DraftKings NFL: Picks & Optimal Lineups for Week 14 Late Slate

Ezekiel Elliott Contract Holdout

Getty Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

With the bye weeks all in the books for the 2018 NFL season, it means Sunday’s are completely loaded with games moving forward. Along with that, this means there are multiple DraftKings daily fantasy football slates worth playing. This is certainly true in Week 14, as the afternoon games bring a few solid options on the DFS site.

Due to the increased size of the games, we’re going to take a look at the five-game slate and offer some picks and optimal lineups. The afternoon NFL action this week features multiple big games and a few great fantasy options as well. Let’s dive into it by first looking at my top picks for each position and then roll into the optimal lineups.

First up, I’ll rank the top options (including values). In these rankings, the price will be factored in, so while an expensive quarterback may be projected to score a bit more than the value play, it doesn’t mean he ranks higher.

DraftKings Afternoon Slate Rankings

I’ll explain the reasoning behind why certain value plays rank above expensive options below each grouping. There are many occasions where I believe a less-expensive play will outperform a bigger name.

Week 14 Afternoon Quarterback Picks & Rankings

  • Ben Roethlisberger ($6,800) at Oakland Raiders
  • Philip Rivers ($6,500) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Dak Prescott ($5,600) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • Carson Wentz ($5,400) at Dallas Cowboys*

I’m somewhat iffy on using Carson Wentz, although I love his upside. This is a huge game for the Eagles, but it’s also a big game for the Cowboys as well. Tack on the fact that the Dallas defense is hitting its stride, and I’m less interested in Wentz than I typically would be. The main reason for interest in him comes down to his price, as $5,400 is absurdly low for a player with his level of upside.

I’m hopeful Dak Prescott draws lower ownership, and although I do believe the Philly defense will step up early in this key game, they’ve had some major struggles. Specifically, the Eagles have given up 3,388 yards and 19 total touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks on the year.

Running Back Picks & Rankings

  • Ezekiel Elliott ($8,600) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • David Johnson ($6,500) vs. Detroit Lions
  • Phillip Lindsay ($6,300) at San Francisco 49ers
  • Jaylen Samuels ($3,700) at Oakland Raiders
  • Jeff Wilson ($3,800) vs. Denver Broncos
  • Austin Ekeler ($6,200) vs. Cincinnati Bengals*
  • Joe Mixon ($6,400) at Los Angeles Chargers
  • Justin Jackson ($3,800) vs. Cincinnati Bengals*

The situation with the Chargers running backs in Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson is a tough one to gauge. Unfortunately, you almost have to play it based on how you think the game script will go. If the expectation is that the Chargers grab an early lead, then using Jackson in a spot where he should see an increased workload makes sense.

Ezekiel Elliott is the clear-cut top play here, but there’s an argument to be made that using him with Jaylen Samuels and Jeff Wilson as salary-savers is a great way to build lineups. I have no problem starting there and think all three players provide a safe floor here.

Wide Receiver Picks & Rankings

  • Keenan Allen ($7,400) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Antonio Brown ($9,000) at Oakland Raiders
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster ($8,200) at Oakland Raiders
  • Amari Cooper ($6,600) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
  • Courtland Sutton ($4,500) at San Francisco 49ers
  • Kenny Golladay ($6,400) at Arizona Cardinals
  • Larry Fitzgerald ($4,900) vs. Detroit Lions
  • Bruce Ellington ($3,800) at Arizona Cardinals
  • DaeSean Hamilton ($3,000) at San Francisco 49ers*
  • Michael Gallup ($3,700) vs. Philadelphia Eagles*

*I like Tyler Boyd and Golden Tate more than Hamilton and Gallup, but the savings for those two is worth noting. Dante Pettis is also slightly above the two as well.

There’s a strong likelihood that many will spend down on Keenan Allen instead of going up to Antonio Brown or JuJu Smith-Schuster. While there’s certainly no issue with that, paying up for Brown could be a way to differentiate lineups. The Raiders struggle defensively, and while they’ve been worse against other positions, they have allowed 17 touchdowns to wide receivers this season.

The injury to Emmanuel Sanders leaves both Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton in solid spots. I really like Hamilton at min-price against a 49ers defense which struggles mightily against slot receivers. The idea of paying down to get Hamilton and a highly-targeted Bruce Ellington is appealing.

Tight End Picks & Rankings

  • Zach Ertz ($6,400) at Dallas Cowboys
  • George Kittle ($5,500) vs. Denver Broncos
  • Jared Cook ($5,200) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Vance McDonald ($3,800) at Oakland Raiders
  • Matt LaCosse ($2,700) . at San Francisco 49ers

The afternoon slate on DraftKings in Week 14 is fairly light at the tight end position. The top three names are certainly the best targets, but there’s solid value in Vance McDonald and some intrigue in Matt LaCosse as a punt play.

The Raiders have had a rough go of it against tight ends, allowing 896 yards (second most in the NFL) and nine touchdowns (tied for most) on the year. In turn, McDonald has some appeal at just $3,800, especially if you stack him with Ben Roethlisberger. As for LaCosse, he should see an increase in workload after Sanders’ injury as well. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of risk with this play as he’s seen more as a pass-blocker.

George Kittle may be a great target with Marquise Goodwin back in the lineup to help open up the middle of the field. He could also come at lower ownership than both Zach Ertz and Jared Cook as well.

DraftKings Week 14 Afternoon Lineups

I’ll lay out two different lineups here, with the first being the optimal and second coming with more risk as an option for 150-max games.

Optimal Lineup:

  • QB: Ben Roethlisberger ($6,800)
  • RB: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,600)
  • RB: Jaylen Samuels ($3,700)
  • WR: Keenan Allen ($7,400)
  • WR: Amari Cooper ($6,600)
  • WR: Bruce Ellington ($3,800)
  • TE: George Kittle ($5,500)
  • DST: Chargers ($3,500)

150-Max Lineup:

  • QB: Dak Prescott ($5,600)
  • RB: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,600)
  • RB: David Johnson ($6,500)
  • WR: Antonio Brown ($9,000)
  • WR: Courtland Sutton ($4,500)
  • WR: DaeSean Hamilton ($3,000)
  • TE: Jared Cook ($5,200)
  • Flex: Jeff Wilson ($3,800)
  • DST: Chargers ($3,500)

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