Joey Ricotta | December 8th, 2019
Fantasy football playoffs are just beginning for some of you. For others, the season came to an abrupt halt. Maybe that’s why you’re here, to find success playing DFS. With that said, welcome. For those of you returning readers that have been grinding it out all season, you know the drill. Let’s get it cracking with some money plays for Week 14.
As always, the goal of the cash game article is to outline some of the safer plays, while also, providing options that will help you create the most optimal builds. The whole point of it all is to make some money. Sometimes we won’t, but putting ourselves in the best position to do so is the most important part. That goes without saying, but can sometimes get overshadowed by the results on a week to week basis.
The main thing people want to know is how many points a guy scored, and not necessarily the route in which they got there. DFS is not only a science but a math equation. Let’s dive in, put the pieces together, and try to solve it. Here are my favorite Cash Game Plays for Week 14.
Disclaimer: As always, there will be a lock emoji next to a few of my favorite plays. All of the guys mentioned are viable for cash games, but the ones with a lock emoji are going to be fixtures in my main lineup. Please, don’t mistake the locks as guarantees to produce. Also, if you’re having trouble putting together a core lineup you feel comfortable with based on these picks, be sure to check the “other targets” and “value” sections of the article.
Lamar Jackson ($7,400 DK, $9,000 FD)
As a spokesman for team spend down at quarterback, you have to really impress me to even consider spending up at the position. At this point, if Jackson doesn’t impress you, you aren’t in tune with what’s happening in the NFL. In my mind, Jackson is the MVP and he presents the highest floor, regardless of the matchup.
Jackson is a two for one deal. When you click on his name, you see a QB that’s being used as a running back as far as attempts go, averaging over 12 carries per game since Week Two. During that span, he’s averaged over 88 yards rushing per game. His rushing ability guarantees points to a certain degree, and I don’t want to avoid that for the sake of being cute. If you can afford him, play him.
Ryan Tannehill ($5,800 DK, $7,300 FD)
The former first-round draft pick seemed like a lost cause when he departed from Miami. The afterthought has turned the Tennessee Titans around. Since taking over the starting role in Week Seven, he’s led the Titans to a 5-1 record. He’s been pretty consistent fantasy-wise as well, throwing at least two touchdown passes in five of the six games started, while also, rushing for three TDs.
The Oakland Raiders can get gassed through the air, as they rank 28th in the league in DVOA against the pass (25%). The silver and black allow the sixth-most DK points per game to opposing QBs (23.1). The game has a healthy 47.5 over/under with the Titans favored by three. Honestly, I could see this game going either way, which makes me think Tannehill may be forced to throw a lot down the stretch.
Value: None other than Tannehill.
Christian McCaffrey ($10,300 DK, $11,000 FD)
McCaffrey is a great play every week, so we won’t go too in-depth with this pick. However, I believe he’s a better play on DraftKings than he is on FanDuel, given that his salary is way above the field on FanDuel. The matchup is fine and the Panthers have one of the higher implied team totals on the slate. Feel free to fire him up.
Devonta Freeman ($5,400 DK, $6,000 FD)
After playing in only two games in 2018, Freeman has proceeded to underwhelm this year, after many thought that he would bounce back. Freeman returned last week after missing two games with a foot sprain. He played 66% of the offensive snaps and received 21 touches (17 carries, 4 catches). He wasn’t able to produce, but the matchup against the Saints wasn’t favorable.
The Carolina Panthers’ struggles defending the run this season can’t be overstated enough. They are allowing 5.3 yards per carry which is the most in the NFL. They are the worst in terms of run DVOA, by a long shot (17.8%). Freeman hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in any game this season, but he garners close to five targets per game and this is a good spot to bust out.
Bilal Powell ($3,500 DK, $4,900 FD)
This is the type of power move that takes a very strong stomach to make, especially in Cash Games. Le’Veon Bell has been ruled out and the New York Jets’ backfield could be a running back by committee. However, Ty Montgomery, the only other realistic option, has never been a prototypical running back, going back to his early days with the Green Bay Packers where he started out as a wide receiver. Assuming Adam Gase has any brain cells at all (which I don’t know if we can assume), Powell should take on the majority of the work.
$3,500 is way too cheap for a starting running back in a great matchup. Even if he’s in on 55-60% of the snaps, Powell should have more touches than Montgomery. Behind Bell, the snaps have been nearly split down the middle (13% for Montgomery, 12% for Powell). But Powell’s had the clear edge in touches the last four games (27-10). When he’s in the game, he’s usually involved in the action.
