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Favorites & Fades

Week 14

By: Mike Krueger | Ken Ilchuk | Nick Caron | HC Green
Updated: 12/11/22



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

KC @ DEN | TB @ SF | CAR @ SEA




- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Raiders @ Rams - (Krueger)
Line: LV -6.0
Total: 42.5

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

No Brainers: RB Josh Jacobs, WR Davante Adams

Favorite: QB Derek Carr

With the Raiders running a majority of their offense through Jacobs and Adams, it’s difficult to find other fantasy plays on this team to feel good about. Carr has thrown at least two touchdowns in five consecutive games and he won’t have Aaron Donald breathing down his neck as the all-world defensive lineman is out with a sprained ankle. The Rams have given up back-to-back 300-yard passing games to Geno Smith and Patrick Mahomes. Carr doesn’t provide much of a ceiling due to his lack of rushing stats, but does provide a safe floor in a matchup up against a team that’s looking forward to the off-season.

On the Fence: WR Mack Hollins

It’s been a while since Hollins had his blow-up game (Wk3) when he posted an 8-158-1 line on 10 targets against the Titans. Since then, the Raiders No.2 receiver has mostly been an afterthought outside of a WR2 performance in Week 12 (4-63-1) against the Seahawks. One thing we know about Hollins is he will be on the field… he’s played 94% of the offensive snaps this season as the Raiders use a very tight rotation in their wide receiver group and there’s no indication that Hunter Renfrow will return this week. Hollins is a WR4 dart throw that could pay off in a week with six teams on bye.

Fade: N/A

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence:
RB Cam Akers

After giving Kyren Williams the majority of work in Week 12, it was Akers’ turn in Week 13. He played 72% of the snaps, posting a 17-60-2 line with only 1 target in the passing game. It would seem logical that McVay will use Akers as long as the game remains close but Williams may get the call if the Rams fall into a negative game-script. I don’t envision a blowout here by the Raiders, but you will be paying with fire putting Akers into your lineup given the state of the team and lack of upside this offense has. Flex option only for Akers this week.

Fade: QB John Wolford, WR Van Jefferson, WR Ben Skowronek (shoulder), TE Tyler Higbee

The claim of Baker Mayfield off waivers this week tells you all you need to know about the Rams 2022 season. It’s off the rails. As a result, it’s best to avoid this bunch until further notice. Van Jefferson played every snap last week, which is something, but you need to be really desperate to consider him as a WR4. Even with the tight end position as dismal as it is, it’s tough to recommend Higbee (2-14-0 last week) given the current quarterback play. The guy still hasn’t found the endzone this season.

Prediction: Raiders 24, Rams 16 ^ Top

Ravens @ Steelers - (Green)
Line: PIT -2.0
Total: 36.5

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainers: TE Mark Andrews

Favorite: QB Tyler Huntley

While the Ravens clearly aren’t a better team with Lamar Jackson (knee) sidelined, Huntley has played well when pressed into duty. The passing numbers don’t move the needle, but he’s a capable runner, having averaged nearly 60 yards rushing in the five games (four starts) he saw extended action a season ago. Pittsburgh has played better defense of late, leading to three wins in their last four games, but they’ve struggled to apply pressure -- for the year, their 22 sacks rank 24th in the NFL. Huntley could find room to operate and appears playable as a low-end QB1.

Update: J.K. Dobbins is expected to play.

On the Fence: RB J.K. Dobbins (knee) / RB Gus Edwards

Dobbins hasn’t played since Oct. 16 due to his surgically repaired knee, but he returned to practice last week and has a good shot of being active for Week 14. Edwards had worked as the No. 1 back in his absence initially, though last week he played just 17 snaps, compared to 34 for Kenyan Drake, after having a critical fumble in their Week 12 loss to Jacksonville. There’s once again a lot of uncertainty surrounding Baltimore’s backfield between Huntley’s insertion, Dobbins’ health, and the team’s confidence level in Edwards. While one of the Ravens’ RBs could deliver this Sunday, none should be viewed as more than a risky flex.

