DRAFT Week 14 Breakdown and Top Plays
It’s Week 14. Hopefully, all you degenerates made the playoffs in your redraft leagues. If not, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of DFS left this season. Each week we’ll get different matchups, and a fresh set of players primed for your lineups.
DRAFT's weekly fantasy contests are not your typical salary cap format. Instead, they offer a series of snake-style draft contests with differing team amounts. You can choose from head-to-head, 3-team, 6-team, 8-team, or 10-team contests, with varying dollar amounts per contest. With each draft, players must select five position players: 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR/TEs. There are no salaries, no ownership percentages, and no large tourneys.
Below, I take a look at some of the best plays of the week, according to league size. You will see multiple references to aFPA, which is our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. By using aFPA, we remove bias so that we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. One more note: remember that DRAFT is a snake-style format, so you must plan accordingly in larger contest sizes.
With only two drafters involved, your cumulative score just has to be higher than that of your opponent. Since only 10 players are involved, stick to the elite DFS chalk here.
Alex Smith (KC) vs. OAK
It’s still very bizarre to refer to Smith as chalk, but it’s happening. Despite the Chiefs offense slide over the past several weeks, Smith still remains second in QB fantasy points on the season. He’s also second in DRAFT’s weekly projections among QBs—20.10 points. Oakland ranks 25th in QB aFPA, and shouldn’t be much of a threat to Smith and his main squeezes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
Tom Brady (NE) @ MIA
Brady’s talents are heading to South Beach. Well, not exactly but he’ll produce his usual chalky numbers in Week 14 against the Dolphins. These two teams met just two weeks ago, and New England’s favorite QB dropped 21.98 DRAFT points on a Miami defense ranked 24th in aFPA versus enemy QBs. There’s also the potential that Brady is still upset about his less-than-stellar Week 13 output, and angry Brady is a high scoring Brady.
LeVeon Bell (PIT) vs. BAL
One little tidbit we’ve learned along the way is to always draft Bell at home. He’s chalk no matter where he hits the field but tends to play better in Pittsburgh. DRAFT has him ranked second in projected points among RBs this week, and our very own John Paulsen has him ranked first in 4for4’s Week 14 rankings.
Alvin Kamara (NO) @ ATL
The rookie sensation is unstoppable and refuses to be taken down at first contact. He’s averaged 27.83 DRAFT points over the past three weeks and is just as productive as a receiver as he is a ball-carrier. Kamara gets a primetime stage in Atlanta on Sunday night and is projected to put up 22.20 DRAFT points.
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs. IND
McCoy’s matchup is perhaps the best of the premier backs this week. He gets a soft Colts defense at home—a unit ranked 28th in RB aFPA. His usage has been on the lower side as of late, but that has occurred when the Bills have been down early and his opportunities to rush were limited. In a home tilt versus Indy, McCoy should see plenty of work, so draft him confidently.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs. SF
Hopkins is second in total targets among WRs this season, averaging 11.8 per game. He’s always a mismatch for opposing secondaries and should fare well this week at home versus the 49ers. Texans QB Tom Savage does have his limitations, but Hopkins has found ways to make plays happen, as the star wideout averages 16.74 DRAFT points a game.
Antonio Brown (PIT) vs. BAL
Brown is a must pick this week and every week. He leads all WRs in fantasy points this season and is the definition of matchup-proof. He’s the highest projected receiver on DRAFT and is the chalkiest of chalk.
Travis Kelce (KC) vs. OAK
The Chiefs TE has also become matchup-proof this season, yet this week he’s doubly blessed with a porous Raiders secondary, ranked 21st against opposing TEs. Kelce has posted 871 receiving yards so far this season with 7 touchdowns and should add to those totals on Sunday. Grab him with Alex Smith this week for a sweet Chiefs stack.
Keenan Allen (LAC) vs. WAS
DRAFT has Allen as the second-highest projected WR this week behind Brown, with an anticipated 16.1 points versus Washington. The Chargers' No. 1 WR has averaged a whopping 28.13 DRAFT points over the past three contests and is clearly in synch with QB Philip Rivers.
When you enter a contest with only three teams, you’re either picking two players at a time, or you’re in the middle of two drafters doing just that. Same studs apply here; draft accordingly.
6, 8 or 10-Person Draft
Below you’ll find a few more recommendations for Week 14 starters to assist in filling out five-player rosters when more players are involved. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper into the rankings to find a player or two who will out-produce the players your opponents draft.
