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Best: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
DK: $5,400 | FD: $7,400
Newton is a risky play — there’s no way around it. However, proper risk assessment can pay off big in DFS tournaments, and that is why the veteran dual-threat QB is a prime start in Week 14. Newton has played in three games since rejoining the Panthers, scoring double-digit fantasy points twice and failing to reach seven points in his most recent contest.
The longtime Panthers signal-caller is in a great spot for a strong rebound against the Atlanta Falcons, but PFF’s roster projections have Newton’s expected rostership coming in at just 5.0% this week. Atlanta has conceded the second-most passing touchdowns, fourth-highest explosive pass percentage and fifth-worst EPA allowed per play this season.
As we know, Newton brings the ability to run as well as any other quarterback, and just three defenses have been beaten for more rushing yards than Atlanta by the position.
Worst: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
DK: $5,300 | FD: $6,800
Ryan is a consistent quarterback, but not in a good way — he’s scored fewer than 13 FanDuel points in his four past games and in five of his past six.
The veteran has already played against the Panthers this season, and he scored just 6.1 fantasy points in that game. And with no Calvin Ridley in sight, Ryan’s season doesn’t seem to be headed toward improvement in the near future, and certainly not against a Panthers defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest points to quarterbacks so far.
DK: $4,400 | FD: $4,900
The 49ers backfield is a situation that bears watching, but someone has the potential to come away with tournament-winning upside here. Both Wilson and starter Elijah Mitchell suffered knee injuries in Week 13, and Mitchell is now sidelined as he recovers from a concussion.
Wilson or JaMycal Hasty could end up drawing the start and securing the bell-cow role for this run-heavy 49ers team, and that position has all the upside the fantasy world desires. Mitchell has reached double-digit fantasy points in six of nine games this season. Wilson drew a start in place of an injured Mitchell in Week 11, but he came away with just 58 total yards on 19 rushes and two targets.
Whoever draws the start has a juicy matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that ranks 20th in rushing touchdowns allowed and 28th in receiving yards allowed to running backs. The Bengals have been pretty solid at limiting rushers on the ground, but any back with receiving capabilities is in a smash spot against this defense.
Worst: Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
DK: $6,100 | FD: $6,700
I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe the Rams are ready to make the switch from Henderson to Sony Michel for their lead-back role. Henderson wasn’t 100% healthy but was still suited up, active and ready “if need be,” according to head coach Sean McVay in Week 13.
The Rams instead rolled out a new offense with 12 and 13 personnel, jumbo packages and fed Michel to the tune of 24 rushing attempts and four targets. He was their first 100-yard rusher of the season and looked much better after contact and grinding out extra yardage between the tackles.
Either player has just an average matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, but I’d suggest staying away from this backfield, Henderson specifically, for a week to let the situation sort itself out.
Best: Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
DK: $5,900 | FD: $6,700