Fade: N/A

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: TE Pat Freiermuth

Favorite: RB Najee Harris

Following a very slow start to his sophomore season, Harris has stepped things up considerably over the past month, rushing for more than 85 yards in three of the last four games -- the lone exception being the Monday Night win over the Colts in which he was banged up and played just 20 snaps. He played 43 snaps a week ago, which was nearly double of Jaylen Warren (13) and Benny Snell (9) combined. His disappearance from the passing game affects his value, but half of his six TDs this year have come in the past three weeks. He’s a shaky RB2 or strong RB3 here.

On the Fence: WR Diontae Johnson (hip)

Coming off a year in which he posted a 107-1161-8 line, Johnson has been among the top non-injury disappointments in fantasy football this season. It’s not all his fault, to be sure, but there are only so many ways you can spin 565 yards and no touchdowns entering the second week of December. If you’re looking for encouraging signs, his usage has ticked up recently with 19 targets over the past two games. That’s more than double that of George Pickens, who has eight. Although he’s still no better than a WR3, he's the best non-Freiermuth choice associated with the Steelers passing game.

Fade: WR George Pickens

Ever since a six-catch, 61-yard, one-score effort against Miami on Oct. 23, Pickens has managed just 11 receptions for 174 yards and one TD over his last five outings. The Steelers have recommitted to the running and short-passing games during that time, and the rookie has fallen behind Freiermuth and Johnson in the pecking order. He had a sideline outburst in Week 13 that drew some attention, so we’ll see if that leads to an uptick in his involvement. The safe play is to keep Pickens benched.

Prediction: Ravens 19, Steelers 17 ^ Top

Vikings @ Lions - (Green)
Line: DET -2.5
Total: 51.5

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, TE T.J. Hockenson

Favorite: QB Kirk Cousins

A steady high-floor play for most of the season’s first two months, Cousins has been in a bit of a funk recently, passing for less than 200 yards twice in the past four games and one TD or fewer in three of them. The lone exception during this run was his 299-yard, 3-TD effort against the Patriots on Thanksgiving. To be fair, however, the veteran has faced four of the better defenses in NFL in that span (Buffalo, Dallas, New England, and the Jets), so seeing Detroit should feel like a reprieve. The Lions have been better of late, but Cousins threw for 260 yards and a pair of scores in their Week 3 meeting, and he looks like a midrange QB1 for the rematch.

On the Fence: WR Adam Thielen

Already well below Jefferson on the pecking order, Thielen now feels like the No. 3 option behind Hockenson, having posted just two catches in two of his last three games. While that’s not an encouraging trend, the 32-year-old did tally a 6-61-1 line against the Lions in the first game, which stands as one of his top efforts of 2022. While no longer a safe weekly option, Thielen could still deliver WR3 value this Sunday in what might prove to be a high-scoring affair.

Fade: N/A

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainers: RB D’Andre Swift, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Favorite: QB Jared Goff

Ever since throwing for 378 yards and 4 TDs in a Week 4 loss to Seattle, Goff had averaged 222 yards, 0.8 TDs, and 0.6 INTs across seven starts entering last Sunday. He broke out in a big way, passing for 340 yards and a pair of scores in the Lions’ 40-14 pounding of Jacksonville. At 5-7, the Lions still have a shot at the playoffs, but they’ll need to knock off the Vikings this Sunday. Minnesota ranks last in pass defense (283.6 yards per game) but have been good at holding teams to field goals. With a suddenly healthy receiving corps, Goff is a playable QB1.

On the Fence: RB Jamaal Williams

After serving as the lead back for most of 2022, Williams took a backseat to Swift last Sunday, marking only the second time since Week 2 that Swift had played more snaps. The touches also tilted to Swift, who had 18 to Williams’ 11. The assumption here is that Detroit finally felt their star back was healthy enough for a bigger workload, which pushes Swift back into no-brainer territory. Williams is still pretty close, but he should be viewed as more of an RB3 or flex candidate against the Vikings.

Fade: WRs D.J. Chark, Josh Reynolds and Jameson Williams

While Goff gets the favorite nod this Sunday, the receivers not named St. Brown get to share the fade designation. Chark is coming off his best game with the Lions in terms of receptions (5) and yardage (98), but he’s been inconsistent even when available. He’s still working well ahead of Reynolds, though, who returned from a month-plus absence to post just 19 yards on three grabs. That’s three straight games of less than 20 yards receiving from Reynolds. Williams made his NFL debut in Week 13, playing eight snaps. His future may be bright, but the Lions are easing him in. Maybe you could roll the dice on Chark as a flex. The other two should be avoided.

