Week 13 was a ridiculously high scoring week. I had a few lineups that were in the mid-170’s that failed to cash in 50/50’s and double-ups. If you didn’t load up on Steelers, Cam Newton, or Allen Robinson you probably had a difficult time cashing too. When a lot of the chalk plays hit like that it significantly raises the cash line in all contests. Hey, they’re chalk plays for a reason, right?
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
We’re on to Week 14.
We’ve reach a stabilization point for a lot of metrics now, so it’s easier than ever to trust the data behind the analysis. Having more actionable in-season data that we can lean on makes the second half of the season a lot of fun. The process of understanding how good or bad a player’s matchup is each week is getting easier and will continue to get easier with each passing week. Most of the stats that I’m referencing here are either opponent or schedule-adjusted, making it easier to contextualize what is actually happening instead of just pulling raw data points.
Thanks to amazing sites like Pro Football Focus, Football Outsiders, and 4for4, there has been a tremendous wave of actionable analytics in football over the past few seasons. The more that you can incorporate them in to your lineup building process, the better off you’ll be.
If you’re new to the daily fantasy community, welcome, you’re in for a whole lot of fun. If you have questions, please find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.
Cream of the Crop
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Minnesota Vikings) -$4,300
This is back-to-back weeks for David Johnson being the clear top option on a dollar-per-point basis. His price is up $900 from Week 13, but he’s still severely under-priced. Johnson’s Cardinals are 7.5-point favorites on Thursday night against Minnesota, with one of the highest implied team totals of the week at 26.75, both of which bode well for Johnson’s chances to see 20+ touches again. As expected, he was the clear lead back for Arizona last week, handling 22 carries while finding the end zone on one of his three passing targets. Minnesota is offering little resistance to running backs of late, allowing over 124 yards per game on the ground over the past month.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. New Orleans Saints) -$6,200
I love this spot for Doug Martin. Typically I have Martin ranked much lower than this, mainly due to his lack of passing game upside, but he’s running so well right now and this matchup against the Saints at home is too good to ignore. As poorly as the Saints secondary has played this season, their run defense has been equally atrocious, allowing the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to the position this season and Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric has the among the bottom three teams in the league against the run. As expected, Vegas likes the Bucs to score some points here this week, having installed them as 3.5-point favorites with an implied team total of 27.5.
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (@ Philadelphia Eagles) -$6,100
You can fire up all of the Narrative Street takes this week, as LeSean McCoy heads back to Philadelphia to take on his former team, the Eagles. McCoy lost a few snaps last week due to his mid-game concussion scare, but otherwise delivered on the ground, carrying it 21 times for 121 yards against a red-hot Texans defense. McCoy’s lack of passing game work was an anomaly. He saw just one target after receiving seven per game over the past month. I love McCoy here, playing up in pace against the Eagles who have allowed 148 yards per game on the ground over the past month.
Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (@ Cleveland Browns) -$4,800
We know that opportunity is king and it appears as though nothing is standing in Shaun Droughn’s way in terms of competition for touches. He didn’t play in 100% of San Francisco’s plays last week after doing so in Week 12, but there’s little doubt that he’s the main cog in the ‘9ers backfield. He’s handled 91% of the touches over the last four games, and his work on passing downs help him maintain a high floor, making it likely that he returns value on his salary once again. The Browns are a sieve defensively too, with a run DVOA grade among the bottom five teams in the league.
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Cincinnati Bengals) -$6,000
DeAngelo Williams has turned back the clock in 2015. This version looks a lot like the Carolina version that was one of the best backs in the league for a couple of years, the only difference is he’s playing in an explosive offense and doesn’t have anyone poaching his touches. He’s handling nearly all of the snaps and backfield touches for Pittsburgh right now, a true 3-down back. This week’s matchup against the Bengals on the road isn’t quite as sexy as Sunday night’s tilt against the Colts at home, but his floor is so high right now.
