Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 14

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 14

I’m back with a nice collection of DFS picks this week, and I feel good about the picks. Is that a good thing? Yes, I think it is.

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady (TB, vs. Min - $6900 on DK and $7800 on FanDuel) - Brady isn’t particularly cheap, so he’s not a great value this week. But it’s rare I actually project a guy to get like 350+ yards and 3-4 TDs, yet I think huge numbers like that are in play for Brady. The Bucs are coming off their bye and I get the sense they have cleaned up whatever’s been ailing them, so I expect them to take full advantage of a great matchup against the Vikings and create momentum for the stretch run. The Vikes won’t have LB Eric Kendricks, who’s probably their best defensive player on the roster and one of the best coverage LBs in the league, so that’s a huge loss. They also lack a pass rush and their bend-but-don’t-break defense is extremely vulnerable. You can’t go by the numbers the Vikings are giving up to QBs lately because they’ve faced some weak passing games lately (Jax, Car, Dal, Chi).

Jalen Hurts (Phi, vs. NO - $5100 on DK and $6600 on FanDuel) - It’s a tough matchup and he’s really not ready to start, but he’s the #1 value on the board per our projections for one simple reason: he will run a lot. I’ve been trying to recall the last time a run-heavy QB got a start with minimal tape on him and the player not getting it done for fantasy. Even Tim Tebow had 19 FP in his first start. He got 30 FP in his second start and 29 points in his third start (season ended after that. The Eagles do have some talent at receiver, and there’s minimal tape on him, so Hurts isn’t hopeless in the passing game. I’d be happy with 150/1 passing, since I fully expect him to run 10-15 times, and I’m leaning to the high-end there. If he can get just 150/1 passing and rush for 60 yards, he’s already delivered a solid ROI at his price point. If he adds in a rushing TD or throws for 2 TDs, then he’s a great value pick for the week.

Taysom Hill (NO, at Dal - $6600 on DK and $7700 on FanDuel) - He’s still a top-5 value on both sites, and at this point I’ll continue to list him until he fails. He hasn’t yet with 18+ FP in each of his first three starts. He has two 2-TD games on the ground and one 2-TD game through the air, so it’s not just his running. He looked good throwing it last week. I don’t think a banged-up Darius Slay can handle Michael Thomas, and since the Eagles play more man-to-man than most, they have had issues against mobile QBs like Lamar Jackson (108/1 rushing) and Daniel Jones (156/1 in two games) this season, so I’m fully expecting 60+ rushing yards for Hill, and likely another rushing TD.

Kirk Cousins (Min, at TB - $6700 on DK and $7500 on FanDuel) - I rarely back low-volume QBs whose coaches think we’re in the 1940s, but Kirkie’s volume has been up with 39 attempts a game on average the last four weeks. That’s despite the fact that Dalvin Cook is running the ball 27 times a game in that same span. But Dalvin’s wearing down a bit, averaging only 3.7 YPC those last four weeks, and the Bucs run defense remains nasty, giving up 3.5 YPC to RBs in their last four games. I fully expect the Bucs to kick ass on offense this week, so between that fact and the tough Bucs run defense likely limiting Dalvin, Cousins is looking good. The Bucs won’t likely have key corner Jamel Dean, which helps Cousins’ chances for sure. Cousins has 290+ yards and 2+ TDs in four straight, and the Bucs defense has been absolutely dreadful lately, allowing a league-high 28.0 FPG since Week 9. Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff combined for 838/6 passing in their last two games, and over their last four games, QBs are putting up absurd numbers against the Bucs: 76% completion rate, 7.8 YPA (on 41 attempts per game) and 317/3 passing per game. Kirkie’s getting some serious garbage time production this week.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Deshaun Watson (Hou, at Chi - $7600 on DK and $8000 on FanDuel) - He’s a way better value on FanDuel, but I’d use him on either site and would expect success, since the Bears defense has really fallen off lately and won’t have slot corner Buster Skrine, which is good news for Keke Coutee. The Texans also ruled RB David Johnson out on Friday, which should boost Watson’s opportunities. Watson did fail to throw a TD pass last week, which is a concern because his production is usually down without Will Fuller, but Watson still got 341 yards passing and a rushing TD. The Bears have allowed 18+ FP in three straight games, including big games with 3+ TD passes to Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford the last two weeks. Watson should be good for 270/2 passing and if he rushes for another TD, he’ll go off. If he gets 30-40 yards rushing (he’s averaging 7/33 rushing his last four), he should be over 20 FP.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Mike Glennon (Jax, vs. Ten - $5100 on DK and $6600 on FanDuel) - He’s actually the second-best value on DK and in the top-10 on FanDuel. He’s obviously a shaky option and he’s been sketchy on film the last two weeks, but his numbers are actually solid, and the matchup’s pretty darn good. Glennon has 515 passing yards and 3 TDs in two starts, and he’s been very aggressive throwing downfield. He’s still working on his chemistry with DJ Chark, which has not been there, but he actually has five viable WRs along with two TEs to throw to, so he has a lot of support. He wouldn’t make this list against a good defense, but the Titans defense is the opposite of good right now and allowed Baker Mayfield for 290/4 passing - in the first half. I think Glennon can deliver 3x return on his price if he can get a second TD, since him passing for 250+ yards seems to be a foregone conclusion.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

None of note.

