Week 14 in the NFL season is an interesting week for fantasy football
players as most standard leagues are transitioning into the playoffs.
Either you are elated and relieved to have made the fantasy post-season,
or you are wallowing in your sorrow of Matt Ryan dropping a stinker
against the Bucs while promising yourself that you will never, under
no circumstances, draft that pick-machine bum again.
Now as I slowly digress from my hatred of Ryan and my frustration
from going against my personal rule of not drafting players with
two first names (I know it is silly, but I have many bizarre superstitions),
I take some solace in the fact that I have a few more weeks of
fantasy fun with DFS.
I assume that Week 14 is a boom period for DraftKings and FanDuel,
as other season-long losers like myself look to continue their
fantasy football addiction. I also assume that many readers of
this column may be new to site, looking to test the waters and
see what all of the DFS hype is about.
With that in mind, I think it would be a good time to review
some of the DFS theories and concepts mentioned in previous articles.
The following roster from Week 13 is an excellent example as I
utilized many of the concepts while building a winning squad in
a cash game against a group of friends.
Week 13 was one of the highest scoring weeks for quarterbacks
in the history of fantasy football, with 12 players scoring over
20 points. Heck, even subpar signal callers like Blaine Gabbert
and Brian Hoyer got into the action.
On a week like this in a cash game, you really need to make sure
you didn’t miss the mark on a QB as the probability of your competitors
having a solid QB is high. Cash game owners with Kirk
Carr, or Matt
Ryan likely missed out on cashing this week due to the vast
number of QBs who delivered 20 point-plus games.
Luckily for me I decided to go with a Steelers stack at home
against the Colts, with Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and DeAngelo Williams.
Both Ben and Brown seemed to be locks due do their consistent
performances this season, which is key in cash games when you
are playing against a smaller pool of players compared to large
In addition to a high floor, I felt like this game had the makings
of a shootout with both Ben and Brown having high ceilings. This
stack paid off, with Ben posting 36.86 points and Brown finishing
as a top WR play for the week. The foundation of these two players
carried me to a victory.
In my Week 2 article
I discussed the benefits of using a three-player stack with a
quarterback, wide receiver, and running back on the same team.
This strategy is a bold move for DFS that only works with players
playing in a high scoring game, and the running back needs to
also catch passes out of the backfield to benefit from the doubling-up
effect from the QB points.
I typically would only use this in large GPP games when I am
shooting for the stars, but in the case of Pittsburgh and how
well their offense is rolling, I felt comfortable using a triple
stack in a cash game. Another reason why I felt comfortable is
the fact that Williams is a strong pass catching RB and the Steelers
dump it off to him frequently.
Williams did not disappoint with 165 total yards and 5 catches,
however, he did fumble and did not reach the end zone. At 23.5
points, I cannot complain with the production from a $5,600 player.
At a mere $3,500 Anderson seemed like a great value play against
a struggling Chargers’ defense. The pick had the makings
of paying off well for me as Anderson managed 42 yards on seven
carries in the first half. But an ankle injury forced Anderson
out, derailing what could have been a huge game.
I wanted to give myself a B for my wide receivers this week solely
because of the turd LaFell dropped against the Eagles. His drops
and inability to catch a deep ball from Brady against a terrible
secondary was beyond frustrating. Needless to say LaFell will
not be on a roster of mine in the near future.
Now with the frustrations out of the way, having two of the top
three wide receiver plays of the week in OBJ and Brown more than
made up for the 6.7 game LaFell gave me. Brown at home on national
television seemed like a no-brainer regardless of the cost, with
a floor of no less than 5 catches for 80 yards.
I also pegged Beckham with a big game due to the fact that it
was the battle of New York and the Jets secondary was without
Revis. Even with Revis, Beckham would have likely played well,
but I would have faded him for someone else.
With nearly a half of my total points coming from my wide receivers,
I was very pleased with my selections this week. Another reason
why I chose the Brown and Big Ben stack was the fact that Vegas
pointed to a high scoring game with an over/under of 50. Check
out my article on using Vegas
betting lines for more info on this strategy.
As solid as my picks were for wide receiver and quarterback,
my tight end and flex picks were supremely terrible and nearly
cost me from cashing. My strategy for tight ends is either going
big for a Gronk-like play, or going cheap with a tight end who
will likely see lots of passes.
With Leonard Hankerson out for the season and 5 catches for 70
yards in his previous game, I thought Tamme would have some volume
value against the Bucs. What I failed to remember is that Matt
Ryan is terrible and his inability to read defenses would kill
Tamme’s value. At least he did not give me a goose egg like
Eric Erbron laid for me Week 11.
A garbage-time catch for 33 yards in what I thought would be
a high-scoring game was unacceptable from Moncrief, who scored
22 points on 8 catches for 114 yards against the Bucs Week 12.
Looking at the previous week’s performance is not always
a smart move when it comes to DFS, especially considering if the
defensive match ups are significantly different. In the case of
Moncrief, I felt like the matchup against Pittsburgh was as good
or better than his previous matchup against the Bucs, and Moncreif
and Hasselbeck appeared to be building a rapport.
This pick might have been the worst of the week had Moncrief
not been an inexpensive play at $4,600. The goal at FLEX is to
find a player who will give me a minimum of 10 points in cash
games, which Moncreif failed to achieve. I may look for a pass
catching RB like Darren Sproles next week instead of a WR.
Defense: Bengals DraftKings Points: 16
The Bengals at home against Austin Davis and the Browns proved
to be a smart play, as Cincinnati managed 16 points on three sacks,
one fumble, and one interception. Denver against the Chargers
was clearly the best play of the week in terms of a possible defensive
score, and the Broncos did not disappoint.
But the other top plays of the week were somewhat of a surprise,
and not likely a play my competitors in a cash game would make.
Anyone who picked Philly against the Pats was flat out lucky.
I am more than pleased with my 16 points, which was more than
enough to put me over the top an into the cash.