Week 14 features an 11-game main slate that kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase (Chris Raybon’s come included with a FantasyLabs subscription) within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
NFL DFS Quarterback Picks
There’s not a lot to love at the top this week, with reasonable criticisms to be made about both of the top quarterbacks in salary and projection. We’ll hit on both of them later.
Instead, my favorite semi-expensive quarterback play is Brock Purdy ($6,500). You either die a value play or live long enough to see yourself become a top pick, and that’s exactly what happened with Purdy. After a few weeks as a screaming value, his 32.46-point score last week has finally pushed his salary up closer to where it should be.
It’s a similar matchup to last week, taking on a team that struggles in pass defense but has the talent on offense to push the pace. Seattle is no Philadelphia (last week’s opponent) offensively, but Purdy dropped 30+ despite only 19 points from the opposing Eagles.
With Seattle implied for around that number, the odds are good that Purdy and the passing attack will stay aggressive through the bulk of this one.
He’s an excellent play for all contest types, with some obvious stacking partners for GPPs.
The only player with a better Pts/Sal projection than Purdy this week is Jake Browning ($5,200). Thrust into a starting role after Joe Burrow was lost for the season, Browning had two dreadful appearances before exploding for just under 30 DraftKings points on Monday night football.
The timing of that game explains why Browning’s salary remains so low. DraftKings releases the following week’s salaries late Sunday night/early Monday morning, well before Monday night football is played.
While we could certainly view the good game from Browning as a fluke, I think his true ability is closer to that than his two duds. The two down games came against the elite defense of the Ravens without a full week to prepare, and the also-strong pass defense of the Steelers. Those games also came without a healthy Tee Higgins ($5,900) at wide receiver, with Higgins returning last week.
While this week’s opponent — the Colts are a top 10 pass defense by DVOA — they’ll actually be the worst unit Browning has faced. I’m not expecting another 30-point performance, but even cracking 20 would be nearly 4x his Week 14 salary. He’s a solid cash game play, and makes sense in certain GPP builds as well.
The Bills-Chiefs game has the week’s highest total at 48.5, leading to Josh Allen ($8,300) and Patrick Mahomes ($7,900) projecting as the two top quarterbacks on the slate. However, both are overpriced for their likeliest range of outcomes. Allen has to contend with a tough Chiefs defense that ranks third in DVOA against the pass, and Mahomes has just one game over 26 DraftKings points all season. Of course, any meeting between these two teams could turn into a shootout, but the odds are considerably lower this week.
I was hoping to get Justin Fields ($6,800) at low ownership this week, but he’s projecting as one of the more popular options around the industry. He has a great matchup against the Lions, who’ve allowed more QB rushing yards than any team in the NFL. Fields could be stacked with DJ Moore ($6,500) or played naked if you’re banking on rushing production.
NFL DFS Running Back Picks
Christian McCaffrey ($9,200) is the ideal cash game running back in 2023. He’s a near lock for 20 points on DraftKings, beating that number in ten out of twelve contests this season. The 49ers use him heavily in base packages, at the goal line, and on passing downs, which makes his projection almost entirely game-flow independent.
With that said, he’s not been the best option for tournaments this season. McCaffrey has just two games over 30 DraftKings points this season — and even 30 isn’t always enough at his salary. One of those games was an absurd 51.70-point score, but that came in a game where the 49ers were short-handed at the skill positions.
All of which is to say his overwhelmingly likeliest score this week is in the mid-20s — more than acceptable for cash games, but slightly disappointing for tournaments. However, we have a week where points are going to be hard to come by, with no games implied for more than 50 points and just two over 45.
Thus, recognize that if building around CMC, you’re also relying on a lower-scoring week in general. He’s unlikely to be in the optimal lineup if any of these games turn into true shootouts, as higher-priced wideouts will almost certainly eclipse his score.
That doesn’t make him a bad tournament play, just one we should approach thoughtfully.
