Fantasy Football Likes/Dislikes
In an effort to aid you in your lineup-setting endeavors, I’ll be providing a weekly glimpse into my rankings; meaning, I’ll be highlighting players I like or dislike more compared to the expert consensus rankings as listed on FantasyPros.com or who I simply like or dislike for that given week. My ranking at the time of the writing will be alongside the player’s name. Needless to say, that ranking will likely change as the week progresses.
Bear in mind that I start this writing earlier in the week, so Expert Consensus Rankings will likely be different by the time of publication. These cannot be held against me – only used for credit. While I do acknowledge that kickers are people too, neither they nor D/STs will be included. Finally, these cannot be held against me – only used to give credit when credit is due. As always, feel free to reach me on Twitter for any queries before the slate and I’ll try to get back to you.
*Note that half PPR scoring applies. Fantasy points allowed are gleaned from FF Today. Here’s to making and/or advancing in the playoffs!
Week 14 Fantasy Likes
LAC vs. ATL – QB4
Perhaps no one is more in need of a rebound effort than Herbert after the display he and the Chargers put on a week ago. Oy vey. It was by far Herbert’s worst outing as a rookie. The schedule graces him with a fortuitous foe in Week 14 in the form of the Atlanta Falcons.
As has been iterated here ad nauseam, the Falcons are regularly trounced via aerial strategy. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of Herbert’s upcoming vengeful performance.
PIT @ BUF – QB12
Oof. Big Ben and the Steelers screwed the pooch in suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of the up-and-coming squad from the District of Columbia on Monday afternoon/night.
Roethlisberger’s 6.4 yards per attempt is his second-lowest of his career, per Pro Football Reference, but his overall numbers have been more than serviceable. He’s even completed and attempted the most passes in the league this year.
And like much of 2020, Buffalo’s defense has disappointed. Aside from a plus matchup, these two teams are vying for playoff seeding. It could morph into an aerial assault on both sides. Big Ben will reside comfortably within my QB1 territory.
DEN @ CAR – RB16
The following is something I do not say often: Melvin Gordon looked good running with the football. In fact, he ran for a season-high 131 yards on Sunday night. Coincidentally, it was exactly 100 more rushing yards than he had the week prior. I’m in for Round 2. The Panthers don’t pose a huge threat for opposing running backs. Their 4.6 yards per attempt allowed and 14 rushing touchdowns allowed are both in the bottom 10. Gordon is comfortably in RB territory.
AZ @ NYG – RB15
Drake is on a tear of late. His yards per carry have increased in each of the last three weeks and he has scored four times in that span. Unfortunately, the Cardinals have lost all three of those contests.
Yes, the Giants are coming off their best road win of the year after upsetting the Seahawks on the road. They are, however, exploitable by running backs, particularly through the air. The Giants have yielded the second-most receptions and the most receiving yards to the position.
And while Chase Edmonds’ existence must be acknowledged, I’m big on Drake. By the way, seven of his eight touchdowns have occurred in road matchups. As of now, he’s in my Top 15 running backs.
CIN vs. DAL – WR29
The good news for Boyd is that he won’t have to grapple with Xavien Howard this go-round. Boyd and Howard were ejected in Week 13 after punches were thrown. Boyd did save his day whilst zooming past the Dolphins defense for a 72-yard score before being tossed out.
The Dallas defense is much more accommodating to opposing wide receivers and offenses as a whole. Whether it’s Ryan Finley or Brandon Allen who starts, I’m starting Boyd as – at worst – a WR3.
NYJ @ SEA – WR46
We’re here again – starting a wide receiver against the Seahawks. It’s been a beneficial strategy for the last four months, why stop now? Seattle’s receptions and yards allowed to receivers are easily the highest in the league and the Jets will be playing catch up for three quarters or so.
It should be noted that Mims is currently in the midst of a family emergency, so he is at risk of missing this week. If he isn’t active then I am definitely pro Jamison Crowder.
