Week 14 kicks off this evening, and that, my friends, means fantasy football playoffs are kicking off as well. Below are the players we like and dislike this week, along with a few really cool players that you may not even know about (that is an Old School reference…you’re welcome)! Good luck this week and hopefully our suggestions can help lead you to fantasy glory this year.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Car
McCaffery finds himself on the ‘Studs’ list for a second week in a row – not surprising. What is surprising was his underwhelming performance against the lowly Redskins. I don’t see that happening two weeks in a row, and the last time he played the Falcons – just three weeks ago – he had 11 receptions and 191 all-purpose yards. Expect another big game this time around against the Falcons.
DeVante Parker, WR, Mia:
I have been banging the DeVante Parker drum all year in my Waiver Wire Report articles and a few times in the ‘Sleepers’ section as well, but he has graduated to the ‘Studs’ category this week. Last week, none other than DeVante Parker was the top scoring fantasy receiver, and despite playing for a terrible Dolphins team with a journeyman quarterback, Parker ranks 18th in receiving yards and is tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns. Parker had his best game of the season last week – seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns – and for the fourth straight week and fifth time in the past seven games, he saw at least 10 targets. Over his last seven games, Parker has 65 targets, 40 receptions, 625 yards and four touchdowns. At this point, Parker is a solid WR2, borderline WR1.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt, RB, Cle:
The Bengals defense has been respectable the past few weeks, but they still rank dead last in terms of rushing yards allowed per game (157.6). Nick Chubb leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,175) and now the Browns feature Kareem Hunt as well, and all he is doing is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and five receptions per game. Even with the dysfunction going on in Cleveland right now, expect Chubb and Hunt to still have a big game.
Aaron Rodger, QB, GB
Rodgers has been a bit under the radar this year, both in real football and my fantasy posts. He isn’t having an MVP type season, but he is putting together another solid season, currently posting and 11/1 TD/INT ratio and on pace for 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions. I like his matchup this week against a mediocre Redskins pass defense which has given up 22 passing touchdowns through 12 games.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Min:
Fantasy owners reluctance to own and start Cousins this year is mindboggling to me. Cousins is having an MVP caliber season, yet fantasy owners seem hell bent on making sure they don’t even pick him up. He continues to be ranked in the top ten in every major quarterback category: yards, touchdowns, yards per attempt, QBR, quarterback rating and interceptions. I like his matchup this week against the Lions, a pass defense which has given up 25 passing touchdowns and more than 280 passing yards per game.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC:
It’s not often Mahomes will find himself on the ‘Duds’ list and may be even more surprising given the fact that in two matchups against the Patriots last year, Mahomes put up a total of 77 points, 647 passing yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions, but I don’t see that happening this year. The 2019 version of the Patriots defense is giving up just 163.5 passing yards per game and has recorded a league leading 20 interceptions, while surrendering a league low eight touchdowns.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dal:
Prescott is having a huge season, ranking in the top five or ten quarterbacks in almost every major category. However, he will be playing outside, in the cold, against a very good Bears defense and he will be doing so on short rest and his top receiver is battling a bothersome knee. That is a recipe for a down week.
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Det:
Scarbrough is one of the best stories of the season, on the streets just three weeks ago, he is averaging more than 78 yards per game, or 27+ yards per game more than the Lions projected starter, Kerryon Johnson, was averaging over six games. While he did put up 80+ yards at 4.0 yards per carry against a good Bears run defense, I don’t like this matchup, in Minnesota, with a third string quarterback leading the offense.
Michael Thomas, WR, NO:
Thomas goes from the ‘Studs’ list last week to the ‘Duds’ list this week. I love Thomas and he is on a historic pace this season, but I just don’t like this week’s matchup. The Niners defense surrenders a staggeringly low 134.3 passing yards per game and they are desperate. Coming off a huge loss to the Ravens, combined with a win by the Seahawks, the Niners suddenly went from the number one seed in the NFC to the number five seed. As a result, I see the Niners defense clamping down on the Saints and don’t see Thomas putting up big numbers this week.
Any Lions Pass Catchers:
David Blough surprised me and many others last week (including the Bears defense), throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. The big beneficiary of Blough’s success was Kenny Golladay – four catches, 158 yards and a touchdown – but I don’t see it happening a second week in a row, especially in Minnesota, against a tough defense, in one of the toughest and loudest places to play. Unless you are in a real pinch, I would leave all Lions pass catchers on the bench this week.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cin:
Dalton was not happy about his benching a few weeks back, nor should he have been. He was far from the reason the Bengals were struggling and that was made abundantly clear watching Ryan Finley for three weeks. The entire Bengals team – especially the offense – responded to Dalton’s return to the lineup last week. Dalton had a decent, clean game: 243 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. With another week of reps under his belt and the return of John Ross, expect a solid outing from Dalton again this week against the Browns.
Zach Pascal, WR, Ind:
Believe it or not, but Pascal is the leading receiver on the Colts. His week-to-week consistency is a fantasy nightmare, but, with T.Y. Hilton’s health in question, Pascal’s role should be larger from week-to-week, and that might make Pascal a Flex candidate. Last week, he saw 10 targets and pulled in seven for 109 yards, and this week, he gets a Bucs pass defense which ranks 31st in passing yards surrendered per game (281.8) and tied for 30th for passing touchdowns allowed (27).
Rashaad Penny, RB, Sea:
Penny was the third highest scoring running back this past week, and over the last two games, Penny has compiled 236 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. If you are in the playoffs but hurting at running back, Penny may be worthy of a Flex start.
Ryan Griffin, TE, NYJ:
Over the last six weeks, Griffin has 28 targets, 24 receptions, 266 yards and four touchdowns. In PPR leagues, Griffin is a starting tight end, and this week, he gets a Dolphins defense which ranks in the bottom ten of almost all defensive categories, including a league worst 31.4 points per game.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chi:
Miller is on a solid fantasy streak the past three weeks. Over the last three weeks, he has seen 33 targets, pulling in 21 of those for 271 yards. That sort of volume makes Miller at least a Flex option this week against the Cowboys.