Sunday Fantasy Football Fallout: Week 14 (2019)
For most of us, the fantasy playoffs are underway. Injuries dominated the headlines this week, whether they involved someone new getting hurt (Mike Evans, Mark Andrews) or players missing time with pre-existing injuries (Josh Jacobs). We got some surprisingly good performances out of the Broncos and A.J. Brown, while Alvin Kamara, the Jaguars, and the Lions all flopped. This week has given us a lot to unpack — let’s get started!
Mike Evans went down.
Story: Evans exited Sunday’s game after he injured his hamstring on a 61-yard receiving touchdown. He could not return to the game, and the Buccaneers weren’t holding him out because they were ahead — Tampa Bay didn’t get the lead back until the fourth quarter.
Fallout: This isn’t what Evans owners in the fantasy playoffs wanted to see. His long touchdown may keep you in contention for this week, but hamstring injuries cause players to miss an average of 2.6 games. If Evans can’t play next week, every receiving option in Tampa gains some value due to Evans’ massive target share. Chris Godwin should be a lock for WR1 numbers, while Breshad Perriman becomes a high-upside WR2/3. Perriman caught three of his five targets for 70 yards a touchdown, so he’s a must-add this week. While Justin Watson also had himself a game (to the pleasure of PlayerProfiler’s Matt Kelley), his value will depend on Scotty Miller’s status for next week. If Miller can’t suit up again, Watson becomes a WR4. And if Miller can play, look for him to produce those WR4 numbers himself. In his last full game, he had six targets, four receptions, and 71 yards — with Godwin, Evans, and Perriman in the lineup.
The Raiders ruled Josh Jacobs out before the game started.
Story: This story has been building up for a few weeks. Apparently, Jacobs had been playing through a fractured shoulder for some time. Before Week 12, Jacobs was on pace for an absurd 305.6 carries. To put that in perspective, Jon Gruden had never run workhorse Cadillac Williams that much in any season, and not a single running back had more than 304 carries last year.
Fallout: With Jacobs out, DeAndre Washington inherited most of Jacobs’ snaps. He ran 14 times for 53 yards and a score, adding 43 yards on six receptions. If Jacobs is forced to miss more time with his shoulder injury, Washington would be a weekly RB2. The Raiders get the Jaguars’ terrible rushing defense next week, and you can read more about how bad they are below. Whoever leads the Oakland backfield next week is poised for a big day on the ground.
Mark Andrews exited with a first-quarter injury.
Story: Andrews injured his right knee and was ruled doubtful to return. The tight end had caught just one of his three targets before departing, which may have ended some of his fantasy owners’ championship hopes.
Fallout: Andrews owners can breathe a sigh of relief — he will be fine for next week. The Ravens play the Jets on Thursday Night Football, so Baltimore may have been playing it safe by keeping him out. Although both Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle both caught touchdown passes without Andrews, I wouldn’t chase the points and add them off waivers this week.
Both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson got concussed.
Story: The Dolphins are hemorrhaging wide receivers right now. They lost Preston Williams earlier this season, and they could be without both Parker and Wilson next week. Both receivers will have to clear the league’s concussion protocol before next Sunday to play against the soft Giants secondary.
Fallout: Parker will produce WR1 numbers against the Giants if he can play. If he can’t, Isaiah Ford, Allen Hurns, and Mack Hollins are the next men up. The Dolphins could also add another receiver before Sunday’s game, but for right now, your best options off waivers are Ford and Hurns. Ford earned nine targets against New York, while Hurns got eight. While both are good waiver wire dice rolls, their value will depend upon Parker and Wilson not clearing the concussion protocol. Also, Mike Gesicki would be a low-end TE1 if both receivers sit.
Derrius Guice got hurt against Green Bay.
Story: Guice had run five times for 42 yards before leaving. Without him, Bill Callahan and Washington continued to feature their running backs to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers. Adrian Peterson got 20 carries, and he turned them into 76 yards and a score. Chris Thompson, meanwhile, caught seven of eight targets for 43 yards.
Fallout: It’ll be essential to monitor Guice’s status moving forward, as he’s got a lengthy injury history. Without him, Peterson should offer high-end RB2 numbers in Bill Callahan’s run-first offense. They take on the Eagles’ solid rushing defense next week, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Callahan gives Thompson enough dump-off passes for him to earn RB3/flex numbers in PPR. He could be a smart waiver add this week.
