Week 14 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: December 8th 2016

Week 14 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming weekend slate:

Tyrod Taylor, Bills, $10,600 – Something has got to give in this matchup between a defense that has only allowed 82 yards rushing to opposing QBs all season versus the NFL’s leader in rushing yardage (469) and rushing TDs (six) by a QB. The Steelers’ effectiveness against rushing QBs is a little misleading as they have not faced any of the top seven QBs in terms of rushing yardage this season. Dak Prescott, who ranks eighth in rushing yards per game at the position, squared off against this defense and did not need to run much because he threw for 319 yards and two TDs. At home this year, Taylor has not failed to score 17 fantasy points in any single game and he has eclipsed 20 fantasy points thrice. With top target Sammy Watkins back and looking healthy, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Taylor does not provide adequate value for fantasy owners at an affordable $10,600 price tag.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $17,000 – By default, Le’Veon Bell is the player to pay up for this week as David Johnson, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. all draw mediocre matchups. Meanwhile, Bell has caught exactly one less pass than Brown since being reinstated off of suspension and both caught exactly six passes once again in Week 13. This week, the team draws a matchup against a Bills rushing defense that ranks 25th in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric. Now that Bell has enjoyed a positive regression in terms of TDs over the past four weeks, he and Johnson are neck-and-neck for the highest floor players at the position on a weekly basis. Bell is essentially the combination of a WR1 and RB2 and yet he is only priced like a WR1. On the road, where Roethlisberger has produced a QB rating nearly 30 percentage points less than at home, the team will need to rely on the running game to stay competitive. Therefore, Bell should relied upon heavily once again and is a stone cold lock for cash games. Oh by the way, Bell has topped 26 fantasy points in four consecutive games heading into Week 14.

Jeremy Hill, Bengals, $10,900 – The price keeps rising on Hill and yet the matchups keep dictating he is worthy of starting. After his price rose nearly $1,000 last week, it increased by more than $2,000 this go-around and yet paying up for him still makes sense due to the matchup. Instead of facing one of the top rushing defenses this week, Jeremy Hill will finally face a cupcake opponent: the Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the second most fantasy points to the RB position but they have surrendered the third most total TDs to the position (15) and rank 29th in rushing DVOA. The last time Hill squared off against this exact opponent, he busted out to the tune of 168 yards rushing and a TD on just nine carries. Surely that cannot be expected once again as it came mostly on a 74 yard TD run but it just shows how susceptible this defense is to power runners. With Giovani Bernard out of the picture, Hill has also caught eight passes over the course of the last two weeks so he is being deployed as a true bell cow. For a solid back receiving all the touches in a great matchup, the price is actually affordable. Consequently, spending nearly $2,000 for the same player this week should feel like no big deal because he is in a great spot to produce.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers, $16,700 – Looking at the Saints defense, who has allowed a whopping 374.8 total yards and 27.9 points per game, it would appear number one receivers are a great matchup against them? Not so fast because they rank 12th in DVOA against opposing number one WRs and have only allowed 67.3 yards per game to them. However, when examining the talent pool in their secondary, none of the individual corners stand out. Delvin Breaux used to be considered an imposing corner and yet he has graded outside the top 100 in terms of coverage this season, per Pro Football Focus. In fact, the team’s best corner has graded as the 48th best cover corner so far this season (B.W. Webb) so the individual matchups are quite beatable. Okay, so the specialty of the Saints defense is their safeties but Mike Evans has performed well against virtually every tough opponent he has faced mostly due to his insane target totals. Since Week 1, Evans has been targeted fewer than 11 times in a game just twice. As icing on the cake, Evans has not dropped below double-digit fantasy points in any game at home this year. All-in-all, he feels like an incredibly stable investment so do not fear spending up a tiny bit for the additional safety of him over Brown, Julio Jones or Beckham Jr.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, $7,700 – Here is the list of TEs who have gained more yards than C.J. Fiedorowicz over the course of the last four weeks: Travis Kelce, Cameron Brate, Tyler Eifert, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Ladarius Green and Zach Ertz. Essentially, this is just a list of all the best TEs in the game so clearly Fiedorowicz is emerging as a TE1. He can certainly be relied upon as a TE1 in this matchup against a Colts defense that ranks dead last in DVOA against opposing TEs. The last time Fiedorowicz faced this very defense, he caught 6-7 passes for 85 yards and a TD. Since that game, he has been targeted at least seven times in 4-6 games so he is an absolute staple in the offense. Since spending up for at least one RB and one WR makes sense, spending down at TE is necessary to make it happen. With Fiedorowicz’s considerable upside in this matchup, he completes the puzzle perfectly.

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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