Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 14 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: QUARTERBACK
|Russell Wilson||SEA||at GB||6600||1||8||1||4||-||4||-||1||1||4||4.2|
|Kirk Cousins||WAS||at PHI||6300||7||6||4||1||4||1||7||-||-||2||5.0|
|Drew Brees||NO||at TB||7400||4||5||3||8||1||5||-||-||4||-||5.7|
|Andy Dalton||CIN||at CLE||6100||-||-||-||2||-||2||4||7||-||3||6.3|
|Dak Prescott||DAL||at NYG||5900||-||7||-||-||-||-||3||6||-||7||7.7|
|Philip Rivers||SD||at CAR||6600||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||8||-||8.2|
|Matt Ryan||ATL||at LA||6500||-||-||7||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||8.2|
|Robert Griffin III III||CLE||CIN||5000||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||8.9|
The consensus is high on both quarterbacks in the Seattle at Green Bay game. Aaron Rodgers ($6,400) and Russell Wilson ($6,600) are the top two options and both are moderately priced. There doesn't appear to be a go-to quarterback this week, but these two are capable of a big game with a game script that could yield back and forth offense. Green Bay improved some on defense last week, but they are still a liability, especially in the secondary. Coming home definitely helped their cause. Seattle is coming off a big home win against the dilapidating Panthers and will try to keep the momentum going at Green Bay.
Kirk Cousins ($6,300), Andrew Luck ($6,900) and Drew Brees ($7,400) are next in the rankings. Cousins plays at Philiadelphia and while I like him better at home, you can't look past his ability to launch six games with 300+ yards passing (four of those over 350 yards). He also has seven games of double-digit touchdown passes, including three games of three touchdowns.
Andrew Luck is coming off a four-touchdown game on the road at the NY Jets. He returns home in a three-way tie in the AFC South with Houston and Tennessee. Luck will face the Texans, a team that beat him back in Week six. Houston has allowed 10 touchdown passes in the last four games and have dropped considerably in that department since earlier in the season. The home slate favors Luck and the Colts and the price isn't too steep in what could be another productive game.
Drew Brees struggled in last week's game vs. Detroit and did not manage a single touchdown pass - the first time in 61 home games where he whiffed on a touchdown pass. Now he'll face the Buccaneers on the road, a team with four straight wins, allowing their opponent to score only 21, 5, 17 and 10 points in those last four wins. Brees is the #1 quarterback in DK points this season, so he's no slouch. There is some level of concern going against a rising defense, plus Brees' top target, Michael Thomas (foot) is a game time decision to play. Consider Brees a good, but not great option this week, esepcially at his higher cost of $7,400.
Tyrod Taylor - Buffalo's games have finished with high point totals in nearly every game since Week 5. Taylor is priced too close to the QB minimum in a potential high scoring home matchup against the Steelers.
Aaron Rodgers - His price is at a record low on DraftKings for the second straight week. Too much upside to pass up at $6,400.
Kirk Cousins - The Eagles defense is fading down the stretch and have allowed 25+ points to three straight opposing passers. Cousins has had one of the best floor/ceiling combos of any passer in the league this season and makes an ideal cash game play.
Aaron Rodgers - Someone will have to explain to me Rodgers' severe discounts. The Packers' tumble hasn't been costing him production, and while the Seahawks are great, they're no prohibitve matchup anymore.
Dak Prescott - I believe Jerry Jones that the Cowboys want to keep pushing and pushing despite playoff scenarios. And I'm sure they'll want to see what Prescott is capable of in tight games. A divisional road date with the Giants is a fine example.
Russell Wilson - Great matchup and underpriced as the 8th highest priced QB.
Andrew Luck - Expect Luck to bring his A-game in this battle for the AFC South division.
