Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 14

December 10, 2020

Fantasy playoffs are here, and if you are lucky enough to still be playing, congrats! With Week 13 just wrapping up on Tuesday and Week 14 starting tonight, we have the shortest turnaround ever, so you better be sure to comb through this piece (and your roster) as quick as possible. One lineup blunder from here on out could be the difference between cash, bragging rights and endless glory, or just another wasted season.

So sit back and indulge yourself in the Week 14 playoff edition of my 100% guarantee, can’t possibly miss, stone cold/room temperature ‘Studs, Duds & Sleepers.’




Patrick Mahomes, KC:

Not a shocker here, Mahomes is the odds on MVP favorite and this week goes up against a Dolphins defense who has faced just two top tier quarterbacks in 2020 (Russell Wilson and Josh Allen) and those two combined for 775 yards passing, six touchdowns, one interception and 62 points. 

Aaron Rodgers, GB:

The 2020 MVP race is a two-man show, and both of those guys top our list of quarterback ‘Studs’ this week. Rodgers leads the league in touchdowns (36), rating (118.5) and is second in terms of interceptions (4) and QBR (84.6). He has thrown multiple touchdowns in 11 of Green Bay’s 12 games and thrown three or more in nine of their twelve games. This week, he gets a Lions pass defense which ranks in the bottom ten in terms of sacks (18), interceptions (7), passing yards allowed (261.7/g), passing touchdowns allowed (23), and opponents quarterback rating (102.2).

Others receiving votes:

Ryan Tannehill, Ten:

Tannehill went six straight games without surpassing 300 yards, but put up 389 yards (and three touchdowns) last week against the Browns. He gets the Jaguars this week, a team which ranks 30th in sacks (15) and 29th in passing yards per game. The last time Tannehill saw the Jags, he put up four touchdowns. 

Deshaun Watson, Hou:

Before last week, Watson had 16 touchdowns (15 passing, 1 rushing) and zero interceptions in his previous six games. He only accounted for one touchdown last week (running) and threw a pick, but he faced a tough Colts defense without his deep threat (Will Fuller) and still put up 341 yards. He won’t have Fuller back, but he will have a much easier matchup this week in Chicago. 


From The GetSportsInfo Podcast:



Running backs:

Derrick Henry, Ten:

Henry had his streak of three straight 100 yard games snapped last week, but he still averaged 4.0 yards per carry. The problem was the Titans got down so big so quick, they only gave the ball to Henry 15 times. That won’t be the case this week in Jacksonville. The Jags rank 30th in the NFL, giving up nearly 140 yards per game on the ground. 

Aaron Jones, GB:

Despite missing two games, Jones still ranks ninth in rushing in the NFL with 754 yards while averaging an impressive 5.2 yards per carry. He put up 130 yards last week against an Eagles team which ranks a few spots better in the run (25th) than the Lions (28th) – his opponent this week.  

Others receiving votes:

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal:

Despite ranking sixth in the NFL in rushing yards (784), Elliott is not living up to his lofty contract. $90 million running backs should be able to give you more than five touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry. That being said, Cowboy fans may forget about that contract for one week, as I expect Elliott to put up big numbers against the league’s 29th ranked rushing attack in Cincinnati. 

David Montgomery, Chi:

For the second week in a row, Montgomery finds himself on the ‘Studs’ list, and why not? In his last two games, he has 175 yards rushing, nine receptions, 254 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. Those are RB1 numbers. Only the Cowboys give up more yards on the ground than the Texans (150.9) – Montgomery’s opponent this week. 

Pass Catchers:

Davante Adams, GB:

Adams leads the league in receiving yards per game (102.9) and is tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (13). If not for missing two games, he would lead the NFL in receptions, targets, yards and touchdowns. Last week he pulled in 10 of his 12 targets for 121 yards and two more touchdowns against the league’s seventh ranked passing defense – statistically (Eagles). Now, he and Rodgers get the a Lion’s team which gives up the seventh most passing yards per game and can’t rush the quarterback. Should lead for some big days for Adams and Rodgers.  

Terry McLaurin, Was:

I didn’t like McLaurin’s matchup last week against the Steelers, and he proved me right (two catches, 14 yards). I like his matchup this week against a 49ers team that gave up 375 yards and four touchdowns to Josh Allen and 130 yards to Cole Beasley last week. 

Others receiving votes:

DK Metcalf, Sea:

Despite Russell Wilson’s recent woes, Metcalf still put up 80 yards last week against a hot Giants defense. I expect Wilson to bust out this week against a Jets defense which ranks 31st against the pass and just fired their defensive coordinator after one of the most gut wrenching last second losses in NFL history. As a result, that should mean big numbers for Metcalf. 

