Detroit Lions Receivers Key to Daily Fantasy

Detroit Lions RB D'Andre Swift
Detroit Lions RB D'Andre Swift
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 14 - Regular fantasy leagues might be heading toward the playoffs, but old reliable daily fantasy continues to be a one-week-at-a-time occasion, and Week 14 has plenty of fun in store for us. Week 13 was crammed full of appealing options at the high end of running back, but this week it's wide receiver that looks more alluring.

Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts $8100 @ New York Giants

The Eagles are cooking right now, and both the passing game and running game are inside the top three in DVOA. The Giants, meanwhile, are fading fast, with their defense 28th in DVOA over the last four weeks. The Giants have allowed two passing touchdowns in both of their last two games, and the only two rushing quarterbacks who have faced the Giants (Lamar Jackson and Justin Fields) combined for 129 rushing yards against them. It's hard to imagine this Giants team having any answers, and their struggling defense performs even worse at home than it does on the road, ranking 29th at home and 25th on the road.

Usage Suggestions: The price tag is going to keep rostership to a reasonable level this weekend, and there might be more balanced builds we can find in cash games (double up/multipliers). Hurts is a fine play for tournaments, though, and can be stacked with either DeVonta Smith or A.J. Brown, who are both benefiting from Dallas Goedert missing time.

Kirk Cousins $6100 @ Detroit Lions

The Vikings travel to Detroit to face a Lions side that allows the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and has allowed eight top-10 weekly finishes in 13 games. Over the last four games, the Lions are allowing an average of 27.4 fantasy points to quarterbacks, and when these teams met in Week 3, Cousins scored 18.3 points.

Usage Suggestions: Kirk's price is low enough to consider him for all types of games this week. The Lions attract plenty of rostership because of their propensity to turn games into shootouts, so be mindful of how you use Cousins.

Tyler Huntley $5500 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Lamar Jackson suffered what is being reported as a PCL strain against the Broncos, and with him missing for at least this week, Tyler Huntley is back in our lives. Huntley is a limited quarterback, and very much not in the same tier as Jackson as a thrower, but where Huntley shines is his intermediate accuracy and taking the easy throws. Last year this resulted in a large concentration of targets for Mark Andrews, who will likely prove popular this week. Huntley averages 51.6 rushing yards in games where he has played the majority of the snaps, and that kind of floor helps him be very relevant for fantasy purposes.

Usage Suggestions: Huntley will be popular this week. The Steelers defense has been resurgent lately, and it feels borderline that Huntley will be a good play for cash teams, but his price helps a lot. I prefer Huntley in tournaments and would expect he's commonly paired with Mark Andrews. Try to find ways to use Steelers players to get different or make sure you're using low-rostered players elsewhere.

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey $8500 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Elijah Mitchell on IR and Jimmy Garoppolo leaving the game early against the Dolphins, Christian McCaffrey played 82% of snaps for the 49ers, the most he has done since arriving in Week 7. McCaffrey saw 10 targets in a game where the Niners were only trailing during the first quarter, and instead of his receiving production being because of the game script, it was due to rookie quarterback Brock Purdy constantly looking for the checkdown.

Usage Suggestions: The Bucs defense performs well against running backs, so this feels like a stretch for cash games, but McCaffrey has slate-breaking potential for tournaments.

Tony Pollard $6700 vs. Houston Texans

Ezekiel Elliott is back on the Cowboys and seeing enough work that people might stay away from both himself and Tony Pollard this weekend, but there is every chance both Pollard and Elliott can be useful in DFS this week. Over the last four weeks, the Texans have faced the fourth-most rush attempts as teams grind out the clock and the Texans offer little resistance. The Texans have allowed seven running backs to score over 15 PPR points this season and have given up 14 rushing touchdowns to the position. The Cowboys rushing offense ranks fifth over the past four games in DVOA. Pollard averages 25 PPR points over his last five games and even with Elliott playing in three of those, Pollard has proven to be the more reliable option.

Usage Suggestions: There's always a chance Elliott could steal the touchdowns, which makes this play risky for cash games, but it's not out of the question and is a fine one for tournaments.

