Hot Fire Fantasy Football Questions: Week 14

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Our “Hot Fire Fantasy Questions” series takes a look at Week 14 following up recent news, fantasy performances, and implications for owners moving forward. Our Hot Fire contributors from our Fantasy Footballers writing staff includes: Nate Hamilton (@DomiNateFF), Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive), and Michael Wenrich (@mpw270). Give them a follow on Twitter.

Make sure you listen to today’s podcast to get Andy, Mike, and Jason’s reactions from all the Week 14 action.

1. Which surprise WR’s performance is repeatable next week in the playoffs: Demaryius Thomas, Tyrell Williams, Cooper Kupp or Dede Westbrook?

Demaryius Thomas
Not Tyrell Williams. The Chargers spread the ball around too much, outside of Keenan Allen. I really like all 3 of the others but I’ll take Demaryius Thomas. He’s seen at least 8 targets every game since Week 8 and faces a very WR friendly Colts defense in Week 15. –Ryan Weisse

It’s gotta be Demaryius Thomas. If he can get just decent play out of his quarterback than Thomas has proven to be one of the most consistent WRs in the game. He’s had success with Siemian in the past so as long as Siemian remains the QB, DT can be a productive asset to your fantasy playoffs. –Nate Hamilton

Cooper Kupp
It’s sad to see Demaryius Thomas even mentioned on this list, after years of being named in the list of top 5 WRs. But recent history tells us that this week was more of an outlier than a trend. My answer is Cooper Kupp. The Rams Week 15 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, is not a secondary to fear this year. Cooper Kupp has had multiple big games this year and the Seahawks just allowed big games to a couple of Jaguars WRs. –Michael Wenrich

2. Which player was the biggest disappointment in Week 14?

Derek Carr
I’m going to speak personally and say Derek Carr. His dud performance put me out of the playoffs in my home league. He has become this season’s Blake Bortles with 3 quarters of turnovers and negative points and then some garbage time TDs to try to salvage his day. After he destroyed the Chiefs in Week 7 for over 400 yards and 3 TDs, owners had to be confident heading in his first round playoff rematch. Instead, we didn’t get half of those numbers and ended the day sadly disappointed. –Ryan Weisse

Mike Evans
On a day where Jameis Winston throws for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, you’d expect one of the best receivers in football to be a big part of it. Instead, Evans has 2 receptions for 25 yards. This happens more than we would like to see when it comes to Mike Evans and I’m concerned for the remainder of the playoffs. The Buccaneers have a divisional game against the Falcons next Monday night and will then face a tough Panthers defense in Carolina on championship week. You have to play Evans for his upside but should lower your expectations. –Nate Hamilton

B51/Mark Brown / Contributor

When owners drafted Mike Evans as a top 5 WR, they had visions of touchdown dances playing in their heads. In the first week of the playoffs for most leagues, a 2 reception, 25 yard performance is not what owners wanted to see. –Michael Wenrich

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3. With Carson Wentz’s season likely over, how does this affect the other Eagles weapons fantasy wise?

This is tough to judge. Nick Foles isn’t a terrible backup and you can hardly judge his 4th quarter performance as he had zero prep time. My guess is we see more of the running game ,which should help bring Jay Ajayi back to fantasy relevance, and more short and intermediate routes. This should mean that Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz remain what they were, a WR3 and top 5 TE, but we might see Alshon Jeffrey fall slightly out of the WR1 ranks and Torrey Smith fall back to irrelevance. –Ryan Weisse

This hurts everyone. The Eagles have a lot of moving parts in this offense and now that lies on the shoulders of Nick Foles. Defenses will stack the box and force Foles to beat them. Ironically, the Eagles clinched the NFC East on Sunday, so if they start sitting their starters earlier than expected, it would not surprise me. If I own any Eagles, I am not happy about it. –Nate Hamilton

Once upon a time, Nick Foles was a Pro Bowl QB and drafted as a top 5(ish) QB. So much has changed since his miraculous 2013 fantasy season where he threw 27 TDs to just 2 interceptions. His 2014 season was not as efficient, but he was on pace for 4,200 yards and 26 TDs when his season ended early due to a collarbone injury. With the way the Eagles are playing in 2017, I think Foles can come in and keep the Eagles playing at a similar level. -Michael Wenrich

4. Which Week 14 breakout RB would you rather own in the playoffs: Jamaal Williams, Rod Smith or Jordan Howard?

Jordan Howard
I actually don’t love any of the 3 but I’ll take Jordan Howard. Rod Smith will lose his job to Ezekiel Elliott in Week 16 and I don’t think the Packers run game will remain consistent if Aaron Rodgers returns. Howard is still the best weapon the Bears have and faces the Browns and Lions to end the year. –Ryan Weisse

It’s all about opportunity and both Jamaal Williams and Rod Smith saw limited rushing workload and were fueled by big receiving games with TDs. Jordan Howard has consistently receiving a solid workload and I would trust him as the safest play of the three for the playoffs. –Michael Wenrich

Icon Sportswire / Contributor

Jamaal Williams
Jordan Howard has proved what he can do with the volume but he is still on the Bears and can have a flopped game any given week until that offense improves. I’ve been saying Rod Smith is the best back up on the Cowboys since before Zeke was officially suspended but I think without the consistent volume, it makes him a riskier play in most weeks. So my answer is Jamaal Williams. I faded Williams this past week because of his tough matchup against a very good Browns run defense. Williams set the tone early and often for this Green Bay Packers offense this week and did not allow the matchup to disrupt his production. He was limited somewhat in the run game but still has 15 carries and scored a touchdown. Where he truly impressed was in the passing game catching 7 passes for 69 yards and another touchdown. He is a focal point in this offense now and moving forward. He has earned his spot as THE guy in this backfield and can be trusted for the rest of the season. –Nate Hamilton

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