Another week is nearly in the books, but it’s never too soon to look ahead to Week 14. The Early Look will highlight salaries that jump out on this 13-game main slate.
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Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. BAL ($7,000) — Mahomes was at it again in Oakland last week, but the matchup takes a complete turn on him in Week 14 with the Ravens on deck. After shutting down the Falcons in Atlanta, Baltimore’s defense ranks second in DKFP allowed to the QB position. The truth is Mahomes can net you a GPP win on any given week, but the matchup here dictates a fade with cheaper plays in better matchups on this slate.
Drew Brees, NO at TB ($6,600) — Brees will be looking not only to bounce back from a derailing loss in Dallas on Thursday night, but also avenge a Week 1 home loss to the Bucs. Brees scored 34.5 in the shocking 48-40 loss to Tampa earlier this season, and while I generally don’t like to roster Brees outdoors, this is an exception. Brees’ game log is shockingly poor in Tampa in recent seasons, but this is a spot for the Saints to come out and flex their muscles.
Josh Allen, BUF vs. NYJ ($5,500) — Nope, I’m not losing my mind. Allen’s a mediocre QB that’s learning the ropes in the NFL, but he’s been a spectacular fantasy QB in his last two games since returning from an elbow injury. Allen’s only averaging 195 yards through the air during these two games, but he has four total touchdowns, and should’ve had the game-winner in Week 13 against Miami had it not been dropped in the end zone. The real game-changer here is the rushing yards — an insane 22 carries for 234 yards. Allen is a legitimate option at this salary moving forward, regardless of matchup.
Other value options: Aaron Rodgers ($6,000), Baker Mayfield ($5,800), Lamar Jackson ($5,700)
Christian McCaffrey, CAR at CLE ($9,300) — CMC continued his streak of going HAM in Week 13, going for his fifth straight game with at least 50 rushing and receiving yards. Averaging 34.7 DKFP over the last five outings, McCaffrey is in another great spot against a Cleveland defense that ranks just 26th in DKFP allowed to RB. His salary is creeping up, but with Todd Gurley off the slate, CMC should be considered a top play.
Alvin Kamara, NO at TB ($8,100) — Even without Gurley, this is a loaded week at RB, both for studs and value. I think Saquon Barkley ($8,900) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,600) are probably safer plays than Kamara, but the intrigue of rostering Saints this week is impossible to ignore. Mark Ingram ($5,700) wasn’t in uniform back in Week 1 when Kamara torched the Bucs, but even with fewer touches, this matchup sets up ideally for a pass-catching back. Kamara only needed 17 touches to rip off 46 DKFP the first time around in this spot.
Justin Jackson, LAC vs. CIN ($3,800) — A lot needs to happen here, but there’s a scenario in which Jackson could be my favorite play on this entire slate. Melvin Gordon ($8,000) missed Week 13 with an MCL sprain, and his status is up in the air for Week 14. Realistically, it feels like the Chargers would rather wait till Week 15 to bring him back, and the emergence of Jackson could help make that decision easier. Austin Ekeler ($6,200) only managed 43 yards on 18 touches against the Steelers on Sunday night, so the Chargers looked to the rookie late in the game. Jackson responded with 82 yards and a touchdown on just nine touches. The Bengals have been getting gashed on the ground this season, and it’s getting worse as the year progresses. Jackson in a starting role with this matchup could yield monster results.
Other value options: Spencer Ware ($5,200), Lamar Miller ($5,100), Gus Edwards ($4,500), Jaylen Samuels ($3,700; if James Conner is out)
Antonio Brown, PIT at OAK ($9,000) — AB actually put up his best effort of the fantasy season on Sunday night with 10-154-1 line. The 34.4 DKFP against the Chargers still wasn’t enough to get the win, leaving the Steelers in position to burn off some steam against the Raiders in Week 14. This could be a momentum game for Brown down the stretch, but rostering him on this slate is going to mean fading a top-tier RB play. That should be a tough call, but AB could set up as a nice contrarian play in Week 14.
Michael Thomas, NO at TB ($8,600) — Thomas has seen his targets drop as the season progressed, but with just 78 yards in his last two games combined, it might be time for New Orleans to re-focus on getting him the ball. Thomas destroyed Tampa in Week 1 for a 16-180-1 line. I’m not expecting 42 DKFP again this time, but the upside is there. Tampa still ranks just 30th against WR this season.
Adam Humphries, TB vs. NO ($4,900) — Chris Godwin ($4,900) had the bigger game on Sunday, but Humphries had a strong outing as well, and his role is more concrete moving forward. Humphries has had six straight strong outings from the slot for Tampa, averaging over 17 DKFP during this span. The matchup against New Orleans leaves plenty of room for another big game.
Other value options: Jarvis Landry ($5,800), D.J. Moore ($5,700), Chris Godwin ($4,900), Tre’Quan Smith ($4,500), Dante Pettis ($4,400)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. BAL ($6,700) — This week actually has a handful of TE options worth considering paying up for. Kelce is on a tear recently, bringing in 22-of-28 targets for 295 yards and three touchdowns in just his last two games alone. Averaging over 37 DKFP during this stretch, the matchup against Baltimore isn’t as bad as it seems. The Ravens should do a good job limited Mahomes’ receivers, but rank as just an average defense against TE. Kelce’s underpriced, but Zach Ertz ($6,400) is tough to ignore against a Dallas defense he just posted 14-145-2 against for 43.5 DKFP. Eric Ebron ($5,700) also needs to be on the radar with his expanded role — 16 targets last week with a 10-81-0 line.
Rob Gronkowski, NE at MIA ($4,800) — It’s not often Gronk is considered a value, but at this price tag he’s exactly that, even if he’s not fully healthy. Miami ranks just 22nd versus TE, and Gronk has historically had some huge games in this matchup. At this salary, I just can’t ignore Gronk as a GPP play.
Other value options: David Njoku ($3,900), Vance McDonald ($3,800)
Chargers D/ST vs. CIN, ($3,500) — This defense has really come on strong as the season’s progressed, and now they’ll get to face Jeff Driskel ($4,400) and the Bengals at home. The Broncos D/ST ($3,600) — which makes for a strong play again this week — just managed 14 DKFP in this very matchup. Los Angeles is in an even better spot with Cincy shifting to the road team.
Giants D/ST at WAS ($2,500) — The Giants defense has been much improved lately, but the encouraging games were 11 and 17 DKFP in their last two home games. I’m not overly hyped about rostering them on the road in Washington, but this is another scenario where we can target a defense with some momentum going up against a backup QB.
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