Travis Kelce, KC:

No team can cover Kelce right now. His 1,114 yards receiving rank him second in the NFL – more than his superstar teammate Tyreek Hill – and he ranks in the top six in receptions (82), targets (111) and touchdowns (8). He pulled in eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last week against a Broncos defense, which statistically, is far better than the Dolphins defense he will see this week. 



Jared Goff, LAR:

The last three weeks, I have had the quarterback going against Bill Belichick in the ‘Duds’ section…and for good reason. Last week, the red hot rookie, Justin Herbert, had his worst game of the season – two picks, just 209 yards passing and zero touchdowns, despite throwing it 53 times. The week before, media darling Kyler Murray, who had multiple touchdowns in every game of the year, had the worst game of his season – 170 yards, one interception, and his only game without a single touchdown. This week, it is Goff’s turn to look bad. 

Kirk Cousins, Min:

Cousins has thrown for three touchdowns in three straight games and four of his last five. He has 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions over his last six games. He has thrown for 290+ yards in four straight. Despite all that, I don’t like the matchup this week. The Bucs have the top ranked rushing defense – allowing just 74.2 yards per game – and therefore should be able to slow down Dalvin Cook. They also rank sixth in the NFL with 34 sacks, so they should be able to pressure Cousins. If you have another good quarterback, I would play him this week and go back to Cousins next week.

.Others receiving votes:
Derek Carr, LV:

Few are more frustrating in fantasy football than Carr. After a zero touchdown, four turn overday in Atlanta, Carr came back with 381 yards and three touchdowns against the Jets (while on my bench). That sounds encouraging, right? Wrong! In two of his last four games, Carr has 656 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. In the other two games, he has 369 yards, zero touchdowns and four turnovers. Against a top five Colts defense this week, I wouldn’t trust him.

Baker Mayfield, Cle:

I know Browns fans, Baker looked great last week against the Titans and good the week before against the Jaguars. In those two games he had six touchdowns and zero interceptions. But those two teams rank 28th and 29th respectively against the pass, and 29th and 30th in terms of sacks. In the three gams prior, against less crappy defenses, he had zero touchdown passes. In fact, in games against the Jags, Titans and Bengals – the three worst teams at rushing the passer – Mayfield is 4-0 with 13 touchdowns, two interceptions and three games of 250+ yards passing. In his other eight games, he has six touchdowns, five interceptions and exactly zero games of 250 or more passing yards. He isn’t playing one of those three teams this week, so he shouldn’t be in your lineup.

Running backs:

Josh Jacobs (or Devontae Booker), LV:

Ok, I had Jacobs here last week, and then he didn’t play. Whether he plays this week is up in the air as well, so I am adding his backup just in case. Regardless of who is running the ball for the Raiders, I don’t like this matchup the Colts rank 7th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game and fourth in terms of yards per carry (3.8). Jacobs is only averaging 3.8 himself, and Booker went for 3.1 last week. Translation: don’t start a Raiders running back this week. 

Mile Sanders, Phi:

I’m not sure if the switch to Jalen Hurts helps or hurts Sanders, but Sanders has just 46 yards combined in his last two games and just 102 over his last three. After a 10 carry, 31 yard performance against a mediocre Packers run defense, I wouldn’t be counting on Sanders this week against the Saints and their second ranked run defense.   

Others receiving votes:

Kareem Hunt, Cle:

Hunt played decent against the Ravens in Week 1 (72 yards on 13 carries), but he has just one rushing touchdown over his last eight games, and over his last three, he has a grand total of 106 yards on 37 carries and just 34 yards receiving. He is a risky play this week in the playoffs.

James Conner, Pit:

It sounds like Conner will be back this week, but he shouldn’t be in your lineup. The Steelers can’t run the ball. They rank 29th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards per game (91.6) and Conner has put up less than 50 yards rushing in three of his last four games. 

Pass Catchers:

All Pass catchers wearing Bengals stripes:

Without Joe Burrow, the Bengals have the worst passing offense in the league. Throw on top of that a bottom five offensive line – which is now sans their left tackle (there only good lineman) – and no pass catcher on the Bengals is worth a spot in your lineup. In the first half against Washington – before Burrow was injured – the Bengals had 203 yards passing. In the two games since, they have 289 yards passing…combined!

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pit:

JuJu leads the Steelers in receptions (73), but he isn’t doing much with them – ranking 123rd with an 8.2 average per catch. He is third on his own team in yards (600), 17th in the NFL, and hasn’t even amassed 40 yards receiving in any of his last three games (84 yards combined)!

