We’re getting to the pointy end of the season now, when season-long fantasy football playoffs are kicking off and real football playoffs are on the horizon. Already, the Rams have clinched a playoff berth, with all of the Saints, Patriots and Chiefs just one win away from securing their spot as well.
Until then, we’ve still got PlayON Daily Fantasy every week of the year, so let’s look at some picks for Week 14 below.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers ($7.8M)
This might just be the greatest running back value week of all time. There are a whole bunch of scenarios that have led to some cheaper options being handed to us on a silver platter. The best of them, in my humble opinion, is Jeff Wilson Jr. He’ll be the first man out in San Francisco due to the injury to Matt Breida. That should probably read “injuries” since the man seems to get hurt every single week, only to return the following game.
Wilson replaced Breida against the Seahawks last week and went off in. He ran 15 times for 61 yards and impressed in the passing game too. He caught eight of nine targets for 73 yards. And as much as I like the Bronco’s defense, they haven’t been great against the run, allowing 122 yards on the ground each week and 4.7 yards per attempt.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints ($13.3M)
Can you believe, for all his accolades, all his achievements and all his success, Drew Brees has yet to win an MVP? Without putting the commentator curse, this appears to be the year. After last week’s hiccup in Dallas, the Tampa Bay Bucs are the perfect way to get back on track. They allow 274 pass yards per game, 28 touchdowns through the air and an NFL worst opposing quarterback rating of 113.7.
Brees himself is averaging 271 yards a game and has an incredible 30 touchdowns against just three interceptions. And honestly, most of those are to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, but still, it’s amazing. Give this man the award.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers ($12.9M)
I’m back on the Philip Rivers bandwagon this week in a fantastic matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. And the matchup is so good, he won’t be my only LA Charger. I’ll be heavily stacking them as you’ll see throughout the piece. The Bengals rank 31st in pass yards per game (280), 27th in touchdowns allowed (26), 22nd in completion percentage (66.8%) and 26th in opposing quarterback rating (100.5). It’s a superb week to play old man Rivers.
I mentioned last week that Rivers had thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this year. Well he did it again whilst leading his team to a huge comeback over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rivers had 299 yards, two scores and no interceptions. He’s having an MVP type season, if it weren’t for….
Baker Mayfield, Browns ($11.9M) vs. Panthers, Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans ($12M) vs. Colts
Jaylen Samuels, Steelers ($7.1M)
Wilson Jr. is my top value pick this week but Jaylen Samuels isn’t all that far behind. He steps into an offense that has made James Conner a stud all season long. For those playing Yahoo fantasy, Samuels has dual RB-TE designation, which goes to show that he can catch a football when need be.
But will he need to? The Raiders, along with the Bengals, are the worst rushing team in the NFL. They allow 153 yards a game on the ground and have let in 11 rushing scores. There will be a bit of Stevan Ridley mixed in here and there, but considering he has 18 attempts this year and hasn’t been sighted since the week 10 blow out of Carolina, I’m not too concerned.
Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers ($6.8M)
Charger number 2. It’s hard to imagine that the Chargers rush Melvin Gordon back against the Bengals, who they’re predicted to beat by around two touchdowns. It’s in Los Angeles, there’s no Dalton or AJG, and the Chargers are rolling. So take your time and heal properly MG. We need to find some value plays.
The risk with Jackson is that he will still be in a timeshare with Austin Ekeler, and really, either man is a good option at this point. But Jackson was more productive against the Steelers, chipping in 63 yards and a very nice touchdown run. The game script suggests the Chargers to get up early and try to control the tempo, meaning we should see a ton of Jackson milking the clock. And against a side allowing an equal most rush yards per game (153) and 16 touchdowns on the season, that’s a good risk in my book.
Christian McCaffery, Carolina Panthers ($17.9M) vs. Browns, Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys ($16.4M) vs. Eagles
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos ($8.3M)
This rookie wide receiver has everything going his way in the Broncos week 14 matchup. He’s coming off a four catch, 85-yard, 1 touchdown day against Cincinnati. He’s averaging almost three catches for 63 yards in his last five games. He’s just become main wide receiver in Denver following Demaryius Thomas being traded and Emmanuel Sanders getting injured this week. And he plays the 49ers.