Prediction: Lions 31, Vikings 27 ^ Top

Jaguars @ Titans - (Ilchuk)
Line: TEN -3.0
Total: 41.5

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: WR Christian Kirk

Update: Trevor Lawrenceis expected to play.

Favorite: QB Trevor Lawrence (toe)

The big “If” here has to do with Lawrence’s health. He went down in the first half of last week’s game with a toe injury, but was able to come back and gut it out in the second half. Expectations are he’ll play this week against a Titans defense that is allowing an average 24.7 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. Even without that, it looks to me like Lawrence has turned a corner and is beginning to show signs of benefiting from HC Doug Pederson’s presence on the sideline. He’s attempted at least 30 passes in six straight games, has 8 TD passes over his last five games, and before last week, had a run of three contests where he was completing almost 80% of his passes. He’s a borderline QB1 against Tennessee.

On the Fence: WR Zay Jones

I realize Christian Kirk is the WR1 in this offense, but I love Jones’ athleticism and his competitiveness around the ball, and it seems like he has found a home with this team, this system, and this QB. Prior to last week’s dumpster fire of a game by the Jags’ offense, he had at least 40 yards in five of the previous six contests, and had posted back-to-back double-digit target games, one of which yielded a 145-yard effort. Against a defense that has been giving it up against the pass I like him as a WR2.

Fade: RB Travis Etienne

Etienne has clearly become the workhorse of the offense. But it seems, at this point, that opposing defenses are focused on shutting him down and forcing QB Trevor Lawrence to beat them. So far, it’s working, and combined with a foot injury that hampered him, he hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game since Week 9. His role in the passing attack hasn’t really evolved either, so it might be best to sit him, or at least limit expectations one more week against a strong Titans run D.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Derrick Henry

If we’re being honest, there’s not a lot else to work with here. The Jags have been fairly tough against the run this season, but Henry has rushed for at least 130 yards in three of the last four meetings between these teams, and has at least 25 carries in each of the last three. They are going to feed him the rock, and despite a recent little swoon, he will deliver.

On the Fence: QB Ryan Tannehill

Jacksonville has given up some plays in the passing game, and Tannehill could be in line for a decent day. But his recent ankle injury will limit some of his mobility in the pocket at the very least, which is still an important part of what he does. His success is also intricately tied to the play of his WR group, which has been disappointing to this point outside of Treylon Burks’ recent resurgence. It remains to be seen if Burks (concussion) will play this week bu it's not looking likely.

Fade: WR Robert Woods

Since Week 8, Woods has just one game with more than two receptions, and he hasn’t danced in the end zone since Week 4. Even when Treylon Burks was out and Woods had a chance to step up and answer the bell, he didn’t. It’s been a disappointing season in an offense that leans on the run.

Prediction: Titans 30, Jaguars 28 ^ Top

Eagles @ Giants - (Caron)
Line: PHI -7.5
Total: 45.5

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown

Favorite: RB Miles Sanders

A difficult Week 13 matchup against the Titans saw running back Miles Sanders have a down game after his monster performance in Week 12. Philadelphia was happy to take advantage of the Titans’ pass-funnel defense as they blew Tennessee out while Sanders saw just 10 carries. He did get into the end zone, making the eighth time he’s done that over his past nine games, but certainly we should be expecting better things from him with more volume here in Week 14. The Giants haven’t given up a 100-yard runner since Travis Etienne did it against them in Week 7, but opposing running backs have still been able to produce solid fantasy numbers against New York over this recent stretch. In fact, including that game against Etienne, seven different running backs have gone over 12 fantasy points against the Giants in their past six games. Only one, Detroit’s Jamaal Williams, had a truly huge game against them due to his three-touchdown day, but Sanders is in a good spot to deliver RB2 numbers this week.

On the Fence: WR DeVonta Smith

Eagles’ wide receiver DeVonta Smith has seen a significant target share increase since the Eagles lost tight end Dallas Goedert. He’s averaging nearly a 30 percent target share in the three games since Goedert went down and he’s now seen at least eight targets in five of his past six games. Unfortunately, all that volume in one of the league’s best offenses hasn’t really led to a lot of big games. However, he is coming off of his second-best fantasy performance of the season when he went over 100 yards and scored against the Titans this past week. The Giants are a top-10 most-difficult matchup for opposing wide receivers this season, but they’re coming off of back-to-back games against NFC East opponents in which they’ve allowed multiple wide receivers to go into double-digit fantasy points against them. This is A.J. Brown’s passing game, but DeVonta Smith is a strong complementary wide receiver and should provide viable fantasy numbers in this one.

