Last updated: December 8th at 10:50am ET
Editor’s Note: We may not write up every player we consider to be a top play. Be sure to consult the chart at the bottom of the page. This page will be updated once on Sunday morning, if necessary.
Editor’s Note: ETR is hosting a Week 14 DFS contest at DraftKings. In addition to cash prizes, first prize receives a lineup review from Adam Levitan and 2nd-5th win a limited edition ETR T-shirt. There’s no rake, it’s only $3 to play and 890 spots pay out cash. This will fill before Sunday, sign up here! To see last week’s winners review video, click here.
Legal: Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.
You don’t have to play cash games to understand why it’s important to grasp them. Players we consider for cash are the ones we believe are the most underpriced, have the best floor/ceiling combo and feature a relatively tight range of outcomes. In other words, these are the best plays on the board once price, slate context and positional depth is accounted for. Those sound like pretty good options for GPPs as well.
The optimal GPP lineup will mix some of these cash-type plays with higher-variance options in correlated lineups. In cash games (where roughly 50% of the field gets paid out), we don’t worry about ownership or game stacks or correlation. In large-field tournaments, our ACO (average cumulative ownership) should stay reasonably low.
With all that said, these are our Top Plays considering the following factors: Median projection, matchup, upside and value. Ownership is not considered here. Generally speaking, these players are what we consider to be “head-to-head and 50/50 considerations.” They are listed in price descending order (NOT ranked by “best play”). At the bottom, you’ll find suggested rankings by site once salary is accounted for.
Lamar Jackson ($7400 DK, $9000 FD) — As noted in Silva’s Matchups, this is the most difficult matchup Jackson has faced all season. At best, he’s priced appropriately. But given slate context at QB, no one’s floor/ceiling combo compares.
Deshaun Watson ($6500 DK, $7700 FD) — Another difficult matchup for Watson, but he showed just last week he can beat that by shredding the Patriots for 28.8 DK points. Note Watson hasn’t been under $8000 on Fanduel for a non-Patriots game all season. UPDATE: The loss of Will Fuller (hamstring) is a significant one for Watson. He’s still our top QB play on both sites, but the gap has shrunk.Watson averages 6.4 fewer fantasy points per game without Fuller in his career.
Sam Darnold ($6000 DK, $7700 FD) — Dolphins are 32nd in pass defense DVOA, 32nd in sacks, 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed and 31st in passer rating allowed. Darnold a better play on DraftKings, where he’s $500 less than Watson.
Ryan Tannehill ($5800 DK, $7300 FD) — Hasn’t topped 22 pass attempts in any of his last three games, but hasn’t had to due to efficiency. Rushing equity is very strong.
Christian McCaffrey ($10300 DK, $11000 FD) — Coaching change is a non-factor scheme-wise as all coaches besides Ron Rivera will finish out year. CMC caught 11 balls when these teams met three weeks ago. Much easier to fit in lineups now that Le’Veon Bell (illness) has been ruled out.
Leonard Fournette ($7800 DK, $7500 FD) — Truly game-flow independent three-down plus goal-line back. Far cheaper on Fanduel.
Alvin Kamara ($7000 DK, $7600 FD) — Best place to attack 49ers’ elite defense is rushing the ball to the edges and throwing it short. That’s Kamara’s wheelhouse. DraftKings price is cheapest of season by wide margin.
Melvin Gordon ($6400 DK, $7300 FD) — Jaguars rush defense absolutely cratering to bottom tier of league. Now they’ll be without stud MLB Myles Jack (knee). Gordon quietly has at least 17 touches in four straight games.
Devonta Freeman ($5400 DK, $6000 FD) — Returned from foot injury last week and immediately handled 75% of the RB touches. Panthers are dead last in rush defense DVOA.
Bilal Powell ($3500 DK, $4900 FD) — Le’Veon Bell (illness) has been ruled out and the Jets are facing the defense ranked 30th in yards per play allowed. We are projecting Bilal Powell as the starter and in something around a 60/40 timeshare with Ty Montgomery. Note that Josh Adams has played 12 snaps over the last three weeks, but only in garbage time. Over the last four weeks, Powell has played on 56 snaps and run 24 routes. Montgomery has played 36 snaps and run 16 routes.
Michael Thomas ($8300 DK, $8600 FD) — Matchup against 49ers is obviously poor, but underneath route tree, massive target share and dominant catch rate all work in Thomas’ favor. That’s particularly true on full-PPR, 100-yard bonus DraftKings.
Davante Adams ($8000 DK, $8400 FD) — Fully healthy off toe injury, Adams has seen at least 10 targets in all four games since his return. Price is up $1000 on DK since last week, but he’s still too cheap.
