Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 14 Matchups to Consider

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We are right on the brink of getting to the promised land, the destination, the place we’ve been fighting all season to be – THE FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS. With just one week standing between many teams sitting on the sidelines or getting a seat at the biggest table of the season, making sure you have your lineups set just right is more important than ever! For the final time of the fantasy regular season, I’m here to look through matchups at each position that could be the difference in securing that top seed or playing in the Toilet Bowl!

As always, make use of the Start/Sit Tool on the website, ask for advice on Discord, or reach out to me via Twitter: @KurtKnowsBest.

Quarterbacks

Justin Fields (CHI) vs Detroit 

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
QB12 QB11 QB11

QB11

It’s been an up-and-down season for Justin Fields, but the last month of the NFL season will be crucial in determining his future. After exploding to a QB6 finish in 2022, Fields hasn’t been able to find the same groove this season with just three top-12 QB finishes in his eight games played. Since his return from injury in Week 11, Fields has looked more of the part completing 72% of his passes and getting back to his usual rushing attempts averaging 15 carries a game. Fields’ ability to run the ball is what made way for him to finish 2022 inside the top-12 QBs in nine of his last 10 games. If he’s able to continue running the ball like we’ve seen him able to in the past, Fields could prove to be a huge asset down the stretch of the season.

While the Detroit defense has been regarded as one of the better defensive units in the league, they have softened over the back half of the season for fantasy purposes. The Lions are great against the run but give up plenty of fantasy points to opposing QBs, allowing 20+ points in five of their last six games. During that stretch, Detroit has allowed an average of 38 points per game and four top-eight QB finishes, including Fields in Week 11. The common thread in the big games the Lions have allowed to QBs has been a steady running threat from the QB, allowing an average of 51 rushing yards to those big fantasy QB finishes. Fields should be in store for another strong fantasy finish this week with week-winning upside and should be played confidently.

Kurt would play Fields over: QB11 – Russell Wilson at LA Chargers

CJ Stroud (HOU) at New York Jets

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Ranking Andy Jason Mike
QB13 QB13 QB16

QB13

Having a rookie QB be as fantasy-relevant as CJ Stroud has been this season is somewhat of a rarity, especially when you consider that he doesn’t run the ball all that much. What’s allowed Stroud to be successful for fantasy is the faith the Texans show in the rookie, letting him throw the ball nearly 35 times per game. Probably the most impressive part of Stroud’s season is his 8.5 yards per pass attempt, which ranks third in the league among QBs with at least 50 passing attempts this season. In fact, when you look back at rookie QBs in the Super Bowl era who have thrown at least 100 passes, he’s third all-time behind only Ben Roethlisberger and Greg Cook in 2004 and 1969 respectively.

If Stroud is going to continue his strong run for fantasy managers, he’ll have to be at his best this week against the Jets. New York’s defense has put the clamps on QBs all season, only allowing more than 20 fantasy points to opposing QBs twice this year. The Jets are allowing the third-fewest passing yards and only 14 passing TDs on the season. Of those 14 passing TDs though, New York has allowed 43% of them in their last four games, so there may still be a way for Stroud to break through for fantasy managers this week. While Stroud has been really good for a rookie QB, it may be worth looking at other options for this week.

Kurt would prefer to play: QB14 – Gardner Minshew at Cincinnati

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott (NE) at Pittsburgh

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
RB27 RB29 RB25

RB29

It felt like we may never see Ezekiel Elliott as a legitimate RB2 option but here we are. Elliott has had his moments of relevance this season, finishing as a top-24 RB four times, but his Week 13 finish was by far his most encouraging. Zeke’s 17 carries were the most he’d seen as a Patriot and he finished as the RB17 despite not getting into the end zone and fumbling. With Rhamondre Stevenson set to miss several weeks at this critical part of the fantasy season, it should be Zeke season in New England for the majority of the fantasy weeks.

Getting to potentially have the entire New England backfield to himself in a matchup with the Steelers could mean a strong fantasy week is in store for Zeke. While the Steelers are one of the stingiest defenses against the run, only allowing eight rushing TDs on the season, they’re giving up plenty of strong fantasy finishes to opposing RBs. Over their last seven games, Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed five top-20 RB finishes. Despite the low – and I mean low – point total that is expected in this game, Zeke feels like he should provide a safe floor for fantasy managers to start Week 14.

