Yahoo NFL Expert Picks: Week 14
Every week this NFL season, you’ll find expert picks for Yahoo contests below. Brit Devine will provide his top plays at every position to help build strong lineups in any game type for this week’s NFL slate. You’ll learn the reason behind the picks so you can be confident setting your lineups for this week’s contests.
Alex Smith vs. Oakland Raiders $33
It feels like chasing here, and it might be, but there is no denying the matchup here is amazing at home for the Chiefs passing game. Andy Reid gave up play calling duties last week and the Chiefs anemic offense put up 31 points and Smith threw for 366 yards. The Raiders are dead last in DVOA against the Pass, and are 27th in adjusted sack rate at Football Outsiders on the season. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt seems to be an afterthought in the offense as a rookie hitting a wall, so look for the Chiefs to continue to pepper their best players in Kelce and Hill through the air in a very exploitable matchup.
Blaine Gabbert vs. Tennessee Titans $24
Gabbert isn’t amazing, but he’s not much more than minimum price this week at home against a team that ranks 25th in Pass DVOA and 21st in adjusted sack rate on the season. He has the ageless Larry Fitzgerald to throw to and a variety of other players as well and with the inability of the Titans to create a ton of pressure and a pass positive gamescript late in game, he has a good chance of making value for us.
LeVeon Bell vs. Baltimore Ravens $36
Bell is $4 cheaper than last week due to matchup, but don’t worry about that as he posted a season high 32.6 fantasy points against the Ravens in Week four and is one of the only sure things at the position. Bell has at least 23 opportunities in every game since Week 3, and while the Ravens defense is good, over the last six weeks they are allowing the 24th highest success rate to running back targets and 109 yards rushing per game (15th in the league).
Giovani Bernard vs. Chicago Bears $11
With Hill out and Mixon suffering a concussion on Monday night, it looks like Gio may have control of the backfield on Sunday. Over the last six weeks the Bears are allowing the 25th highest success rate to running back targets and a league average yards per completion in the pass game to them as well, while also allowing 100 yards per game rushing in that span as well which is slightly below league average. AT near minimum price expect Gio to be the highest owned player of the week as the Bengals are solid home favorites.
Antonio Brown vs. Baltimore Ravens $37
Brown isn’t the highest priced receiver on the slate for some strange reason at Yahoo this week, so we get a small price break due to a tough on paper matchup. Ravens star cornerback Jimmy Smith succumbed to his Achilles injury last week and also got nailed for PED’s, leaving Brown with much more exploitable matchups than expected. It’s tough to spend up at WR on Yahoo, but Brown is the clear spend even though Hopkins looks very enticing for just $3 more.
Josh Gordon vs. Green Bay Packers $21
Gordon had 11 targets last week and saw 53.5% of his teams Air yards in his debut, which just happened to be the highest share any player has seen in any game so far this season. The Browns are not joking around here with Gordon, who finds himself in an amazing matchup against the Packers who are allowing the 3rd highest success rate to wide receiver passes over the past six weeks per Sharp Football and the 6th highest yards per target to them as well. Gordon looked like he never left the field and could explode for a huge game. Don’t be the sucker that misses out before his price is $30+ next week.
Mike Wallace at Pittsburgh Steelers $13
I was big on A.J. Green last week here, and I’m going right back to attacking a Steelers secondary that is giving up big plays left and right. Over the past six weeks the Steelers are allowing an 11% explosive play percentage via the pass, the 8th highest percentage in the league, and are also allowing 298 yards passing per game in that span, the 3rd highest per game in the league. Mix in a little revenge and sprinkle in Flacco and the Ravens offense finally looking reasonably good, and you have a big upside play at near minimum price.
Evan Engram vs. Dallas Cowboys $21
Engram should be the focal point of the offense this week with Shepard questionable to play with a hamstring injury and may not be 100% even if he suits up. Dallas is allowing the 3rd highest success rate to tight ends on the season and the 8th highest over the past six weeks per Sharp Football while also being 25th in DVOA against Tight Ends on the season.
EDITOR’S NOTE – Zach Ertz has cleared the concussion protocol and is expected to play this week
Trey Burton at L.A. Rams $10
Ertz looks unlikely to play after not practicing Wednesday after suffering a concussion on Sunday, which means Burton is likely to take over a major role. The last time Ertz missed a game, Burton saw four targets and turned that into 41 yards and a touchdown, and while the matchup is tough no matter how you look at it, it’s hard to look past a minimum priced tight end that gets you the skill players you need elsewhere to win.