LAC vs. ATL – TE4
There may not have been a bigger letdown at the tight end spot than Henry a week ago. The Chargers as a whole were an epic disappointment, though. This is a prime matchup for a rebound effort. Atlanta’s 13 Half-PPR points per game surrendered to tight ends are the sixth most to date. The only tight ends I’m starting over Henry are Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and T.J. Hockenson.
DAL @ CIN – TE13
One little bright spot in the gloom that has been the Cowboys’ offense has been Schultz. Granted, his numbers aren’t anything to write home about. Quietly, though, he has averaged 6 targets per game over the last four weeks, serving as a safety valve of sorts for Andy Dalton. What’s more, is that the Bengals have given up the most yards to tight ends in 2020. Schultz has borderline TE1 upside in Week 14.
Week 14 Dislikes
NE @ LAR – QB22 (Thursday night)
It seems like I’ve been harassing Newton for most of the season. Ok, harassing is too strong. Nonetheless, this marks yet another week in which I will be staying away from the running back disguised as a quarterback. The Rams are not to be trifled with and match up well versus Newton. They are, in fact, one of two teams who yield less than 200 passing yards per game. I might even mess around and start someone like Jalen Hurts ahead of him.
MIN @ TB – QB17
Cousins is too inconsistent and the matchup on the road is too intimidating. My willingness to start him still exists. However, his streak of three consecutive games of at least 300 yards and three touchdowns comes to a definitive cessation. He won’t be included amongst my No.1 fantasy quarterbacks.
PHI vs. NO – RB21
I don’t know what in the world Doug Pederson is doing with his running back group. Miles Sanders is far and away the most talented of the bunch. Yet, he’s losing touches to Jordan Howard. The lack of touches, the matchup, and the change at a quarterback – who’s more inclined to run – are all ingredients in the recipe that produces my dislike for Sanders. No longer should he be mentioned with those in the RB1 conversation.
BUF vs. PIT – RB32 (Singletary) & RB42 (Moss)
If you’re set on starting a Buffalo running back then it has to be Devin Singletary. I’m not treading in those waters, though. Monday night was the Josh Allen show. The Josh Allen show is a weekly event and Buffalo’s running backs usually take a backseat. Not working in Singletary or Zack Moss’s favor either is the fact that Pittsburgh defends the run a lot better than they defend the pass. Swipe left.
OAK vs. IND – WR57
The bad news for Ruggs is that he’s not facing a Gregg Williams’ defense this week. In one of the more befuddling decisions in the history of defensive play calls, Williams chose to all-out blitz Derek Carr in what was ostensibly a Haily Mary situation. Seconds later, Ruggs found himself flying freely into the end zone with a game-winning touchdown. He’ll fly back down to earth in Week 14 and should fly right back onto fantasy benches.
CLE vs. BAL – WR56
I’m banking on receivers not duplicating their Week 13 outputs. The entire Browns offense went off a week ago in what was a strong win with playoff implications over the Titans. Before Sunday, Higgins had averaged 35 yards in his previous four outings. I’m staying away despite the recent outburst.
WAS @ SF – TE15
Admittedly, I don’t feel good about this one. He just put up one of the best stat lines of his career. While I do like him more if Antonio Gibson is out (toe), it’s likely I won’t have him ranked as high as others. With the way the 49ers have been containing tight ends in 2020, Thomas won’t just be leaving his heart in San Francisco. I’m not entirely sure what I mean by that. Thomas is startable, to be sure, although I’d certainly consider the aforementioned Dalton Schultz over him.
AZ @ NYG – Outside Top 25
Talk about a fluke game. Both of Arnold’s catches went for touchdowns in Week 13 and he has now scored thrice in as many games. Don’t be fooled, gentle reader. He is seeing south of three targets per contest. He’s looked at about as much as my Pinterest account is looked at by me. OK, he’s looked at way more often. Even so, don’t jump on the bandwagon.
Zach hails from the bustling metropolis of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Three things Zach enjoys are football, food and water. Three things Zach doesn’t enjoy are kale, mushrooms and the company of those who enjoy either (except hobbits). Zach is a life-long Broncos fan and has been playing fantasy football longer than he hasn’t. He had top-five finishes in FantasyPros’ 2016 NFL DFAC competition and the 2016 SFB480.