Fade: WR Quez Watkins

Philadelphia’s third wide receiver, Quez Watkins, is coming off of a season-high five receptions in the Eagles’ blowout win over the Titans. Tennessee’s defensive scheme practically forces opposing offenses to throw the ball heavily against them which led to Watkins’ higher-than-normal usage. He’s now dealing with a shoulder injury that has limited him in practice this week and he’ll also be facing a Giants defense that ranks in the top 10 in containing opposing wide receivers in fantasy. The Eagles offense is excellent and he could get into the end zone, but otherwise what is Watkins’ realistic upside? Four catches for 50 yards or so? He’s been fairly decent as a Flex in deep leagues, but it’s just not worth the risk of playing him against what has been a fairly good Giants defense.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Update: Saquon Barkley is a gametime decision.

No Brainers: RB Saquon Barkley (neck)

Favorite: WR Darius Slayton

Darius Slayton tied a season-high with six receptions this past week against Washington. The Giants’ WR1 has now been targeted at least six times in five of his past six games, which has corresponded with him producing at least 11 fantasy points five times over that same six-game stretch. The Eagles have been quite good against opposing wide receivers this season, but opposing WR1s have done fairly well against them in recent weeks. Don’t expect a big “boom” game from him, but Slayton is a decent WR3/Flex as long as he continues to be Daniel Jones’ favorite option in the passing game.

On the Fence: QB Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones continues to deliver solid fantasy numbers most weeks, largely due to his rushing ability. He’s hit 50 or more rushing yards in five different games, while also scoring four rushing touchdowns along the way. His passing numbers have still been borderline anemic, but he’s now reached at least 200 yards through the air in three straight games after having done so just twice over the Giants’ first nine games. The Eagles have really only played one truly mobile quarterback this season, which was Kyler Murray back in Week 5, who ran for 42 yards rushing against them. Philadelphia has actually given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks so far this season, but if Jones can continue to produce at least decent passing numbers, combined with his rushing upside, he’s going to continue to provide borderline QB1 fantasy numbers even against good defenses.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Eagles 26, Giants 17 ^ Top

Jets @ Bills - (Caron)
Line: BUF -10.0
Total: 42.5

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Garrett Wilson

While he hasn’t quite reached “no-brainer” status yet, rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson has certainly become a strong starter for fantasy managers. His connection with quarterback Mike White has been undeniable as he’s now gone well over 20 fantasy points in each of his past two games, including Week 13’s monster eight catch, 162-yard performance on a new career-high 15 targets. With another heavy passing day likely this week against the Bills, look for Wilson to again see a high target volume from a quarterback who loves to target him in and near the end zone.

On the Fence: WR Corey Davis

A 57-pass attempt game from Mike White in Week 13 helped to make multiple pass catchers viable in that contest, including veteran wide receiver Corey Davis. Davis saw his highest yardage (85) and target (10) game of the season against Minnesota and while the numbers didn’t end up being spectacular, he certainly reestablished himself as the second option in the Jets’ emerging passing game, behind rookie Garrett Wilson. Davis is not a must-start by any means, but the Bills are likely to get out to a lead in this game, which should mean plenty of opportunities for these New York pass catchers.

Fade: RB Michael Carter, RB Zonovan Knight

Jets running back Zonovan Knight was one of the more exciting waiver wire additions this past week and he delivered a 118 total-yard performance on 20 touches for the Jets in their loss to the Vikings. With fellow running back Michael Carter expected to be back in the lineup, though, this now becomes another multi-back committee on a team that Vegas expects to lose by double-digits here in Week 14. Certainly, one of these backs could get into the end zone, but if they end up splitting touches relatively equally, as the coaching staff has implied, then it’s going to be difficult for either player to really reach their ceiling. Add in the reality that James Robinson could again be active and the situation becomes even less appetizing for fantasy.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

