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Target Analysis: Week 14 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Dec 16, 2020

Travis Kelce has been the ultimate positional advantage this season.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than a player’s talent or circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I will diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

Here is your Week 14 Target Analysis.

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Arizona Cardinals

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
DeAndre Hopkins 11 31 10.33 127 9.77 ⬇️
Chase Edmonds 5 16 5.33 58 4.46 ⬇️
Christian Kirk 4 13 4.33 65 5.42 ⬆️
Dan Arnold 4 10 3.33 32 2.46 ⬆️
Larry Fitzgerald 3 3 1.00 60 4.62 ⬆️
KeeSean Johnson 2 7 2.33 15 1.15 ⬇️

 
Kyler Murray has not looked like the fantasy juggernaut to whom we had become accustomed earlier this season. Granted, he’s been dealing with some nagging injuries, but he’s been average at best over the past five weeks. Nonetheless, against a Giants defense that has been playing well this season, Murray threw the ball 35 times for 244 yards and a touchdown. As usual, a majority of his attempts went to his all-star wideout, DeAndre Hopkins. The former Texan caught nine of his 11 targets for 136 yards; no other wideout caught more than four passes or surpassed 30 receiving yards.

The only viable fantasy receiver in Arizona is DeAndre Hopkins. Despite how much the Cardinals offense has underachieved of late, Hopkins will continue to soak up targets and put together a solid performance. Christian Kirk is a boom-or-bust option who thrives off of the deep ball; since Murray rarely throws deep anymore due to his shoulder injury, Kirk is not an option.


Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Calvin Ridley 12 31 10.33 108 9.00 ⬆️
Russell Gage 7 20 6.67 84 6.46 ⬇️
Hayden Hurst 3 15 5.00 71 5.46 ⬇️
Todd Gurley 3 4 1.33 28 2.33 ⬆️
Keith Smith 2 3 1.00 10 0.77 ⬆️
Ito Smith 1 8 2.67 18 1.38 ⬇️

 
Matt Ryan has been horrendous this season without Julio Jones. In a favorable matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, Ryan should have easily put up a top-ten fantasy performance; however, he only managed 224 passing yards and one touchdown compared to three interceptions. Still, even though Ryan wasn’t great, Calvin Ridley put on a show, catching eight of his 12 targets for 124 yards and a touchdown. The highlight of the game may have been Ridley’s 39-yard touchdown catch early in the game, which came on a throw from Russell Gage.

If Jones is able to suit up next week, he is obviously an auto-start. Ridley is also an auto-start, but his ceiling is a bit more limited with Jones than without. Aside from those two, you are better off avoiding all other Atlanta pass-catchers. Russell Gage has been hit or miss all season, despite his five catches for 82 yards in Week 14, and Hayden Hurst has been a huge fantasy bust.


Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Marquise Brown 6 22 7.33 80 6.15 ⬇️
Mark Andrews 6 6 2.00 66 6.00 ⬆️
Willie Snead V 5 5 1.67 45 3.46 ⬆️
Miles Boykin 1 4 1.33 27 2.08 ⬇️
Gus Edwards 1 1 0.33 9 0.69 ⬆️
Patrick Ricard 0 2 0.67 9 0.69 ⬇️

 
That’s the Lamar Jackson we all remember from his 2019 MVP season! Despite missing nearly one full quarter, Jackson ran the ball nine times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, while also throwing for 163 yards and a score. As usual, however, Jackson’s lack of passing volume didn’t help those who started his pass-catchers. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews each saw six targets, but they were barely involved the whole game.

Brown’s fantasy managers got bailed out on a late 44-yard touchdown, while three of Andrews’ five receptions came on Baltimore’s final drive. Given Baltimore’s next opponent just gave up over 200 yards to Derrick Henry, don’t expect any Ravens receivers to be viable in Week 15. You can start Andrews, but that’s about it.  


Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Stefon Diggs 14 34 11.33 136 10.46 ⬆️
Cole Beasley 10 25 8.33 92 7.08 ⬇️
Gabe Davis 8 16 5.33 47 3.62 ⬆️
Dawson Knox 7 12 4.00 27 3.00 ⬆️
Devin Singletary 1 8 2.67 46 3.54 ⬇️
Isaiah McKenzie 1 3 1.00 20 1.54 ⬇️

 
The main complaint last year for former Vikings’ wideout Stefon Diggs was that he wasn’t getting the ball enough; the stud route-runner was taking a back seat in the Vikings offense as Gary Kubiak and company looked to feature Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack. I’ve said all offseason that Diggs was a lock for triple-digit targets, but he’s surpassed that. Diggs has triple-digit receptions through just 13 games. There have been fewer better bargains for fantasy football than Stefon Diggs, who had been consistently going in the 5th and 6th rounds back in August.