D'Andre Swift $5800 vs. Minnesota Vikings

D'Andre Swift tied a season-high in touches with 18 against the Jaguars, and he saw his snaps increase for the second week in a row as he seems to have established his role within the offense. Swift's chances of removing Jamaal Williams from the committee are minimal whilst Williams continues to score goal-line touchdowns, but Swift has now out-scored Williams 31.4 to 20.5 in the last two weeks. The Vikings defense is 13th against the run over the last four weeks but they struggle against running backs acting as receivers, ranking 24th in DVOA and having allowed the second most adjusted fantasy points in that setting. In the last three weeks alone, the Vikings have allowed four running backs to catch over five receptions, including a nine-catch haul for Rhamondre Stevenson.

Usage Suggestions: Swift is a borderline play for cash games because of the matchup, but a more potent option for tournaments where he can be correlated with Vikings pass-catchers.

D'Onta Foreman $5400 @ Seattle Seahawks

The Panthers have faced a tough run of games, and D'Onta Foreman has struggled against the Ravens, Broncos, and Bengals, but he was excellent against the Falcons, against whom he scored 50.8 PPR points in two meetings. The Seahawks rushing defense ranks 32nd over the last five weeks, and they have given up 5.3 yards per carry in that period, which is the second-most across the league. Those numbers are made slightly worse by the 283 yards the Raiders put upon them in Week 12, but that game isn't a complete outlier with the Seahawks allowing 144 yards to a Bucs offense in Week 10 that had struggled to run the ball and even the one-dimensional Rams ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns in Week 13. The Seahawks can't stop the run, and if Foreman is able to play through a foot injury, he could be a smash.

Usage Suggestions: At this price, I'm willing to roll out Foreman in cash games and tournaments if he can get in some practice between now and game time. If Foreman doesn't manage that, Chuba Hubbard at $4800 comes into play.

James Cook $4600 vs. New York Jets

James Cook out-carried and out-produced Devin Singletary during the win over the Patriots. This was the first time this season that Cook was the more valuable running back, also scoring more fantasy points, despite Singletary scoring a touchdown. The Jets are second in DVOA against the pass in the last four weeks, but they rank 16th against the run and allowed Dalvin Cook to score 23.6 PPR points against them in Week 10. Cook might not have complete control of the job just yet, but he has averaged 51 rushing yards in his last three games along with 4.3 targets per game. At this price, he's an interesting play.

Usage Suggestions: Cook is a stronger play in tournaments than cash and can be correlated with Garrett Wilson, who is seeing the majority of the Jets' high-value targets.

Wide Receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown $7800 vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are 29th against WR1s in DVOA and have allowed four wide receivers to score 18 or more PPR points in the last four weeks. St. Brown has averaged 10 targets per game over his last six games, putting up an average of 20.5 PPR points. Detroit's offense ranks seventh in home fixtures and they have the ninth-best passing offense over the last four weeks. The Vikings have given up the most receiving yards in the league, allowing a league-worst 8.4 yards per target and allow the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers. It's very hard to see the Vikings having any answers here.

Usage Suggestions: St. Brown's consistent volume is perfect for cash games and his high-ceiling outcomes also mix well in tournament settings.

Chris Godwin $6700 @ San Francisco 49ers

The Bucs offense is struggling, but Chris Godwin is doing just fine, averaging 20.8 PPR points over his last three games, and it would have been more if he hadn't had a touchdown ruled out for a penalty against the Saints. Since Week 10, Godwin's 11.3 targets per game are the second most in the league. The 49ers defense is a tough matchup, but they did allow Greg Dortch to score 19.3 PPR points against them when operating predominantly from the slot in Week 11, and this is an area Godwin can exploit too.

Usage Suggestions: Godwin is a good play in both cash games or tournaments. For tournaments, he can be correlated with Christian McCaffrey or Deebo Samuel, who both look to be good plays under Brock Purdy.