We’re going back to the well again with Zack Moss ($5,900), whose price has spiked by $1,300 despite a disappointing 7.70-point score last week.
While he fell short of expectations in the box score, Moss’ usage was as expected. He played 94% of the Colts’ offensive snaps and drew 22 total opportunities. His efficiency was awful against a pass-funnel Titans defense, but he’s done much better in softer matchups.
Which is exactly what he has in Week 14. The Colts are playing the Bengals, who rank 31st in yards allowed per run on the season. With a similar workload as last week, Moss should easily pay off his still-reasonable salary, making this an excellent week for him to bounce back.
We’ll also probably see considerably lower ownership than last week, where he was used in a ridiculous 65% of Milly Maker lineups.
Moss is a lock for cash and a far better GPP option than he was last week.
It’s a fairly thin week outside of McCaffrey and Moss at running back. There are major flaws with most of the other backs on the slate, but here are a few I’m considering anyway.
Bijan Robinson ($6,500) is finally seeing RB1 workloads, with 20+ opportunities in three straight weeks. But he’s facing the Bucs, the second toughest matchup by Opponent Plus/Minus on the slate. He has the big-play ability to get there in any matchup, but it’s a long shot this week.
The Lions love to lean on David Montgomery ($6,400) in positive game scripts. They’re favored by four points this week — against the toughest team by Opponent Plus/Minus to running backs. Detroit is facing Montgomery’s former team the Bears, who held him to a solid but unspectacular 17.80 DraftKings points in their first meeting.
Outside of Moss and McCaffrey, Rachaad White ($6,800) is probably the safest play on the slate. He has a McCaffrey-esque workload but with considerably less talent and on a far worse offense. His scoring distribution is eerily similar to McCaffrey’s, just shifted down about 10 points. White has topped 15 DraftKings points in seven straight, but 20 points just once in that span.
The Saints quarterback situation is worth watching, as it likely has a big impact on Alvin Kamara ($8,200). If Derek Carr is unable to clear concussion protocol, New Orleans should lean a bit more heavily on their top back. This is a good thing given the matchup with Carolina, the league’s worst run defense. Still, Kamara hasn’t broken a 20-yard run all season, so he’d need a ton of volume to pay off his price tag.
Speaking of players whose explosive ability has vanished, Joe Mixon ($6,100) has the best on-paper matchup of the week against the Colts. He has just two runs over 20 yards on the season, with a long of 22. He’s involved enough in the passing game to give him a shot at a ceiling game, though, especially with Browning under center.
Don’t forget to check out our SImLabs Lineup Generator to create advanced DFS lineup using the power of simulation:
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
It’s been a few weeks since we really had to think about the top receiver play. That’s because Tyreek Hill has been an obvious choice, but he’s absent from the Week 14 main slate.
The next best option is probably Keenan Allen ($8,600), who’s the only one of the Chargers top-three wideouts still active at this point in the season. With running back Austin Ekeler ($7,600) struggling, Allen has been just about the only bright spot of the Chargers offense.
He’s ideally suited to full-PPR DraftKings, thanks to his massive target numbers. He’s averaging over 13 targets per contest over the last four weeks and even saw nine last week in an ugly game against the Patriots. The conditions are much better this week at home against the Broncos.
Which, in theory, will keep the Chargers throwing, and most of that will flow to Allen.
The switch to Joe Flacco ($4,700) at quarterback immediately paid off for Elijah Moore ($4,500). After previously playing together for the Jets, Moore and Flacco reunited in Cleveland, with Flacco targeting Moore 12 times in his first game under center for the Browns.
That’s probably the high-end of Moore’s range of outcomes. There is a good chance Moore sees double-digit looks for the second straight week, though. Amari Cooper could miss this game, leaving the Browns with next to nothing behind Moore at the position.