Jameis Winston - TB has the highest projected team total of the week at 27 points.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: running back
|David Johnson||ARI||at MIA||9800||4||1||2||1||1||4||-||3||1||4||3.4|
|Le'Veon Bell||PIT||at BUF||9000||5||3||3||2||4||5||7||1||3||5||3.8|
|Melvin Gordon III||SD||at CAR||7400||2||2||9||7||11||2||-||5||4||3||5.8|
|Jeremy Hill||CIN||at CLE||5800||1||12||12||5||3||1||-||12||2||1||6.2|
|Ezekiel Elliott||DAL||at NYG||8400||6||4||1||10||8||-||-||6||5||6||7.2|
|Rob Kelley||WAS||at PHI||4200||12||-||-||3||6||6||4||11||-||8||8.9|
|Matt Forte||NYJ||at SF||6800||-||8||4||-||9||8||-||-||-||10||10.4|
|Devontae Booker||DEN||at TEN||4800||-||-||5||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||11.2|
|Thomas Rawls||SEA||at GB||5700||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||4||-||-||11.2|
|Devonta Freeman||ATL||at LA||6100||9||10||6||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||11.4|
|Latavius Murray||OAK||at KC||5200||-||11||-||-||7||-||8||-||-||-||11.7|
|Jerick McKinnon||MIN||at JAC||3600||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||12.0|
|Lamar Miller||HOU||at IND||5100||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||10||9||-||12.1|
|Jordan Howard||CHI||at DET||6400||10||9||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||-||12.2|
|Mark Ingram II||NO||at TB||5300||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||12.7|
|Rex Burkhead||CIN||at CLE||3500||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.9|
David Johnson ($9,800), Le'Veon Bell ($9,000) and Melvin Gordon III ($7,400) are once again the Top 3 running backs in this week's slate of games. Johnson has over 100 total yards in each of the last four games and he has scored two touchdowns in three of the last four. He also has reached 7 receptions of more in five of the last six games. Those stats, plus the DK yardage bonus makes Johnson a strong pick, even at $9,800.
Le'Veon Bell is close to Johnson's output, but he has not been as prolific lately. His price tag of $9,000 is still high, but it's a discount compared to Johnson and the results could be similar.
Melvin Gordon III will face the Panthers who struggled to contain Thomas Rawls last week before he left with a concussion or it would've been worse. It's unclear if Luke Kuechly will be back for Carolina this week. If not, Gordon becomes an even bigger play. Pairing Gordon with one of Johnson or Bell is not a bad strategy especially if you have your eye on a lower priced wide receiver.
Jeremy Hill ($5,800) is an excellent cheaper option who could pay big dividends against the Browns, a team he normally plays well against - four touchdowns in five career games against Cleveland. Look for Hill to take advantage of his opportunities and approach 20+ touches in this game.
Jay Ajayi ($5,900) is also someone to consider, at home against Arizona. Ajayi has played well lately, especially at home. Running backs at home tend to perform better, which may be enough to shy off Hill and consider Ajayi for $100 more.
Two other cheaper options include Rob Kelley ($4,200) or Carlos Hyde ($4,900). Washington ran the ball well agianst Philadelphia in their earlier meeting. I can see a high volume game favoring Kelley in this divisional battle. Carlos Hyde has brought volume to the equation in two of the last three games. The 49ers will try to play for pride at home this week, while the Jets apparently gave up on the season at home last week. A cross country flight to San Francisco is probably not high on their interest list. Hyde could be a sneak play this week as a result.
Isaiah Crowell - Griffin's return benefits Cleveland's running game and the Bengals can be beaten on the ground.
Jerick McKinnon - Has reached salary multiples of 3.3 and 5.0 in his last two games, respectively. Still sub-4K and in a great matchup against the Jaguars.
Rob Kelley - Gruden wants to get him more involved. Cousins and Washington's wide receivers should have little trouble beating Philadelphia's dreadful cornerbacks, which will create fantasy opportunity for Kelley.
Todd Gurley - You might have to hold your nose when you click his name, but Gurley gets the Falcons 27th ranked rush defense (DVOA) at home, and his price has come WAY down.
Rob Kelley - Value is tough to come by this week, so Kelley's $4,200 price tag makes him very intriguing.
Thomas Rawls - The Packers defense has been solid against the run the past two weeks, but faced two of the colder offenses in the league (Houston and Philadelphia). In the two weeks prior, Green Bay was gashed for huge games by Robert Kelley and DeMarco Murray.
Rex Burkhead - A GPP play only, Burkhead has looked very good filling in for Giovani Bernard and is playing nearly 50% of the snaps in Cincinnati over the past two weeks. The Bengals backs combined for over 50 DraftKings points in the last matchup against Cleveland.
Le'Veon Bell - That's quite a price drop from David Johnson. Not to take away from the Cardinal, but Bell carries virtually the same ceiling and floor at a generous discount. Bell will likely fall between 25-35 points, a fantastic tange for the position's No. 2 salary.
Rashad Jennings - He's no great shakes, but he's an opportunity to snag good volume for a RB3 cost. Jennings plays in both offensive facets and carries a stronger floor than he's given credit for.
David Johnson - The most consistent option in DFS. At least 27.1 DK points in 7 of the past 8 weeks.
Jeremy Hill - 25 touches last week. Without Gio Bernard, he will be a workhorse vs. Clev.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: wide receiver
|Antonio Brown||PIT||at BUF||8700||4||2||2||2||1||5||-||2||3||3||3.7|
|Odell Beckham Jr||NYG||DAL||8000||7||1||1||5||-||8||-||1||2||6||5.7|
|Larry Fitzgerald||ARI||at MIA||7100||8||3||6||-||10||1||-||-||11||2||8.0|
|Emmanuel Sanders||DEN||at TEN||5700||12||-||5||1||-||6||12||-||5||10||9.0|
|Doug Baldwin||SEA||at GB||6800||-||-||10||-||4||-||-||6||4||-||10.2|
|Julio Jones||ATL||at LA||8500||-||8||12||-||2||-||-||-||8||11||10.6|
|Demaryius Thomas||DEN||at TEN||6000||11||-||3||-||9||11||-||-||9||-||10.8|
|Michael Crabtree||OAK||at KC||6200||-||7||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||11.4|
|Adam Thielen||MIN||at JAC||4700||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||7||11.5|
|Pierre Garcon||WAS||at PHI||4200||-||-||-||9||-||-||3||-||-||-||11.6|
|Robby Anderson||NYJ||at SF||3000||9||-||-||10||-||-||7||-||-||-||11.7|
|Cameron Meredith||CHI||at DET||4000||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||11.9|
|Brandin Cooks||NO||at TB||6400||-||-||9||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||11.9|
|Tyrell Williams||SD||at CAR||6100||-||11||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||8||12.1|
|Tyler Boyd||CIN||at CLE||4900||-||-||-||-||-||7||11||-||-||-||12.2|
|Dez Bryant||DAL||at NYG||6900||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.5|
|Michael Thomas||NO||at TB||6700||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||12.5|
|Dontrelle Inman||SD||at CAR||4800||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||-||12.6|
|Jamison Crowder||WAS||at PHI||5600||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||-||-||-||12.7|
|Ted Ginn Jr Jr.||CAR||SD||4000||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||-||-||12.7|
|Michael Floyd||ARI||at MIA||3900||-||-||-||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.8|
|Brandon LaFell||CIN||at CLE||5000||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||12.9|
Antonio Brown will play the Bills on the road and Buffalo has allowed two different wide receivers to catch a touchdown in each of the last two games. Brown is already a strong play, but if that trend continues his chances for a score are high.
Beckham and the Giants will host the Cowboys. In the previous meeting Beckham was held in check for the most part with only four catches for 73 yards. The Cowboys allow the most receptions to wide receivers in the league (16 per game), which favors Beckham (and also Sterling Shepard).