Christian Kirk $6600 and Zay Jones $4700 @ Tennessee Titans

Over the Jaguars' last four games, Christian Kirk has been a top-18 wide receiver in three of them, as well as a top-10 wide receiver in two of those fixtures. The Titans allow the most adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers, and Kirk, who averages a 26% target share over the last six games, should be able to pile up receptions on them. Where Zay Jones can shine is in the deep passing game, an area in which teams have targeted the Titans 18 times in the last four games, the second-most in the league, and Jones has averaged one deep target per game over the last four weeks.

Usage Suggestions: Kirk is in play for both tournaments and cash games, with a slight leaning to cash games where the receptions total could be more meaningful.

Tyler Lockett $6500 vs. Carolina Panthers

Since Week 8, Tyler Lockett is averaging 15.0 PPR points per game and now ranks eighth in DYAR. Lockett has scored touchdowns in each of his last five games and has had at least 60 receiving yards in four of those games. Carolina allows the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers and over the last four weeks is allowing a 70.7% catch rate, which is the sixth-highest in the league.

Usage Suggestions: Lockett is a good play for cash games and can be correlated with D'Onta Foreman in tournaments.

Deebo Samuel $6100 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Brock Purdy under center, Kyle Shanahan is going to work some magic against the Buccaneers, a situation that is further enforced by Christian McCaffrey struggling slightly with health and being the only good running back healthy. If you're not a fan of the McCaffrey play, then Deebo Samuel should be in consideration. Between Weeks 4 and 7, Samuel averaged 1.8 rush attempts per game, but since then he has averaged 3.3 carries. Samuel tied a season-high in targets with 10 against the Dolphins and it felt clear that Purdy felt more comfortable targeting him than going deep to Brandon Aiyuk.

Usage Suggestions: Even with Samuel's price down as low as it is, there is too much risk involved in a Brock Purdy-led offense to feel comfortable about this in cash games.

Jerry Jeudy $5400 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Broncos aren't much fun this year, but there are a few signs of life to cling on to, with them ranking 18th in passing offense over the last three weeks. Whilst that's nothing to hang a banner for, plenty of teams worse than that are providing usable weeks in the right circumstances, and in a divisional matchup with the Chiefs the Broncos simply have to put up some points. Courtland Sutton looks set to miss this game with a hamstring injury, leaving Jeudy as the de facto WR1, a position the Chiefs rank 26th against.

Usage Suggestions: Nothing about the Broncos is reliable, and as such, we should avoid them apart from in tournament settings.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews $6500 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Tyler Huntley loves throwing to Mark Andrews. Over the five games that Huntley played in 2021, Andrews was targeted 55 times and totted up 498 receiving yards and three touchdowns, which was good for 19.5 PPR points per game. The Steelers are 10th-best against the position in DVOA, but they have struggled recently, allowing Jelani Woods to have eight catches for 98 yards in Week 12.

Usage Suggestions: With this game carrying some uncertainty and being a division game, things could always get ugly, which isn't what we're after in cash games, but the tournament-winning upside is worth chasing.

T.J. Hockenson $5100 @ Detroit Lions

After three full seasons in Detroit, T.J. Hockenson was traded to the Vikings in November, and since then he is tied with Travis Kelce for the most receptions amongst tight ends with 30. The Lions allowed the third-most adjusted fantasy points to tight ends and seven touchdowns to the position.

Usage Suggestions: Hockenson is cheap and consistent enough to be in play for cash games here and can be used as part of Vikings and Lions stacks in tournaments.

Daniel Bellinger $3300 @ Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger returned in Week 13 from a fractured eye-socket injury that had kept him sidelined since Week 7. In Bellinger's last three healthy games, he has averaged 4.3 targets per game and 10.9 PPR points. Bellinger isn't offering a huge ceiling, but with the Giants so depleted at tight end, he can return value at this price.

Usage Suggestions: Bellinger is a budget option designed to open up salary elsewhere. He can be used in either cash or tournaments, but make sure the savings you're accessing by playing him open up big ceilings elsewhere.

As ever, this article will be updated until game time on Sunday, and if you have any questions don't be afraid to reach out on Twitter or in our Discord.

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