1:00PM ET Games
Buffalo @ Philadelphia
The game total on Bills-Eagles is 47 points with visiting Buffalo favored by one. The Bills' team total is 24 points. ... Although Philadelphia escaped with its first victory since Week 9, DC Billy Davis' defense emerged from last Sunday's upset of New England having coughed up four more touchdowns, and with an average of 39.3 points per game allowed over the last three weeks. Since the Eagles' Week 8 bye, opposing quarterbacks have compiled an 18:3 TD-to-INT ratio against Philadelphia while averaging 282.2 passing yards per game. This is a plus draw for Tyrod Taylor, who's overcome long odds to finish as fantasy's overall QB5 in Week 12 at Kansas City, and as the QB7 in Week 13 versus a previously white-hot Texans defense. Because the Eagles play fast on offense and poorly on defense, they've allowed the NFL's most offensive plays and tend to spike the fantasy production of their opponents by giving them more opportunities. These are the last five quarterbacks to face the Eagles with their weekly fantasy finish in parentheses: Tom Brady (QB3), Jameis Winston (QB2), Matthew Stafford (QB2), Ryan Tannehill (QB16), Matt Cassel (QB6). ... Negative game flow prevented the Patriots from staying committed to their rushing attack in last week's loss to the Eagles, but New England's running backs were efficient (4.44 YPC) on the ground. Over its last six games, Philly has permitted 807 yards on 161 carries (5.01 YPC) to opposing backs. LeSean McCoy has cleared 100 total yards in every game during that same timeframe. With a #RevengeGame narrative in play, expect LeSean McCoy to be the most popular running back play on the board this week.
Tyrod's targets since the Bills' Week 8 bye: Sammy Watkins 35; Robert Woods 31; Charles Clay 25; McCoy 23; Chris Hogan 15. ... One of this week's highest-ceiling receiver plays, Watkins will run most of his routes at Eagles rookie RCB Eric Rowe, who was forced into starting duty a game and a half ago when Nolan Carroll broke his ankle. After getting manhandled by Calvin Johnson (8-93-3) on Thanksgiving, Rowe settled down for a solid Week 13 showing against Brandon LaFell (4-27-0), aided of course by LaFell's mistake-filled game. Still, Rowe's inexperience, hip stiffness, and shortage of short-area quicks make this a very attractive matchup for Watkins. ... Clay caught a game-winning 40-yard touchdown in last week's win over the Texans, but was otherwise quiet and has been for months. It was his first score since Week 3. Clay is averaging 33 yards per game since the first month of the season. The Eagles allow the fifth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. ... Woods beat rookie CB Kevin Johnson for a two-yard touchdown against Houston, but was held under 50 yards for the tenth time in 12 games. Although he has a favorable matchup with Eagles LCB Byron Maxwell, possession receiver Woods is the sort of player who needs volume to pay fantasy dividends. Woods does not usually get much volume in Buffalo's run-first offense, drawing five targets or fewer in all but five games this season.
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As one-point home dogs, Philly's Week 14 team total is 23 points. ... The Eagles pulled off an impressive Week 13 upset at Foxboro, but primarily did it with defense and special teams as Sam Bradford's offense mustered only two scoring drives. Offensively, the Eagles' point totals are 14, 14, 17, 17, and 26 since their Week 8 bye. ... The Bills' normally stout pass defense has sprung leaks lately, giving up 45-of-73 passing for 548 yards (7.51 YPA) and a combined 5:1 TD-to-INT ratio to Alex Smith and Brian Hoyer in Weeks 12-13. Whereas Rex Ryan's defense has struggled with quarterbacks who release the ball quickly like Smith and Hoyer, Bradford ranks 21st among 31 qualified passers in PFF's Time To Throw metric and 23rd in Time To Attempt. Buffalo has still not allowed a top-ten quarterback performance since Week 4 (Eli Manning, QB6), while Bradford has finished as a top-15 fantasy passer in just 2-of-10 games. ... Ranked 18th in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA compared to 30th versus the run, Buffalo has given up a combined 152-722-6 (4.75 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over its last seven games. Unfortunately, the Eagles' backfield has become muddier than ever with scheme misfit DeMarco Murray's playing time cut and Ryan Mathews due back from his concussion. Darren Sproles led the unit in playing time (56%) and touches (19) in last week's win over the Patriots. Kenjon Barner logged 11 touches, but also lost a fumble. Murray touched the ball eight times on a season-low 14 snaps. Afterwards, Chip Kelly insisted the revised pecking order was "game-plan specific." I don't pretend to know how touches will be distributed this week. I do know Mathews has been the Eagles' best runner and is worth stashing in all season-long leagues. At his minimum or near-minimum cost, I am intrigued by Mathews as a low-owned DFS tournament play this week.
Bradford's target distribution in his return from shoulder and brain injuries last week: Sproles and Jordan Matthews 6; Zach Ertz 4; Barner, Nelson Agholor, and "Jonathan Krause" 2; Riley Cooper and Brent Celek 1. ... Almost unfailingly, Matthews has been a dud in pristine matchups all year, but he does have another good-looking one on paper against slot CB Nickell Robey, who is easily Buffalo's worst cornerback. Robey stands 5'7/169 to Matthews' 6'3/212. J-Matt played 76% of Philadelphia's Week 13 snaps and is the favorite to lead the Eagles in Week 14 targets. ... The Bills' loss of top corner Stephon Gilmore (shoulder) theoretically improves the matchup for Philly's perimeter wideouts, but no Eagles outside receiver has stepped forward as a fantasy option this year. ... Buffalo ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Ertz is 22nd in points per game at his position and should be low on priority lists for TE1 streamers.
Score Prediction: Bills 24, Eagles 21
Seattle @ Baltimore
The game total on Seahawks-Ravens is 42 points with visiting Seattle favored by ten. Pete Carroll's squad boasts a team total of 26 points. ... The hottest quarterback in football over the past three weeks, Russell Wilson is 66-of-86 passing (76.7%) for 879 yards (10.2 YPA) and an 11:0 TD-to-INT ratio during that stretch, with a 31.7-yard rushing average and an additional rushing score. Mainly dissecting defenses from the pocket, Wilson finished as fantasy's overall QB4, QB1, and QB4 in Weeks 11-13. This week's game sets up well for Wilson against a Ravens defense that can contain rushing offenses but struggles to rush the passer and cover. Baltimore ranks 18th in sacks (28) and has yielded the 11th most touchdown passes in the league (22). ... Averaging 22.2 touches per game through six starts, Thomas Rawls' volume should be bankable against a Baltimore team that may be quarterbacked by Jimmy Clausen, and seems unlikely to be competitive. Game flow projects to work in Rawls' favor with Seattle favored by two scores. Working against Rawls is his matchup with a Ravens defense that's held opposing backs to 288 yards and one touchdown on 84 carries (3.43 YPC) since its Week 9 bye. Lamar Miller did drop a 20-113 rushing line on Baltimore last week. Rawls is a high-floor RB1 play in Week 14.
Wilson's targets since the Seahawks' Week 9 bye: Doug Baldwin 31; Tyler Lockett 16; Jermaine Kearse 13; Rawls and Luke Willson 7; Fred Jackson 6; Cooper Helfet 5. ... Fantasy's No. 1 overall receiver in PPR scoring over the past month, Baldwin has logged target counts of 10, 6, 8, and 7 since the bye. Although his box-score production has been inflated by big plays, Baldwin has established himself as a legit fantasy WR2 as the No. 1 pass option for the league's most on-fire quarterback. Baldwin will be a top beneficiary if the Seahawks can't establish a consistent run game against the run-tough Ravens. ... Lockett only played 58% of Seattle's Week 13 snaps, but his catch (7), yardage (90), and target (7) totals were all season highs. While Lockett's playing time remains a significant concern, his usage seems to be on the rise and he gets a plum Week 14 matchup against Ravens LCB Shareece Wright, who is Baltimore's most vulnerable corner. Baldwin will spend more time on steady slot CB Lardarius Webb while Kearse draws talented-if-enigmatic RCB Jimmy Smith. ... In their first full game post-Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks turned to Willson for 80% of the snaps and three targets. Helfet logged 49% of the downs and drew four looks. The Ravens are permitting the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
As ten-point underdogs versus Seattle, the Ravens have a week-low team total of 16 points. ... Last week's No. 1 overall fantasy running back in PPR scoring, Buck Allen's snap rate leaped from 59% in his first start to 70% in his second, with his touch total improving from 16 to 29. Allen isn't going to go anywhere on the ground against a Seahawks run defense that ranks No. 10 in Football Outsiders' DVOA and held Adrian Peterson to 18 yards on eight carries last week. Allen is a ball-catching machine, however, and only Kamar Aiken (21) has drawn more targets than Allen (18) since Joe Flacco tore his ACL and MCL three weeks ago. As Aiken could conceivably be zeroed out by Richard Sherman in this game, expect another flurry of targets for Allen, who is a quality RB2 play in PPR leagues. Otherwise, Baltimore's Clausen- or Matt Schaub-quarterbacked passing "attack" can be ignored in the first round of the fantasy playoffs.
