Every week, when setting a DFS lineup (in this case on DraftKings where the below costs are taken from), managers rely on their studs to reward them and set the foundation to win money that week. But, DraftKings sets budgets to limit managers on how many stars they can have. In order to succeed, while playing into DraftKings’ budgets, a manager must discover multiple sleepers week in and week out, who have the potential to break out and be week-winning players. There are three main aspects that factor into choosing bargain plays for managers’ lineups. The first is that player’s opportunity; when a bargain play has an opportunity it’s predicated on a player above them on the depth chart getting hurt or being limited, or that player has shown something to their coach and has earned a bigger role. The second is talent; even if a player has a decent opportunity, as a manager, if you don’t believe in the talent then you can’t be confident in that player. The third is match-up; bargain plays are the most appealing if that player has a favorable opponent. If they are playing a tough defense then it makes it tougher for them to break out that week.
Here are the bargain plays for Week 14.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts, $5,900
Three weeks in a row of Philip Rivers, are we living in 2014? No, but in 2020, if you have been starting Rivers in redraft he just carried you in the last stretch through to the playoffs. Rivers’ match-ups have been heavenly and he gets another positive opponent in Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders. He has a glorious amount of weapons outside, inside, and in the backfield, to sling the ball too. Expect another steady week from Rivers, as the Colts offense keeps slicing and dicing, as he does as well.
Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,100
You might have to close your eyes and pray while you watch this bargain play, but Glennon has been serviceable these last two weeks. He spreads the ball to his targets and keeps his team in the game. Glennon has a great match-up with the struggling Tennessee Titans defense, and will use his arm to keep the game competitive. It’s tough to find the right stack for Glennon because DJ Chark is the best player, but Glennon has been favoring Collin Johnson, but you can roll out Glennon with confidence.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team, $4,900
With Antonio Gibson expected to miss this game, an offense whose targets were consolidated already, just became more consolidated. McKissic’s floor is so high in PPR formats, and he has received goal-line carries previously. With Gibson out, he might receive more goal line opportunities. What more could you ask for from a running back? He’s going to have double-digit targets and possible touchdown upside!
Frank Gore, New York Jets, $4,000
This will take some monitoring of his concussion, but Gore practiced in limited fashion Wednesday, which bodes well for his availability on Sunday. The Jets ran for 180+ yards in Week 13 and while I don’t expect Gore to eclipse that mark, I do see a lot of positive opportunity in Week 14 against the Seahawks. This game will be closer than people expect, and Gore will have the chance at 15 carries and a few targets as well. I don’t know why Adam Gase continues to stick with the veteran, but you can trust Gore if he is set to go. If he misses you can play Ty Johnson with confidence.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers, $5,000
I’ve waited a long time to reinstate one of my favorite preseason sleepers back in the bargain plays article. Lazard missed some time, then had to be eased back in against tough opponents. Now, in Week 14, all the pieces will come together. He has regained his spot as the number two receiver on this team as he saw an uptick in snaps in Week 13. Aaron Rodgers will throw for three to four touchdowns against a middling Detroit Lions defense, and I expect Lazard to be on the end of at least one of those. He has the talent to make the best of his opportunity in a plus match-up, therefore I like Allen Lazard.
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans, $5,000
Last week, I shouted out Coutee in the Wide Receivers section, which was disrespectful because he went off, but I feel as if I deserve some credit. He came through in a big way against a tough Colts defense, hauling in eight of his nine targets for 141 yards. Coutee has another tough match-up in week 14 with the Bears, but the targets will be there to make him a safe start. Additionally, the Bears defense has shown a few weaknesses recently, and Coutee has the skills and the luxury of a great QB to exploit those weaknesses.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears, $2,900
The guard is changing at TE in Chicago, as rookie Cole Kmet has out-snapped Jimmy Graham the last three weeks. Last week Kmet received seven targets from Mitch Trubisky, and took one to the house. Kmet is still flying under the radar, but the slow uptick in snaps means there is still room for improvement. A match-up with the awful Houston Texans defense will allow Kmet the opportunity to succeed. I expect him to have five to seven targets and make the best of that volume.
Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,100
Eifert’s problem has never been talent, it’s always been injuries, and he’s healthy at the moment, so fantasy managers, make the most of it. Since Mike Glennon has taken over he has favored the TE position. Eifert found the end zone in Week 12 and corralled all six of his targets in Week 13. He has the chance to hit fire this week based off NBA jam rules, and he has the volume and match-up to do so.
Dallas Cowboys, $2,400
The Cowboys could face the worst QB in the NFL in Ryan Finley this week, but if Brandon Allen suits up, you should switch to the Arizona Cardinals or the Carolina Panthers.