NFL DFS Contrarian Thinking: Week 14

Written By PlayPicks Staff on December 12, 2015 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
NFL DFS Contrarian Thinking

This is a weekly series where I break down the best contrarian plays for the upcoming NFL week.  I’m going to be focusing on high upside, low owned plays and pairings that could really pay off big for you in a large tournament.  Major outside the box thinking, cheap pricing and upside is the goal…


Last Week: Tons of really solid plays last week.  The Dolphins were probably the best cheap defensive play of the bunch and Jeremy Hill-Bengals and Carson-Brown paid off their salaries and then some.  Unfortunately, about 5 QBs (all chalk plays) scored 30+ points last week so it was hard to get a leg up by going contrarian, but we’ll try again this week regardless…




Drew Brees/Brandin Cooks

I get why everyone is targeting players against the Saints defense this week but I don’t get why nobody is talking about the Saints passing game.  Drew Brees was a pass or two away from breaking 300 yards and recording 4 TDs in a game last week and this week he’s going to have virtually no run game to rely on with Mark Ingram out.  Everyone loves the upstart Bucs but their secondary leaves a lot to be desired and could get exposed this weekend by a couple of the Saints weapons.  One of those weapons, Brandin Cooks, is the main reason why I love this stack for gpps this week.  Cooks suffered a phantom concussion in practice Thursday but after getting checked out is cleared to play and probable for this game.  Many DFS players will stay off of him now however and I expect very low ownership.  Cooks has been one of the best WRs in the league of late scoring 6 TDs in his last 5 games.  A monster game could be on tap here for Cooks as none of the Bucs CBs have proven they have the chops to slow him down in coverage.  I love targeting this duo this Sunday in big tournaments.


Ryan Tannehill/Jarvis Landry

Coming off their worst fantasy games of the year I expect this duo to be extremely low owned this weekend but see quite a bit of potential here for a decent game from both.  The Giants have secretly been one of the worst teams in defending the QB position this season and have given up 300+ passing yards in 3 straight games to QBs, including 390 yards and 2 TDs to Ryan Fitzpatrick last week.  If Fitzpatrick can put up a big day versus the G-Men then so can Tannehill who, despite his poor play last week, has three 300 yard passing games in his last 6 starts.  With Jarvis Landry going up against former college teammate Odell Beckham I think the motivation for a huge bounce back game for Landry this week will be high and I love pairing him with Tannehill who has never been afraid to feed Landry when the need arises.  Expect more than a decent game passing this week and for this pair to possibly be the Monday Night hammer play of the week (or year).


Tyler Lockett/Seahawks D

This is without a doubt my favorite play of the week (but Cooks is close second).  The Seattle offense is on fire right now and I think rookie Tyler Lockett might be set to lift off in this matchup.  Lockett led the Seattle WRs in receptions and targets last weekend and with Jimmy Graham out has become an integral part of the offense.  Lockett’s pure speed and athleticism shines every time he touches the ball and with Doug Baldwin drawing the top corners in coverage Lockett’s going to be free for some big plays this weekend.  I love pairing Lockett with the Seattle Defense who is also set for a massive game versus whatever backup QB the Ravens throw at them.  With Lockett still returning kicks using the two together means a two TDs for your roster if he takes one back all the way.  This pairing has lots of potential and with Lockett almost assured to be under 5% owned around the industry, it will be a nice tournament target this week.




Golden Tate

Golden Tate has been quietly amassing some very decent fantasy games of late recording 7 or more catches in each of his last three games.  All that’s missing for Tate to explode for fantasy is that one big play/TD that he hasn’t had all season.  Well this weekend the Lions get to play the STL Rams who have no shot at making the playoffs and are about 2 months away from relocating.  The Rams are done and also have some injuries in their secondary (their best CB Janoris Jenkins will miss this game).  Tate is super cheap and will be super low owned this weekend too.  I love his recent targeting and usage and think he makes for a great value play in tournaments.


Julius Thomas

Thomas disappointed many, including myself, who thought he might post a second big game last week with Allen Hurns out.  Now that Hurns looks set to return all those who used him last week will likely avoid him for week 14.  The Colts coverage has been quite exploitable all year and has now given up a TD to a TE in 5 of their last 6 games.  Even though he was overshadowed by Allen Robinson last week Julius still found the end zone and has been getting red zone targets every week as Bortles has really been honing in on him in that part of the field. I think a bounce back game is quite likely here and love the fact most people will ignore him after one slow week.


Charcandrick West

Most people will be off of West this weekend as he is losing some snaps to Spencer Ware.  While that makes West somewhat risky Andy Reid has favoured using 1 RB exclusively in his career and I think this week you could see West used a little more than last.  The RB in the Chiefs offense carries a big role and West could post monster numbers in both the run and pass game versus the very exploitable Chargers run D.  West will be far less than 10% owned everywhere this week and has one of the best matchups on the books, he’s a great contrarian play at RB this Sunday.


TY Hilton

I am leaving Hilton up as a play in this column for one more week.  The Steelers just killed the Colts last weekend, semi-injuring their QB and making it a no contest by half-way through the 3rd Q.  This week though the Colts play division rival Jacksonville and will have Matt Hasselbeck at QB which is good news for Hilton.  The Jags secondary really is one of the worst in the league and a unit Hilton can, and has burned for big games before.  With Hasselbeck healthy and this a must win game for Indy I think a big game here is possible for TY and would consider him for tournaments,  his price has dropped considerably around the industry in recent weeks.




Detroit Lions

I admittedly struggled with picking a defensive play this week but I do think the Lions make a ton of sense.  Detroit is going to be heartbroken after their loss last week but will also be coming off of a long rest and should at least be buoyed by the fact they’re playing great football.  Their opponent, the Rams, also have nothing to play for but are headed in a completely different direction as losers of 5 straight.  The Rams quite simply have no offense and haven’t thrown a single passing TD since week 8.  With no threat of a pass teams like the Lions can just stack the box and blitz RB Todd Gurley before he gets a full head of steam.  The Lions are in a great spot for a rebound here and their D has every shot at posting a massive game versus this joke of an offense.  They’re my favorite value play and tournament play on D this week.

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