Friday Update: As Schaub (chest/shoulder) failed to practice all week, Clausen looks poised to start against the Seahawks. When Friday's news of Schaub not practicing broke, the spread on this game promptly rose from ten points in favor of Seattle to 12.5. The Ravens' team total has thus dipped below 15 points. As you might imagine, the Seahawks are the top D/ST play on the board in Week 14.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Ravens 6
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San Francisco @ Cleveland
The game total on Niners-Browns is 41 points with host Cleveland favored by 1.5. Again quarterbacked by Johnny Manziel, the Browns' team total is a shade above 21. ... Much to the chagrin of coach Mike Pettine, Cleveland turned back to Manziel this week after Austin Davis flopped against the Bengals, failing to engineer a touchdown drive in an embarrassing 37-3 home loss. Despite immense college playmaking ability, Manziel has consistently failed to fill the box score through five NFL starts, notching weekly fantasy finishes of QB11, QB23, QB24, and QB35 in four games played start to finish. Manziel's top-11 game occurred in a 30-9 Week 10 blowout loss to Pittsburgh wherein a majority of his stats came after halftime, at which point Cleveland was trailing 21-3. By all measures, the 49ers pose a plus on-paper matchup for Johnny Football. I'm skeptical he'll capitalize. ... Unless the Blaine Gabbert-quarterbacked Niners pour points on the Browns and jump out to a significant lead, expect OC John DeFilippo to call a conservative game more along the lines of Manziel's Week 2 start versus Tennessee. Manziel finished that one with eight completions, mixing in two Travis Benjamin touchdown bombs on designed shot plays as Cleveland amassed a 30:15 run-to-pass ratio. Fantasy owners especially desperate at running back may want to give Isaiah Crowell a look. Crowell went 15-72-1 against the Titans in the aforementioned Week 2 game, and continued to out-snap (52%) and out-touch (12) Duke Johnson (51%, 9 touches) last week, even with the Browns in constant catch-up mode. San Francisco ranks 28th in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA.
Manziel's targets in his Week 10 start: Travis Benjamin 11; Brian Hartline 9; Gary Barnidge and Andrew Hawkins 8; Johnson 4; Taylor Gabriel 3; Crowell 2. ... A non-factor in Manziel's Weeks 2 and 9 starts (1-17-0, 2-35-0), Barnidge came to life (6-65-1) in the Pittsburgh game and had 42 of his yards at the half. While Josh McCown starting would've been ideal for Barnidge's outlook, season-long leaguers should feel at least some level of confidence in Barnidge as a mid-range to low-end TE1 play. Barnidge remained useful even in Davis' disastrous game, catching five balls for 59 yards, good for top-nine tight end numbers in PPR leagues last week. ... Benjamin's stat lines in Manziel's starts are 3-115-2, 3-22-0, and 7-113-0. Coming off a Week 13 shoulder injury, Benjamin is best approached as a boom-bust WR3 option. ... Hartline has drawn target totals of 10, 9, 12, and 11 over the last month, and posted a 6-77 line on nine looks in Manziel's Steelers start. The expected return of Gabriel (concussion) may cut into Hartline's usage, however. Hartline will be third in line for targets behind Barnidge and Benjamin against the 49ers.
As 1.5-point road dogs in Cleveland, the 49ers' team total is a tick below 20 points. I like the over on San Francisco's total against a Browns defense that's permitted point totals of 37, 20, 30, 31, and 34 over its last five games. ... Coming off a top-ten fantasy quarterback week, Blaine Gabbert has played his way into two-QB-league starting lineups facing a Browns defense that's allowed the third most touchdown passes in the league (25) and ranks third to last in sacks (17). Cleveland can't rush the quarterback and can't cover. The 49ers should be able to move the ball consistently on Pettine's group. ... Since Shaun Draughn took over as San Francisco's bellcow four games ago, his weekly PPR finishes are RB16, RB15, RB15, and RB13. That is the work of an every-week RB2 in PPR leagues, and Draughn showed last week he is viable in non-PPR formats as well with a second-quarter goal-line plunge. 29th in run-defense DVOA, Cleveland has yielded the sixth most fantasy points to running backs, including a league-high 1,543 rushing yards.
Gabbert's target distribution this season: Anquan Boldin 31; Draughn 27; Vance McDonald 19; Quinton Patton 14; Torrey Smith 13; Blake Bell 6; Garrett Celek and Bruce Ellington 5; Jerome Simpson 4. ... Boldin's target totals in his last three games are 13, 11, and 7. He's in the fantasy WR3 conversation this week against Browns slot CB K'Waun Williams, who's drawn negative PFF grades in three of his last four games and stands 5'9/183 to Boldin's 6'1/216. ... Smith caught a 71-yard game-winning touchdown bomb in overtime of last week's upset of Chicago, but his other stat lines in Gabbert's starts are 2-44-0, 1-16-0, and 2-51-0. ... If McDonald (concussion) can't play against the Browns, the 49ers will turn to fourth-round rookie Bell as their starting tight end. A quarterback early in his college career, "Belldozer" is worth stashing in Dynasty leagues. Vernon Davis is long gone, Garrett Celek is on injured reserve and an impending free agent, and McDonald has shown few signs of being San Francisco's tight end of the future. Bell played 85% of the Niners' Week 13 snaps, but managed five yards on three targets.
Score Prediction: 49ers 23, Browns 17
Detroit @ St. Louis
Lions-Rams has a 40.5-point total -- lowest of Week 14 -- with the Lions favored by 2.5. Detroit's team total is 21.5 points. ... Although the Lions' low total is a concern for Matthew Stafford, the recent play of both Stafford and the Rams' defense are not. St. Louis has mustered six sacks across its last five games while getting flamed by Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, and Jay Cutler for a combined 92-of-135 passing (68.1%), 1,146 yards (8.49 YPA), and a 9:3 TD-to-INT ratio in the last four. Stafford is fantasy's No. 6 passer over the last two months, tossing 16 touchdowns compared to four picks and averaging 279.9 passing yards per game. Stafford also benefits from playing indoors at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis will definitely be without top pass rusher Robert Quinn (back surgery) and SS T.J. McDonald (shoulder surgery), and may be without both of its starting cornerbacks, too. ... Although Ameer Abdullah has led the Lions' backfield in touches in three straight weeks, his touch counts are only 13, 17, and 13. Abdullah continues to be largely absent from Detroit's scoring-position offense and passing game. Regardless of opponent, Abdullah is always a weak flex play. ... Coming off a five-catch game against the Packers, Theo Riddick continues to lead all running backs in receptions (60). Riddick has topped ten all-purpose touches just twice this year, however, and is ultimately a low-volume committee member. The fact that the Rams are allowing the NFL's eighth most catches to running backs does make Riddick a slightly more appealing PPR flex option this week.
Stafford's target distribution since the Lions' Week 9 bye: Calvin Johnson 40; Golden Tate 33; Riddick 20; Eric Ebron 15; Lance Moore and Joique Bell 9; Brandon Pettigrew 7; Abdullah 6. ... Megatron has posted just one 100-yard game all season, but don't bet against him notching his second this week against a Rams defense that may be without RCB Janoris Jenkins and LCB Trumaine Johnson. Jenkins was concussed in last Sunday's loss to Arizona, while Johnson has missed the last two weeks with a thigh injury. ... Tate's target totals the past three weeks are 8, 11, and 10 with catch totals of 8, 7, and 8. He's a quality WR3 play in PPR leagues every week. ... As Tate's passing-game role has risen, Ebron's has declined. Ebron's target totals were 2, 3, and 2 in Weeks 11-13, parlaying them into yardage totals of 0, 28, and 9. Even against a Rams defense that can't stop tight ends, Ebron has dropped out of TE1 streamer consideration.
The Rams enter Week 14 nursing a five-game losing streak during which their pathetic offense has managed chronological point totals of 18, 13, 13, 7, and 3. Against a Lions defense that is fresh off ten days rest after a Thursday night loss to Green Bay, I'd gladly take the under on St. Louis' team total, which is somehow 19 points. ... The Lions have resumed playing shutdown run defense, holding enemy backs to 189 yards and one touchdown on 76 carries (2.49 YPC) since their Week 9 bye. As the Rams insist on sprinkling in Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham, not even Todd Gurley's volume is bankable anymore after he logged touch totals of 10 and 9 in St. Louis' last two games. A high-end RB1 as recently as Week 10, Gurley has quickly devolved into a low-floor RB2 option in a Rams offense that can't move the ball. ... Nick Foles predictably flopped in his Weeks 12 and 13 starts, so the Rams will turn back to a healthy Case Keenum at quarterback. Keenum was horrific in his Week 11 start against Baltimore, engineering two scoring drives among 63 snaps. For what it's worth, this was Keenum's target distribution: Jared Cook 6; Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt 5; Wes Welker and Lance Kendricks 4; Cunningham 2.
Score Prediction: Lions 23, Rams 10
Tennessee @ NY Jets
Titans-Jets has a 43-point total with New York favored by a touchdown. The Jets' team total is 25 points. ... A Tennessee team that played stout pass defense in the season's first half no longer appears imposing whatsoever after permitting enemy quarterbacks to combine for 118-of-168 passing (70.2%), 1,498 yards (8.92 YPA), and a 13:2 TD-to-INT ratio over its last five games. In Weeks 12-13, Derek Carr and Blake Bortles combined for 652 passing yards and eight touchdowns against the Titans. Enjoying a career-best season in OC Chan Gailey's spread, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a rock-solid QB1 play this week. ... Just as their pass defense has collapsed, the Titans' run defense has stiffened. Tennessee held Saints, Panthers, Jaguars (twice), and Raiders backs to 396 yards and two touchdowns on 114 carries (3.47 YPC) in Weeks 9-13. Although his matchup is less than ideal, the likelihood of the Jets moving the ball on the Titans' defense and setting up scoring chances keeps Chris Ivory in the lower-end RB1 hunt. A second-quarter deficit limited Ivory to three carries in the final two quarters of last week's win over the Giants, but he compensated with five receptions and is averaging 4.72 yards per carry over his last four games. Similar to his on-field likeness Marshawn Lynch, Ivory is always a better fantasy bet when he is playing at home and his team is a big favorite. Ivory checks both of those boxes this week.
