We roll on to Week 14, and with it comes the fantastic surprise of having six teams on bye. Gross. It doesn’t help that a lot of them were our go-to waiver wire hero teams for the second half of this season, too. A lot of the good matchups are teams that are heavily rostered already, so the pickings get slim really fast this week. Not the best news for teams fighting to get into the playoffs that start for most of us next week. Good luck, and hopefully we can survive this together.
How’d we do last week? Well, we were all over the place on this one. The Packers met expectations for us and got the job done. The Seahawks were a good start if your league doesn’t count yards against, but a bad start if they do. The Vikings just flat out let us down. Let it be known you cannot stop Mike White, you can only hope to contain him. Now, the Browns? Wow. The Browns straight-up hard carried with a whopping 30 points! I would love to see screenshots of rosters that won their week because they started the Browns. Alright, let’s get after it and see what we can dig up. As always, we’re looking for teams rostered around 50% or lower rostered.
Please note that there is a good chance better teams are out there in your league than these four, but we cannot assume they’re out there for every league. Stay active and monitor the league home page, there is also a chance someone will drop a defense after the waivers clear for this week as well.
Opponent: vs Baltimore Ravens
ESPN % Rostered: 44%
Yahoo % Rostered: 29%
Let’s look at some stats: Did you know the Steelers have the second-most interceptions in the league this year? How about this one: did you know they are a top-five defense in rushing touchdowns allowed, rushing yards allowed per attempt, and rushing first downs allowed? Just don’t look up their passing touchdowns allowed and we’re good. The main focus on this one is the fact that I’m pretty certain the Ravens will be without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Steelers like to bring the house, as they have the fifth-highest blitz rate in the league this season as well, which should be good news when you’re facing a backup quarterback.
The Steelers have eight sacks in their four games since the bye week, featuring Alex Highsmith, who is tied for the fifth most sacks of all players this year. In that same span, they’ve had six interceptions as a team, led by Minkah Fitzpatrick who is tied for fourth place in the league for most interceptions. They will face a Baltimore team that just combined to give up 4 sacks and threw 2 interceptions last week. This also isn’t the first time Pittsburgh has faced Tyler Huntley either, winning their game against him last year 16-13, forcing three turnovers.
Minkah called game 🔒 #ProBowlVote @minkfitz_21
📺 #BALvsPIT Sunday at 1 PM ET on CBS pic.twitter.com/Ywkxdjn6Iu
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 5, 2022
Opponent: vs Cleveland Browns
ESPN % Rostered: 36%
Yahoo % Rostered: 26%
The Bengals now get to welcome Deshaun Watson in his first AFC North divisional rivalry game to their home stadium. In his first game back last week he threw zero touchdowns, an interception, and got sacked once to add to a passer rating of 53. This Bengals team has the third-fewest passing completions against them and the third-fewest passing touchdowns allowed. They’re also a top-five team in quarterback knockdowns when throwing the ball. They’re hosting a Browns team that has given up 9 sacks and 5 turnovers in their four games since the bye week. In their previous matchup this season, Cincinnati recorded two sacks and two turnovers against Cleveland.
"And then I said, 'watch me do it again'" pic.twitter.com/CkeUyTzghh
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 5, 2022
Oh that’s weird, how’d this tweet of Joe Burrow get in there where it was supposed to be a Bengal defensive highlight? Huh.
Opponent: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
ESPN % Rostered: 27%
Yahoo % Rostered: 32%
The sack machine in Tennessee has run into a drought lately, as they’ve faced some pretty high-powered offenses. They can get back on track against Trevor Lawrence, who has been sacked nine times in his last three games. Their gauntlet through those aforementioned offenses in the previous matchups lately has left a mark on their passing statistics allowed, but they remain a powerhouse top-3 defense against the run. They have the third-fewest rushing yards, yards per attempt, and touchdowns allowed on the ground. They also have the third-highest quarterback pressures in the league this season. I could see these two strengths combine to force the Jaguars into some third and long situations and some ill-advised throws.
Relentless 😈 @Bud_Dupree
📺: Watch #TENvsPHI on @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/bq7ZKDKlzA
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 4, 2022
Las Vegas Raiders
Opponent: @ Los Angeles Rams
ESPN % Rostered: 7%
Yahoo % Rostered: 12%
Who’s starting this week? Is it John Wolford, Bryce Perkins, or Baker Mayfield? Either way, it should be good for the Raiders, who are facing a Rams team that is averaging 3.5 sacks and 1.5 turnovers per game. Great news for Maxx Crosby, who has the most tackles for loss and fourth most sacks for a player this season. Look for him to get into the backfield and disrupt the Rams, who have given up 14 sacks in their last four games. Los Angeles is allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. The Raiders have the 10th-most blitzes this season, so look for more of that dialed up to stop this Rams’ offense.
Just one after another 💯@chanjones55 was all over the field yesterday (via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/mrzjSJtr3B
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 5, 2022
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
Kansas City Chiefs – ESPN: 43% Y!: 67%
Seattle Seahawks – ESPN: 49% Y!: 73%
Hit me up with some feedback @MikeoftheFF on Twitter
Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)