WATCH: VALUE ALERT – CHARLES CLAY
Week 14 proved to be the Le’Veon Bell show. He put up a cool 54.8 DKFP on his way to the 4th highest score on DraftKings ALL TIME. The running back pricing this week is extremely high, so let’s dive right in to the Early Look. It’s never too early for Week 15.
Matt Ryan vs. SF ($7,300) – This is really more a question about the guys after him: Rodgers is dinged up, Brady has the Broncos, Big Ben has been terrible on the road and can you really trust Brees after the last two weeks? So the question for me is do I take Ryan or a QB outside the top-5? He threw for three touchdowns without Jones or Sanu in Week 14, proving he can be efficient no matter what, especially in a good matchup, but the yardage is going to stay down with those guys out. For me, that makes him more of a cash game option than a GPP play.
Aaron Rodgers @ CHI ($7,100) – He’s worth mentioning here despite being listed as questionable (calf injury) for Week 15, because he’ll probably play if he is allowed – but he might not be himself. He’s got a nice matchup with Chicago, and is coming off a solid performance against Seattle, so he is an enticing play. But last time he played through a calf injury, two years ago, it seriously limited his mobility and his effectiveness, and that is enough to make me exercise some caution here.
Eli Manning vs. DET ($5,600) – When Matt Moore ($5,100) costs just a few hundred less, this price tag just seems very reasonable for Eli. Not only does Detroit suffer against the long ball, but they have also been protecting well up front. Their offense has been playing well against defenses like the Giants, which means they could be able to put up a few scores and make Eli try to keep up. He has some upside to get you into the low-to-mid twenties this week, which is good value at the price.
Le’Veon Bell @ CIN ($9,800) – The question for fantasy players looking for the biggest upside is whether to start David Johnson ($10,100) or Le’Veon Bell, because they are just clearly the best options out there at any position. For me, it’s Le’Veon, but it is so close. I would go with Bell because, coming off a historic fantasy performance, he has shown – like Johnson – to be the clear centerpiece of an offense that includes a number of other weapons. With the way Big Ben has struggled on the road, I could see the Steelers leaning on him the same way again, giving him as much upside as his Arizona counterpart at a $300 savings.
Carlos Hyde @ ATL ($5,900) – He has had at least 17 carries in three of his last four, and the 49ers in general have looked a little more competent on offense with Kaepernick under center. If you trusted it, it paid off in a big way Sunday, as Hyde finished with 200 total yards and a touchdown. He is running on all cylinders right now, and he will get plenty of looks again next week against a vulnerable Atlanta front seven.
Kenneth Farrow vs. OAK ($4,400) – As far as injury replacements go, I prefer Bilal Powell ($5,600), but some of his past performances are being baked into his price already, so Farrow represents more of a value. It certainly seems unlikely that Gordon is going to play this weekend, and the Chargers have already shown that they will lean on a single back now that their depth has been decimated. After Gordon exited early on Sunday, Farrow ended up with 16 carries and six catches, showing he will likely be used the same way Gordon was.
T.Y. Hilton @ MIN ($7,200) – I don’t love the matchup with Minnesota, mainly because of how they might rattle Luck with pressure, but if Luck is able to get a few clean pockets and take his shots, that could be enough for Hilton to have a good day even if his QB struggles overall. That is because when Luck takes his shots lately, he is taking them to Hilton, who has over 260 total yards in his last two games. That should only continue and perhaps even pick up with the injury to Donte Moncrief, so look for Luck to continue to target the receiver with eight or more catches in four of his last five.
Tyreek Hill vs. TEN ($5,700) – Hill padded his fantasy numbers with a punt return TD this week, but it was just another awesome example of the big-play capability he brings to this team. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball right now, in seemingly much the same way someone like Jamaal Charles a few years back, giving this otherwise conservative offense a much-needed threat. They are going to continue to utilize that threat until it stops paying off. I don’t think his price has gone up enough yet, especially after four 20+ point fantasy outings in the last seven weeks, and double-digits in eight of ten.
Dontrelle Inman vs. OAK ($5,100) – The fact is, the Chargers passing attack has been underwhelming all season long, and that could easily continue, leading to nothing but relatively low-scoring games and no fantasy game-breakers. But there could still be value here for cash lineups, because it is easy to imagine Rivers’ volume soaring after the injury to Gordon, with him reverting back to the weekly 40+ attempt games we’ve grown accustomed to in past years. If that happens, Inman could benefit, as he now has a touchdown in three straight, clearly having become one of his QBs more trusted targets.
Tyler Eifert vs. PIT ($5,600) – He now has four touchdowns in the Bengals’ last three games, emerging as the primary red zone target for Dalton with both Giovani Bernard and A.J. Green unavailable. His yardage totals have been uninspiring, so like many tight ends, he is touchdown-dependent. However, in his role those TDs are much more likely to continue.
Ladarius Green @ CIN ($3,700) – After a big Week 13, many owners were looking for more out of Green than they got in Week 14 (two catches for 25 yards). But the Steelers passing attack struggled overall, and Green did still get targeted six times by Big Ben in the game, good for second most on the team. In better weather, against a Bengals team that has been terrible at covering TEs all season long, Green could see the big game many were looking for this past Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks vs. LA ($4,000) – After another brutal game in which they committed five turnovers, the Rams might have surpassed the Browns as the single best possible macthup your D/ST can have, and this week they have to head on the road to Seattle. With the Seahawks being able to clinch the division with a win and a Cardinals loss, expect them to be flying all over their home field wreaking havoc, which could make this unit a serious difference-maker at the position this weekend, well worthy of the top spot on the board.
Oakland Raiders @ SD ($2,700) – The Raiders are in a super tight race with the Chiefs through the end of the year, so you can’t expect them to take their foot off the gas. Even though they might not be a traditional fantasy option, against a Chargers team down most of their top skill-position players and not fighting for playoff position, they could make enough happen to be a value at this price.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.