NFL WEEK 14 Core Plays

Christian McCaffrey

FanDuel: $11,000 / DraftKings: $10,300 / Yahoo: $44 / F-Draft: $19,400


McCaffrey was one of the bigger disappointments in DFS last week, but he still racked up 17 fantasy points and was featured on the Milly Maker lineup. It wasn’t all his fault, as the play-calling for the Panthers couldn’t have been worse. Despite being huge favorites at home and only trailing by one score most of the second half, Carolina aired it out 46 times and only gave McCaffrey 14 rushing attempts. It was such a bad loss that the Panthers decided to cut ties with head coach Ron Rivera, even though there are only four games left in the season.

We can forgive C-Mac for one bad outing, especially since he draws the perfect bounce-back matchup against the Falcons, who have long struggled with pass-catching running backs. In their first meeting this season, C-Mac scored 33 fantasy points (DK scoring) without a touchdown. That’s incredibly impressive. We don’t have to worry about the Panthers limiting his snaps since the spread is set at three points and we don’t have to worry about the weather with this game being played in Atlanta. I’ll gladly take C-Mac over Dalvin Cook, who is nursing a clavicle injury. He could easily re-aggravate the injury or see limited action if the Vikings jump out to a big lead against the Lions.

Derrick Henry

FanDuel: $9,100 / DraftKings: $8,200 / Yahoo: $35 / F-Draft: $15,400


You know it’s getting late in the season when Henry racks up 188, 159, and 149 rushing yards in consecutive games. That’s not to mention the 36 receiving yards and five touchdowns scored during that stretch. While he’s been great all season, he seems to get even better the closer we get to the playoffs. We’ve seen him go on similar runs in each of the last two seasons. While his price feels inflated, it’s hard to argue when you look at his recent production. The Titans are a run-first team that wants to give Henry 25 touches a game.

While he doesn’t have the biggest role in the passing game, he’ll see two or three targets per game and he’s already scored two receiving touchdowns. The real reason to like him this week is a matchup against the Raiders, who are ranked 26th in DVOA against the run. Meanwhile, the Titans offensive line has created the ninth most adjusted line yards from a run-blocking standpoint. The Titans are still fighting for their division and while this game is on the road, they are listed as 2.5-point favorites. It’s also worth noting that this game sneakily has the third highest total on the main slate.

Alvin Kamara

FanDuel: $7,600 / DraftKings: $7,000 / Yahoo: $28 / F-Draft: $13,200


Kamara has not scored a touchdown since Week 3. He has 23 touches in the redzone and only has one touchdown to show for it. That’s among one of the worst marks for any running back in the NFL. We know Kamara is great around the goal line and was a touchdown scoring machine over the last two seasons, so we should expect some positive regression over the last four games. His workload is trending in the right direction, as he has played at least two-thirds of the snaps in three of the last four games. Given the close spread of this week’s game, we can expect 10-14 carries and 8-10 targets for Kamara.

My hope is that a matchup against the Niners will scare many away from the Saints. I don’t mind targeting great players in difficult matchups, especially when they are at home in a dome and especially when they are priced at a big discount. Kamara has been scoring double-digit fantasy points nearly every week, so add a touchdown or two on top of the yards and we have ourselves a potential smash play. The Niners are good against the run and have a good pass rush, which means the Saints will focus on a short passing attack. That should bode extremely well for Kamara. The fact that the Saints still have an implied total of 23 points tells us everything we need to know about this difficult matchup.

Zach Pascal

FanDuel: $6,100 / DraftKings: $5,500 / Yahoo: $16 / F-Draft: $10,900


On Wednesday, T.Y. Hilton said that he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to return this season, so he’s highly unlikely to suit up this week. While the Colts are expected to have Parris Campbell back this week, Pascal will still serve as the WR1 in this offense. Jack Doyle will see a fair share of targets as well, but there is room for both to eat with Hilton and Eric Ebronboth out. Pascal is coming off of a solid outing against the Titans where he caught seven of 10 targets for 109 yards. At his price point, we would gladly take a repeat performance in Week 14.

While I like his projected target share, the real reason to like Pascal is a matchup against the Buccaneers. They have been the biggest pass funnel in football this season, ranking first in DVOA against the run and 19th in DVOAagainst the pass. Their secondary might be the worst in the NFL, as they have allowed the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers. The Colts are a run-first team, but could struggle to get the ground game going and are underdogs on the road. If we see Jacoby Brissett air it out 35-40 times again, Pascal could be in for a double-digit target game against an atrocious secondary.

Tyrell Williams

FanDuel: $5,700 / DraftKings: $5,000 / Yahoo: $17 / F-Draft: $9,800


I know what you are thinking… the last time Williams was featured, he put up a dud. I hear you, but circumstances have changed in Oakland. Hunter Renfrow was seeing close to a 20% target share before getting injured against the Jets. This has made an already concentrated passing attack even more concentrated. Over the last two games, Williams and Darren Wallereach have over 30% of the air yards share. It hasn’t led to much production for Williams, but that’s largely because the offense was only able to muster up nine points in both games combined.

The Raiders now return home to face a pass-funnel Titans team. On the season, Tennessee is ranked fourth in DVOA against the run and 24th in DVOA against the pass. Their secondary is already without Malcolm Butler and could potentially be without Adoree’ Jackson, who left last week’s game with a knee injury and was unable to return. If there was ever a spot for Williams to break out of his slump, this is it. The best part is that we get to target Williams at low ownership and at a discounted price point. I won’t be looking his way in cash games, but he’s one of my favorite tournament plays of the slate.

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