Kyle Soppe’s Week 14 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Outlooks for Calvin Ridley, Tony Pollard, Austin Ekeler, and Others

Have questions? Every single player on your radar is covered in this Week 14 preview of the 2023 fantasy football season!

The fantasy football playoffs are here for some and quickly approaching for others. You’ve put in the hard work to get to this point in the season, and now’s the time to thrive. It’s time to trust the work you’ve put in and pull the right levers as you prepare to peak at the perfect time.

How do you do that? Out-working your opponent is a good place to start, and that work starts right here, right now. Below are my thoughts on every player that figures to matter in this critical week. If you have Flex questions, don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter @KyleSoppePFN. I like helping you win more than you like winning, I promise!

Bye Weeks: Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Spread: Steelers -6
  • Total: 30
  • Patriots implied points: 12
  • Steelers implied points: 18

Quarterbacks

Mitch Trubisky: Trubisky filled in for Kenny Pickett (ankle) last week and will fill the void for the foreseeable future. I don’t think this change under center makes a major difference for any of the pass catchers, though it is worth noting that no Steeler saw more than five targets last week.

The quality of targets is going to be low, so if the quantity is in question, I have my concerns across the board for a team that is making history for their lack of success despite their strong defensive play.

Running Backs

Rhamondre Stevenson: With Stevenson under contract for another year and a 2-10 record this season, what is the motivation for the Pats to be aggressive in the ankle rehab process for their starting back?

Remember that Ezekiel Elliott is an unrestricted free agent after this season, giving the team even more reason to feature him down the stretch of this lost season. This will be a situation to watch as the season nears conclusion. We know he is out this week, and all reports suggest that this could be a multi-week absence.

Ezekiel Elliott: Last week in a good spot against the Chargers, Zeke totaled 92 yards on 21 touches in a relief effort for Stevenson, a production that looked nice on your bench. Should you count on a repeat performance now that you have the opportunity to plug him in with a viable role?

MORE: Ezekiel Elliott Waiver Wire Week 14

The increased work warrants our attention, though the upside isn’t that of a game-changer. This Steelers defense is an aggressive bunch, and they’ve excelled at limiting the per-rush production lately:

Week 11, Browns RBs: 2.72 yards per carry
Week 12, Bengals RBs: 2.27 yards per carry
Week 13, Cardinals RBs: 4.48 yards per carry*

*Remove two runs and that average plummets to 3.04

The matchup isn’t great, and it’s no secret that Elliott is on the back nine of his career. None of his 112 carries this season have gained more than 17 yards, and he’s punched in just two scores on 136 touches this year.

This Patriots offense is an ‘avoid’ when possible, even when the volume projects as friendly. I’m viewing Elliott’s production as something of a ceiling with a high-end projection sitting around 9.4 fantasy points, his per-touch production this season extended for 16 touches. That lands him as a low-end Flex play that I’m looking for excuses to bench in favor of a player with more upside.

Najee Harris: Is Harris the winner of the Matt Canada firing? He has certainly been more involved since the team switched up their play-calling situation, something that was highlighted by a 36-26 snap edge over Jaylen Warren. The snap count is one thing, but a 15-7 edge in routes run for the objectively less explosive Harris?

We can disagree with the usage (believe me, I don’t!), but our job as fantasy managers is not to call plays on the professional level; it’s to evaluate the plays that are being called and maximize the production of our roster.

Harris was stopped on the goal line on a fourth-down carry, failing to do what we thought was his primary strength. If we are reading the tea leaves, the usage trends point in favor of Harris, and that is why I have him ranked above Warren this week, with the thought being that yardage is going to be difficult and playing either of these backs is a race for a single upside play (ideally a touchdown).

I’m not playing either Steelers back with confidence – both are mere Flex options and outside of my top 24 at the position.

Jaylen Warren: Warren continued to show flashes of being prior years Tony Pollard (nine carries for 59 yards, his third game since the beginning of November with under 12 carries and over 55 rushing yards), but until we see him unleashed, we simply can’t bet on it.

He held an 8-1 edge over Harris on third-down snaps, a role that you would think would put him in position to boost his numbers via receptions.

That train of thought is logical. It also would have been 100% wrong last week, as he totaled all of 0.1 half-PPR points through the air. Given his limited usage, we need a floor to be established as a pass catcher, something that we simply don’t have right now.

Warren is a well above-average NFL back, but his fantasy projection moving forward doesn’t reflect that. Using him in a game where the opponent can force Pittsburgh into an aggressive offensive approach (15 catches total in three games against the Jags, Texans, and 49ers) makes sense – we just don’t have any of those spots truly left on Pittsburgh’s schedule:

  • Week 15 at IND
  • Week 16 vs. CIN
  • Week 17 at SEA

Harris is under contract for another season – I’ll be buying the depressed Warren stock in August just like I did this August. I’m stubborn on him long-term, but that stubbornness doesn’t mean I’m planning on playing him for the remainder of this season.

Wide Receivers

Demario Douglas: The slot specialist missed last week (concussion), but don’t forget about him. Douglas was targeted on 40.9% of his routes in Week 12 and has caught at least five balls in four straight games (24.2% target share in those games).

It goes without saying that the upside is capped, but this time of year opens managers up to some creativity. Douglas is a great option to roster (and potentially Flex) for highly seeded teams that have star power capable of doing the heavy lifting.

If you’re looking for a week winner, look elsewhere. If you want a stable source of PPR production, monitor Douglas’ practice habits as he looks to return to action.

Diontae Johnson: Two touchdowns in a five-week stretch? Just 11 receptions over the past month? The current Johnson is the polar opposite of the version we drafted back in late August, and this version isn’t nearly as valuable.

Those two scores are nice, but are they something you can count on as a part of an offense that ranks in the bottom quarter of the league in both scoring and yardage? Those touchdowns sandwiched three games without a score and an average finish of WR67.

I prefer Johnson to George Pickens due to a skill set that is a little more transferable to a backup QB, but confidently counting on either requires mental gymnastics that I want no part of. Johnson is a borderline WR3, ranking behind a poor man’s version of who we thought he’d be in Demario Douglas.

George Pickens: Week 7 was the last time Pickens earned more than six targets or finished as a top-24 fantasy receiver, and there are no real signs of things changing anytime soon.

His aDOT has remained steady during these recent struggles, leading me to believe that sporadic production is the best case at this point. “Sporadic” is often used in a week-over-week sense, but we saw it within the game last week. Pickens was targeted on each of Kenny Pickett’s first three passes (51 yards) and went on to see just two targets (35 yards) the rest of the afternoon.

I’m not expecting consistency to all of a sudden occur with Trubisky under center. The risk is too great to rank him as a top-35 option this week.

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth: Following the best game of his career, Freiermuth delivered a much more Freiermuth-ian stat line of three catches on five targets for 29 yards. That’s not a knock on the guy, he just hasn’t averaged four catches per game for a season since high school. (I don’t have access to his high school stats, but I’m going to go ahead and assume an NFL player saw plenty of volume against future accountants and math teachers.)

Freiermuth’s fine, but that’s all he is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not special.

You can roster Freiermuth, or you can roster Tyler Conklin or Juwan Johnson. Welcome to the TE blob. They are all similarly underwhelmingly productive in the right spot.

This spot doesn’t offer a ton of upside, and with the QB change, I’d be more tempted to stream a TE that has either offensive stability OR offensive upside (Cade Otton or Cole Kmet, for example).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

  • Spread: Falcons -2.5
  • Total: 39.5
  • Buccaneers implied points: 18.5
  • Falcons implied points: 21

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield: With an interception in eight of his past 10 games and five games this season under 210 yards through the air, Mayfield’s floor is lower than you’d assume, given Mike Evans’ production. In the first meeting against the Dirty Birds, Mayfield hit Evans for a 40-yard touchdown early and was unproductive for the remainder of the game.

This Falcons defense isn’t as bad as you want to think they are (top 10 in scoring, yards per play, and third-down conversion rate), and Mayfield needs everything to align for him to sniff my streaming radar.

There are going to be cute spots to consider a streaming QB in an effort to maximize your ceiling potential. I don’t see Mayfield qualifying as such an option this week or any week for the remainder of the fantasy season.

Running Backs

Rachaad White: One way or another, White gets you the production you need seemingly every week. He’s piled up seven straight top-20 finishes at the position, and the majority of those have been RB1 performances.

I mentioned Atlanta’s underrated defense above, but does that scare me here? Nope. White has found the end zone in just five games this season, and yet, due to his role, has been a safe fantasy option for two months now.

The Falcons’ top-ranked red-zone defense might cap the Week 14 ceiling, but White is an RB you play for his elevated floor. And as long as his usage doesn’t change, his standing as a rock-solid weekly option isn’t going to.

Bijan Robinson: It took the better part of three months, but I think we finally made it! Robinson has 40 touches over the past two weeks (both wins for those keeping track at home), earning 24.4% of the targets over that stretch in a true alpha role.

I’m excited to start the rookie in any matchup given this usage, and the Bucs are no different as they rank third in blitz rate — a glorious spot for Atlanta to get Robinson in space via screen passes and dump-offs.

MORE: Fantasy Football Cut List Week 14

He out-snapped Cordarrelle Patterson 51-21 last week, leaving just 11 snaps for Tyler Allgeier. As Robinson’s role expands — something that I don’t see slowing down — Allgeier’s shrinks, and thus, he’s expendable.

At one point, Allgeier’s role was voluminous enough to warrant Flex consideration, but with under 40 total yards of offense in four of his past five games, he can now safely be cut for a player who offers more of a ceiling.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans: A touchdown in four straight games and seven scores in seven games is nice, but a 10th-straight 1,000-yard season is difficult to properly acknowledge.

And why would we expect Evans to slow down anytime soon? He’s seen 43 targets over his past four games, has three games with a 40-yard catch over the past month, and has three times flashed his week-winning upside with over 140 yards and a touchdown this season.

The connection with Mayfield is clear and was something we all underestimated this summer. Who knows what the future holds for this offense beyond this season, but for right now, you can feel comfortable in rolling Evans out there, no matter the opponent (my WR11 this week).

Chris Godwin: Calling this season a disaster for those who invest in Godwin would be undershooting things at a level that is borderline irresponsible.

The man was shut out last week against the Panthers and has fewer touchdown catches than Drew Ogletree, not to mention that he has fewer games with 70 receiving yards than both Marvin Mims Jr. and Brian Robinson Jr.

Do you understand just how poor of a season this has been for the veteran now? There’s nothing pointing to a rebound performance anytime soon. You’re simply playing a name if you’re still considering Godwin for your weekly lineup.

Drake London: Against the Jets last week, London’s target count (five) nearly outpaced his yardage total (eight) in what was disappointing, even by the already low standards. He’s been held to 55 yards or less in four of his past five games, and it goes without saying that members of this passing game simply don’t carry TD equity.

I still think there is talent to chase here in dynasty formats, but I need some proof of concept in terms of a solution at the QB position.

On the bright side, you’ve got a weird Soppe trend to watch working in your favor for Week 14. London has caught a pass in 10 games this season …

Six road games: Under 60 receiving yards in all of them
Four home games: Over 65 receiving yards in all of them

Tight Ends

Cade Otton: With at least four catches in five of six games, Otton’s favorable “never come off the field” role is finally paying off in terms of fantasy production. This run started with the first game against the Falcons (five catches on six targets for 43 yards), a game in which the Bucs went with a pass-heavy approach (42 passes against 20 rushes).

Do we think that level of volume is repeated this week? I’m not overly optimistic, and with three teammates who earn targets at a higher rate, the floor is worrisome.

I have him and Kyle Pitts ranked in the same tier this week at the position; he’s just outside of the top 12 but in the TE streamer conversation if you need a reasonable floor that comes from a fantasy-friendly role.

Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith: There was a run there where both Falcons TEs were reasonable options, but we appear to have passed that. Smith hasn’t been a top-30 option at the position in back-to-back-to-back weeks — he can safely be cut from all fantasy rosters if he is hanging on for some reason.