Fitzpatrick's target distribution since the Jets' Week 5 bye: Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall 70; Bilal Powell 27; Ivory 19; Quincy Enunwa 14; Jeremy Kerley 12; Devin Smith 11; Kenbrell Thompkins and Jeff Cumberland 8. ... Tennessee has been destroyed by No. 1 wideouts over its last three games, hemorrhaging 10-153-3 to Allen Robinson, 7-115 to Amari Cooper, and 5-113 to Robinson again. In the absence of top CB Jason McCourty (groin surgery, I.R.), the Titans are simply non-competitive against big-time boundary receivers. This is a gorgeous matchup for Marshall, who has scored a touchdown and/or topped 100 receiving yards in 11-of-12 games. ... Just as consistent as Marshall but without the sky-high ceiling, Decker has scored a touchdown and/or topped 80 yards in all 11 of his 2015 games. As Decker is running most of his routes in the slot and over the middle, he is frequently getting matched up with linebackers and safeties in coverage. With Perrish Cox and some combination of Blidi Wreh-Wilson and B.W. Webb on the outside, the Titans' slot corners against the Jets will be Cody Riggs and Coty Sensabaugh. Riggs is an undrafted rookie. Sensabaugh has given up four TDs in his last two games.
Seven-point dogs in the Meadowlands, Tennessee's team total is just 18 points. ... The Titans' low total is a concern for Marcus Mariota, although a matchup with the Jets arguably is not. Regardless of Darrelle Revis' playing status, Gang Green has yielded a 16:4 TD-to-INT ratio to quarterbacks across its last seven games and five 290-plus-yard passing performances during that stretch. Tennessee will have little chance of generating rushing offense in this matchup, forcing the Titans to move the ball in the air. Coming off back-to-back weekly finishes of QB14 and QB1 while averaging five rushing attempts per game over the last month, Mariota has played himself into the low-end QB1 hunt. After being roughly 1% owned in Thursday contests, I'm intrigued by Mariota as a DFS tournament play this week. ... Tennessee turned to a near-even backfield split in Week 13, giving Antonio Andrews and David Cobb 13 carries apiece in last Sunday's win over Jacksonville. Andrews logged a 54% snap rate to Cobb's 41% of the downs. The backfield will be muddied further by the return of Dexter McCluster (knee), who figures to siphon all passing-down work. As the Jets rank No. 1 in run-defense DVOA, this is an RBBC to avoid in Week 14.
Delanie Walker ranks first among NFL tight ends in catches (67), fourth in receiving yards (800), and fourth in targets (86). Only Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, and Gary Barnidge have scored more PPR points. In a game where the Titans will almost certainly have to pass to move the chains, Walker is a high-floor TE1 with top-shelf upside. ... Rookie Dorial Green-Beckham played only 58% of the Titans' Week 13 snaps, but coach Mike Mularkey indicated this week that DGB earned more work in a dominant game against Jacksonville, parlaying six targets into a 5-119-1 breakout line. Unfortunately, the expected return of Darrelle Revis (concussion) severely dims Green-Beckham's Week 14 fantasy appeal. It further highlights Walker's.
Score Prediction: Jets 27, Titans 21
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Steelers-Bengals has a game total of 49.5 points -- second highest of Week 14 -- with host Cincinnati favored by 2.5. The Steelers' team total is 23.5 points in this possible shootout. ... These teams played to a 16-10 score in Week 8. Ben Roethlisberger was rusty in his return from a four-week knee injury, however, while Le'Veon Bell tore his MCL and PCL during the game, resulting in a grinding affair. Expect more fireworks in this rematch of top-eight offenses. ... On paper, Big Ben's matchup looks pristine against a Bengals pass defense that is reeling with injuries, so much so that DC Paul Guenther may have to turn to rookies Josh Shaw and Troy Hill across from LCB Dre Kirkpatrick in nickel packages. Bengals top CB Pacman Jones (foot) is not expected to play, while slot CB Leon Hall (back) missed last week's game and FS George Iloka (groin) missed practice time this week. Since Guenther replaced Mike Zimmer as Bengals defensive coordinator, the aforementioned Week 8 game was Roethlisberger's only meeting with Guenther wherein he didn't finish as a top-ten fantasy quarterback. In the AFC's hottest offense, I like Big Ben as a top-three play this week. ... Cincinnati's run defense has come a long way since DeAngelo Williams came off the bench in Week 8 to drop 110 total yards on Guenther's unit. The Bengals have yielded just one rushing touchdown over their last six games, holding opposing backs to 274 yards on 85 runs (3.22 YPC) in their last five. Williams' workhorse usage remains bankable with a 23.2-touch average through six starts. He's finished as a top-six PPR back in four of those six weeks. Due to all of the secondary injuries, it's fair to wonder if Guenther will devote more bodies in coverage against Ben, lightening the box for Williams.
Ben's target distribution over his last five games: Antonio Brown 67; Martavis Bryant 44; Heath Miller 28; Markus Wheaton 26; Williams 21; Jesse James 9; and Darrius Heyward-Bey 6. ... Much like the rest of the NFL, Cincinnati has yet to solve the dilemma of stopping Brown, who has stat lines of 6-47-1, 7-128-1, and 9-117 against the Bengals since Guenther succeeded Zimmer. Were Pacman healthy, he would've spent most of this game on Brown. Brown may wind up seeing undrafted rookie Hill instead. Hill is 5'10/180 with 4.55 speed. ... Bryant runs most of his routes at left corners, meaning he will take on burnable LCB Kirkpatrick, who struggles to flip his hips and run with receivers. Kirkpatrick has Pro Football Focus' No. 114 grade among 116 qualified cornerbacks. Bryant has drawn eight-plus targets in all but one of his 2015 games, scoring seven TDs in seven appearances. ... Wheaton has gone 1-5-0, 3-17-0, and 2-31-0 in his last three meetings with the Bengals and is safe to ignore this week. ... Cincinnati has allowed the third most catches and sixth most yards to tight ends, and gave up 10-105 to Miller in the Week 8 game. Miller (ribs) will be a worthwhile TE1 play if he gets the green light. James played 91% of Pittsburgh's Week 13 snaps and will become a passable streamer if Miller can't go.
Favored by 2.5 at home, the Bengals' team total is 26 points. ... Even with noodle-armed Matt Hasselbeck's Week 13 Sunday night clunker included, the Steelers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 98-of-153 passes (64.1%) for 1,238 yards (8.09 YPA) and an 11:4 TD-to-INT ratio over their last four games. By shutting down rushing attacks but playing the pass poorly, Pittsburgh is a "funnel defense" ripe for the picking by enemy passers. With a plus matchup in what's projected as this week's second-highest-scoring game, Andy Dalton is a mid-range to high-end QB1 play. ... The Steelers rank No. 4 in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA and have held opposing running backs to three rushing touchdowns in a dozen games. Pittsburgh also permits the eighth fewest receptions to RBs. In these teams' Week 8 meeting, Jeremy Hill managed 68 scoreless yards on 16 touches while Giovani Bernard touched the ball just three times, gaining 34 yards. My guess is the Bengals use Gio more in the rematch, but I wouldn't consider either Cincinnati back to be more than a low-floor flex option this week.
A.J. Green has traditionally pummeled Pittsburgh, turning in 11-118-1, 11-224-1, 8-82, and 9-93 receiving clips in these clubs' last four meetings. Although RCB Ross Cockrell has played well on the boundary, nothing about Pittsburgh's secondary is truly imposing. Three reasons to fade Green in DFS this week include his likely high ownership after back-to-back big games, Tyler Eifert's return from a neck stinger to hog red-zone usage, and Green's historical home-road splits. We have a significant sample size on Green -- 72 career games -- and he averages 102.3 yards with 25 touchdowns across 36 road affairs. Green's receiving-yard average nosedives to 61.9 with 17 touchdowns in 36 games at home. The splits (108.5/64.3, 4/3) have held strong this year. ... On paper, Marvin Jones' matchup is superior to Green's against LCB William Gay, who previously played in the slot before kicking outside due to Antwon Blake's benching. Unfortunately, Jones has drawn just five targets in back-to-back games, and has been a maddening player to try to forecast all season. Matchup and his own playmaking ability are working in Jones' favor. His usage and production come and go. ... Due back from his stinger against Pittsburgh, Eifert is arguably the highest-ceiling tight end play of Week 14 versus a Steelers defense that surrenders the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends. A contested-catch bully, I think Eifert is the best bet to hit pay dirt on Cincinnati's roster in this game.
Score Prediction: Steelers 30, Bengals 24
DFS Players: Steelers at Bengals is the RotoGrinders Matchup of the Week. Some of RotoGrinders' top NFL minds break down this game from every angle and help prepare you to set winning lineups this weekend in daily fantasy football.
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
The game total on Colts-Jaguars was not released as of Thursday evening. The Jags are favored by a point in most shops. ... Bottom five in both sacks (19) and TD passes allowed (24), the Colts rank 20th in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA. Although he did not light up the stat sheet (298 passing yards, one touchdown, 31 yards rushing), Blake Bortles recorded a top-seven quarterback finish when these teams met on Thursday Night Football in Week 4. A repeat of last week's five-touchdown game against the Titans seems unlikely, but Bortles has been a high-floor fantasy play with upside all season long. He has multiple touchdown passes in seven of his last eight games, clearing 300 yards five times during that stretch. ... The top on-paper matchup in Jacksonville's skill-player corps goes to T.J. Yeldon, who touched up the Colts for a 22-105 rushing line in the aforementioned Week 4 game. Still missing difference-maker ILB Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), Indianapolis has allowed 765 yards and five touchdowns on 161 runs (4.75 YPC) to opposing backs over its last seven games. Yeldon finally saw heavy red-zone usage in last Sunday's loss to Tennessee, handling five touches inside the Titans' 20-yard line, three from the five-yard line or closer, and scoring from a yard out in the second quarter. Still priced cheaply on DFS sites, Yeldon is a high-floor investment averaging 18.7 touches per game.
Allen Robinson is on a tear in his second pro season, ranking fifth in the NFL in receiving yards (1,080) and sixth among wideouts in PPR scoring. There are a few factors to consider before plugging Robinson into DFS tournament lineups this week. Allen Hurns' (concussion) return will siphon targets, while Robinson managed a 4-80-0 stat line when the Jags played the Colts in Week 4, primarily drawing RCB Vontae Davis' coverage. Robinson's ownership rate is sure to be high coming off last week's three-touchdown week winner. Davis hasn't been a shutdown corner this year, of course, and Robinson has emerged as one of the NFL's top playmakers. He remains a top-shelf WR1 every week in season-long leagues. ... Hurns has battled numerous injuries over the course of the season, so there is reason to believe he may be a bit refreshed after sitting out last week. Hurns dropped 11-116-1 on Indy in Week 4 and runs more of his routes in the areas of the field where Davis doesn't play. Colts LCB Greg Toler missed practice time with a knee injury this week. Hurns is in a strong Week 14 spot and should immediately resume producing as a WR2. ... Thomas missed the Week 4 game with a hand injury. Although his production has been hit or miss since returning, the fact that Thomas is a solid weekly bet to hit pay dirt gives him every-week TE1 appeal at fantasy's weakest position. Thomas has scored a touchdown in three straight games and has an above-average Week 14 draw against a Colts defense allowing the 13th most fantasy points to tight ends, including the tenth most yards.
Through five spot starts, Matt Hasselbeck's weekly fantasy finishes are QB20, QB16, QB17, QB15, and QB28. Before exiting last Sunday night's loss to Pittsburgh with "a sore stiff neck" and a "mild rib separation," Hasselbeck was a three-turnover disaster in a prime spot versus the Steelers' vulnerable pass defense. This week, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Hasselbeck was "gutting his way through practice" and remained "pretty sore." Playing poorly, well short of 100%, and not much of a box-score producer when he's been at full strength, Hasselbeck is a stretch as a Week 14 fantasy start beyond two-quarterback leagues. ... Frank Gore's anemic efficiency over his last five games (2.67 YPC) combined with a matchup versus a Jaguars run defense that ranks No. 9 in Football Outsiders' DVOA suggest Gore is a poor Week 14 fantasy bet. For fantasy owners desperate enough that they're forced to start Gore, it's notable that Jacksonville ceded a 36-174-2 rushing line to Doug Martin and Charles Sims when Jaguars MLB Paul Posluszny missed Week 5 with a high ankle sprain. On Tuesday, Posluszny underwent surgery to repair a fractured right hand. He appears doubtful to play this week.
Hasselbeck's targets this year: T.Y. Hilton 42; Donte Moncrief and Coby Fleener 29; Gore 20; Andre Johnson 17; Griff Whalen 8; Dwayne Allen 7. ... Hilton's PPR finishes in Hasselbeck's starts are WR30, WR28, WR69, WR10, and WR59. Even in a great matchup with Jacksonville's porous pass defense, Hilton can only be viewed as a fringe WR3/flex until Andrew Luck (kidney) returns. Hilton did post a respectable 7-67-0 line against the Jaguars with Hasselbeck under center in Week 4. ... Moncrief's stat line in the Week 4 game was 6-75-0, though his weekly finishes are WR32, WR89, WR43, WR17, and WR77 in Hasselbeck's starts. Moncrief would do well to return WR3 value in Week 14. Moncrief was catch-less in last week's loss to Pittsburgh before Charlie Whitehurst entered to hit Moncrief for a garbage-time 33-yard gain. ... The return of Phillip Dorsett (ankle) could conceivably eliminate Johnson from the Colts' passing game. ... Regardless of matchups, Fleener and Allen are no longer worth fantasy discussion.
Score Prediction: Jaguars 27, Colts 21
San Diego @ Kansas City
Three weeks after the Chiefs stomped the Chargers 33-3 in Qualcomm, the Week 14 rematch has a 45.5-point total with Kansas City favored by ten. Winners of six straight, the team total on Andy Reid's squad is nearly 28 points at Arrowhead. ... Although Alex Smith has played well recently and has a plus matchup on paper, the probability of Kansas City taking the air out of the ball and playing ball-control offense is strong against defense-less San Diego. Smith finished Week 11 Chiefs-Chargers as fantasy's QB21, going 20-of-25 passing for 253 scoreless yards. Smith should turn in another efficient game against a Bolts defense permitting the NFL's sixth highest passer rating (99.0), but probably not to the extent that Smith plays aggressively and puts up big fantasy stats. He's best viewed as a low-upside QB2. ... Charcandrick West returned from his hamstring injury in last Sunday's win over Oakland to log 65% of the Chiefs' snaps and 11 touches. On a 35% playing-time clip, hammerback Spencer Ware handled nine touches while dominating work in scoring position. Both West and Ware have pristine Week 14 matchups against a Chargers club that ranks 31st in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA, but the timeshare limits both backs to lower-end RB2/flex value. The Chiefs still prefer West as a poor man's version of Jamaal Charles, and he will remain the lead back. Ware will be a superior bet for weekly touchdowns. Neither seems particularly likely to top 15 touches in a given week.
Smith's targets since the Chiefs' Week 9 bye: Jeremy Maclin 33; Travis Kelce 26; Albert Wilson 14; West 10; Ware 6. ... Far more so than matchups, the biggest Week 14 concern on Kansas City pass catchers is game flow in an offense that is content to play conservatively against non-competitive opponents. For instance, San Diego has yielded the sixth most fantasy points in the league to tight ends and presents a great on-paper matchup for Kelce, but Zeus managed a 5-46-0 stat line when these teams met in Week 11. Maclin went 3-29-0 on six targets in the Week 11 game and will again have to deal with Jason Verrett's coverage. Kelce ranks No. 6 among tight ends in PPR scoring and remains a mid-range TE1 in season-long leagues. Despite back-to-back monster weeks, a slower game seems likely for Maclin in a difficult matchup and in a game where Smith is unlikely to have to force the ball downfield to his top playmaker.
Ten-point dogs at Arrowhead, the decimated Chargers' team total is below 18 points. ... Since Keenan Allen was lost for the year in Week 8, Philip Rivers' weekly fantasy finishes are QB20, QB28, QB4, and QB30, with his lone productive game coming against the Jaguars in Week 12. Over its last seven games, Kansas City has held enemy quarterbacks to a combined 146-of-258 passing (56.6%) for 1,618 yards (6.27 YPA) and a 9:15 TD-to-INT ratio. Despite last week's absence of OLB Justin Houston (knee), the Chiefs sacked Derek Carr four times and forced him into three turnovers in The Black Hole, including a game-sealing fourth-quarter pick six. Kansas City now ranks fifth in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA and fifth in sacks (34). Rivers' last three fantasy finishes against Chiefs DC Bob Sutton's defense are QB20, QB27, and QB28. It almost goes without saying that Rivers is a tough sell as a fantasy starter this week. ... Yielding the sixth fewest fantasy points and second fewest receptions to running backs, Kansas City poses a forbidding matchup for both Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon. Holding enemy RBs to 3.85 yards per carry, the Chiefs are No. 7 Football Outsiders' in run-defense DVOA.
Rivers' targets since Allen's season-ending kidney laceration: Antonio Gates 32; Stevie Johnson 31; Woodhead 26; Dontrelle Inman 22; Gordon 13; Javontee Herndon 11; Ladarius Green 10; Malcom Floyd 8. ... Beyond perhaps Gates, the entire San Diego pass-catcher corps is shaping up as a Week 14 unit to avoid. Johnson left last week's game with a groin injury and did not return. Same goes for Inman, who was stretchered off with a neck injury. It's conceivable Herndon and 34-year-old Floyd operate as San Diego's top-two wideouts at Arrowhead, with Tyrell Williams serving as the third receiver. Herndon is a second-year undrafted free agent. Floyd is 34 years old, playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and has caught two passes since November 1. He lost a fumble on his lone reception last week. ... Gates' snap rates have improved steadily (43%, 48%, 62%), but he has a brutal matchup against a Chiefs defense permitting the fewest fantasy points in the league to tight ends. Gates' last five stat lines against Kansas City are 1-6-0, 4-67-0, 3-61-1, 4-31-1, and 3-21-0. On his last legs, Gates is a touchdown-or-bust play this week.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 24, Chargers 13
Washington @ Chicago
In a battle of teams coming off letdown losses, Redskins-Bears has a 44-point total with host Chicago favored by 3.5. The Bears' team total is just shy of 24. ... In addition to a missed 55-yard TD bomb to Alshon Jeffery, Jay Cutler's Week 13 fantasy performance was torpedoed by a pair of short Bears rushing touchdowns and four field goal tries. Most concerning is Cutler's shortage of volume on a run-first team; he's averaged 31.8 pass attempts per game since Chicago's Week 7 bye. 31.8 pass attempts per game would rank 25th among NFL teams. Cutler's fantasy finishes are QB23, QB27, and QB27 over the last three weeks. Still, my guess is Cutler will rebound for a solid-if-unspectacular box score against a Redskins pass defense that ranks 23rd in Football Outsiders' DVOA and 26th in sacks (21). Over the last seven weeks, enemy quarterbacks have combined to complete 148-of-236 passes (62.7%) for 1,847 yards (7.83 YPA) and a 15:6 TD-to-INT ratio against Washington. On a short week, the Redskins threaten to be without both LE Stephen Paea (toe) and RE Jason Hatcher (neck/ankle). Among 58 qualifiers, Hatcher has PFF's No. 6 pass-rush grade for 3-4 defensive ends. Paea is No. 20. ... After Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford formed a near-even timeshare on Thanksgiving, the Bears turned back to Forte as their lead runner in last Sunday's loss to San Francisco. Forte logged 26 touches on 58% of the snaps, while Langford sprinkled in for 14 touches on 35% playing time. Frustrating from a fantasy standpoint was Ka'Deem Carey's surprise involvement; Carey didn't play a snap in Week 12 but siphoned five carries against the 49ers, including a four-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Forte has regained RB1 start-ability against a Washington run defense that ranks 18th in DVOA. Langford will stay involved, but is best viewed as a shaky flex play going forward.
