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Takeaways from Week 14 Game Film (Fantasy Football)

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Dec 9, 2019

Bobby is already looking forward to drafting Singletary in 2020

Chances are that you saw Terry McLaurin‘s one-handed touchdown stab and George Kittle running over the Saints defense on the way to a game-winning field goal, but my goal today is to tell you about some tidbits you may have missed from a fantasy perspective. I went back through and watched every play of every game. I saw the Thursday night game and three Sunday games live then used NFL Game Pass to see the other 11 contests this morning. Let’s do this!

You can watch condensed games too with a free trial from NFL Game Pass>>

I can’t recommend starting Patrick Laird even against the Giants or Bengals
You know, for someone who was supposed to be a fringe roster candidate, I’m actually pretty impressed with what I see out of Laird. He has his strengths and it could potentially play well in a much different scheme, but he is the last type of player that belongs behind Miami’s terrible offensive line. When you get someone with crazy agility like Joe Mixon or a reckless pile-drive like Chris Carson, they can excel even if they are often met before the line of scrimmage. Laird is neither. In fact, he is far from either of these definitions. Granted, he is a major upgrade over Kalen Ballage and will continue to have a Nyheim Hines‘ like effort in the passing game, but when Laird is met in the backfield, which is the most common result in a Dolphins’ running play, there isn’t much hope for positive yards or broken tackles that could lead to a big play. He’ll continue to be outside my top 30 backs the final two weeks.

Devin Singletary is becoming a bell-cow for Buffalo
I’ve written about Singletary’s lack of speed and power at points in this season, and how even though he is an inferior athlete compared to many of the stars in the league, his balance and especially vision, make him an exceptional young player. We are now seeing that morph into a whole new animal. The Bills eased him in this season, as is commonly the case with rookie running backs, then he was injured and eased back from that injury. We’ve slowly been seeing his snaps and opportunities increase but it’s now to the point where I need to sound the bells. In the last three weeks, he now has 66 touches and has looked extremely impressive against three stellar defenses. Seeing that he closes the year against Pittsburgh, New England and the Jets, he won’t have much DFS use, but I want you all to remember this piece next summer when you are drafting. His final six weeks, when we finally saw him as a bell-cow were against the worst schedule in football. He is a legitimate second-round pick next season despite his likely third or fourth-round ADP.

Patrick Mahomes is still the best quarterback in the NFL
Apologies are obviously due to Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson but I tell you what, Mahomes is even better than he was last season. Granted, the stat-line isn’t going to tell you that, but everyone and their grandma knew he wouldn’t sustain an 8.6% TD-rate. While playing through three injuries (the ankle, knee and now the hand) against a more difficult schedule than last year and without Kareem Hunt and even Tyreek Hill for a chunk of time, Mahomes still has a ridiculous 8.3 yards per attempt. The biggest change I’ve seen in his game is the footwork under pressure. He made some incredible throws in this situation last year but more than a handful were ill-advised that he just happened to get away with. In 2019, his eyes stay downfield as he moves into space without losing his focus. This has led to him recognizing separation when it isn’t there and taking a sack instead of tossing an interceptionable ball. Over the course of a season, eight fewer bad passes is a big deal. It is tough to imagine him having improved, but frankly, we likely haven’t even seen the end of his growth.

I want you dynasty folks to add Kerrith Whyte
I wrote about the rookie for Pittsburgh prior to the NFL Draft as a potential late-round sleeper who could make a big impact in the NFL quickly. He was hidden behind Devin Singletary at Florida Atlantic but had the most athletic profile among all running backs in this draft class. The Bears ended up snagging him in the 7th, but the Steelers grabbed him off the Bears’ practice squad. He isn’t ever going to be a bruiser but he can catch passes well out of the backfield and has the kind of zip and field awareness you look for in a useful change of pace back. Don’t be surprised if he ends up in a situation next year that uses him in a similar way to Austin Ekeler, Tarik Cohen or Matt Breida. At the very least, he’ll be on my best ball radar depending on where he lands.

Other notes

  • You shouldn’t rely on David Njoku versus even the Cardinals because the Browns don’t seem to be
  • If Joe Mixon‘s ADP is Round 3 next year, you’d better pull the trigger in Round 2
  • Breshad Perriman is actually quite capable at this stage in his career
  • David Blough isn’t afraid to throw it up to Kenny Golladay and just hope for the best
  • Ian Thomas should be on your radar as a streamer based on his involvement and skill
  • Curtis Samuel just missed on another long-TD from Kyle Allen. Will be a serious value next year
  • Don’t expect Phillip Dorsett to stick in the Patriots starting lineup after this week
  • Folks, Ryan Tannehill isn’t just good, he may be a second-tier star in the making
  • There is something wrong with Cooper Kupp. He played less than 1/3rd of the snaps
  • It has got to the point where we shouldn’t ever play a Chiefs RB because of snap volatility
  • I like what I saw out of Isaiah Ford. Future WR5 in fantasy and useful in deeper leagues
  • The Jags’ defense is as bad the past month as I can recall any defense in the last five years

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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