The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 14 WEEKEND UPDATE December 10, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 14. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night, but this represents my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. We have to keep in mind that these rankings have to be taken with a little grain of salt because ownership numbers can be down on non-Thursday players due to the high ownership of Thursday players as well as the fact that this is a 2QB site so QB’s with incredible value are going to be very highly owned.

What the disparity in number of public RB vs public WR this week shows me is that many people are using RB in their Flex spots over WR on Aces for Week 14. Obviously this can be dependent on price, but it sure looks like using WR in the Flex might provide you with some ownership value on sites that have a Flex (or even double Flex) spot. I also think that a lot of people are using a 2nd TE—Ladarius Green—in one of their Flex spots as well to help them afford to go big with their 3 RB spots (2 normal and 1 Flex). Again, you can be pretty contrarian by loading up at WR this weekend if you can unearth value elsewhere (Jermaine Gresham! Ted Ginn!).




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Kirk Cousins (WSH) @ PHIMatthew Stafford (DET) vs CHICam Newton (CAR) vs SD
Robert Griffin (CLE) vs CINJoe Flacco (BAL) @ NEAaron Rodgers (GB) vs SEA
Andrew Luck (IND) vs HOUEli Manning (NYG) vs DALTom Brady (NE) vs BAL
Jameis Winston (TB) vs NOAndy Dalton (CIN) @ CLEMatt Ryan (ATL) @ LA
Russell Wilson (SEA) @ GBTrevor Siemian (DEN) @ TEN
Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs NYJBen Roethlisberger (PIT) @ BUF
Philip Rivers (SD) @ CARDrew Brees (NO) @ TB


– Oh my goodness, what a week we have in front of us right here…and just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Good thing we play DFS where every week is a new beginning, and we aren’t stuck with a stud in a garbage matchup. Here is a list of QBs that I won’t touch this week: Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Mariota, Aaron Rodgers, and Dak Prescott (along with the legit bad QBs like Osweiler who I wouldn’t touch with YOUR team). Normally this is the exact type of week that I’d go all in on Drew Brees – stud QB coming off a bad matchup with another bad matchup. The ownership is going to be low and I love that. The problem is, I have no faith in Brees to get it done in an outdoors game against an ever-improving Bucs defense. I’d much rather spend my money elsewhere. I just don’t want to put my faith in a name-brand QB coming up big in a bad spot. I’d rather spend down or look at other stud QBs instead. For instance, Matthew Stafford has a great matchup at home against a banged up Bears secondary, Jameis Winston is playing a terrible New Orleans defense at home with a top 5 WR at his disposal, and Andy Dalton gets to face the Browns. I’m comfortable using all three of those guys, with Winston probably at the top of that list.

– For some reason a lot of people are hot for Andrew Luck against the Texans this week, but I just don’t see it. I mean, if you wanted to use a guy like Hilton or Moncrief I get it, but that pass defense is still pretty solid and I wouldn’t want to put my week in the hands of a turnover-prone QB going against them. I’m going to probably pass on both he and Matt Ryan this weekend.  Another QB everyone is hot for that I don’t love is Russell Wilson. I’m not seeing it this weekend. I know that the Packers defense has been rough recently, but something about a trip to Lambeau doesn’t sit right with me. I’d rather go ahead and use Thomas Rawls over Wilson if I need to have Seahawks exposure.

– I love Colin Kaepernick this weekend. I totally forgot to write about him on Monday night, but he’s in the perfect situation for a GPP QB. He’s a high upside QB coming off a bad game with low expectations. I know he’s listed in the chalk column, but I really think that’s due to the 2QB nature of Fantasy Aces setup. I bet his ownership is way low this weekend, and I’m more than happy to roll a few lineups out there with him in it. I think he’s got a 175 yard passing, 60 yard rushing, 2 TD kind of a week in him as a floor. At his low price that could be a steal for you if he hits those numbers.

