Burning Questions: Week 14

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It’s fantasy playoff time in most leagues which means the stakes get ever higher and the questions for fantasy owners seem to mount up. Our “Burning Questions”series continues following up recent news, fantasy performances, and implications for owners moving forward. Follow our contributors for this week’s Burning Questions: Travis Strickland (@DFS_Travis), Nate Hamilton (@DomiNateFF), Keaton Denlay (@keatondenlay), and Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)

1. Should Jordan Howard be treated as an RB1 or is this just a symptom of San Francisco’s terrible run defense?

“Jordan Howard’s 3 TD performance is impressive but he’s still on the RB2 map for me. His yardage was fairly pedestrian considering he had 32 carries against the league’s worst run defense at home in the pouring rain. While the volume is enticing, I still prefer my RB1 to be more efficient and play on a better offense.” -Keaton Denlay

For me, nothing has changed with the way I think of Jordan Howard. He faced the worst running defense in football with a game script and weather conditions that were also conducive to the ground game. He’s still an RB2.” -Travis Strickland

“Jordan Howard should absolutely be treated as an RB1. His 3 TDs on Sunday may have been due to the combination of weather and the 49ers defense but he has been putting up RB1 numbers for weeks.” -Nate Hamilton

“An RB1 is not what it used to be. Of course you have the elites (David Johnson, Lev Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, etc.), the workhorses (DeMarco Murray and Melvin Gordon) and the fortunate TD anomalies (Devonta Freeman and LeGarrette Blount)… But Jordan Howard is currently the RB11 in PPR leagues after this week. His schedule for the playoffs is average at Detroit and finishing at home against Green Bay and Washington. Treat him as a low-end RB1 as the clear lead back in Chicago for a team only looking towards the future as they feed their young stud back.” -Kyle Borgognoni

2. Which mobile QB (Dak Prescott, Tyrod Taylor, Russell Wilson) coming off a subpar Week 13 performance would you prefer starting throughout the fantasy playoffs?

I’m going to take Tyrod Taylor here. With Sammy Watkins back in the fold, I look forward to seeing what this offense can do. Additionally, through a scheduling anomaly, the Bills have home games each week of the fantasy playoffs (14, 15, 16). While you will need to keep an eye on weather conditions, Taylor is always a threat to run and is averaging 21.4 fantasy points/game at home this season.“- Keaton Denlay

“I’m going to go with Dak. Reason being, his schedule of NYG, TB, and DET, the last two of which are home games. Russell Wilson is a close runner up but his Week 16 date with the Arizona secondary nudges me in the other direction.” -Travis Strickland

“You have to like Dak Prescott the rest of the way. He had a tough week against a very good Vikings defense. Dak has a great schedule for the fantasy playoffs. Russell Wilson has not been the same player this year and I’m not convinced he turns things around as it seems the Seahawks are going back to defense and the run game as their means to win. Tyrod Taylor is terrible. I’ve felt this way about him since the beginning of the season.” -Nate Hamilton

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“Dak has a great schedule but I’m a tad concerned that Dallas could lock up their first round bye this next week against the Giants and then coast the final three weeks of the season. Taylor is a solid option but only in standard 4 point per passing TD leagues as his rushing yards give him the only leg up among this crew. Those 3 home games in Buffalo are tempting for me but I could also see the weather get out of hand and slow the game down. So I’ll go with Wilson as his team has the most to gain and although their offensive line is downright offensive, I still think he can be a top 5 QB in the fantasy playoffs.” -Kyle Borgognoni

3. Which WR2/3 has the boom potential to win a Week 14 matchup for fantasy owners?

“Kenny Britt. Currently the WR #22, Britt has scored in back to back weeks and now faces an Atlanta team that is giving up the most passing yards/game in the league while giving up 42 plays of 20 or more yards through the air on the season. Britt has the talent to beat coverage and I believe in the arm talent of Jared Goff. Let’s just hope Jeff Fisher doesn’t find a way to screw this up.” -Keaton Denlay

Tyler Boyd has turned in two respectable games with 15 targets now in the absence of A.J. Green. He hasn’t found the end zone yet in this span but that could change pretty quickly against the Cleveland Browns.” -Travis Strickland

“Adam Thielen has emerged as a legit fantasy option and still outproduced a healthy Stefon Diggs last week versus the Cowboys. Thielen doesn’t have the best matchup for WRs in Week 14 but when you combine his production with the amount of targets he is seeing, it’s hard to not trust him going forward.” -Nate Hamilton

“I’ll definitely be banking on Tyrell Williams to have a solid day next week against the Panthers. They’ve allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing WRs and Williams has been as consistent as anyone. Since Week 5, he’s been a WR1 rounding out the top 12 behind other big name WRs Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald. Apart from a trashworthy performance and obvious sit in Denver in Week 8, Williams has averaged 16.4 fantasy points in road games this year in PPR leagues. He seems to have a safe floor with the added potential to boom on a long TD (as evidenced in Week 13 versus the Bucs) as the most targeted receiver in San Diego. Of course I’ve been all about Tyrell the Gazelle since the beginning so maybe I’m biased…” -Kyle Borgognoni

4. Give us one of your favorite stat lines of the weekend and why.

“While it is easy to pick on Colin Kaepernick’s 4 passing yards, because 31 other QBs had more passing yards in Week 13 with only 28 teams in play, I’m instead going with Ladarius Green’s day. His 6 receptions, 110 yards, and 11 targets were all career highs. He also found the end zone. This is a very talented player who looked like he may never play again given his ankle and concussion issues. Great comeback story and a welcome addition to the TE pool that is looking thinner by the day.” -Keaton Denlay

Malcolm Mitchell had 8 catches for 82 yards on 10 targets. Hogan may have gotten the TD, but Mitchell got the targets. Drew Brees with 0 TDs 3 INT at home against the Lions. Who didn’t see that coming?! James Starks finishing as the 6th best rusher on his team, with 4 carries for 1 yard with 0 receptions.” -Travis Strickland

My favorite stat line of Week 13 was Joe Flacco: 36  for 47, 381 passing yards, 4 TDs & a 119.2 passer rating. I love this stat because so many will fall for it and chase his points from this past Sunday. I can only hope I am facing someone that will be starting Flacco as I expect him to come crashing back down to earth in a big way vs New England on Monday Night Football.” -Nate Hamilton

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“I love the fact that Carson Wentz completed a 7 yard pass… to himself on a deflection! But I’ll highlight another Eagle’s performance in Zach Ertz’s 15 targets. He caught 9 of those for 79 yards and a TD as Philadelphia was in obvious garbage time mode. Those target numbers were definitely inflated but this seems eerily similar to last year. I commented back in August in our writing staff’s “My Guy” article that Ertz finished 2015 on a tear commanding a ridiculous 28.8% of the team’s targets in the final three weeks. If Wentz continues to find himself in negative game scripts the final weeks of the season, Ertz seems like a safe bet to see 8+ targets each game which is a top 5 total in today’s TE garbage-filled world.” -Kyle Borgognoni

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