4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 14
When playing daily fantasy football, we should be matchup sensitive when rostering players. One star player can go from a great play to a horrible one based on his opponents and the specific individual matchup might play a huge role in that. Since we can play any player we want on a given slate, it makes sense to pick players in the best matchups. This will raise both their floor and their ceiling, and should lead to us having some winning lineups.
Week 14 has an interesting main slate with some good matchup opportunities we can capitalize on.
Lions' Passing Game vs Vikings' Pass Defense
The sentiment has shifted several times for the Detroit Lions over the course of this year. There was some legitimate excitement about them coming into the season, with people believing in Dan Campbell and a strong offensive line that could set them up for success. Then they started the season 1-6 and all the good feelings evaporated. Since then, they've won four of their last five games and the offense looks very strong.
It may be surprising to learn that Detroit's passing offense ranks second in numberFire's metrics. Jared Goff ($7,100) isn't our favorite quarterback for fantasy, but he has been able to produce in good spots this season, and has some great weapons. Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8,600) has been excellent all season, and is Goff's number one target. He sees 25.7% of the team's targets and would make for a great stack with Goff. There are a few other options to add with Goff, such as D.J. Chark ($5,700), who deserves to be on fantasy radars after a 98-yard game last week.
The other player to keep an eye would be Jameson Williams ($4,500). He made his NFL debut last week but only played eight snaps. He isn't playable unless we get some kind of report that his playing time will be ramped up. Even if he gets a part-time role, his explosiveness and athleticism would make him an interesting tournament play.
Detroit faces the Minnesota Vikings in a game they likely need to win to have a chance to make the playoffs. Minnesota is a pass-funnel defense, ranking sixth against the run but are 23rd against the pass. They also allow the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
The Lions have an implied team total of 26.5 points, and are favored in this high-total game in a dome. This is clearly the best game environment on the slate, but it's unlikely that a double stack involving Jared Goff gets too popular. It makes for an interesting strategy in large-field tournaments.
Eagles' Passing Game vs Giants' Pass Defense
The Philadelphia Eagles keep chugging along with their 11-1 record. They got a predictably easy win last week, and the main elements of their passing attack had great games in fantasy. This week, that should be able to continue.
Jalen Hurts ($8,700) heard a lot of criticism about his arm in the offseason, and he's proving the doubters wrong. He's second in the NFL with 8.2 yards per attempt. It makes a big difference having A.J. Brown ($8,400) as a receiver, who's one of the most explosive, efficient receivers in the league. He's the WR5 in half-PPR scoring. The move for Brown pushed DeVonta Smith ($7,000) down to the number two pass catcher, giving the Eagles two great options in the passing game.
Philly will play the New York Giants on Sunday. The Giants' defense hasn't been able to slow down passing attacks too effectively this season. They rank 25th in schedule-adjusted pass defense this season and likely will struggle to shut down this efficient Eagles offense.
The Eagles' implied team total is 25.75, and if we see the passing game connect like it did last week, the Hurts-Brown-Smith double stack could be a tournament winner.
Cowboys' Running Game vs Texans' Rush Defense
Things are shaping up nicely for the Dallas Cowboys to make the playoffs. They've won three games in a row and five out of their last six games. They are giant favorites in this game, and we could see a similar game script to what we saw last week in their 54-19 victory.
The big talk in the offseason was whether or not the Cowboys would use Tony Pollard ($7,500) more, as he's proven to be an effective player. Well, Pollard has been good even with Ezekiel Elliott ($8,000) active. Pollard ranks eighth among running backs in half-PPR points per game, and has seen 20 touches in two of the last three games since Zeke has returned from injury.
Elliott is also in play as well. He has seven touchdowns in his last five games, and has gotten at least 15 carries in his last four. Dallas has two blow out wins in their last three games in which Elliott and Pollard both had fantasy-relevant outings, and this game sets up as potentially another one.
The Cowboys will face the Houston Texans this week. Houston is arguably the worst team in the NFL and are 17.5-point underdogs in this game. They allow the most FanDuel points per game to running backs, and also face the highest run rate of any team in the league.
Dallas has an implied team total of 31 points. Based on the two blowout wins in which they combine for 74 rush attempts and 60 pass attempts, a lot of their fantasy production could come on the ground this week.
T.J. Hockenson vs the Lions' Tight End Defense
We know that the tight end position has been a struggle all season long. We can either use our salary for Travis Kelce, or find someone that we like for a cheap salary, that often won't do much. We need to find reasons to play some of these tight ends, and T.J. Hockenson ($6,500) gives us a lot of reasons to like him this week.
Hockenson was the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Lions, and never lived up to that draft pedigree. A surprising mid-season trade within the division has changed a lot for him. Since being acquired by Minnesota, Hockenson has seen at least six targets in every game. That's great volume for a tight end, and he ranks as the TE3 since joining the Vikings. He'll have the chance to inflict a little revenge this week, and it will be against a weak defense.
The Lions struggle in most aspects of defense, and defending the tight end is certainly one of them. They rank dead last in adjusted fantasy points per target against tight ends, and also 29th in overall pass defense. With Vikings utilizing Hockenson more than most offenses use their tight end, he can certainly do well with a lot of targets this week.
While the Vikings are underdogs in this game, their implied team total is still one of the higher ones on the slate. Hockenson would probably love to score against his old team, and makes for a good piece in this game with a total of 51.5 points.
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.