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After a Thanksgiving holiday, Daily Musings is back with plays and fades for Week 14. Let's not waste any time with frivolity—dive right in below.
Stack of the Week
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns - Draft Kings (DK): $5,200, FanDuel (FD): $6,700
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns - DK: $8,100, FD: $8,000
This is turning out to be quite the stack, but it’s strictly for GPP purposes.
That’s because, for all its upside, half of it is a ticking time bomb. Brian Hoyer has been awful the past several weeks, to the point where he was yanked during his abysmal performance against the Buffalo Bills. Many speculated—or simply wished—Johnny Manziel had taken over for good, but Hoyer has the support of his head coach for at least one more week.
The Colts pass defense is a congealed Jello dish without Vontae Davis, and he will be out this week with a concussion. It's difficult to imagine Gordon will have a bad day, especially considering just how much he is being targeted. Hoyer could shake off his recent struggles with a huge game against that defense this week.
It’s such a good pairing on both sites that this is the stack of the week.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers - DK: $9,800, FD: $10,400
Aaron Rodgers is a demigod right now, and he is just about the safest option in fantasy football as a result. This week, he goes up against the Atlanta Falcons at home, and it should be a bloodbath.
He’s not cheap, but Rodgers makes for a great anchor in cash games. He should put up enough points to be a decent GPP option, too, but you should find better value elsewhere in those contests.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons - DK: $7,000, FD: $7,900
Playing the part of foil in Green Bay—or attempting to, at any rate—will be Matt Ryan, who leads his division-leading Atlanta Falcons in a Davidic battle against the Goliath Packers.
Goliath might win this time around, but Ryan will put up a fight with that slingshot. This doesn’t figure to be a low-scoring affair—oddsmakers have the over-under set at 55.5—but whether the Falcons are blown out as Vegas expects or they give the Packers a run for their money, the passing game is going to be heavily involved. More volume equals more points for Ryan and Co.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks - DK: $7,700, FD: $8,500
This is, perhaps, the best intersection of cash and GPP value at quarterback this week.
Russell Wilson goes on the road to take on a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has just been awful against the pass this season.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins - DK: $7,300, FD: $8,600
This might seem risky considering Ryan Tannehill had a great matchup last week and flopped against the New York Jets, but that only served to depress his prices for another great matchup in Week 14.
This time around, Tannehill is at home against a Baltimore Ravens pass defense that has been even more suspect in recent weeks.
Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens - DK: $6,900, FD: $7,400
The Miami Dolphins have been sieves on defense in recent weeks, allowing 373 rushing yards over the past two against Denver Broncos and New York Jets.
Justin Forsett, meanwhile, has become the workhorse in the Baltimore Ravens backfield, looking like a new man as he has exceeded 1,000 rushing yards and the expectations of millions this season.
The game itself has a decent over-under set at 45.5, and the Dolphins are only favored by a few points. That means the Ravens shouldn’t be abandoning the run, if oddsmakers are soothsayers.
Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers - DK: $4,800, FD: $5,700
Granted, it’s unlikely to be a blowout of epic proportions, but Gore should still see plenty of opportunity against a team that has given up oodles of fantasy points to opposing recently and overall this season.
Andre Williams, New York Giants - DK: $4,400, FD: $6,500
It might behoove him and the Giants to sit this week out. Even if he doesn’t, he could have a limited workload, which would be a boon for Williams. The Titans have been rather generous to opposing running backs, so he is a nice option even if he doesn’t possess a ton of upside.
Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans - DK: $4,000, FD: $5,400
It’s a battle of bad run defenses this week in Nashville.
The New York Giants have quietly given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs as the second-worst run defense in the league, second only to the pillow-soft Tennessee Titans. We might see 80 combined touches for running backs this week if both sides are content to pound the rock.
Of course, Sankey isn’t exactly Jamaal Charles, but he has led the Titans in rushing attempts this season and there is little reason to believe that will change this weekend.