Finally 100% healthy, Alshon Jeffery is a shoo-in to bounce back from his disappointing Week 13 after logging his highest snap rate (96%) of the season and drawing a dozen more targets versus San Francisco. Jeffery has averaged 11.6 targets per game through seven appearances and is a cash-game play in DFS this week. Jeffery shuttles around the formation enough that he will get lots of chances against Redskins undrafted rookie RCB Quinton Dunbar and former CFL player Will Blackmon in the slot, in addition to steady LCB Bashaud Breeland. ... With Martellus Bennett (ribs) done for the year, Zach Miller will take over as the Bears' every-down tight end. Miller logged 100% of Chicago's snaps with Bennett inactive on Thanksgiving, drawing seven targets. When Miller has been a big part of the Bears' offense, Cutler has noticeably eyeballed him in the red zone. Miller is one of the top TE1 streamers of Week 14. ... Eddie Royal appears poised to return from his six-week knee injury against the Redskins, though his role and usage are unclear. In five healthy appearances, Royal has averaged 33.8 yards per game this year.
The Redskins' team total at Soldier Field is a shade above 20 points. ... Whereas Kirk Cousins has flirted with fantasy viability in home games this year, his TD-to-INT ratio in away games is 5:8 with weekly finishes of QB24, QB25, QB27, QB23, and QB20. Since the Bears' Week 7 bye, DC Vic Fangio's defense has limited enemy quarterbacks to a combined 120-of-210 passing (57.1%) for 1,315 yards (6.26 YPA) and only six touchdown passes in six games. Chicago did allow a top-ten quarterback finish to Blaine Gabbert last week, but the vast majority of his points came on two individual plays: a 44-yard rushing score and a 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith in overtime. Otherwise, the 49ers struggled to move the ball on the Bears. This is a sub-par matchup for Cousins, who is a low-end two-quarterback-league play. ... Although Chicago has been vulnerable on the ground, I've given up trying to forecast which Redskins running back will lead the way in a given week. Washington's rushing efficiency has also been among the NFL's worst. Alfred Morris and Matt Jones have combined for just 894 yards and three TDs on 257 runs (3.48 YPC) this season. Jones is averaging an anemic 2.74 yards per carry since Week 2.
Cousins' target distribution since DeSean Jackson returned from his early-season hamstring tear: Jordan Reed 36; Jackson 30; Pierre Garcon 27; Jamison Crowder 22; Chris Thompson 14; Jones 10; Derek Carrier 7; Morris 4. ... Having hit pay dirt in three straight games, Jackson will pose matchup problems for a Bears defense that is among the slowest in football and is again expected to be without field general FS Antrel Rolle (knee). Consider D-Jax a boom-bust WR2 option at Soldier Field. ... Chicago has played surprisingly stingy tight end coverage throughout the season, permitting the fourth fewest fantasy points in the league to the position. The Bears held 49ers tight ends to 3-23-0 in Week 13 and Packers tight ends to 6-39-0 in Week 12. Reed is much better than the tight ends San Francisco and Green Bay have to offer, of course, but expectations may need to be lowered for Reed going forward. He's failed to clear 50 receiving yards in 4-of-5 games since Jackson returned. ... Garcon's receiving lines are 4-70-0, 2-10-0, 3-43-0, 3-35-0, and 5-54-0 since Jackson came back, good for a 3.4-catch, 42.4-yard average.
Score Prediction: Bears 23, Redskins 17
Atlanta @ Carolina
The game total on Falcons-Panthers is 46.5 with host Carolina favored by 8.5. The Panthers' team total is 27.5 points. ... As PFF's Pat Thorman often notes, the Panthers' tendency to push the pace and play more no-huddle offense in Carolina has played a role in Cam Newton's home-away splits. Whereas Cam has managed weekly fantasy finishes of QB21, QB14, QB9, QB8, QB17, and QB2 through six away games, his finishes at home are QB4, QB3, QB14, QB12, QB1, and QB1. Although it's fair to wonder if the Falcons will put up much of a Week 14 fight, the Panthers haven't been afraid to keep their foot on the gas this season, collecting six of their 12 wins by three scores or more. Newton is a high-floor, high-ceiling fantasy play every week. ... On the off chance the Panthers do build a significant early lead and opt to slow it down, Jonathan Stewart would become the centerpiece of Carolina's offense. Averaging 22.9 touches per game since the Panthers' Week 5 bye, J-Stew has been one of fantasy's steadiest producers this season. Shredded on the ground in its last two games, Atlanta coughed up a combined 67-345-3 (5.15 YPC) rushing line to Vikings and Bucs RBs in Weeks 12-13. The Falcons are 21st in run-defense DVOA and have allowed a league-high 13 rushing touchdowns to running backs.
Newton's targets since Carolina's bye: Greg Olsen 70; Ted Ginn 52; Jerricho Cotchery 32; Devin Funchess 30; Corey Brown 22; Stewart and Ed Dickson 14; Mike Tolbert 9. ... The Falcons allow the fourth-most receptions and seventh most yards to tight ends. Albeit increasingly costly, the Cam-Olsen stack remains squarely in play on DFS sites this week. ... Ginn muffed a pair of potential touchdown bombs in last Sunday's win over New Orleans, but still emerged with a 5-80-2 receiving line. Ginn has drawn at least seven targets in five of the Panthers' last seven games and has the best Week 14 matchup in Carolina's wideout corps. While Funchess and Brown do most of their route running at shutdown Falcons LCB Desmond Trufant, Ginn will spend this game in the coverage of rookie RCB Jalen Collins. Among 104 qualifiers, Collins has Pro Football Focus' No. 101 coverage grade over the last five weeks. Ginn is an upside dart throw in WR3/flex spots. ... Brown's Week 13 return from a shoulder injury cut Funchess' playing time to 31% after the rookie's snap rates climbed to 81% and 83% in Brown's two-week absence. 33-year-old slot man Cotchery is a better for catches than Funchess at this point.
As 8.5-point underdogs at Carolina, the Falcons' Week 14 team total is just 19 points. ... Ranked No. 2 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA, third in sacks (35), and first in interceptions (19) with a league-low 70.7 passer rating allowed, the Panthers pose an impossible matchup for Matt Ryan, who flopped in a gorgeous Week 13 draw at Tampa Bay. One of Ryan's biggest 2015 obstacles has been Atlanta's weapons shortage beyond Julio Jones, whom the Panthers can contain with Josh Norman. As Ryan ranks second in the NFL in interceptions (13) and has committed 14 turnovers across his last eight games, this is a prime spot for Carolina's D/ST. Ryan can be written off as a fantasy start. ... Devonta Freeman will likely have to do most of his Week 14 damage in the air against a Panthers defense that has limited opposing running backs to 280 yards and two touchdowns on 95 carries (2.95 YPC) over its last six games. The Panthers have climbed to No. 3 in Football Outsiders' run-defense metrics. As the Falcons figure to spend most of this game playing from behind, it is notable for Freeman's PPR outlook that Carolina has permitted the second most receptions in the league to running backs. As expected, Freeman immediately supplanted Tevin Coleman as Atlanta's workhorse in his Week 13 return from a concussion, logging a 72% snap rate and 24 touches, including a team-high ten catches. Coleman managed 17 yards on four touches, playing just 16% of the snaps.
Ryan's target distribution with Freeman back last week: Julio 17; Freeman 11; Jacob Tamme and Roddy White 4; Justin Hardy 3; Patrick DiMarco and Nick Williams 2. ... Season-long fantasy owners will have to hope OC Kyle Shanahan effectively uses scheme to get Julio chances against Carolina's non-Norman defensive backs. One option would be to frequently motion Jones into the slot, where PFF has charted Norman with just 1% of his snaps played this season. Julio has played nearly 30% of his snaps in the slot. Norman has shut down DeAndre Hopkins (5-53-0), T.Y. Hilton (1-15-0), and Dez Bryant (2-26-0) this season, but he also shadowed Vincent Jackson (10-147-1) and Brandin Cooks (6-104-1) on perimeter routes, and both were able to make big plays when lined up inside. Last week, for instance, Cooks burned Panthers FS Kurt Coleman for a 54-yard score. ... The Julio-Norman showdown could theoretically lead to more chances for Tamme, although his matchup isn't particularly favorable, either. In WLB Thomas Davis, MLB Luke Kuechly, and SLB Shaq Thompson, the Panthers have great speed at linebacker and rank 17th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Carolina did give up a combined 7-68-1 receiving number to Saints tight ends last Sunday. Tamme is a lower-end TE1 streamer this week.