Carson Wentz (PHI) @LAR
The Philly QB had a “down” game in Seattle last week, scoring just 17.92 DRAFT points, which falls below his 21.71 average. The Rams defense is tough, ranking third in QB aFPA, but they shouldn’t stop Wentz from doing his thing. What could hinder his performance a bit is if TE Zach Ertz is sidelined with concussion symptoms, so keep an eye on that. Otherwise, he’s been solid all season and is always draftable.
Derek Carr (Oak) @KC
In Week 7, Carr sliced up the Chiefs defense for 417 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Sure, he most likely won’t get that kind of production this week in Arrowhead, but he gets Michael Crabtree back and had decent numbers last week with only Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson to work with. The Chiefs rank dead last in QB aFPA which doesn’t hurt. DRAFT has Carr ranked fairly low this week, so he could be a sneaky late-round pick, allowing you to grab solid position players earlier.
Philip Rivers (LAC) vs. WAS
I’m not sure where this Rivers came from, but the Chargers QB is red hot. (I will refrain from an LA fire joke because the wildfires in Southern California are super scary). In the past two weeks, Rivers has thrown for 778 yards and 3 touchdowns, translating to 46.42 DRAFT points. Washington ranks 19th in QB aFPA through the first 13 weeks of the season and could have trouble containing the Chargers offense at home.
Melvin Gordon (LAC) vs. WAS
Gordon averages 15.22 DRAFT points per game and faces a Washington defense that has allowed over 100 yards rushing in six of their last seven contests. He averages 20.8 touches a week in an offense playing lights out. Gordon hasn’t reached the end zone as much as he should, but he’s due for positive regression there. With no salary cap to worry about, Gordon is a must draft every week.
Lamar Miller (HOU) vs. SF
Coming off a rough Week 13, Miller gets a cushy 49ers run defense, ranked second-to-last in the NFL in defending RBs this season. Alfred Blue suffered a concussion last week, which could leave Miller as the sole occupant of the Texans backfield on Sunday. He’s projected to score 14.1 DRAFT points against San Francisco and is the fourth-highest RB in 4for4’s weekly rankings.
Todd Gurley (LAR) vs. PHI
Despite the tough matchup, Gurley is always in the conversation when it comes to fantasy points this season. He averages 19.68 DRAFT points per contest, and even with the Eagles’ stout run defense, he is projected to drop 15.9 points on Sunday. The stud Rams RB touches the ball an average of 22.6 times a game, and with that type of volume comes fantasy points.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs. TEN
Fitz has been incredible this season, leading the Cardinals in both targets and fantasy points regardless of which QB is under center. The 34-year old wideout is clearly winning the battle with father time and gets a Titans defense ranked in the middle of the league against enemy WRs.
Robby Anderson (NYJ) @ DEN
The Jets wideout has been quite the pleasant surprise this season, averaging 7.2 targets a game and 12.45 DRAFT points. Denver’s No Fly Zone has been inconsistent the second half of the season and have shown they can be scored upon. QB Josh McCown and Anderson have a wonderful thing going and have blossomed into a killer fantasy tandem.
Tyreek Hill (KC) vs. OAK
The Chiefs' implied points in Week 14 is 25.75, and Hill should make a solid contribution to that total on Sunday. Oakland ranks 23rd in the NFL when it comes to defending WRs, and Hill is coming off a monster week where he burned the Jets for 33.50 DRAFT points. He makes a solid choice this week in what I think will be a bounce back game by the Chiefs in this AFC West showdown.
Josh Gordon (CLE) vs. GB
The Packers sit dead last in aFPA versus the WR position, and Gordon is healthy, fired up, and has fresh arms and legs. He was targeted 11 times in his 2017 season debut last week and should assume a larger role at home in his second contest. He’s anything but under the radar, but will probably go undrafted in favor of more consistent WRs in larger DRAFT contests.
Michael Crabtree (OAK) @ KC
With Amari Cooper potentially on the shelf Sunday, Crabtree should see an uptick in volume at Arrowhead. The Chiefs defense ranks 30th against opposing WRs, with an aFPA of 39.1 PPR points to the position weekly. He’s guaranteed to be motivated coming off a one-game suspension for fighting, so he makes a great play in larger contests this week. Crabtree is ranked super low in DRAFT’s rankings, so he may go unnoticed among your opponents.