Favorite: RB James Cook

If Week 13 was any indication, we may finally be seeing a changing of the guard in the Buffalo backfield. Rookie James Cook was a late-round fantasy darling on many rosters as it appeared possible that he could take over what has been a disappointing Bills backfield with even just competent play on his part. That didn’t happen early in the year, but then this past week we saw him out-carry starter Devin Singletary by one and perhaps most importantly, we saw him catch six passes—something Singletary has done just four times in his four-year NFL career. It was assumed that Nyheim Hines was brought in to be the new pass-catching back in Buffalo when they acquired him prior to Week 9, but he’s now caught just two passes over his five games in Buffalo, while Cook is beginning to establish himself in the passing game. It’s too early to project that Cook will just take over the backfield entirely, but his passing game skill set might actually make him a better fantasy option than Singletary.

On the Fence: RB Devin Singletary

If we didn’t know about James Cook’s increased usage this past week, there really wouldn’t be much to worried about regarding Devin Singletary. The Buffalo back saw about the same volume that he normally does in a game that his team won by multiple scores and he was able to get into the end zone—something that he’s now done four times over his past four games. However, Cook’s six receptions in Week 13 were more than Singletary has had over his past four games combined, and he’s only topped that total once all season. The reality is that, unless he scores a touchdown, Singletary is just not giving fantasy managers enough upside to even be startable in most formats. Of course, he is delivering those touchdowns more weeks than not as of late, and the Bills are 10-point favorites in this one, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him sneak into the end zone again, but understand that he could very well deliver another single-point PPR fantasy day which would be pretty disappointing.

Fade: WR Gabriel Davis

Gabe Davis was able to get into the end zone on one of his two catches for 15 yards that he had in Week 13, but he was otherwise pretty pathetic in that contest and the touchdown didn’t even get him to a double-digit fantasy day. Davis has now been held to fewer than 12 fantasy points in five of his past six contests, one of which was against the Jets defense that he’ll be facing again this weekend. Davis was held to just two catches for 35 yards in that matchup—his second-lowest point total thus far in 2022. That was a surprisingly low-scoring contest and we should expect more from both teams here in Week 14, but Davis has sort of become just another one of the Bills’ plethora of “non-Stefon-Diggs” pass catchers that all have to fend for the scraps left over after the superstar wide receiver eats.

Prediction: Bills 27, Jets 20 ^ Top

Browns @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -5.5
Total: 46.5

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: RB Nick Chubb, WR Amari Cooper (hip)

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: TE David Njoku (knee)

Njoku was a bit of a surprise inactive last Sunday, missing his third game in the past five due to a knee injury. That it came after he’d returned in Week 11 was the surprising bit. It appears it was just a minor setback, however, as Njoku is expected to practice and play against the Bengals this week. Cleveland’s Monday Night dismantling of Cincy was one of the original two games that Njoku missed, and he was also absent for Deshaun Watson’s debut, so there are plenty of unknowns here. That being said, Njoku should serve as a nice safety valve for Watson, who struggled in his return. Plus, at a position so thin in fantasy contributors, Njoku is a viable TE1.

Fade: QB Deshaun Watson

Seeing his first regular-season action since Jan. 3, 2021, a span of 28 games, Watson rode the struggle bus against his former club. The Clemson product connected on just 12 of his 22 passes for 131 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. The rust was obvious, and it’ll be interesting to see how much getting those live reps under his belt helps Watson toward what the Browns are hoping is a rapid return to form. For fantasy owners, take the approach that you’ll believe it when you see it. After watching Cincinnati do a good job of slowing a red-hot Patrick Mahomes last Sunday, this isn’t the week to try your luck with Watson.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

No Brainers: QB Joe Burrow, RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tee Higgins

Favorite: N/A

On the Fence: WR Tyler Boyd

With Hayden Hurst (calf) likely to miss this divisional matchup, Boyd is the clear-cut No. 3 option on the outside behind Chase and Higgins. As we saw just last week, however, there are times that Boyd will be on par with at least one of the receivers above him on the depth chart. In that case, he matched Higgins’ five targets and finished with four grabs for 60 yards -- the one miss was a dropped touchdown pass that forced Jim Nantz to use the word “inconceivable.” As a flex, it’s conceivable Boyd could overdeliver.

