Teams on bye in Week 14: Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s the last week before the fantasy playoffs. I hope your season has gone well, but no matter where you are in your league standings, the work’s not done. Four more teams are on bye, leaving gaps in your starting roster that the wide receiver you picked up in Week 5 but have never started can’t hope to fill. The night is dark and full of terrors. Drop him.
When we’re this close to the playoffs, your strategy should adapt. If you’ve made the playoffs and aren’t fighting for a first-round bye, then ignore Week 14 matchups on the wire. Start planning for Week 15 and beyond. Scoop up that second defense that has a great matchup coming up. Snag another quarterback if you’re streaming. But above all, get insurance running backs in case of injury. If you’re fighting for a playoff spot, then it goes without saying that this is your last chance. Drop whoever you need to give yourself the best chance.
If you’re out of the playoff race, keep your rosters active and play spoiler on the wire. Don’t do it for pride. Don’t do it for the consolation bracket. Do it for the other managers in your league who still have something to play for. You might be on a sinking ship, but at least you can go down to the depths knowing you went out in a blaze of glory. Now, who’s with me!?
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
D’Onta Foreman & Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee (both 41% rostered)
Before their Week 13 bye, D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard each ran for over 100 yards. We could see a similar situation in Tennessee for Week 14 and the remainder of the season. I see a little more upside for Hilliard because of the passing work, but Foreman is the safer play for volume. Keep an eye on: Jeremy McNichols should be returning from his concussion, and it’s unclear how much of a role he will have as a pass-catching back. He could eat into Hilliard’s playing time.
Tevin Coleman, New York Jets (41%)
Coleman was the lead back for New York in Week 13, with Ty Johnson only seeing one carry and four check-down targets in garbage time. The New York backfield is very dependent on game script, so it’s hard to trust anyone. Until we see otherwise, I’m assuming Coleman will lead the backfield in Michael Carter’s absence.
Ameer Abdullah, Carolina (4%)
Chuba Hubbard was the big pickup to replace Christian McCaffrey on fantasy rosters, and rightly so. But Ameer Abdullah is flying under the radar. With his pass-catching ability and the entire offense in flux, Abdullah is worth a stash if you can afford to wait and see how the backfield shakes out.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco (25%)
We don’t know the status of Eli Mitchell, so this is another speculative add. However, with most of San Francisco’s backfield nursing injuries, Jeff Wilson Jr. could get a golden opportunity to shine in Week 14.
Other names to consider: I’m not confident Seattle’s backfield will provide meaningful value this season, but Adrian Peterson (14%) has re-emerged as a touchdown-or-bust option for desperate managers, and Rashaad Penny (6%) should lead the backfield while Alex Collins is injured. They will likely render each other irrelevant, but Peterson’s touchdown upside could be worth a dart throw. If Miles Sanders can’t make it back for Week 15, Boston Scott (41%) and Jordan Howard (11%) both become intriguing options. If you can afford it, consider stashing Scott through Philadelphia’s bye in case Sanders doesn’t come out of it healthy.
Russell Gage, Atlanta (35%)
He really threw us off the scent. After a zero-point showing in Week 10, Russell Gage didn’t make it easy for fantasy managers to trust him. However, the last three weeks have been solid, and Gage has emerged as the WR1 in Atlanta and can be trusted moving forward in fantasy lineups as a volume-based WR2 with WR1 upside.
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota (4%)
The injury to Adam Thielen (high ankle sprain) should open more targets for K.J. Osborn, who has put up decent performances when called upon. Osborn should operate as the number two receiver behind Justin Jefferson while Thielen is out, and he could help you get through the first week or two of the playoffs.
Jalen Guyton, Los Angeles Chargers (0%)
Keenan Allen landed on the COVID list, putting him in a race against time if he wants to play in Week 14. If Allen is held out, I think Jalen Guyton is a great choice to fill in and stretch the field for Justin Herbert. Rookie Josh Palmer should also see increased playing time if Allen can’t get activated in time.
Other names to consider: If Randall Cobb (11%) can get healthy, I like his matchup against Chicago in Week 14 as he seeks to establish himself as the WR2 for Aaron Rodgers. In Detroit, both Amon-Ra St. Brown (6%) and Josh Reynolds (4%) are battling for fantasy relevance ahead of what should be a low-scoring affair in Denver.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota (30%)
Conklin has been consistent this season, as far as tight ends are concerned. Adam Thielen’s high ankle sprain should open up more targets. If Conklin can scoop up some of those targets in the red zone, he could provide both floor and upside at the perfect time of year.
Rickey Seals-Jones, Washington (5%)
The severity of Logan Thomas‘ injury is still unknown, but it looks like he will not be back in time to factor into the fantasy playoffs. Rickey Seals-Jones slotted seamlessly into Thomas’ role in his absence and was a valuable player for fantasy managers. If he’s healthy, he could be a tight end you ride through for the whole playoff run.
Evan Engram, New York Giants (29%)
Evan Engram has appeared on this list as much as anyone. He provides a decent floor but almost no upside to this point in his career. I’d expect that to continue in Week 14 even with Jake Fromm potentially under center for New York.
Other names to consider: James O’Shaugnessy (0%) isn’t startable yet and probably isn’t worth the bench stash yet, but he’s worth keeping an eye on in Week 14 against Tennessee. The Jaguars play the Texans and Jets in Weeks 15 and 16. If Darren Waller remains sidelined, Foster Moreau (23%) is another good streaming option despite a lackluster Week 13 performance.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans (39%)
It wasn’t pretty, put Taysom Hill finished as the QB4 in Week 13, despite battling injuries all week. He’s banged up with a “mallet finger” injury similar to Russell Wilson’s (but not as severe). If Hill plays, his rushing upside puts him at the top of the list for the final week of the fantasy regular season.
Cam Newton, Carolina (29%)
It may be hard to trust Cam Newton after Week 12’s stinker, but this is where I tell you about the rushing upside and goal-line usage. I want to believe it. Carolina is a bit of a mess right now, having just fired their offensive coordinator over the bye. It could get worse before it gets better, but I’m willing to bet on Cam one more time in a plus matchup against Atlanta.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington (39%)
After coming off the early-season highs, Taylor Heinicke and the Football Team are playing it safer. Heinicke should provide a solid floor against division-rival Dallas in Week 14. He also possesses the all-important rushing upside you love in a streamer.
If you need a one-week filler, there are lots of great matchups this week for streaming defenses. However, I’m watching the waiver wire this week to see if any great defenses get dropped (especially Tampa Bay, whose fantasy playoff matchups are New Orleans, Carolina, and the New York Jets. Yum.)
But if you need a win this week to make the playoffs, secure a bye, or just play spoiler, all of these options look promising:
Green Bay vs. Chicago
Denver vs. Detroit
New Orleans @ New York Jets
Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
Seattle @ Houston
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants
The Giants come to Los Angeles in Week 14, possibly without their first and second-string quarterbacks. Yes, it’s Jake Fromm time in New York. At least he has all of his receivers healt–oh wait. They’re all hurt, too.
(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)