Score Prediction: Panthers 28, Falcons 17
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
Friday Update: In a genuinely stunning turn of events, Brandin Cooks received full medical clearance on Friday after being listed on the Saints' injury report with a concussion on Thursday. Cooks is now listed as probable for Week 14. Cooks' availability is good news for the outlook of Drew Brees, who will have his top passing-game playmaker in a game where the Saints figure to have minimal rushing success, and will have to lean on the pass. Cooks' availability downticks the outlooks of Ben Watson, Willie Snead, and the Buccaneers' D/ST, although I think Tampa Bay's defense remains squarely in play as a streamer for reasons explained below, and I still like Watson as a streamer based on the growth of his passing-game role since the Saints' Week 11 bye.
The game total on Saints-Bucs is 50.5 points, highest of Week 14. As four-point favorites, Tampa Bay's team total is over 27. ... Although much of the field will gravitate to Jameis Winston, Doug Martin is the strongest Week 14 fantasy play on Tampa's side. The Bucs have fully embraced a run-first approach under first-year OC Dirk Koetter, ranking fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts and second in rushing yards. They're 26th in pass attempts. My guess is the Bucs' coaching staff will take steps to prevent this from becoming a Jameis-Drew Brees shootout by relentlessly sticking the ball in Martin's belly. Since Dennis Allen replaced Rob Ryan as Saints defensive coordinator two games ago, New Orleans has yielded a combined 56-276-2 (4.93 YPC) rushing line to Texans and Panthers backs. The Saints are 27th in run-defense DVOA. The likelihood of Martin having an extreme-volume game is enhanced by the Saints' loss of top playmakers Mark Ingram (shoulder, I.R.) and Brandin Cooks (concussion). ... That isn't to diminish Winston as a QB1 streamer, of course, especially after he showed in Week 11 against the Eagles that he's capable of parlaying a monster rushing game from Martin into a big box score of his own. New Orleans has allowed 35 passing touchdowns, five short of the NFL record with four games left to play. The Ryan-to-Allen coordinator change hasn't helped, as the Saints were pasted by Brian Hoyer and Cam Newton for 49-of-68 passing (72.1%), 536 yards (7.88 YPA), and a 7:2 TD-to-INT ratio in Weeks 12-13. New Orleans has allowed multiple touchdown passes in ten of its twelve games this season. Fantasy's No. 11 quarterback over the past three weeks, Winston could pay dividends and then some on the off chance Brees gets hot against Lovie Smith's defense.
Winston's target distribution since Vincent Jackson returned from a knee injury in Week 11: Mike Evans 24; Jackson 21; Cameron Brate 12; Charles Sims 10; Adam Humphries 9; Martin and Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6. ... Although his weekly target totals have lessened (7, 10, 7) since Jackson came back, Evans will have the Week 14 pleasure of running most of his routes at Saints RCB Brandon Browner, the NFL's worst cornerback. Torched viciously by Ted Ginn (5-80-2) last week, Browner nearly gave up two more touchdown bombs but was fortunate Ginn dropped them. ... The overall WR29 in PPR scoring since his return, Jackson is a worthwhile WR3 play versus New Orleans. V-Jax will spend slightly more of this game lined up against LCB Delvin Breaux, who has played well this season but is dealing with hamstring tightness that cost him most of last week's game and limited Breaux in practice this week. ... Finally cleared in Week 13 against the Falcons, Seferian-Jenkins ranked second on the Bucs in targets (6) despite logging only 29% of Tampa Bay's snaps. ASJ's playing time remains a concern, but his matchup is beautiful against a Saints defense that was shredded by Titans tight ends for 12-153-3 in Week 9, 4-43-2 by Redskins tight ends in Week 10, 6-92-1 by Texans tight ends in Week 12, and 12-156 by Panthers tight ends last week. Until we see him restored to full-time usage, Seferian-Jenkins is best approached as a boom-bust TE1 option.
As four-point dogs, the Saints' team total is just above 23 points. ... A big game is always within Drew Brees' range of outcomes, but there are a number of negative data points working against him this week. First is his home-away splits; Brees has 18 touchdowns in six home games versus six TDs in five games on the road. Second is his struggles versus Lovie Smith; Brees' weekly finishes are QB25, QB18, and QB10 with four touchdowns and eight picks in three meetings since Smith took over as Bucs head coach. Third is Tampa Bay's pass-defense improvement; the Bucs held opposing quarterbacks to 127-of-197 passing for 1,244 yards (6.31 YPA) with a 7:7 TD-to-INT ratio in Weeks 9-13. Fourth is the expected absence of Cooks, New Orleans' lone true playmaker in the passing game. I think the Bucs' D/ST is a sneaky play this week. ... One factor working in Brees' favor is the likelihood the Bucs contain the Saints' Ingram-less run game and force them to primarily move the ball in the air. Ranked No. 2 in run-defense DVOA, Tampa Bay has held opposing RBs to 500 yards and zero touchdowns on 157 carries (3.18 YPC) since its Week 6 bye. I'll be interested to see how the loss of MLB Kwon Alexander impacts the Bucs' defense. A speedy (4.55) fourth-round rookie out of LSU, Alexander has made a number of splash plays this season but has horrific run-defense grades from Pro Football Focus. Regardless, the Saints' running game is sure to take a step back post-Ingram. The preferred Week 14 fantasy play in New Orleans' backfield is Tim Hightower, whose superior pass-protection skills will likely earn him more snaps than C.J. Spiller. Saints beat writers believe Hightower will be the main early-down and goal-line option, as well. Owners desperate at running back could do much worse than Hightower in a flex spot this week. He's also the stone minimum on DFS sites.
Brees' targets since the Saints' Week 11 bye: Cooks 18; Ben Watson 17; Ingram 14; Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman 8; Marques Colston 7; Spiller 5; Josh Hill 4. ... Assuming Cooks can't get clearance before Sunday's game -- and it seems highly unlikely -- my pick to lead the Saints in Week 14 receiving is Watson. Watson had emerged as New Orleans' No. 2 pass option before Cooks went down, drawing target counts of 9 and 8 in two games since the Saints' bye week. Alexander's absence could also be felt versus tight ends; he was an every-snap player whose athleticism came in quite handy in second-level pass coverage. Watson is a recommended streamer in the first round of season-long fantasy playoffs and an attractive TE1 punt play on daily fantasy sites. ... Snead is tentatively due back after missing last Sunday's loss to Carolina. Snead has battled knee and calf injuries, and goose egged the last time he tried to play hurt. With only five catches for 40 yards over the last month, I'd want to see Snead put something substantial in the box score before trusting him in fantasy. ... Coleman and Colston will operate as the Saints' Nos. 2 and 3 receivers if Cooks is declared inactive. Both Coleman and Colston have been complete duds this season, but Coleman did drop a 4-73-1 line on the Panthers last week, drawing seven targets. He's worth a look for fantasy owners desperate at wideout.
Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Saints 20
4:05PM ET Game
Oakland @ Denver
In the rematch of a Week 5 meeting that went 16-10 in Denver's favor, Raiders-Broncos has a game total of 43.5 points with Gary Kubiak's team favored by 7.5. Denver's team total is 25.5 points. ... Since his 250-yard, two-score debut at Soldier Field in Week 11, Brock Osweiler has managed weekly fantasy finishes of QB25 and QB24 while completing 39-of-68 throws (57.4%) for 436 yards (6.41 YPA) with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Although he has won all three of his starts and played passably enough to keep the Broncos' starting job when Peyton Manning (foot) gets healthy, Osweiler has demonstrated minimal fantasy appeal regardless of matchups. Osweiler's athleticism has had positive effects on Kubiak's bootleg-oriented offense, but he isn't rushing for yards or completing downfield passes. Osweiler has a mid-range QB2 ceiling in a game Denver figures to control with its rushing attack and defense. ... The Raiders have resumed playing stout run defense since a brief midseason blip against Adrian Peterson and DeAngelo Williams, holding Chiefs, Titans, and Lions running backs to 181 yards and one touchdown on 54 carries (3.35 YPC) over their last three games. More concerning than Week 14 matchup is the potentially injury-affected workload distribution in Denver's backfield. C.J. Anderson (ankle) left last week's loss to San Diego and did not return, while Ronnie Hillman (foot) also missed practice time this week. Although they are tentatively expected to be active against the Raiders, the health and usage of both backs are unclear. On Thursday, Kubiak went so far as to suggest Juwan Thompson could get the start at tailback.
