Fantasy Football Ride or Fade: Amari Cooper and Other Week 14 stars

There is less than a month left in the NFL regular season after a wild Week 14. There are still three weeks in the regular season, though, so there is still time to get some more wins on DraftKings. As you get your lineups set up for the final few weeks, should you include any of Week 14’s breakout stars? Here’s my take on whether you should ride or fade some of the stars of Sunday’s main slate.


WR Amari Cooper, DAL vs. PHI, $6,600 — 52.7 DKFP

The acquisition of Cooper may have been an expensive one for Dallas, but there’s no question that he has made a huge impact in the Cowboys offense. He had another monster game on Sunday in an important matchup with the Eagles, including catching the game-winning touchdown in overtime. That was one of three touchdowns he caught on the day while hauling in 10-of-12 targets for a massive 217 yards.

He has at least 14 DKFP in each of his past three games with at least eight catches in each of those contests. He is clearly becoming the go-to option for Dak Prescott ($5,600) and has a high ceiling in every matchup as a  result. Dallas now sits atop the NFC East and finishes with games against the Colts, Bucs and Giants. As long as the Cowboys have something to play for, Cooper will be a great play as their top target.

Verdict: Ride


TE George Kittle, SF vs. DEN, $5,500 — 37 DKFP

Throughout the 49ers up-and-down season, Kittle has been a breakthrough TE and he put up a huge game Sunday against the Broncos. He caught an 85-yard score in the second quarter and finished with seven catches and 210 yards on 10 targets and finished s the second-highest scoring player on the main slate.

Kittle has at least six catches in four straight games and has flourished with Nick Mullens ($4,600) at QB. The 49ers have had to throw the ball a lot since they are often playing from behind, and Kittle has emerged as their most reliable receiver. He finishes the season with tough matchups against the Seahawks, Bears and Rams, but he will remain a good option due to his high volume of targets and big-play ability at a shallow TE spot.

Verdict: Ride


WR Kenny Stills, MIA vs. NE, $4,100 — 30.5 DKFP

Stills and the Dolphins pulled out a miracle win with a last-minute touchdown against the Patriots, but Stills was already stuffing the stat sheet with his best game of the season. He caught eight of nine targets for 135 yards and a touchdown and continued to show a solid connection with Ryan Tannehill ($4,800), especially on throws deep down the field.

Miami stayed in the AFC playoff hunt with their big win and will finish with games against the Vikings, Jaguars and Bills. Stills was the only Dolphins pass-catcher targeted more than four times and now has three touchdowns in the past two weeks. However, Stills hadn’t had double-digit DKFP in seven straight weeks before last week and has battled injury throughout the year. The Dolphins offense has been too inconsistent to count on Stills, but he will have upside especially the final two weeks of the season.

Verdict: Fade


RB Joe Mixon, CIN at LAC, $6,400 — 27.8 DKFP

The Bengals game Mixon a massive workload in their narrow loss to the Chargers. With Jeff Driskel ($4,400) at QB, Mixon took 26 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown and caught five of six targets for 27 more yards. He was limited in practice with a foot injury, but obviously was healthy enough for the Bengals to lean on him heavily in a tough matchup with Los Angeles.

Mixon had fewer than 15 carries in each of his previous four games, so the big bump in workload could be a great sign for him finishing the season strong. Next week, Mixon will be in a great matchup with the Raiders before finishing with the Browns and Raiders. He has the matchups to produce more big games like this if the Bengals commit to the run and don’t get pass-heavy trying to overcome big deficits.

Verdict: Ride


QB Josh Johnson, WAS vs. NYG, $0 — 25.3 DKFP

The Redskins got nothing from Mark Sanchez ($4,000), who finished with a 0.0 QB rating and -0.48 DKFP. Johnson came on in relief and led Washington on two touchdown drives and finished with 25.3 DKFP. He threw for 195 yards and one score and ran for a second touchdown to go with 45 yards on seven carries. He ended up as the third-best QB on the main slate despite coming off the bench.

Johnson wasn’t even available on the main slate since he was signed off the street this week. He said after the game that last Sunday he played in a charity basketball game. He also said he played Madden just to learn his new teammates’ names. Nontraditional preparation methods not withstanding, Johnson did look sharp in his first action since 2011 with Tampa Bay. The 32-year-old does have the Jaguars next week before finishing with the Titans and Eagles. The Jaguars are a mess, but Johnson on the road in Jacksonville isn’t a fantasy option I’m interested in next week.

Verdict: Fade


RB Damien Williams, KC vs. BAL, $3,000 — 19.0 DKFP

The Chiefs escaped with a 27-24 overtime win against the Ravens and continue to overcome adversity. After they cut Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware ($5,200) was the primary running back, but Ware dealt with injuries throughout the game to both his hamstring and his shoulder. He gave up work to Williams, who stepped up to seize his opportunity with a big game. He had 14 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and added a second touchdown by catching four of five targets for 16 yards.

Williams will hope to remain involved as the Chiefs make their playoff push the next few weeks against the Chargers, Seahawks and Raiders. He will stay behind Ware for playing time, though, and also be very touchdown-dependent. There’s also a chance that he’ll lose time to Charcandrick West, who the Chiefs signed this past week but declared inactive against the Ravens. Unless Ware is out, though, Williams probably won’t have a big enough role to be a fantasy option

Verdict: Fade


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.