Marion Grice, Arizona Cardinals - DK: $4,000, FD: $5,000
The former took over duties as lead back last week after Ellington was forced from the game, albeit he didn’t do much with the role as the Cardinals desperately tried to come back from a huge early deficit. This week, they face a Kansas City Chiefs defense that has given up a ton of fantasy points over the past couple of weeks. The Cardinals may try to grind it out and give Drew Stanton fewer chances to throw the game away this week, too.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers - DK: $8,100, FD: $8,900
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers - DK: $7,400, $FD: $8,400
Aaron Rodgers is going to have to throw to someone to score all those fantasy points this week. Both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are fantastic plays, the latter looking a nice cash and GPP value at those prices.
Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers - DK:$6,500, FD: $
Last week we saw a bad matchup for Kelvin Benjamin, who has seen defenses increasingly key on him as the best offensive weapon for the Carolina Panthers. Granted, the Saints only gave up two receptions for 18 yards to Benjamin last time out, but it wasn’t for lack of trying—the rookie got 10 targets. He should see some more in a game the Panthers might have to throw the ball a bunch, at least if the offensive resurgence we’ve seen from New Orleans holds.
Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars - DK: $3,900, FD: $5,700
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars - DK: $3,900, FD: $5,700
The Texans are clawing their way up the rankings, with a potential playoff berth hanging in the balance. That doesn’t mean the pass defense is fixed.
Houston has given up 28.9 standard fantasy points per game to opposing receivers this season, the second-most in the league. There hasn’t been much difference over the past five weeks, either. Both Shorts and Lee are strictly GPP bets, but either one of those guys could pay off in a big way. Those salaries are rather palatable, to boot.
Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints - DK: $6,000, FD: $6,400
We have seen Kenny Stills become the leading receiver for the New Orleans Saints since the unfortunate injury to rookie Brandin Cooks. This week, Stills gets a shot at a terrible Carolina Panthers pass defense.
Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants - DK: $7,700, FD: $8,200
The Tennessee Titans aren’t just terrible against opposing running backs—passing offenses have had their way against them at times this season.
Odell Beckham Jr has established himself as the top option for the New York Giants, and the Titans defense isn’t going to take him away. We all saw DeAndre Hopkins go “Nuk”-lear last week, and Beckham could easily follow that with a big performance of his own.
Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins - DK: $5,200, $7,100
Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins - DK: $5,600, $6,900
One of these weeks Mike Wallace is going to explode.
The Dolphins don’t exactly have an offense conducive to such detonations, but the Baltimore defense might just oblige. That would be the defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season, including an average of 37 PPG over the past five weeks. Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal doused that secondary with kerosene and Philip Rivers lit the match last week. This week, Wallace and rookie Jarvis Landry look to do the same.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans - DK: $4,200, FD: $5,400
Delanie Walker followed up his 155-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles with an absolute dud against the Houston Texans last week. Granted, it was just a terrible performance for the offense in general, but his stinker has created an value opportunity for this week.
The Giants have been fairly generous to opposing tight ends this season, for starters. Add to that the fact Justin Hunter is now on IR for the Titans—thus theoretically shifting some targets Walker’s way—and we have a nice mix of opportunity, matchup and price for the talented tight end.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints - DK: $6,500, FD: $7,100
Whatever happened to Jimmy Graham last week is in the past. It’s time to look forward to this weekend, when he faces off against a team he has traditionally torched.
Graham has scored 3.5 standard fantasy points per game more against the Panthers over the past three years than he has against every other team. He might be dealing with a shoulder issue that was the likeliest culprit for his Week 13 debacle, but this is Jimmy Graham—he’s scored well through pain in the past.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams - DK: $3,000, FD: $4,900
If you are looking for a near-minimum option at tight end so you can use salary elsewhere, Jared Cook is an intriguing option.
He didn’t do anything last week aside from cause a stir off the field, but the Rams didn’t really need him much in that 52-0 thrashing of the Oakland Raiders. This week, he goes up against a flagging Washington defense that just allowed Coby Fleener to go berserk last week, part of a pattern that has seen tight ends score the second-most points in the league against that unit over the past five weeks. Per usual, Cook has a terribly low floor, which is why he is best suited for GPP contest.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs - DK: $4,500, FD: $5,300
A tantalizing tease since his early-season breakout, Travis Kelce might finally hit on a great fantasy day this week.
