Ten Things We Learned in Week 14 (Fantasy Football)
Week 14 has wrapped up, and now we are heading into the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully, you were able to get into the playoffs and begin your road to a Foot Clan Title next week. It’s crazy to think that the playoffs are already next week. This season flew by so fast! Let’s go ahead and take a look at all the major storylines and what we learned in Week 14.
1. Demaryius Thomas was a Great Player, but an Even Better Person
Week 14 started with some of the saddest news imaginable. Former Denver Broncos Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas passed away on December 9th at the age of 33. Immediately following the news of his passing, stories began circulating from his former teammates about how good of a person he was. Thomas made a positive impact on everyone he met. This year, Thomas had just officially retired, finishing with 724 receptions for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns. Peyton Manning spoke on Thomas, quoted in an article by Jeff Legwold from ESPN saying, “DT was a better person than he was a player, and he was a Hall of Fame player,” Manning said. “That tells you how good of a person he was.”
Thomas was a personal favorite player of mine who helped me win a lot of fantasy games, but his life represented something so much more than fantasy football or even real football.
2. Dalvin Cook Is Healthy
Dalvin Cook was injured and missed Week 13 but was able to play in Week 14 and dominated the Steelers’ run defense. Those who benched Cook or played Alexander Mattison were left disappointed after Cook got 27 carries for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Cook’s 27 carries were a season-high, proving that he is healthy and ready to help fantasy managers in the playoffs just in time.
3. K.J. Osborn is a Great Start While Adam Thielen is Out
One of this season’s surprises is Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, K.J. Osborn. He has had several good games this year, scoring at least ten fantasy points in half-point PPR in 5-of-13 games this season. In Week 14, when Adam Thielen was out, Osborn caught 3-of-9 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown. While most of Osborn’s production came on a 62-yard touchdown pass, seeing nine targets is promising for those that may need to get a start from Osborn in the fantasy playoffs. Osborn should be considered a solid start in any game Thielen does not play.
4. Rashaad Penny Has Career Day
Previous to Week 14, Pete Carroll said that he expected Rashaad Penny to be a “big part” of the Seahawks’ offensive game plan against the Texans. Penny rushed 16 times for a career-high 137 yards and two touchdowns. Penny has consistently dealt with injuries throughout his four-year NFL career. The former first-round draft pick could be a heavy part of the Seahawks offense in the fantasy playoffs, making him a league-winning type of player if he continues the heavy workload.
5. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce Dud in Kansas City’s 48 Point Win
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense took it to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, winning 48-9. Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, but not to Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce. Instead, Darrell Williams and Josh Gordon(!) caught touchdowns. Hill finished the game catching 4-of-4 passes for 76 yards and Kelce finished with four receptions for 27 yards. This is the second game in a row that Kelce has failed to score more than five points in half-point PPR leagues.
6. Mike Williams Disappoints in Chargers’ WR1 Role
The Chargers lost Keenan Allen in Week 14 due to Covid, which opened up an opportunity for Mike Williams to have a breakout game against the Giants. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a breakout, as Williams caught 6-of-6 passes for 61 yards. Not a dud by any means, but it was a disappointing fantasy day considering the opportunity. Williams has been up and down all year and may be a risky start in the fantasy playoffs.
7. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams can be Fantasy Playoff Stars
The Broncos rushing attack has been solid this season, and that continued in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams had great days, finishing as top-7 running backs on the week as of writing this article. Gordon returned from injury and saw the most carries, rushing 24 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Williams rushed 15 times for 73 yards and a touchdown and added another touchdown through the air. Both running backs will be good starts in the fantasy playoffs with plus matchups against the Bengals, Raiders, and Chargers.
8. D’Onta Foreman is the RB to Have in Tennessee
While there is somewhat of a committee going on in the Titans’ offense since Derrick Henry‘s injury, it appears that D’Onta Foreman is the running back that you want to have. Foreman led the team in carries, rushing 13 times for 47 yards and a touchdown. He was also the most effective running back of the day. Jeremy McNichols had eight rushing attempts for 16 yards, and Dontrell Hilliard had six attempts for 13 yards. Foreman had been hyped up before injuring his Achilles in his rookie season but now has an opportunity to lead the Titans backfield during the fantasy playoffs. Foreman may end up being a good play in Week 15 against the Steelers run defense that has recently been torched on the ground.
9. James Robinson is a Risky Start Going Forward
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a dumpster fire right now, and I will dive into that a little later, but right now, we are going to talk about James Robinson. He is coming off of two straight games of bad fantasy performances. In Week 14, Robinson carried the ball six times for only four yards. There were rumors that Urban Meyer wanted to start Carlos Hyde and bench Robinson. Although Robinson did end up playing most of the snaps, he wasn’t really involved in what was a dreadful offensive performance by the Jaguars. The good news is that Robinson has some good matchups coming up against the Houston Texans and New York Jets. Hopefully, Robinson will be back to tearing it up, even on a bad team against these plus matchups, but it still will be a risky play.
10. Urban Meyer has to Go
The Jaguars lost to the Titans 20-0 in Week 14, and things are starting to unravel in Jacksonville. The Urban Meyer NFL experiment needs to come to an end for everyone involved. It’s just been a disaster, and it seems as though things may be beyond repair. Prior to the Week 14 shutout, there were reports about how Urban Meyer had been treating players and coaches and the turmoil it was causing. Meyer seems to be questioning his coaches and players while declaring himself a “winner,” passing blame to everyone around him for the Jaguars’ struggles. There needs to be a change so that the Jaguars have a chance to turn their franchise around next season.