– My favorite QB play this week is going to be Cam Newton. He’s coming off a terrible start in Week 13 and needs a big game (even if CAR is out of the playoff hunt). The Panthers are in a great spot against a SD team coming east to play an early game. The total is a nice and high 48 points and has a close spread as well. That means lots of opportunity for Cam to put up points. Eli Manning loves facing Dallas, but you have remember that he’s still Eli Manning and that 4 INT game is always right around the corner. That said, a low ownership for an Eli/OBJ stack is very enticing and one that I’m going to heavily exploit.

– With the spread the way it is and the Panthers playing such bad defense, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rivers put up a top 8 week at QB in Week 14. This could be a real shootout. If Trevor Siemian is able to play this weekend, he faces a Tennessee team that gives up a ton of passing points. We saw what he can do against a rough secondary when he torched the Chiefs two weeks ago;  a similar game could be in the offing against the Titans. I’m not using any of them, but you really can’t argue with a sub-5% ownership for guys like Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Big Ben, or Matt Ryan. I suppose Drew Brees has the highest upside due to the large total on this game, but I just don’t trust him and won’t use him myself.

My guys: Jameis Winston, Colin Kapernick, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Cam Newton



Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs PITMelvin Gordon (SD) @ CARJonathan Stewart (CAR) vs SD
LeVeon Bell (PIT) @ BUFThomas Rawls (SEA) vs GBJay Ajayi (MIA) vs ARI
Matt Forte (NYJ) @ SFTheo Riddick (DET) vs CHIDeMarco Murray (TEN) vs DEN
Jordan Howard (CHI) @ DETTodd Gurley (LA) vs ATL
David Johnson (ARI) @ MIARashad Jennings (NYG) vs DAL
Jeremy Hill (CIN) @ CLERobert Kelley (WSH) @ PHI
Carlos Hyde (SF) vs NYJ
Frank Gore (IND) vs HOU
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) @ NYG
Devonta Freeman (ATL) @ LA


– Look at that long list of guys there were 10% owned or more on the Thursday slate. That’s a lot of love for the RB position. I’m right there with the public on a lot of these plays.  I love Jeremy Hill this weekend. The Browns have a pitiful run defense and Hill is getting all the work for the Bengals. Even with his dreadful YPC last weekend, he still got 23 carries. If he sees that many touches against this weekend, he should be good for 100 yards and a score. Matt Forte is another RB I’m very high on given his large expected workload against a historically bad 49ers’ rush defense. They just gave up 3 rushing TD’s to Jordan Howard, which wasn’t close to their worst performance of the season. Even the inept Jets should be able to run on them. Devonta Freeman continues to put up RB2 numbers and has another solid matchup this weekend. I’m never going to tell you to fade David Johnson so he’s clearly on my radar this weekend. The one name I was shocked to see was Carlos Hyde. He must be really cheap on Aces because I can’t think of another reason to use him against a strong Jets’ run defense. He won’t be on any of my teams.

– I’m shocked to see so few people on Thomas Rawls this weekend. Are they scared that he might have a lingering injury from last weekend? I think he’s good to go and I love the matchup in Green Bay. I hope it snows because it’ll be a blast watching this power rusher run all over the Packers’ defense. His lower than expected ownership moves him way up my personal ranks. I’ll be fading Melvin Gordon as I think the Chargers take to the air and target Inman/Williams/Gates more heavily than their stud RB.

– Last week I called a good game for DeAndre Hopkins and this week I’m calling it for Todd Gurley. He’s going to have to break out at some point this year, isn’t he? This is going to be his 100 yard, 2 TD monster game. It’s so sad that this is what it’s come down to with Gurley. On the bright side, he’s stupid cheap against the 2nd worst rush defense in fantasy. Don’t forget about DeMarco Murray this weekend. Denver is not a great rushing D; if Tennessee is going to score any points it’s going to be via the run. Murray should have a heavy workload and is one of my favorite plays of the week due to the contrarian nature of using him. Since the Redskins stopped giving Fat Rob 20+ carries, they’ve been losing. I think they rectify that this weekend and Kelley outproduces expectations.

