By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) Let’s check out the Week 14 sleepers and daily fantasy value.
Alex Smith, Chiefs (vs. Raiders) — The Raiders rank 19th in pass DVOA and the Chiefs are tied for the second-highest Vegas team point total. Smith needs between 14 and 17 points to hit value, and there’s no reason to think he can’t. He always provides a little boost with his legs too. At his price point, I think he provides a solid value. (FanDuel: $7000; DraftKings: $5400)
Andy Dalton, Bengals (at Browns) — Hopefully we’re getting the good Dalton here, but the matchup is prime for the taking and he played phenomenally last week. Additionally, Dalton torched the Browns for 308 yards and two scores the first time these two teams met, but he did have A.J. Green then. Now he’ll have Tyler Eifert available and have to make due with Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd on the outside, and I believe he will. The Browns rank 31st in pass DVOA, and the Bengals are sporting a Vegas team total of 24, third-highest of the week. (FD: $7700; DK: $6100)
Frank Gore, Colts (vs. Texans) — The Colts are six-point favorites at home and fresh off of tearing up the Jets. The game is for first play-in the AFC South, and the Texans’ weakness is run defense. You’d expect Indianapolis to attack it early and often as Houston ranks 17th in run DVOA, giving up an average of 108 yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. Gore has seen 15 or more carries in all but two games since Week 3. He should be in for another heavy workload and at least one scoring opportunity. (FD: $6000; DK: $4800)
Dion Lewis, Patriots (vs. Ravens) — The Ravens are the top-ranked team in run DVOA, and the Patriots are notorious for playing to an opponent’s weakness. I’d expect Lewis to see a lot of work in this game as New England attempts to spread Baltimore out and not run into the teeth of the defense. Lewis is averaging about nine touches per game, and when he’s on the field, there’s a concerted effort to get him the ball. This may be the game he sees more than 10 touches and we see the RB1 from last year. With his targets and receptions, he’s a better play on DraftKings right now, but the touchdowns will come. (FD: $5400; DK: $3900)
Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots (vs. Ravens) — Baltimore is no joke defensively but when exploited, it’s more often than not been by two receivers — the slot and the secondary receiver on the outside. That’s where Mitchell comes in. He’s coming off a white-hot three-game stretch in which he’s reeled in 17 receptions, 222 yards and three scores. Tom Brady continues show confidence in the rookie and with a team total of 27, tied for the highest of the week, Mitchell should have a solid shot to find the end zone as well. (FD: $6200; DK: $4200)
Ted Ginn Jr., Panthers (vs. Chargers) —Ginn has been on fire of late, coming through for Cam Newton in a big way. He has three straight games with a score and in two of those he’s hit or surpassed 80 yards. The Panthers are sporting a team total of 24.5, and the Chargers rank 16th against No. 2 receivers in DVOA. Ginn should be able to get loose against a good-but-banged-up secondary that’s missing its top corner in Jason Verrett. As we’ve been reminded the last few weeks, it only takes one play with Ginn. (FD: $4700; DK: $4000)
Antonio Gates, Chargers (at Panthers) — Gates is closing in on Tony Gonzalez’s touchdown record for tight ends, and he’s been targeted heavily in the red zone. With the Panthers ranking 22nd against the tight end in DVOA, I’d look for Gates to be involved early and often in scoring position. His price has fallen to a point that it’s not including his scoring opportunities, because he’s been on a two-game drought. (FD: $5200; DK: $3800)
Ladarius Green, Steelers (at Bills) — We finally saw Green bust out. Hopefully you were a part of the early jackpot, because his price skyrocketed. Still, given the state of the tight end position, Green provides some value at his current price point. The matchup is great, given the Bills rank 26th in DVOA against tight ends and the increased volume and snaps that Green has been seeing. The Steelers wanted someone else to step up outside of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, and they got it with Green converting six of 11 targets for 110 yards and a score last week. He should be a monster presence, stretching the seam for this team going forward. (FD: $5800; DK: $3900)
Just missed: Tyrod Taylor, Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller, Jeremy Hill, Julian Edelman, Tyler Lockett, Dwayne Allen and Jason Witten.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.