RUNNING BACKS

David Montgomery (Chi, vs. Det - $5500 on DK and $6200 on FanDuel) - Dating back to last year, Montgomery is now 2-3 for me in terms of recommending him for DFS, but those two wins were in his last two games, so I’m back to the well. Sharing the rushing workload with absolutely no one, not even his QB, Montgomery has posted consecutive games with 25+ FP with Mitchell Trubisky under center. Having Trubisky under center as opposed to Nick Foles in the gun has clearly helped Montgomery, and Trubisky’s mobility can’t hurt. Montgomery is averaging 5.8 YPC (55/321/2 rushing) in his four full games with Trubisky, and he gets a top-3 matchup this week against the Texans, who are allowing league-highs in YPC (5.2) and rushing yards per game (139.8) to RBs. Over the last four weeks, RBs are getting a whopping 34 touches a game against Houston, including a whopping 7 catches a game for 63 yards. If healthy, there’s literally no way Montgomery fails this week with another 20+ touches.

Jonathan Taylor (Ind at LV - $5700 on DK and $6400 on FanDuel) - It’s hard for him to be a “value” because I can’t go crazy on his projected touch totals for obvious reasons, but Taylor is also coming on strong, and he did wind up as a top-12 value on both sites despite my conservative projections. We haven’t yet gotten that full breakout game for Taylor, but there’s reason to believe this could be the week. The Raider couldn’t stop street free agent and former Lion Ty Johnson last week, and he put up 117 yards and a TD. They have given up five rushing TDs in their last three games and 4.7 YPC to RBs over their last four games. Taylor has downside still, but we’ve now reached the point of the season where his upside truly outweighs his downside.

Myles Gaskin (Mia, vs. KC - $5600 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites. Asking Gaskin to score a TD may be asking too much, as he failed to convert on all six of his carries inside the 10-yard line, but volume is not a problem with Salvon Ahmed and Matt Breida out again. Gaskin had a strong 71% snap share in just his first game back from IR last week and he put up 141 total yards on 23 opportunities. He even had a 35-yard catch. He’s not beholden to the game script, since he’s averaging 3.5 receptions per game his last four, and KC is easier to run on than to throw on. They’re giving up 4.6 YPC to RBs their last four games and they somehow allowed Melvin Gordon to look as good as he’s looked all year last week, posting 16/142 scrimmage in this matchup. We’re looking at another 20+ touches for Gaskin.

Ronald Jones (TB, vs. Min - $6100 on DK and $6300 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on Fanuel, but top-12 on both sites. I am a Jones hater, but at this point, I love him compared to Leonard Fournette, and so do the Bucs. Jones hasn’t been getting a lot of volume, but that could be coming this week against a weaker defense and in a great matchup for their passing game. The Bucs are 6.5 points this week and I think they’ll score 4-5 TDs for sure, so if Jones enjoys some TD luck, multiple scores are in play as well as 20+ touches considering how bad Fournette has been. Also, the loss of LB Eric Kendricks is a huge boost for Jones and the Bucs.

Kenyan Drake (Ari, at NYG - $5500 on DK and $86500 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site and he’s never a particularly brilliant play, but he’s a little less volatile now, at least. Drake now has double-digit FP in four straight, including 13+ FP his last three games. That coincides with Murray’s shoulder injury and his running slowing down majorly. Drake has 4 TDs and 10/55 receiving in the last three weeks, and the Cards will need him this week with a tough matchup for Murray against the Giants. Yet, I think the game will be close enough for Drake to get 15+ carries, so he’s a good bet to approach or even exceed 20 touches. Chris Carson posted 13/65 rushing and 3/45/1 receiving in this matchup last week

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Derrick Henry (Ten, at Jax - $8700 on DK and $8600 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites. Henry was a weak producer last week and he managed just 25/84 rushing against them earlier this season, but this game feels like a major Henry game. Granted, Ryan Tannehill has had a ton of success in this matchup, but after last week’s defensive debacle, we see them going back to basics with a major, major commitment to Henry. Henry faced these guys in late-November for the second time in 2019 and he rushed 19 times for 150 yards and 2 TDs, and I can see something similar this week.

