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Week 14 DFS revolves around the Steelers stacks

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Welcome to the Daily Fantasy Roundup where we'll cover every inch of what you need to set a great lineup every week. If you've been following this column all year, you should be absolutely pumped for Week 14. There are a number of plays, DFS theory concepts and matchups I'm excited to exploit this week. Let's get after it.

All ownership percentage numbers come via Footballguys' Justin Bonnema. Follow him for more great DFS information.

Top quarterback plays


Jameis Winston - The Saints defense is not good, in case you were not aware. The unit allowed 299.28 fantasy points to quarterbacks through the first 12 weeks, which is 8.68 more than Tom Brady's, the top-scoring fantasy quarterback, point total. Crazy as it is, they're getting worse. In good matchups, Winston has a tangible ceiling for fantasy. In two road games against Washington and Philadelphia, Winston threw for 542 yards and seven touchdowns combined. He also ranks second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with five, trailing only Cam Newton's seven, adding to his floor. The question with Winston is whether he hits that ceiling. Winston only threw more than 30 passes in one of the team's five wins, and averages only 31 pass attempts per game for the season. That sort of low volume could dampen his ceiling, but the rookie should be efficient enough to present a safe floor for DFS games. Hammering Doug Martin as the ceiling play is the wise move, while gaining exposure to Winsotn for a value floor play. If you do decide to chase his ceiling for tournaments, play Winston unstacked with his teammates, as the distribution is rather even and unpredictable.

Tyrod Taylor - Absolutely balling the last two games. Tyrod Taylor is the best value quarterback on the board in Week 14. In his last two games, against the stout Chiefs and Texans defenses, Taylor has seven combined passing and rushing touchdowns with an average of 8.85 yards per pass attempt. Over the last four weeks the Eagles are the worst pass defense in the NFL. Philadelphia let up a 15-2 touchdown to interception ratio, and gave up the highest fantasy points per game figure in that span.

Top running back plays


LeSean McCoy - Welcome to Narrative Street apocalypse. LeSean McCoy no doubt wants to stick it to his old team, and made that explicitly clear to both his teammates and the local media. Rex Ryan is also notorious for making mountains out of molehill revenge games, so one can only imagine how much he'll feed into one so clear and seismic as this. Even without the narratives, the Eagles let up the second-most fantasy points to running backs the last four weeks, and even let James White get loose for 10 catches and over 100 yards as a receiver last week. The one concern with McCoy is scoring opportunities, as he only has seven carries inside the 10-yard line this year. However, this is all setting up for a monster game for McCoy and he is a top-three running back play who is not valued as such on DFS sites.

Jonathan Stewart - Seeing at least 20 carries per game, leading the NFL in red zone carries and suddenly more involved in the passing game (six caches the last two games) Jonathan Stewart is a safe consideration every week.

Lamar Miller - The Dolphins force-fed Miller with effectiveness in their first game under a new coordinator last week. It was the first time in the last two seasons he saw 20 rush attempts. The Giants defense certainly does not scare us and we know Miller has DFS tournament winning upside in any given week when he gets the opportunities. His value dropped so hard during his dreadful November stretch that he's a must-play now.

Shaun Draughn - Leading the NFL the last month in targets per game among running backs, and with one of the most locked in workloads, Draughn is an every-week consideration until he gets overvalued. We aren't at that point yet, and he has a fine matchup with Cleveland this week. The Browns fantasy points against rating improved, but that is a misnomer. The last few weeks teams have been more inclined to strike at them through the air. The Bengals plowed them into submission with Jeremy Hill last week, and Buck Allen fared well on Monday night before that.

Spencer Ware - More of a punt play, Ware is a risk considering he played less snaps and handled fewer touches than Charcandrick West. However, he took the goal line work last week, and Week 14's game flow against the Chargers projects in his favor. Ware is the bruising runner, and the Chiefs should handle the Chargers with ease to win the game. Ware could conceivably get 15 carries in a salt-away effort. He was also the less owned back compared to West (4.0 percent) on the Thursday slate.

Top wide receiver plays


Odell Beckham and Allen Robinson - You don't really need analysis, do you?

A.J. Green - On fire the last few weeks, and the clear leader of the target share with Tyler Eifert hobbled, Green is a great play against the Steelers deficient secondary. If the Bengals turn this game into a shootout, you need Green in your lineup stacked with the Steelers weapons.

