Welcome to week 14 of the NFL season! Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
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If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how I did in previous weeks, you can find that here:
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
This limited release beer is so unique and different, it's worth trying just for the experience. In what I would group as a sour ale, it's basically a raspberry tart flavor aged in a tequila barrel that gives it such a fun flavor. They did release it across the U.S., thankfully, so even if you're not directly across Lake Michigan from the brewery like we are, you can snatch some of it up to try yourself.
All lines via Bovada, current as of Saturday morning.
Houston -2 at Chicago, 46 total
Tennessee -7.5 at Jacksonville, 52.5 total (opened at 54)
Denver at Carolina -3, 44.5 total (opened at 47.5)
Minnesota at Tampa Bay -7, 53 total (opened at 47.5)
Arizona -3 at NY Giants, 46 total (opened at 47.5)
Kansas City -7 at Miami, 50.5 total (opened at 49)
Dallas -3 at Cincinnati, 43 total
NY Jets at Seattle -13.5, 47 total
Indianapolis -3 at Las Vegas, 52 total
Green Bay -8 at Detroit, 55 total (opened at 51.5)
Washington at San Francisco -3, 43.5 total
Atlanta -1.5 at LA Chargers, 49 total
New Orleans -7.5 at Philadelphia, 42.5 total (opened at 47.5)
Favorite games to target
13 games to pick from means there's a ton of different directions we can go for stacking. To me, there's a few obvious teams to play - Green Bay, Kansas City, Seattle, Tennessee - but I think the Indianapolis and Las Vegas game might be the one that gets lost in the shuffle despite the high total.
Aaron Rodgers, $7500, GB (at DET)
He's back over the $7000 threshold, but of the QBs at or above that price range, he feels like the safe guy here. His consistency is just insane, and they keep throwing the ball near the goal line, inflating his touchdown totals. He gets a great matchup against a flailing Detroit defense, and yes, he underperformed against them last time, but that's because Aaron Jones went berserk. I'm not sure you're going to get 40 points out of him, but I also don't think you're going to see under 25.
Ryan Tannehill, $6700, TEN (at JAX)
I'm not really chomping at the bit for anyone in the 6K range, but I think it's important to bring Tannehill into the conversation because he's likely going to be contrarian and leverage off of the likely Derrick Henry chalk (more on him later). This game is a high total and Tennessee is a touchdown favorite. What happens if the scores come through the passing game?
Matt Ryan, $5700, ATL (at LAC)
Do this from a blind perspective: We have a QB under $6000 as a 1.5 point favorite in a total nearly 50, and this QB averages around 37 passes per game regardless of game script. It just seems logical. But there'll be a narrative created by the Julio Jones absence, plus he hasn't been good or efficient of late, plus people like the Chargers to bounce back. Could we get something that is logical and low owned? It's possible, and I will have it.
Potential GPP pivots: Patrick Mahomes ($8100, at MIA), Derek Carr ($6000, vs. IND), Mitchell Trubisky ($5600, vs. HOU)
Derrick Henry, $8700, TEN (at JAX)
He's going to be popular, but like always, you know the volume is going to be there. They're big favorites in a high total, and it is probable that they just feed him the ball the majority of the second half. The price is high but not prohibitive, and we know the clear upside with playing him. Yes, there's risk - just look at last week - but we have to look at the probability of him going off in the game script we have, and it's probable. I should note that Dalvin Cook ($9400, at TB) is probably going to go extremely underowned compared to Henry, given the matchup and expected game script, so he feels like a natural risky pivot if you're going to really go off the board.
David Montgomery, $6500, CHI (vs. HOU)
Writing up David Montgomery is ugly, but it also feels like we probably should be playing him at what is probably the highest price I'd consider him. I was deciding whether it made more sense to list Chris Carson ($6900, vs. NYJ) as a nearly two-touchdown favorite, but that backfield feels like a mess, with Hyde involved and Deejay Dallas still taking some of the third down work. We don't have that issue in Chicago, and Montgomery faces a depleted Houston team with a poor run defense. We're getting 20 touches here, including some work in the passing game, and he's getting the rock near the goal line. I can't believe I'm saying this, but he just feels safer.
Jonathan Taylor, $5800, IND (at LV)
...and then I list someone who is also in a time share, and is definitely not safe in that sense. But it really feels like the Colts want to make him the larger portion of that time share, including some work in the passing game that bumps up his floor. He's been extremely effective with his touches the past two games he's played, and he's now in a high total game against a below average Raiders defense. I think the risk is warranted for the upside we could see at the price.
Potential GPP pivots: Aaron Jones ($7600, at DET), Ronald Jones ($6100, vs. MIN), Melvin Gordon ($5200, at CAR), Todd Gurley under 5K falling into the end zone somehow because he's worthless otherwise ($4800, at LAC)
Keenan Allen, $7700, LAC (vs. ATL)
His efficiency has dropped of late, as has the Chargers offense as a whole, but the volume is still there, with double digit targets in six of the past seven games and a touchdown in five of those seven. The price drop is really nice, especially against a Falcons defense that belongs in a trash bin. I'm sure he will be somewhat popular, but I don't think we're looking at the chalk of the slate here. I'm happy playing him even as a one-off in GPPs.
Adam Thielen, $7000, MIN (at TB)
I mentioned this last week, and I'll mention it again: The thing I like the most about playing the Vikings week after week is that they play really, really condensed. Thielen gets a price reduction after a game in which he had 8 receptions on 11 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. They're in a game script that should require them to throw. They're in a high total. Don't overthink this.
Corey Davis, $5700, TEN (at JAX)
He's become the more consistent of the two Tennessee receivers with double-digit points in six of his last seven contests. It's not been due to targets, though - he's just been getting the ball and making plays with it. I'll probably look at this as an ownership decision for any one-offs - if he's going to be popular, I'll be underweight, but if he's going low owned, then I might end up overweight.
Sterling Shepard, $5200, NYG (vs. ARI)
Daniel Jones is expected to play, and Shepard should be one of the bigger benefactors of his return. Ignoring last week where Colt McCoy was slinging the ball directly into the turf, Shepard has five straight weeks with at least six receptions, giving him a safe floor for his price point. The total isn't crazy high, but it's respectable enough that there's a chance he catches a touchdown here, and that's where he'll exceed that floor if he gets one.
Potential GPP pivots: Tyreek Hill ($8500, at MIA), Terry McLaurin ($6700, at SF), Curtis Samuel ($5200, vs. DEN), Michael Gallup ($3800, at CIN). There are a TON of receivers I want to play this week, including some I won't list here because otherwise it'll feel like I'm picking everyone, to the point I'm considering only running primarily skinny stacks in GPPs so I can get exposure to all of them.
TJ Hockenson, $5000, DET (at GB)
It's another week where I don't think you need to pay up at tight end, so I'll start with TJ, who's still playing in an offense without Kenny Golladay and is in a game script where they'll need to pass to keep up in a high total. Averaging eight targets over his last three games, there's a really nice floor here with both yardage and touchdown upside.
Dalton Schultz, $3500, DAL (at CIN)
This game is super, super ugly, but the least ugly portion is probably Schultz. If you looked up "consistency" in the dictionary, they'll likely have his picture in there. Target counts of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 4 and 5 in the past seven weeks. Averaging 4 receptions per game and around 40 yards. 8 points at $3500? Sure, why not.
Potential GPP pivots: Travis Kelce ($7400, at MIA), Noah Fant ($4200, at CAR)
Good luck, and may your screens be green!