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Ezekiel Elliott
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QB/RB Grind Down: Week 14

by Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Updated On: December 7, 2018, 10:30 am ET

It's officially December, which means it's the last month of the regular season. The season is flying by, and I'm excited to finish strong.


There are a lot of great games this weekend with byes out of the picture, so we should see the ownership spread out at quarterback this week. And with the playoffs right around the corner, we can start to pinpoint teams that truly have something to play for.


As always, check weather and inactive lists before lineup lock. Let's get into some of my favorite plays for FanDuel and DraftKings.




Cash Game Targets


Drew Brees @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There are a lot of great quarterback options on this slate, but I think Brees presents us with the highest floor in this matchup. Tampa is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and has allowed at least one passing touchdown in every game. They've also surrendered multiple passing touchdowns in nine of 12 games this season. In Week 1, Brees threw for 439 yards and three touchdowns against this defense. He has thrown at least three touchdowns in four of the last five games and is one of the safest overall plays this weekend.


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Aaron Rodgers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta has really struggled on defense this season. The Falcons rank 31st in DVOA against the pass and 29th in DVOA against the run. They've allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and will face one of the best quarterbacks in the league this weekend. Rodgers has been lights out at home in December throughout his career, and the new interim coach only has a short time to prove what he can do. I like the odds of Green Bay putting up a lot of points in this game, and I especially like the price of Rodgers on DraftKings.


Tournament Targets


Patrick Mahomes vs. Baltimore Ravens

Mahomes is averaging right at 30 fantasy points per game, yet he's going to be lower owned this weekend because of his matchup. It concerns me that Baltimore will run the ball a lot and try to keep the clock moving, but Mahomes still has a ton of upside in this tough matchup. His lowest fantasy point total of the season came against Jacksonville, and now without Kareem Hunt, he's going to be relied on even more than before. Mahomes is averaging 326.9 passing yards per game, and he's thrown 41 touchdowns, which leads all quarterbacks this season. I hope he's low owned.


Baker Mayfield vs. Carolina Panthers

Carolina continues to be stout against the run yet has struggled against the pass. The Panthers are ranked 28th in DVOA against the pass and 8th against the run. They're allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they've allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 10 of 12 games this season. Mayfield has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in five of the last six games, and that would have been six straight if Antonio Callaway didn't have the ball stripped away from him at the five-yard line against Houston. Mayfield has thrown 10 touchdowns in the four games since Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. He only threw eight touchdowns in the six games with Haley and Jackson in the picture.



Running Back


Cash Game Targets


Ezekiel Elliott vs. Philadelphia Eagles

I think Elliott is the top play on the entire slate this weekend, and I can’t wait to see what his ownership is in this matchup. With some injuries to this Eagles Defense, they have really struggled against the run in recent weeks. They’ve allowed at least 100 yards rushing and one touchdown in four straight games. Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown and had six catches for 36 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting. Zeke has a super high floor, and I'm going to do everything I can to play him in both cash games and tournaments.


Jaylen Samuels @ Oakland Raiders

James Conner has already been ruled out for this weekend's game, so we're going to see Samuels and Ridley in the backfield for Pittsburgh. I personally like Jeff Wilson Jr. a little more than both of these guys, but the Steelers still have the second-highest implied team total, and both of these guys are really cheap. It doesn't hurt that Oakland ranks 32nd in DVOA against the pass and 31st in DVOA against the run. Samuels is going to be usable in the running game, and he's a very good pass catcher too. I think he has more upside in this game, so I'm giving him the nod over Ridley.


Tournament Targets


Christian McCaffrey @ Cleveland Browns

With Greg Olsen going down again, McCaffrey could see increased targets this weekend against Cleveland. He is second in the league in opportunity share, averaging 7.7 targets per game, and his 80 catches lead all running backs. He is also averaging 127.1 total yards per game. Cleveland is allowing 52 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs and is ranked 26th in DVOA against the run. With just four games left in the season, Carolina is in must-win mode and should continue to get the team's best playmaker the ball early and often.


Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Denver Broncos

With Matt Breida already ruled out for this weekend's game, Jeff Wilson Jr. is in line to draw the start and get a bulk of the carries in this game. The coaching staff likes what Wilson has been doing in practice, and this is an opportunity to show them what he is made of. He carried the ball 15 times for 61 yards against Seattle and added eight catches for 73 yards. Denver ranks 11th in DVOA against the run and hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown in six straight games, but I still like the upside for Wilson, and I hope people get scared off of him because of the tough matchup.

Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.