John Brown will be eligible to return this Saturday against Denver, but I would hold off on putting him in your starting lineup unless you are desperate. With the Bills’ offense rolling sans Brown and the team needing just one win to clinch the AFC East, I doubt they overwork him in his first game back. I like Cole Beasley much better out of the remainder of the Bills wideouts, as he saw 10 targets last week and will be Allen’s safety blanket (outside of Diggs) against a Broncos defense that is decimated in the secondary.


Carolina Panthers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Robby Anderson 12 19 6.33 116 8.92 ⬆️
Curtis Samuel 9 14 4.67 72 6.00 ⬆️
Mike Davis 6 12 4.00 68 5.23 ⬆️
Ian Thomas 4 6 2.00 24 1.85 ⬆️
Pharoh Cooper 3 3 1.00 4 0.31 ⬆️
Rodney Smith 2 3 1.00 4 0.31 ⬆️

 
In a surprisingly entertaining game against Denver, Teddy Bridgewater completed 30 of his 40 attempts for 283 yards and zero touchdowns without D.J. Moore in the lineup. Sure, not having a touchdown opportunity for your fantasy pass-catchers is less than ideal, but there was still plenty of volume to go around. Robby Anderson was a prime example, as he caught eight passes for 84 yards off of 12 targets. The Panthers’ WR2 Curtis Samuel also put up a decent stat-line, as he managed seven receptions for 68 yards. Even Mike Davis put up five catches for 42 yards with Christian McCaffery missing in action.

Robby Anderson is apparently allergic to the end zone, as the former Jet has only scored two touchdowns through the air this year despite recording 75 receptions and 116 targets. You would have to think the touchdowns will come for the Panthers’ top wideout, but nonetheless, he provides a safe floor as a fantasy WR2. Curtis Samuel is playable if D.J. Moore was to miss another week, but his ceiling is low.


Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Allen Robinson 13 33 11.00 128 9.85 ⬆️
Cole Kmet 7 17 5.67 27 2.08
David Montgomery 4 14 4.67 55 4.58
Jimmy Graham 4 9 3.00 66 5.08 ⬆️
Darnell Mooney 2 17 5.67 73 5.62 ⬇️
Anthony Miller 2 13 4.33 70 5.38 ⬇️

 
Mitch Trubisky finally proved to everyone that he is better than Deshaun Watson, out-dueling his fellow draft classmate in a 36-7 beat-down. Sarcasm aside, Trubisky’s performance against one of the worst defenses in the NFL inspires some confidence that he will be able to provide some value for the Chicago pass-catchers down the stretch. After all, the Jaguars and Vikings are the Bears’ next two opponents.

Allen Robinson will be a league-winner in these fantasy playoffs, as he’s taken his consistency to another level. Robinson saw 13 targets in his matchup and caught nine balls for 123 yards and a touchdown; no other pass-catcher surpassed four receptions or 50 yards receiving. Still, Jimmy Graham and Darnell Mooney were able to come away with a touchdown. Robinson should be the only Bears wideout you consider starting over the next two weeks, despite how well I think Darnell Mooney could perform with above-average quarterback play.


Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Tyler Boyd 9 19 6.33 106 8.15 ⬆️
Tee Higgins 8 20 6.67 91 7.00 ⬆️
A.J. Green 7 11 3.67 88 6.77 ⬆️
Drew Sample 4 16 5.33 48 3.69 ⬇️
Gio Bernard 3 8 2.67 49 3.77 ⬆️
Trayveon Williams 3 4 1.33 4 4.00 ⬆️

 
If you had any faith that either Brandon Allen or Ryan Finley could guide your Cincinnati players into fantasy relevance, this past week was the time to do it. The Bengals had a plus matchup against an abysmal Dallas defense, but they only managed seven points. To be fair, all three starting wideouts for the Bengals scored over 9 PPR points; nonetheless, their performances were not good enough to give me confidence they can provide value over the next two weeks.

Despite ranking third in targets on his team, A.J. Green led his team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. The veteran wideout caught six of his seven targets for 62 yards and a touchdown, while rookie Tee Higgins put up the next best stat-line with five catches for 49 yards. Tyler Boyd saw most of his value come on tap-passes, but he was still able to accumulate 43 yards on five receptions. Starting any Bengals receiver in Week 15 is a risk not worth taking.


Cleveland Browns

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Rashard Higgins 10 21 7.00 45 3.46 ⬆️
Jarvis Landry 9 30 10.00 86 6.62 ⬇️
Kareem Hunt 7 12 4.00 42 3.23 ⬆️
Harrison Bryant 6 8 2.67 29 2.23 ⬆️
Donovan Peoples-Jones
5 8 2.67 14 1.08 ⬆️
David Njoku 4 5 1.67 19 1.90 ⬆️

 
Baker Mayfield has evolved before our very eyes. Despite many, including myself, throwing around the “bust” label earlier this season, the Browns’ quarterback is thriving in his third season. Against a tough defense, Mayfield completed 28 of his 47 attempts for 343 yards and two touchdowns. Four of Mayfield’s pass-catchers scored at least 10 PPR points on receiving volume alone; even though Odell Beckham is no longer in the picture, this Cleveland passing offense is becoming one of the better units in the league. Jarvis Landry had a mediocre day despite Cleveland’s scoring barrage, as he caught just six of his nine targets for 52 yards.