Mike Evans had a dud of a game last week with only 3 catches for 38 yards, but he has many more positive games than negative ones this year. The Buccaneers have won four straight and will host the Saints who have allowed a wide receiver to catch at least one touchdown in 9 of their 12 games. At $8,900, the cost is high, but a bounce back game seems likely. Tampa Bay also has the highest Vegas team total at 27 points this week.
Jordy Nelson at $6,800 looks very appealing however looking at his splits against Seattle, he has 1, 4, 2 and 9 receptions against the Seahawks. The 9-catch game is the most recent contest in 2014 where Seattle won 36-16. Nelson has been hot lately with a touchdown in five of the last six games. Nelson's last five games include 8, 8, 3, 12, and 7 receptions. Those stats with only a $6,800 price tag seems too good to be true.
Malcolm Mitchell ($4,200) is a cheap alternative who is rising at the right time for Tom Brady and the Patriots. In the last three games Mitchell has exploded onto the scene with 17 receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriots have been dealt some tough injuries to their receiving corps which has opened the door for Mitchell and he hasn't disappointed. Consider him an excellent option for half the cost of the elite options.
Robby Anderson - Against any other opponent, the Jets offense wouldn't be worth even considering. But the 49ers seemed to just give up on the season in the second half last week. Anderson has enough upside against this defense to make the risk worth it given the minimum price.
Michael Floyd - With salaries very tight this week, Floyd stands out as a low cost upside play. He's seen at least 5 targets in four straight and has a nice matchup against a San Francisco defense that has been susceptible against deep balls.
Odell Beckham Jr Jr - Maybe he hasn't wowed us as much as expected, but none of the Big Three Wideouts from the preseason really have. Relative to the actual field, Beckham has been a studly option for most of the year. The Cowboys' shaky secondary shouldn't stand in his way.
Dorial Green-Beckham - He did nothing for his owners last week, but his 10 targets were enough to make us swoon. With 28 over the last 3 weeks, it's clear how ingrained into the offense Doug Pederson wants him.
Mike Evans - TB has the highest projected team total of the week at 27 points. Expect Evans to bouce back strong.
Odell Beckham Jr Jr - Beckham seems underpriced on DK at $8,000.
Antonio Brown - Steelers offense will continue to flow through Brown and Bell because they don't have any other reliable options.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: tight end
|Jimmy Graham||SEA||at GB||5500||2||-||1||1||3||5||-||2||1||4||3.7|
|Jason Witten||DAL||at NYG||3100||-||2||-||4||-||2||1||-||-||1||5.5|
|Tyler Eifert||CIN||at CLE||6000||5||-||5||-||5||-||-||5||5||-||7.0|
|Ladarius Green||PIT||at BUF||3900||7||-||-||3||8||-||8||4||-||-||7.5|
|Vernon Davis||WAS||at PHI||3500||-||-||-||-||-||8||2||7||-||-||8.0|
|C.J. Fiedorowicz||HOU||at IND||3900||8||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||-||8.4|
|Dennis Pitta||BAL||at NE||3600||-||-||4||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.4|
|Jermaine Gresham||ARI||at MIA||2500||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||8.5|
|Kyle Rudolph||MIN||at JAC||4000||-||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.7|
|Coby Fleener||NO||at TB||3700||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
|Austin Hooper||ATL||at LA||2500||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||8.9|
Jimmy Graham ($5,500) and Greg Olsen ($5,000) make up the Top 2 tight end value plays. Graham has scored in three of the last five games and has six catches in back to back games. The Packers have allowed the 2nd most DK points to tight ends since Week 10, which strengthens the chances of Graham having a good outing in a primetime game.
Greg Olsen has struggled to find his groove but at $5,000 that's a cheaper price than we're used to seeing for him, and it's a home game for Olsen and the Panthers. San Diego has allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three of the last six games, including one last week to Cameron Brate. Consider Olsen a decent option this week, but there may be a better alternative at a cheaper price.