The Smith falloff isn’t surprising, but I was hoping that a Pitts explosion would coincide with it. Not so much. He’s seen at least five targets in seven of his past eight games, a rate of involvement that is worth chasing, but with just two top-10 finishes on his resume, the ceiling isn’t what you want it to be.

This offense doesn’t function in such a way that a tight end can thrive. Pitts has been held under 60 receiving yards in seven straight games and without much in the way of yardage upside; there isn’t a path to consistent fantasy success (four TDs in 39 career games).

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

  • Spread: Lions -3.5
  • Total: 42
  • Lions implied points: 22.8
  • Bears implied points: 19.3

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: In 12 games this season, Goff has returned QB1 production five times. Three of those games came at home, and the other two came against bottom-six defenses in terms of yards per pass attempt allowed.

This matchup is neither.

Goff was picked off three times in a dreadful effort against these Bears in Week 11 (35 attempts, he has five interceptions on 395 attempts against the rest of the NFL) and hasn’t posted a finish better than QB8 since Week 6.

I don’t think the floor is terribly low given that a league-high 75.2% of yards gained against Chicago come through the air. But I also don’t think we get a peak Goff performance against a sneaky good defense that is coming off a bye.

He checks in as my QB13 this week, in the same range as his divisional counterparts Joshua Dobbs and Jordan Love, but of whom are rostered in far fewer leagues.

Justin Fields: It’s difficult to project massive rushing numbers for a quarterback in any given week because very few offenses scheme up a ton of runs for their signal-callers, and those big rushing totals are more the result of reacting than planning.

Fields against the Lions might be an exception to that rule, given that he’s cracked the century mark in rushing yards in not one, not two, but three straight games against Detroit. Of course, the passing production has been limited in those contests (411 passing yards, 383 rushing yards), but the sum of the profile has been productive.

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Playoff Predictor

Fields is my QB7 this week, a reasonable ranking given that he has been a top-eight fantasy quarterback in three straight games when not facing the Vikings (including a QB8 finish against Detroit in Week 11, a game in which he completed 69.6% of passes).

You’re locking in Fields for the production floor, and I think you have access to a top-five ceiling this week — the perfect combination as you gear up for a playoff run.

Running Backs

Jahmyr Gibbs: The matchup with the Bears isn’t a great one, given that they are the second-best yards-per-carry unit in the league. Yet, that didn’t stop Detroit’s backs from piling up 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground when these teams met in Week 11 (20 carries, both Gibbs and David Montgomery scored).

Gibbs has rare explosive potential. We saw glimpses of it through the first six weeks of the season, and we’re seeing it on a regular basis now as he has a rush gaining 20+ yards in five of his past six games. Over that stretch, his average fantasy finish is RB16, which I believe is a very reasonable expectation for him in this matchup.

Due to Chicago being so stout on the ground, I actually have Gibbs ranked as my RB12, with the thought being that a 4-6 catch performance is very possible. If they are getting him the ball in space like that, I want to rank him ahead of my modest projection.

David Montgomery: This backfield was a committee last week, which figures to be the case moving forward because that’s the best way for this Lions offense to function.

It’s best for Detroit — not best for us.

By “committee,” I truly mean a split situation. They split 72 snaps and 28 routes right down the middle. I’m not even mad about that, I’m impressed. That level of commitment to a timeshare is hard to pull off, and Dan Campbell did.

Montgomery got the short touchdown last week, and that seems to be his path to fantasy production. But don’t forget that Gibbs got the ball to the doorstep with a 36-yard sprint. If he finishes off that run, Montgomery’s day (56 rushing yards, two targets for -1 yard) goes from usable to useless.

Montgomery’s exact role in this offense is more a worry for future weeks than it is this one. The Bears own the NFL’s worst red-zone defense (allowing a TD on 73.5% of trips), making Montgomery a threat to do what he seemingly always does — find the end zone and pay off fantasy managers.

Bears RBs: This backfield is a mess in terms of trying to project where the touches are going to come from. And that’s before you take into consideration that it’s likely that their leading rusher is sitting under center.

D’Onta Foreman sat out Chicago’s last game with ankle/shin injuries that kept him from practicing in full during that week. But given that he was active in practice two weeks ago, even in a limited capacity, it seems reasonable to assume that he has a good shot at making this a three-headed situation in a matchup that saw Bears backs run for just 79 yards on 28 carries back in Week 11.

Roschon Johnson is the most interesting of these RBs to hold due to his youth and upward-trending usage prior to the Week 13 bye. But without a clear idea of the hierarchy in this backfield, none of them (Khalil Herbert included) rank inside of my top 30 this week.

If push came to shove, Johnson would get my start of this trio thanks to his edge when it comes to a role in the passing game. That said, if you’re asking a Flex question and a Bears RB is the answer — you might be asking the wrong question.

Wide Receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: Fantasy is a game of chance, but it doesn’t feel like taking a chance when you plug in The Sun God to your lineup.

St. Brown has just one finish outside of the top 24, and considering that he racked up a 34.4% target share three weeks ago when these teams first met, why would we expect that to change on Sunday?

St. Brown’s first reception last week came on a slant — a slant that he took 25 yards into the end zone. He’s a high-volume receiver who is coming into his own as a playmaker with the ball in his hands.

I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: Embrace the discount you got him at and take advantage with a run to fantasy glory; it’s not going to be this easy next year!

Josh Reynolds and Jameson Williams: There’s no reason to be chasing the WR2 role in Detroit these days. None. This offense has functioned at a high level without a consistent producer in that role, and I expect that to continue to be the case.

Reynolds hasn’t cleared 15 receiving yards since October, and through 45 offensive plays last week, Williams (63% route participation) had as many 19-yard TD runs as targets earned.

Someone next to St. Brown and Sam LaPorta is going to have the opportunity to produce most weeks, but I’m not confident in my ability to forecast the target count for Reynolds or Williams. Even if I was, I’m not confident that either pays off those opportunities in a meaningful way.

DJ Moore: I have my concerns surrounding this passing game. Yet, they don’t apply to Moore. He has finished as a WR1 in consecutive games and has done it in each of the past four games in which Fields both starts and finishes the game.

In those four games, Moore has racked up 34 catches, 571 yards, and five touchdowns. No big deal, but if you extend those numbers for an entire season, it comes out to 145 receptions, 2,427 yards, and 21 touchdowns.

Yeah, that’ll play. Moore saw 40.9% of the targets in the first meeting with Detroit (96 yards, TD) and should continue to be as featured as any receiver in the game. You’re playing Moore with confidence in this spot against a Lions defense that has been trending in the wrong direction as of late.

Tight Ends

Sam LaPorta: The Bears held the rookie to 18 yards on five targets in Week 11, easily LaPorta’s worst performance of this season. Was it something Chicago did or simply a bump in the road?

I lean toward the latter. From yards per route to YAC to aDOT, LaPorta checks every box you could ask for from any player, let alone a tight end. He has a catch of 30+ yards and a score in both games since that dud (five games with a catch of 30+ yards this season) as he continues to establish himself as the complement to St. Brown in this passing game.

You’re playing LaPorta with the utmost confidence — he’s my TE4 this week and most weeks!

Cole Kmet: The Bears’ passing game couldn’t get off the ground when these two teams met in Week 11, and that resulted in Kmet failing in a significant way (three catches for 20 yards). That was a disheartening stat line, and those Fields stats suggest that this could be a low-volume game in terms of pass attempts, thus resulting in me ranking Kmet outside of my top 12 at the position.

That said, I do prefer him to some of the free agent adds this week due to Kmet proving to be a pivot member of this limited pass game (7+ targets in four of his past five games). His 82.4% catch rate this season allows him to capitalize when Chicago opens up the passing game, and if they are playing from behind, that could well be the case.

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals

  • Spread: Colts -2.5
  • Total: 40.5
  • Colts implied points: 21.5
  • Bengals implied points: 19

Quarterbacks

Gardner Minshew: Prior to Week 12, Minshew had one top-15 performance on his 2023 résumé, but he’s now done it in consecutive weeks ahead of a matchup with a Bengals defense that isn’t only on short rest but also allows the second-most yards per pass attempt this season.

I mentioned Minshew as a QB streamer to target in Week 14, thanks in part to his matchup and in part because of his willingness to force-feed his top target.

If you’re stuck in a must win spot this week and can’t get Jameis Winston, Minshew is my next favorite option that is widely available.

Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor: With the torn UCL in his thumb requiring surgery, Taylor is expected to miss at least another two weeks, with a return this season not being a certainty.

It should be noted that the Colts didn’t place him on IR — something that theoretically suggests that he could be back before missing the four games that the IR designation requires — but that could be a results-oriented decision as we come down the stretch.

Zack Moss: If you’re getting bent out of shape about Moss giving you just 6.7 half-PPR points last week against the Titans, then you’re not seeing the whole picture.

Yes, we (the fantasy industry, myself included) had much loftier expectations for him with Taylor on the shelf. But if you take a step back, the process was right, and trusting it is the right move down the stretch.

Moss’ role last week was everything you could have possibly asked for.

70.2% route participation
83.8% of Colts’ RBs scrimmage yards
94.4% snap share
100% of RB carries

You can give me that profile any day of the week and I am locking him into my starting lineup. No questions asked. Not a one.

That role is available to Moss again this week — this time against the second-worst yards-per-carry defensive front in the NFL.

Moss is an RB1 this week, and I’m not sorry. I trust the player, and the role the Colts gave him was as good as any in the league. Play Moss.

Joe Mixon: As a Mixon manager, I was vocal in complaining about the early usage of Chase Brown last week — that may have been a bit premature.

While it’s true that the fifth-round rookie was used early and often, it didn’t stop Mixon from outsourcing every running back last week, courtesy of a pair of touchdowns and a season-high six receptions (117 total yards).

I think it’s possible that Jake Browning played the best game of his career last week, which certainly fueled the Mixon explosion. But even if you dial back some of that offensive success, the combination of goal-line work and volume puts Mixon into starting lineups every single week.

I don’t mind the thought process in adding Brown (nine carries for 61 yards on Monday night), but I think you’re getting overly aggressive if you think he’s a Flex option this week.

Wide Receivers

Michael Pittman Jr.: Pittman’s walk-off touchdown against the Titans was the perfect way to end yet another game of elite usage.

For the fifth game in a row, Indy’s ace receiver hauled in at least eight passes — a level of volume that has me not even worrying that he doesn’t have a single 25-yard catch over that stretch. Pittman has been a top-24 receiver in each of his past seven games and is emerging as a top-10 play in terms of consistency.

My belief in Pittman actually stems from this run game getting on track, something I think is likely to occur this week. When defenses allocate resources to slow the ground game, Pittman finds himself in single coverage situations.

Minshew is not the least bit shy about weighing down his WR1 with as many targets as he can handle. Here’s a list of Pittman’s target share percentages over the past five games:

Week 8 vs. NO: 34.2% target share
Week 9 at CAR: 33.3%
Week 10 vs. NE: 46.2%
Week 12 vs. TB: 32.5%
Week 13 at TEN: 39.0%

Josh Downs: I was all in on Downs last week, and while “the pass catcher playing alongside Pittman” was the right idea, I was backing the wrong horse.

Get it? Colt. Horse. You guys are lucky you don’t have to pay for word art as fine as this.

I stand by the idea, and I’m holding firm on my ranking of Downs as the WR2 in this offense, even if his three-catch, 14-yard dud last week failed to deliver on that idea. He falls just outside of my top 30 at the position, ahead of options that I think carry even more risk in Gabe Davis, Tyler Lockett, and George Pickens.

MORE: Is Alec Pierce Worth Picking Up Off the Waiver Wire in Week 14?

Alec Pierce hauled in a 36-yard score on Indianapolis’ first drive and recorded his first career 100-yard game. How did he do it?

Well, playing 70 of 71 snaps certainly helped (Downs: 48). His overall role wasn’t drastically different from past weeks, and his 14.6% target share isn’t enough to inspire a great deal of confidence.