It’s not an ideal matchup against Jacksonville’s top-10 pass defense, but we don’t need to be that picky given Moore’s salary. Volume is king in DFS, and Moore should lead all sub-$5,000 players in targets this week. He also has plenty of ceiling with Flacco. Moore’s 257 air yards were the most by any player in the NFL last season.
My two favorite players in DFS are “last week’s chalk that failed” and “guy in his first game back from an injury.” We have a prime example of the latter this week, with Justin Jefferson ($8,500) set to take the field for the first time since Week 5. He’s topped 25 DraftKings points in every game he finished this season. The loss of Kirk Cousins makes that a bit harder this week, but Jefferson could drop 20 with an average JV quarterback throwing him the ball.
I’m not really interested in Stefon Diggs ($8,800) as a one-off play, but he should be played in most lineups using Josh Allen at quarterback. Buffalo’s passing offense is heavily focused around Diggs, who has a roughly 30% target share on the season. If this one turns into a shootout, it’s probably because Diggs made it one.
One of Brandon Aiyuk ($6,900) and Deebo Samuel ($6,800) have scored at least 20 DraftKings points in seven of the nine games that both were active for, with four of those games clearing 28 DraftKings points. I don’t have the slightest clue on how to figure out which one will have the big game on any given week — but we probably don’t need to. I’ll be mixing and matching one or the other on the bulk of my lineups this week.
If there’s ever a week for Drake London ($4,600) to break out, it’s this week. He’s been hampered all year by the Falcons’ ridiculously low pass rate, which ranks 32nd in Pass Rate Over Expectation (PROE). Still, the matchup with the Bucs tends to force opponents to throw, and Tampa ranks 30th in points allowed to receivers. I feel better about Moore’s volume for cash games, but I like London’s GPP upside.
Garret Wilson ($5,500) is similar to London in that he has a strong matchup but awful quarterback play. Also, like London, he clearly has the talent to excel at the NFL level — if he could just get someone to throw him an accurate pass. I don’t have high hopes this week with Zach Wilson ($4,700) coming back, but stranger things have happened.
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NFL DFS Tight End Picks
We have Travis Kelce ($7,800) back on the main slate, making him the obvious top choice at tight end. He’s still the overall TE1 in fantasy in his age-34 season. Kelce continues to lead the Chiefs in all major receiving categories, though that’s a lower bar this season with Kansas City’s offense considerably less explosive than in years past.
Kelce also hasn’t been a week-winner in DFS this season, with just one game north of 25 DraftKings points. With most tight ends, you’d be happy with scores in the low 20s, but the target is higher for Kelce. He’s priced like a top-five wideout, just above players like Mike Evans ($7,700) and Ja’Marr Chase ($7,600), both of whom have at least four games above 25 points.
Like McCaffrey at running back, Kelce has been remarkably consistent but rarely does enough to justify his price tag for GPPs. With that said, this game does have outsized potential to turn into a shootout, so his odds are probably a bit higher than most weeks.
All things considered, I’d be far more interested in Kelce at lower ownership, but he looks to be relatively popular this week. There are some cheaper and more contrarian options with similar ceilings that we’ll discuss shortly — I prefer those players for tournaments. There’s an angle to playing Kelce in cash games thanks to his high floor, but I typically avoid spending up at tight end in those contests.
It’s a pretty ugly week for cheap tight ends. There are not really any obvious values at the lower end of the price range, with plenty of guys seemingly a bit overpriced for their likeliest production.
I’m leaning towards Isaih Likely ($3,500) for cash games, thanks to his starting role with Mark Andrews on IR. In his first game in relief of Andrews, Likely posted a solid 4/40/0 line on six targets. These are not exactly elite numbers, but they are certainly acceptable at his price range.
He projects similarly this week against an exploitable Rams pass defense. His path to upside is pretty thin — and heavily relies on falling into the endzone for a touchdown — but the same can be said for most of the tight ends this week.
