Welcome to The Gauntlet. We are going to break down each and every game to find our NFL DFS Week 14 top plays on what is considered the main slate on DraftKings and Fanduel. This consists of the games only on Sundays. If you are playing other slates, such as the primetime slates, be sure to check out our other DFS content for plays in those games. In this breakdown, we are going to dive deeply into each matchup which is why we are going to stick to just the main slate of games. The numbers in parenthesis are the Vegas implied totals for each team. All of the stats in this breakdown are from Football Outsiders, while all of the player grades are from Pro Football Focus. Let’s get to it…
With this slate being pretty straightforward, I don’t need to dive as in-depth as I normally do for every single matchup. There are a lot of matchups that are stay aways for me and only an obvious play or two from most games.
Raiders (22.25) at Chiefs (26.25) Total 48.5
The Chiefs air attack is in the best matchup of the entire weekend. However, I think their ownership reflects that. Anytime Alex Smith is going to be the mega chalk, I want to be far away from that. I think this is a responsible fade if playing tournaments as this trio of Smith, Hill, and Kelce should carry very high ownership. If I had to choose one of the three, I would definitely play Kelce, but none of them are must plays.
On the Raiders side, Cooper and Crabtree are always interesting. However, this Chiefs defense is actually respectable at home. Marcus Peters won’t be playing in this one, which is a boost to Crabtree, so I would side with him if I had to choose between the two. We did see Cooper blow up in this matchup once this year already, but we only care about the upcoming week. With Cooper being limited in practices, I said with Crabtree here.
Top Plays: Smith, Hill, Kelce, Crabtree (I would fade the Chiefs stacks due to ownership, but that doesn’t make them bad plays)
49ers (21) at Texans (23.5) Total 44.5
On the 49ers side, Marquise Goodwin really stands out to me here. The Texans struggle with defending the deep ball, and that is where Goodwin thrives. With Jimmy G at QB, Goodwin makes a great tourney play at low ownership.
On the Texans side, lock in Deandre Hopkins who is the safest floor WR on this slate. He also happens to have the highest ceiling on this slate. His $8500 price tag doesn’t feel high enough here. Lamar Miller also has the best matchup on paper for all RBs this week and is a great play in all formats. The cash lock of the week at TE is Stephen Anderson. He could possibly see double-digit targets here and is a red zone threat at a dirt cheap price. I think it is a mistake to not play Anderson here.
Top Plays: Goodwin, Hopkins, Miller, Anderson
Vikings (21.5) at Panthers (19) Total 40.5
This is going to be one of the lowest scoring games of the weekend and I want no part of it in DFS. In your season long playoffs, you have to play Theilen and Diggs. However, in DFS their ceilings are really limited in this matchup.
On the Panthers side, no thanks. I prefer the Vikings D.
Top Plays: Vikings D
Bears (16) at Bengals (22.5) Total 38.5
Similar to the last game, this game is going to be extremely low scoring. However, this game includes a free square. If Mixon is out, Gio Bernard is a lock and load this week with his minimum price tag. Don’t overthink this one, and play Gio. The Bengals D are also in play, but there are two other defenses I prefer to pay up for.
Top Plays: Gio
Packers (21.5) at Browns (18.5) Total 40
I want a ton of exposure to this Browns offense with Josh Gordon back. He is one of the top point per dollar WRs on the whole slate against a weak pass D in Green Bay. Deshone Kizer is also firmly in play here. We love to target cheap QBs and running QBs. Kizer is both of those. Green Bay runs a ton of blitzes and man coverage, and that tremendously benefits a running QB. Corey Coleman and Njoku are also very interesting ways to round out a 3 man Browns stack.
With Hundley still at QB, he limits everyone’s upside, and I don’t want any exposure here. Next week, when Rodgers is back, this will change.
Top Plays: Kizer, Gordon, Coleman, Njoku
Lions at Bucs
Outside of the Browns, the Lions are my favorite passing attack to load up on. Stafford has one of the best matchups here, and so do Jones and Tate. Their entire production usually comes from this core of guys, so it is easy to pinpoint the usage here. Marvin Jones is one of my favorite WRs in terms of raw points this week. Theo Riddick is also a great play if Abdullah sits again.
On the Bucs side, Brate is exponentially better with Winston at QB and he is the Buc I want if running it back on a game stack.
Top Plays: Stafford, Jones, Tate, Brate
Colts at Bills
This game is supposed to be played in some pretty heavy snow. If that is the case, I want zero pass game exposure. Instead, I will be playing the Bills D. I worry about the Bucs being able to sustain drives in the snow, especially if Peterman is starting this week. For that reason, McCoy is not a top priority for me.
Top Plays: Bills D
Dallas (22.5) at Giants (19) Total 41.5
I will be monitoring Sterling Shepard this week in terms of injury. If he plays, he is a great play at his cheap price against a Dallas team that should be without Scandrick and already struggles against slot receivers. I prefer Shepard over Engram this week, but if you are going to play both just stack them with Eli. I am not recommending playing Eli, but if you are playing the other two guys you might as well play Eli too. Shepard is my only priority here.
On the Dallas side, Dez is too cheap but his lack of a ceiling has me crossing him off my list. Witten is in the best spot here, but I prefer Anderson if paying down at TE.
Top Plays: Shepard
Redskins (20) at Chargers (26) Total 46
Keenan Allen is obviously in another great spot here this week. He has been the Chargers offense recently. However, if I am paying up it will be for Hopkins. Allen makes a great pivot off of Hopkins this week in tournaments.
On the other side of the ball, if the Redskins are going to be missing any of their starting O line, the Chargers become my favorite defense by a wide margin. They are among the best in the NFL in creating pressure on the QB while the Skins are among the worst in the NFL in QB protection.
Top Plays: Allen, Chargers D
Titans (23.5) at Cardinals (20.5) Total 44
Larry Fitzgerald, week in and week out, is one of the safest options on the board. This week he gets a matchup with a Titans team who won’t have an answer for him defensively. The Titans love to run a lot of man coverage and Fitz should be able to feast against a weak corner here.
Top Plays: Fitz
Jets (20.75) at Broncos (20.75) Total 41.5
The Jets keep defying the odds and keep piling on the points. The Broncos defense has been a liability recently, but there are still better options than loading up on the Jets here. I like ASJ if I had to pick one Jets player, but I don’t know if his floor or ceiling are appealing in this matchup. He is too TD dependent for me to play in cash and doesn’t have the ceiling I look for in tournaments.
On the Broncos side, I played Siemien last week and I realized just how bad he actually is. I will pass on him this week. The Broncos have been awful this year and we can’t trust them.
Top Plays: None
Seahawks (18.75) at Jaguars (21.25) Total 40
The Seahawks get the toughest matchup of the week facing the Jags. They have really struggled with pass protection all season and now face the #1 pass rush in football. The Jaguars are in a sneaky spot here, but I still have them as my #2 defense behind the Chargers this week. Baldwin should be shadowed and eliminated by Ramsey.
Nothing on the Jags side stands out to me. This slate is really shaping up to just build an extremely tight core and narrow my exposures.
Top Plays: Jags D
Eagles (22.75) at Rams (25.25) Total 48
The way to attack the Rams is on the ground. While the Eagles have been solid running the ball, they don’t have a guy with enough usage for us to use in DFS. The pass defense has been very respectable this year and could limit the Eagles here.
On the Rams side, Gurley has the highest floor and ceiling of all the RBs, despite the tough matchup. I will be doing whatever I can to fit Gurley in because there is no other RB with his safety or upside here. Watkins also makes an interesting option as you can attack the Eagles using outside receivers.
Top Plays: Gurley, Watkins