The Fantasy Football Ghost shares some Week 14 FanDuel cash plays for the first week of fantasy playoffs.
As bad as Week 12 went for us, it looked like a fairy tale compared to Week 13. Last week was the definition of an unmitigated disaster. No one performed even remotely close to their abilities, and exceptional matchups were outright squandered. I’m disappointed in last week, not for the identified plays — they were the right calls — but for how much faith we placed in those players and for how disappointing they were to watch. When the week was over, one player, Gerald Everett, was unable to suit up and still performed better than last week’s identified quarterback, Nick Foles, who finished his game with -0.98 points. Yes, negative points. That performance obviously impacted his teammate and last week’s recommended wide receiver, D.J. Chark, who only scored 5.7 points. Overall, the average multiplier for the week was a sickly 0.68 times value. I’d blame the tryptophan from the Thanksgiving Day turkey but that given the poor performances, that seems much too kind. Let’s look ahead to Week 14 and just put last week behind us, way, way behind us.
To measure the success of the players I recommend to our RotoViz readers, I will review the players I recommended the prior week, determining their value multiplier. I will then calculate the average multiplier across the recommended players to give me a barometer of success for that week. My stated goal is to produce an average greater than 2.5 times value. If I can manage to surpass that goal, I will consider the week a success. If I fall short of that goal, obviously, the week would be considered unsuccessful.
You can find much of the data presented in this piece in the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer and Game Level Similarity Projections. I also want to encourage readers to check out the RotoViz NFL Lineup Optimizer so that everyone can squeeze the most value out of their lineups each week.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Week 14
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins ($8,200)
The options available to us at the quarterback position are incredibly thin this week. The elite options have tough matchups and many of the lower-priced options each have a degree of uncertainty. The best option available to us in this veritable minefield is Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Minnesota faces a Lions team that has allowed an average of 280 passing yards per week over the past five games, the fifth-most yards allowed to opposing quarterbacks in the league. Detroit has also allowed an average of 2.2 passing touchdowns over that span. Collectively, this has resulted in an average Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 107.4, the second-highest rating allowed in the NFL and 23.1 points allowed per game, the fourth-most allowed. Only one quarterback over the past five games has scored less than 21 points versus the Lions, a mark just over the 2.5-times multiplier we aim for each week. We may have to pay a bit more but Cousins, but he appears to be one of the safest bets at a very volatile position this week.
Running Back: Sony Michel ($6,600)
I am often very leery of New England running backs in, well, nearly any circumstance. The Patriots are not well-known for heavily leaning on their running game with one of the greatest quarterbacks in history running their offense. That said, coming off a surprising loss to the Texans, look for New England to try to get back to basics after their wide receiver corps both literally, and figuratively, dropped the ball last week. That offensive reset couldn’t have been timed more perfectly as their opponent this week, Kansas City, is one of the more exploitable defenses for opposing running backs.
The Chiefs have allowed the league’s fifth-most rushing yards to the position over the past five weeks with an average of 112.8 rushing yards surrendered per game. Opposing running backs have been very effective in the passing game as well with an average of 7.2 receptions allowed per game, the fourth-most in the NFL, for an average of 93.2 receiving yards, the most allowed over the past five weeks. This has culminated in an average of 36.2 PPR points being allowed to opposing running backs since Week 8, again, the most allowed in the NFL. For only $6,600, Sony Michel could be one of the better values at any position in Week 14 FanDuel cash games.
Wide Receiver: Parris Campbell ($4,800)
Parris Campbell is one of the best values available to us not just this week but this entire season. Campbell will likely be forgotten by all but the most die-hard fantasy fans as he hasn’t played in a game since November 3 as he has been recovering from a broken hand. He looks primed to return this week as he has put in a full week of practice while T.Y. Hilton appears to be unlikely to play. Campbell steps into a game where he is the likely NO. 1 receiver just as the Colts’ opponent, Tampa Bay, is one of the absolute worst defenses against the pass. The Buccaneers defense has allowed an average of 16.8 receptions per game to opposing wide receiver, the second-most allowed to the position over the past five games.
Additionally, Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 232.6 receiving yards per game over the span, the most in the NFL. An average of two touchdowns per game have also been surrendered, with two games featuring three touchdowns performance over that five-game span. This has resulted in an average of 53.3 points allowed to opposing wide receivers per game, again the most in the NFL. Campbell could not have chosen a better situation in which to return, especially with an incredible $4,800 price tag.
Tight End: Ryan Griffin ($5,600)
The Jets always find a way to, well, be the Jets. After a loss to the Bengals on Sunday, the first win of the season for Cincinnati, I’m not honestly sure if New York will walk away with a win this week either. However, there is a favorable fantasy opportunity to be explored with the playing of Ryan Griffin. The Jets and Griffin will square off with a Dolphins defense that hasn’t fared too well against opposing tight ends. Miami has allowed an average of 5.8 receptions to the position over the past five games, the seventh-most allowed in the league over that span. Those receptions have accounted for an average of 61.2 receiving yards per game, the fifth-most in the NFL. The Dolphins have surrendered an average of 14.3 points to the position over that five-game period, the seventh-highest average allowed. Griffin need only score 14 points to surpass the 2.5 times multiplier we are aiming for, a very attainable mark given the opponent he is facing.
Week 13 was a disaster but there is nowhere to go but up from there. Week 14 marks the first full Sunday slate since Week 13 so I feel we have a much better shot at success. With the fantasy playoff starting in most non-DFS leagues, we may see a bit of an influx from owners looking to extend their fantasy seasons if they were unable to make the playoffs in their season long leagues. As always, good luck to everyone, and feel free to both reach out to me and follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have.