Middle of the Pack
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (@ Carolina Panthers) -$7,700
I speculated last week that Atlanta might lessen the load on Devonta Freeman after seeing how Tevin Coleman handled his opportunity while Freeman sat out the previous week, but it was full steam ahead for Devonta last week. He handled 80% of Atlanta’s backfield touches, a 24/4 splits with Tevin Coleman. Freeman’s use in the passing game is elite, perhaps the best in the game right now out of the backfield, and he hauled in 10 of his 11 targets last week. To succeed this week we’ll need to see more of that because Atlanta is a sizable underdog here and the Panthers have shut down the run this season, allowing just 45 yards per game over the past 4 weeks.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (@ Arizona Cardinals) -$6,900
If you buy into the notion that the squeaky wheel gets the grease then you’ll love Adrian Peterson this week. The league’s leading rusher isn’t happy that he received just 8 carries last week, and you can expect Minnesota to lean on Peterson in Week 14. The only problem is that the Vikings are facing a stout Arizona run defense, and the Vikings are more than a touchdown underdog in this spot on Thursday night. If Peterson doesn’t get going early, he’s likely to fall short of the big day you’d need from him to return value at $6,900. A poor matchup and recency bias after failing last week both contribute to Peterson’s viability as a tournament play, though.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) -$6,100
Mark Ingram has seen 14 targets over the past two weeks, and is clearly the only back that the Saints are trying to get the ball to. He’s seeing about 85%-90% of the snaps and touches right now, which raises his floor and improves his viability regardless of expected game flow. He’ll need to work on passing downs this week because Tampa Bay has one of the league’s best run stopping units in the game.
Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (@ Baltimore Ravens) -$5,800
Thomas Rawls is #good. If you haven’t watching him much yet, it’s hard to not be impressed when you finally do. He runs hard, is a threat out of the backfield and his willingness to pass protect is keeping him on the field for the suddenly explosive Seahawks offense. Baltimore is easier to attack threw the air, but they’re not elite against the run. With all of the strong plays at the position this week, Rawls will be under-owned.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. New York Giants) -$5,700
New offensive coordinator and play-caller Zac Taylor backed up his words on Sunday, limiting Ryan Tannehill to just 18 pass attempts while running nearly 30 times, lead by Lamar Miller’s 20 carries for 113 yards against the Ravens. Not running the ball enough seemed to be behind the firing of former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, so you can expect more of the same for Miami this week. Miller’s opponent, the Giants, are among the bottom third in the league in schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. Atlanta Falcons) -$5,800
We haven’t seen a huge game from Jonathan Stewart lately, but he’s been incredibly consistent. He’s a lock for 20+ touches, and the fact that his team is often in the lead bodes well for the expected game flow on most weeks. In Week 14 Stewart’s Panthers are once against large favorites with a high team total, and the Falcons have allowed 144 yards per game on the ground over the past month. He’s not sexy, but his multiple touchdown upside helps negate his lack of passing down work.
Rest of the Field
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs. Washington Redskins) -$6,800
Matt Forte is still seeing the lion’s share of the backfield snaps and touches for the Bears, but Jeremy Langford and even KaDeem Carey are too involved to feel like you can trust Forte in DFS lineups. Over the past two weeks we’ve seen Forte play well, but he’s in on just 56% of the snaps and is seeing about the same percent of backfield touches. This should and will likely keep most from rostering Forte this week, so if you’re looking for a highly skilled back who’ll be owned in less than 10% of big GPP’s than Forte might be worth a look.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Seattle Seahawks) -$5,300
There’s no denying the pass catching abilities of Buck Allen, but 13 targets? Wow. Buck hauled in 12 of those targets for 107 yards last week, in addition to handling nearly 70% of Baltimore’s rushing attempts. Matt Schaub’s dump-down game bodes well for Buck Allen, especially in a matchup against a Seahawks defense that’s still getting a lot of pressure on their opponent’s quarterback.
Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (vs. Detroit Lions) -$6,800
October’s fantasy running back darling, Todd Gurley, is really difficult to roster right now. He’s just not getting the ball enough, and he’s not involved in the offense on passing downs now that both Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham are healthy. The Rams aren’t getting enough red zone snaps to make Gurley a great tournament play either, and Detroit has been playing well against the run of late, allowing just 58 yards per game on the ground over their past four games.
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. San Diego Chargers) -$5,100
The Chiefs threw out the dreaded RBBC tag for Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware ($4,500) heading in to Week 13, and they backed that up by splitting the touches 11 (West) to 9 (Ware). When you look at their snaps though, it’s difficult to not favor West versus Ware moving forward. West was on the field for 84% of the snaps, a huge advantage in what’s being billed as a shared workload, and the matchup against San Diego’s league-worst run defense is awfully intriguing.
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Indianapolis Colts) -$4,900
T.J. Yeldon’s 23.6 fantasy points in Week 13 were one of his best outputs of the season, lead mostly by his work in the passing game (4 catches, 79 yards). He’s always appealing because he’s seeing around 80% of the snaps and touches but Jacksonville is so pass-happy, particularly in the red zone, which has continued to limit Yeldon’s upside in most matchups.