Rashard Higgins was the best receiver on Monday night, as he caught six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Kareem Hunt also took advantage of Baltimore in the receiving game, catching six balls for 77 yards and a touchdown. Against a Giants secondary that was on their heels last week against Arizona, Landry and Hunt are solid starts and will provide a decent floor for fantasy managers.


Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Michael Gallup 6 25 8.33 85 6.54 ⬇️
Amari Cooper 5 22 7.33 112 8.62 ⬇️
Ezekiel Elliot 3 12 4.00 65 5.00 ⬇️
Dalton Schultz 3 12 4.00 73 5.62 ⬇️
CeeDee Lamb 2 18 6.00 90 6.92 ⬇️
Tony Pollard 2 5 1.67 24 1.85 ⬆️

 
Often, I don’t buy the revenge game narrative, but Andy Dalton came to play in his return to Cincinnati. His performance was mediocre overall, as he completed only 16 of his 23 attempts for 185 yards, but he did throw two touchdowns. Amari Cooper was the main beneficiary of Dalton’s aggressiveness, as he caught four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Michael Gallup wasn’t able to do much with his targets, however, as he caught just two balls for 23 yards despite six targets.

Amari Cooper has only scored below 10 PPR points in two games this year. He continues to be one of the most consistent wide receivers in fantasy football, despite the chaos that has surrounded him at the quarterback position. Regardless of the matchup, he’s a solid WR2. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are much more volatile, with the former being the only other Dallas pass-catcher I would be willing to put into my starting lineup.


Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Tim Patrick 5 11 3.67 67 5.15 ⬆️
Troy Fumagalli 5 7 2.33 11 0.85 ⬆️
Jerry Jeudy 4 9 3.00 86 6.62
Nick Vannett 4 7 2.33 20 1.54 ⬆️
KJ Hamler 3 8 2.67 52 4.33 ⬇️
Melvin Gordon 3 5 1.67 34 2.83 ⬆️

 
Drew Lock is such a confusing quarterback to evaluate. Some weeks, he will look like the worst quarterback in the AFC, throwing inaccurate passes and playing way below his pedigree. Then, in other weeks, he will look like Denver’s next franchise quarterback. Week 14 was one of those “franchise quarterback weeks,” as Lock completed 21 of 27 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers. Still, despite Lock’s performance, not many Denver pass-catchers were viable for fantasy.

K.J. Hamler had his best career game by far, but all of his points came off of two plays; the rookie caught two passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Tim Patrick and Troy Fumagalli were tied for the team lead in targets with five each, but Patrick was the one to get in the end zone. With a Saturday matchup against the Buffalo Bills on the docket, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend any Denver pass-catchers enter your starting lineup.


Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
T.J. Hockenson 11 28 9.33 88 6.77 ⬆️
Marvin Jones 8 32 10.67 89 6.85 ⬇️
Danny Amendola 7 12 4.00 56 5.09 ⬆️
D’Andre Swift 5 5 1.67 44 4.40 ⬆️
Quintez Cephus 2 8 2.67 27 2.08 ⬇️
Mohammad Sanu 2 8 2.67 8 2.67

 
T.J. Hockenson has averaged over nine targets in his last three games and has 88 pass-catching opportunities on the season. In a season in which there are maybe three or four tight ends that have been consistent producers for your fantasy squad, Hockenson is lucky enough to be on that list. The Lions’ 2019 first-round pick put together yet another solid performance in Week 14, catching six of his 11 looks for 43 yards and a touchdown. Marvin Jones, however, regressed from his incredible performance over the past two weeks; the veteran wideout only managed four receptions for 48 yards.

There is serious doubt that Matthew Stafford will be able to suit up for the Lions’ Week 15 matchup against the Titans. If Chase Daniel makes the start, Hockenson is the only Detroit pass-catcher I would start with confidence. Danny Amendola and DeAndre Swift might score some points in garbage time, but risking what is essentially a back-door cover in your divisional round is a scary proposition.


Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Davante Adams 10 31 10.33 118 10.73 ⬇️
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 6 8 2.67 59 4.54 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 5 15 5.00 52 4.00
Allen Lazard 3 13 4.33 34 4.86 ⬇️
Aaron Jones 3 8 2.67 51 4.64
Tavon Austin 2 2 0.67 2 2.00 ⬆️

 
I don’t understand it. Honestly, I don’t get it. If I was the defensive coordinator whose unit was set to play the Packers, what should my game-plan be? Well, looking at these numbers above, Aaron Rodgers has targeted Davante Adams 118 times in a season in which Adams has only played 11 games. Adams’ target total is nearly double that of Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s output. How do you not put two or three defenders on this guy and take your chances? And before you accuse me of being upset because I played against Adams this week, think again;  I didn’t play against Adams in any of my leagues… I played against Aaron Rodgers.