Pierce is a luxury add if you have space at the end of your roster at best, not someone I’m moving mountains for or making excuses to play — even against a Bengals defense that is routinely challenged downfield (DFS flier??).

Ja’Marr Chase: Safe to say that I didn’t see an 11-catch, 149-yard game coming on Monday night with Browning under center. The 76-yard touchdown obviously elevated a strong fantasy day into an elite one, but it was his usage that impressed me.

Tip of the cap to the Bengals’ coaching staff. They didn’t try to fit a Browning peg into a Burrow hole, they revamped the offense and it started with their WR1.

Chase’s aDOT dropped by 39.4% from his rate through 12 weeks, a conscience shift in play-calling that allowed for this big day to be possible.

Do I think that Chase accounts for 34.4% of Browning’s completions this week? Probably not. But given that this staff is willing to adjust on the fly, I’m far more confident in ranking Chase as a safe WR2 this week than I was seven days ago.

That said, don’t lose track that the floor is low. He has as many finishes outside of the top 30 as he does in the top 10 this season (five), but that’s not enough of a concern to consider sitting this game-breaker.

Tee Higgins: In his return to action after missing three games, Higgins caught all three of his targets for 36 yards against the Jaguars. It’s unlikely that you started him last week, so I’m counting Week 13 as a win. He was able to make it through without a setback and got in valuable reps with his new signal-caller.

I’m still not comfortable in labeling Higgins a fantasy starter, but last week was a step in the right direction. If you want to use him as DFS leverage, you have my blessing — the Colts own the second-lowest blitz rate in the league, which could afford Browning time to get non-Chase Bengals involved.

Higgins is my WR36 this week and trending in the right direction as we near make-or-break time in most fantasy leagues.

Tight Ends

Chigoziem Okonkwo: With 107 yards over the past two weeks, Okonkwo is trending toward the hope we had for him this preseason that he failed to show through his first 10 games this season (20.6 yards per game).

He has nine games this season with at least three catches. And while that’s not the most overwhelming stat you’ve ever read, the athletic profile makes those opportunities more valuable than catches for the other tight ends currently available on your waiver wire (39-yard catch against the Colts last week and a 25-yarder against the Panthers the week before).

Okonkwo is used downfield more often than most TEs, which is where most offenses elect to challenge the Bengals (league-high opponent aDOT). If you’re looking for a TE streamer this week, the upside of Okonkwo trumps the other options.

Does he carry a low floor? He does — and so do about 25 starting TEs in this league.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns

  • Spread: Browns -1.5
  • Total: 34
  • Jaguars implied points: 16.3
  • Browns implied points: 17.8

Quarterbacks

Trevor Lawrence: As of this writing, Lawrence’s status remains up in the air, so make sure to check back as we near kickoff. I’ll keep this article updated with the most recent news, but our PFN News Tracker is also a great resource for the latest happenings across the league.

Lawrence has produced back-to-back-to-back top-six finishes at the position (he didn’t have a single such game this season prior), and while the passing metrics are ticking up (69.7% completion percentage, 8.9 yards per attempt), the four rushing touchdowns over that stretch is the fantasy difference-maker.

The Browns are the fourth-best defense on a per-pass-attempt basis, and the tough matchup combined with health concerns, are preventing me from locking in Lawrence should he play (my QB11). But I’m encouraged by his recent play, and if he clears all physical hurdles, he’ll be the QB1 that you thought you were drafting back in August.

Running Backs

Travis Etienne Jr.: With multiple catches in every game this season and an unquestioned lead role in this backfield, Etienne remains an elite option in all formats.

I’m not thrilled that he doesn’t have a touch gaining more than 20 yards in four straight games or that Lawrence has been handling the goal-line rushing duties (we’ll see if that continues), but you’re picking nits.

Etienne’s versatility makes him the type of high-floor RB that often appears on championship rosters. With Christian Kirk banged up, the target count only stands to increase, which gives me confidence in labeling Etienne as a top-10 running back both this week and for the remainder of the season.

Jerome Ford: He just does it every week. Ford has now returned no worse than RB2 value in five straight games and in seven of eight since Cleveland’s bye.

The declining volume is obviously a concern as we talk about sustainability (three straight weeks under 15 touches), but with at least five targets or a touchdown in eight of 11 games (starting with the game in which Nick Chubb was lost for the season), Ford has proven to be a consistent fantasy force.

This week, he gets a better-than-you-think Jaguars run defense. But with Joe Flacco under center and this team motivated to bleed clock, I see no reason Ford can’t continue his run of success.

Do I worry about projecting him as such for the remainder of the season? I do — games against the Bears, Texans, and Jets are not a clean run out. That said, we’re talking about the here and now. We’re talking about Week 14 — a week that could hold your playoff fate in its hands. In that scenario, I’m willing to trust Ford this week and ask questions later.

Kareem Hunt: Hunt continues to work behind Ford (trailed 36-25 in snaps and 19-7 in routes on Sunday), and while he has reached double-digit carries in seven of eight games over the past two months, you’d really have to squint to make him a viable Flex option.

The lack of involvement in the passing game (one receiving yard since the beginning of November) creates a terrifyingly low floor, which means you’re banking on a committee back to score short touchdowns in an offense that has scored a total of 44 points over their past three games.

I don’t mind holding onto Hunt; 12-15 touches aren’t available on most waiver wires, though, I think you’re getting a little too cute if you’re trying to slide him into starting lineups this week.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Ridley: Last week wasn’t pretty (26 yards on eight targets), but was he far away from being viable? The target count was right where you want it to be.

Ridley had a 43-yard catch called back due to an offensive holding category, and he was handed the ball three times. Most of us buy Ridley as a strong talent, so the fact that Jacksonville is scheming up ways to give him a chance to produce is really all I need to see when it comes to my willingness to bank on him down the stretch.

For the season, Ridley has four top 10s, and all have come in games in which Zay Jones was active. As long as Jones is on the field demanding perimeter attention, Ridley is going to be a top-25 player for me when Lawrence plays.

The math changes should Lawrence sit, though. Ridley would fall into the Flex conversation. While the upside remains strong, the floor is even lower in that event, and he becomes more of a strategy play than anything. But if Lawrence is under center and Jones is lining up on the perimeter, sign me up for Ridley being a top-20 performer at the position.

Christian Kirk: After suffering a core injury on the first play Monday night, Kirk never returned, and he will be sidelined through this week. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway — barring news, Kirk needs to remain rostered in all formats.

Zay Jones: With Kirk out for the majority of the game, Jones was much more involved last week than he had been since returning from injury.

Week 13: Five receptions on eight targets for 78 yards
Weeks 11-12 (total): Five receptions on seven targets for 30 yards

His target expectancy goes up with Kirk sidelined and should Lawrence manage to suit up, Jones will climb to a low-end WR3 in my rankings. Even in this instance, he’s third in the Jaguars’ target hierarchy and fourth among skill-position players in TD equity.

The upside is very much limited, and I’m not counting on starting Jones this week. His greatest value to fantasy football 2023 is the freedom he gives Ridley.

Amari Cooper: A concussion knocked him out of last week’s game, and I’m operating under the assumption that the injury will sideline him through this week as well. In his absence, Elijah Moore saw 29.3% of Joe Flacco’s targets (his former teammate in New York) and was the clear-cut comfort option for the veteran QB.

If Flacco remains under center and Cooper is out, Moore will be flirting within my top 30 wide receivers. I don’t think the featured role was a mistake, and when you consider that 73.8% of yards gained against the Jags come through the air (third highest), I view the floor as reasonably stable.

In this world, I’m playing Moore over Tyler Lockett and, in this game, Zay Jones.

Tight Ends

Evan Engram: It’s about damn time that this man found the end zone! Engram has been a strong fantasy asset all season long thanks to his volume and catch rate, but it was good to see him finally break the scoring seal on Monday night against the Bengals.

Will the TDs now come in bunches? They don’t need to. He’s seen 91 targets this season, and by hauling in 80.2% of them, Engram’s floor is higher than 95% of tight ends.

He’s a strong option in all formats, and it shouldn’t have taken a touchdown for people to realize that he’s one of the most reliable we have in the game at the position.

David Njoku: A 24.8% target share in the three games Watson has missed is impressive, and with Cooper potentially sidelined, the volume of looks alone keeps Njoku inside of my top 12 this week.

Flacco wasn’t elite on Sunday in his season debut against the Rams, but he showed command of the offense in a way that the other backups on this roster have proven incapable. More importantly, the team let him throw 44 passes.

MORE: Yates’ Fantasy Football TE Rest-of-Season Rankings Week 14

We know that Flacco isn’t shy to check down and take what the defense is giving him, something I think we see plenty of this week against a top-10 defense in terms of blitz rate.

With a passing script the most likely outcome in this spot, managers looking to get by at the position can feel good about Njoku returning enough value to keep you competitive with the teams that don’t have an elite TE rostered.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

  • Spread: Saints -5
  • Total: 38.5
  • Panthers implied points: 16.8
  • Saints implied points: 21.8

Quarterbacks

Jameis Winston: I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but the health of Derek Carr will have a greater impact on fantasy this week than anything he has done on the field. Should he sit with a multitude of injuries, Winston slides into the starting lineup and excitement follows.

For better or worse, Winston is not the least bit shy about giving his playmakers a chance to thrive. Or to crash and burn. The fact of the matter is that the range of outcomes for all involved increases in a significant way with Winston under center, and that makes this offense, as a whole, more fantasy-friendly.

MORE: Jameis Winston Fantasy Waiver Wire Week 14

If he gets the start, YOLO Winston slides into QB13 in my Week 14 rankings and is immediately an option for those looking to pull off a big upset with the fantasy regular season ending.

Carr has finished each of his past three games outside of the top 15 (one TD pass on 78 attempts) and isn’t near my radar if he finds a way to take the field.

Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard: With a 47-23 snap edge last week over Miles Sanders, Hubbard is pretty clearly operating as the featured back in Carolina’s offense. Now, you could argue if “lead RB in Carolina” is a role that even matters, but I don’t think you can deny that Hubbard is the option in this limited offense that needs to be ranked higher and considered as a Flex option.

He ran for 104 yards and a pair of scores against a solid Bucs run defense last week. The per-carry upside is capped (143 carries and his longest gain is 21 yards), and with zero catches last week (he and Sanders ran 10 routes apiece), there’s no denying the floor.

Hubbard slides inside of my top 30 due to this matchup — the Saints allow the sixth-most yards per carry and the sixth-highest percentage of yards gained to come on the ground. The floor is low given the implied point total for the Panthers, but if they can keep this game close, Hubbard should do enough to prove worthy of your Flex spot.

Miles Sanders: If you’re grinding out a matchup and trying to navigate injuries, I don’t mind the idea of cutting Sanders in an effort to get more upside at your disposal this week.

Sanders hasn’t scored since September and has single-digit carries in five of his past seven games. The role in the passing game is nowhere near what the team hinted at it being this summer. Thus, Sanders doesn’t have many paths to fantasy production.

He’s not a top-40 running back for me this week and won’t be anywhere near my Flex range moving forward unless something significant changes.

Alvin Kamara: No reason to deep dive here. Kamara scored twice last week and has 60 catches in his nine games.

He’s getting enough work on the ground to take advantage of the fact that 40.9% of yards gained against the Panthers come on the ground (third highest), and New Orleans excels at getting him into space — something that should allow him to thrive against a Panthers team that is missing a league-high 8.3 tackles per game.

Kamar’s projected point total takes a hit if Winston is under center, but not enough to knock him out of my RB1 ranks. If that’s the case and you want to use it as an excuse to look elsewhere in DFS, fine. But when it comes to season-long leagues, there’s zero brain power that needs to be used on Kamara.

Wide Receivers

Adam Thielen: The bottom has really fallen out for the veteran receiver as the NFL continues to make Bryce Young uncomfortable. Long gone are the days of top-20 finishes where the volume was safe and the catch rate was impressive. Thielen has turned nine targets into 27 yards over the past two weeks and has just one finish better than WR40 since Week 8.

