We are approaching the last four regular season games for each team and, as a result, the gameplans for each offense are relatively stable. This leads to a more predictable game flow, allowing us to target fewer players and eliminate risk wherever possible.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 14 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans
Luke’s DFS Take: Despite picking up the win in his first start, Jimmy Garoppolo did not suddenly turn the 49ers’ offense into a juggernaut by any means. He had some bright moments, and may have a solid future with the team, but for the time being, the 49ers are simply lacking in the kind of talent that can h like to count on. The Texans’ defense hasn’t been anything special, but I won’t be buying into the 49ers still. The Texans injuries continue to pile up on both sides of the ball, but there are two remaining reliable figures: DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller. Throughout the ups and downs of the Texans season, Both of these players have managed to maintain consistent production, and with less and less competition for touches; they only become more reliable. Both guys have a great matchup this week and should see large doses of touches making both strong options.
Mario’s DFS Take: I continue to refuse to buy into the hype surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo, and it has reached the point where I am picking Houston to beat San Francisco on Sunday – if you’ve followed my picks, you know how I tend to avoid the Texans wherever possible. It changes now. At least, for this week. I would consider starting Tom Savage in my fantasy lineup – words I never thought I’d type – because of the matchup against a secondary ranked 25th in net-yards-per-pass-attempt. This also makes DeAndre Hopkins a must-start. The 49ers’ run defense is also formidable, so the gameplan should steer more to an aerial attack than a heavy dose of run plays. Houston’s defense has been a shell of itself mainly due to injuries, but it has now allowed 24 points or fewer in its last three games and four-of-its-last-five.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Luke’s DFS Take: In what seems like a move that should have been made a while ago now, the Giants have moved on from both their Head Coach and General Manager. Shortly following the move, Eli Manning was renamed the starter and becomes an immediately appealing option. Despite the struggles of the offense this year, he has shown he can still play, and steps into a great matchup against a Cowboys defense that has struggled against the pass this year. Manning carries a very modest price tag and could be a great value play. Assuming he is healthy enough to play at a high level, Sterling Shepard is a near must-start. His volume in the offense with Manning under center is massive, and the two have developed fantastic chemistry with the absence to other key members of the offense. Shepard has also seen a huge price cut after one game with Geno Smith, so he should be easy to fit into your roster. The Cowboys snapped a three game losing streak and are desperate for wins as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive. They got a great game from Alfred Morris last Thursday, and they would be smart to use him heavily this week. The Giants’ defense is allowing the most rushing yards per game, and a highly motivated Eli Manning should be able to produce this week. The combination of those two things makes a game plan centered on giving Morris the ball repeatedly make a ton of sense, and he should be a solid mid priced target this week.
Mario’s DFS Take: For reasons that do not appear to make sense on the surface, I have been high on the Giants for weeks. This is probably due to the velocity at which they plummeted after over-performing, last season and, with it, the likelihood of a rebound. But, just when I thought they had hit ‘rock bottom,’ the events of the last two weeks unfolded, two more losses were added to the mix, and the potential for a ‘bounceback’ grew even more. Now, we are in all-out buying mode. Eli Manning – reinstated as the team’s quarterback – is in-play. With him, tight end Evan Engram becomes arguably a must-play. If Sterling Shepard is active, he is possible a must. But, the true target from Sunday’s divisional rivalry game is the Giants’ defense. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is stepping in as the team’s interim head coach and, in addition to focusing heavily on the side of the ball he knows best – defense – he is a former head coach who left the Giants years ago as one of the most respected members of the organization – so much so that he was hired again to the same role. Against a Cowboys offense that failed to reach double-digit points for three consecutive weeks before finally exploding, the Giants are primed to hold Dallas down.