Valdes-Scantling and Tonyan may have each caught a touchdown in this game, but that represents the entirety of their upside. They are touchdown-dependent fantasy assets that you should not be putting into your lineup with confidence. Adams is the only wideout I am starting from this team; don’t roll the dice with Valdes-Scantling or Lazard unless you are absolutely desperate.


Houston Texans

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Chad Hansen 7 14 4.67 14 7.00
Jordan Akins 6 11 3.67 37 2.85 ⬆️
Steven Mitchell Jr. 5 5 1.67 5 5.00 ⬆️
Keke Coutee 3 15 5.00 21 1.62 ⬇️
Duke Johnson 2 12 4.00 33 3.00 ⬇️
Buddy Howell 2 2 0.67 2 2.00 ⬆️

 
You’ve gotta feel bad for Deshaun Watson. His WR1 was suspended for the remainder of the season, his WR2 and WR3 were out due to injuries, and his starting running back was put on the COVID-IR list 48 hours prior to the game. Oh, and let’s not forget that his ex-coach/ex-GM traded away his all-star wideout for David Johnson and a bag of chips. Only three of Watson’s eight pass-catchers were active at the start of the season; he’s playing with arguably the worst receiving corps in the league.

Chad Hansen led the Texans in targets, receptions, and receiving yards, as he put up 7-56-0 on the stat sheet. Watson’s lone touchdown went to Keke Coutee, who caught all three of his targets for 24 yards. For those of you who streamed Jordan Akins, as I had, he dropped an easy touchdown and finished with three catches for 20 yards. Even though Hansen has put up two consecutive performances above 12.5 PPR points, it is still very risky to consider starting him moving forward.


Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
T.Y. Hilton 7 23 7.67 73 6.08 ⬇️
Michael Pittman 5 19 6.33 50 5.00
Nyheim Hines 4 17 5.67 62 4.77 ⬆️
Jack Doyle 3 5 1.67 22 2.00 ⬆️
Jonathan Taylor 2 5 1.67 33 2.75 ⬇️
Jordan Wilkins 2 8 2.67 16 1.23

 
Welcome back to fantasy stardom, T.Y. Hilton! I said last week that the Colts wideout seemingly could only get it going against Houston’s decimated secondary, but he gave you a week-winning performance in Week 14 against a non-Texans opponent. In a matchup with Las Vegas, Hilton saw a team-high seven targets and caught five balls for 86 yards and two touchdowns. What had looked to be a lost season for Hilton has turned into a championship-caliber season down the stretch.

Hilton gets Houston in Week 15, which means another big game is on tap. Now, I want to temper expectations. We have seen Hilton disappear from Weeks 1-12, so he’s no guarantee he keeps his incredible production going; however, there is no way you can bench him. In what looks to be a run-dominated script against the Texans, I wouldn’t start any other pass-catcher for Indianapolis, however.


Jacksonville Jaguars

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Keelan Cole 12 20 6.67 73 5.62 ⬆️
Laviska Shenault 11 18 6.00 57 5.18 ⬆️
D.J. Chark 9 16 5.33 82 7.45 ⬆️
James Robinson 4 16 5.33 57 4.38 ⬇️
Devine Ozigbo 4 4 1.33 7 3.50 ⬆️
Collin Johnson 3 17 5.67 30 2.31 ⬇️

 
Gardner Minshew returned to the starting lineup after Jacksonville was blown out by their division rival, the Tennessee Titans. Keelan Cole and Laviska Shenault were heavily targeted as Jacksonville was playing catch-up all game, with the former catching seven balls for 67 yards and a touchdown, while the latter logged six receptions for 49 yards. Both players gave you a solid floor in PPR, which is really all you can ask for from anyone who plays for Jacksonville.

D.J. Chark, however, did very little with his nine targets; he caught just two passes for 16 yards in what has been an extremely disappointing season for last year’s breakout performer. With the quarterback uncertainty that remains in Southern Florida, it’s tough to start any pass-catcher on this team with confidence. If I had to push my chips in on one wideout, it would be Laviska Shenault, as his skill set is more conducive to a safer floor.


Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Travis Kelce 10 31 10.33 120 9.23 ⬇️
Tyreek Hill 7 32 10.67 118 9.08 ⬇️
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 6 7 2.33 52 4.00 ⬆️
Sammy Watkins 3 16 5.33 45 5.63 ⬇️
Mecole Hardman 3 11 3.67 45 3.46
Le’Veon Bell 3 8 2.67 16 2.00

 
Patrick Mahomes might have had the worst game of his career, which is saying something because he threw for nearly 400 yards in his matchup in Miami. Still, despite his three interceptions, Mahomes did what he always does: make Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill the best players at their position. Tyreek Hill didn’t do much through the air, as he caught only three of his seven targets for 79 yards and a touchdown; however, he also added a 32-yard carry that went for a score.