The big Chiefs tight end is facing an Arizona Cardinals defense that has had trouble defending opposing tight ends for the better part of the last two seasons. That unit has given up the 15 PPR PPG to the tight end position this season.
Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers - DK: $4,700, FD: $5,600
He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8, but Antonio Gates has finally picked things back up after a dearth of fantasy scoring.
He caught seven passes for 83 yards last week—more than his previous three games combined—and put up a nice PPR line in the process. The Patriots, meanwhile, have given up the sixth-most fantasy PPG to opposing tight ends over the past five weeks and 10th-most for the entire season. Whereas New England might shut down the likes of Keenan Allen, Gates might be the path to offensive success for the Chargers.
At any rate, those are some pretty nice prices for a good cash game option with some GPP upside.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers - DK: $6,500, FD: $7,200
It might seem like a great matchup this week for Colin Kaepernick, but buyer beware—the Oakland Raiders aren’t the generous type against opposing quarterbacks.
The Raiders have been kind to running backs, but quarterbacks have had tough sledding in most weeks. Kaepernick always has upside, but he has regressed in a big way this season—there is little reason to believe he will suddenly have a huge game in a hard-hitting rivalry game. To make matters worse, oddsmakers have the over-under set at 40.5 for this Bay Area battle—there won't be a ton of fantasy points to go around to begin with if that holds.
He might be a decent option in GPP contests given the price and the upside, but you are better off looking elsewhere based on the matchup, odds and quality of the offense.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers - DK: $8,100, FD: $8,400
This is a divisional matchup, one that has seen far less fantasy scoring for Roethlisberger in recent memory. Big Ben has scored 6.24 fewer fantasy PPG against the Bengals over the past three season than he has against everyone else. While history might not be the perfect indicator for fantasy success, consider the fact Roethlisberger has scored 16.4 fewer PPG on the road than at home this season.
The game is in Cincinnati.
Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings - DK: $4,100, FD: $5,700
Well, considering the opposition, that may not be the best idea.
The New York Jets have been among the best rush defenses in the league this season, allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs as a result. Of course, that all might go out the window if the Jets have packed it in for the 2014 season, but that’s not something you should really bank on in the tangible universe.
Boom Herron, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $5,400, FD: $6,400
Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $3,800, FD: $5,600
This might seem like a great time to use Boom Herron, who seems to have caught Trent Richardson for playing time in Indianapolis.
Most of Herron’s production against Washington last week came on a 49-yard touchdown run, howevEr. While dismissing that entirely would be disingenuous, do you really think he has that sort of explosive potential on a weekly basis?
Meanwhile, Richardson is still around, and he vows revenge against the Cleveland Browns this week. Motivation can be a dangerous thing, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders - DK: $3,800, FD: $6,700
Latavius Murray has been cleared from his concussion, and he should be set to resume his rise as the next great Oakland Raiders running back, right?
Well, according to Tony Sparano, Oakland won’t force things. Unless he plans to average 27.5 yards per carry this week, Murray may not get the touches he needs to become fantasy-relevant.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles - $6,800, FD: $8,200
Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles - DK: $5,700, FD: $7,500
Despite featuring an elite defense, the game in Philadelphia has a healthy over-under at 48.5. The Eagles are slight favorites to boot, meaning this could be a real slugfest.
It’s a good bet Chip Kelly will find ways to move the ball, to be sure, but this duo is facing the defense led by safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman that has given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers - DK: $7,200, FD: $7,600
Much was made about Revis giving up that 45-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson last week. It seemed like Revis Island had turned into a peninsula. It was a great play by Nelson that resulted in a touchdown thanks to bad defense outside Revis’ coverage, however, and he caught just one other pass on the day.
The Patriots won’t have to worry about other options as much as they did against the Packers, either, meaning they can focus on stopping Allen and that passing game.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers - DK: $4,900, FD: $6,500
The New Orleans Saints have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season, including a 30-yard performance to Olsen earlier this season. There are safer, cheap options out there.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts - DK: $5,700, FD: $6,400
Fleener had a ridiculously great game against Washington despite the fact he dropped what would have been his third long touchdown of the game. Dwayne Allen is due back this week, however, which should severely limit Fleener’s upside.