What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 14 slate…
I have a very small QB pool this week, that grew even smaller when Mike White was ruled out for the Jets. This is a rare week with several in-play value options — something we haven’t been accustomed to this season. That makes it fairly easy to spend up at QB and Patrick Mahomes + Justin Herbert check in as my top overall options. Mahomes needs no explanation against the Houston Texans, with Kansas City sporting a slate-high 32 point implied team total. Herbert looked the best he’s looked all season against the Dolphins last weekend, and the offense is finally healthy. Their offensive line is still an issue, and Tennessee ranks second-overall in QB Pressures this season. I’m a tad worried about the pressure, but their secondary has been horrific and this as clear of a pass-funnel defense as you can get. They’ve been especially bad against the pass few weeks, and Herbert is averaged over 22 fantasy points per game with both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams active this season. It’s a great spot, and he provides some savings off of Mahomes.
Mike White was going to be my top tournament option here, but with him out I’m swapping in Tom Brady for his *hopefully* breakout game. It’s been a strange year for Brady, who leads the NFL in pass attempts yet is outside the top-15 in fantasy scoring at his position. His biggest issue has been his offensive line, and the lack of touchdown passes. Overall, it’s just been a strange year for him but I’m hopeful he can turn it around this week at home. It seems like he might have Tristan Wirfs back, which is key. Cincinnati will also be without their top pass rusher in Trey Hendrickson, another big boost. Cincinnati plays mainly Cover 2 defensively, similar to the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady’s best game of the season came in Week 4 against the Chiefs when he dropped just under 30 DK points. He has a full compliment of weapons, and I think it’s likely they go over their team-total in Week 15.
I want to go cheap in GPPs since everyone is spending up at QB, so you can also take shots on some grosser options like Zach Wilson and Andy Dalton. Both have attractive stack options in Elijah Moore/Garrett Wilson and Alvin Kamara/Chris Olave.
Core: Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert
Pivots: Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Zach Wilson
This is the weirdest running back week of the season for me. It seems like everyone wants to play Josh Jacobs, and I love Josh Jacobs…just not a high-ownership in this match-up. New England has allowed the second-fewest DK points per game to running backs, and I’m just simply going to be underweight on him in Week 15. Derrick Henry is my top spend-up option, along with the chalky Alvin Kamara. Henry looked like himself last week, but was game-scripted out of the game in the second-half. Los Angeles continues to be a bad run-defense and rank bottom-five in fantasy points allowed. Furthermore, we could see more passing down work for Henry with Dontrell Hilliard out. He’s my favorite overall play on Sunday. Kamara gets a nice boost with no Mark Ingram, against the Atlanta Falcons. He’s currently projected to be the highest-owned running back on the Week 15 slate.
James Conner is another strong cash game option — he’s averaging over 22 touches per game this season and Denver has been a run-funnel defense. In the battle of back-up QB’s, we could see Arizona skew more run-heavy.
For tourneys, I love attacking the Texans with the Kansas City running backs. Both Isaiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon are strong plays and will come in lower-owned than guys like Latavius Murray and Bam Knight. It’s been a two-back show for KC down the stretch and McKinnon has shown the higher upside due to his pass catching and red-zone usage. People think of Jet as just the pas-catching back, but he’s basically had a monopoly on the red-zone work the last few weeks. I think both he and Pacheco could produce strong weeks.
Miles Sanders is the other guy that is going to come in under-owned. Chicago is one of the worst run-defenses in football and Sanders has 18+ touches in two of his last three games. Ekeler is always in play, and can be stacked with Herbert or used as a one-off.
NOTE: DAMIEN HARRIS was just ruled out for the Patriots. If Rhamondre Stevenson is unable to go, we will get some extreme value at the RB spot in Pierre Strong/Kevin Harris.
Core: Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Latavius Murray
Pivots: Austin Ekeler, Jerick McKinnon, Isaiah Pacheco, Miles Sanders
Like running back, WR is just weird this week with everyone I really like projecting for low-ownership and everyone running to play these punts. There are two elite plays at the top in Davante Adams and Ja’Marr Chase. Adams is always the top play, but Chase checks in as my top-overall play especially given my interest in Brady this week. Jamel Dean being out is key for Chase here, and even if Higgins is able to suit up I think he’s in the top spot of the weekend. Keenan Allen is also projected for very high-ownership. I’m fine with Keenan Allen on DK in cash games, but I prefer the ceiling of Mike Williams over him in all formats. AJ Brown is more similar to Williams, and he gave this secondary fits. There’s also a chance their top outside corner, Kristian Fulton, will miss this game. I view this as a BMW eruption spot, and you can stack him with Herbert or use him as a one-off/mini-stack with Derrick Henry. Chris Godwin is someone I’ll be overweight on as well, stacking him with Brady in my main-GPP build. He’s the clear WR1 for this offense, and gets a boost in match-up with Mike Hilton out for Cincinnati.
Nelson Agholor, Chris Moore and Kendrick Bourne are all popping as top-values due to the injuries on their teams. Moore is coming off a huge game and will correlate with the chalky Chiefs stack, making him the top cash game choice. Agholor is the Pats WR1 assuming Jakobi Meyers is out again — but we need confirmation on that news. If Meyers is in, that would change some things but DeVante Parker remains out for New England. Overall, I’m not sure if I want to play two sub-$4K receivers, but we will see how lineup builds turn out.
I love this match-up for Chris Olave, and he will be very low-owned with everyone on Alvin Kamara. I’ll be looking to get some GPP exposure to Olave even if I don’t end up with a Dalton team.
Core: Ja’Marr Chase, Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, Chris Moore, Patriots WRs
Pivots: Davante Adams, Eagles WRs, Chris Olave, Jerry Jeudy
There are three very strong TE plays this week, so like last week I’m not even listing a pivot section because I don’t see myself playing anyone other than these three options. Travis Kelce is the best tight end in fantasy football, and is the no-brainer stack with Patrick Mahomes and their 30 point team total. With value at WR and potential double-TE builds viable, he will be higher-owned than usual and pretty tough to avoid in cash games I think. As for the two value options, I love the spot for both Chig Okonkwo and Greg Dulcich. Me, and the rest of our community, were all-in on Chig last week and he responded with nearly 20 DK points at sub-$3K. He will once again be playing without Treylon Burks and got multiple red-zone looks, with Derwin James likely out for LA he is a top value once again.
Dulcich seems to be chalky every week, and I’ve been avoiding him for the most part. Going with Okonkwo over him last week won me the slate, but he is harder to fade in Week 15. I’m not worried about the downgrade from Russ to Rypien when Russ has been horrible all season. Dulcich could end up as his safety blanket, in a match-up with the worst TE defense in the league. Courtland Sutton and Kendall Hinton being out boost him even further, and he’s one of the top point per dollar plays on the slate.
Core: Chig Okonkwo, Greg Dulcich, Travis Kelce
Bold Call of the Week
Tom Brady finally erupts for a 300+ yard and 3 TD game!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)