Travis Kelce has been the ultimate positional advantage this season, once again putting up elite numbers from the tight end position. Kelce caught eight of his ten opportunities for 136 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the fantasy TE1 yet again. The only other Chiefs’ pass-catcher to score more than 10 PPR points via the receiving game was rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who logged five receptions for 59 yards. As it has been all season, my advice with Kansas City is the same. Kelce and Hill are automatic starts each and every week, while the remainder of the ancillary pieces are gambles at best.


Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Darren Waller 10 34 11.33 118 9.08 ⬇️
Nelson Agholor 9 26 8.67 64 4.92 ⬇️
Hunter Renfrow 7 22 7.33 62 4.77 ⬆️
Jalen Richard 5 6 2.00 21 1.62 ⬆️
Josh Jacobs 5 8 2.67 39 3.25 ⬆️
Henry Ruggs 3 12 4.00 38 3.45 ⬇️

 
There are few certainties in life, but Darren Waller leading his team in targets is certainly one of them. After going nuclear last week against the Jets, Waller put up a solid performance against the Raiders by catching seven passes for 75 yards. Nelson Agholor had his best game of the season, catching five of his nine targets for 100 yards and a score; the former Eagles wideout played like a more complete wide receiver in this game, as he wasn’t solely reliant on the deep ball like he had been for most of this year.

Agholor is not an awful FLEX-play; he has been what we all had hoped Henry Ruggs would be, Derek Carr’s preferred deep target. With a suspect Chargers secondary on deck for Week 15, you could do much worse than Agholor for your FLEX spot. Renfrow and Ruggs are not even worth considering, as it’s been a rarity to see either of these players put up a decent performance.


Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Keenan Allen 11 32 10.67 144 11.08
Austin Ekeler 9 34 11.33 51 7.29
Hunter Henry 8 20 6.67 85 6.54 ⬆️
Tyron Johnson 7 12 4.00 16 1.23 ⬆️
Justin Jackson 3 3 1.00 22 3.67 ⬆️
Kalen Ballage 2 6 2.00 24 4.80 ⬇️

 
Austin Ekeler could be a fantasy football hero for those of you who were lucky enough to make the playoffs without his services. Last year’s league-winning running back saw nine targets against Atlanta and caught all nine of his looks for 67 yards; add that to his 15 carries for 79 yards, and you get a bonafide RB1. Keenan Allen was extremely consistent once again, catching nine of his 11 targets for 52 yards and a score. Even Hunter Henry put up a solid floor with six catches for 41 yards.

Unfortunately for those who started Mike Williams, he left the ball game early with an injury. This opened the door for rookie Tyron Johnson, who caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. With a favorable matchup on deck against the Raiders in Week 15, it will be tough to trust that Williams will be healthy enough to make the start. If he is indeed absent. Henry will see a major uptick.


Los Angeles Rams

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Robert Woods 8 31 10.33 106 8.15 ⬇️
Cooper Kupp 5 19 6.33 111 8.54 ⬇️
Gerald Everett 3 12 4.00 47 3.62 ⬇️
Cam Akers 3 4 1.33 7 0.64 ⬆️
Tyler Higbee 2 10 3.33 45 3.75 ⬇️
Josh Reynolds 2 9 3.00 63 4.85 ⬆️

 
The last time the Los Angeles Rams faced Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, the offense scored three points. The real-life result may have been much different, but the fantasy implications were largely the same outside of one player. Running back Cam Akers was the only Rams skill position player to exceed 15 PPR points, as the rookie ran all over the New England front. Akers ran for 171 yards and caught two passes for 23 yards in a 24-3 victory over the Patriots. Even though Akers was dominant, his success drained the fantasy viability out of Los Angeles pass-catchers.

Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp each caught five passes for approximately 32 yards, but the latter came away with Jared Goff’s lone passing touchdown. Tight end Tyler Higbee led the Rams in receiving with 34 yards, but he did so on only two receptions. Don’t let this performance discourage you, as Los Angeles faces the Jets in Week 15. As we have seen, that should be a fantasy field day for all involved.


Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Lynn Bowden Jr. 9 14 4.67 15 1.36 ⬆️
Mack Hollins 9 13 4.33 17 1.31 ⬆️
Mike Gesicki 6 22 7.33 68 5.23 ⬇️
Jakeem Grant 5 13 4.33 47 3.62 ⬇️
DeAndre Washington 4 9 3.00 9 4.50 ⬆️
Durham Smythe 3 8 2.67 20 1.54 ⬆️

 
I know Devante Parker only played approximately one half of football before heading to the locker room for the rest of the afternoon, but should we be concerned with his lack of production nonetheless? In 30 minutes of action, Parker only saw two targets and logged zero receptions. This was despite the fact that the Dolphins controlled the majority of the first half, getting out to a 10-0 lead over Kansas City at the outset. Parker’s target share had decreased once Tua Tagovailoa took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but no one could have expected how little he would be involved.