One of the players I prefer to Kelce at the higher end is TJ Hockenson ($6,000). Hockenson has more 25+ point games than Kelce this season for nearly $2,000 less in salary. The return of Justin Jefferson obviously takes some targets from the tight end — but it also should attract some defensive attention. Hock’s best game this season was with Jefferson on the field, so I’m not downgrading him too much based on that.
George Kittle ($5,900) joins his teammates Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk as hard-to-predict week winners. There’s a bit more predictability to Kittle’s big games, though. When facing teams with a tough pass rush, Kittle stays behind to block more. Two of his three worst games came against the Steelers and Browns — both top-five pass rushes. His best games have been against Jacksonville and Dallas, who both rank below average in adjusted sack rate. (The presence or absence of star left tackle Trent Williams also contributes to this effect.) This week, he’s facing a Seattle team that ranks 26th.
Assuming he’s healthy, Taysom Hill ($5,400) is an interesting option this week. New Orleans should skew run-heavy against the Cardinals, and Hill is averaging ten carries per game the last two weeks. He’ll also probably draw some snaps at quarterback with Derek Carr out, as well as a target or two. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, though, so monitor our NFL News tab over the weekend.
GPP Roster Construction
The big decision this week is how to handle the Bills-Chiefs game. It’s the best game in a vacuum, but all of the fantasy-relevant players are fairly expensive. Most ownership projections around the industry are fairly low on both quarterbacks, though, so it’s probably worth getting ahead of the field. It’s also an easy game to stack, with Diggs for the Bills and Kelce/Rice for the Chiefs as clear options.
It will be interesting to see what Justin Jefferson’s ownership comes in at this week. I’m seeing fairly low numbers across the board, including in our models. Pairing him with Zack Moss covers both of my “favorite players” (see above) and looks to be a fairly unique pairing this week. I’ll have a lot of lineups that start there and then build stacks around them.
As always, I want a heavy dose of Brock Purdy. I like pairing him with Kittle a lot this week. While it’s a crapshoot which player he brings along for a big score, getting that score at tight end is inherently more valuable. That’s also going to be the least popular Purdy stack. I’m not going to force Seattle bringbacks on Purdy lineups, but I like running back Zack Charbonnet ($5,400) as a contrarian choice. San Francisco is easier to attack on the ground, and the correlation between running backs and opposing passing attacks is fairly strong.
As always, when not building around specific games, I’ll be mixing and matching tight end and defense. The Browns are the “obvious” defense play, but there’s a slew of strong options. The mid-range of tight end also looks to be extremely unpopular this week, but there’s a good chance one of Kittle/Hockenson/Sam LaPorta ($6,100) wins somebody a tournament this weekend.
San Francisco has the best team total on the slate by a comfortable margin. I want as much exposure to their offense as possible, which means starting cash lineups with McCaffrey and Purdy. If you need the salary, going cheaper at quarterback with Jake Browning is probably fine too — but a much scarier option.
Zack Moss is again a lock for cash games this week, with a much better outlook than he had last week. He’s still way too cheap for his full-time role without Jonathan Taylor. I’ll probably round out the backfield with Rachaad White, but four-receiver builds or some other backs are also options.
Receiver is where things get tricky. Keenan Allen is probably the best play on paper, but the Chargers offense could totally implode here. Allen builds also necessitate pivoting from Purdy and/or playing four receivers, so he’s not without his drawbacks.
At the midrange, I’m reasonably confident in Elijah Moore, but pivoting to Drake London, Garret Wilson, or Rashee Rice ($5,400) makes sense as well. Any combination of those players is logical, as is punting with Trey Palmer ($3,200) or Jonathan Mingo ($3,500).
Isaiah Likely feels obvious at tight end, though I’d be ok with swapping to any number of slightly cheaper players if the salary made a difference. Finally, Cleveland ($3,000) is an extremely strong defensive option. Their price tag is based on a matchup with Trevor Larence. Instead, they’re facing CJ Beathard ($4,900). Let’s not overthink it for cash games.