My week 13 daily fantasy football picks did not go quite as planned. Carson Wentz had been awesome all season and the Seahawks were missing two key pieces of their Legion of Boom, yet Wentz and his Eagles could only muster 10 points in a loss.
Despite not playing well, Wentz actually wasn’t a total waste, as he still produced 17 fantasy points. Fortunately I did not attach any of his receiving weapons to him, as none really went off and Zach Ertz ended up exiting with a concussion.
While Wentz was disappointing, he was still survivable. What probably wasn’t was Mike Evans coming up lame in a great matchup against the Green Bay Packers, while Davante Adams and Jordan Howard both blew awesome matchups and didn’t come close to meeting value. Jake Elliott also struggled with Philly not getting it done in Seattle.
I did have some other decent picks on the day, however. Hunter Henry hauled in 7 passed for 81 yards, DeAndre Hopkins had 8 catches for 80 yards and Marshawn Lynch beasted out with 121 total yards and a score. Jacksonville’s defense was also plenty fine and helped this squad at least compete.
This wasn’t a winning team, however, while Alex Smith ended up being the play of the week. I was never really on Smith due to his struggles and calling for his benching, but he was amazing and clearly wish I’d used him.
While week 13 wasn’t great, I’ve pieced together some solid teams lately and will stroll into week 14 with confidence that I can put a winner on the board.
QB: Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders ($7.7k)
Carr is probably my favorite quarterback heading into week 14. I like using fantasy passers with something on the line and he needs to keep performing well for the Raiders to have a shot at the AFC West title and/or a playoff spot. He shredded the Chiefs to the tune of 30 fantasy points earlier this year and their defense has only regressed since then.
Carr is in limbo until word breaks on Amari Cooper’s status, but if he gets his top guy back, I’m all in on him in this matchup. Kansas City ranks 28th against quarterbacks on the year and haven’t really improved all that much over the last four weeks.
Whether you love Carr or not, good luck finding another quarterback that is in a better spot. Nearly every viable passing option has a brutal matchup or is more expensive. I love Carr this week and I’ll be using him exclusively.
Update: Carr gets an added break with KC suspended top cover man Marcus Peters this week.
RB: Samaje Perine – Washington Redskins ($6.6k)
I don’t usually confide in Redskins running backs, but Perine has been mostly impressive since taking over as the team’s full-time back. A date with a good Chargers defense this week is cause for pause, but he’s busted off two 100+ rushing yardage days already and L.A. seems to crater when you least expect it.
The Chargers are good against the run if you’re only looking at rushing yardage, but they collectively are a middle of the pack unit against fantasy backs. I’m not seeing many stud rushers I have to pay up for this week, so I might just sit back and get solid value with options like Perine.
RB: Alfred Morris – Dallas Cowboys ($6.8k)
The case is similar with Morris, who isn’t a stud but certainly looked the part with 127 rushing yards and a score last week. The value with Morris relies on the Cowboys controlling this week’s game against the G-Men, but New York has been a sinking ship for a while now, so I doubt that’s a huge concern.
In terms of matchup, Morris has a good one, as the Giants rank 28th against running backs over the last four weeks. Morris is going to be fed the rock as Dallas tries to remain balanced and he’s always going to be a threat for a short score.
WR: Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns ($6.7k)
As a fan of the Packers, I really hope Cleveland’s first win of the 2017 NFL season doesn’t come this week. I fear that it could, but even if it doesn’t, this game will surely feature heavy doses of Josh Gordon. Green Bay is not a good defensive team and specifically come into this week as the 29th best defense against fantasy wide receivers.
Gordon is rusty after not playing for three years, but the Browns shoved targets his way last week and will continue to do so. The guy caught 4 balls for 85 yards in his first game back, so yeah, I’m a bit concerned about what he might do to the Packers at home.
WR: Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders ($7k)
If I’m using Carr, I at least need to entertain some type of stack option with him. Michael Crabtree is back from suspension and is in play, but my best bet is a hopefully healthy and active Cooper.
The Raiders have a nice matchup against a shaky Chiefs defense, but if you recall, Cooper had arguably his best game as a pro the last time he faced Kansas City. I’m not expecting 38.5 fantasy points again, but the matchup, price and upside all are too tough for me to pass up.
WR: Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs ($7.8k)
That Raiders vs. Chiefs game in general figures to be explosive. Kansas City just gave up 38 points to the New York Jets last week, so they’re in the giving mood these days. That, and this battle is basically for the top of the AFC West right now, so you better believe both sides will show up.
Vegas agrees, as this game comes in with a strong Total (47) and a narrow -4 point spread. This matchup produced an entertaining shootout the first time around and it’s possible fans get something similar again this week.
Either way, this matchup looks good for Hill on paper, as he put up 22.2 fantasy points against the Raiders earlier this year. Oakland has struggled to defend the pass and specifically come in ranking 23rd in the NFL against receivers over the last four weeks. I doubt they do a great job keeping track of one of KC’s most dangerous weapons in this one.
TE: Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs ($8k)
Ditto for Kelce, who scored twice last week and has been a machine virtually all season. He’s another dangerous Chiefs weapon primed for a big game, especially since he gets a Raiders defense that ranks 24th against tight ends in 2017.
Oakland has actually even struggled more than that against tight ends lately, while Kelce hauled in four balls and a score the last time he faced them. I expect better results the second time around.
K: Harrison Butker – Kansas City Chiefs ($4.8k)
I love the value I can get at kicker this week, as Butker has proven all year long that he’s a viable option. He’s slowed down in recent weeks due to Kansas City’s struggles, but he still has the ability to get you 10+ fantasy points. He produced 14 fantasy points in his first meeting with Oakland and something similar wouldn’t be shocking.
DEF: Cincinnati Bengals ($4.6k)
This is a weird week for team defenses. I feel like paying $5k for the Green Bay Packers is going to suck all remaining life force out of me, while assuming the Seattle Seahawks are an elite unit after one big home stand also feels dangerous.
There are just no safe havens this week, so instead of playing with fire up top, I think I’ll settle on the Bengals.
Cincy isn’t perfect, but they’re still alive in the AFC wild card race and have a nice matchup on their hands against a bad Bears team. Facing Mitchell Trubisky at home gives the Bengals a chance to return some serious value.