San Fran are allowing a modest 255 yards to receivers per game, put they’re also allowing 28 points a week and have given up and equal third most touchdowns to the position (27), including four last weekend against the Seahawks.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($14.5M)
Here’s my number three Charger of the week. I’m loving what Keenan Allen is doing lately. He had a HUGE day in the big comeback at Pittsburgh under the bright lights of prime-time football. It was fun to watch. He had a whopping 19 targets, catching 14 of them for 148 yards and an admittedly fluky touchdown. But that’s the kind of receiver he is. He’s not a big play guy who’ll get you 40 or 50-yard gains regularly. He’s a route runner, and he’s damn good at it. Better yet, he’s Rivers’ guy, commanding 113 targets on the year. That’s over 9 per game.
He gets another chance at a big day against the Bengals who I mentioned are poorly ranked in pass defense this season. Cinci have let the opposing number 1 receiver pick up eight receptions, and approximately 70 yards per game.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers ($7.6M) vs. Broncos, Allen Robinson, Bears ($9.1M) vs. Rams
Zach Ertz, Eagles ($12.7M)
Congratulations to Zach Ertz, who is now the Eagles all-time record holder for receptions in one season. He just passed Brian Westbrook who previously held the record with 90 catches. Next in his sights is the NFL tight end receptions record of 110 catches, held by Jason Witten.
Ertz has garnered at least ten targets in eight of the Eagles twelve games this year, with another two games of eight and nine targets. It’s those numbers which make him a safe play every week. But it’s the 81.5 yards a week and six touchdowns that make him the valuable play every week. And furthermore, it’s the 16 target, 14 catch, 145 yards and 2 score day against the Cowboys in week 10 that make him the must play this week.
David Njoku, Browns ($7.7M)
The Panthers are in trouble. They’ve now lost four games in a row and allowed an average of 31.5 points per game during that stretch. They’re not stopping anyone on the defense. But better yet, Carolina have been terrible at defending tight ends all season.
That’s why I love David Njoku this week. It’s not his 3 catches per game and 1 touchdown over the last month. It’s not the 142 total yards. It’s that the Panthers have allowed nine touchdowns to the position this season, even though they haven’t let on in during their last three games. It would have been ten if Cameron Brate didn’t drop one last week.
Dan Arnold, New Orleans Saints ($4.8M) vs. Buccaneers, Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6.4M) vs. Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers ($7M)
I’m old man is a Steelers fan, so I took great pleasure in rubbing last week’s result in. But seriously, how did they blow that game?? Up 16 points at the half. What a collapse.
The Steelers actually aren’t all that bad of a unit. They rank 8th in the NFL in both rush and pass yards allowed. So, I’m going to back them this week with the thought that the loss will drive them against a miserable Oakland Raiders offense.
Arizona Cardinals ($6M)
The Cards, unlike the Steelers above, are a bad defense. They rank 4th last in rush defense on the year. So, what incentive is there to play them this week? Matt Stafford is what.
Stafford has thrown the 5th most amount of interceptions this year and been sacked the 7th most of any quarterback. He is wild and loose with his throws and doesn’t have a great offensive line protecting him. It’s all a recipe for a high-risk, high-reward defensive play.
New York Giants ($6.9M) vs. Redskins, Denver Broncos ($6.5M) vs. 49ers
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals ($12.1M)
I guess this makes four in the Charger stack? The Bengals are at a serious low point. Not only have they lost Andy Dalton for the season, but they just had A.J. Green aggravate the toe injury he’s been battling all year and now he’s on IR too. It’s a whole big mess down in Cincinnati.
During AJG’s first injury stint, Boyd went quiet. A little too quiet. He didn’t appear to handle the added responsibility of the number 1 cornerback. Now with Green out once more, I don’t trust Boyd to put up the numbers required from his against a Chargers defense that has been one of the best this season in limiting wide receiver yards. Even if Los Angeles struggled last weekend, this Bengals WR corps does not compare to Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.