The Saints pressure opposing QBs at the fourth-lowest rate (17.6%), so if you wanted to squint and talk yourself into Thielen as a Flex option, you can. It’s not for me. He averaged six yards per target when these teams first met back in Week 2, and I think that’s about what you can expect this week with very limited scoring equity.

Thielen is a fringe top-30 WR for me, ranking alongside other receivers with iffy play under center like Garrett Wilson, Jakobi Meyers, and Demario Douglas.

Jonathan Mingo: I’m listing him here as a player to watch, not play. He was on the field for 95.8% of the offensive snaps last week (91.4% route participation), which is interesting for a rookie receiver who is being asked to develop on the fly.

The part of Mingo’s Week 13 performance that caught my eye was his usage pattern. For the season, his aDOT is 46.2% higher than Thielen, but last week, it was 20.8% lower than his veteran teammate.

Either we are seeing a role change to play to Mingo’s strengths or it was simply a goofy week. I’m not comfortable in guessing which is the case and, thus, not playing Mingo in any situation. But if we get a second week of adjusted usage, then we might be talking about a sneaky PPR option. My interest is piqued.

Chris Olave: After three straight games with under 60 receiving yards, Olave has cleared 90 in each of his past three — upside that is all sorts of interesting no matter who is under center. But if he’s hitting his stride as a playmaker with Winston more than willing to roll the dice on those deep targets??

The Panthers are the second-worst red-zone defense in the league, giving Olave (three scores on 111 targets this season) the potential to lead the position in fantasy points this week. Of course, in order to have access to that ceiling, you have to swallow some risk.

Olave is a top-15 receiver no matter who is under center for New Orleans, but his status as a potential GPP winner is only there if Winston is taking the snaps.

Rashid Shaheed: The thigh injury that forced Shaheed to exit Week 12’s loss in Atlanta early resulted in him missing his first game of the season last week. The burner totaled just 55 yards in November, as the boom/bust profile has largely been bust in this underwhelming offense.

We’ll see where his status lands the closer we get to kickoff, but trusting Shaheed at this point in the season is nothing short of a leap of faith. I understand that the receiver position lacks reliable depth due to the rash of QB injuries, but you can do better than a one-trick pony like this against a defense that is largely gashed on shorter passes.

Tight Ends

Taysom Hill: He’s simply a cheat code, and if you’re not locking him into lineups at this point, you’re doing fantasy wrong. On Sunday, against the Lions, Hill led the Saints in rushing yards (59) and scored once on his 13 carries to go alongside a pair of targets and two pass attempts.

Hill has finished five of his past seven games inside the top 10 at the position, and we have no evidence to suggest that changes. Sure, he’s limited as a pass catcher in the traditional sense, but why should we care? Fantasy football is a box-score game, and the role Hill holds in this offense would make him a viable option if listed simply as a “utility” player — the way fantasy baseball handles designated hitters.

But he’s not. Hill’s listed as a tight end, the position with the least amount of reliable depth in our game, and a high-touch count role that includes plenty of usage inside the red zone. He’s impossible to bench right now.

While this offense will look different if Winston is under center, I’m not sure it impacts Hill in a significant way. Winston’s aggression would, in theory, lower Hill’s target expectancy, but that’s not why we’re buying him in the first place.

With a turnover-prone QB like Winston, I’d argue that New Orleans would be more likely to go to Hill as they approach the scoring zone, and that’s all we need. Hill is easily a top-10 TE for me this week, and that’s going to be the case for the final month of the fantasy season.

Juwan Johnson: As if an air ball wasn’t bad enough, Johnson had his hands on an early pass that was then intercepted, making him even less valuable than the raw stat line suggests. The most disappointing part of this underwhelming effort was that Jimmy Graham scored and that the TE position as a whole really didn’t get many chances to produce through the air (20.7% target share split among three players).

Considering that Johnson has only scored once this season and has yet to clear 45 receiving yards, you can look elsewhere. I don’t think his value changes in a significant way with however the QB situation plays out this week. I’d rather start Gerald Everett, Kyle Pitts, and Isaiah Likely this week with a reasonable amount of confidence.

Houston Texans at New York Jets

  • Spread: Texans -6.5
  • Total: 34.5
  • Texans implied points: 20.5
  • Jets implied points: 14

Quarterbacks

C.J. Stroud: The Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner has thrown for over 270 yards in five straight games, finishing, on average, as the ninth-best fantasy QB over that run.

The cards are stacked against him a bit, though. Tank Dell is now out for the season, and this is a brutal matchup on the road against the second-best pass defense in terms of yards per attempt.

MORE: Should Fantasy Managers Target Noah Brown or Robert Woods on the Week 14 Waiver Wire?

Stroud has been sacked 12 times over his past three games (eight sacks in seven games prior), something that more highlights the flaws of this offensive line than any real concerns I have about Stroud.

Stroud is my QB10 this week. He’s not matchup-proof, but I trust the volume and the talent to still start him in a tough spot. The QB position isn’t as deep as you think it is, and benching Stroud is a difficult sell.

Running Backs

Devin Singletary: Singletary’s the lead back in this offense, but not by a wide margin. Last week, he handled the first two drives, but when all was said and done, his edge in snaps was just 31-26 (14-8 advantage in routes run).

Singletary’s path to mattering for fantasy purposes is via the pass game, and his role in that regard is why I have him a handful of spots higher than Dameon Pierce. However, neither is anything more than a low-end Flex option for me.

Singletary has two big games this season, and they’re his only games with more than 58 rushing yards. This offensive line is prohibitive in a major way, so if we are banking on 2-3 targets to drive his value, the floor/ceiling math just isn’t favorable.

Dameon Pierce: The next game in which Pierce averages 4.0 yards per carry it will be his first of the season.

He was able to get loose for a 22-yard run last week against arguably the worst run defense in the league, yet he totaled 19 yards on his other 14 carries.

Given that a league-high 43.5% of yards gained against the Jets come on the ground, Pierce should have his chances to produce very low-end Flex numbers. But without access to any ceiling (one touchdown since September, four receiving yards over his past four games), is he worth plugging in? Not for me.

Breece Hall: Having produced RB2 numbers in just one of his past five games, Hall’s raw talent is losing out to the ineptitude of this offense as a whole. That’s a trend that may not change this week against a Texans defense that is third best against the run on a per-carry basis.

Hall’s ability to produce in the pass game creates a floor that makes him a top-24 option for me (39.3 receiving yards per game since Week 7 bye). The floor is more worrisome than the upside is encouraging, in my opinion, so I’m not going this direction in the DFS streets. With that said, I doubt that your roster is built in such a way where Hall isn’t a starter in season-long formats.

Wide Receivers

Nico Collins: With consecutive 100-yard games and 32 targets over his past three games, Collins has returned to the alpha role that we saw him flirt with during the first month of the season.

I was comfortable locking him in prior to the Dell injury, and with the increase in target expectancy as a result of that unfortunate happening, Collins is in the Mike Evans/Chris Olave conversation for me this week — and for the final month of the season.

Tank Dell: The storybook rookie season is over after Dell suffered a fractured fibula. Don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad that it happened.

Dell is a big reason your fantasy team has a chance.

Noah Brown: The 27-year-old was held without a catch in his return to action last weekend against the Broncos, reinforcing the idea that Brown has some bust in his profile that comes loaded with potential (two games with over 150 yards).

How do you rank him? This week, I’m down a bit due to the matchup and have Brown ranked outside of my top 35, flirting with receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. In a better matchup (next week in Tennessee, for example), Brown will push into the strong Flex-play territory, a tier that Garrett Wilson and Jakobi Meyers currently occupy.

John Metchie III played slightly ahead of Robert Woods following the injury to Dell, but neither of them should be considered viable fantasy assets. Yes, they are pieces that will be involved in this explosive offense, but without true role clarity in a tough matchup, they’re both fighting an uphill battle to project favorably in even the deepest of formats.

Garrett Wilson: With 103 receiving yards over the past three weeks (25 targets), this offense is starting to drag Wilson down, something that wasn’t consistently the case over the first two months of this season.

The target count remains elite (10.8 since the Week 7 bye) and a plus-matchup like this — Houston gives up the fourth-most yards per pass attempt — lands him inside my top 30 at the position and a fine Flex play despite the ineptitude of the Jets’ offense.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz and Brevin Jordan: A hamstring injury sidelined Schultz last week and limited him the week before against the Jags (one catch for two yards), resulting in the discussion in fantasy circles that he belongs as a TE blobber.

I’m not here for the Schultz slander, especially with Dell’s target share needing to be reallocated. He was a top-10 TE in six of seven games before this hamstring limited him, so if we get word that he is nearing full health, I’m ready to plug him in as a top-10 option at the position.

If he doesn’t play, you can essentially replace Schultz with Brevin Jordan in my ranks. Jordan ran a route on 77.1% of Stroud dropbacks last week, and that was in a game where Houston began with the belief that they’d have their top three receivers all on the field.

With the knowledge that Dell is sidelined, I expect this team to shift more of the pass-catching responsibilities to the TE position, thus making that 77.1% rate something of a floor, should this again be the Jordan show.

Tyler Conklin: I wrote about his boring productivity to open this week in my Week 14 TE streamers piece, and I’m still there with Conklin. The upside is certainly capped, but he’s a good bet for 6+ targets in a game script that figures to favor the pass. If he can catch the 4-5 passes that he has averaged since Week 9, he’s going to offer viable PPR production.

The TE position can very much be a “just don’t lose me my matchup” situation, and if the rest of your team is loaded, a player like Conklin can get the job done.

Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens

  • Spread: Ravens -7
  • Total: 43
  • Rams implied points: 18
  • Ravens implied points: 25

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford: Consecutive finishes in the top 10 is good to see, but the Ravens’ defense is the best in the league by most stats, and with them rested, there’s no reason to look Stafford’s way.

What has changed over these past two weeks? Stafford’s aDOT is down more than a yard and that can help elevate his floor — next week against the Commanders. We will cross that bridge when we get to it (earmark him as a streamer next week, no matter what happens this Sunday), but for Week 14, Stafford doesn’t matter.

Lamar Jackson: With just one finish better than QB14 since Week 7, Jackson’s fantasy managers have been frustrated with their star quarterback’s performance as of late. However, this offense continues to churn out yardage and points, and the fantasy numbers are going to come. Eventually. I hope.

On the bright side, Jackson’s completion percentage is up six percentage points from last season and easily on a career pace. I expect Baltimore to come out of their bye with creative schemes and put the versatile Jackson in a spot to peak at the right time.

A few statement games and Jackson could not only add hardware to your trophy shelf, he could be taking home another MVP award. He remains a top-eight QB for me due to his unique upside and the benefit of the late bye week.

Running Backs

Kyren Williams: Most weeks, the scoring ways of Williams (10 TDs in eight games) cracks my top 10, but a matchup against the third-best red-zone defense creates a little more hesitation on my behalf.

While he’s more of a high-end RB2 than a strong RB1 this week, Williams remains a fantasy starter in all formats. His role is nothing short of elite (it’s him, Zack Moss, and Christian McCaffrey), and that sort of usage creates a floor that is worth betting on.

Williams has at least 20 carries or six targets in six of his past seven games, which is enough to overcome any matchup.

Royce Freeman was on the field for four more snaps than me on Sunday and can safely be rostered in as many leagues as I am. Zero.

Gus Edwards: The analysis is easy when it comes to the Gus Bus, but the decision-making is far less straightforward.

Average finish this season with TD: RB11
Average finish this season without TD: RB40

Edwards has one finish this season from RB8-27; every other game has either been a bonafide fantasy superstar or a bust.

MORE: Should You Start Keaton Mitchell or Gus Edwards in Fantasy Football in Week 14?

