Week 14 Fantasy Football Studs and Duds
This week marks the beginning of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues and what a week it was. We saw legendary performances from players most had left for dead earlier this season and terrible performances from some of the most dependable guys in fantasy football. One thing that should be pointed out: a lot of the Duds that I’ll mention later are a result of our own overblown expectations. Hype can be dangerous this time of year. Be careful when setting the lineups that will ultimately decide your fantasy fate.
Tom Brady @ MIA
358 yards, 3 TDs
Brady has played great football since the Patriots’ Week 9 bye. This performance was overshadowed by the “Miami Miracle” but the 3 TDs were right on time for Brady’s fantasy owners. He faces 2 tougher opponents (Pittsburgh and Buffalo) to close out the fantasy season but it will be hard to bench Brady after this performance.
Dak Prescott vs PHI
455 yards, 3 TDs, 3 Turnovers
Not too often a 3 turnover performance is good enough for the overall QB2 ranking but it’s been a weird season, why should Week 14 be any different? This performance was helped along (carried?) by 3 big TD passes to Amari Cooper for 118 total yards. If not for Dak’s newfound favorite WR, the narrative in this game may have been very different.
Josh Johnson vs NYG
240 total yards (45 rushing) 2 Total TDs (1 rushing), 2 2-point conversions, 1 INT (All in the 2nd half)
It has been an interesting month at QB for the Washington Redskins. After losing not 1 but 2 QBs to broken legs, they are forced to start Mark Sanchez, whom they just signed 2 weeks ago. The Giants destroyed Sanchez in the 1st half on Sunday and the Redskins ran out Josh Johnson, whom they just signed a week ago. Johnson’s play style could not be more different from Sanchez’s and that, along with a 40 point lead, certainly affected the New York gameplan. The result was a top-10 QB performance in only 30 minutes of play and a small light at the end of the tunnel for Redskins’ fans.
Ryan Tannehill vs NE
265 Yards, 3 TDs
For 59:53 this was mediocre to slightly above average game for Tannehill. Then, on the last play of the game, he tossed a bullet to Kenny Stills, who tossed it to Devante Parker, who tossed it to Kenyan Drake, who took it to the house for a game-winning TD. The result was 75 more yards and a 3 TD day for the much-maligned Ryan Tannehill.
Andrew Luck @ HOU
399 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Interestingly enough, most of the 1st half of this game was punt after punt and Luck was on his way to a Dud performance. But about halfway through the 2nd quarter, the offense started to click and Luck finished with the 2nd most yards this week.
Derrick Henry vs JAX
238 yards, 4 TDs
After seeing this stat line, I quickly went to look at the ownership and start percentages for Henry. He was only owned in 50% of fantasy leagues and only started in about 15%. Those owners got to benefit from the best fantasy performance we have seen from an RB this season. A quick note from one of the owners who cut Henry this season (and a TLC fan): Don’t go chasing waterfalls! This was like Haley’s comet, it will take Henry 75 years to do it again.
Saquon Barkley @ WAS
197 total yards, 1 TD
Just another great game from what is sure to the NFL Rookie of the Year. Barkley gashed the Redskins with a huge one-cut TD run early in this game and beat them through the air on the ground throughout the contest. He is a superstar.
Ezekiel Elliott vs PHI
192 total yards, 12 receptions
One thing the addition and emergence of Amari Cooper seem to have done is open things up for Elliott, especially in the passing game. Zeke has caught 40 balls in the 6 games since the Cowboys brought on Cooper. He caught 58 over his first 2 seasons in the league.
Amari Cooper vs PHI
10 catches for 217 yards, 3 TDs
It seems that Cooper has actively followed all of the people calling him trash on Twitter and set out to personally prove each of them wrong since joining the Cowboys. Even if you took away his 3 TDs, he still had 7 catches for 99 yards. Cooper is looking like the WR1 we all expected him to be in Oakland.
JuJu Smith-Schuster @ OAK
8 catches for 130 yards, 2 TDs
While the Raiders focused on shutting down Antonio Brown, a task which they accomplished, Juju had another excellent game on the other side of the field. This was the second best game of Smith-Schuster’s season and for his fantasy owners, the timing couldn’t be better.
Julio Jones @ GB
8 catches for 106 yards, 2 TDs
Remember back when Julio couldn’t score a TD to save his fantasy owner’s lives? That seems like so long ago. Now Jones is finding the end zone with relative regularity, 5 TDs in his last 6 games, and has been a top 5 WR over the last month. Hopefully, you didn’t trade him away during that drought.
T.Y. Hilton @ HOU
9 catches for 199 yards
If Hilton had just found the end zone, we’d be talking about this as one of the best performances of the season. 199 yards is nothing to scoff at, but that stat line looks very lonely without a TD cherry on top.
Kenny Stills vs NE
8 catches for 135 yards, 1 TD
I started this season convinced that Stills was going to be a WR1 in Miami. Obviously, things have not gone according to plan. But games like this were my vision. He ran great routes, made excellent moves after catching the ball, and overall just dominated the New England secondary. And he will forever be remembered as the first catch of the now named “Miami Miracle”! Good on ya, Kenny Stills.
George Kittle vs DEN
7 catches for 210 yards, 1 TD
Outside of Travis Kelce, I don’t think there is a better fantasy option at TE than George Kittle. Every QB that San Francisco throws out there immediately recognizes him as their favorite and best weapon and he has put out steady performance after steady performance this season. This game was the culmination of all his effort this season.
