I'm traveling this weekend, so this article is up a little earlier than normal. If there are updates on Saturday afternoon, this article will be updated accordingly Saturday Evening.
Know Your Opposition
If you want to finish at the top of the standings in a mid-to-large field GPP, your roster has to stand out from the crowd. Studying a list of projected roster percentages is a helpful first step, but it lacks the context of how the most popular players fit together under the salary cap.
To gain some insight into how the majority of entrants will allocate their cap space, so you can spend yours differently, let’s think about how the public is most likely to attack roster construction at each position.
Key Injuries for Week 14
This season is unique in that we are dealing with so many backups, injuries, and rookie quarterbacks that it is becoming a bit unprecedented.
- The Browns have yet to announce a starter this week, as Kevin Stefanski won’t announce a starter until game time. Also, Amari Cooper still has not been cleared from concussion protocol but seems to be trending in the right direction. If Flacco plays this week, both Cooper and Elijah Moore are intriguing value plays, with Cooper likely getting the slight nod as Moore saw most of his targets after Cooper left last week. If Dorian Thompson-Robinson starts, David Njoku becomes a must-play.
- Justin Jefferson will return this week and is a very reasonable $8,500 salary.
- The Jaguars have not announced a starter for Sunday’s game against Cleveland. It appears that Trevor Lawrence wants to try to give it a go, but it would seem risky, and the verbiage of “probably a game-time decision” does not bring a lot of confidence that he will play. Christina Kirk is also out for Jacksonville which we saw Parker Washington get in the mix due to the injury. Washington saw 59% of snaps last week catching all six of his targets.
- Isiah Pacheco is out for Week 14 against Buffalo. The price for Clyde Edwards-Helaire is interesting, but there’s a lot of uncertainty for a running back who will be unlikely to be involved in the running game as that will go to Jerick McKinnon and is averaging just 3.5 yards-per-carry on the season. If he scores a touchdown, you’re likely going to get 2x value, but his upside is not much more than that with a very low floor.
- Dalton Schultz will miss this week once again. Brevin Jordan was a great play for us last week, but we just can’t go back there in a difficult matchup and an elevated price tag of $3,100.
- Rashid Shaheed and Taysom Hill are both questionable this week as neither practiced all week. If they were to miss, this offense will be concentrated around Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara. Kamara becomes especially intriguing if Hill missed and likely put him on the Christian McCaffrey tier which is not something that can be said much this season as McCaffrey has largely been in Tier 1 by himself.
Slate Overview- Week 14 Thoughts- Lack of Elite Options
This is an interesting slate because we are missing some of the elite options that we have become used to playing every week at the wide receiver position. With players such as Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb, and A.J. Brown out, and quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, and Dak Prescott it causes a couple of things to happen.
While it certainly increases Christian McCaffrey’s roster percentage as the lone elite option, it also condenses roster percentages for players in the middle tier pricing that otherwise should not be as highly rostered in most weeks. At the moment, there are seven players who are 20% rostered or higher and that is on a week where Zack Moss is once again projected to be over 40% rostered. Players such as Elijah Moore, Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Joe Mixon, and Bijan Robinson all come with significant risk, yet due to the lack of diversification at the top and having people build different lineups, most are going to be building very similar lineups this week where they spend down at quarterback, Christian McCaffrey, one quality receiver such as Mike Evans or Ja’Marr Chase and then down at some of the cheaper wide receivers.
The way to circumvent this build is really by doing a couple of things. You can spend up to Travis Kelce, as he’s projected to be rostered at just 5% this week. You could spend up at the quarterback position as both Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes II are significantly under-rostered at the moment. Or, you could pivot off of McCaffrey and go with a player such as Alvin Kamara who we’ll talk about further in this article.
D.J. Moore’s production over the last three full games with Justin Fields has been something that should put him in the upper echelon of wide receivers. In those games, Moore has 8 receptions, for 230 yards, and 3 touchdowns, 7 receptions for 96 yards, and a touchdown, and last week 11 receptions for 114 yards. The play calling in Chicago came under immense pressure coming off of the bye week, so we should expect to see some more downfield passes as Luke Getsy has said that it was opponent-specific and that it would not be their offense going forward which should help the Bears this week.
For Amon-Ra St. Brown, he is likely going to go a little bit overlooked because of his disappointing performance last week. He’s coming off of a strange game in which the Lions got out to an early 21-0 lead in the first quarter and only threw the ball 25 times which led to him catching just 2 passes for 49 yards although he did score a touchdown. In their last meeting, St. Brown had 8 receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown which we likely will need a little bit more than that at $8,200 but topping 100 yards is something he has done in six games this season.
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