Dan's DFS picks for NFL Week 14
By Dan Podheiser
I could use the $700 first-place prize, too, as my daily fantasy bankroll keeps on plummeting by the minute. Last week's picks resulted in another stinker of a lineup, with five of my players scoring in the single digits on DraftKings. I sure know how to pick 'em, right?
Oh well. I may be in a daily fantasy slump, but at least I crushed it last weekend on the poker tables at Twin River Casino.
For a full explanation of the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel scoring, read this blog post by Daily Fantasy Sports 101.
Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (DK: $6,800; FD: $8,300)
Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown almost singlehandedly lifted my squad to a cash in last week's DraftKings Millionaire Maker, as the Steelers duo combined for more than half the points on my entire team. That's insane!
Roethlisberger, when healthy, has proven that he's an elite fantasy quarterback, maybe the best in the game. The only question with him, week to week, is whether or not he'll remain healthy throughout four quarters.
This week, Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a matchup with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals, which always proves to be a wild shootout when the two teams meet. This price is just too good to turn down a top quarterback who will be bringing his A-game on Sunday.
Running Back (DK): Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers ($4,800)
Draughn, a veteran who has come out of nowhere to be the featured back on a terrible 49ers team, is realistically the only viable option left standing in San Francisco. That means plenty of touches for the 28-year-old, which bodes well for this week's matchup against the hapless Cleveland Browns, who are second-worst in the league against the run.
Draughn has also proven to be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield, as he reeled in five passes on six targets for 50 yards last week against a stingy Chicago Bears defense. I love Draughn at this price and in this matchup.
Running Back (FD): Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8,000)
Martin, the workhorse of my season-long fantasy team this year, is having a fantastic season as the second-leading rusher in football. He's been one of the most consistent backs all year long, and this week, he gets a great matchup at home against a putrid New Orleans Saints defense. Look for Martin to get the rock 20-25 times and rush for over 100 yards in this one.
Wide Receiver (DK): Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ($8,900)
If Roethlisberger is playing, Brown is the best fantasy wide receiver available, bar none. Last week, Brown caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for a third. He's simply unstoppable at this point, and in a big game on Sunday against the Bengals, I'm looking for him to see a dozen or more targets.
Wide Receiver (FD): Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills ($7,200)
Watkins had a slow start to his 2015 campaign, but the second-year stud out of Clemson has come on of late, posting three 100-yard receiving games in his last five contests. This week, Watkins and the Bills have a terrific matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are riding high off their win over the New England Patriots last week.
The Eagles' defense received praise for picking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady off three times in the game, but Brady still managed to throw for 312 yards and picked apart the Eagles at will late in the fourth quarter. The fact remains that the Eagles' secondary is awful, and Watkins should have no problem finding the ball on Sunday.
Tight End: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DK: $2,700; FD: $5,500)
Seferian-Jenkins was targeted six times while playing just 21 snaps on Sunday, and the second-year tight end is finally looking comfortable in the Bucs' offense coming off an injury. With Tampa Bay's terrific matchup against the Saints this week, look for Seferian-Jenkins to continue his rise as one of Jameis Winston's top receiving options. At these low prices, it's worth taking a gamble in GPP tournaments.
Defense: San Francisco 49ers (DK: $2,100; FD: $4,300)
The 49ers are the lowest-priced defense on the board on DraftKings this week, which is confusing given their matchup against Johnny Manziel and the Browns on Sunday. Give me a high school team with 10 players against the Browns and I'll start them for less than $3,000. There are better defenses out there, but lock up the 49ers at this price and save your money for the skill positions.