Osweiler's targets with Emmanuel Sanders healthy the last two weeks: Demaryius Thomas 19; Sanders 17; Owen Daniels 9; Anderson and Vernon Davis 5; Andre Caldwell and Bennie Fowler 4; Hillman 2; Cody Latimer 1. ... Although Demaryius has not shown a high ceiling in Osweiler's three starts, Thomas has hit pay dirt in two of them and in Week 14 will primarily contend with Raiders RCB D.J. Hayden, who reentered Oakland's nickel package last week at the expense of benched Neiko Thorpe. Among 116 qualified cornerbacks, Hayden has PFF's No. 114 coverage grade. ... Sanders will also get chances against Hayden, but will mainly line up across from LCB David Amerson, a successful reclamation project by Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. Amerson has been Oakland's best corner this season. Used as more of a low-volume, shot-play specialist with Osweiler under center, Sanders is a boom-bust WR2 option. Sanders has caught four passes or fewer in five of his last eight games with one touchdown since Week 6. ... The Raiders generally pose plus matchups for opposing tight ends, but neither Davis nor Daniels has stepped forward as a more than a weak streamer option with Osweiler under center. Davis' receiving lines in Osweiler's starts are 6-68-0, 2-10-0, and 2-25-0. Daniels' numbers are 4-69-0, 5-48-0, and 2-13-0. Should Davis (concussion) miss Week 14, Daniels would serve as a near-full-time tight end versus an Oakland defense against which he goose egged on five targets in Week 5.
After mustering 10 points in its Week 5 home loss to Denver, Oakland's team total stands at a lowly 18 points. ... There is pretty much every reason to expect a slow game from Derek Carr. The Raiders' low total. The fact that Oakland's passing offense funnels through its two receivers, and Denver's to-date allowance of a league-low one touchdown pass to opposing wideouts. Carr's QB21 fantasy finish against the Broncos in Week 5. Denver's No. 1 rank in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA. I've struggled to find a single positive data point on Carr's Week 14 fantasy outlook. ... Latavius Murray managed 57 scoreless yards on 16 touches when these teams played in Week 5 and was running much better then, than he is now. Murray was also getting far more passing-game work in the first five weeks of the year. Latavius did collect touch totals of 23 and 24 in Weeks 12-13, which keeps him in the RB2 range in season-long leagues. Fantasy owners will have to hold their breath for a short touchdown and/or a long run from Murray against a Broncos defense holding enemy backs to 3.22 yards per carry.
Carr's target distribution since the Raiders' Week 6 bye: Michael Crabtree 67; Amari Cooper 61; Seth Roberts 25; Clive Walford 23; Mychal Rivera 20; Murray 19; Marcel Reece 13; Andre Holmes 12. ... In the Week 5 game, Crabtree primarily matched up with Broncos slot corner Chris Harris and RCB Bradley Roby, and emerged with a 4-54-0 receiving line. Usually an every-week WR2, Crabtree should be downgraded to a low-ceiling WR3 in this game. ... Cooper went 4-47-0 against Denver in Week 5. I'll be starting him in two season-long leagues this week simply because he's my best option. I'd gladly take five catches for 60 yards, and consider anything beyond that gravy. It should be noted that Denver has lost SS T.J. Ward (ankle), fill-in SS David Bruton (MCL/PCL), and sub-package S Omar Bolden (hamstring) over the last two weeks. This is obviously glass-half-full thinking, but a coverage bust or two could be in the offing. Cooper does have at least eight targets in five of his last six games. ... Reece led the Raiders in Week 5 receiving (7-49-1), adding a six-yard carry. Unfortunately, Reece's snap rates the last two weeks are 25% and 23%. Even as a punt play, Reece's floor is too low for fantasy use. ... Walford caught all five of his Week 13 targets for 53 yards against the Chiefs. The third-round rookie is an ascending player, but he continues to rotate with Rivera and has not drawn more than five targets in any game this year. Walford would be a stretch as a TE1 streamer.
Score Prediction: Broncos 20, Raiders 13
4:25PM ET Game
Dallas @ Green Bay
The game total on Cowboys-Packers is 43 with Green Bay favored by a touchdown. The Packers' team total is 25 points. ... Although a dangerously heavy dose of Aaron Rodgers' recent production has occurred on improvisation, off-schedule plays, and last week's last-second Hail Mary, Rodgers has continued to be a useful fantasy commodity in spite of Green Bay's offensive dysfunction. Rodgers has a 26:5 TD-to-INT ratio on the season, and his weekly finishes over his last five games are QB2, QB7, QB11, QB24, and QB8. It should also be noted that Rodgers has faced a lengthy string of opponents who've played stout pass defense recently and/or all year. Although we can no longer expect top-five production from Rodgers on a weekly basis, he remains an every-week QB1 who's always in play in DFS tournaments based on low ownership and his individual ceiling. In Week 14, Rodgers will come off ten days rest to face a Cowboys team traveling on a short week that ranks a middling 15th in pass-defense DVOA. ... Of far more concern than matchup for Green Bay's backfield is the workload distribution. Eddie Lacy seemed to have turned his season around with back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts in Weeks 11-12, before promptly being benched six touches into last Thursday night's win over the Lions. Media reports indicated Lacy missed curfew the night before, and to open this week coach Mike McCarthy stated that Lacy looked "rejuvenated" after being disciplined. Lacy can only be viewed as a boom-bust RB2 option. James Starks and John Crockett aren't legitimate fantasy plays.
Rodgers' target distribution since the Packers' Week 7 bye: Davante Adams 56; Randall Cobb 52; Richard Rodgers 38; Starks and James Jones 30; Lacy 11; Jared Abbrederis 10; Justin Perillo 9. ... Against RCB Morris Claiborne and LCB Brandon Carr, respectively, the matchups are good for Jones and Adams on paper. Jones, however, has two receptions or fewer in seven of his last eight games and has devolved into a touchdown-or-bust dart throw. Jones has as many targets as the Packers' backup running back since the bye. Adams scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 13 against the Lions, but has finished below 40 yards in three straight games and is averaging 9.5 yards per catch. Rodgers owners should be pleased that Jones and Adams have favorable matchups. Owners of Jones and Adams should seek alternatives. ... Cobb has been one of fantasy's biggest disappointments, but he still ranks a respectable 21st among wideouts in PPR scoring. Cobb is a fringe WR2 against Dallas slot CB Tyler Patmon, whom the Cowboys benched earlier in the season and wouldn't be playing if not for Orlando Scandrick's preseason ACL/MCL tears. ... With the Packers' perimeter wideouts struggling mightily, it would make sense for Week 13 Hail Mary hero TE Rodgers to take on a bigger passing-game role moving forward. As a liability in the running game, however, Rodgers has been rotating with Perillo for the last month and in Week 14 gets a tough matchup versus a Dallas defense yielding the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Last Monday night, the Cowboys held Jordan Reed to 3-33-0 on eight targets. I'm still considering Rodgers a touchdown-or-bust streamer.
On the road and playing on a short week, Dallas' team total is 18 points at Lambeau. ... Matt Cassel has managed weekly finishes of QB22, QB26, QB6, QB27, and QB25 in his five 2015 starts. Facing a Packers pass defense that ranks 11th in Football Outsiders' DVOA, Cassel isn't a two-quarterback-league starter this week. ... Over its last five games, Green Bay has held opposing backs to 332 yards and two touchdowns on 109 carries (3.05 YPC). Darren McFadden has a bad Week 14 matchup, and could be on a short leash after losing two fumbles in Monday night's win over Washington. No longer seeing the volume he did around midseason, McFadden is an RB2 option with a lower floor than usual this week. ... Cassel's target distribution with Dez Bryant in the lineup this year: Dez 35; Jason Witten 29; Cole Beasley 20; Terrance Williams 18; McFadden 17. ... On stat lines of 2-12-0, 5-104-1, 5-45-0, and 3-62-0 in Cassel's starts, Dez has devolved into a WR3/flex option. Bryant's Week 14 matchup is below average at best versus Packers boundary CBs Sam Shields and Damarious Randall. Shields has a top-25 coverage grade among 116 qualified cornerbacks at Pro Football Focus. Randall is 42nd. ... Witten's receiving lines are 6-73-0, 2-16-0, 6-43-0, 5-42-0, and 5-45-0 in Cassel's starts. Witten has not scored a touchdown since Week 1. The good news is Green Bay has coughed up the ninth most fantasy points to tight ends. The bad news is Witten offers negligible upside regardless of matchups.
Score Prediction: Packers 27, Cowboys 17
Sunday Night Football
New England @ Houston
The game total on Patriots-Texans is 45 points with visiting New England favored by 3.5. The team total on Bill Belichick's club is above 24 points. ... Although Tyrod Taylor accounted for four all-purpose touchdowns in last week's win over the Texans, the heavy majority of Taylor's passing production came on big individual plays made by Sammy Watkins and three TDs that occurred inside the ten-yard line. Taylor did not light up Houston's pass defense, which has played at an elite level in a far bigger sample size. Even with last week's stats included, the Texans have limited Andy Dalton, Drew Brees, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Taylor to a combined 77-of-142 passing (54.2%) for 852 yards (6.00 YPA), and a 4:4 TD-to-INT ratio over their last four games. This is a difficult matchup for Tom Brady, who should be downgraded from a top-shelf QB1 play into the mid to low-end range based on his opposition and crumbling parts around him. ... While their pass defense has caught fire, the Texans' run defense has been average or worse. They're 19th in run-defense DVOA and coughed up a combined 29-159 rushing line (5.48 YPC) to Bills RBs last week. I'm still having a hard time trusting Patriots running backs, even after James White's RB2 overall PPR performance in last Sunday's loss to Philadelphia. White touched the ball only 12 times, Brandon Bolden remained involved, and New England could revert to a LeGarrette Blount-led power rushing attack at the drop of a hat. White is a dicey flex option in PPR. Scoreless in three straight, Blount has regressed into a touchdown-or-bust flex.
