For the second straight week, we get a juicy 13-game main slate to feast on this Sunday afternoon. Week 14 should be a fun one with some teams able to wrap up their division, others battling to keep their playoff hopes alive and others already scouting their potential draft picks.
Whatever situation your NFL team is in and whether or not you have season-long playoff aspirations to attend to, it’s a great week to build a DraftKings lineup. As you assemble your high-salary studs in spots to go off, make sure to also check out some players who have high upside at much more affordable prices in my value picks for this week.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Andrew Luck, IND at HOU, $5,900 – Last week Luck crashed back to earth against a Jaguars defense that suddenly remembered it was supposed to be good. After posting at least 22 DKFP for eight straight weeks, Luck had just 10.52 against Jacksonville. He actually completed 33 passes but only for 248 yards with no touchdowns. It was a rude awakening after throwing at least three touchdowns in each of his previous eight games.
That eight-game stretch started with a big game against the Texans, when Luck completed 40-of-62 passes for a season-high 464 yards, four touchdowns and 39.66 DKFP. The Texans’ defense has been playing much better since then, so I don’t think Luck will quite match that crazy performance. However, I do think he’s in a great bounce-back spot in a divisional game that will have major playoff implications for Luck’s Colts.
Josh Allen, BUF vs. NYJ, $5,500 – I’m still not totally buying Allen long-term, but I’ll take him as a cheap option this week against the Jets. Allen has posted 26.3 and 33.74 DKFP in his two weeks since returning from an elbow injury. He led the Bills to a home win over the Jags with 160 yards passing and 99 yards rushing (which was over 100 before late kneel-downs) and followed that with an even better statistical performance on the road in Miami, where he ran for 135 yards and threw for 231 yards and two scores. Allen should continue to be able to make plays against the Jets, who the Bills soundly defeated in New York while Allen was hurt. Allen’s running ability and great matchup make the rookie a good value option this week.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Justin Jackson, LAC vs. CIN, $3,800 – With Melvin Gordon (knee) still not able to practice, it looks like value-pick alumnus Austin Ekeler ($6,200) will get another start and significant workload against the Bengals. Jackson moved up the depth chart and served as Los Angeles’ change-of-pace option last week and looked great in the second half against the Steelers. He ran eight times for 63 yards and a touchdown during the second half and also caught a 19-yard pass to finish with 15.2 DKFP.
The seventh-rounder out of Northwestern has a good chance to make a significant impact again this week if Gordon is out and the Chargers can get an early lead on the struggling Bengals. Jackson could end up getting lots of second-half carries to help kill the clock after his big production in the Chargers’ comeback last week.
If you’re not confident in Jackson’s workload, Jeff Wilson Jr. ($3,800) of the 49ers is another good option at the same price. He’s expected to carry a big workload against Denver, but his matchup isn’t quite as good as Jackson’s and Jaylen Samuels’ in a week that is packed with potential value at RB.
Jaylen Samuels, PIT at OAK, $3,700 – Samuels will get a huge chance to step up with James Conner (ankle) out against the Raiders. When the salaries were finalized, Conner was expected to play, which is why Samuels is such a bargain. He got into the end zone last week on one of his three catches for 20 yards and run for five yards on two carries to finish with 11.5 DKFP. Samuels has shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield and should thrive as long as Stevan Ridley ($3,300) doesn’t get too much of his workload. So far this season, neither RB has been very involved with Samuels playing just 56 snaps on offense while Ridley has played just 42. Samuels has the higher ceiling and likely will be a popular play, especially as the Steelers face the moribund Raiders defense.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
Chris Godwin, TB vs. NO, $4,900 – Godwin has been in and out of my value picks all season and looks like he finally is locked in a more permanent role, as the Buccaneers go away from veteran Desean Jackson ($4,800), who continues to struggle with a thumb injury. With Godwin getting most of Jackson’s workload, the second-year receiver caught 5-of-6 targets for 101 yards, a touchdown and 24.1 DKFP against the Panthers last week. He has a very favorable matchup with the Saints this week and will be a good play if Jackson is sidelined again.
Courtland Sutton, DEN at SF, $4,500 – Sutton is poised to be the Broncos’ top WR after Denver traded Demaryius Thomas ($4,100) and lost Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) to an injury in practice this week. Sutton was the the Broncos’ second-round pick and is coming off a season-high 85 yards with a touchdown last week agains the Bengals. He should get a high volume of targets and be a low-risk option in a favorable matchup in San Francisco.
Curtis Samuel, CAR at CLE, $4,000 – While the Panthers have struggled — dropping four straight games — Samuel has seen his involvement in the offense continue to climb. He has at least 12 DKFP in each of his past three games after catching 6-of-11 targets for 88 yards and adding an eight-yard carry for 15.6 DKFP against the Buccaneers last week. Samuel has big-play ability, and the Panthers are scheming ways to get the ball into his hands. He and D.J. Moore ($5,700) both have bright futures, but Samuel is still the bargain of the two young receivers, who should give Cam Newton ($6,300) nice weapons to work with in a good matchup against the Browns.
Bruce Ellington, DET at ARI, $3,800 – Ellington has jumped right into the Lions’ offense as the second receiver behind Kenny Golladay ($6,400) after Marvin Jones (knee) ended up on season-ending IR. Ellington has 19 catches on 26 targets in his first three games with Detroit. He hasn’t found the end zone and has been held to minimal yardage, but his high volume of catches makes him worth a look as a sub-$4K play in a good matchup against the Cardinals.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
David Njoku, CLE vs. CAR, $3,900 – Njoku’s production has been up and down all season, but the Panthers have struggled all year against TEs, which sets up well for him this week. Njoku had three catches last week but only eight yards against the Texans after producing 17.3 DKFP on five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 12. Njoku has a high ceiling and should be able to bounce back, making him a fringe top-10 TE available at a good price.
Ian Thomas, CAR at CLE, $2,700 – The other TE value to check out is on the other side of that same matchup in Cleveland as rookie Ian Thomas steps up and tries to replace Greg Olsen (foot). Thomas had five catches on five targets for 9.6 DKFP last week after Olsen left, and the matchup against the Browns is a good one for him to prove he can contribute. The Panthers drafted him in the fourth round, and he looks more ready to contribute now than when he had a chance earlier this season.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
NO at TB, $2,700 – The Saints’ defense took a while to get going, but it has been stepping up as New Orleans pushes for playoff positioning. In New Orleans’ Week 13 loss to Dallas, the defense still had 15 DKFP with seven sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. The Saints have forced multiple turnovers in four straight games and seven of their past nine. After the Bucs shredded them in Week 1 behind the now-benched Ryan Fitzpatrick ($4,500), the Saints’ defense will be out to make a statement against Jameis Winston ($6,200), who has been good lately but can be turnover-prone at times.
WAS vs. NYG, $2,300 – Washington will need its defense to carry it after losing Colt McCoy (leg) to a broken leg last week and turning to Mark Sanchez ($4,000). Washington’s defense has struggled the past two weeks on the road but did have 10 DKFP in its most recent home game back in Week 11 against the Texans and also had 15 DKFP in its first meeting with the Giants. The unit is high-risk because it’ll need to step up against its division rival, but it’s also extremely affordable.
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.