Week 14 NFL FanDuel Late Afternoon Slate Breakdown
The Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites in the second matchup between these two teams, but while this game carries the biggest implications standings-wise on the slate, there are a number of other favorable fantasy spots for high powered offenses. Coming off their Sunday night loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in California to take on a 2-10 Oakland Raiders team that continues to aim for the first overall pick in the draft. The Chargers, meanwhile, are back home to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, losers of four straight.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (31.25) at Oakland Raiders (20.25)||51.5|
|Cincinnati Bengals (17) at Los Angeles Chargers (31)||48|
|Denver Broncos (24.75) at San Francisco 49ers (20.75)||45.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles (20.25) at Dallas Cowboys (23.75)||44|
|Detroit Lions (21.75) at Arizona Cardinals (18.75)||40.5|
Elsewhere on this five game slate, the Denver Broncos look to extend their three game winning streak against the San Francisco 49ers, who will be without Matt Breida. Finally, in the least attractive game from a fantasy perspective, the futile offenses of the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals square off in the desert in a game with the lowest over/under on the slate.
A unique aspect of this slate will be all of the low-priced plays that are intriguing options due to injury. With Breida out, Jeff Wilson should start for the 49ers, but he's not the only low-priced running back to look at. Justin Jackson could see an expanded role for the Chargers after his big game against the Steelers and Jaylen Samuels is expected to start for Pittsburgh with James Conner out for this week. Additionally, the Emmanuel Sanders injury makes both Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton more attractive plays for a Broncos team taking on a 49ers pass defense that ranks as the league's seventh-worst, per numberFire metrics.
We'll touch on a few of those players more in depth later, but overall, all of these viable low-priced plays provide a lot of flexibility in lineup building this week.
Among the tournaments available on FanDuel this week, we have the $200,000 NFL Rush which costs $7.77 to play and pays out $40,000 to first. The $40,000 NFL Bomb costs $33 to enter and pays $8,000 to first. Additionally, the $30,000 Single Entry NFL Spike is $5 to enter and carries a first place prize of $3,000.
Now, let's break down the top plays and fades at each position.
Lock: Ben Roethlisberger ($8,600) - No quarterback is attempting more passes per game than Roethlisberger (43.1), and this week the matchup couldn't be much better. The Raiders pass defense ranks as the league's second-worst per numberFire metrics and the Raiders have allowed a league-high 29 passing touchdowns through 13 weeks. The Steelers have the highest implied team total (31.25) and with Conner sidelined, it will presumably be Roethlisberger racking up the points should the Steelers reach that total. Roethlisberger has thrown for multiple touchdowns in five of his past six games and is the top play on the slate against a dismal Raiders defense.
Fade: Matthew Stafford ($6,700) - Stafford's fantasy production has fallen off a cliff this season. He's thrown for multiple scores in just one of his past five games and he's scored 11 or fewer FanDuel points in three of those games. Now, Stafford is on the road against a Cardinals pass defense that ranks as the league's 12th-best, per numberFire metrics. Stafford may also be under pressure often against an Arizona pass rush that ranks third in the league in sacks (38). The Lions offensive line has struggled to protect Stafford all season as he's taken the seventh-most sacks (36) of any quarterback league-wide. In a game with a low over/under, the Lions pass offense isn't appealing.
Sleeper: Case Keenum ($6,800) - The fifth-most expensive quarterback on the slate, Keenum has not committed a turnover in the past four games, which has certainly helped the Broncos put together their current three-game win streak. Keenum now faces a 49ers pass defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season. Over their past three games, the Niners have allowed 9 passing touchdowns with opponents averaging 32.3 points per game.
Lock: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) - No running back is averaging more touches per game than Elliott (24.4), and he's been on a tear over the past month. The Cowboys have made it a point to involve Elliott in the passing game -- he's seen no fewer than six targets in each of the past four games -- and he's posted four straight games with at least 22 FanDuel points. The Cowboys last played the Eagles in Week 10, and Elliott went off in that matchup. He had 19 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown, adding 6 receptions for 36 yards and another touchdown through the air. The Eagles run defense ranks as the league's eighth-worst, per numberFire metrics, and they have allowed a 100-yard rusher in three of their past four -- including Elliott in Week 10.
