DAVANTE ADAMS ($9,300)
Adams is reaching historic wide receiver salary levels; only three wide receiver weeks have had a higher salary in the past four years. No wide receiver has ever hit a salary of 10,000, but Adams could if he continues to garner his typical volume. He has seen over a 30% target share in six of nine games where he has run a route on at least 80% of dropbacks.
Adams is now participating in the highest-total game of the weekend against the NFL's third-worst coverage unit. He has a 43% advantage in his individual matchup against Amani Oruwariye, according to our chart. He could be the third-highest owned player on the main slate, but if DFS players don’t make it a priority to pay up for him, he may very well leave those rosters in the dust.
MICHAEL THOMAS ($7,100)
Michael Thomas is rounding into form after his return from injury and is coming off a second game where he saw over 10 targets and 100 air yards. The concerns about Taysom Hill’s usage with his legs are valid, but he at least showed the ability to spearhead an efficient passing offense last week. He has also been completely locked in on Thomas, who has seen at least 30% of the team target share and 40% of the team air-yard share in each of the past four weeks.
The betting market doesn’t expect a shootout, as this game is tied for the lowest total on the main slate. This should keep ownership away from Thomas, with our projections at just over 6%. Few wide receivers can match Davante Adams' upside, but Thomas comes close at a much more reasonable salary.
ADAM THIELEN ($7,000)
Thielen returned from his one-game absence to an identical target share as teammate Justin Jefferson. Jefferson saw a slightly higher air-yard share, but the wide receivers had almost identical usage. The rookie was more productive, though, and has now passed Thielen in salary on both DFS sites. Our ownership projections have Thielen as the higher-owned option this weekend, but the matchup is difficult against our seventh-ranked coverage unit.
Jamel Dean is expected to play against the Vikings, which means Thielen should have a slightly easier matchup on a majority of his routes against Carlton Davis. Positive game script should be on the side of the Vikings' pass-catchers, with PFF Greenline close to providing value on them covering the 6.5-point spread.
The total is tied for the second-highest on the main slate, with both offenses in the top 10 of our opponent-adjusted grades. Thielen should see enough volume to pay off his salary even if this game doesn’t go over the total.
ALLEN ROBINSON II ($6,800)
An opposing matchup doesn’t get any easier than the Texans’ secondary, which has the worst opponent-adjusted coverage grade in the NFL. Our individual matchup chart gives Robinson a 25% advantage over Vernon Hargreaves III, who has the 12th-lowest coverage grade among cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps.
But one question continues to plague Robinson: Can we trust Chicago's quarterback play? Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t all of a sudden turned into an elite quarterback, but he has at least been adequate over this two-game stretch. If anything can help Trubisky turn the corner, it's the Texans’ secondary.
AMARI COOPER ($6,500)
Cooper rode garbage time production to a relevant fantasy performance in Week 13, emerging as Andy Dalton‘s favorite target. He has seen 20.9% of the team's target share and 29.7% of the air-yard share over the past three games.
The game total projects to be the second-lowest on the main slate, but the matchup is the best the Cowboys have seen in their past three games. The Bengals rank 24th in our opponent-adjusted coverage grade and have the 27th-ranked overall defense. If Cooper is going to blow up in an easy matchup, this is his best opportunity, as he has a 31% advantage over cornerback LeShaun Sims. At under 5% ownership, Cooper makes for an intriguing one-off wide receiver option in DFS this weekend.
DEVANTE PARKER ($6,100)
Parker quietly has the seventh-most targets among wide receivers over the past three weeks. This has resulted in a 25% team target share and 33.4% air-yard share. He is now tasked with helping the Dolphins' offense keep pace with the best unit in the NFL.
PFF Greenline leans slightly in their direction to cover the 7.5-point spread but doesn’t find enough value to make it a worthwhile bet. The total is intriguing, however, as the expectation is that we see more points than the 50.5 number. If this occurs, it is safe to assume that the majority of the offense goes through Parker in a catch-up environment for the Dolphins. Parker will have few issues paying off his relatively modest salary if this scenario plays out.
JAMISON CROWDER ($5,400)
Crowder saw over a 30% target share last week for just the second time this season. He is in line for even more work with Denzel Mims being unavailable. The expected game script is the same as it always is for the Jets, but this time they get to face off against our 21st-ranked defensive unit. The Seahawks have started to perform better in coverage as of late, but this could also be explained by their offense falling off a cliff.
If this is a rebound spot for the Seahawks' offense, one of the biggest beneficiaries will be Jamison Crowder as the Jets try to keep pace with our fifth-ranked offense.
T.Y. HILTON ($5,100)
Hilton is coming off his best performance of the 2020 season and has suddenly become fantasy-relevant again over the past two games. His salary quickly increased by $800, but he still seems like a viable option based on matchup. He is participating in the fourth-highest total on the main slate, and the Raiders' secondary ranks 23rd in our opponent-adjusted coverage grades.
This does seem like a spot where we could be buying Hilton at his peak, but the opportunity could be too much to resist in Week 14 — especially since he projects for only 7.5% ownership and could easily hit value given his modest salary.
TRAVIS KELCE ($7,400)
This should be fairly obvious by this point, but Kelce is doing historic things at the tight end position. He saw 30% of the team’s targets and a 42% air-yard share last week within the NFL's best offense. He should be the top-owned player on the main slate for good reason, as no one is close to the probability of breaking the slate as Kelce.
The Dolphins have a pair of quality cornerbacks, but no one on their defense can matchup with Kelce. He has a 49% advantage over Eric Rowe, which will once again make him the preferred option for Patrick Mahomes.
DARREN WALLER ($6,800)
Waller is coming off a slate-breaking performance after his ownership dropped by 10% following a disappointing Week 12. This is a lesson to not immediately sell players off a disappointing performance, as Waller was one of our favorite plays in this model last week. It is tough to go back to the well after a player doesn't live up to expectations, but the reasons for why they made a great play in one week are typically present the following week.
Waller is the only tight end who can come close to matching Kelce’s upside, which makes him an intriguing pivot off the projected top-owned player on the slate.
JORDAN AKINS ($2,900)
We saw the post-hype sleeper pay off in a huge way at the tight end position last week, with Akins being the perfect candidate to do it once again in Week 14. He was owned in 12% of DFS lineups but produced a measly three fantasy points after not seeing the volume increase most projected. Akins did run his highest percentage of routes based on dropbacks since Week 3, which does cement him as a worthwhile dart throw at tight end. If he gets in the end zone, he will easily pay off his salary.
ROBBY ANDERSON ($6,500)
There is no question who the No. 1 wide receiver is in Carolina after D.J. Moore was placed on injured reserve. Anderson continues to be discounted, especially on FanDuel, compared to his actual opportunities. He saw 41% of the Panthers' air yards last week on 19.4% of their targets. The matchup is not ideal, but this should help keep Anderson’s ownership at acceptable levels.
MIKE GESICKI ($5,700)
Gesicki is fresh off his highest-targeted game of the season, one in which he ran a route on over 80% of dropbacks for just the third time this season. He was targeted on over 30% of his routes and accounted for 25.6% of the team target share. If you're not paying up at the tight end position, Gesicki offers intriguing upside in a shootout environment for a fraction of the price.