To be honest, I struggled with my NFL Week 14 FanDuel selections.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has been worth every bit of his salary over the past three weeks, racking up games of 29.2, 35.4 and 44.5 points. He is winning owners of season-long fantasy leagues a lot of money as well. Jonathan Stewart ($5,200) was a key to daily league success last week with a 21.5 point day. Other scoring stars of Week 14 did not have high ownership, including expensive receivers A.J. Green and Julio Jones, along with quarterbacks Cam Newton and Matt Ryan. Receivers Kenny Stills, Josh Gordon and DeAndre Hopkins combined for 13.2 points total. Representing the three highest owned players, they spelled doom for numerous teams.
Week 15 offers many exciting and diverse options for success. There’s also something about the Cleveland Browns trying out a new quarterback.
Johnny Manziel ($6,700)
Manziel will obviously be heavily owned, and indeed offers a lot of upside for the price. He reminded everyone of his skill set during his fourth quarter appearance in Buffalo two weeks ago, not just with his arm but also his legs. Ups and downs are going to be inevitable, but Manziel will inject life in your team just as he will for the Browns.
Ben Roethlisberger ($8,600)
Big Ben is on pace for a 5,000-yard season, and gets one of his juiciest matchups yet facing what is left of the Atlanta Falcons’ defense. The Steelers have been a fun team to follow for fantasy purposes this year.
Matthew Stafford ($8,500)
At home for a third consecutive week, facing the Vikings this time. Three hundred yards passing and a couple of scores are possible, but he’s just not as attractive as Roethlisberger this week.
Le’Veon Bell ($9,600)
This is likely the best place to pony up your cap space this week, Bell is the hottest player in fantasy football right now.
Jeremy Hill ($7,100)
The best news of the week was Bengals OC Hue Jackson announcing an end to the Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill platoon, meaning the LSU rookie will handle the bulk of the carries as Cincinnati battles for an AFC North division title.
Latavius Murray ($6,700)
In just four carries against Kansas City a few weeks back, Murray ran like Melvin Gordon against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Returning last week, Murray proved he could definitely be a bell cow back, with 23 carries for 76 hard-earned yards. Look for Murray to continue to own December as the Raiders try to finish the year on a high note.
C.J. Anderson ($8,000)
Peyton Manning’s streak of 51 consecutive games with a touchdown pass ended as Anderson scored three times from close range. Make sure Anderson’s ankle checks out before inserting him as the Broncos face San Diego.
Donald Brown ($4,700)
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy pulled a Gary Andersen, hiding the fact that Ryan Mathews hurt his ankle at some point during last Sunday night’s game. Mathews has not participated in practice this week while the team has also soured on rookie Branden Oliver in recent weeks. That would leave Brown as San Diego’s lead back this week, at the very least he will catch several balls out of the backfield which bodes well under FanDuel’s PPR format. Brown is looking like a good play for this price.
James Starks ($5,300)
The University of Buffalo product will already be fired up for his homecoming game in Orchard Park this week, but may see an extended role with Eddie Lacy (hip) somewhat iffy. During his Packers career, Starks usually shines in the December darkness.
Chris Johnson ($5,300)
Speaking of coming home, the artist formerly known as CJ2K is licking his chops at facing his old team with Tennessee sporting the league’s worst run defense. Temper your expectations though, the Jets are still the Jets and Johnson is a few years past his peak.
Odell Beckham ($8,500)
Now residing alongside Calvin Johnson and others at the top of the receiver rankings, Beckham still comes relatively cheap. He gets another nice matchup against Washington this week and should eclipse 90 receiving yards for a seventh consecutive week.
Kenny Stills ($6,100)
I would not be scared to go right back to Stills this week, and his salary number comes at an even bigger discount. The weather forecast for Chicago Monday night is also halfway favorable.
Jordy Nelson ($8,900)
You can also consider T.Y. Hilton for $8,800. Nelson ranks ahead of Hilton in 58 percent of this week’s rankings. Choose your weapon wisely.
Martellus Bennett ($6,200)
Remember when this guy was just a goal-line option? Bennett has 77 catches on the season, including 20 in the last two weeks. With Brandon Marshall out of the lineup Jay Cutler will be leaning on Bennett as much as ever come Monday night.
Julius Thomas ($6,300)
All indications say Thomas will finally give it a go this week after missing the past three weeks. It is a late kickoff so be sure there is confirmation first.
Jordan Cameron ($5,100)
One of fantasy football’s biggest disappointments of 2014, Cameron did return from his latest concussion last week and caught a season-high four passes.
Justin Tucker ($5,000)
The Vegas line has the Ravens as two-touchdown favorites over the Jaguars. Don’t over-think it, Tucker is a foolproof play.
Connor Barth ($4,700)
Barth kicked a 50-yarder in Week 14, but it barely cleared the crossbar at altitude. In the marine layer of San Diego I would worry about anything beyond 45 yards, but he is still Denver’s kicker which is worth something.
Seattle Seahawks ($5,500)
The Seahawks – not surprisingly – sit with the highest salary among defenses this week, but should be worth every penny again against the 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs ($4,900)
Going against Oakland and not wanting a repeat of their loss three weeks ago, the Chiefs will be a good value play at home.