My guys: David Johnson, Jeremy Hill, DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte, Rob Kelley, Devonta Freeman, Thomas Rawls, Todd Gurley




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Taylor Gabriel (ATL) @ LASammy Watkins (BUF) vs PITMike Wallace (BAL) @ NE
Tyrell Williams (SD) @ CARGolden Tate (DET) vs CHIJulio Jones (ATL) @ LA
Mike Evans (TB) vs NOTerrelle Pryor (CLE) vs CINDez Bryant (DAL) @ NYG
T.Y. Hilton (IND) vs HOUOdell Beckham Jr (NYG) vs DALDeVante Parker (MIA) vs ARI
Doug Baldwin (SEA) vs GBDonte Moncrief (IND) vs HOUJamison Crowder (WSH) @ PHI
Malcolm Mitchell (NE) vs BALLarry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs MIADemaryius Thomas (DEN) @ TEN
Julian Edelman (NE) vs BALKenny Britt (LA) vs ATL
DeSean Jackson (WSH) @ PHIBreshad Perriman (BAL) @ NE
Dontrelle Inman (SD) @ CARAntonio Brown (PIT) @ BUF
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) @ IND
Tyler Lockett (SEA) vs GB
Robby Anderson (NYJ) @ SF
Ted Ginn Jr (CAR) vs SD


– WR is so hard to peg down. We have to start 3 of them and there are just so many good ones to choose from. From the list of studs out there, I’d say that my two favorite plays are Mike Evans and Odell Beckham. We all know how great Evans is, and now he gets to face the piss-poor Saints’ secondary at home. He’s an easy play for me in Week 14. There’s a misguided stigma surrounding OBJ this year that he’s having a bad season. In no way is that correct. The guy is averaging 10 targets and 85 yards per game on the season. He plays better at home (over 100 yards per game and 5 TD in 6 games) and there’s something about the Giants-Cowboys matchup. His ownership is right where I want it to be and I’m going to be all over him. I also really like Golden Tate, Tyrell Willams, and Demaryius Thomas this weekend (only if Siemian is starting). I’m shocked by how low Thomas was owned on the Thursday slate. He should have a big game against a bad Titans’ defense if we get Siemian healthy and playing.

– I don’t think I’m going to be paying up for Julio, Brown, or Jordy this weekend, but I can’t blame you if you decided you wanted to take advantage of low ownership. I’d rather spend down on a couple of boom or bust plays in DeSean Jackson (revenge game in Philly) and Ted Ginn (6+ targets in six of seven games; TD in three straight games). Few things excite me as much this week as a Cam/Ginn stack.

– It looks like Sammy Watkins didn’t have a great game in Week 13 (and he didn’t)…but he really could have if Tyrod Taylor was a better QB. Watkins was targeted 9 times but was only able to haul in 3 passes. If he continues to see that volume of targets, then he’s going to be a productive WR3 for you. Can we get two good weeks in a row out of DeAndre Hopkins? I actually think that we might. I don’t know which CIN pass catcher is going to have a good game, but it’s going to be one of them (watch it be Cody Core). DeVante Parker is going to do things for the Dolphins this weekend. I keep talking about it, but #2 WRs for teams continue to do well against the Cardinals. We’ve got three weeks in a row (Theilen, Gabriel, Crowder) of proof to make me think that this is more than a fluke. Parker has slowly started to come on (64 yards or a TD in each of the last 4 weeks) and he should be good for another solid game this weekend. Breshad Perriman has scored a TD in 3 of the last 4 weeks. NE is a tough defense at home but, like Parker, he is slowly becoming a bigger part of this Ravens’ offense. I’m always good to take a look at Crowder because of his price/consistency combination.