Other tight ends to consider include Delanie Walker ($4,400) at home vs. Denver, Cameron Brate ($4,100) at home against New Orleans, Vance McDonald ($3,000) at home vs the Jets and Ladarius Green ($3,900) at Buffalo.
Walker is very cheap this week, but he's facing a tough Broncos defense, but this is a home game for Walker and the Titans. Is that too low to pass up for a player who has scored in four of the last six games? Denver recently gave up 8 receptions for 101 yards to Travis Kelce. Walker is capable of having a big game any given week.
Cameron Brate also has scored in four of the last six games and he has a better matchup against the Saints. The Bucs are projected to score 27 points this week, which favors Brate's chances of finding the end zone.
Vance McDonald was a bust last week, but so was the entire 49ers passing game against Chicago in the snow. They return home to face the Jets who gave up three touchdowns to Dwayne Allen last week. McDonald is more of a GPP play than a cash game play but the results could be big with a favorable matchup.
Ladarius Green burst onto the scene with a breakout game last week. He fills an important void in the Steelers offense that has been missing all year. Look for Pittsburgh to look in his direction again. The matchup against Buffalo is not a good one. The Bills have allowed only three tight ends to reach 5 catches or more this year and only two have scored on them - Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.
Jason Witten - Targeted 14 times against the Giants in Week 1. NYG rank 30th in tight end defense (DVOA)
Ladarius Green - The breakout is real. Green provides exactly what the Steelers offense was missing.
Ladarius Green - There's a risk to overreacting to a big week, but Green is such a good fit in the Pittsburgh offense that the risk/reward makes sense to include him as a top option given how big of a gap remains in his pricing vs. the top guys.
Delanie Walker - This is simply too cheap for a guy of Walker's profile. His target share has slipped over the past two weeks, but he's the Titans' top receiver more often than not, and he's always a threat for big plays down the seam. All of this comes at a mid-level salary, despite similar projections to much more expensive options.
Ladarius Green - Oh yeah, he's amazing. It was easy to forget just what an athletic superfreak Green truly is. I don't like how drastically his price shot up, but who cares? This is Jimmy Graham Jr. we're talking about here.
Jimmy Graham - Has developed into the most consistent TE in the league this season.
Greg Olsen - Expect Olsen to bounce back this week.
Cameron Brate - The highest game total of the week at 51 points. There will be alot of opportunities for Brate in this matchup.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: defense
Minnesota ($3,900) has a great matchup on the road at Jacksonville, who have a league worst -18 turnover ratio. The Vikings should be licking their chops even without their star safety Harrison Smith who is out with a high ankle sprain. You'll have to pay up for them, but it could pay big dividends.
Detroit ($3,600) at home vs. the Bears is another strong matchup. Detroit is coming off a shutout of Drew Brees touchdowns on the road and the Bears have Matt Barkley. If the Lions can stuff Brees, what can they do against Barkley who has injuries at wide receiver?
Cincinnati ($3,500) at Cleveland is a favorable matchup. The Browns have allowed the most points to opposing defense/ST units and this week Robert Griffin III returns to the huddle, who has been dormant with a shoulder injury since Week 1.
Atlanta ($3,100) at Los Angeles is one to consider in what could be a low scoring game against rookie Jared Goff.
Minnesota - Maybe they're swinging back around. Over the past 3 weeks they've been stingy (19.0 PPG allowed), sack-happy (3.9 sacks), and dynamic (2 defensive touchdowns). Against the Jaguars, they're almost a lock for value.
Minnesota - Looks like a week to pay up for defense. Vikings have the top matchup against Blake Bortles who has given up more career pick 6s than he has career wins. 11-10
Detroit - Expect Lions defense to come out strong again as they fight to keep their division lead.
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