4 FanDuel NFL Studs to Target in Week 14
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We're coming down the home stretch in the NFL season, so let's finish strong. Here's a stud player to target at each of the skill positions.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 22.3
It hasn't been the same dominant Patrick Mahomes this season that we've become used to over the past few years. His Passing Net Expected Points per drop back is 0.18, lower than the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo and Tua Tagovailoa.
The public has seen Mahomes look mediocre in several national televised games, which should keep his popularity down. He's still the QB6 in fantasy, and he has a few things going for him that we like.
They should be able to exploit this matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders at home on Sunday. We saw a vintage game from Mahomes the last two times these teams played. He threw for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns in Week 10.
Mahomes should be able to dominate again against this Raiders defense. Las Vegas is ranked 27th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, according to numberFire's metrics. They are also 24th in adjusted fantasy points per drop back allowed to opposing quarterbacks this season.
It may be hard for a lot of people to click Mahomes after his lackluster fantasy games in the past handful of weeks. The advantage to playing Mahomes in tournaments is we know that we should be stacking him with one or both of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Some other quarterbacks spread the ball around so much that it's difficult to know who to pair with them.
Despite the struggles, Mahomes is still a high-upside quarterback this week.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Projected Points: 18.4
It feels a bit silly now when looking back in the offseason, and the big question around Austin Ekeler was if he had enough touchdown upside. Well, he now has 15 touchdowns this season, second only to Jonathan Taylor. He continues to be an excellent receiving back, making him the dual-threat that we seek in fantasy.
Ekeler is the RB2 by half-PPR scoring this season. He is second in targets for running backs, trailing Najee Harris by just one. He could see even more targets this week, as both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have been placed on the COVID-19 list, putting their status for Sunday in question.
The Los Angeles Chargers will face the New York Giants in what looks like a great matchup for Ekeler. The Giants are 26th in schedule-adjusted rush defense this season, and they are also 28th in adjusted fantasy points per target allowed to running backs, which obviously suits Ekeler very well. The Giants could also struggle to sustain drives with either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm starting at quarterback.
The Chargers have the third-highest implied team total on the slate at 27.5 points. Ekeler has seen at least five targets and scored a touchdown in each of his last four games, so he's both a high-floor and high-ceiling play.
With Taylor and some other high-end options off the slate, Ekeler is your best bet if spending up at running back.
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
FanDuel Salary: $7,800
Projected Points: 12.0
The term second-year breakout definitely applies for CeeDee Lamb. He's been arguably one of the game's best receivers and plays in one of the best offenses in the NFL. This week, he gets a great matchup in a key divisional game.
Lamb leads the Dallas Cowboys in targets this season with 90. He has become a reliable option for Dak Prescott on a team with a lot of offensive weapons. Even with all of these weapons active, Lamb still has seen solid volume. In the two games since Michael Gallup returned and all three of Gallup, Lamb and Amari Cooper were active, Lamb has seen a target share of 28.1%.
The Cowboys will face the Washington Football Team, who have been resurgent with four straight wins. The matchup sets up well for Lamb, as Washington is 30th in schedule-adjusted pass defense. They've been very giving to opposing wide receivers, as they allow the fourth-most adjusted fantasy points per target to the position.
This is a game we should want to target, as it is expected to be one of the games with best pace on the Week 14 main slate. Lamb's median projection is low for a wide receiver of this salary, but that could be because it's difficult to project him to dominate targets with the weapons Dallas will have active. If he does get more targets than expected in this matchup, he has the upside we seek in a stud pass catcher.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
FanDuel Salary: $7,100
Projected Points 14.2
There are few, if any, tight ends who are more fun to watch than George Kittle. Whether it's setting a big block or running away from defenders like few others at the position can, he always brings the entertainment. It's better for us fantasy players when he is scoring fantasy points like last week, and he has a chance to do the same this week.
Kittle broke the slate at the tight end position in Week 13. He caught 9 of 12 targets for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. It came off the back of a poor, two-target game in the previous week. With Deebo Samuel missing the last game and not practicing Wednesday, the game plan could be to funnel targets to Kittle yet again.
Since returning from injury in Week 9, Kittle is the TE1 in half-PPR scoring. His 35.2 FanDuel points dwarfs his peers at the position, as Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski have only two games above 20 fantasy points combined this season. Mark Andrews is the only player to have a game with more points at tight end this season.
The San Francisco 49ers will play the Cincinnati Bengals this week. The Bengals' defense has been solid but nothing that would scare you off playing Kittle, especially considering that they allow 1.5 adjusted fantasy points per target to tight ends. That ranks 23rd in the NFL this season.
The target volume isn't always there for Kittle due to the nature of the offense. When it is there, the sky's the limit for one of the best athletes at the position. Kittle is our highest projected tight end on the week and is a great, high-upside tournament play.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.