I know that my Week 14 daily fantasy football (DFS) picks, like most weeks, are limited to the main slate. And I hate that. But unfortunately that is pretty standard and it's prevalent because it mirrors what the sites do. There is far more action as well as options for the "main" slates than there is for the entire week's slate.
I just wish it wasn't the case. When making my picks, I'd rather have the entire week of games at my disposal for an individual contest. I like playing the "turbos" and "primetime only" and whatever else the sites call their mini-slates. But why can't I have those in addition? I'd love to have more options, not less. I like playing in the huge tourneys. But the sites don't seem to want to facilitate that for the entire slate. If you look on FanDuel for example, for the main slate they have a tourney that has the possibilities of nearly 360K entries. Cool. But heaven forbid you want to play a slate with all 16 games on it, the largest tournament is not even 5K entries. Sigh...
I'm pretty sure I know the reasoning behind it, but it doesn't mean I have to like it! But I do like my picks this week, so here's to winning some money with my Week 14 DFS picks this week!
Week 14 DFS Picks
Safe QB: Kirk Cousins vs. Lions (DK $6700, FD $8200)
Cousins is going against the NFL's 30th-ranked pass defense and has at least two touchdown passes each of his last four games. Cousins might not have the ceiling that others in this range have, but its a floor that is OSHA-level safe.
High Risk/Reward QB: Lamar Jackson at Bills (DK $7400, FD $9000)
Not that Jackson is exactly risky. He's scored 20-plus fantasy points in all but one week this season. However, he's the most expensive option on the board for Week 14. Furthermore, the Buffalo defense is good, especially against the pass. And Jackson's passing yards have gone down each of the last four weeks. Of course, no quarterback is a threat on the ground like Jackson is. But I have this suspicion that OC Greg Roman and John Harbaugh are going to lean on their running backs even more in this game and try to keep Jackson out of harm's way. It's hilarious that I am even saying this, but I would not expect a 100-yard rushing game from the MVP front-runner this week.
Safe RB: Aaron Jones vs. Redskins (DK: $6700, FD: $7800)
I would, however, expect at least 100 yards from Jones. Or a touchdown. Or two. Christian McCaffrey is probably the safest bet this week, but his price is starting to reach that "Wait, how much did you say?" range. After McCaffrey, Jones feels like the safest bet amongst the next 10 or so options.
I know Jones' line last week in a plush matchup against the Giants doesn't look too great. But he did have a TD called back and the Redsksins are an even better matchup than the Giants. The Redskins are ranked 27th against the run and are giving up more than 25 fantasy points per week to RBs. I can understand you wanting to pivot elsewhere, but stop overthinking it. Plug in Jones and move on. After all, he's ready...
High Risk/Reward RB: Patrick Laird at Jets (DK: $4100, FD: $5500)
This is definitely not a move for the faint of heart. With Kalen Ballage now on injured reserve, Laird and Myles Gaskin figure to get the work in a backfield of an offense that ranks dead last in the NFL in rushing (62.8 ypg). What I like about Laird though is that he offers some upside in the passing game. He turned five targets into 43 yards or 10.8 yards per reception. Laird will never be confused with Christian McCaffrey and is unlikely to ever see 20 carries in a game. However, his agility scores coming out of college last season are right up there with McCaffrey's. So when he takes a swing pass for six this weekend, don't say I never told you!
Safe WR: DJ Moore at Falcons (DK: $7000, FD: $7100)
Of course you might find yourself saying this a lot this week...
This might finally be the week that everyone finally catches on to how good Moore is. If you cherry-pick some timelines then it becomes even more unfathomable how limited the press around him has been.
Going back to the start of the beginning of the bye weeks (Week 4), Moore has 89 targets. That is good for fourth behind Julian Edelman, Michael Thomas, and DeAndre Hopkins, who all have far more proven quarterbacks. Moore has 10 red-zone targets in the last five weeks, the most in the NFL. He has at least six receptions and 70 yards in seven of the last eight games. All that plus a matchup against Atlanta, who is giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to WRs? Yes, please.
High Risk/Reward WR: A.J. Brown at Raiders (DK: $5300, FD: $5400)
I had DJ Moore on my list of players to watch this season. But I am kicking myself for missing the boat on Brown. The question with Brown this year had to do with volume. Tennessee is turning into a run-heavy team that would make Pete Carroll blush. But Brown has been lethal when the ball comes his way, averaging 18.4 yards per catch, good for sixth in the league. That's more than some other big-play receivers like Stefon Diggs, Mike Evans, and Tyreek Hill to name just a few. One of the few actually ahead of Brown is Kenny Golladay. When Golladay faced the Raiders earlier this year, he absolutely torched them for 132 yards and a touchdown. Given that the Raiders have a decent run defense, don't be surprised if Brown has a line similar to Golladay's.
Safe TE: Darren Waller vs. Titans (DK: $5800, FD: $6200)
While we are talking about what the Titans might do, let's talk about what they won't do and that is contain Waller. The Titans are one of the worst teams against tight ends. They just gave up six catches, 73 yards, and a touchdown to Jack Doyle last week. At least Doyle has a proven track record. Tennessee also has given up TDs to notables like James O'Shaughnessy. And true studs like Travis Kelce (7-75-1) and Austin Hooper (9-130-0) have had a field day against the Titans as well. I am expecting Waller to do the same.
High Risk/Reward TE: Mark Andrews at Bills (DK: $5600, FD: $6600)
Andrews is overpriced this week. I have already discussed how weak TE is this year. Don't try to argue otherwise. And I've mentioned already how strong Buffalo's pass defense has been. The Bills are even better against tight ends than wide receivers, as they have given up second-fewest fantasy points to the position behind only the 49ers. And yet against San Francisco, Andrews still hauled in three of six targets for 50 yards and a touchdown. The risk and the reward here is pretty straightforward.
Safe DST: Packers vs. Redskins (DK: $4000, FD: $5000)
This is a no-brainer. I said the same thing last week, so bear with me when I rinse and repeat as I expect the "Smith brothers" (Green Bay LBs ZaDarius and Preston) to be in the Washington backfield all day.
High Risk/Reward DST: Chiefs at Patriots (DK: $2200, FD: $3200)
I know the risk. You know the risk. Even Isaac knows the risk...
But Kansas City's defense has slowly been improving this season. And if you want to play Christian McCaffrey (over $10K on both sites) this week in DFS you are going to have to go with some cheap risky plays. So why not this one?
The Chiefs have eight sacks in the last three weeks. Even their often criticized pass defense has six interceptions the last two weeks. Besides, I know that I and FauxAndyLuck are not alone on this...
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.