In case the degree of difficulty was not high enough for what will be the final regular season game in many leagues, there are six teams on byes in Week 14 (see below). This is your last chance to either sneak into the playoff field, improve your seeding, or spoil another team’s chances depending on your current place in the standings. Whichever situation you find yourself in (hopefully one of the first two), chances are you may need a player or two to fill a vacant slot in your starting lineup or on your bench heading into the postseason. Stay locked in and let’s finish the 2022 fantasy regular season on a high note!
Week 14 Byes: Bears, Colts, Commanders, Falcons, Packers, Saints
Article Overview/ How to Use:
- Analysis: Highlight a variety of RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered on ESPN and/or Yahoo) who I feel could produce fantasy value, either that specific week as a replacement in your lineup or as a bench/ stash option.
- Ranking RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered) in order. Please note that the players who are highlighted in the article are not always my top-ranked streamers. These rankings & notes could be useful for teams in deeper leagues or as a means to fill out your “Watch List”.
- List of Impact Backups or players who would gain significant fantasy value if the starter was inactive. These names would make excellent stash candidates, but likely not worthwhile streamers due to lack of usage as the backup.
- Although base rankings tend to skew toward 12-team, half-PPR leagues, I will provide clarifications if a player is best used in a specific scenario or league type.
- Recap the performances of the previous week’s highlighted players.
* Any players marked with an asterisk below have been featured in previous articles this season. If anyone discussed below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 12/07/22.
James Cook (RB, Buffalo Bills)
The rookie Cook saw a significant increase in usage last week against the Patriots with 20 total touches (14 carries for 64 yards and six catches for 41 yards) compared to backfield mate Devin Singletary‘s 13 carries for 51 yards (no receptions). Even if Singletary retains his role as the “primary” RB option with first dibs on red zone opportunities (he plunged into the endzone from the one-yard line last week), the versatility that Cook has displayed as a runner and receiver will be difficult for Buffalo to turn away from now that he has been “set loose”. Perhaps the Bills were simply affording Singletary some rest on a short week with a Thursday game. Regardless, I feel that Cook is a high-priority add given his skill set, efficiency (5.4 yards per carry / 10.1 yards per reception), and potentially growing role for this talented offense.
Travis Homer (RB, Seattle Seahawks)
Determining which Seattle RB to start this week could simply come down to which players are healthy and active. Usual starter Ken Walker “jammed” his ankle in Week 13 and has yet to practice, so his outlook at the moment is cloudy at best. If Walker sits and Homer plays (he missed Week 13 due to an illness), I feel he will get the lion’s share of touches in a committee that could also include Tony Jones and DeeJay Dallas (also questionable with an ankle injury).
As long as he is active (and Walker is not), Homer should be able to produce a solid, Flex-level floor for fantasy managers due to a boost in opportunities plus the fact he is facing a Panthers defense that is bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs. Homer has never been tasked with carrying a heavy workload throughout his four NFL seasons, but he has yielded efficient averages as both a runner and receiver when called upon (career 5.8 yards per carry and 9.4 yards per catch). Although I would not bank on him surpassing 20 touches, he should still be able to move the needle for your team with somewhere in the 13-17 range.
RB Streamers (ranked): Cam Akers, James Cook, Jerick McKinnon*, Travis Homer, Samaje Perine* (if no Joe Mixon), Zonovan Knight, Tony Jones, Chuba Hubbard*, Dontrell Hilliard*, Gus Edwards*, Kyren Williams*, Jaylen Warren*, Kenneth Gainwell, Joshua Kelley, DeeJay Dallas, Ty Johnson, Jordan Mason, Alexander Mattison, Mike Boone, Kenyan Drake*, Ameer Abdullah, JaMycal Hasty*, Matt Breida, Tyrion Davis-Price, Tyler Allgeier* (bye).
Nico Collins (WR, Houston Texans)
Unless you are a loyal Texans fan or have a subscription to “Red Zone”, it would be easy to miss the quiet, yet steady production that Collins has provided in his second season. Although he is averaging a modest 44 receiving yards per game over the last four weeks, he has also seen nine targets per game and has two touchdowns in that span. He did not practice on Wednesday (foot), so be sure to follow practice reports heading into Sunday. The 1-10-1 Texans are likely to be in negative or neutral game scripts in every remaining game this year, so it is a real possibility that the volume sustains, particularly if Brandin Cooks (calf) misses additional time.
Mack Hollins (WR, Las Vegas Raiders)
Collins and Hollins, let’s do this! Hollins is another “steady Eddie” WR that has produced a reliable fantasy floor in recent weeks. Over the last three contests, he has averaged nearly eight targets and 50 receiving yards per game to go along with a Week 12 touchdown.
Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow will not be in the Raiders lineup again this week and it is possible that both will be absent for the remainder of the season, leaving the door open for Hollins to continue seeing this expanded workload. Las Vegas will take on the reeling Rams on Thursday night, so make sure to slot Hollins into one of your WR spots (NOT your Flex) if you intend to start him this week. The rangy 6’4″ Hollins is having his most productive NFL season and could be a solid depth piece for the stretch run.