Others receiving votes:

Philadelphia Pass Catchers:

Carson Wentz has been terrible this year, but I am not sure what to expect from Hurts either. In relief last week, he did put up 109 yards and one touchdown on just five completions…but he also only completed five of twelve passes, and threw a pick. Maybe his ability to run will give him some value in the upcoming weeks, but not this week against the Saints defense. I expect a long day for Hurts and all of his receivers.

Cooper Kupp, LAR:

 The reason for Kupp being on the ‘Duds’ list is because of what I expect Belichick to do to Goff. I expect Goff to have a terrible day, and consequently, anyone Goff is throwing the ball to (or trying to throw the ball to), will have a bad day as well.

Darius Slayton, NYG:

Despite going against the league’s worst pass defense, not a single Giants receiver surpassed 32 yards and their only receiving touchdown came from Alfred Morris…yep, he is apparently still in the league. Slayton saw one target and pulled it in for 14 yards. In fact, that is Slayton’s only catch since Daniel Jones went down last week. In three of his last four games, he has one catch or less, and no games over 14 yards receiving. 



Phillip Rivers, Ind:

Rivers hasn’t been putting up big fantasy numbers, but he hasn’t been killing owners either. That being said, he has 10 touchdowns over his last three games and has thrown for 285 yards or more and one interception or less in each of his last four games.  

Andy Dalton, Dal:

Dalton hasn’t been great, but he has six touchdowns over his last three games, the Bengals struggle to get pressure on the quarterback and I expect him to be very motivated coming back to Cincinnati this week. He has something to prove and despite his shaky line, I think he has a big game against his former team. 

Josh Allen, Buf:

Second week in a row I have Allen here, and while it may seem odd to classify him as a ‘Sleeper,’ he had fallen off some radars and this week, he gets a top five Steelers defense – which may scare people away from playing him. It shouldn’t. He looked back to his early season form last week, going for 375 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions against the 49ers. 


Running backs:

Raheem Mostert, SF:

Second week in a row I have Moster here as well. He didn’t have a big game last week – nine carries, 42 yards – but he averaged 4.7 yards per carry. and I think we will see his usage begin to climb each week.  

Giovani Bernard, Cin:

Two weeks in a row Bernard (and the Bengals coaching staff) made me look like a fool here, but the third times a charm! Despite the Bengals woes at quarterback and the offensive line, they have to rely on Bernard and the ground game this week against the Cowboys and their league worst run defense.  

Johnathan Taylor, Ind:

Taylor was back last week and put up 91 yards on just 13 carries (7.0 ypc) and added three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. The Colts spread the ball around in their backfield, but Taylor is worth at least a flex play every week going forward.


Pass Catchers:

T.Y. Hilton, Ind:

Apparently Hilton is still alive! For the first time all season, he put up 100 yards and for the second game in a row, he found the endzone (only his second touchdown of the season). Over the last two games, Hilton has 12 catches on 16 targets for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He has another friendly matchup this week against the Raiders.

Corey Davis, Ten:

Davis pulled in 11 of his 12 targets last week for 182 yards and a touchdown. He should have another big day this week against a Jaguars team that struggles to get any pressure on the quarterback. 

Keke Coutee, Hou:

If you wondered where the touches were going to go without Will Fuller in the lineup, I think we found our answer. Coutee, in just his fourth game of the season, pulled in eight of his nine targets for 141 yards last week against a good Colts defense. 

Bonus Sleepers:

DJ Chark Jr., Jax:

The Titans have a terrible pass defense and someone has to catch passes for the Jaguars. Chark has 53 targets over his last six games (nearly nine per game), so he is seeing plenty of opportunities.

Dalton Schultz, Dal:

The Bengals are terrible against tight ends, and my ‘Sleeper’ pick of Mike Gesicki panned out last week (nine catches, 81 yards, one touchdown). If you are looking for a sleeper tight end, Schultz could be your guy against the Bengals this week.

Cole Beasley, Buf:

Believe it or not, but Beasley ranks 18th in receptions (66), t-19th in yards (797) and t-35th in touchdowns (4). Coming off his best game of the year (nine receptions, 130 yards, one touchdown), he may be worth a play this week.  

Brandon Aiyuk, SF:

With all the injuries the 49ers have had, Aiyuk has seen a lot of opportunities of late, and has cashed in. Over his last four games, Aiyuk has been targeted 40 times, pulling in 26 of those for 376 yards and three touchdowns.

  • Categories: NFL

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