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Kurt would play Elliott over: RB26 – Gus Edwards vs LA Rams

AJ Dillon (GB) at NY Giants

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
RB28 RB30 RB29 RB24

Don’t look now, but the Packers’ offense seems to be catching steam and AJ Dillon is heating up with it. Dillon has finished inside the top 24 for three straight weeks despite not getting into the end zone. While Dillon’s success hasn’t been spectacular, it is directly related to Aaron Jones missing time for the Packers, but Dillon has still consistently seen work in the offense even when Jones has played. During his top-24 stretch, Dillon is seeing nearly 31% of the Packers’ opportunities so there are plenty of chances for him to contribute for fantasy managers.

If Dillon has the backfield to himself again this week, a matchup with the Giants could be exactly what he needs to continue his relevant fantasy play. New York is allowing the fourth-most rushing yards on the season and second-most rushing TDs. The Giants have given up a top-24 RB in each of their last five games and have only not allowed an opposing RB to hit that mark just twice this season. If Dillon is the lead back in Green Bay again this week, fantasy managers should view him as an RB2 at his floor.

Kurt would play Dillon over: RB25 – Jerome Ford vs Jacksonville

Javonte Williams (DEN) at LA Chargers

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
RB18 RB18 RB16

RB19

It feels like we may finally be getting the Javonte Williams workload we’ve been asking for since he was a rookie for fantasy purposes. Over the last six games, Williams is averaging 21 opportunities per game and has been a top-24 RB in four different weeks including two top-10 finishes when he’s gotten into the end zone. While Williams hasn’t eclipsed 100 total yards in a game this season, he’s been plenty involved in the passing game to continue to be worth putting in fantasy lineups. The tough part about keeping any part of the Broncos’ offense in fantasy lineups is there doesn’t seem to be a super high ceiling for production since the offense hasn’t eclipsed 30 points since Week 4. 

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While the Chargers have given up plenty of big games for fantasy this season, they’ve really tightened up against opposing RBs since their bye in Week 5. L.A.’s defense has only allowed more than 20 points to opposing RBs in a game twice since Week 5. During that stretch though, the Chargers have still given up a top-24 RB in all but two weeks so there’s still fantasy production to be had against this defense. As long as Williams stays heavily involved in Denver’s offense, he should be viewed as an RB2 but with a low ceiling for fantasy purposes.

Kurt would play Williams over: RB20 – D’Andre Swift at Dallas

Wide Receivers

Drake London (ATL) vs Tampa Bay

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
WR28 WR29 WR28

WR29

To say that the sophomore season for Drake London has been a disappointment would be an understatement. London has broken double-digit fantasy points in less than half of his games this season and has finished outside the top 45 WRs more times than he’s finished inside the top 24. While London’s two matchups since the Falcons’ bye haven’t been great ones, he really hasn’t been able to take advantage of the good matchups either whenever they’re presented to him. London’s subpar season can’t even be attributed to which QB is under center for the Falcons because the targets have consistently come his direction throughout the year with inconsistent production regardless of who’s under center.

Getting another shot at a juicy matchup with the Buccaneers could be what London needs to jumpstart the final stretch of the season for fantasy managers. Tampa Bay has allowed the fourth-most passing yards on the season and the seventh-highest yards per attempt. In their last five games, the Buccaneers only allowed a top-24 WR in three different weeks but also allowed three top-12 WRs in one game back in Week 9. With a couple of weeks of solid matchups to end the season, there may be a chance for London to salvage something for fantasy managers, but should only be viewed as a flex play at best until we see it on the field.

Kurt would prefer to play: WR27 – Jayden Reed at NY Giants

Jonathan Mingo (CAR) at New Orleans

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Ranking Andy Jason Mike
WR48 WR48 WR48 WR48

It’s been a grind to get to this point, but Jonathan Mingo had his best game for fantasy in Week 13, finishing inside the top 30 WRs for the first time in his career. Mingo has been on the field plenty for the Panthers this season, playing 87% of snaps, but it feels like through all of the play-calling and coaching changes there’s been a shift in the intention to get the ball his direction more. Since Week 10, Mingo has averaged seven targets per week and has turned those targets into at least 60 receiving yards over each of his last two games. While that type of production isn’t anything to get overly excited about, seeing a rookie take those types of steps forward is what can signal better things to come down the stretch of the season.