Aaron Jones (GB, vs. Min - $7600 on DK and $8700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-10 value on both sites this week. Jones posted a ridiculous 45.6 FP in this matchup in Week 2 with 236 total yards and 3 TDs. Jones has been giving up production to Davante Adams, who has 14 red-zone targets the last five weeks, but Jone is due to get some love, and this is a great week for that, as he’s averaged 5.8 YPC in this matchup dating back to 2019 with 23.6 FPG in three games.

Chris Carson (Sea, vs. NYJ - $6900 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s not a top value on either site, but I think his workload is on the rise. Actually, that’s basically what HC Pete Caroll said this week, since his foot injury has healed further the last two weeks he’s played. Carson last week saw his snaps (25 to 45), touches (10 to 16), and scrimmage yards (59/1 to 110/1) grow, and the arrow is still pointing up. He has scored in six of his seven full games this year and now has more receiving TDs in 2020 (4) than he had in his first three seasons combined (3). The Jets have allowed just one TD to RBs in their last seven games after allowing seven scores in their first five games, but I think Seattle is going to smoke them, so their RBs should eat. Carlos Hyde is off the injury report and is a threat, and Rashad Penny is lurking, but Carson’s the guy they want to feature.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

None of note.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

None of note.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Brandon Aiyuk (SF, vs. Was - $5400 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-8 value on both sites and top-3 on DK. I have to roll with the hot hand here, especially since it’s a tough matchup for the 49er running game. Aiyuk now 5+ catches, 75+ yards, and 17+ FP in four straight games with 3 TDs in that span. If you can protect, you can throw on the Football Team, who gave up TDs to Diontae Johnson and James Washington last week.

Diontae Johnson (Pit, at Buf - $6700 on DK and $6800 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-6 value on both sites, but he’s the #1 value on FanDuel with that low of salary. He’s averaging 13 targets a game with 8.5/86/.5 going up a defense that’s giving up on average 14/191 per game. He’s dropping passes lately but volume is not the problem, and he can be moved around to avoid top corner Tre White.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Adam Thielen (Min at TB - $7000 on DK and $7700 on FanDuel) and Justin Jefferson (Min at TB - $7400 on DK and $7800 on FanDuel) - Thielen is top-9 value on both sites and Jefferson is the #3 value on both sites, per our projections. We all know where the ball’s going in Minnesota… it’s going to Thielen and Jefferson, and it should be going to them often with the Vikings set to get beat up by the Bucs as 6.5 road dogs. Jefferson is second in the league in yards per route run (2.87), and the Bucs got destroyed by Tyreek Hill, mostly on deep balls, as Hill put up 13/269/3. Thielen has been good for 20+ FP in his last three games and he has a league-best 11 TDs on 16 end-zone targets (68.8% conversion rate), and the Bucs have given up 14 TDs to WRs this season.

Terry McLaurin (Was, at SF - $6700 on DK and $7200 on FanDuel) - He’s not a good value on either site, but he is top-15 on FanDuel. McLaurin was quieted last week against the Steelers, who sold out to stop him. I don’t think the 49ers play defense like that, so they’ll likely just line up and play. Granted, McClaurin will be doubled at time, but the 49er just got smoked by Josh Allen and the Bills last week in large part because they were down a corner in Emmanuel Mosley, and he’s doubtful to play. Stefon Diggs caught all 10 of his targets for 92 yards in this matchup last week, and McClaurin won’t see a lot of Richard Sherman on the left side of the offense, so I think he’s a little sneaky coming off a bad game.

DK Metcalf (Sea, vs. NYJ - $8600 on DK and $8400 on FanDuel) - He’s pricey and not a value, but he’s also a potential weekly winner against a pair of rookie corners who aren’t any good. The Jets are allowing a very generous 9.1 YPT, and DeVante Parker posted 8/119 receiving on 14 targets in this matchup.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Tee Higgins (Cin vs. - $5400 on DK) - He’s a top-4 value on DK and buried down the value list on FanDuel, so this is DK only ideally. But Higgins is QB-proof, reaching double-digit FP in each of his first two games without Joe Burrow with 10/100/1 on 12 targets in that span. He has 5+ catches in six of his last seven games, and the Cowboys are vulnerable to big play in the secondary.

Tim Patrick (Den, vs. Det - $4200 on DK and $5400 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-6 value on both sites and the second-best on DK. We know the Drew Lock-to-Jerry Jeudy connection isn’t happening, so it’s all Noah Fant and Patrick, who continues to look really good.

He now has 60+ yards or a touchdown in four straight games with an actual QB on the field. It’s a solid enough matchup for sure.