Value: James White
Davante Adams ($8,000 DK, $8,400 FD)
Adams paid off last week and has received double-digit targets in all four games he’s played in, since returning from injury. As it stands now, the Green Bay Packers have the second-highest implied team total on the slate. They are huge favorites to win at home against the Washington Redskins. Usually, that would be an ideal spot to target a running back, but the Packers have been using a mixture of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams which makes it difficult to pinpoint which one will have a strong game. Looking at it through those lenses, Adams is the most bankable Packers weapon in a game where they should put up points and the volume is there for him.
Jamison Crowder ($5,300 DK, $6,000 FD)
Crowder finds himself in the sweet spot I like to look at when choosing Cash Game receivers. He’s coming off of back-to-back lackluster performances, with only two catches in each game. As a result, Crowder’s price dropped to the same price it was when he had one of his best games of the season in Week Nine against the team he will face today, the Miami Dolphins. Each of the last two games, Robby Anderson has been the man to own as far as receivers go, but Crowder is very much still the safer play.
Miami’s allowed the fourth-most passing yards per attempt (7.8). They’ve also allowed the most receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts (20). Although he was rather inefficient last week, Crowder saw nine targets. I expect him to positively regress back to the mean.
Curtis Samuel ($4,900 DK, $5,800 FD)
Kyle Ryan is extremely hard to trust. Curtis Samuel can be equally hard to trust. But the Falcons rank bottom-third in the league in receptions, yards, and touchdowns allowed to opposing wide receivers. Both the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers like to throw the ball a lot and rank in the top ten in both passing play percentage and pace of play. As of writing this, the game is tied for the third-highest over/under on the slate. The Falcons will enter the game ranking 27th in DVOA against the pass (24.5%).
Samuel caught four passes for 65 yards and a TD last week against Washington and has averaged over seven targets per game. D.J. Moore is a tremendous option and one that I’ll have exposure to in tournaments. However, for Cash Games, taking the $2,100 discount and still getting a piece of the Panthers’ passing attack seems more optimal.
Jack Doyle ($4,600 DK, $6,300 FD)
Oh, Doyle rules? After correctly predicting Jack Doyle’s success last week, let’s go right back to him again. Not because one week of success means he’ll certainly be good again, but because he’s in another great position to flourish. Once again, Eric Ebron and T.Y. Hilton are out for this game. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers allow the second-most passing yards per game (281.8), and the fourth-most DK points to the tight end position. The price went up but not to an undeserving or ridiculous level. Don’t be afraid to fire him up again.
Value: Ian Thomas
If you’re a returning reader, you know, I like to look for cheaper defenses than most people feel comfortable with. I felt like I needed to say that as almost a disclaimer before we get going. This doesn’t necessarily make these defenses “safe,” although I know that’s normally the goal in cash games. Because of the unpredictability at the position, I’m more willing to punt defense in hopes of finding some cheap turnovers. Taking salaries into consideration, here are my favorites.
Baltimore Ravens ($2,900 DK, $4,200 FD)
The Ravens travel to New York to take on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Despite Josh Allen being a viable source for fantasy points on his end of the bargain, he’s also attack-able on the other side. The Ravens sit fourth in the league in overall DVOA (-9.4%) and tied for seventh in the league in takeaways with 19. Allen has put the ball up for grabs 20 times this season, between the eight interceptions thrown and 12 times he’s fumbled. This is a big game for the young QB and if he gets overzealous, things could get messy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2,300 DK, $3,800 FD)
We don’t normally look at the Bucs defense and think “wow, I have to play them” and we still aren’t. But they’ve played pretty well the last two weeks and have provided solid points, with two defensive touchdowns, three interceptions, and three fumbles recovered. Also, over the last two games, they’ve racked up 11 sacks. Jacoby Brissett isn’t a terrible quarterback, but the Colts are lacking weapons and traveling to Tampa.
Other Targets: Indianapolis Colts (@TB), New York Jets (vs MIA), Pittsburgh Steelers (@ ARI)
Questions and comments?
Follow Us on Twitter @thescorecrow
Follow Us on Reddit at u/TheScorecrow
Follow Us on Facebook at The Scorecrow
Follow Us on Instagram at The Scorecrow
Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Joey Ricotta on Twitter @theriot326
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images