Cam Newton: at TB (DK 6600; FD 8700)
It’s hard to go wrong with the QB1 in fantasy football through 12 weeks in Patrick Mahomes or the 2015 MVP in Cam Newton. Cam provides salary relief on both sites and at least the Buccaneers can score and keep the game close compared to what should be a one-sided affair in the Chiefs, Raiders matchup. Don’t let Nick Mullen’s lackluster performance fool you into thinking Tampa Bay can play any semblance of defense because that defensive unit is awful. The formula remains unchanged and Cam Newton will prove yet again that targeting the Buccaneers against fantasy quarterbacks is still a viable strategy.
Jameis Winston: vs CAR (DK 6000; FD 7500)
He’s thrown for over 300 yards in three of the four games he has started and meets a divisional foe that has given up nine games of multiple passing touchdowns. Jameis Winston has the weapons on the outside in Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Godwin against a Panthers secondary that is exploitable on the perimeter and is part of a pass-heavy offense that should give the Panthers a run for their money in this potential shootout. The risk in 2018 has been the rotation at quarterback at a moment’s notice but at this point, Tampa Bay’s front office needs to determine if he will be in their future plans that Winston being benched shouldn’t occur anymore. He and the quarterback to be described below are two of the better mid-tier priced quarterback options on the main slate this week.
Lamar Jackson: at ATL (DK 5900; FD 7500)
He was still able to return value on both sites despite the Ravens defense keeping the offense off the field by forcing both a fumble and punt return for a touchdown against the Raiders. Lamar Jackson has averaged an astounding 12.5 fantasy points with just his running ability in his first two NFL starts and now gets a Falcons defense that allows the second-most passing touchdowns and the second-most rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks. Rostering the quarterback from Louisville comes with risk in the case that he doesn’t manufacture a touchdown which occurred in his first start against the Bengals. Nonetheless, Jackson’s dynamic ability to scramble out of the pocket, as evidenced by his 39 yard run in the 4th quarter this past Sunday, makes him worth consideration for rostering at his reasonable salary for a third straight week.
Christian McCaffery: at TB (DK 8800; FD 8800)
One of the deterrents in rostering Christian McCaffery this week will be the soaring ownership levels after an incredible 41.2 FD/52.7 DK performance in a loss against the Seahawks. However, not rostering him can prove detrimental against this Buccaneers team that has allowed 641 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns to the position over the last four weeks. McCaffery has handled 92.6% of the running back touches in this same timeframe including all of them in week 12. Simply put, the Buccaneers defense has no ability to slow him down and paying up for CMC gets you the running back that posted three touchdowns against them four weeks ago.
Kareem Hunt: at OAK (DK 7800; FD 8900)
The last time Oakland gave up less than 100 rushing yards to the running back position was way back in week 6 against the Chargers. If Gus Edwards can log 100 yards on the ground, Kareem Hunt shouldn’t find this task too challenging in a much more efficient Kansas City offense. Back to his days with Philadelphia, teams led by Andy Reid have performed well following the bye week and against a terrible Raiders team that the Chiefs are favored to defeat by more than two touchdowns, there shouldn’t be any threat of an upset. As long as that plays out, Hunt will be in line for plenty of work throughout the duration of this game.
Aaron Jones: vs ARI (DK 6700; FD 7600)
Like the Bucs and Raiders, attacking the Cardinals with running backs is in play each week, especially after Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler slaughtered them for 169 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Enter Aaron Jones who has assumed the bell-cow duties for the Packers following their bye week and it correlates well for him to be a one-man wrecking crew against this Cardinals team that has allowed at least 75 rushing yards in every game this season. He’s crossed the pylons six times since he was entrusted with the feature back duties and he has one of the highest Week 14 touchdown potentials-with the Packers favored by two touchdowns.
Phillip Lindsay: at CIN (DK 5400; FD 7000)
Andy Dalton is on season-ending IR, the Bengals were defeated by their in-state rivals for the first time in four years, and the inevitability of firing Marvin Lewis looms in the horizon. The Bengals are a mess and it sets up well for the Broncos to head into Paul Brown Stadium and continue Cincinnati’s downward spiral. Phillip Lindsay continues to dominate the touches over Royce Freeman and gets a Bengals defense this week that hemorrhages yardages and touchdowns on the ground. 11 carries for 60 yards has been the floor for Lindsay over the last five weeks with five rushing touchdowns in that span. He has a solid floor that is slightly touchdown-dependent but has a great chance of crossing the pylons this week as the Bengals have allowed at least one rushing touchdown in six straight games.
Adam Thielen: at NE (DK 8000; FD 8100)
The Patriots have fared much better against receivers lined up on the perimeter as of late but are still susceptible to those lined up in the slot. If New England determines that Stefon Diggs (if he plays) is the bigger threat and focuses on taking him out of the game, it’s going to open up more opportunities for Adam Thielen to slaughter this defense that surrenders the 5th most FPA to slot receivers. He’s discounted on both sites this week after his 9th 100+ receiving yard game as the Vikings played on Sunday night. Thielen is seeing 11.27 targets per game and it’s safe to expect double-digit targets again as the Vikings travel to Gillette Stadium as 5-point underdogs and may be required to play catch-up.