However, Parker’s fall has led to the risk of Mike Gesicki, who caught five of his six targets for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Tagovailoa has had a preference for tight ends over the course of his starts, so it’s no surprise the ultra-athletic Gesicki has thrived with his rookie quarterback. Even though Mack Hollins and Lynn Bowden saw nine targets a piece, they should be left on your waiver wire.


Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Justin Jefferson 8 33 11.00 92 7.08 ⬇️
Tyler Conklin 5 8 2.67 10 0.77 ⬆️
Adam Thielen 4 15 5.00 91 7.58 ⬇️
Dalvin Cook 4 17 5.67 47 3.92 ⬇️
Irv Smith Jr. 4 4 1.33 27 2.70 ⬆️
Chad Beebe 3 13 4.33 24 1.85

 
This matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was an absolute smash spot for both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. The Buccaneers’ secondary had been decimated over the past few games, so it was in the realm of possibility that both Vikings wideouts could finish as fantasy WR1s in Week 14. Instead, they both finished with less than 8 PPR points. Jefferson and Thielen combined for 12 targets, seven receptions, and 78 yards; both wideouts finished with exactly 39 receiving yards.

This game was definitely discouraging for fantasy managers, as the matchups don’t get any easier down the stretch for Minnesota. Nonetheless, Thielen and Jefferson should be in your lineup; they’ve been too good to bench even in their difficult matchups. If Kyle Rudolph misses another game, Irv Smith Jr. would be a dart throw at the tight end position, as he finished with four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 14.


New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Damiere Byrd 8 18 6.00 66 5.08 ⬆️
Jakobi Meyers 5 17 5.67 58 4.46 ⬇️
N’Keal Harry 4 10 3.33 50 4.55 ⬆️
James White 2 7 2.33 48 4.36 ⬇️
Damien Harris 2 3 1.00 7 0.54 ⬆️
Sony Michel 1 2 0.67 5 1.00

 
There isn’t much to say here. You’ve been fading Patriots pass-catchers for nearly the entire season. Cam Newton has been one of the most abysmal passers in the league this year, and he didn’t do himself any favors last Thursday night against the Rams. Newton completed just nine of his sixteen attempts for 119 yards and threw a pick-six early in the contest. His performance was so lackluster, he was benched late in the game for Jarrett Stidham.

As usual, no New England pass-catcher scored double-digit points. Only five Patriots actually caught a pass, two of which were the running backs. If you are starting any New England Patriot in fantasy, you are doing something wrong.


New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Alvin Kamara 10 15 5.00 96 7.38 ⬆️
Michael Thomas 8 25 8.33 55 7.86 ⬇️
Tre’Quan Smith 6 13 4.33 48 3.69
Emmanuel Sanders 5 12 4.00 59 5.36 ⬇️
Jared Cook 4 11 3.67 46 3.83 ⬇️
Adam Trautman 1 5 1.67 13 1.00 ⬇️

 
All it took for Taysom Hill to target his second-best offensive weapon was a 17-0 second-half deficit. Despite how great of a pass-catcher Alvin Kamara may be, Hill had not targeted his star running back recently. In the prior three games with Hill under center, Kamara saw an average of two targets per game; in Week 14, Kamara saw 10 targets and caught seven passes for 44 yards. With Drew Brees hopeful to make his return next week, it’s possible we could see Kamara return to his incredible target pace.

Michael Thomas has been terrific regardless of who is throwing him the ball; he caught eight passes for 84 yards. Thomas and Kamara are in for a big game in what should be a shoot-out with Kansas City. While Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders each had usable fantasy days in Week 14, their upside is extremely low; they aren’t worth inserting into your lineup unless you are purely after an eight-point floor.


New York Giants

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Darius Slayton 8 11 3.67 76 5.85 ⬆️
Sterling Shepard 5 19 6.33 61 6.78 ⬇️
Evan Engram 4 21 7.00 88 7.33 ⬇️
Wayne Gallman 4 9 3.00 25 1.92 ⬆️
Golden Tate 2 15 5.00 49 4.45 ⬇️
Kaden Smith 1 2 0.67 19 1.46

 
Daniel Jones may have returned a bit too early. Jones was smothered by the Arizona defense, as his immobility forced Jones to take six sacks in this game. The sophomore quarterback only completed 11 of his 21 attempts for 127 yards and no touchdowns. The leading receiver for New York was Golden Tate, who caught one of his two targets for 39 yards. Every pass-catcher for Big Blue was an utter letdown in Week 14.