Alshon Jeffery - The most played receiver in Week 13 DFS, Jeffery burned a ton of DFS gamers who expected more than four catches for 85 yards. However, that creates a solid opportunity to jump back on the wagon at a lower Week 14 ownership, down to 11.5 percent on the Thursday slate. The involvement was there for a big outing last week with another double digit target game, but Cutler played his worst game of the season. Washington's secondary is racked with injuries, and the Bears duo should take them to task in Week 14.

Sammy Watkins - The Bills No. 1 receiver was the third-highest owned receiver on the Thursday slate, behind Odell Beckham and Allen Robinson, at 19.9 percent. We know the risk with Watkins given his inconsistent target share, garnering only 18 second half looks all season. However, this is a unique opportunity where Watkins could finally see a steady target load. The Eagles are near the top of the league in plays per game over the second half of the season, whereas the Bills are one of the slowest moving offenses. High-paced teams always drag the sloth teams up to their level, and the Bills could break their previous season-high in plays run. The Eagles secondary consistently ranked inside the bottom-three of Football Outsiders' metrics in terms of defending No. 1 receivers all season.

Vincent Jackson - While the more in-demand Mike Evans will be popular (13.1 percent played on Thursday), Vincent Jackson is a premium pivot play. He's the far greater value, and only came with a 1.7 percent ownership on Thursday. The Bucs move their receivers around, so Jackson should see more than enough routes against the woeful Brandon Browner.

Top tight end plays


Greg Olsen - This is not a great week for tight end chasing in the lower ranges, so it may be wise to just default to Olsen. As Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld pointed out this week, Olsen thumped the Seahawks for 7-131 and a touchdown earlier this season, and the Falcons play a near replicated scheme under Dan Quinn.

Delanie Walker - Oddly enough, Delanie Walker is the most steady tight end in fantasy, leading the position in catches per game. Much in the same vein as the Olsen analysis, if you're looking for safety at tight end, Walker is a weekly play.

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Austin Seferian-Jenkins - The risk with Seferian-Jenkins comes in his low snap share from Week 13, playing on just 30 percent of the offensive plays. However, he still saw six targets in limited work and has tournament-winning upside in Week 14. The Saints allow a 13.2 touchdown rate to tight ends, and lead the NFL in yards ceded to the positon with 1,016.

Benjamin Watson - If the Saints and Buccaneers game turns into a shootout, and New Orleans really can't help but do so with their defense, you'll want a piece from the Saints offense. The best bargain candidate is Benjamin Watson. He'll go under-owned with more of the public flocking to Seferian-Jenkins in the same game. However, we know Watson has blowup potential, see the Giants and Falcons games, and the Bucs rank 20th according to Football Outsiders at defending the tight end. Tampa Bay stops the run well, and their secondary is improving at defending the type of offense the Saints run. New Orleans' best option to move the ball may well be through Watson.

Top defense plays


Broncos DEF - Denver held the Raiders to just 10 points in their road meeting this season, and will fall below at least Seattle in terms of ownership this weekend. Anytime they won't be the week's highest played defense is a time to chase their upside.

Panthers DEF - Have you watched Matt Ryan lately? The Panthers are fully stocked, match up well with their division opponent and play at home.

Seahawks DEF - If they don't see the pick-six machine on Sunday, the Seahawks will play against Jimmy Clausen for the second time this year. Win-win.

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Chiefs DEF - The Chargers won't be able to establish the run, again, and have no wide receivers left ot throw to. The Chiefs remain a value play, for whatever reason, and garnered 20 fantays points against the Chargers last they played.

Lions DEF - The Rams offense is in shambles, and the Lions defense is back to ferocious status. They've allowed the lowest fantasy points to running backs in the last month, and can tee off on the Rams quarterback.

Stack(s) of the week


Russell Wilson/Thomas Rawls - A ton of people are overly concerned with negative correlation plays in DFS, meaning stacking a quarterback and a volume running back. However, we've seen several top-winning lineups feature this brand of stack, including Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart pairings, and Ben Roethlisberger and DeAngelo Williams last week. Wilson and Marshawn Lynch were a sneaky pairing last year as well that went terribly underutilized. Not only does Wilson's ability to use his legs assimilate well with a running back pairing, but stacking these two together is the best way to make them tournament viable. Coming off three dynamic, lights out games, Wilson was the highest played quarterback on the Thursday slate, and Rawls the same among running backs after racking up 459 total yards in the same span. Most lineups that use one will not use the other, making yours a unique stack, and with plenty of tournament-winning upside.

