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Value Plays: Week 14

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's look at this week's value players.


Jameis Winston

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +7

Winston has played well in year two as a professional.  His Buccaneers are in playoff contention, even with a bevy of players on injured reserve.  This week’s game against the Saints should be very high scoring.  New Orleans is in the bottom one-third in the league in holding opposing quarterbacks in check. 

Alex Smith

  • Top 200 ranking: 23
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: +11

Smith will lead his offense against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.  Most of the games the Raiders play are high scoring.  Even with the stingy Chiefs defense, the over/under total is still 46 points.  Using Footballguys scoring, the Oakland defense has given up 25 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks 5 times in the 12 games played.  This is a bottom-five defense against quarterbacks.  No, Smith does not have big upside, but the matchup should allow him to provide a nice floor to fantasy owners. 

Running Back

Jeremy Hill

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +9

Hill has not played well of late, as evidenced by averaging less than two yards per carry last week.  The Bengals have the lowly Browns next up on the schedule and should dominate the contest.  If so, Hill will get ample carries.  Cleveland is the fourth-worst defense in limiting running back points.  On average, the Browns yield an average of 28.87 PPR fantasy points per contest.  The game should provide Hill with scoring opportunities, even if he does not get many pass targets. 

Rob Kelley

  • Top 200 ranking: 29
  • Weekly ranking: 19
  • Difference: +10

Kelley has been sparingly used the past few weeks, but coach Jay Gruden has vowed this week to get his burly runner more involved in the offense.  The game against the Eagles this week should allow both teams to score often.  Vegas has the over/under at 46.5 points for the game.

Matt Forte

  • Top 200 ranking: 17
  • Weekly ranking:  9
  • Difference: +8

Forte has been held in check most weeks.  The Jets have a poor offense, anchored by poor quarterback play.  The good news is that the 49ers are next up on the schedule.  San Francisco has yielded an average of 29.93 PPR fantasy points per game.  This is good for dead last in the league defending the running back position.  This is a full point and a half more than the second-worst defense, the Atlanta Falcons. 

Wide Receiver

Tyrell Williams

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +9

Williams is playing through a shoulder injury.  He has become Philip Rivers' favorite target down the field.  The game in Carolina will provide the San Diego receivers an opportunity for big fantasy games.  The Panthers are the third-worst defense, allowing over 40 PPR fantasy points per game.  As of this writing, the contest has the second-highest Vegas over/under total (48 points) for the week. 

DeAndre Hopkins

  • Top 200 ranking: 36
  • Weekly ranking: 24
  • Difference: +12

Hopkins has disappointed fantasy owners this season.  This is not in doubt.  The poor quarterback play from Brock Osweiler is the culprit.  The receiver put up studly numbers with the carousel the Texans had at quarterback.  Hopkins is still running quality routes and getting open.  While the game in Green Bay last week was encouraging, we are hopeful that the contest in Indianapolis could allow the star receiver an opportunity to excel.  The Colts yield an average of 38 PPR points per game, good for eleventh-worst in the league.  This appears to be a high-scoring game, and one that the Texans will need to throw often just to keep pace. 

Kenny Britt

  • Top 200 ranking: 34
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: +16

Britt has emerged as a quality fantasy option the past eight weeks.  He and rookie quarterback Jared Goff are building a rapport.  We like Britt’s opportunity for a big game against the Falcons this week.  Atlanta yields an average of 38.77 PPR points per week.  Even for a less-than-average passing attack, the Rams should be effective enough for Britt to be a quality fantasy WR2 this week. 

Tight End

Dennis Pitta

  • Top 200 ranking: 18
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +7

Last week, Pitta scored his first touchdown on the season.  In fact, he hit pay dirt twice. The game against the Patriots this week will be huge for the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco.  We expect the veteran quarterback to lean on his trusty tight end versus a middle-of-the-road defense against the position. 

Greg Olsen

  • Top 200 ranking: 7
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +4

Olsen has struggled to accumulate receiving yards and touchdowns the past few weeks.  With his quarterback suffering through some poor outings, defenses are focused on slowing the athletic tight end.  Also, with Kelvin Benjamin not playing well since coming back from injury, stopping Olsen has been a priority.  But, with all of these factors working against him, we like Olsen’s chances of having a strong game against San Diego.   

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