FANTASY PLAYS: Burning questions for NFL Week 14
A look at some key fantasy football questions for Week 14:
WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCES FOR BIG GAMES THIS WEEK?
Week 14 typically marks the start of the fantasy football playoffs. If at all possible don't take too many chances when constructing your lineup this week. Digging for players isn't a great spot to be in this late in the season.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had a tough time against a good Texans defense last week, however he faces a Panthers defense that's allowed the third most passing TDs and sixth most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks.
With 35 carries, 4.26 yards per carry (YPC) and two TDs in his last two games, LeGarrette Blount has filled in admirably for Lions RB Kerryon Johnson, who looks to be out again this week. He takes on the Cardinals, who give up an average of 141 rushing yards per game (YPG).
Bills WR Zay Jones caught eight passes for 93 yards and scored a TD the first time he faced the Jets in Week 10. The Jets have allowed the fourth highest FPPG to wideouts.
There's not much out there as far as fantasy TEs are concerned, however Steelers TE Vance McDonald has a favorable matchup against the Raiders, who've allowed the most TDs to the position.
IS LAMAR JACKSON A GOOD START IN A FAVORABLE MATCHUP AGAINST THE CHIEFS?
Jackson has won all three of his games as the Ravens starting QB and has been a serviceable fantasy producer. A good portion of Jackson's fantasy points have come as the result of his 88 rushing yards per game. The Chiefs give up the fifth most FPPG to the QB position, however they've given up the fewest rushing yards to fantasy QBs on the season (95). If you have a better option, consider using it.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM STEELERS BACKUP RB JAYLEN SAMUELS WITH JAMES CONNER OUT?
Steelers RBs have an excellent matchup against the Raiders, who give up the second-most rushing YPG (153). While Jaylen Samuels is expected to start, he was a TE in college and has never had more than 12 carries in a game. Will he have the stamina to carry the ball 20 times and how many carries will Stevan Ridley vulture away? It's possible Samuels and Ridley could split carries. Coth could have fantasy value this week based on the matchup, but there might be a low ceiling on production.
SPENCER WARE CARRIED THE BALL 14 TIMES IN WEEK 13. WILL WE SEE AN UPTICK IN HIS ACTIVITY?
Ware's 14 carries came as a result of a 69 percent snap rate. Ware has been hurt and didn't have that many carries since Dec. 25, 2016. It may take at least another game or two before he is able to handle a full workload. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has suggested he might use a committee approach including Damien Williams (27 percent Week 13 snap rate) and Darrel Williams (4 percent snap rate). Ware should continue to get the majority of work out of the Chiefs backfield but Damien Williams will have a role this week as well. Sharing carries and facing a tough Ravens run defense (third fewest FPPG to RBs), could make Ware another RB with a low fantasy ceiling. Williams doesn't have enough upside to have stand-alone fantasy value but as Ware's primary backup he deserves to be rostered as his handcuff.
WHICH RUNNING BACK IS THE SAFER START THIS WEEK, JUSTIN JACKSON OR JEFFREY WILSON?
Jackson made the most of his limited snaps and carries (22 percent, eight) in Week 13. With Chargers RB Austin Ekeler's 2.52 YPC in the two games he's replaced Melvin Gordon, Jackson could see more playing time against the Bengals, who give up the most FPPG to RBs.
Although he had a productive final two seasons at North Texas (30 TDs and a 6.02 YPC), Wilson came out of nowhere in Week 13 and had a big game as oft-injured 49ers RB Matt Breida was forced to the sidelines yet again. He rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries (4.07 YPC) and also added eight catches for 73 yards.
Both have the opportunity to produce in Week 14 but Wilson is likely to have more guaranteed volume. Jackson has more upside potential this week, but in terms of playing time, Wilson is the safer start.
WHO CAN REPLACE INJURED EMMANUEL SANDERS IN FANTASY LINEUPS?
Courtland Sutton had four catches for 85 yards and added a TD in Week 13 for the Broncos.
With Marquise Goodwin missing the past two games and Pierre Garcon missing the past three, Dante Pettis has had 13 catches and three TDs in the past three weeks for the 49ers.
Panthers WR Curtis Samuel has three TDs in his last five games. Devin Funchess was limited in Week 13 due to a back injury. If he continues to be limited, Samuel will again be heavily utilized in Week 14.
There's not much to love in the Cardinals passing game, but with rookie WR Christian Kirk placed on injured reserve, Larry Fitzgerald's targets should see an uptick.
For more Week 14 fantasy lineup advice and tips, visit RotoExperts: https://rotoexperts.com