This is the hardest type of player to roster. The Rams are a middle-of-the-pack defense when it comes to all red-zone numbers, so that doesn’t really help us. I’m more out on Edwards than I’m in on him due to the crowded nature of the backfield, not to mention Jackson’s abilities and the short passing stylings of Todd Monken that serve as a supplement to the run game.

You’re more than likely playing Edwards (my RB21), and there’s nothing wrong with that given how productive he can be around the goal line. It’s just important to go into this week (and every week for that matter) with the understanding of the wide range of outcomes.

Keaton Mitchell: It’s OK to acknowledge the talent (20+ yard carry in four straight games) without investing in him. In fact, I think that’s right.

Mitchell doesn’t have a 10-carry or a three-target game on his résumé, usage that simply makes for a tough sell. If you’re swinging for the fences in a bid for an upset, feel free to roll the dice here, but outside of those unique situations, the undrafted rookie isn’t on my lineup radar this week.

Justice Hill: For the sake of covering every option in this backfield, Hill and his nine total touches over his past three games are well off of fantasy radars. It’s been more than a month since he finished as a top-40 producer at the position.

His impact in our game is taking food off the plate of his teammates, nothing the he holds individually.

Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp: The former All-Pro hasn’t been a top-20 receiver since Week 6, but Kupp did get back to earning targets at a reasonable rate. He had eight targets in Week 13 after totaling just six looks in the two weeks prior.

Of course, those targets resulted in just 39 yards, but a touchdown saved the day. Kupp totaled 266 receiving yards in his first two games back after missing the first month — he has 166 yards in six games since.

Kupp is nothing more than a Flex play in this brutal matchup. My little optimism for him this week comes from a potentially favorable game script. He’s not a must-start as I have him ranked behind Brandin Cooks and Jayden Reed. What a world.

Puka Nacua: The sprained AC joint that Nacua suffered last week may linger, but it’s not expected to be the type of injury that results in missed time. The rookie has seen at least seven targets in every single game this season, and while the opportunities remain there, the catch totals have dipped in a significant way.

Over his past five games, Nacua has caught just 19 passes — a serious decline from the 8.3 receptions that he averaged in the first seven weeks. I have him ranked over Kupp this week, checking in as a good Flex play more than the strong WR2 we thought he’d finish the season as.

Zay Flowers: A 37-yard touchdown run in Week 12 fueled a WR3 finish for Flowers. But while the fantasy points were there, the fact that he turned eight targets into just 25 yards in a cushy spot against the Chargers is concerning.

The rookie hasn’t reached 45 receiving yards in four of his past five games and has really only proven viable in perfect spots. Weeks 6-12 were bookended by top-15 performances in advantageous spots against the Titans and Chargers, but his average finish was WR53 in the five games between during that stretch.

Flowers is sitting just outside of my top 30 this week. I have no issue in taking a chance on him if you need to, given the implied total for the Ravens in this one. However, understand that he’s nowhere near a must start and carries more downside than you might assume.

Odell Beckham Jr.: The volume is a concern (only three games with more than five targets this season), but this is a dart throw that I’m interested in when it comes to constructing DFS rosters.

This season, Beckham’s aDOT is 47.2% higher than that of Flowers, and while that sort of role carries risk, it’s an interesting one to gamble on against a Rams defense that owns the third-highest opponent aDOT.

My mean projection favors Flowers to Beckham for a Flex, but if you’re in a go-for-broke spot, Beckham’s ceiling case is obtainable in this specific matchup.

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee: With a pair of touchdowns in Week 12 against the Cardinals, Higbee’s fantasy candle flickered for a minute there, but he caught just two passes for 35 yards last week against the Browns.

That performance last week isn’t much different from the expectation that he had set for himself before Week 12 (Week 1-11 averages: 2.7 catches for 43.1 yards), and it is what I think you can expect this week and moving forward.

Higbee sits as a fringe top-20 option at the position this week and isn’t a player I’m considering viable against a rested Ravens defense that is on the short list of defenses that are potentially the best in the league.

Isaiah Likely: You hear “trust the process” a lot these days — I’m tempted to do just that with Likely. After being a popular addition in Week 12 following the Mark Andrews ankle injury, Likely was a volume drop this time last week.

I’m assuming it was mostly to do with the Week 13 bye than it was a four-catch, 40-yard effort against the Chargers. The performance wasn’t overwhelming, but a 20% target share isn’t a bad starting point, given the potency of this offense.

Two other notes that shouldn’t be overlooked. The first is straightforward: Todd Monken and company had the bye week to tweak their system to adjust to the strengths of Likely as opposed to Andrews. The second requires a little more reflection.

Likely posted an aDOT lower than one foot in Week 12. Not one yard. One foot. Some people will run from a number like that due to a lack of upside, but I’m running toward it. A role like that can elevate his value at a position where a viable floor is tough to find, but more importantly, it speaks to the desire to get him the ball in space.

This season, Evan Engram, Dalton Kincaid, and Jake Ferguson are among the TEs with a sub-6.0 aDOT this season, all of whom offer weekly value. I’m not saying Likely will produce at a level comparable to those options, but I do think he is closer to them than he is to those his name is next to on your waiver wire.

Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders

  • Spread: Vikings -3
  • Total: 40
  • Vikings implied points: 21.5
  • Raiders implied points: 18.5

Quarterbacks

Joshua Dobbs: If you’re not interested in Dobbs and you’re streaming the position, you’re doing something wrong. Dobbs’ average weekly finish since joining the Vikes is QB13, and that comes with limited practice reps and without an alpha receiver.

Now, coming off of a bye to level set, Dobbs (35.5 rushing yards per game with Minnesota) gets the best receiver in the game at his disposal for a playoff run. What’s not to like?

I covered Dobbs as my featured QB streamer of the week, and I’m not sure it’s close. The path to fantasy viability is simply too clean to ignore. If you’re stuck, Dobbs is the man to save you!

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison: The lead role against the Raiders is a good spot to be and gets you into my top 30, but Mattison doesn’t rank much better than that. He has failed to finish better than RB30 in three straight games — and in five of his past six — with a lack of versatility factoring in a major way (no more than two targets in five straight).

Vegas owns the fourth-lowest blitz rate in the NFL through 13 weeks, which could create some light boxes as the Raiders look to chase Justin Jefferson around the field in his return to action. Mattison ranks in the Najee Harris/Chuba Hubbard tier of running backs — boring options that carry enough of a floor to invest in but carry very little in terms of ceiling.

Ty Chandler: Chandler’s five touches on Monday night in Week 12 netted just 11 yards. At this point, if you’re holding onto him, it’s a bet against Mattison than one on Chandler. This offense isn’t going to sustain multiple running backs.

Chandler is off of my radar as long as Mattison is the lead man in this backfield.

Josh Jacobs: After finishing as a top-20 running back in just two of his first seven games, Jacobs is rounding into form with three top-10 performances in his past five. Does that continue against the fifth-best yards-per-carry defense?

The fact that he has six games with at least five targets is enough versatility to keep Jacobs inside of my top 15. I don’t think we see a ceiling week from him, but with 22.2 touches per game over his past five, the floor is high enough to lock him into lineups across the board.

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson: Dobbs has produced a double-digit scoring pass catcher in all four of his games with the Vikings, and while 10 points may not seem like a high bar to clear, let’s not forget that he was introduced to a team on the fly and operating without his top weapon.

Jefferson is special. I can’t imagine that I’m breaking news with that analysis, and with him remaining adamant that he would not return until he was back to full strength, I’m putting him back into my lineup without a second thought.

You drafted Jefferson to drive your fantasy team, and I’m hopeful that he can make good on the promise in his return to the field against the sixth-worst red zone defense in the league.

Jordan Addison: Is he a good player? I think we can safely say yes after seeing him for three months, but that doesn’t mean he is a viable fantasy option down the stretch.

This matchup doesn’t scare me as much as the projected role does. It seems safe to assume that Addison is the third banana in this passing game (behind Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson), closer to being the fourth option than the second one.

Since joining the Vikings, Dobbs’ third pass-catching option (WR/TE) is averaging 6.3 half-PPR points per game, a number that actually falls under what K.J. Osborn (6.5 ppg) averages this season.

MORE: What To Do With Jordan Addison in Fantasy? ROS Rankings, Projections, and More

Were you playing Osborn with confidence at any point?

I didn’t think so. Neither the floor nor the ceiling is appealing for the rookie with Jefferson back in the fold. I’m holding onto Addison just in case I’m wrong or that Jefferson doesn’t return as the same Jefferson we are accustomed to seeing, but at this moment in time, I’m not ready to even consider Addison for my starting lineup.

Davante Adams: After averaging 35.2 receiving yards per game for a five-game stretch, Adams has cleared 70 yards in each of his past three games (33 targets in those games), and that is enough for him to grade as my top Raider receiver.

With only a pair of top-15s this season, I can’t rank him that highly with just two teams on a bye. That said, he is still a low-end WR2 thanks to his projectable opportunity count when this offense nears paydirt (one or more red-zone targets in 10 of 12 games).

You’re not getting the value you thought you were going to get during your draft this summer, but I think you survived the worst and should be fine with him labeled as a starter in most formats.

Jakobi Meyers: Is Meyers QB-proof? With six top 15s on his résumé this season (including in Week 12 against the Chiefs before the bye), the case can be made. That said, the bad weeks are bad — three weeks finishing outside the top 65 at the position.

The floor keeps him outside of my top 20, but the proven ability to produce despite QB questions throughout this season keeps him inside of my top 30. The target count rebounded in Week 12 (seven) after a slow month in which he averaged just 3.3 targets per game, and that promise has me ranking him a tick ahead of Zay Flowers (vs. LAR).

Tight Ends

T.J. Hockenson: Zero. That’s the exact number of concerns I have around the stock of Hockenson with Jefferson scheduled to return. He was a top-10 TE in three of four games with Jefferson at full-go to open this season, has been a top-10 TE in three of four games with Dobbs under center, and I expect him to be a top-10 TE in at least three of four weeks to close this season.

Opponents complete 68.8% of passes when facing the Raiders this season (third-highest), and Hock is as good of an option in the Vikings’ high-percentage pass game as anyone on the roster (his catch rate is up 4.3% from last season). There will be a learning curve in this offense as they welcome their WR1 back, but I don’t think it comes at the expense of their long-haired TE.

Michael Mayer: The future is bright for Mayer, but the future is not right now. He only has one game this season with 50+ receiving yards, and I don’t like his chances of doubling that total this week against a Vikings defense that showed significant signs of growth heading into its bye.

For Week 14, the list of widely available TEs who I prefer to Mayer includes Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tyler Conklin, and both Chargers options.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

  • Spread: 49ers -10.5
  • Total: 47
  • Seahawks implied points: 13.3
  • 49ers implied points: 23.8

Quarterbacks

Geno Smith: It was great to see Smith show out against the Cowboys last Thursday (three touchdown passes on 23 completions) after his 84 completions in the four games prior resulted in just three scores.

Are you willing to buy into the surprise performance over three months of production that resulted in an average finish of QB19? I’m writing off last week as the aberration and not a new rule — we will see if Smith produces against arguably the best defense in football that allows the third-fewest yards per attempt.

Brock Purdy: The MVP favorite in some spots has turned in three top-six finishes in four weeks since the bye. That’s great. The less great part of that stat is the fact that the outlier performance came against the Seahawks in Week 12 (30 passes netted just 209 yards and a single score).

The 7.0 yards per pass in that game is his second-least efficient day of the season, but much like I’m not buying into a single-game sample for Smith, I’m not doing it here for Purdy. He lit up these ‘Hawks for 330 yards and three scores on 18 completions in the Wild Card win last season, showcasing the type of form that we’ve seen from him recently.

I’m generally of the belief that home/road splits are noisy, but I’m pro-Purdy this week (QB8), so I’m going to casually mention that he’s averaging 31.8% more yards per pass at home than on the road this season.

Running Backs

Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet: This is a situation to watch as we move through the week, as there is a lack of clarity across the board. Pete Carroll (noted injury optimist) said last week that a Week 14 return for Walker (oblique) was possible while he admitted that Charbonnet’s knee “puffed up pretty crazy” following the loss to Dallas.

