As we hit the final quarter stretch of the 2018 NFL regular season, most teams still have much to play for and are either trying to develop their young talent or keep their playoff hopes alive.
In Week 14, the main DraftKings slate features 13 games. In order to help navigate your roster options, I’ll provide some data points for two or three players at each position that have the potential to return value over their salary implied totals.
Before reviewing some of the possible roster options for this weekend, just a couple of quick notes beforehand.
All data and statistics included in this article are provided courtesy of FantasyData.com. All points allowed, points scored, and pricing is based on DraftKings (DK) data. In addition, all positional rankings and rankings for points allowed to each position is based on a points per game basis.
With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the fantasy-relevant quarterbacks on Sunday.
Alvin Kamara, $8100 (RB5) & Mark Ingram, $5700 (RB20)
Saints at Bucs – Game Total 54 (NO –9.5)
In addition to the positive matchup against the Buccaneers run defense (which we will get to in a minute), the weather forecast for this game is calling for sustained winds of anywhere from 15 to 25 mph and possible heavy rain showers. Although we will need to watch this report heading into the weekend, if this holds true, I will have heavy interest in both of these running backs and possibly play them together in the same lineup as heavy winds and rain tends to funnel a few extra play calls to the running game.
Even if the weather prediction for this game were to change, there are still plenty of reasons to be interested in both of these backs. Although Kamara is averaging 24.8 DK points per game this season, since Ingram returned from suspension in Week 5, Kamara has averaged 19.1 while Ingram’s average has come in at 13.8. In addition, over the eight games they have played together, Kamara has averaged 16.9 touches per game to Ingram’s 14.0. Needless to say, New Orleans utilizes both of these running backs at fairly equal levels.
Although both Kamara and Ingram have been quiet each of the past two weeks – at least by their standards – this game against the Buccaneers is a prime bounce back spot. With Ingram sidelined in Week 1, Kamara put up his best fantasy total of the season against the Buccaneers when he scored 46.1 DK points. In addition to the potential poor weather which could funnel play calling to the running game, Tampa Bay is allowing the 5th most DK points to running backs this season at 30.4 per game. They have allowed eight opposing backs to total at least 19.5 DK points and six of these backs have put up 31.5 or more.
Aaron Jones, $7200 (RB15)
Packers vs Falcons – Game Total 51 (GB –4.5)
As many Packers fans rejoiced at the news that Mike McCarthy was finally relieved of his coaching duties, it’s fair to wonder how things might change moving forward under interim head coach Joe Philbin. At this point in the season, we shouldn’t expect the offensive system to change that drastically, but it’s also fair to wonder if McCarthy’s use of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams didn’t play at least one small factor in their decision to let him go.
Case in point, in last week’s horrendous loss to the Cardinals, Jones was in on 39 snaps and Williams was in for 38. Jones touched the ball in that contest 15 times to Williams’ 11. However, in the three previous weeks, Jones had received 54 touches and Williams had only received a total of 5. This was the type of usage that put Packers fans on full-on-tilt. Even with the even snap split last week, Jones was still able to log 15.2 DK points to Williams 6.7 and Jones has averaged 24.0 DK points over his last four games.
With McCarthy now gone, I’m willing to bet that Jones finally gets the workload we have all been waiting for and it couldn’t come at a better time. This season, the Falcons are allowing the 3rd most DK points to running backs at 32.7 per game. Atlanta has allowed at least one opposing running back to score 20.0 or more DK points in nine out of twelve games and 30.0 or more in five of those contests.
In addition, this game will be played in Green Bay and the current weather forecast is calling for temperatures in the low to mid 20s. Again, if this weather prediction holds true, it would be a slight downgrade to the passing games in this matchup and could funnel extra play calls to the run game.
Christian McCaffrey, $9300 (RB4)
Panthers @ Browns – Game Total 47 (CAR –1.5)
After exploding for 52.7 DK points against the Seahawks in Week 12, McCaffrey followed that up with a 34.1 outing against the Buccaneers this past Sunday. After only scoring 1 touchdown over the first six games, over the past six contests he has averaged 32.5 DK points per game and has scored a total of 5 rushing touchdowns and 5 receiving touchdowns. On the year, he has scored more than 20.0 DK points in eight of twelve games and has scored 32.0 or more in four of the past five. As he is a true dual-threat running back, he offers ample upside even at his premium salary point.
Although the weather in Cleveland is expected to be just above freezing, McCaffrey will have the opportunity to keep the train rolling against an exploitable Cleveland rush defense that is allowing the 6th most DK points to running backs at 29.5 per game. On the year, the Browns have allowed seven individual running backs to total 19.0 or more DK points and they have been especially vulnerable to dual threat backs that possess a skill set similar to McCaffrey’s. These include James Conner (38.2 and 41.2), Melvin Gordon (38.0), Kareem Hunt (33.1), and Joe Mixon (22.5).
Also consider that reports currently suggest that Cam Newton is dealing with pain in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. Although Newton is currently scheduled to play, if the Panthers can find success in the run game this weekend, they may tend to lean on the running game even more. As a result, I like McCaffrey’s odds to continue to crank out the fantasy points again on Sunday.
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