Fade: Oakland Raiders Running Backs - Over the past four weeks, Doug Martin ($6,000) and Jalen Richard ($4,800) have split playing time almost equally with DeAndre Washington ($4,500) sprinkled in. The backfield may become more muddled this week with the Raiders signing C.J. Anderson and this week's matchup is also below average against a Steelers run defense that ranks 11th-best, per numberFire metrics. The Raiders are 11.0-point underdogs so it may be a spot for Richard to be targeted heavily out of the backfield, but he has seen no more than 4 targets in each of the past three games.
Sleeper: Justin Jackson ($4,500) - There are a number of low-priced viable options this week in Jaylen Samuels ($4,600) and Jeff Wilson ($5,600), but Jackson showed on Sunday night that he might be the Chargers best back with Melvin Gordon sidelined. Against the Steelers last week, Jackson had 8 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown, adding 1 catch for 19 yards. He outperformed Austin Ekeler, who finished the game with 13 carries for 21 yards and 5 receptions for 22 yards. This week, both backs are in a prime spot against a Bengals run defense that is the league's fourth-worst, per numberFire metrics. The Bengals are allowing a league-worst 153.3 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields and have already surrendered 16 rushing touchdowns, second-most among all teams.
Lock: Keenan Allen ($7,900) - Allen saw a whopping 19 targets last week against the Steelers, and he turned that opportunity into 14 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. Allen will certainly not see 19 targets again in Week 14, but he's been on a tear since the Chargers' win over the Tennessee Titans in London. Since that game, Allen has seen no fewer than seven targets in a game and he's scored in four of the past five games. Allen has been targeted on 35.19% of throws from Philip Rivers since that Titans game, and he's in position to have another big game against a Bengals defense that has surrendered eight passing touchdowns over their past three games.
Fade: Alshon Jeffery ($6,300) - It's been a rough stretch over the past four weeks for Jeffery since the Eagles acquired Golden Tate. Over that span, Jeffery has seen more than five targets in a game just once, and he hasn't topped 50 yards in a game. Tate, on the other hand, has out-targeted Jeffery 27-21 in those four games. This week Jeffery faces a Cowboys pass defense that ranks as the league's 11th-best, and that held Jeffery to 4 catches for 48 yards in their last matchup. In a tough matchup and as the third option in the Eagles passing attack behind Tate and Zach Ertz, it's difficult to get behind Jeffery this week.
Sleeper: DaeSean Hamilton ($4,500) - It can sometimes be difficult to find viable min-priced plays on short slates, but this week there are options at both running back and wide receiver, including Hamilton. After returning in Week 11 from a knee injury that forced him to miss three weeks, Hamilton has seen his snap share rise from 25% in Week 11 to 80% in Week 13. Over that span, Hamilton has seen just five targets, but he should have much more opportunity this week with Emmanuel Sanders now on injured reserve. We already touched on how vulnerable the 49ers secondary is, so with increased opportunity, Hamilton is an intriguing play filling in for Sanders.
Lock: Zach Ertz ($7,400) - In the last matchup between the Cowboys and Eagles, Ertz had 14 catches for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 16 targets from Carson Wentz in Week 10 were a season-high for Ertz, but he's been the Eagles primary pass catcher all season. Ertz leads all tight ends in targets (121) and receptions (93) this season to go with his six touchdowns. He's seen fewer than 9 targets in just 3 of 12 games this year. Ertz should once again be Wentz's top target on Sunday against a Cowboys defense that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Fade: Ricky Seals-Jones ($4,900) - After playing more than 40% of the Cardinals snaps in Arizona's first 9 games, Seals-Jones has not seen the field for more than 40% of the plays in any of the past three games. Over that span, Seals-Jones has just 3 catches for 20 yards and he's drawn only 8 targets in those games. In a game with just a 40.5-point over/under, the lowest on the slate, there are better options at tight end.
Sleeper: Vance McDonald ($5,500) - The fourth-most expensive tight end on the slate, McDonald hasn't found the endzone over the past two weeks, but he has seen 12 targets combined in those games. We mentioned above how the Steelers throw the ball more often than any team in the league and McDonald will be facing a Raiders defense that has given up the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Raiders have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends, which is tied for the most in the league. If you're not paying up for Ertz, McDonald is one of the best mid-priced options.
Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. 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.