If this is a committee situation, I’m not going to have either inside of my top 30 due to the matchup and likely game script. If one plays and the other doesn’t, the featured back will slide into my Flex conversation, but not as anything more than that. Charbonnet has carried 48 times for 154 yards since he saw his role increase, failing to gain 15 yards on any of those rushes.

Hopefully, we get clarity heading into the weekend — with this being a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff, a lack of definitive news after Friday’s practice will mean not counting on either back and adjusting at the last minute should one be officially ruled out.

Christian McCaffrey: In a tough matchup against Philadelphia, McCaffrey ran for 93 yards, touched the ball 21 times, and finished as the RB7. Is that his floor?

It’s not far from it. McCaffrey has been RB7 or better in nine of 12 games this season, proving to be on the short list of fantasy MVP candidates. He appears as close to unstoppable over the course of 60 minutes as any running back in recent memory, and I doubt that stops against a defense he dominated to the tune of 139 yards and two scores in Week 12.

Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf: Your matchup may have been decided early last week if Metcalf was involved. He took a 73-yard pass to the house on Seattle’s first drive and finished with a massive 6-143-3 day as the Seahawks implemented the “throw to whoever DaRon Bland is covering” strategy.

Predictive or seductive?

That is, can fantasy managers count on Metcalf to be a star they drafted for the final month of the season, or was the Thursday night showcase simply a tease?

MORE: Fantasy Football Updated WR Dynasty Rankings Week 14

The answer, as you’d guess, lies in the middle. The number of looks is nothing new (eight targets, Weeks 1-12: 8.0 targets per game), and the sky-high ceiling is part of the Metcalf profile. You don’t have to go back too far for meaningful proof of that:

NFC Wild Card at SF

10 catches (40% share)
13 targets (38.2% share)
136 yards (53.8% share)
Two touchdowns

Not too shabby, but we can’t act as if the first three months of this season didn’t count. Prior to the explosion in Dallas, Metcalf was scoring once every 26.7 targets and had only a pair of top-20 finishes on his résumé.

I’m measuring expectations this week (low-end WR2), but regardless of how he shows in this tough matchup, he’ll be ranked higher for Weeks 15-16 (vs PHI, at TEN). It would take a lot for Metcalf to truly pay off his preseason price tag, but a strong finish is very much possible.

If he helps you win a title, he was worth the draft day premium. You’re going to be rewarded for your loyalty.

Tyler Lockett: I understand the name value that comes with Lockett. I understand that premature evaluation is never a good thing and that you’re worried about benching a proven big-play threat the week he goes off. I get all of that.

Blame me if you need to.

Lockett hasn’t had a catch gaining more than 20 yards since mid-October and has turned 20 targets into just 128 yards over his past three games. We haven’t seen splash plays despite consistent looks (7+ targets in five of his past six games), so why would we expect that to change against an elite defense?

I think he’s more likely to repeat his 6.9 fantasy point performance against these 49ers last postseason than Metcalf is his 30.6-point effort. The argument for Lockett is “because I always play him,” and if you’re making decisions under that train of thought, you’ve already lost.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: The rookie posted a team-best 29% target share last week in Dallas as he continues to show nice development. The ceiling is awfully limited, however, due to Smith’s inconsistencies and the two veteran receivers ahead of him (two top-30 finishes this season), but the increased ability to earn targets has moved him past Chris Godwin and Jerry Jeudy in my ranks.

That is still outside of the top 40, however, and in a tough spot, you can probably do better as you piece together your starting lineup.

Brandon Aiyuk: With a score in all four games since the bye, Aiyuk has proven himself to be the top true receiver in this consistent offense. The target count is never overwhelming due to the low pass count, but with Purdy being among the most efficient distributors of the ball in the league, the targets he does see are worth plenty.

The TD streak isn’t going to last forever. That’s a fact. The connection Aiyuk has with Purdy, however, is real and will keep him inside of my top 15 every week for the remainder of the season.

Deebo Samuel: After scoring three times on seven touches against the Eagles, Samuel reminded us all just how much of a weapon he can be. He’s a near impossible tackle in the open field, which could result in a third-straight top-10 finish at the position.

Seattle misses tackles at the fourth-most rate per game and has the sixth-lowest opponent aDOT.

Shallow passes and missed tackles you say? Sign me up! Samuel earned one-third of the targets in the Wild Card win over the Seahawks (133 yards, TD) and should be used plenty in this ideal matchup.

Tight Ends

George Kittle: Kittle has finished inside the top 10 tight ends in five straight games when not facing the Seahawks. That’s great most weeks, but that’s not too helpful when Seattle is back on the schedule again.

In the Week 12 meeting, Kittle was able to turn five targets into just 19 yards, a continuation of the struggles against this defense that we saw in last season’s Wild Card meeting (two targets). We know that Kittle comes with a wide range of outcomes as it is, and this divisional opponent has proven as capable of shutting him down as anyone.

So what do you do? You play Kittle. You married him this summer and promised to start him in sickness and in health.

This is a tough matchup, but volume hasn’t been a major concern of late for him (seven targets per game over his past six), and if you’re projecting that sort of usage, Kittle’s upside is rare for the position.

There’s risk involved, but there’s more upside in this profile, which is enough for me to consider him a lineup lock no matter the matchup.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Spread: Chiefs -2.5
  • Total: 47.5
  • Bills implied points: 22.5
  • Chiefs implied points: 25

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen: At various points this season, words like “struggling” and “prohibitive” have been tossed into the evaluation of Allen. Let’s relax.

From a football standpoint, Allen hasn’t been perfect, but the mindset that has resulted in the mistakes is the same mindset that puts him on the short list of signal callers that can be the reason their team wins a Super Bowl.

As for fantasy, I don’t care about the mistakes. Not even a little bit. In fact, the argument could be made that the mistakes result in Buffalo being forced into an even more aggressive approach and thus end up as a net fantasy positive!

This season, Allen has more top-two finishes at the position (four) than he does weeks as QB10 or worse (three). He’s been a top-five fantasy QB in five of his past six starts. He lit these Chiefs up for 329 passing yards (32 rushing) and three scores when these teams met in Week 6 last season.

The Kansas City defense is stronger this year than in years past — still zero concerns on my end about the value of Allen in our game. Kansas City has somewhat of a shortened week (played on Sunday night in Lambeau), while Buffalo had their bye week to prepare for a game that could well determine the fate of their season.

The Bills are going to bet big on Allen this week, and I have no issue in doing the same across all fantasy formats.

Patrick Mahomes: Remember when he lit up the Chargers for 424 yards and four scores back in Week 7? Since then, Mahomes has one finish better than QB12, and his average finish is QB17.

In good news, there’s not a world in which you’re benching the reigning MVP. The lack of depth at the QB position right now makes that a lock, and it saves you from yourself.

Most players deal with ups and downs throughout the course of a season. I have no real concerns about Mahomes, and if he isn’t going to garner a ton of ownership in DFS, it wouldn’t shock me if he won someone $1 million this weekend.

Running Backs

James Cook: With over eight fantasy points as a pass catcher in consecutive games, Cook’s versatility has developed into a real weapon. He hasn’t been efficient on the ground outside of a big game against the Broncos, but an 84.6% catch rate with a clear lead role is plenty to earn him a top-20 ranking on a consistent basis.

The Chiefs’ defense has impressed in many respects this season, but they do cough up the fifth-most yards per carry, and the Bills figure to be interested in controlling tempo to take pressure off of their struggling defense.

I have Cook flirting with RB1 status, higher than most in the industry. Let James Cook!

Isiah Pacheco: The angriest runner on planet earth has been a top-10 running back in consecutive weeks — he posted just one top-10 performance through 11 weeks. But he has been ruled OUT for Week 14 with a shoulder injury that cropped up mid-week.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Kansas City RBs ran for just 43 yards on 13 carries in the Week 6 meeting with Buffalo last season, but this is a different matchup. And with Mahomes struggling by his standards, the run game is as important in this offense as ever.

The Bills allow the fourth-most yards per carry this season and coughed up 120 yards on 18 carries to Eagles RBs in Week 12 prior to the bye. Pacheco has accounted for 76.5% of the Chiefs’ carries by running backs this season, putting CEH in a spot to fill a viable role. He’s obviously not ranked where Pacheco was entering this week, but he does check in as a top 30 back for me and is good Flex option for managers lacking depth.

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs: The Chiefs allow the fifth-fewest yards per pass attempt this season with L’Jarius Sneed driving much of that success by limiting perimeter options. Could they continue Diggs’ decline in production after a hot start to the season?

Buffalo’s top receiver has been a top-10 producer at the position just once since Week 5, and after producing 100+ yards in four straight games from Weeks 3-6, Diggs is averaging just 58.2 yards.

I don’t mind the idea of dragging Diggs’ ranking down a touch, but at worst, he’s a fringe top-10 receiver. You’re plugging him into all starting lineups when it comes to season-long leagues, but I would look elsewhere in terms of top DFS options.

Gabe Davis: With Kansas City owning the sixth-highest blitz rate in the league, Davis has the potential to be left in single coverage and for it to not be Sneed.

It doesn’t take many looks, it just takes the right opportunity, and there’s a path for Davis to get there. That said, a few missed chances and Davis is looking at another dud. Welcome to the Gabe Davis Experience:

Week 7 at NE: WR88
Week 8 vs. TB: WR10
Week 9 at CIN: WR135
Week 10 vs. DEN: WR34
Week 11 vs. NYJ: WR136
Week 12 at PHI: WR7

Personally, I’m benching Davis for either of Lamar Jackson’s top receivers or Josh Downs. But I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. Davis is my WR35, and I might be off by 25 spots. But the fact that I can’t tell you what direction I’m going to be off on tells you all you need to know.

Khalil Shakir: Is it just me, or are we being sold that he is something of value in fantasy across the industry? Two top-30 finishes this season and three top-50s?

Shakir’s good for a WR3 in Buffalo, but that doesn’t make him viable in our circles. I don’t mind rostering him as depth, but I’m not interested in playing him against this Chiefs defense with only two teams on a bye.

Rashee Rice: This man is the real deal. It’s just that simple. Rice is a 95th-percentile receiver in terms of YAC, and he gets a matchup against a defense that is routinely attacked via the short pass (league-low 6.3 opponent aDOT, 6% lower than any other defense in the league).

Last week, Kansas City drew up a play to get Rice into the end zone, but he was tackled on the 1-yard line. If he punches that in, the Rice train has more members on it.

In Week 6 last season, in this matchup, JuJu Smith-Schuster went off for 113 yards and a score. We’ve now got a better receiver filling that role and a weaker Buffalo defense on the other side.

You do the math. Rice is a top-20 play for me.

Tight Ends

Dalton Kincaid: The rookie has posted a route participation north of 75% in each of his past five games, putting him in a position to thrive in a pass-heavy offense.

I understand that he underwhelmed before the bye with just 38 yards against the Eagles, but that came on the heels of five straight usable performances. I could not be less worried.

MORE: Where Do Dalton Kincaid and Travis Kelce Land in TE Dynasty Rankings?

I still have Kincaid labeled as the clear-cut second option in this passing game, a role that I think will be incredibly valuable with games against Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, and Justin Herbert all on deck.

You’re starting Kincaid, and you’re gaining on the majority of your league at the position in the process.

Travis Kelce: With eight top-six finishes at the position, Kelce continues to get it done for you, even if not in the overwhelmingly dominant fashion that we’ve become accustomed to. His catch rate is up more than seven percentage points from last season.

With the Chiefs in a dogfight for seeding in the loaded AFC, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see his involvement spike over the final month of the fantasy season.

When these two teams met last season, Kelce garnered 31.3% of the targets and cleared 100 yards. I’m looking for a similar level of success this week as KC looks to bounce back from the Sunday Night Football loss against a Bills defense that is below average at every level.