The Giants are in for a tough task next week, as they face Miles Garrett in the Cleveland Browns coming off of an emotional divisional game with Baltimore. Engram is playable by virtue of his position, but you are asking for trouble if you put any other Giants in your lineup.


New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Breshad Perriman 6 18 6.00 46 5.11 ⬆️
Jamison Crowder 5 17 5.67 68 7.56 ⬇️
Braxton Berrios 5 7 2.33 45 3.46 ⬆️
Jeff Smith 2 3 1.00 37 3.70 ⬆️
Josh Adams 2 2 0.67 4 1.33 ⬆️
Frank Gore 1 4 1.33 17 1.31 ⬆️

 
Oh, what more can I say about the Jets. I am not sure nothing sums up New York’s season more than their performance in this game. They scored a field goal on their first possession of the ball game, and then they proceeded to get blown-out 40-0 over the remainder of the contest. Braxton Berrios was your leading receiver and fantasy scorer in the game for what it’s worth, as the game-time decision Jamison Crowder was barely involved with two catches for seven yards. One would have hoped former Buccaneer Breshad Perriman could step up with Denzel Mims missing in action, but he managed to catch just three of his six targets for 26 total yards.

The New York Jets take on the Los Angeles Rams next week. These are the same Rams that scored more points on defense than the Patriots scored on offense, held Cam Newton to less than 120 passing yards, and prevented any New England wideout from exceeding 10 PPR points. Good luck to you if you are desperate enough to insert anyone from Adam Gase’s merry band of disappointments into your lineup.


Philadelphia Eagles

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Dallas Goedert 6 23 7.67 54 6.00 ⬇️
Greg Ward 5 13 4.33 68 5.23
Miles Sanders 5 9 3.00 44 4.40 ⬆️
Jalen Reagor 4 12 4.00 38 4.75 ⬆️
Zach Ertz 3 7 2.33 52 6.50 ⬇️
Boston Scott 1 9 3.00 30 2.31 ⬇️

 
Jalen Hurts received his first career start at the expense of Carson Wentz, who was benched due to his horrendous performance this season. While Hurts didn’t do much through the air, he moved the Eagle’s offense well against a stout New Orleans defense. A more efficient offense will lead to more scoring opportunities, and in turn more fantasy points. While Hurts only threw for 167 yards on 17 completions, he and Sanders combined for 221 rushing yards. Hopefully, their rushing success will open up opportunities in the passing game going forward.

As far as next week, I would be hard-pressed to start an Eagles wideout in Week 15. Jalen Reagor led the team in receiving yardage against New Orleans, catching two passes for 46 yards. Dallas Goedert is the only viable receiving option on this team, so he’s worth putting in your tight end spot. Zach Ertz, on the other hand, should have been dropped long ago.


Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Diontae Johnson 7 32 10.67 113 9.42 ⬇️
JuJu Smith-Schuster 7 26 8.67 101 7.77 ⬇️
Chase Claypool 6 19 6.33 84 6.46 ⬆️
James Washington 6 13 4.33 48 3.69 ⬆️
Eric Ebron 5 27 9.00 83 6.38 ⬇️
Jaylen Samuels 4 8 2.67 13 1.00

 
Even with James Conner back in the lineup, this Pittsburgh offense has no rushing attack upon which they can rely. In a game that had been tightly contested through at least the first three quarters, the Steelers ran the ball 17 times for 47 yards. Their lack of success on the ground once again forced Ben Roethlisberger to throw it nearly 40 times, but he was much less effective against a ball-hawking Buffalo defense.

Juju Smith-Schuster and Dionte Johnson were tied for the team lead in targets on Sunday Night, despite the fact that Johnson was benched for most of the first half due to his constant drops. I would still feel comfortable rolling out Johnson against Cincinnati, as the offense struggled mightily without him. Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron each scored five or less points in Week 14, but they are definitely FLEX-worthy in Week 15 as there is little doubt Pittsburgh will roll over the Burrow-less Bengals.  


San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Brandon Aiyuk 16 25 8.33 82 8.20 ⬆️
Kendrick Bourne 7 18 6.00 63 5.25 ⬆️
Jordan Reed 5 15 5.00 39 4.88 ⬆️
Raheem Mostert 4 7 2.33 19 2.71 ⬆️
Jeff Wilson 3 8 2.67 15 1.50 ⬇️
Kyle Juszczyk 3 6 2.00 23 1.77 ⬆️

 
Deebo Samuel suffered an injury on the first play of the game, which left a huge target void to fill for the San Francisco offense. Rookie Brandon Aiyuk stepped up to the plate, as he saw a career-high 16 targets against Washington, and he converted his opportunity into 10 catches for 119 yards. Despite how poorly Nick Mullens played, Aiyuk was able to excel as Kyle Shanahan’s “X-receiver.”