WR Streamers (ranked): Treylon Burks*, Darius Slayton*, Nico Collins*, Donovan Peoples-Jones*, Michael Gallup*, Mack Hollins*, Isaiah McKenzie*, D.J. Chark*, Zay Jones, DeAndre Carter, Rondale Moore, Corey Davis, Van Jefferson*, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Terrace Marshall*, Richie James, Elijah Moore, Robert Woods*, Devin Duvernay*, Kadarius Toney*, Skyy Moore, DeVante Parker*, Jahan Dotson, Olamide Zaccheaus, Ben Skowronek, Drake London (bye), Curtis Samuel (bye).
Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE, Tennessee Titans)
At times, it feels as though I am writing the exact same thing for TE streamers every week; some iteration of “The receiving yardage output is likely to be modest, but they are expected to see a handful of targets and could crack the weekly top-10 if they find the endzone”. That is still true for this week’s featured player, Chigoziem Okonkwo, who also brings an element of explosive athleticism that most TE streamers lack. If you are going to roll the dice on a TE streamer, you might as well take a shot on someone who can do a lot with a little in the event he does not see much target volume.
Over the last five games, Okonkwo has consistently broken free for “chunk” gains, including long receptions of 48, 31, and 41 yards (twice). While the Titans are a run-first team, they do not have many explosive receiving options outside of Treylon Burks, leading me to believe that Okonkwo’s role could continue to grow in the coming weeks. He will firmly be ranked as a TE2 this week, but it may only take a big gain or two to make his way into the TE1 range.
TE Streamers (ranked): Greg Dulcich, Foster Moreau, Evan Engram*, Cade Otton, Tyler Conklin*, Austin Hooper, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Daniel Bellinger, Hunter Henry, Jordan Akins, Mike Gesicki*, Robert Tonyan* (bye), Logan Thomas (bye), Hayden Hurst* (doubtful for Sunday).
Impact Backups/ Injury Stashes
Although this article’s primary focus is to rank and discuss RB/WR/TEs who are fantasy-relevant and 65%-rostered or less, I also believe it is extremely important to plan ahead by stocking your roster with contingency options if/when adversity strikes. Not many things in the fantasy sports universe are worse than having a successful regular season undone by gut-wrenching injury luck. That said, below is my list of Top Impact Backups and Injury Stashes, in order, regardless of position.
Top Impact Backups: Alexander Mattison, James Cook*, Samaje Perine*, Dontrell Hilliard, Zonovan Knight, Chuba Hubbard, Tyrion Davis-Price, Keaontay Ingram, Zamir White, Trestan Ebner, Jaylen Warren*, Eno Benjamin, Nyheim Hines*, JaMycal Hasty*, Joshua Kelley.
Graduated (add if available): D’Onta Foreman*, Jeff Wilson Jr*, Isiah Pacheco*, Jerick McKinnon*, Rachaad White*.
Accountability is everything, so here is a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Gus Edwards (RB, Baltimore Ravens): The Ravens’ offense was a shell of itself without Lamar Jackson (PCL, potentially out multiple weeks) and Edwards was no exception as he finished with just six carries for 12 yards and had zero involvement in the passing game. Meanwhile, backup QB Tyler Huntley rushed 10 times (41 yards) and Kenyan Drake had seven carries (29 yards), turning Baltimore’s run game into a big bowl of mediocre production. Edwards can be dropped outside of deep, non-PPR leagues.
JaMycal Hasty (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars): I am really not sure what to make of this one. Travis Etienne was ultimately able to recover in time for last Sunday’s game against the Lions and dominated snaps out of Jacksonville’s backfield. More concerning for Hasty’s fantasy prospects is the fact that they got blown out 14-40 and did not utilize Hasty’s skills as a receiver at all (zero targets). Just a week ago, he seemed to be in line as Etienne’s top backup, but I feel he can now be dropped since that no longer appears to be the case, even when the Jaguars are chasing points down multiple scores.
Chase Claypool (WR, Chicago Bears): Claypool was second in targets for the Bears last week (six, behind Cole Kmet‘s seven) but finished fourth in receiving yards (28). With Chicago on a bye in Week 14 and a couple of difficult fantasy playoff matchups against the Eagles (Week 15) and Bills (Week 16), I would not recommend starting Claypool. He can be dropped outside of deep leagues.
DeVante Parker (WR, New England Patriots): Even with Jakobi Meyers at less than 100%, Parker was unable to do much last Thursday, catching two of four targets for 16 yards. Cornerback Marcus Jones actually led the Pats in receiving if that tells you anything. Outside of Meyers, this passing game is one to completely avoid.
Evan Engram (TE, Jacksonville Jaguars): At least one of my Jaguars streamers worked out last week. Engram pieced together a solid performance in the aforementioned blowout loss to the Lions, catching five of seven targets for 30 yards and a touchdown. He is the epitome of a fringe TE1/TE2 whose value will fluctuate depending on whether he is able to find the endzone.
Make sure to check out our weekly priority waiver wire adds article and waiver wire podcast for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday; it is a great way to get a head start on acquiring players often discussed in this article. Good luck in Week 14!
(Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire)