Daily Fantasy Football is the ultimate week-to-week test of acumen. There is worry about bye weeks or injured players like in season-long formats. FanDuel offers a variety of cash and tournament contests consisting of a single week of matchups. Projecting player ownership to build lineups is an integral strategy to long-term success. Here are the key players for Week 14 of the 2016 season:
*Ownership Ranges to be added on Friday*
THE CHALK PLAYS
Russell Wilson (at GB), $7,700: The Packers are the No.4 matchup for quarterbacks over the past five weeks, even allowing 222 total yards and two scores to Brock Osweiler last week. Wilson has hit 2.2x value or better in 4-of-5 recent games despite only two passing touchdowns over the past two weeks. Wilson is a passing regression candidate in a prime matchup, outside the top-10 quarterback salaries for the Sunday-Monday slate. Expect 10% or higher ownership for Wilson.
Jeremy Hill (at CLE), $6,900: The win-less Browns have faced the second-most rushing attempts against them in the NFL this season. At 4.5 yards-per-carry and 13 touchdowns on the ground, Cleveland is an elite matchup for opposing running backs. While the efficiency has been underwhelming, Hill has seen 18 and 25 touches in the two games since Giovani Bernard was lost for the season, hitting 1.9x and 2.0x value respectively. Hill is a strong bet for one, if not two, touchdowns as the Bengals are sturdy home favorites. Expect 10-15% ownership for Hill as a top-5 play.
Devonta Freeman (at LA), $7,500: Freeman has been a quality combination of floor and ceiling the past six games with a low-water-mark of 1.4x and hitting 2.8x or better in three contests. The Falcons are one of the strongest favorites of the week and the Rams are a top-5 running back matchup over the past five weeks, only holding down Jonathan Stewart in that stretch. Expect 10-15% ownership for Freeman.
Odell Beckham (vs DAL), $8,500: The Cowboys are allowing the second-best completion rate (70.3%) in the NFL, struggle to rush the passer (23 sacks), and have just four interceptions. Big-play threats DeSean Jackson and Antonio Brown have torched Dallas of late and Beckham has double-digit targets in four of his last five games and at least seven in every game this season. At his second-lowest salary of the year, Beckham is the best value of the top receivers in Week 14. Beckham will push ownership into the 15-20% range.
Demaryius Thomas (at TEN), $6,900: The Titans are the top matchup for receivers over the last five weeks and have been lit up by Marquess Wilson (8-125-1), T.Y. Hilton (5-97-1), Jordy Nelson (12-126-1), and Davante Adams (6-156-0) over that span. Thomas, like Odell Beckham of this week's recommendations, is a solid target floor each week. Thomas has six in each game this season and at least 10 looks in six of the last seven contests. Finally, Thomas is a strong touchdown regression candidate (one score over last 29 receptions) and sits at his lowest salary of the season this week. Thomas falls into the 5-10% ownership range this week.
Cameron Brate (vs NO), $5,600: The Saints have been an average tight end matchup of late, but Brate is the clear No.2 target for the improved Tampa Bay passing game with their recent injuries and Jameis Winston rising. Despite a strong stretch with 3-of-5 games at 2.4x value or better, Brate is still on the lower band of tight end salaries for Week 14. Brate will be a top-5 owned tight end, approaching or surpassing 10% this week.
Adam Vinatieri (vs HOU), $5,100: The Colts have the second-highest Vegas team total of the week and get their home dome for Vinatieri, who has missed just two kicks (field goal or extra point) all season. Houston's defense is forcing a turnover on just 7.8% of drives this season (No.26 in the NFL), so expect the Colts to see scoring opportunities regularly.
Bengals (at CLE), $5,000: The Browns remain the clear top matchup for opposing defenses over the trailing five weeks of data. They are one of five teams to average two turnovers or more over the span and have a ridiculous 23 sacks allowed in those four games. While an average pass-rushing unit, Cincinnati is a ball-hawking secondary with seven interceptions over the last five weeks, second in the NFL. Only playing in Cincinnati would make this matchup more juicy for the Bengals.
Vikings (at JAX), $4,800: The Jaguars (read: Blake Bortles) are a turnover machine with 12 giveaways and three defensive touchdowns allowed over the last five games. Minnesota is the No.5 rush defense by ProFootballReference, so expect Jacksonville to be even more one-dimensional than usual. And the Vikings are No.2 in pass defense, second to only Denver overall and many of the main categories like completion rate. Expect 20% or higher ownership as the No.1 defense play for Minnesota.
THE SNEAKY PLAYS
Carson Wentz (vs WAS), $6,500: At a bargain salary, Wentz is an upside play this week. Washington is the top quarterback matchup over the past five weeks, including strong games by typically tepid performers Sam Bradford (307-2) and Carson Palmer (300-3). Jordan Matthews is projected to be back for Philadelphia this week. Also, Wentz is a regression candidate with just three passing scores over his last five games. An optimal matchup and adding back Matthews are reasons to expect a strong game from one of the five most affordable quarterbacks in Week 14. Expect less than 3% ownership for Wentz this week.
Matt Forte (at SF), $7,700: The 49ers rush defense is the optimal matchup weekly - like the Browns for opposing running backs or defenses. San Francisco has allowed a ridiculous 140 carries over the last five games, lapping the rest of the NFL, and 4.9 yard-per-carry, also tops in the NFL. Forte is on a three-game streak without finding the end zone. With the toothless 49ers offense opposite the Jets, expect them to stick with the run game more than most weeks, like Week 13 when Forte saw just nine carries in a Colts rout. Expect 5-10% ownership for Forte.
Brandon LaFell (at CLE), $5,800: LaFell has seen sturdy targets (9,9,7) since A.J. Green was lost for the season. His salary, however, still resides in the WR4 zone of pricing for the main FanDuel slate. The Browns have allowed double-digit scoring games to the last eight leading receivers against them. LaFell is projected with less than 5% ownership.
Kenny Britt (vs ATL), $6,900: The Falcons are a top matchup for opposing passing game, allowing 26 touchdowns (second to only Cleveland) on the season and a balmy 67% completion rate. Their pass rush is average at best and Kenny Britt is one of the unsung consistent receivers of the season. Britt has at least six targets in each of the last eight games and at least 40 receiving yards in all but one game this season. Expect less than 5% ownership for Britt.
Jason Witten (at NYG), $5,100: Witten is coming off his first box score shut out in eight years as Dallas struggled for most of the game against Minnesota. Now at his lowest salary of the season and coming off three shoulder-shrug performances in a row, Witten is a strong regression candidate. The Giants are stingy against wide receivers (No.3), but generous for tight ends (No.30) over the past five weeks. Witten is projected to be in less than 5% of lineups.
Roberto Aguayo (vs NO), $4,500: Aguayo is by no means for the faint of heart, having missed seven field goals and two extra points on the season. However, the Saints are the top kicker matchup in the NFL over the past five weeks, allowing nearly three field goals per game and adding two extra points. Plus Aguayo is showing improvement of late, hitting 8-of-10 kicks since Week 9.
Jets (at SF), $4,500: The 49ers have allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL over the past five weeks and have a moderate seven turnovers. While the Jets struggle on the back-end (fourth-worst pass defense by ProFootballReference), they are a quality run-stopping unit (just 3.5 yards-per-carry allowed). Turning the 49ers on-dimensional is key as even the Bears and Patriots logged five sacks or more each in recent matchups against San Francisco. The Jets are in the 1% or less ownership bucket this week.
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