Rob Gronkowski @ MIA
8 catches for 107 yards, 1 TD
If you’re a Gronk fantasy owner, this game was a long time coming. This was the best game Gronkowski has had since Week 1 this season. Just don’t go and watch his pathetic attempt at stopping Kenyan Drake during the notorious last play of this game. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Jared Cook vs PIT
7 catches for 116 yards
This Jared Cook had been missing for a while but over the last 2 games, we are seeing the high-volume TE we saw early this season. Combined with the fact that he has scored a TD in 3 of his last 4 games, Cook may be one of the most trusted TEs in fantasy right now…and I cannot believe I just wrote that.
Cameron Brate vs NO
2 catches for 2 TDs
In what has been the worst position in fantasy football this season, to get a 2 TD game in the fantasy playoffs is magic. Nevermind the fact that he didn’t even get 20 yards, Brate is the TE5 this week and his owners are rejoicing.
Jared Goff @ CHI
180 yards, 4 INTs
It appears that the Bears defense has returned to form after this game. Goff never stood a chance as he was sacked 3 times to go along with those 4 INTs.
Cam Newton @ CLE
265 yards, 1 INT
Cleveland has, for the most part, done an excellent job against fantasy QBs this season. This may have been their best performance of the season as they shut Cam down.
Matt Stafford @ ARI
This entire season has been a dud for Stafford so this was almost expected. At least he didn’t throw an INT.
Leonard Fournette @ TEN
41 total yards
We all thought that a bruising runner would control this game on Thursday night…we just picked the wrong RB. Derrick Henry had 2 separate runs that outgained Fournette’s entire night.
Todd Gurley @ CHI
58 total yards
It’s hard to complain about the RB that may be the only reason you’re even playing in Week 14, to begin with, but what a week to slow down. This was a product of a good defense just taking everything away and his team playing from behind in the 2nd half. Gurley should be back to form next week.
Adrian Peterson vs NYG
19 total yards
The Redskins offense as a whole struggled for much of this blowout and Peterson was never able to get anything going. Peterson’s season is turning into an unpredictable roller coaster and he will be hard to trust if you survived this dud.
James White @ MIA
28 total yards, only 2 receptions
Sony Michel @ MIA
57 total yards
The primary New England RBs were silent for most this game and James Develin vultured another TD. As this begins to look more and more like a 4-man committee, it will be hard to field any of them moving forward.
Josh Adams @ DAL
36 total yards
The role of feature back is much less appealing when your team only manages 37 total rushing yards.
Tevin Coleman @ GB
44 total yards, 1 reception
It was brought up by Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn that Devonta Freeman may still make a return from the IR this season. Performances like this are why that is necessary.
Gus Edwards @ KC
67 total yards
The Gus bus in getting much less crowded as Kenneth Dixon emerges from hibernation. Dixon vultured a TD and 8 carries this week and makes Edwards a tough play for the rest of this season.
Antonio Brown @ OAK
5 catches for 35 yards
Brown has been so good this season that you have to forgive him this performance. The Raiders clearly made it their plan that Brown was not going to beat them and they executed that plan. Week 14 is the worst time for this but if you survived, Brown will bounce back next week.
Kenny Golladay @ ARI
2 catches for 5 yards
Since the departure of Golden Tate and the injury to Marvin Jones, Golladay has been receiving a lot of attention. This has typically meant more targets, but it also means the other team’s top corner. When that corner is Patrick Peterson, it’s going to make for a rough game.
Corey Davis vs JAX
2 catches for 21 yards
Owner’s that didn’t pay attention to Davis’ Week 13 probably went chasing another TD in this game. Davis was non-existent for most of the game last week and was saved by a late TD. This week he was just non-existent.
Courtland Sutton @ SF
2 catches for 14 yards
Much like Golladay, Sutton is expected to see more volume with the loss and departure of the WRs ahead of him on the depth chart. The 49ers defense is better than you think and was able to shut him down this week. There will be better weeks for Sutton.
Devin Funchess @ CLE
GOOSE on 3 targets
Funchess is clearly still struggling to come back from his injury. His Week 13 was saved by a TD but there was no such luck in Week 14.
Tre’Quan Smith @ TB
GOOSE on 1 target
This is the 2nd straight week of no fantasy points on 1 target for Smith. He is safely droppable and will likely go for 40 points the week after you cut him.
Antonio Callaway vs CAR
1 catch for absolutely no yards
It seems that as Jarvis Landry and Baker Mayfield are getting on the same page, Callaway is no longer in the same book. Callaway’s season is best described as Boom or Bust and you definitely got bust this week.
Golden Tate @ DAL
1 catch for 7 yards
Tate has been impossible to trust since leaving Detroit but this one hurts, as owners were chasing his Week 13 best performance as an Eagle. Instead, they got his Week 14 worst performance as an Eagle.
Zach Ertz @ DAL
5 catches for 38 yards
Another case of it being hard to be mad at the guy who got you here. Ertz has been one of the most reliable players in a position where that just doesn’t exist in fantasy football. Hope that you survived this dud and start him confidently next week.
Jimmy Graham vs ATL
2 catches for 13 yards
The guy is playing with a broken thumb and hasn’t really been all that great, to begin with so maybe you shouldn’t have had him in your starting lineup at all.
David Njoku vs CAR
3 catches for 35 yards
Not quite the performance owner’s were hoping for when they saw that Carolina gives up the most points to fantasy TEs. Njoku is impossible to trust moving forward.