Kenny Golladay: vs LAR (DK 6700; FD 7300)
With Marvin Jones and Golden Tate removed from the equation, it leaves Kenny Golladay as Matthew Stafford’s best receiving option for the remainder of the season. Since the Tate trade, Golladay has been peppered with targets, averaging 10 of them in those four games and now with Jones on IR, that number has a chance to rise. This young receiver possesses the ability to break off a deep shot for a score against a Rams secondary that has been torched over the last month and one that is tied for last with the Raiders in allowing 12 pass plays of 40+ yards. Vegas has Detroit as 10-point underdogs at home and it’s safe to say that the Lions could be playing from behind where Golladay will be counted on to get the Lions back in it.
Emmanuel Sanders: at CIN (DK 6300; FD 7000)
Truth be told, he could have done more damage against the Steelers if not for a few drops that he should have brought in. Nonetheless, Emmanuel Sanders performed well against his former mates and now faces a Cincinnati defense that won’t be able to keep up with his daunting speed. Recent receivers that have amassed the required 20+ fantasy points to hit 3x this week against this porous secondary include Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, and Michael Thomas. Evans ripped off a 72 yard shot for a score, something that is within the skillset of this speedy Broncos receiver who should have his way at Paul Brown Stadium.
Chris Godwin: vs CAR (DK 3900; FD 5400)
This play is certainly contingent on DeSean Jackson being unable to play on Sunday with a thumb injury. In the final two games that Jackson missed in 2017, Chris Godwin posted 10 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown in his absence. Of course, Mike Evans will be the first receiving option but Godwin has shown he can be a reliable option and this weekend will battle opposite James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, cornerbacks that are responsible for Carolina allowing the 7th most FPA to receivers lined up on the perimeter. If DeSean plays this weekend, it nullifies Godwin’s ceiling as they will eat into each other’s targets. If he warms the bench, Godwin has the potential to do some serious damage at an inexpensive salary.
David Njoku: at HOU (DK 4300; FD 5500)
He performed as he should have against a hapless Bengals defense and now faces a Houston one that also has its struggles against tight ends. The Texans are surrendering a floor of seven catches for 71 yards and a touchdown to the position in the last three games; Jonnu Smith comes to mind as the latest to victimize that defense. Ideally, more targets would provide more comfort as David Njoku hasn’t seen at least six in a game since week 7. Yet, if he can continue to capitalize on the targets he does receive, catching 90.9% of since them since that game against Tampa Bay, he can prove viable in this spot at a reasonable salary on both sites.
Eric Ebron: at JAX (DK 4200; FD 5600)
Enjoy his lowest salary for the rest of the season as the week 13 salaries had already posted when Jack Doyle was placed on season-ending IR on Monday. Eric Ebron benefits from being part of an Indianapolis offense that has thrown the most touchdown passes to tight ends and now that Doyle is out of the picture, he will assume additional snaps and volume. He averaged 10 targets from week 3 to week 7 when Doyle was inactive vs 3.66 when he was on the field and it bodes well this week against a Jaguars team that had surrendered six touchdowns in three games to tight ends prior to their matchup against the Bills last week.
Matt LaCosse: at CIN (DK 2500; FD 4700)
He’s the bare minimum on DraftKings as Jeff Heuerman will miss the rest of the season but this is anything but a punt play. Matt LaCosse encounters a Bengals team that gives up the 2nd most FPA to tight ends and allowed both David Njoku and Darren Fells to score touchdowns last week. He made his presence felt right away by hauling in his first career touchdown against the Steelers when Heuerman succumbed to injury. Returning value in this spot on DraftKings should be simple for LaCosse as all he needs is a few catches for some yardage against this Bengals defense that is in competition to be one of the worst units in the history of the league.
Green Bay: vs ARI (DK 2800; FD 4400)
The Cardinals have eclipsed 20 points just twice this year, a perfect recipe for a Green Bay defense that possesses a +9.8 FPPG differential in games played at Lambeau Field. The Packers have sacked the quarterback multiple times in every home game as well as forced multiple turnovers in three of five, something to keep in mind as Josh Rosen has thrown at least one interception in six straight games.
Denver: at CIN (DK 2700; FD 4500)
Jeff Driskel is now the starting quarterback for the Bengals and we’re not sure which A.J. Green will return Sunday now that he’s declared himself ready to play. Both of these facts downgrade the Bengals offense against a Broncos defense that forces 1.63 turnovers and three sacks per contest.
Kansas City: at OAK (DK 2500; FD 4300)
The Chiefs have forced at least five sacks as well as multiple turnovers in three of their last four games. They travel to the Black Hole to duel with an Oakland offense that is scoring 12.25 points per game in the last four weeks and has allowed 4.75 sacks per game in that same timeframe.
Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site. Here are the notable week 13 bargains from both sites:
NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
QB Matt Ryan: 2.96
QB Andrew Luck: 2.06
TE Matt LaCosse: 2.86
TE Ricky Seals-Jones: 2.86
DEF Kansas City: 2.16
DEF Denver: 2.1
NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS
RB Christian McCaffery: 3.14
RB Todd Gurley: 2.27
RB Dalvin Cook: 2.07
WR Tyreek Hill: 4.2