If Mingo is going to continue his ascension into fantasy relevance, he’ll have his work cut out for him this week against the Saints. New Orleans hasn’t been as great of a defensive unit over the back half of the season, but they’re still allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards and sixth-fewest yards per attempt on the season. For fantasy purposes, the Saints have allowed a top-24 WR finish in six different weeks and only one in their last four games. There should be optimism around Mingo for the future with this offense, but I don’t think fantasy managers should force him into their lineups just yet.

Kurt would prefer to play: WR50 – Jameson Williams at Chicago

Jordan Addison (MIN) at Las Vegas

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
WR37 WR39 WR38

WR34

All good things must come to an end, and the WR1 experience for Jordan Addison should be coming to a close this week with the return of Justin Jefferson to the Vikings lineup. In the seven games that Addison has played without Jefferson this season, he’s seen two more targets and nearly 13 more yards per game but finished as a top-24 WR more when Jefferson was playing alongside him. Obviously, the change at QB plays a role in that as well, but getting Jefferson back into the Vikings lineup doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Addison’s fantasy relevance for the season.

The Raiders’ defense has surprisingly been a solid unit this season, especially against the passing game. Still, Las Vegas has given up plenty of strong fantasy finishes to opposing WRs. In their last eight games, the Raiders have allowed a top-24 WR finish in six weeks including the WR2 and WR4 in their last two games before their bye. What’s tough for Addison is the Raiders haven’t given up multiple top-24 finishes in a week, so if Jefferson is back to his normal self, Addison could be limited to a flex play this week.

Kurt would play Addison over: WR35 – Jaxon Smith-Njigba at San Francisco

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Tight Ends

Jake Ferguson (DAL) vs Philadelphia

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
TE5 TE2 TE6

TE6

It’s been a hot stretch for Jake Ferguson in the Dallas offense. Since the Cowboys’ bye in Week 7, Ferguson has finished as a top-10 TE in four of six games, catching a TD each time. Only once this season has Ferguson caught at least four passes and not finished inside the top-12 TEs for the week. Ferguson is consistently seeing valuable targets in the red zone, averaging two targets per game there since Week 8.

The Philadelphia defense has struggled over the last few weeks, allowing a combined 76 points in their last two games. Attacking the Eagles’ defense has been most successful through the air where they’re allowing the third-most passing yards in the league. Against TEs though, they’ve just recently started allowing more production for fantasy. Philadelphia has allowed a top-12 TE in four of their last five games, but prior to that had a six game stretch where they didn’t allow better than the TE22 on the week. There should be every opportunity for Ferguson to produce for fantasy managers this week given the 51 points expected in this game, so he should firmly be in fantasy lineups.

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Kurt would play Ferguson over: TE6 – Dalton Kincaid at Kansas City

Isaiah Likely (BAL) vs LA Rams

Ranking Andy Jason Mike
TE7 TE7 TE7

TE7

Fantasy managers were excited to get to see Isaiah Likely get a chance to be the main TE option for the Ravens with Mark Andrews set to miss significant time due to an ankle injury. Unfortunately, the first glimpse at Likely as the starting TE didn’t return much value for managers who made that investment. What fantasy managers are banking on is what we saw in small windows from 2022 when Likely finished as the TE2, TE9, and TE3 in the three games he saw more than 50% of snaps. The difference for this version of the Ravens is there are new receiving options that are more integrated into the offense like Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. that can help fill the void left by Andrews.

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If we’re going to find out whether Likely can be the type of TE threat that can change fantasy rosters, a matchup with the Rams could be exactly the opportunity needed. L.A.’s defense allows the third-most points per game to opposing TEs, allowing opposing teams’ TEs to score 10+ points in seven of their last nine games. In those seven games, the Rams have given up six top-12 TE finishes, and in four of those games, the TE caught a TD. Fantasy managers should be willing to take the risk this week with Likely returning a strong fantasy day.

Kurt would play Likely over: TE8 – Evan Engram at Cleveland

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