With Samuel and Kittle likely out for the 49ers’ next game, Aiyuk becomes a must-start. He should’ve been in your lineups regardless of Samuel’s injury status, but if Aiyuk is the lone target in Shanahan’s offense, then he has WR1 upside. No other pass-catcher in San Francisco is viable until Samuel or Kittle return.


Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
D.K. Metcalf 8 29 9.67 106 8.15
Tyler Lockett 5 18 6.00 106 8.15 ⬇️
Chris Carson 5 13 4.33 38 4.22 ⬇️
David Moore 5 10 3.33 41 3.15 ⬆️
Freddie Swain 3 4 1.33 18 1.38 ⬆️
Will Dissly 2 7 2.33 23 1.77 ⬇️

 
Don’t panic if you are rostering Tyler Lockett. I know you are disappointed he has yet to replicate his 55-point Week 7 performance in the slightest, but he has not been bust by any means. Lockett has scored double-digit PPR points in four of his last five contests; he has had at least five catches and 50 yards in four of his last five games as well. He may not be able to manage a 20-point outing versus Washington, but he’s a reliable option to keep in your lineup.

D.K. Metcalf is an auto-start each and every week, although don’t be surprised if he has a mediocre output against one of the better defenses in the league. He and Lockett will be high-floor options in Week 15. As always, those two are the only Seattle pass-catchers you should be rostering.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Mike Evans 5 14 4.67 86 6.62 ⬆️
Antonio Brown 5 8 2.67 34 6.80 ⬆️
Chris Godwin 3 12 4.00 63 7.00 ⬆️
Rob Gronkowski 2 9 3.00 64 4.92 ⬆️
Ronald Jones 2 4 1.33 42 3.23 ⬆️
Scotty Miller 2 3 1.00 45 3.46 ⬆️

 
Against a Vikings secondary that had been shredded throughout the season, how could Tom Brady not come out of his bye and put on a show in a must-win game? Well, apparently Brady didn’t get the memo, as the future Hall-of-Famer completed just 15 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Both of Brady’s touchdowns were mostly irrelevant for fantasy, with Scotty Miller catching the 48-yard deep bomb and Rob Gronkowski making his two-yard score his lone reception.

Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Chris Godwin all finished with less than 10 PPR points. You should still feel compelled to start Evans and Godwin, as they could finish as a WR1 any given week. Still, this mediocre floor is a realistic possibility with these Buccaneers wideouts, especially as Tom Brady continues to show his age.


Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
A.J. Brown 9 22 7.33 81 7.36 ⬆️
Corey Davis 3 18 6.00 73 6.64 ⬇️
Geoff Swaim 3 7 2.33 12 0.92 ⬆️
Derrick Henry 2 7 2.33 29 2.23 ⬆️
Jonnu Smith 2 2 0.67 51 4.25 ⬆️
Anthony Firkser 1 9 3.00 48 3.69 ⬇️

 
I think it was a forgone conclusion that Derrick Henry was going to feast in this game; the bruiser running back ran for 215 yards on 26 carries and added seven yards in the receiving game. However, I think what was more shocking was how well A.J. Brown would perform in a run-heavy game script. Brown saw nine targets and caught seven balls for 112 yards and a touchdown. Brown is a phenomenal player and looks as though he will be a dominant WR1 for a very long time; still, scoring 24.4 PPR points in a game in which Ryan Tannehill threw the ball just 24 times is all the more impressive.

Corey Davis disappointed in Week 14 after having one of his best games of the season in the prior week. He will be a fine FLEX-play next week, as the Titans will face a Detroit defense that gave up four total touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers. Jonnu Smith should be dropped if you haven’t done so already, as he has taken on more of a blocking role than a pass-catching role since returning from injury.


Washington Football Team

PLAYER WEEK 14 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Logan Thomas 7 20 6.67 77 5.92 ⬇️
Terry McLaurin 6 21 7.00 114 8.77
J.D. McKissic 4 16 5.33 82 6.31 ⬇️
Steven Sims Jr. 3 10 3.33 28 2.15 ⬇️
Peyton Barber 3 3 1.00 6 0.46 ⬆️
Cam Sims 2 11 3.67 26 2.00 ⬇️

 
What has the Washington Football team done with Terry McLaurin? I see someone in a Football Team uniform wearing No. 17, but it can’t be McLaurin. This player has seen six targets in each of the past two games, but he has only averaged two catches for 19 yards in those games.  I completely expect McLaurin to have a bounce-back game against a Seattle secondary that has been suspect all season, but his ceiling is much lower if Dwayne Haskins is forced to make the start.

Logan Thomas has been extremely reliable at the tight end position, so feel free to keep him in your lineup for Week 15. J.D. McKissic should also be a solid RB3, so long as Antonio Gibson misses another week with his turf toe injury; McKissic will likely be heavily utilized should Washington trail early.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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