Raheem Mostert led the San Francisco backfield.
Story: This week was the first game with all three of Mostert, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman active since Week 10. Back then, both Breida and Coleman out-touched Mostert. But the tables have turned — this week, Mostert got fourteen touches, which he turned into 109 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Breida touched the ball only seven times for 58 yards, and Coleman got just three touches for six yards.
Fallout: Mostert is officially the back to own for the 49ers. In a high-scoring game against the Saints, Kyle Shanahan kept finding ways to get Mostert the ball. The running back even caught a touchdown pass from Emmanuel Sanders! The 49ers match up with the Falcons next week, and they are a mid-pack defense against the run. Mostert is now a low-end RB1 in Shanahan’s run-heavy offense. Breida should remain a high-upside RB2/flex play, while Coleman becomes a high-value handcuff.
A.J. Brown went off against the Raiders.
Story: Brown caught five of his seven targets for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill threw his way more than any other receiver, as both Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, and Tajae Sharpe earned just four each.
Fallout: Just as predicted. Brown has been Tannehill’s favorite receiver, and the Ole Miss product can run. He’s a boom-or-bust option WR3/flex option. Even though he can turn a handful of targets into big numbers, that kind of production won’t happen every week — Brown has had three games with under 50 yards since Tannehill took over in Week 7. Brown’s big numbers also speak to the Raiders’ inability to defend against the deep ball. Before this week, the Raiders had given up the second-most passing plays of 20-plus yards. The Raiders get the Jaguars and the Chargers to end the season, so you can expect D.J. Chark, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen to put together big games against them.
Emmanuel Sanders exploded against the Saints.
Story: Sanders caught seven of his nine targets for 157 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown reception. He also threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Raheem Mostert to add to an already impressive fantasy performance.
Fallout: This was easily Sanders’ best game as a 49er. He’s been inconsistent in Shanahan’s scheme, but he offers some massive upside in high-scoring games. The 49ers have home dates with the Falcons and the Rams next, and Sanders should be a mid-tier WR2 for those games. While I’m optimistic he can string together a series of good games, he has four or fewer receptions in all but two of his games for San Francisco, so I wouldn’t value him any higher than that.
The Broncos dominated the Texans.
Story: This game was over before halftime. Sure, Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins got some nice garbage-time scores, but the result was never in question. Denver’s offense looked good with Drew Lock under center — he threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns — and Vic Fangio’s defense has been much better after a slow start to the season.
Fallout: Drew Lock could be a low-end streaming option with his soft schedule to end the year. He’s got the Chiefs next week, and then he takes on the Lions and the Raiders. Lock liked passing to Noah Fant this week, who caught four passes for 113 yards and a score. Fant had caught just one pass on three targets the week before. Fant left the game with a foot injury, but if he can play next week, he’s a high-upside streaming option. Most of Lock’s targets went to Courtland Sutton, although he only ended up with five receptions for 34 yards. Look for him to rebound with low-end WR1 numbers next week, especially if Fant misses time.
The Saints scored 46 points, but Alvin Kamara didn’t get a touchdown.
Story: Kamara still hasn’t found paydirt since Week 3. The star running back touched the ball 17 times on Sunday, but he could only turn those opportunities into 43 yards. Meanwhile, Latavius Murray got nine touches, turning them into 94 yards.
Fallout: He has not lived up to his first-round status at all this year. The Saints take on the Colts and Titans to end the fantasy season, but their Week 17 game against the Panthers is his best chance to score another touchdown. It doesn’t look like Murray will steal lead-back duties from Kamara this season, but he’ll have strong value as a handcuff moving forward.
Neither the Panthers nor the Jaguars can defend the run.
Story: Carolina allowed 159 rushing yards while Jacksonville gave up 195. Both teams allowed two rushing touchdowns as well, and they rank first and second for the most rushing touchdowns surrendered.
Fallout: While Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and Devonta Freeman all looked good, their performances say more about the defenses. Both the Panthers and Jaguars remain teams to target with your rushers. As I mentioned earlier in the article, Jacksonville’s got the Raiders up next, so either Josh Jacobs or DeAndre Washington will be must-starts. The Jags have the Falcons in Week 16, so Freeman should have another big day then. Carolina takes on the Seahawks in Week 15, which is good news for owners of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, and then they get the Colts and Marlon Mack.
Touchdown Celebration of the Week
— NFL (@NFL) December 8, 2019