Castrol EDGE Clutch Performers:

Ryan Fitzpatrick/Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker - We've enjoyed picking the meat from the Jets highly concentrated passing offense all season, and now it's time to come in with the hammer. All three of these Jets remain undervalued and under-owned relative to their performances this season. The Titans pass coverage is falling apart, as they rank in the bottom 20 at defending all types of wide receivers per Football Outsiders, and have no slot corner to speak of in defending Eric Decker. The play of Marcus Mariota, and another likely absence from Darrelle Revis could turn this into a shootout. If you triple stack a team other than the Steelers this week, the Jets are the winning combination.

Best contrarian play


Jarvis Landry - After burning DFS players last week with a dreadful 2-5 line, Landry is in prime positon for a bounce back. Much for the same reasons we like Eric Decker against the Giants last week, we can expect Landry to approach his 8-101 line of production. Landry runs some of those routes that the Giants struggle to defend tight ends on, just like Decker, and their slot corner is the clear weak link of their starting trio. You have to hope Eli Manning and Odell Beckham drag the Dolphins out of the 19 pass attempt game plan they followed last week for this to work out, but the matchup clearly favors Landry.

Hall of Fame voting

Danny Woodhead - Call this just a gut feeling. The Chargers cannot possibly want to attempt to establish the run against the Chiefs defense, especially in light of Melvin Gordon's two fumbles last week. Couple that with the innumerable losses to their wide receiving corps, and Danny Woodhead could finally come back into focus. He has a shot to lead the team in backfield touches and snaps played, and his value careened to the bargain range after a nightmare November stretch.

Giovani Bernard - The Bengals should get into a shootout with the Steelers. If you are unwilling to stack Green with their receiving assets, Bernard presents a fine discount proposition in doing so.

Anquan Boldin - The veteran receiver averages 10.3 targets per game with Blaine Gabbert under center, and remains their best pass catching red zone option. The Cleveland secondary will be without Joe Haden for a seventh straight game, and is in the midst of a total collapse. He's a fine punt play this week.

Best obvious play


FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Week:

The Steelers big four - Every week you want to hammer this offense, creating multiple stacks with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and DeAngelo Williams. They are producing DFS winning lines each week, and Williams and Bryant still come at far too great of a value. Fit them in where you can, and make sure to get exposure to the whole game by mixing in some of Green and Marvin Jones.

My near 100 percent exposure player


Doug Martin - As poor as the Saints are against the pass, they are just as weak on the ground. Over the last four weeks they allowed 5.57 yards per carry, and 17 receptions on 18 targets for 232 yards to running backs. While Winston likely presents the safe floor play this week, the Buccaneers want to run the offense through Martin. That makes him impossible to pass up in this spot.

Cheat code of the week


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Ryan Mathews - After every back on the roster looked like a better fit for the offense than him, reports surfaced that Murray went straight to the top, Eagles' owner Jeffery Lurie, to voice his displeasure over a diminished workload. Call it a hunch, but Chip Kelly doesn't strike me as the type of overseer who takes kindly to such an act. If the Eagles continue to minimalize Murray in the offense, Ryan Mathews comes back into focus just in time for his return from a concussion-driven absence. When both played at the same time earlier in the season, Mathews was the more effective back. He fits the outside zone stretch runs better, and his 5.7 yards per carry average still leads the NFL. You can argue that the efficient production was a product of limited touches, but in a game against the Jets in Week 3, Mathews handled 26 touches and went for 128 total yards and scored a touchdown. The Eagles backfield sits in a tenuous, unpredictable state as we head into Week 14. However, a game where Mathews returns to the backfield and handles 15 to 20 touches right out of the gate is well within the range of outcomes. The Bills run defense has not been what many expected this season, and allowed 5.17 yards per touch and four total touchdowns to running backs in the past four weeks. Either way, he's in the deep punt play range among running backs in DFS this week and has to do next to nothing to return value. It's a shot in the dark, but one you can take given the massive bargain.


Matt Harmon is an associate fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB. Make good decisions this week, and let us know how you gain the DFS edge over the field.

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