NFL DFS: Week 14 FanDuel Tournament Plays
In daily fantasy football, it is essential to find value for your lineups. If we want to be able to afford the top dollar names like David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, we’ll inevitably need to balance our lineup with less expensive players who provide upside.
There are certain value thresholds that we need from these players in order to cash in, and more importantly, win tournaments and larger leagues.
For FanDuel tournaments, we need our guys to reach 3X their salary (for example, Theo Riddick is $6,300 this week and would need to score 18.9 FanDuel points to justify his usage).
If these high-upside plays are also low-owned, we now have an elite GPP tournament play. Each week, we’ll look at who the most popular plays will be and how we can pivot away from them without losing upside.
Here are the top tournament plays for Week 14.
These three quarterbacks can hurt you in multiple ways:
$8200 | TB -2.5, 51.5
If you’re using Vegas to guide you in DFS this week, then you’ll likely have plenty of exposure to the Buccaneers’ offense. They’re playing in the highest total game of the week (51.5), they currently own the highest implied team total (27), and the spread has already moved 2.5 points in their direction since the line opened (from PK to -2.5). The Saints aren’t as pitiful on defense as their perception — they’re exactly league average in FanDuel points allowed to quarterbacks — but with the possibility of this game turning into a shootout, Winston has a massive ceiling in Week 14. You don’t normally think of Winston as a dual-threat quarterback, but he’s willing to scramble near the goal line, as evidenced by his seven career rushing touchdowns. So combine his potential for a 6-point rushing touchdown with the Vegas love for the Buccaneers’ offense and you have an elite tournament play in Winston.
$7900 | SEA -3, 46.5
As we near the end of the NFL regular season, we need to be mindful of divisional matchups at the quarterback position. In a team’s second matchup with a divisional foe, quarterbacks score 2.0 less FanDuel points per game than their season-long average. December is usually littered with divisional matchups, so we can find an edge at quarterback if we only target ones who are playing outside their division. Russell Wilson is in that situation this week as the Seahawks will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers in what Vegas is projected to be a close, high-scoring affair. Wilson is fully healthy after his early-season leg injuries — he did rush for 80 yards two games ago — even if his last two games haven’t been very productive. He’s back to having a 30-point ceiling on FanDuel and since recency bias may cause Wilson to be lower-owned than he should be in this spot, he’s a top-tier tournament play.
Robert Griffin III
$6200 | CLE +5.5, 43
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this name, but Robert Griffin III was activated off injured reserve and will be starting in Week 14 after two weeks of practice. Griffin hasn’t played since he injured his shoulder in Week 1, so there’s honestly no telling how he’ll perform on Sunday. But with two dynamic playmakers on the outside in Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor, and a willingness to use his legs, Griffin will have a high ceiling when he takes the field this weekend. Griffin flashed his famous rushing ability in his only action this season, totaling 37 yards on 5 carries in less than a full game’s worth of work. There are a wide range of outcomes for RGIII this weekend, but he needs just 18.6 FanDuel points to be worthwhile in tournaments. What are the chances he throws for 225 yards, one touchdown, and rushes for 50-plus yards? It’s probably a lot higher than his ownership percentage will be in GPPs.
Three running backs who have underperformed recently:
$6900 | CIN -5.5, 43
After Giovani Bernard went down with an ACL injury, there was a general agreement that Jeremy Hill would take over a majority of the backfield work and become an elite value in DFS. Well, the first part has come true — Hill has averaged 17.5 carries and 4 catches per game over the last two weeks. But he didn’t reach tournament value in either of those games, scoring just over 11 FanDuel points in both contests. Now, his price has jumped from $5,800 to $6,900, so not many people will be willing to pay a premium for a running back who just hasn’t put up the numbers this season. He’s gotten the volume lately, but he hasn’t had the matchup to capitalize — until this week. He’ll face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, who have allowed the third-most FanDuel points to opposing running backs this season at 25.4 per game. When volume and matchup intersect, especially when ownership will be suppressed because of recent performances, you have a running back that should be at the top of your tournament exposure list.