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers

  • Spread: Chargers -3
  • Total: 43
  • Broncos implied points: 20
  • Chargers implied points: 23

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson: Since the bye, Wilson has been a top-12 performer in three of four games with a rushing TD in consecutive games. The rushing production for an aging quarterback has been surprisingly consistent (8-plus attempts in four of his past five games), but can he keep rolling?

This is obviously a plus-matchup (fifth-most yards per attempt allowed), and I have him ranked safely inside of my top 15 this week. I want the record to show that I’m concerned moving forward.

Last week against the Houston Texans, Wilson posted his second-worst game as a passer — both in terms of Passer Rating and QBR. That’s a concern, as is the fact that after throwing for multiple scores in four of five games, he’s done it in just two of seven.

Wilson is skating on thin ice, and his fantasy stock could fall through at a moment’s notice. I’m not projecting it to happen this week, but I’m not ruling it out. Be careful.

Justin Herbert: Maybe I’m too committed to my priors, but Herbert is hanging onto a top-10 ranking — barely. Last week was his sixth game this season with under 230 passing yards and his sixth game since the beginning of October with a completion percentage under 60%. Herbert’s last 91 passes over the past two weeks have resulted in just one score and zero gains of over 31 yards.

I get the concerns. I’m hopeful that WR Joshua Palmer can return to action and give Herbert the secondary option that he has been missing since WR Mike Williams was lost for the season. He was a top-12 QB in eight of 10 games to open this season, and I think he has a very good chance at rediscovering that form against the third-worst defense on a per-pass basis.

I have Herbert ranked as my QB9 ahead of Houston QB C.J. Stroud in this spot.

Running Backs

Javonte Williams: Not only did Williams handle 13 of 18 Bronco RB carries last week, but he also led this backfield in targets, catches, and receiving yards. His role in this offense isn’t a concern to me, but the fact that he only has two finishes this season better than RB20 certainly is.

This isn’t the plus-matchup that it was earlier this season — New England RBs averaged just 3.4 yards per carry last week, and Green Bay RBs averaged just 2.6 YPC against these Chargers in Week 11. Williams is on the outside looking in at my top 20 this week, but I do think he sees enough work to justify starting him as a low-end RB2 in this spot.

Samaje Perine: After consecutive impressive showings, Perine’s stock was on the rise heading into Week 13, but it came crashing back to earth with a three-touch, six-yard performance in Houston.

Perine doesn’t need to be rostered. Last week, he ran a route on 83.3% of his snaps — a usage trend that tells you all you need to know about Denver’s backfield hierarchy. The touch count is never going to overwhelm, and that creates a low floor that is simply too risky to expose yourself to.

Austin Ekeler: I wish I could give you actionable advice on how to handle this Ekeler situation, but I can’t. Three-straight finishes outside of the top 30 is borderline unbelievable, but it’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that acting on that three-game sample size would be a mistake. The versatile skill set in a prime spot is simply too much to ignore, but it would be dishonest of me to not include the red flags that have popped up.

Over the last two games, Ekeler has seen 24 carries for 50 yards, and his longest rush was six yards. He’s only had one game all season with 50-plus receiving yards. And he only has a slight 17-14 edge in routes run over RB Josh Kelley this year.

Worried? Yes. Benching him? Not. A. Chance.

Wide Receivers

Courtland Sutton: All Sutton does is score touchdowns. He has found paydirt in six of his past seven games, but we did get a snapshot at the risk involved last week.

The 45-yard TD was great, but it was his first catch in the game, and it came in the third quarter. If I’m worried about Wilson long-term, it only stands to reason that his top receiver could regress in a significant way, as well.

But still, he’s caught a touchdown on 18% of his receptions this year. That is compared to a 5.9% mark from 2018 to 2022.

Sutton is a low-end WR2 for me. The scoring equity gives him enough upside to land in starting lineups, but I am building in more risk than most with Wilson, and that results in Sutton’s final projection coming in a touch low.

Jerry Jeudy: He showed us a glimmer of the upside that we attacked this summer with a 41-yard catch last week — he totaled just 10 yards outside of that reception. With only one score this season and no more than three catches in seven of 11 games, starting Jeudy is nothing more than a blind leap of faith.

He’s again ranked outside of my top 40 at the position — not a bold proclamation for a player who has failed to finish inside of that mark just five times.

Keenan Allen: Denver CB Patrick Surtain suffered a knee injury last week, but he was able to return and should be fine for this matchup that could see him spend some time on Los Angeles’ clear top option.

Allen has earned at least nine targets in eight straight games and in 11 of 12 this season. The floor ranks among the five best at the position, and in a good matchup when he is away from Surtain, Allen should be just fine.

Most teams prefer to pound the ball with the run game against the Broncos, but the Chargers may be the exception. Allen is a rock-solid start in all formats, as he continues to beat Father Time.

Joshua Palmer: I think this kid is a legit NFL talent — or at least a fantasy asset. He saw at least seven targets in four straight games prior to the knee injury that landed him on IR and has now sidelined him for five games.

MORE: Will Joshua Palmer Play in Week 14?

His return is no certainty this week, so keep tabs on this. His availability would mean more to the value of Herbert than anything, but I do think he could be a nice waiver wire add if you’re lacking WR depth and get word that his return is on the horizon.

I’m not playing him this week, but I’m going to be a week early rather than a week late when it comes to scooping him off of waiver wires. Palmer will be on the backend of as many of my playoff rosters as I can manage.

Tight Ends

Donald Parham and Gerald Everett: If you have two, you have none.

If Parham or Everett was to sit, I’d feel good about elevating the remaining option to my top 10, but in weeks in which that’s not the case, either is a tough sell. Last week, Everett held a 39-38 edge in snaps and a 22-20 edge in routes — hardly enough of an advantage to crown him as the favorite fantasy option.

Everett tends to see more targets per route run than Parham between the 20s, but with that 6’8” frame, Parham garners plenty of attention near the end zone.

“Charger TE” is a great profile, but with it being split into two people, I’m not overly interested. Neither checks in as a top-12 play for me this week, and I don’t see that changing as we navigate the final month of the fantasy season.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

  • Spread: Cowboys -3.5
  • Total: 53
  • Eagles implied points: 24.8
  • Cowboys implied points: 28.3

Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts: Is this a battle for the MVP? Jalen Hurts has been a top-six fantasy QB in eight of his past nine games (including a QB3 finish against Dallas in Week 9), and given his production on the ground, there are no real signs that point to regression.

Hurts has run for six scores in his past four games as the leader of the most unstoppable play in professional sports. He should continue to be aggressive, as Philadelphia looks to rebound from the debacle against the San Francisco 49ers last week.

I do have one minor concern, and it’s nothing new — accuracy. Here are Hurts’ completion percentages over his past five (end with the most recent): 76.3%, 73.9%, 63.6%, 58.1%, and 57.8%.

That’s not ideal for the Eagles in real life. For our purposes, his bread is buttered with the rushing production, and the low CMP% isn’t a deal breaker, as long as the completions continue to do damage.

Dak Prescott: This run of production is about as good as anything we’ve seen in recent memory. Prescott has rattled off six top-three finishes in a seven-game run, and with the Eagles allowing the second-highest percentage of opponent yardage to come through the air (74.2%), the good times should continue.

That is, as long as Dallas can prevent Philadelphia from holding the ball for 12-15 play drives and limiting the possession count.

I’m a numbers guy, and if I didn’t post this, you’d ask for it — so here you go. Prescott’s extrapolated season since the Week 7 bye:

  • 5,386 passing yards (record: 5,477 by Peyton Manning in 2013)
  • 57 TD passes (record: 55 by Peyton Manning in 2013)

Running Backs

D’Andre Swift: After a big hit late in the Week 13 blowout at the hands of the 49ers, Swift left the game. The severity of the injury is unknown, but he was losing some snaps to RB Kenneth Gainwell prior to the injury, making this very much a situation worth tracking.

When these teams first met, the Eagles ran the ball 33 times, and not a single one of those carries picked up more than 12 yards. Swift is likely going to need volume to return top-20 value in this tough spot. Dallas is averaging a league-low 3.3 missed tackles per game, and if he’s battling through an injury, that may not happen.

MORE: Should You Pick Up Kenneth Gainwell for Week 14?

At the moment, I have Swift ranked as my RB19 — his exact average positional finish in the six games prior to the one-sided affair last week against the 49ers. If word of a timeshare emerges, he stands to fall 4-6 spots, thus making him more of a Flex option than someone I am confidently locking in.

Tony Pollard: “Better late than never, but never late is better.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear that Drake was way ahead of us in 2010 when he dropped those lyrics about Pollard’s 2023 fantasy value. After a disappointing two-plus months, he has run for a touchdown while catching at least three balls in three straight games, finishing each of those games as a top-13 performer at the position.

It took a while, but some of the explosion appears to be back. Pollard has ripped off a 15-plus yard run in five straight games — a stretch that includes the first meeting between these two. In that game, Pollard handled 85.7% of Dallas’ RB carries and a respectable 11.4% of the targets.

I’m not worried about RB Rico Dowdle eating into Pollard’s work, and with this matchup coming against the fourth-worst red-zone defense in the league, he’s a RB1 for me — even in a tough spot.

Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown: After a few down weeks in terms of yardage, Brown put up 114 against the 49ers — his seventh game this season reaching that mark. He didn’t get there in the first meeting with Dallas, but he did earn a 42.9% target share and scored, so it’s clear that he is capable of succeeding in this spot.

Brown is my WR8 this week, a 10-spot edge over his partner in crime.

DeVonta Smith: He was held scoreless for five straight games early in the year, but he has found the end zone in four of his past five, including in the Week 9 win against the Cowboys. The recent production is one thing, but the volume is what I’m comfortable betting on. He’s seen 27 targets in his past three games, which is up from 15 in his three games prior.

Smith has caught 86.5% of targets over his past five games — a level of efficiency that serves as a nice floor elevator. The touchdowns or efficiency may regress, but as long as both don’t, he’s a strong WR2 play in all formats.

CeeDee Lamb: With at least 11 grabs in four of his past six games, a touchdown in four straight, and at least nine targets in six straight, it’s safe to say that Lamb is operating at his peak.

Included in this run of elite production was a Week 9 performance in Philadelphia that saw Lamb garner 36.4% of the targets and rack up 191 yards. There is nothing that can slow him down at this point, and the fact that an aerial attack is how to properly attack the Eagles is simply a bonus.

Get your popcorn ready, this should be a good one.

Brandin Cooks: The veteran receiver is at it again. No team is overly interested in keeping him, and yet, all he does is produce. He has now scored in three of his past four games — five of his past seven — establishing himself as the WR2 in this high-powered offense.

He wasn’t used much in this offense when these teams first met (two targets, ranking him behind WRs Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert), but his elevation up this depth chart has him in a good spot to pick on Philadelphia’s weak pass defense.

Over those last four games, Cooks owns an 87% catch rate while averaging 16.6 yards per catch. Those are positive trends to take into a matchup against an Eagles defense that allows the fifth-highest opponent aDOT. Meanwhile, Cooks’ aDOT easily outpaces that of Lamb, Gallup, and Ferguson.

Cooks is a low-end WR2 for me this week — the highest I’ve had him ranked this season by at least half a dozen spots.

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert: In theory, a return this week makes sense, given that the team elected not to put him on IR and he has already missed three games. If he sits out this game, Philadelphia would have unnecessarily burned a roster spot for the past month.

He was injured during the first meeting between these two teams, and while his numbers prior weren’t overwhelming, his proven role in an offense that lives in the red zone is enough to earn your consideration.

We will see where his health status goes as we near game time, but Goedert’s average ranking in the four games prior to the injury was TE11, and that is where I currently have him penciled in.

Jake Ferguson: With six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night, Ferguson turned in his fourth top-10 performance since the Week 7 bye and his third top-five week in a five-game stretch.

One of those top-five outings was the first game against these Eagles, a game in which he saw 22.7% of the targets on his way to a 7-91-1 stat line. The recent ascension of Cooks has hurt Ferguson’s floor a bit, but he remains a strong target earner in a passing game that is currently clicking on all cylinders.

