The DFS Drive: Week 14

Week 14 is finally here! In most leagues that means the first round of the fantasy playoffs. I am sure everyone rolled through the regular season and will be competing for a championship, but in the slim case you had a down year we at Fantasy Sports Headquarters have you covered with our favorite plays to keep you interested in this weekend’s action.

This week’s slate has already had a lot of value open up due to injuries and players being ruled out; more specifically, the running back situation in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

So the question is, “how do you use this value now?” Running back is where I start my cash lineup builds due to their workload being more predictable, so let’s dig into the position in and talk about some of these value plays!

Jaylen Samuels at Oakland Raiders

$3,700 DraftKings / $4,600 FanDuel

Samuels entered the game late last week when James Conner went down and managed a touchdown on five touches. Knowing how the Steelers use their running back, we have a small sample size of 19 total touches this year to go off. Tomlin has already said they will run a running back by committee, but there is still opportunity against the helpless Raiders. With a team implied total for Pittsburgh at 31 and a game total at 51.5, there is still plenty of fantasy goodness to go around.

On the season, the Raiders rank 27th against running backs, allowing an average of 130 yards and almost a touchdown per game. Conner has been a workhorse this season (75.8 yards rushing per game, 5.67 targets, 13 total touchdowns) so where does his average of 21 touches per game get distributed? If Samuels can find himself in the range of 15 touches, he has a great opportunity to hit value, but more importantly, pay up for the high priced studs.

Jeff Wilson Jr. vs Denver Broncos

$3,800 DraftKings / $5,600 FanDuel

With “glass man” Matt Breida injuring himself in warmups last week, Wilson stepped in and produced 61 yards on 15 attempts and added 73 yards on eight receptions. The undrafted rookie from North Texas has only been active for two games this year, but has been involved during that time. With the 49ers backfield looking like something similar to a dumpster, Wilson looks to be set for a full workload on Sunday. Wilson draws a tougher matchup this week as the Broncos have held running backs to 79 yards on the ground, but have allowed 63 yards in the air over their past four games.

Looking at site comparison, Wilson is priced at $3,800 on Draft Kings which has me interested because of their full PPR scoring. I see better options in his price range on FanDuel where his price comes in at $5,600.

Justin Jackson vs Cincinnati Bengals

$3,800 Draft Kings / $4,500 FanDuel

It’s still odd writing Los Angeles Chargers. I actually had to go back through some of my write ups this week on Jackson and made sure I didn’t slip a San Diego in there. Initially, I thought Jackson would be an afterthought compared to Samuels and Wilson. Then I checked his price; just about the minimum on both sites. And then…the opponent. THE BENGALS! Remember what Phillip Lindsay did to this group a week ago? He shredded them for 157 yards on 19 carries.

In Jackson’s first real run of the year last week with Gordon out, he had a productive evening with eight rushes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati cannot stop anyone, not even management from bringing in good old Hue Jackson, as running backs are averaging 178 total yards with an even worse 220 yards over the past four weeks. The Chargers still have Austin Ekeler who will get his fair share of touches, but with Los Angeles as 14 point favorites I look for them to get up early and go heavy on the run to seal the victory.

So what do you do with these “value” backs this week? In cash game builds, typically I want to roster three running backs, using one in your FLEX or UTIL spot because of the volume they see.  Using one of these backs this week makes it a little easier to get up to pay for the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. Last week, for example, combination of Todd Gurley, McCaffery and Spencer Ware netted you 80.8 Draft Kings points which was well on its way to a big score.

As of today, I am leaning towards using Wilson on Draft Kings and Jackson on FanDuel as my third running back. If you have other DFS questions hit me up on Twitter @snoopAloop_3.

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