Might be best for you to play psychoanalyst before dipping into my Week 14 daily fantasy (DFS) football picks so you understand where my head might be.
I had a dream last night that I was at the WSOP (World Series of Poker). A much older version of Phil Hellmuth had already won his spot in the main event. Yet I found myself facing off against him in an early round of the Omaha event. And to make a long story short, I was overanalyzing every hand but I beat him.
My self-analysis tells me I am aching to gamble. Perhaps your interpretation tells you I'm feeling confident enough to beat the best. Or perhaps I feel the need to scrutinize every decision. I'd love to hear your interpretations, so please send them to me. My interpretation is much simpler, however. I have a yearning to enter a large GPP but not the biggie, but I'm also yearning to go against the best with my picks.
I could be wrong. Maybe I just have a yearning to go against older-aged players. Who knows? But thought I'd share with you because yes, I will definitely be entering a large GPP this weekend.
And that brings us to our weekly reminder that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. The first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites. For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
Onto the Week 14 DFS picks...
Teams on bye: Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Philadelphia
Safe Quarterback Week 14 Pick
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team (DK $6700, FD $8100)
I originally had Justin Herbert in this spot. But with the possibility that BOTH Keenan Allen and Mike Williams miss this game, the floor fell out of that pick. I still think Herbert can have a huge game, but he's no longer the safest pick on the board. That honor now falls to Prescott.
Prescott was a strong consideration to start with given that Washington is allowing the most fantasy points to QBs this season. He also will likely have all of his receivers at his disposal this week. I think he definitely does better than the 238 passing yards he had last week against the Saints. Don't be surprised when he posts a line similar to the 375 passing yards and two touchdowns he had the previous week against the Raiders.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 14 Pick
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (DK $5400, FD $7400)
After passing for a laughable 92 yards before Carolina's bye, Newton's risk is obvious. However, coming off a bye and against Atlanta, who is second behind the aforementioned WFT in fantasy points allowed to QBs, Newton presents high upside.
Even during his "miserable" 2020 season, he had a few games accounting for three touchdowns. And Atlanta has allowed more combined TDs (passing and rushing) to quarterbacks than any other team this season. Playing Newton this week is a beating a WSOP champion kind of move! ;)
Safe Running Back Week 14 Pick
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at New York Jets (DK $7900, FD $9000)
No Christian McCaffrey. No Derrick Henry. Dalvin Cook played on Thursday. Jonathan Taylor is on bye. Welcome back Alvin Kamara, we missed you!
Four games in a row with a touchdown before your extended break from game action has us hungrily looking for you to find your way into the end zone. I think you can do it. You wouldn't dare disappoint us, would you?
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 14 Pick
Godwin Igwebuike, Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos (DK $4000, FD $4800)
Well, my Lions RB pick last week in this space worked out pretty well, so let's go back to the well again. I know many like Jermar Jefferson in this spot, but I'm going with the minimum-priced Igwebuike.
I am encouraged by his 39 percent snap share last week in a game when Jamaal Williams did play and was the featured RB. And Williams is out this week, along with D'Andre Swift. Jefferson should see some snaps this week as well, but Igwebuike is the back I'm going to ride. He ran 26 pass routes last week and he's the obvious pass-catching option out of the backfield this week. He's averaging 7.5 fantasy points per 100 snaps, which is not bad, but I think he does even better this week.
Denver has allowed 544 receiving yards and three receiving TDs to RBs this year. The Broncos have also allowed more than 1,000 rushing yards to the position. I expect Igwebuike to easily surpass those averages this week, making him very profitable at this rock-bottom price.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 14 Pick
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans (DK $6500, FD $7300)
Sorry, Metcalf is just too young and talented to be kept down any longer. Since Seattle's bye, he's been ice cold with not a single TD and and 60 yards or less in each of those four games. But I think we see a pre-bye performance out of Metcalf, when he had eight touchdowns in eight weeks.
Houston has only given up 260 passing yards per game the last couple weeks. But they played the Jets and the Jonathan Taylors... um, I mean the Colts. Before that, the Titans lit them up. Pete Carroll has been taking a lot of heat lately, but something tells me he (as well as Russell Wilson) finds a way to get the ball into his best player's hands on Sunday.
High Risk/High Reward Wide Receiver Week 14 Pick
Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $5400, FD $6500)
The fact that Jones is a risky pick this week might be a microcosm of all that has gone wrong in Music City this year. But the facts are simple enough — Jones has zero TDs and just 21 catches. Some of that can be blamed on injuries, but in his six games played, he only has one game with 100 yards.
But there's no medicine quite like the Jacksonville defense for what ails ya. The Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to WR per game this year, including 11 touchdowns. I'll call my shot — Jones scores a TD this week.
Safe Tight End Week 14 Pick
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders (DK $7400, FD $7500)
You would have to ball up Kelce, paint him orange with black lines, and put him in Michael Jordan's hands' for him to look any more like a slam dunk this week than he already is. Far and away, the easiest cash-game play of the week.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 14 Pick
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DK $5000, FD $6000)
I faded Knox last week and it was a good move. Knox had his worst performance of the year last week. He caught only two of his targets. And two of his failed catches were absolutely miserable drops. But I'm back on him this week.
One reason is that the matchup doesn't scare me at all. Tampa Bay has had trouble with tight ends this year, having allowed the ninth-most PPR points to them. Knox will rebound this week.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 14 Pick
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets (DK $3600, FD $5000)
Unlike the past few weeks, this feels like a good week to fade some of the pricier options, especially on DraftKings. But even though the Saints are the highest-priced option on FanDuel, I'll gladly take a DST that already has 26 sacks and 14 interceptions. And they're playing the Jets. I'm locking in New Orleans.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 14 Pick
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons, (DK $2800, FD $4800)
Let's see. A team coming off a bye? That sounds good. Playing at home? I like that too. Eighth-most sacks in the league. Even better. I'm willing to take a chance.
— 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.