Ten Things We Learned In Week 14 (Fantasy Football)
The fantasy playoffs are now here, and fantasy managers must do whatever they can to find any edge over their league mates to bring home those coveted titles. It’s crunch time, so we will look at anything that might help you bring home that Foot Clan Title. Let’s go ahead and get into the major storylines of Week 14 and what we learned!
1. Saquon Is Dealing With A Neck Injury
Over the weekend, there was a report that Saquon Barkley was dealing with a stinger and was potentially going to miss Week 14. Barkley ended up playing but had a season-low nine carries for 28 yards, and he also caught 2-of-2 targets for 20 yards. Per an article on ESPN by Jordan Raanan, Barkley has “no doubt” that he will play in Week 15. After having a terrific rebound season, Barkley should be healthy again to help teams chase that Foot Clan Title.
2. Elijah Moore Finally Gets Involved
The New York Jets have had various receivers play over Elijah Moore this year, but things may be turning around for the second-year receiver. Moore caught 6-of-10 targets for 60 yards. While it wasn’t a stat line that scores a lot of fantasy points, it was good to see Moore lead the Jets’ receivers in targets. Moore may be a sneaky start in a pinch as a WR3 during the fantasy playoffs, with good matchups against Detroit in Week 15 and Jacksonville in Week 16. Corey Davis is also injured, so if Davis were to miss games, then Moore could become a solid option.
3. Deebo Could Miss The Fantasy Playoffs
Initially, it was feared that Deebo Samuel suffered a significant knee injury, but it’s now being reported that he has an ankle injury that may keep him from playing for a bit. It’s good news for Deebo that he may have avoided a significant injury, but fantasy managers may have to have a backup plan should he not be able to play in the next few weeks. Even if he plays, it may be risky for fantasy managers to put him in the lineup should they have other options.
4. Baker Mayfield Should Be The Rams’ Starter
In a crazy turn of events, Baker Mayfield ended up on the Rams, leading them to a surprising Week 14 victory. Mayfield didn’t even start the game but entered when John Wolford was injured, and he played well. Mayfield had 230 yards and a touchdown and led the Rams to a comeback win on only a couple of days of practice. Mayfield will likely start the remainder of the season for the Rams. Unfortunately, for fantasy purposes, Mayfield and other Rams’ options won’t be worth starting in the fantasy playoffs unless you have no other option.
5. D.J. Chark Looks Good
The Detroit Lions have had a surprisingly good offense this season, and D.J. Chark is now getting involved after missing a good portion of the season. Chark now has back-to-back games of at least five receptions and 90 yards. He operates as a deep threat, but one potential problem may be rookie Jameson Williams getting involved too. Williams only saw two targets, so Chark seems to be the guy for now. Chark draws a tough matchup in Week 15, but fantasy managers who make it to the next round of the playoffs may consider playing Chark if they need a spot-start. Chark will get good matchups in Weeks 16 and 17 when the Lions take on the Panthers and the Bears.
6. J.K. Dobbins Seems Healthy
J.K. Dobbins returned to the Ravens’ lineup in Week 14 and had a good game, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts. Dobbins seemed healthy, although there was some talk that some of his rushes looked like he was still not at 100% health. Dobbins’ big game could be a trap for fantasy managers, though. I remember writing in this article series in Week 4 about how Dobbins could be trusted, and then a couple of weeks later he was back on injured reserve. Dobbins does have a couple of good matchups for the fantasy playoffs, and due to the nature of the RB position, you may have to play him. He likely won’t be involved in the passing game and will split work, so Dobbins should be viewed as a mid-tier RB2 option.
7. Zonovan Knight Could Be Solid For Fantasy Playoffs
The New York Jets have had a running back show up out of nowhere in the last few weeks. Zonovan Knight has been playing well, including a solid Week 14 performance against the Bills in which he had 17 rush attempts for 71 yards and a touchdown. Michael Carter is back from injury, but Knight received most of the work on the ground while Carter out-targeted Knight. The Jets have a solid schedule for running backs in the fantasy playoffs when they face the Lions, Jaguars, and Seahawks. Knight could be a solid RB2 option against those teams for fantasy managers struggling to find production at the running back position.
8. Tee Higgins Was Injured During Warmups
Per Kelsey Conway of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Tee Higgins aggravated his hamstring injury during warmups, leading many fantasy managers who did not know in time to make a switch to receive a donut in their lineup. Hamstring injuries are always a pain when planning your lineups for this very reason. Fantasy managers will have to keep an eye on Higgins’ status leading up to Week 15 and may have to make a tough decision on whether to play him or keep him on the bench.
9. Travis Etienne Is Struggling
After taking over the job and having several big-time performances, Etienne has been hurting fantasy teams. Over the last three weeks, Etienne has 9.60 combined fantasy points in half-point PPR. He isn’t getting involved in the passing game, so his upside is limited. In Week 14, he had 17 rush attempts for only 32 yards. Etienne faces some solid defenses in Weeks 15 and 16 when he goes against the Cowboys and Jets. He gets the best matchup in the championship round when the Jaguars play the Texans. Unfortunately, if fantasy managers rely on Etienne, they might not get to see that matchup unless he can get it together in the next two weeks.
10. David Njoku Is A Great Start At Tight End
Week 14 was the first game that David Njoku could play with Deshaun Watson, and it seems he will be a popular target for Watson. Njoku finished second on the team in targets with nine and caught seven passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Njoku has always flashed potential, but now that Watson is his quarterback, he is well worth starting since the tight end landscape is always a mess.