He’s a top Tier 2 tight end for me this week and will be for the remainder of this season. Lock him in.

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins

  • Spread: Dolphins -13.5
  • Total: 47
  • Titans implied points: 16.8
  • Dolphins implied points: 30.3

Quarterbacks

Will Levis: The rookie has failed to complete 20 passes in four straight games and without any rushing potential in his profile, the path to mattering in our game simply isn’t there.

Levis threw four touchdown passes on 29 attempts in his debut against the Falcons and has just three scores on 156 passes since. If you’re playing the Monday Night Football DFS slate, you can try to get cute and go in this direction, but I’m going to be eating the chalk at the position and differentiating elsewhere.

Tua Tagovailoa: The playmakers are spectacular, but someone has to put them in position to succeed, and Tagvaolila has excelled at doing that (70.1% completion percentage for the season, at least 70% in three straight games).

Now he gets a team that ranks in the top quarter of the league in stopping the run and the bottom quarter of the league in stopping the pass? I don’t want to say that this feels like daring Steph Curry to beat you with three-pointers or trash-talking near-peak Tiger Woods, but it feels that way, doesn’t it?

MORE: Fantasy Football QB Week 14 Trade Targets

Can we agree that this is a non-divisional game against a non-top 10 QB? In those spots this season, Tagovailoa has completed 74.7% of his passes while averaging 9.9 yards per attempt and a touchdown coming once every 8.6 completions.

Most weeks, I have a “Big Three” at the QB position — this week, it’s a big five to include Tagovailoa (QB4) and Dak Prescott (QB5).

Running Backs

Derrick Henry: There has been some confusion this week surrounding Henry’s head injury, and that leaves fantasy managers in a bit of a holding pattern. With consecutive multi-TD games, Henry could be peaking again at the perfect time for fantasy managers.

But with a rookie behind him and this season going nowhere, isn’t it possible that the team uses the final month to see what they have moving forward, as opposed to relying on a back that isn’t likely to be a part of the big picture?

If Henry is ruled active, I’m playing him — but with some trepidation. It’s been more than a month since he caught multiple passes in a game, and game script is certainly a concern against a top-10 offense in both points and yards-per-play.

Tyjae Spears: The rookie has looked the part of an NFL asset at points this season, and with Henry at less than full strength, we might get a preview of the 2024 season over the final month of 2023.

He touched the ball 20 times last week (88 yards) — a role that feels reasonable to project if Henry sits out this weekend. Even in a reserve role, Spears is averaging nearly four targets per game, a valuable skill set, given the projected game script. Spears is a fringe Flex option if Henry is active, and if he is handed the starting gig in this spot, he moves inside of my top 20 at the position.

Raheem Mostert: With De’Von Achane active against the Washington Commanders, Mostert handled all of the rush attempts in the first two drives and held a 19-12 snap edge over the rookie in the first half while this game was remotely competitive.

The résumé is an interesting one, and it’s one that scares me a little bit in this spot. I still value him as an RB2 with the lead role in this backfield, but Mostert seeing just five targets over his past five games is a potential concern.

While his touchdown scoring has been nothing short of elite (more multi-TD games than scoreless games this season), a matchup against the second-best red-zone defense brings in a floor that most other matchups don’t.

I’ll be tracking the early game usage carefully in this one. I’m comfortable in assuming that Achane is a weekly starter the rest of the way, but if the shine were to come of Mostert down the stretch, it wouldn’t shock me.

De’Von Achane: The explosive rookie looked healthy after missing five of six games (knee), and while the touch count pops (20), don’t overreact and think that he is the unquestioned leader in this backfield. Much of that came in garbage time, as Miami melted the clock in their 30-point win over Washington.

That said, Achane has four games this season with at least 10 touches, and in all four of them, he has produced top-five fantasy numbers at the position. I’m not sure that’s going to sustain, but a healthy version of Achane is deserving of your trust.

His first carry last week didn’t come until the third drive, and until this team features him early, I’m going to have him ranked slightly behind Mostert. That said, it doesn’t matter — you’re starting both with confidence until otherwise noted.

Wide Receivers

DeAndre Hopkins: With at least nine targets or a score in four of his past five games, Nuk did both last week in the overtime loss to the Colts. Not that we needed further proof that he is the only Titan WR worth a look, but his 36.4% target share last week gave us just that.

The Dolphins have allowed the opposing WR1 to score in four of five games since Jalen Ramsey debuted for the team, with the last two alpha target earners producing strong fantasy numbers on strong volume:

  • Davante Adams: Seven receptions for 82 yards and a TD on 34.2% of targets
  • Garrett Wilson: Seven receptions for 44 yards and a TD on 27.8% of targets

There is built-in risk given the inconsistencies of Levis, but the upside in a game that should slant toward the pass due to the score, Hopkins slides in as a low-end WR2 for me (ahead of the other WRs in tough QB situations like Adam Thielen, Ja’Marr Chase, and the aforementioned Wilson).

Tyreek Hill: What is there left to say? The first drive of Week 13 featured a 78-yard Hill TD (21.7 MPH), and shortly thereafter, he was taking a 60-yard pass to the house in a play that just looked too easy.

Hill is 484 yards short of the single-season record for receiving yards. I want you to tweet me (@KyleSoppePFN) and my boss (@DavidBearmanPFN) the week and quarter number he will write his name in the history books. I’m going to say the first quarter of Week 18.

Jaylen Waddle: It’s largely been a tough season for offenses that we thought would have two viable receivers (CIN, JAX, and TB to name a few), and the Dolphins are no exception. Waddle has been a top-35 WR in just one of his past four games — something he could have done last week in Washington if not for a drop that cost him at least three fantasy points and potentially more.

I’m comfortable in going down with this ship if that is how this pans out. Waddle is still the talented player with extreme upside that we’ve seen thrive in the past, and he’s averaging 8.4 targets per game over the past month. You can downgrade him in your ranks if you’d like, but you’re overreacting if it is to a point where his status as a fantasy starter is in question.

Tight Ends

I don’t doubt that we see some big plays in this game, but I’d be shocked if any of them go to the TE position. The tight ends in this game don’t offer an exciting floor or ceiling, so don’t waste your time looking here for help at the position.

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants

  • Spread: Packers -6.5
  • Total: 37
  • Packers implied points: 21.8
  • Giants implied points: 15.3

Quarterbacks

Jordan Love: I’m not going to say that Love and I share a bunch of qualities, but I’m a reporter of facts and something you simply cannot deny …

We both …

  • Entered high school with a scrawny 5’7” build
  • Were inactive for every game of the 2020 season
  • Demonstrated massive growth at age 25

It’s that last point that fantasy managers need to concern themselves with. While I was busy breaking into this industry in a significant way and getting engaged at 25, Love has made tremendous strides as a compiler of fantasy statistics.

  • Since turning 25: 66.1% completion percentage, 6.3% TD rate, 274.8 pass yards/game
  • Prior to turning 25 this season: 57.7% completion percentage, 4.7% TD rate, 213.1 pass yards/game

In total, Love is averaging 45.6% more fantasy points per pass attempt since celebrating his birthday and the Packers are shifting (slowly) into a more favorable style of play-calling. Why would that stop now?

The concern here is two-fold: natural regression of a QB who has been up-and-down as it is and game script. The Packers have won three straight outright as an underdog, but they will be playing with expectations this week, and against a leaky run defense, I’m dinging Love for projected volume in this spot.

We are splitting hairs from QB12-15 this week, and Love is a part of that mix. Right now, I have him at the back of that tier, a tier he shares with Russell Wilson (at LAC), Jared Goff (at CHI), and Josh Dobbs (at LV).

There is plenty of room for mobility within this clump of QBs, but I’m not elevating any of them into the next tier that includes superior QBs in tough spots (Trevor Lawrence at CLE and C.J. Stroud at NYJ).

Running Backs

Aaron Jones: The veteran running back didn’t practice last week and was ruled out going into the weekend (knee) as he missed a second straight game. There never was much in the form of optimism regarding his status for last week, leading me to believe that he misses a third game this week and targeting next week (on full rest).

AJ Dillon: An 18-carry, 73-yard performance against the Chiefs isn’t the type of game you’re celebrating. Dillon probably didn’t win you your week with that game, but if you watched the game, there was a nice theme that developed that we haven’t seen in weeks past.

Week 13 vs KC:

  • Gained yardage on 94.4% of carries
  • Gained 3+ yards on 72.2% of carries
  • Gained 4+ yards on 55.6% of carries

Baby steps! For a physical runner like Dillon, the ability to fall forward is a nice development, especially playing alongside a thriving Love. He was trusted with 85.7% of Green Bay’s running back carries on Sunday night. In a matchup against the third-worst per-carry run defense in the league, Dillon moves up to a fine RB2 for me.

He loses the ceiling battle, but the role has him in the conversation for the most valuable running back in this game.

Saquon Barkley: The Packers have won a pair of one-possession games over the past two weeks against teams with their sights on a deep playoff run (Detroit and Kansas City). While the results have been there, the ability to stop the run hasn’t.

  • Week 11 vs. David Montgomery: 15 carries for 71 yards, TD (RB13 finish)
  • Week 12 vs. Isiah Pacheco: 18 carries for 110 yards, TD (RB7 finish)

While the matchup doesn’t scare me in a major way, the ineptitude of this Giants offense is plenty capable of submarining their star. Barkley hasn’t been handed the ball even 15 times in three straight games, and after catching six balls against the Cardinals in Week 2, Barkley hasn’t seen six targets in a game since.

His role in the passing game in seasons past has been a floor elevator, but that hasn’t been the case this season (no more than six receiving yards in every other game since returning from injury in Week 6).

I don’t think Barkley gets to the top-15 level that Montgomery and Pacheco did in losing efforts against these Packers, but his raw talent still lands him as a low-end RB2 for me. If you’re scared, I don’t blame you; and if you’re loaded at the position, benching Barkley certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

  • Barkley in wins this season: 18.8 PPG
  • Barkley in losses this season: 10.7 PPG

Wide Receivers

Packers WRs: Following the upset win over the Chiefs, I posted my thoughts on this trio of receivers: Christian Watson, Jayden Reed, and Romeo Doubs.

MORE: Christian Watson’s Injury and the Fantasy Impact on Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed

My read of this WR room is the same this week as what I mentioned in that article for the remainder of the season. Doubs was able to lead the team in receiving yards (72) last week despite plenty of attention paid to him by perimeter shadow specialist L’Jarius Sneed.

There was some flukiness to the final stat line, but his ability to produce in a tough spot is certainly encouraging — not all teams are capable of putting such a corner on a single player, the Giants included.

My general read for this situation is similar to that of the Commanders’ pass game but without the benefit of an elite pass rate over expectation rating. In Washington, the targets are spread thin among a handful of viable options — something that keeps all WRs on the fantasy radar but also prevents you from feeling good about any of them on a consistent basis.

Darius Slayton and Jalin Hyatt: It’s clear at this point in the season that you’re not going anywhere near this Giants passing game if you can help it.

Not everyone has that luxury, so if you’re stuck as an underdog in a must-win spot, there has been some production via deep options in this offense. You just have to guess right as to who gets loose against a Packers defense that blitzes at a top-10 rate and will leave some single-coverage situations.

Here’s a note for the past five games in which both Hyatt and Slayton have played:

Week 12 vs NE: Jalin Hyatt catches 5 balls for 109 yards
Week 11 at WAS: Darius Slayton catches 4 balls for 82 yards, TD
Week 10 at DAL: Tough matchup, elite defense
Week 9 at LV: Slayton and Hyatt combined for a 41.8% target share
Week 7 vs. WAS: Hyatt had a pair of 30+ yard receptions

Tight Ends

I have little faith in either of these passing games and without a proven talent at the TE position, why roll the dice? There are five tight ends in the NFC South alone that I prefer to any player at the position in this game.

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