Brady's target distribution with Danny Amendola (knee) back last week: White and Amendola 13; Brandon LaFell 9; Keshawn Martin 8; Scott Chandler 7; Bolden 5. ... Amendola's stat lines in his last three healthy games are 10-79-0, 9-117-0, and 7-62-1. Facing burnable Texans slot CB Kareem Jackson this week, Amendola should be locked into fantasy lineups as a WR2 in PPR and a WR3/flex in non-PPR. ... LaFell logged fewer Week 13 snaps than Martin and both played poorly, combining for three dropped passes and 72 scoreless yards on 17 targets. Despite ample opportunity with a Hall of Fame quarterback, LaFell has not established himself as a reliable fantasy WR3. LaFell (4-27-0) was narrowly outproduced by Martin (3-45-0) in last week's loss to Philadelphia. ... These are cherrypicked, but somewhat notable nonetheless. A few tight end lines allowed by Houston this season: 6-106-2 (Travis Kelce), 7-78-1 (Julius Thomas), 4-66-1 (Charles Clay), 6-62 (Delanie Walker). With target totals of 11 and 7 in his last two games, Chandler is a respectable Week 14 streamer in a mediocre matchup or better. Rob Gronkowski (knee) did return to practice Thursday, but there is no indication (yet) that he's likely to play.
Friday Update: Gronkowski participated in Thursday and Friday's practices on a "limited" basis, and is listed as questionable on the injury report. The Patriots' beat writers have given no indication as to whether they expect Gronkowski to play. Due to the late start on Pats-Texans, fantasy owners will be in a bind. Chandler is the best handcuff for Gronkowski owners, though he too is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Gronk owners could also explore picking up Texans TE Ryan Griffin, Giants TE Will Tye, or Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron as late-swap options from Sunday night and Monday night's games if Chandler is already rostered.
The Texans host the Patriots as 3.5-point underdogs with a team total below 21 points. ... Brian Hoyer will do battle Sunday night with a New England pass defense that ranks 12th in Football Outsiders' DVOA and second in the NFL in sacks (36) with the league's ninth lowest passer rating allowed (83.7). These are the last six quarterbacks to have faced the Patriots with their fantasy finish in parentheses: Sam Bradford (QB23), Brock Osweiler (QB25), Tyrod Taylor (QB25), Eli Manning (QB6), Kirk Cousins (QB25), Ryan Tannehill (QB24). Belichick is familiar with Brian Hoyer from their years (2009-2011) together, and keenly aware of his strengths and weaknesses. Hoyer is best approached as a two-quarterback-league starter as opposed to a streamer this week. ... Houston's musical-chairs backfield shifted to Chris Polk (13 touches) in Week 13 after Alfred Blue (17 touches) led the way in Week 12 usage. Jonathan Grimes and Akeem Hunt continue to be sprinkled in. Although a run-defense matchup with New England is not overly imposing -- particularly if SLB Dont'a Hightower (MCL) misses another game -- Texans running backs should be safe to ignore in the fantasy playoffs due to their uncertain usage.
Hoyer's targets since he returned from a concussion two games ago: DeAndre Hopkins 17; Nate Washington 15; Cecil Shorts 14; Ryan Griffin 10; Grimes and C.J. Fiedorowicz 3; Hunt and Polk 2; Blue 1. ... Another reason to not love Hoyer this week is the rough outlooks of his pass catchers. There is little doubt Belichick will do what he can to contain Hopkins. At the same time, Odell Beckham (4-104-1), T.Y. Hilton (6-74-1), and Antonio Brown (9-133-1) faced concentrated coverage from New England and emerged with productive fantasy games. While this probably isn't the week to lean on Hopkins as a DFS investment, he should remain a staple in season-long lineups. Patriots top CB Malcolm Butler has had a solid year, but he's also been charged with six touchdowns allowed, tied for fifth most among NFL cornerbacks. ... Washington's receiving lines since the Texans' Week 9 bye are 2-32-0, 2-13-0, 3-43-0, and 6-44-0. Washington will primarily line up across from RCB Logan Ryan, who has been even better than Butler. ... Shorts capitalized on his plus Week 13 draw with Bills slot CB Nickell Robey, dropping a 6-91 stat line on Buffalo. It was Shorts' first game above four receptions since Week 4. Shorts is a capable slot receiver, but he is always a poor bet for truly big games as a role player behind alpha-dog Hopkins in the pecking order for targets. ... Expect Griffin's two-game touchdown streak to end against New England, which has held opposing tight ends to the sixth fewest fantasy points in the league and just four TDs in 12 games. Zach Ertz did score his first touchdown of the season in last week's upset of the Patriots, but Ertz and Brent Celek combined for 25 receiving yards in the game.
Score Prediction: Patriots 21, Texans 17
Monday Night Football
NY Giants @ Miami
Monday night's game total is 47 with host Miami as a one-point dog. The Dolphins' team total is 23 points. ... The top fantasy play on Miami's side is Lamar Miller, whom interim OC Zac Taylor restored to bellcow usage in his first game as offensive coordinator. Logging 65% of the Dolphins' snaps -- his normal playing time after a Jay Ajayi-induced Week 12 scare -- Miller amassed a season-high 20 carries in Miami's Week 13 win over Baltimore, averaging 5.65 yards per rush against the Ravens' shutdown run defense. In the five games Miller has exceeded 15 touches this season, his PPR finishes are RB10, RB1, RB2, RB5, and RB22. In an offense that now seems legitimately committed to running voluminously, Miller has reentered the low-end RB1 conversation in a Week 14 date with a Giants team that ranks a middling 16th in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA. ... The last five quarterbacks to have faced the Giants with their weekly fantasy finish in parentheses: Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB9), Kirk Cousins (QB11), Tom Brady (QB9), Jameis Winston (QB14), Drew Brees (QB1). The matchup looks nice on paper for Ryan Tannehill, though his volume is a serious Week 14 question mark after Tannehill managed nine completions on 19 attempts in last Sunday's win over the Ravens. As a quarterback who ranks 22nd in completion percentage (61.5%), 21th in yards per attempt (7.1), and 18th in touchdown rate (4.8%), Tannehill needs volume to pay QB1 dividends. Unless the Giants light up Miami's pass defense -- which is a possibility -- Tannehill is probably no more than a QB2.
Tannehill's targets since Rishard Matthews left with fractured ribs in Week 12: Jarvis Landry 21; DeVante Parker 15; Kenny Stills 10; Miller, Ajayi, and Jordan Cameron 6; Damien Williams 5; Greg Jennings 3. ... The biggest Week 14 concern for Miami's pass catchers is the frequency with which new OC Taylor dials up pass plays. Landry and Parker tied for the team lead at five targets apiece in last Sunday's win over Baltimore. On paper, Landry has a gorgeous draw against Giants fill-in slot CB Trevin Wade one week after Jets slot receiver Eric Decker dropped 8-101 on the G-Men. ... Parker logged an 88% snap rate in place of Matthews last week, hitting pay dirt for the second time in as many games. Mainly a boundary receiver in Miami's offense, Parker will run his routes at stingy RCB Prince Amukamara and LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Although Parker has flashed promise and playmaking ability through two extended looks, the difficult matchup and concerning shortage of volume in Miami's revised passing attack render Parker more of a Hail Mary WR3 option. ... Only the Saints are giving up more catches and yards to tight ends than the Giants. Unfortunately, Cameron hasn't drawn more than five targets in a game since mid-October and is therefore waiver-wire fodder down the fantasy stretch.
As one-point favorites at Sun Life Stadium, the Giants' team total is 24 points on Monday Night Football. ... Eli Manning enters Week 14 with multiple touchdown passes in four of his last five games. His matchup is well above average against a Dolphins pass defense that ranks 25th in Football Outsiders' DVOA and has allowed opposing quarterbacks to go 165-of-258 (64.0%) passing for 2,014 yards (7.81 YPA) with a 16:5 TD-to-INT ratio across its last seven games. Miami has permitted the fifth most passing touchdowns in football (24) and ranks 21st in sacks (26). Although New York's weapons shortage may curb his ceiling, Manning is a high-floor QB1 option in prime time. ... The Giants' backfield remains in nothing-to-see-here mode after Orleans Darkwa led the four-man unit with nine touches in last Sunday's loss to the Jets. Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams each sprinkled in six touches apiece. The G-Men could face the NFL's worst run defense and still have fantasy-irrelevant running backs.
Manning's target distribution since the Giants' Week 11 bye: Odell Beckham 29; Rueben Randle and Will Tye 12; Vereen 8; Dwayne Harris 7; Jennings 5; Jerome Cunningham 4; Hakeem Nicks 3. ... Beckham has topped 100 yards in five straight games, drawing target totals of 9, 17, 12, 18, and 11 during that stretch. Look for Beckham to be shadowed by Brent Grimes, who has Pro Football Focus' No. 100 coverage grade among 107 qualified corners over the last six weeks. Miami has given up the following receiving lines to No. 1 wideouts during that stretch: 9-131-2 (Brandon Marshall), 8-168-1 (Sammy Watkins), 7-81-2 (Julian Edelman), 4-45-1 (Dez Bryant), 6-48 (Kamar Aiken). ... Undrafted rookie Tye has put himself into streamer contention with stat lines of 5-56, 6-74, and 3-70 in his last three games. Tye's 69% snap rate in last week's loss to the Jets was his second highest all year. ... The favorable matchups of Randle and Harris against Bobby McCain and Brice McCain could potentially bode well for Eli, but Randle and Harris are hard to take seriously even as dart-throw fantasy plays. Slot man Harris has cleared 40 yards once in his last five games. Randle has rarely been a fantasy factor during his contract year.
Score Prediction: Dolphins 24, Giants 21