Michael Gallup (Dal, vs. Det - $3800 on DK and $5400 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on DK, but viable on both sites. Gallup is really starting to heat up with Andy Dalton, who has thrown him 19 balls the last two weeks with 11/127/1 receiving. The Bengals have covered the slot well this year with Mackensie Alexander, so I don’t think it will be a CD Lamb game, giving Gallup a good chance to stay hot.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

TIGHT ENDS

Mike Gesicki (Mia, vs. KC - $4500 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s actually not a good value per se on either site, and he’s been frustrating overall, but there’s reason for optimism. He’s scored in consecutive games and he has 35+ yards in each of his last five games since Preston Williams left the lineup. You’d have to think the Dolphins will throw it more this week out of necessity against KC, and they give up numbers to TEs, allowing a promising 6.5/79/.5 per game to the position the last four weeks, good for 17.4 FPG. He’s volatile, but there’s upside for sure, if you’re feeling dangerous.

Noah Fant (Den, at Cle - $4100 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - He can only do as well as his QB can allow him to do, which is a problem with Drew Lock struggling. But Fant’s 57 receiving yards last week were the most he’s had since Week 2, and that’s with Lock throwing it only 28 times. From Weeks 7-10, Lock attempted 40, 41, 48, and 47 passes, so while they’d like to limit him, I have to think we’ll see around 35 this week. The Panthers have given up seven double-digit FP performances in their last six games and a whopping 7/98/.5 their last four games, good for an amazing 20 FPG. TEs have a 76% catch rate and 13.5 YPR in that 4-game span. If Fant scores, he’s a lock to go down as a great play. If he doesn't score, I still think he’s a good option with 4-5 catches for 50+ yards likely.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

TJ Hockenson (Det, at Cle - $5000 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel for sure, but it’s usually a good idea to back TJH, who is now averaging 5/60/.2 receiving on 7.7 targets per game in the last six weeks since Kenny Golladay first got hurt. Golladay may actually have a chance to play Week 14, but it’s no lock. TJH should be okay if Golladay returns, but if not his upside is higher than usual, since I’d think they will get their top corner Jaire Alexander on Marvin Jones, since they have no one else of note at WR. If you want to bail from TJH if Golladay is active, that’s fair, since Hockenson averaged just 3.3/34.5/.8 receiving and 5.5 targets/game in four games with Golladay in the lineup. But the Lions will certainly be playing from behind, and Hockenson caught all four of his targets for 62 yards in Week 2 against the Packers.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Dalton Schultz (Dal, at Cle - $3500 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - He’s the #1 TE value on DK and top-3 on both sites. The Bengals defense isn’t actually that bad, and they are good against slot receivers, which could explain in part why they are bad against TEs. The Bengals have been a good matchup for TEs most of this season, and the last two weeks saw non-studs Evan Engram (6/129 receiving) and Mike Gesicki (9/88/1) putting up stud-like numbers. Schultz had 4+ catches in four straight, so Andy Dalton is looking for him, and 4-5 grabs seem likely.

Jordan Akins (Hou, vs. Ind - $2900 on DK) - He’s too pricey on FanDuel, but on the full PPR DK site, he’s the third-best value. You have to know at this point that Akins could flop, so this is a boom-or-bust pick. But the Bears defense has really fallen off and they have been hit hard by TEs in their last four games: TJ Hockenson (7/84), Robert Tonyan (5/67/1), Kyle Rudolph (4/63) and Jonnu Smith (2/32/1). That works out to 20.1 FPG, so Akins is worth a try at his very low price if you’re looking for a dirt-cheap option. He has just 2/10 receiving on 56 routes over the last two weeks, which is bad, but they do want to get him involved, especially in the red zone. The Bears do have solid corner play, so it would make sense to make an effort to get Akins the ball.

Logan Thomas (Was, at SF - $3300 on DK and $5200 on FanDuel) - I hate to chase points and it’s a bad matchup, but Thomas also looked great last week and he’s looking entrenched as their #2 option in the passing game. Because he’s so cheap, he’s the #2 value on DK and the eighth-best value on FanDuel. Thomas now has 10+ FP in three of his last four games with 3+ catches in those games. If he hits 10 FP this week, that’s technically a win.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Mark Andrews (Bal, at Cle - $5300 on DK and $6600 on FanDuel) - He’s the #1 TE value on the board on FanDuel, but he’s “only” the seventh-best value on DK. Andrews to me looks like the best TE play on the board this week, since he has serious “weekly winner” potential. The Browns have been terrible against the TE all year and currently give up 5.5/68/1.3 per game to the position the last four weeks, good for a whopping 19.8 FPG. And he has 5 TDs against them in just his last three games, including 5/58/2 earlier this year on 6 targets.

Sample Lineups

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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