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Week 14 Heat Index (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Jim Colombo | @WideRightNBlue | Featured Writer
Dec 15, 2020

Ah, mid-December. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year, but not because of the holidays. Instead, it’s because of the Fantasy Football Playoffs. If you’ve had the good fortune of advancing to Week 15 this year, congrats! Let’s keep the dream alive with some hot new players to consider as you stake your claim on a title in 2020.

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Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI)
Pour one out for Carson Wentz and light one up for Jalen Hurts, as we’ve finally gotten to the fireworks factory in Philadelphia. In his first game as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes for a touchdown and no interceptions. Those are somewhat pedestrian statistics, but he also rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries. Yowza.

The rookie signal-caller was not sacked once. I repeat: He. Was. Not. Sacked. Once. For reference, Carson Wentz was getting sacked an average of 3.84 times per game this season. Hurts brings some much-needed mobility to the position, and if we know anything about fantasy quarterbacks, it’s that strong rushing stats can win weeks. Hurts’ ability to gain yardage on designed run plays and scrambles  seems comparable to that of Lamar Jackson. It’s fun to watch, but it’s even more fun to watch him rack up points on your fantasy team.

Finally, and most importantly (though this won’t count as a quarterback stat), Hurts led his team to a huge win over the 10-2 Saints. That’s so small feat. More to the point, he finished as the QB10 in Week 14 (19.28 points per NFL.com), which is better than fantasy studs such as Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen. Even more impressive, Hurts did it against a defense that had been giving up only 15.4 points per game to opposing signal-callers all season. All this equates to above-average output against a high-quality opponent. It’s a small sample size for sure, but you have to love what you’ve seen so far.

Are you ready? A new era is upon us in the City of Brotherly Love. Jalen Hurts is available in 17% of Yahoo leagues and 8% of ESPN leagues. If you’re starting to worry about rolling out old-timers like Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger down the stretch, Hurts could be the spark you need to catch fire. Hurts has some fantasy-friendly matchups against the Cardinals and Cowboys to close out the fantasy football season.

Week 14 Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Lynn Bowden Jr. (WR/RB – MIA)
Lynn Bowden Jr. is a versatile athlete who was used as a wide receiver and wildcat quarterback in college at Kentucky. The Las Vegas Raiders drafted him as a running back in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Prior to playing a single snap as a Raider, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in a draft pick exchange. Since then, he’s played in only six games for the Dolphins this season, and he most recently lined up as a wide receiver in Week 14.

In Week 14, Bowden Jr. played 71% of the team’s snaps, which was second among all Dolphins. He led all Miami receivers with nine targets (18% target share). He caught seven of those for 82 yards. He also carried the ball once for two yards. He failed to find the end zone, but it looks like he’s finally found a good fit on a very good football team.

Bowden Jr. is an intriguing football prospect, but is he worthy of your fantasy football roster? Let’s take a look at his matchups in Weeks 15 and 16.

Week 15 vs. New England: BAD — The Patriots allow 20.6 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, which is sixth-fewest in the league.
Week 16 at LV Raiders: GOOD — The Raiders allow 24.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, which is the 11th-most in the league.

Bowden Jr. is still new to the offense, so he will be hard to trust moving forward, but it could be worthwhile to stash him now and see how he measures up next week. If he remains an active part of the offense, you could be looking at a sneaky flex play in the fantasy football championship.

Week 14 Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥

K.J. Hamler (WR – DEN)
In Week 14, K.J. Hamler caught two of his three targets for 86 yards and two touchdowns. How’s that for efficiency? His scores came on 37-yard and 49-yard strikes from Drew Lock. The second-round rookie slot receiver proved his big-play ability in the Broncos’ home win against the Carolina Panthers, which has the ninth-best defense against fantasy wide receivers this season (averaging 22 fantasy points per game to the position).

Hamler played 61% of the Broncos’ snaps while Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy paced all Denver pass catchers with 82% and 74% of the snaps, respectively. Hamler is averaging just 4.9 targets per game (11.2% target share on the season), so without more consistent looks from his quarterback, he’ll remain a boom or bust play moving forward… which begs the question: Will Hamler boom or bust in Weeks 14 and 15? Let’s see how opposing defenses fare against big plays this season.

Week 15 vs. Buffalo: BUST — The Bills’ defense allows 3,421 air yards this season (263.2 air yards per game), which is third-fewest in the league. The unit surrenders 7.3 yards per pass attempt.
Week 16 at LA Chargers: BUST — The Chargers’ defense allows 3,394 air yards this season (261.1 air yards per game), which is fewest in the league. The unit surrenders an average of 6.9 yards per pass attempt.

For reference, the most pass yards per attempt in the league is 8.7 yards. The fewest pass yards per attempt is 5.8 yards.

Yes, Hamler made his touches count on big plays in Week 14. As for Week 15? It’s impossible to tell for sure, but the numbers don’t look promising.

Week 14 Heat Index: 🔥
Rest-of-season Heat Index: 🔥

Welp, that about does ‘er. Any questions or comments? High praise or ruthless insults? Let me have it on Twitter. Until then, good night and good luck!

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Jim Colombo is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Jim, check out his archive and follow him @WideRightNBlue.

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