week, because I think you can construct a roster without doing that in cash games and small field tourneys.
Baker Mayfield – Week in and week out I see Baker come in very low in rankings and projections. Yet, he continues to produce. Last week I stayed off of him and the tough road matchup got the best of him, as he threw three interceptions. He still nearly threw for 400 yards and a touchdown, so all was not lost. I love the matchup with the Panthers at home in this one and think he’ll go overlooked once again. If playing Baker, I will roster him naked, because I have no interest in any of his pass catchers.
Jameis Winston – It’s no secret at this point that the QB1 for the Bucs is having a historic fantasy year. Winston is the starter for now and he gets a decent matchup against the Saints. The Saints defense has allowed nearly all of their production through the air, and I expect Winston to throw it a lot, as his defense should give up more than their fair share of points. It would not surprise me to look up and see Winston as the top scoring fantasy QB at the end of the week.
Aaron Rodgers – This could go two different ways. The first, this team could come out flat knowing they don’t have much to play for. Or, they could come out rejuvenated after Mike McCarthy was fired after last week’s horrific showing. There has been a lot of talk about how bad the play calling was in Green Bay, so I expect to see them switch things up this week and show us some different things. The matchup is there, as the Falcons have been pretty bad on the road.
Josh Allen – The more I dig in here, the more Allen stands out to me. While everyone is swooning over Lamar Jackson and his rushing ability, Allen has quietly rushed for 234 yards the last two weeks, with a rushing touchdown. He also passed for 391 combined yards and three touchdowns. Compared to Jackson, Allen has thrown for 88 more yards and rushed for 88 more yards, while combining for one more touchdown. His upside is helping him find his way onto my tournament roster.
Saquon Barkley – This is a volume play in a really good matchup. Barkley is my favorite stud RB play. After allowing only one team to rush for more than 87 yards over their first seven games, the Redskins have allowed 128 yards or more rushing in four of their last five games. Barkley should see 25-30 touches here, making his floor rock solid.
Jeff Wilson Jr. – Wilson is nearly the last man standing in San Francisco, as Matt Breida has already been ruled out. Wilson performed nicely last week, running the ball 15 times for just over 60 yards, but more importantly seeing nine targets, finishing with eight catches for over 70 yards. That pass game involvement is what has me most excited, along with his dirt cheap price. I look at the matchup with Denver as fairly neutral, but he’s a bell cow type back with a lot of pass game work.
Austin Ekeler – Ekeler flopped on Sunday night football, while Justin Jackson shined. I’m going to go back to Ekeler here. He has the track record this season and last and I’ll just chalk up Week 13 as being an outlier. This matchup is outstanding. My biggest regret last week was not playing Phillip Lindsay over Aaron Jones. The Bengals rush defense is seriously atrocious. Ekeler has big play ability and I think he bounces back in a big way here. Last week’s down game did us a favor, keeping his price down.
Ezekiel Elliot – Elliott is right behind Barkley as my second favorite stud running back. Similar to Washington, the Eagles only allowed more than 55 rushing yards once over their first eight games. Since then, they’ve allowed over 100 in each of their last four, with five rushing touchdowns. Elliott has been heavily involved in the passing game as well lately. I worry about this game not featuring a ton of offense, but Elliott fits the mold for what I mentioned earlier. He’s locked in to a big floor and a lot of touches.
Jaylen Samuels – Samuels is a large field tourney play for me. On other weeks, I might be more willing to go there, but I like the two cheap plays already mentioned better overall. I’ll still have exposure if I enter multiplier lineups on Draftkings.
I still like all of the guys I’ve mentioned above, but Justin Jackson is starting to jump out to me over Ekeler for the price. Going back and looking at their game last week and listening to a little bit of coach speak about Ekeler “wearing down,” I think we see Jackson handle more of the workload this week. He has a really nice floor at his price and his ceiling is way better than said price.
I think there could be a case to be made to jam in three stud running backs and avoid the possible land mines from the cheap guys available this week. If I do this, I’d probably include Christian McCaffrey with the two guys above. He’s expensive, but he’s a smash play every week.
Chris Godwin – Godwin is going to be locked into my lineups this week if Desean Jackson sits again, which I expect him to do. He has a track record of being heavily involved when he’s given a full work load and has shown a high floor in those scenarios. He has plenty of upside to go with it. His price is the final feather in his cap. I’ll likely have 100% exposure this week.
Keenan Allen – Allen has been incredible over the past five weeks with at least 124 yards and/or a touchdown in each. As I wrote about with Ekeler, the Bengals defense is really bad right now. Allen should have no problems feasting yet again.
Amari Cooper – Cooper has seen a resurgence since coming to Dallas. Oakland has to be really bad for a player to come to Dallas and thrive. But Dak Prescott has shown a lot of trust in Cooper, peppering him with plenty of targets. Much like the Eagles’ run defense, their pass defense has struggled as well. In fact it’s been one of the worst in the league. I think we can expect close to 10 targets, locking in that floor and heavy upside.
Davante Adams – Adams is as steady as they come. He’s shined all year long, in some very tough matchups. Rodgers has shown a propensity to look Adams way, and despite the changes going on in Green Bay, Adams should continue to see the heavy target share. The Falcons have allowed eight passing touchdowns to wide receivers over their past four road games.
If I’m playing Josh Allen, I’m considering pairing him with Zay Jones and Robert Foster. This would allow me to jam in three stud running backs and with Kelvin Benjamin no longer in town, Jones should see around 10 targets, while Foster should vary somewhere between five and 10. It’s risky, but if they somehow hit, along with Allen and the stud running backs, you’re winning a tournament.
Zach Ertz – Ertz roasted the Cowboys earlier this season and I don’t see any reason he can’t do it again. Tight end has been a thin position all season long, so if you want to know what you’re getting, go with Ertz.
Eric Ebron – You can save some money but still lock in a big floor and upside with Ebron. He saw 13 targets last week and I expect he’ll see a heavy target share once again this week. Houston is allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Ebron caught a touchdown against them earlier this season.
Matt LaCosse – LaCosse let every one down last week, registering just one target and zero catches. This is a quiet bounce back spot for him this week. Reports out of Broncos camp on Wednesday are that Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles. If that’s the case, then we should see LaCosse become even more involved (than he was prior to last week). I don’t think many people will trust him after last week, but he’s a sneaky plan in tournaments.
That’s it for this week. If you have any input about what you like or don’t like about the format, feel free to let me know on twitter @mrclutchdfs. Best of luck this weekend!
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