$7200 | MIA -1, 43.5
After piling up more than 500 rushing yards during a three game stretch earlier this season, Jay Ajayi has cooled off significantly in recent weeks — he’s notched just one touchdown in the last four weeks and has sputtered his way to 106 yards on the ground over his last two games. But, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic in Week 14: 1) he’ll face the Cardinals, who have been terrible on the road this season and will be traveling across the country for this game, 2) current forecasts have 20 mph wind and rain for Sunday’s matchup, likely meaning more volume for Ajayi on the ground, and 3) his salary is the lowest it’s been since Week 9 ($7100). With all of these factors lining up, expect Ajayi to provide his highest FanDuel ROI this weekend since his early-season outbreak.
$4800 | GB +3, 46.5
Ty Montgomery made a fantasy impact early this season when injuries struck the Packers’ backfield and he was forced to play a hybrid RB/WR role. His impact was so great that his position was changed on FanDuel to RB, but he’s yet to reach just cash game value since that switch. With James Starks returning and the acquisition of Christine Michael, Montgomery faded into a complementary role. However, things changed in Week 13 when Montgomery led the Packers with 40 rushing yards and played the most snaps of any running back (50 percent). Against the Seahawks this weekend, a gameplan with a heavy dose of Montgomery out of the backfield may be the best way to attack the defense. His salary has dropped all the way to $4800, which is an insane price for a heavily-involved hybrid player on an explosive offense.
Two receivers on terrible teams:
$6900 | LA +6, 45
Don’t look now, but Kenny Britt is priced as a top-15 wide receiver on FanDuel this week. Despite the struggles around him and the inconsistencies at the quarterback position, Britt has managed to tally 4.7 receptions and 71.25 receiving yards per game to go with five touchdowns. He hasn’t been a low-ceiling guy either, as he’s already had one GPP-winning performance this season (7-136-2 in Week 6 against Detroit). As six-point underdogs against the Falcons’ explosive offense this week, expect the Rams to be passing frequently in this contest. Britt was the beneficiary of garbage time passing last week against New England, and he could be in line for a bigger game in a similar scenario on Sunday.
$6700 | CLE +5.5, 43
Kevin Hogan, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst — those are the names of the quarterbacks that have been throwing the ball to Terrelle Pryor this season. RGIII isn’t an elite QB, but he’ll be a major upgrade when he takes the field on Sunday against the Bengals. Even with that mess at QB, Pryor has impressively managed 62-855-4 in his first full season as a converted wide receiver. With his physical prowess and deep ball tracking abilities, he has the potential to explode in any given week. Pryor will be under-owned once again this weekend as DFS players would rather roster Tyrell Williams, Larry Fitzgerald, DeVante Parker, and Michael Thomas at a similar price point. Rostering explosive wideouts at sub-5 percent ownership is a GPP-winning recipe.
Two tight ends with positive matchups:
$5100 | DAL -3, 47.5
In the Cowboys’ first matchup with the Giants, Jason Witten hauled in 9 passes for 66 yards and was a touchdown away from reaching tournament value on FanDuel. The Giants sit right around league average in tight end defense, but that number is skewed due to the lack of touchdowns they’ve allowed. Nine different tight ends have totaled at least 55 receiving yards against New York this year, and they’ve allowed six performances of five or more catches. The Giants have allowed the fewest touchdowns per passing yard this season, but the regression in that category already started last weekend against the Steelers when Ladarius Green burned them for 110 yards and a score. The matchup is elite, even if the rankings disagree.
$4800 | GB +3, 46.5
Here’s another tight end matchup that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Seahawks actually allow the ninth-fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends, but expect that ranking to fall in the coming weeks as the Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the remainder of the season. Thomas has played a major role in the stingy Seahawks’ defense that has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends in 2016. Steven Terrell, an undrafted third-year player with just eight career tackles, will take his place against the Packers on Sunday afternoon. Cook has already blown up for one huge game since his return from an ankle injury in Week 11, and he may be the best way for Green Bay to beat the normally tough Seattle secondary. It’s hard to find more upside at the position for $4800.
Good Luck this week!
Don’t forget to check out my DraftKings article here
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.