Odell Beckham ($6300 DK, $6800 FD) — A season of frustration, but Beckham still is top-5 in Air Yards over the last month and has had essentially two good matchups all year. In them he went 6-84-1 against the Dolphins and 6-161-1 against the Jets. Bengals are dead last in yards per pass attempt allowed and 31st in pass defense DVOA. Jarvis Landry ($6500 DK, $7200 FD) also in play but slightly more expensive. UPDATE: Reports emerged Sunday morning that Odell has been playing through a sports hernia injury and will need surgery after the season. While his role isn’t in jeopardy, perhaps this partly explains his struggles. We have moved him down our chart a bit.
Robby Anderson ($5100 DK, $6400 FD) — We’re actively looking for ways to attack this Dolphins secondary. Both Anderson and Jamison Crowder ($5300 DK, $6000 FD) are underpriced for their ceilings here.
Mike Williams ($4500 DK) — Unexplainable zero TDs on 69 targets this season. Even as Philip Rivers declines, Williams still projects for 4-7 high-value targets per game.
Kenny Stills ($3700 DK, $5000 FD) — With Will Fuller (hamstring) out, Stills will play an every-down role opposite DeAndre Hopkins. And with Chris Harris glued to Nuk plus the Broncos No. 2/3 CBs struggling badly, this is a strong matchup. Stills only went 3-22-0, 4-52-0 and 4-27-0 in three starts for Fuller earlier this season, but he’s talented enough for far more.
Parris Campbell ($3200 DK) — A DraftKings-specific punt as he returns from a hand injury in a soft matchup at Tampa. With TY Hilton, Devin Funchess, Chester Rogers, Eric Ebron all sidelined, the Colts desperately need playmakers and Campbell qualifies.
George Kittle ($5900 DK, $6700 FD) — Reduced pricetag for a difficult matchup at New Orleans. For example, only $400 more than Jack Doyle on Fanduel.
Hunter Henry ($5100 DK, $6400 FD) — Last week’s dud is a massive outlier relative to Henry’s recent usage.
Jack Doyle ($4600 DK, $6300 FD) — Last week’s usage was truly elite as Doyle ran 40 routes on 43 Brissett dropbacks and was in the slot or wide 25 times. TY Hilton and Eric Ebron remain out, this time against the Bucs pass funnel.
Ian Thomas ($2500 DK, $4000 FD) — Greg Olsen is out, leaving only Thomas and blocker Chris Manhertz at tight end. Alex Armah is a fullback. Thomas is a 94th-percentile athlete who went 9-77-0, 2-14-0, 4-48-1 and 5-61-1 over the final four games of last season when Olsen was inactive.
Bucs ($2300 DK) — No TY Hilton or Eric Ebron for the Colts leaves them short on big-play ability. Bucs have generated 11 sacks in their last two games.
Colts ($2400 DK) — Jameis Winston has thrown five more interceptions than any QB in the NFL and has taken the second-most sacks.
Texans ($3300 DK, $4600 FD) — Drew Lock survived his first start at home against the Chargers, but road game at Houston sets up potential for 30+ Lock dropbacks.
Steelers ($3500 DK, $4300 FD) — No. 1 DL>OL mismatch of the week is Steelers>Cardinals. Arizona also has NFL’s 8th-highest throw rate. Plenty of opportunities for this nasty pass rush to get after Kyler. Cheaper on Fanduel.
|1||Deshaun Watson||Deshaun Watson|
|2||Sam Darnold||Sam Darnold|
|3||Ryan Tannehill||Lamar Jackson|
|4||Lamar Jackson||Jameis Winston|
|5||Jameis Winston||Matt Ryan|
|1||Bilal Powell||Bilal Powell|
|2||Christian McCaffrey||Leonard Fournette|
|3||Alvin Kamara||Alvin Kamara|
|4||Melvin Gordon||Christian McCaffrey|
|5||Devonta Freeman||Devonta Freeman|
|6||Leonard Fournette||Melvin Gordon|
|1||Kenny Stills||Michael Thomas|
|2||Michael Thomas||DJ Moore|
|3||Jamison Crowder||Jamison Crowder|
|4||DeAndre Hopkins||DeAndre Hopkins|
|5||Odell Beckham Jr.||Davante Adams|
|6||Mike Williams||A.J. Brown|
|7||Julian Edelman||Kenny Stills|
|1||Ian Thomas||Darren Waller|
|2||Jack Doyle||Ian Thomas|
|3||George Kittle||Kyle Rudolph|
|4||Darren Waller||George Kittle|
|5||Hunter Henry||Hunter Henry|