What We Saw: Week 14

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season.

Washington @ 49ers

 

The “Alex Smith Revenge Game” saw the Washington Football Team beat a derisory San Francisco 49ers 23-15 mainly thanks to an impressively aggressive showing from this ferocious Washington defense. They scored 2 touchdowns – one was a strip-sack fumble from Daron Payne that 1st-round rookie Chase Young returned for a 47-yard score; the other was a pick-6 that 7th-round rookie safety Kamren Curl took to the house for a 76-yard score.

This was an awful football game that included 17 punts, 4 turnovers, a missed field goal and very little fantasy-relevance. If you had the Washington DST, however, well played indeed.

 

 

Washington Football Team

 

Quarterback

 

Alex Smith: 8/19, 57 yards, 1 INT, 1 sack

Dwayne Haskins: 7/12, 51 yards, 1 sack | 4 carries, -12 yards

 

It makes you really question how bad the opposition were to end up losing this game when you see these statistics from the winning team’s quarterbacks. Alex Smith (1.28 fantasy points) was probably dreaming of a different kind of day but will be happy just to see his team win against his former employer. He suffered a calf injury just before the half (which is not serious) and was replaced by former starter Dwayne Haskins (0.84 fantasy points), who showed exactly why coach Ron Rivera considers him to be expendable in Washington. Both these quarterbacks failed to get into a rhythm and looked nothing more than hand-off merchants. They should be avoided in all fantasy formats.

 

Running Backs

 

J.D. McKissic: 11 carries, 68 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards

Peyton Barber: 12 carries, 37 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 1 yard

 

With the ineffectual quarterbacks struggling to execute simple screen passes and check downs, there was little opportunity for either J.D. McKissic (10.60 fantasy points) or Peyton Barber (5.80 fantasy points) to take advantage of more touches due to the absence of Antonio Gibson. McKissic looked the better back by some margin and actually notched a career high in rush yards, which could also be the saddest stat of the night too.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Logan Thomas: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 43 yards

Terry McLaurin: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards

Isaiah Wright: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards | 0/1

Cam Sims: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

Steven Sims Jr.: 3 targets, 1 receptions, 5 yards

Jeremy Sprinkle: 1 target

Robert Foster: 2 targets

 

The only offensive Washington player coming out of this game with a respectable fantasy output for his position was tight end Logan Thomas (10.40 fantasy points) – With only 108 receiving yards recorded, Thomas at least led the team in targets (7), catches (6) and yardage (43). Thomas has become Washington’s most fantasy-relevant receiver and it’s best red zone target.

Even the return of Dwayne Haskins to the field could not help Terry McLaurin (4.40 fantasy points) and his fantasy nosedive in the past 2 weeks. Scary Terry has only 4 catches for 38 yards on 12 targets at a time when fantasy managers needed him the most. Riverboat Ron’s extreme offensive conservatism has killed the talented receiver’s season.

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Quarterback

 

Nick Mullens: 25/45, 260 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 FUM lost, 4 sacks

 

There was a point in this game when I thought we might never see Nick Mullens (13.40 fantasy points) throw a pass for the 49ers ever again. You can see in the clip in the introduction to this article that Kyle Shanahan was absolutely disgusted with his signal-caller for the throw that resulted in the pick-6. Mullens looks completely devoid of confidence and belief and this was another mistake-strewn performance that looked uglier than even the statistics suggest.

The 49ers have at least 2 giveaways in 7 straight games, Mullens has been under center for 6 of those and responsible for multiple turnovers in 4 of those. He is not an fantasy option for your playoff run.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Raheem Mostert: 14 carries, 65 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 5 yards

Jeff Wilson: 11 carries, 31 yards, 1 TD, 1 FUM lost | 3 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards

Kyle Juszczyk: 1 carry, 3 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards, 1 TD

 

Those that have Raheem Mostert (9.00 fantasy points) rostered as their RB1 will be furious that both complementary backs hit paydirt instead of San Francisco’s best rusher. Jeff Wilson (9.40 fantasy points) punched in his touchdown while Mostert was off the field being evaluated for a concussion.

 

 

Kyle Juszczyk (9.80 fantasy points) benefitted from a dump off in the 4th quarter as the 49ers were chasing the game.

 

 

Mostert is by far and away the back to own, however Shanahan’s predictability in pushing run schemes mean it is often possible for Mostert to miss out but still be productive. Today’s stat line hurts though.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Brandon Aiyuk: 16 targets, 10 receptions, 119 yards

Kendrick Bourne: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards

Richie James: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards

Ross Dwelley: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

Jordan Reed: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards

Charlie Woerner: 1 target

 

It is really tough to watch this passing offense, that is for sure. Every game Shanahan seems to put the game plan all on one receiver, and for the 2nd week in a row that was 1st-round rookie Brandon Aiyuk (21.90 fantasy points). Maybe it is a sign of the head coach trying to justify his decision to the GM to move up in the 1st round to get Aiyuk, or maybe it is because the rest of the receiving room is a handful of average talent. Either way, those who are starting Aiyuk as a WR2 or FLEX guy are pretty happy right now. Aiyuk has 25 targets, 15 catches, 214 yards and a TD in his last 2 games.

A side note, the 49ers have again mismanaged Deebo Samuel‘s hamstring injury as the receiver limped off after aggravating the injury on their 1st drive.

 

— Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

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