NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 14: The Grind Down - Lions vs. Vikings

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is a FAST and EFFICIENT preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down with a DFS AND DFS Prop Site mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS and Prop cheat sheet of props to bet, stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.

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Projected Ownership: Expected draft percentage for each player.
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Expert Rankings: Consensus best plays.
Top Stacks: based on our simulations.


Sports Betting Lines and Overview


Detroit Lions DFS Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Jared Goff DET $5,600 $7,100 17.75 QB13 33.31 249.17
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
D’Andre Swift DET $5,800 $7,200 12.33 RB20 52.54% 4.69%
Jamaal Williams DET $5,900 $7,000 11.44 RB24 27.72% 11.57%
Justin Jackson DET $4,000 $4,800 5.94 RB42 12.41% 6.45%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Amon-Ra St. Brown DET $7,800 $8,600 19.63 WR5 31.01% 10.33
DJ Chark DET $4,300 $5,700 9.9 WR39 14.74% 4.91
Josh Reynolds DET $3,400 $5,500 4.9 WR74 8.22% 2.74
Kalif Raymond DET $3,300 $5,200 2.98 WR89 5.31% 1.77
Jameson Williams DET $4,400 $4,500 4.09 WR80 6.74% 2.25
Brock Wright DET $2,900 $4,600 4.46 TE29 5.94% 1.98
James Mitchell DET $2,600 $4,200 2.57 TE36 4.36% 1.45

Minnesota Vikings Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Kirk Cousins MIN $6,100 $7,500 18 QB12 35.00 270.54
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Dalvin Cook MIN $7,300 $8,700 19.47 RB7 74% 10%
Alexander Mattison MIN $4,900 $5,500 3.98 RB50 17% 3%
C.J. Ham MIN $4,000 $4,500 0.23 RB79 1% 0%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Justin Jefferson MIN $9,000 $9,300 21.28 WR3 30% 10.35
Adam Thielen MIN $4,900 $6,400 11.83 WR29 19% 6.67
K.J. Osborn MIN $3,500 $5,300 7.59 WR57 12% 4.32
Jalen Reagor MIN $3,000 $4,800 0.98 WR102 2% 0.70
Jalen Nailor MIN $3,000 $4,600 0.16 WR121 0% 0.11
T.J. Hockenson MIN $5,100 $6,500 12.02 TE4 21% 7.19
Johnny Mundt MIN $2,500 $4,300 1.52 TE55 3% 0.97
NFL DFS and Prop Site Analysis

— The weeks continue to fly by, as we near closer to Christmas and closer to the playoffs. It’s always bittersweet because there is nothing better than the NFL playoffs, but they also mean that the season is almost over. We kick off this week’s main slate with the Lions and Vikings. I can’t remember the last time we had a team that was eight games above .500 and completely healthy listed as underdogs against a team with a losing record, but that’s the case this week. The Vikings have essentially wrapped up their division already, while the Lions are looking to stay alive in the wildcard hunt in the NFC. This game features a 2.5-point spread and a 52.5-point total.

— The Lions made quick work of the Jaguars last week, largely thanks to the play of Jared Goff. He completed 75% of his passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. He doesn’t offer rushing upside, but has been very good at home this season. He has averaged 22.3 DK points per game compared to only 9.9 DK points per game on the road. His price has come up a bit this week, but he’s still viable as a cheap quarterback option. He squares off against a Vikings team that is 24th in DVOA against the pass and 16th in adjusted sack rate.

— Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to dominate targets in this passing offense, racking up a 30% target share over the last five games. He was due for some positive touchdown regression and I tried to hammer this home in my content the last couple of weeks. He has scored three touchdowns in his last two games to go along with 20 receptions and 136 receiving yards. He’s also had a carry in four straight games. He’s finally getting priced up to where he should be on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s worth noting that D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams are both back from injuries, giving Goff even more weapons to work with in the passing game. Chark is coming off of his best game of the season and is an interesting pivot from St. Brown. The matchup is certainly enticing for these wideouts, as the Vikings have allowed more fantasy points to receivers than any other team in the league.

Jamaal Williams continues to hold onto the title for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL (14), but the big story in this backfield is the increased workload for D’Andre Swift. He played on 51% of the snaps last week against the Jaguars and turned 20 opportunities (14 carries + 6 targets) into 111 yards and a touchdown. Williams played on only 30% of the snaps, which was his lowest mark of the season. The Vikings are better against the run than they are against the pass, but we should be chomping at the bit to play Swift at this price point if there’s a chance he can see 20 opportunities again. For the first time this season, I may prioritize Swift over St. Brown.

— Many are saying the Vikings are fraudulent and the advanced metrics will quickly back these people up, but the fact of the matter is that they have the second best record in the league and have proven time and time again that they can win close games. This may come back to haunt them come playoff time, but they deserve a bit more respect than they are getting. Kirk Cousins has an amazing track record in dome games, he has an incredible cast of weapons, and the Lions aren’t an imposing matchup (although they do continue to improve on defense).

Justin Jefferson had arguably the toughest possible matchup last week against Sauce Gardner and the Jets and he still managed to be productive — 7 receptions, 45 receiving yards, 11 rushing yards, and a touchdown. I have a future bet on him being the offensive player of the year and he’s currently one of two favorites, so I have a vested interest in him the rest of the way. The Lions have a good cornerback in Jeff Okudah, but it would be a mistake to leave Jefferson in one-on-one coverage. He makes sense as a bring-back to Goff stacks or as a pairing with Swift in a mini stack. Adam Thielen has seen at least six targets in four of his last five games, but only has one good fantasy outing during that stretch. T.J. Hockenson has been a target monster since joining the team and should have some positive touchdown regression coming his way. On top of that, this is a revenge game and the Lions have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to tight ends.

Dalvin Cook had competition for touches early in the season, but that is no longer the case. The Vikings use Alexander Mattison sparingly, which means we can expect Cook to handle three-fourths of the running back touches each week. He is a good bet for 20+ touches against the Lions, who are ranked 25th in DVOA against the run and 19th in defensive adjusted line yards. The Lions haven’t given up many touchdowns to running backs, but that seems more like noise than signal.

Strong Projections: Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook

Strong Stack Options: Jared Goff + Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kirk Cousins + Justin Jefferson or T.J. Hockenson

Strong GPP Differentiators: T.J. Hockenson

Roster Construction Punts/Values: D.J. Chark

Favorite Prop Site Bet: Justin Jefferson over 90.5 receiving yards

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

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