My guys: Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Ted Ginn, DeVante Parker, DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas, Tyrell Williams




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Antonio Gates (SD) @ CARJimmy Graham (SEA) vs GBJermaine Gresham (ARI) @ MIA
Tyler Eifert (CIN) @ CLEGreg Olsen (CAR) vs SDVance McDonald (SF) vs NYJ
Ladarius Green (PIT) @ BUFCameron Brate (TB) vs NOJerell Adams (NYG) vs DAL
Zach Ertz (PHI) vs WSHDelanie Walker (TEN) vs DEN
C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU) @ INDEric Ebron (DET) vs CHI
Jason Witten (DAL) @ NYG
Dennis Pitta (BAL) @ NE
Martellus Bennett (NE) vs BAL


– I don’t ever see the need to spend up on TE again this season. There are just too many decent mid to low priced options out there to choose from to waste money at this position. Yes, Olsen and Eifert and Graham will put up good numbers, but I just don’t feel the need to spend there when I can do so with a more dynamic position like RB. Although, if you can get Olsen at under 5% ownership then he might be worth paying up for in a stack with Cam Newton (though I’d still prefer to use Ginn and spend up elsewhere other than TE). Ladarius Green should be in play with his ever expanding role in the Steelers’ offense; his price still well below that of the elite TE tier. Of course that’s going to make him really chalky, but when a value guy is chalky that’s not so bad if you’ve got a bigger plan in place with the savings you get from using him.

– Cameron Brate is a perfect guy to use in your GPP lineup. He’s cheap, he’s reliable, and he’s got a great matchup. With all the injuries at WR for the Bucs, he’s the de facto #2 WR for that team. Zach Ertz might finally be coming around. He’s a very steady target for Wentz and a safe, if unspectacular, option at the position.

– Give me all the Jermaine Gresham this weekend! Last weekend he was near min-price and he put up 5-52. This weekend he gets a Dolphins team that just gave up 9-90-2 to Dennis Pitta (his first 2 TD of the season). Gresham is in for a very nice game this weekend…I’m going to have him everywhere. Vance McDonald should be able to bounce back against a Jets team that just gave up 3 TD to Dwayne Allen. Something tells me that the Giants are about to involve Jerell Adams in their offense more going forward. He’s a great athlete and he saw 3 targets in Week 13. I’m not sure if I have the stones to use him, but I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s got a 3-40-1 game in him this weekend.  DEN has some serious lock-down corners, but they can be exploited by a good TE. Walker is one of the best. Just keep that in mind if you want to spend up for TE but want to be contrarian as well. I can give that my blessing.

My guys: Jermaine Gresham, Ladarius Green, Cameron Brate, Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, Vance McDonald




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Minnesota Vikings @ JAXDetroit Lions vs CHIDenver Broncos @ TEN
Cincinnati Bengals @ CLETampa Bay Buccaneers vs NO
Arizona Cardinals @ MIA
San Francisco 49ers vs NYJ


– MIN should be good for at least one pick six (Bortles throws a few of those) and will put plenty of pressure on Jacksonville. Turnovers and sacks should come in bunches. They were 3x more widely owned than any other defense on the Thursday slate. I’m OK with using them anyway. I don’t really worry too much about playing the ownership game with my defense. I’d much rather get a bunch of points if I’m going to spend up.

– “Anyone against the Browns”, right? Cincy has a better defense than you realize, and they put a hurting on the Eagles. That game was never close and it only looked as close as it did due to a late score that didn’t matter (unless you had the Bengals’ defense…stupid Darren Sproles). I’m good using them again this weekend. Tampa Bay and Detroit are playing really solid defense right now. I’m good using either of them. I’d prefer DET because of the opponent, but the Bucs are really interesting contrarian option against “Outside” Drew Brees (a very different QB than “Dome” Drew Brees).

– Depending on the site you play, Arizona might actually be a great value (for instance, they are only $14 on Yahoo). I don’t love using them on the road, but at least it’s in Miami and Ryan Tannehill is mistake prone. I’d take a stab at them if I wanted to use a safe-ish defense at a low price. If I’m going to get a little wild on defense then I’m going to be using the 49ers. The Jets are starting Bryce Petty this weekend and I have little confidence that he’s going to be able to put up a good line, even against a bad 49ers’ defense. I know that SF gives up a lot of rushing yards, and they very may well do so again this weekend, but at their ultra min-price they don’t need to do much more than get a handful of sacks and a turnover or two to hit value. I’ve got more of them than I thought I would because it opens up so many possibilities at other positions.

My guys: Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers


Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, and data. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.



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