Fade: RB Samaje Perine

Perine has served as the primary back over the past two-plus weeks as Mixon suffered a concussion in Week 11 and has missed consecutive games recovering from it. Perine has played well in relief, amassing 330 yards and 4 TDs, but the expectation is that Mixon will return in Week 14, and the Bengals have shown no inclination to give Perine many snaps when both backs are up. Expect that to continue this Sunday, and make sure you get Perine out of your lineup (assuming Mixon plays).

Prediction: Bengals 30, Browns 20 ^ Top

Texans @ Cowboys - (Caron)
Line: DAL -17.0
Total: 44.5

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Dameon Pierce

The once red-hot Dameon Pierce has cooled off in recent weeks, having been held to fewer than 15 fantasy points in now six straight games after his four-game stretch of being above that number earlier in the year. While he did have a two-game stretch with questionable usage, the Texans finally got back to giving him significant touches this past week when he carried the ball 18 times and caught three passes against the Browns in Week 13. Now on the road against an excellent Dallas defense in Week 14, we should be worried about Pierce’s efficiency, but his touch totals should again be excellent. The Texans are expected to be without both top wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, which will almost certainly lead to heavy usage for the rookie running back. Look for them to ride Pierce until the wheels come off in this one.

On the Fence: WR Chris Moore

With Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins expected to be sidelined this weekend, Houston’s already talent-deficient offense will have very few options to get the ball to aside from running back Dameon Pierce. If there’s someone who stands out at all, it’s probably wide receiver Chris Moore. We’ve seen him perform earlier this season when the Texans were without Cooks and Collins, particularly in Week 9 when he caught four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown against an excellent Philadelphia defense. He’s a low-floor option without massive upside, but he should be the top target in Houston's passing game this week.

Fade: Everyone Else

When Chris Moore is expected to be the top-producing pass catcher for the week, you know things are in shambles for the Texans. Houston has been held to 20 or fewer points scored in eight straight games so there’s just not a lot to get excited about here.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: QB Dak Prescott, WR CeeDee Lamb

Favorite: RB Ezekiel Elliott, RB Tony Pollard

Shared backfields are often extremely frustrating for fantasy managers, but the 2022 Dallas Cowboys have found a way to make multiple running backs into viable weekly fantasy starters. Tony Pollard has really been the star of the show, delivering over 20 fantasy points in now four of his past five games, but veteran Ezekiel Elliott has also been able to make fantasy managers happy by producing 15 or more fantasy points in five straight games played including at least one touchdown in every one of those contests. This highly productive duo now faces a Houston Texans defense that ranks dead last in stopping opposing fantasy running backs, so this looks like a potential smash opportunity for not just one, but both Dallas tailbacks.

On the Fence: WR Michael Gallup

We’ve now seen back-to-back weeks where Michael Gallup has been a fantasy-relevant wide receiver, marking the first time he’s done that all season. The Cowboys WR2 caught a pair of touchdowns this past week during Dallas’ blowout win over Indianapolis and he’s now seen at least seven targets in three of his past four games. He’s probably closer to a “favorite” than a “fade” at this point, but the Cowboys are by far the biggest betting favorite on the board this week, so don’t be surprised to see them running the ball heavily in this one and not relying on their vertical passing game quite as much.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Texans 16 ^ Top

Chiefs @ Broncos - (Krueger)
Line: KC -8.5
Total: 44.5

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce

Favorite: RB Isiah Pacheco

Ever since Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with an ankle injury, the Chiefs have split their running back duties between Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. Both have seen similar snap percentages but it’s Pacheco getting more opportunities (54 to 20), particularly in the running game where he’s averaged 17 carries over the last three weeks. Once non-existent in the passing game, the rookie has a modest three catches in his last two contests. Given the strength of the Broncos pass defense, I wouldn’t expect a ceiling game from the Chiefs offense, but there should be enough ground and pound to make Pacheco a viable RB2.

On the Fence: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

After six targets in both Week 11 and 12, it seemed like Skyy Moore might actually become a thing. Then the bagel hit in Week 13 against the Bengals (12 yds rushing) and we’re back searching for a secondary pass-catcher in this offense. JuJu is probably the safest bet, but hasn’t eclipsed more than 38 yards the last three weeks as he works his way back from a concussion. He has just 2 touchdowns on the season and the spread the wealth nature of this offense can work against anyone not named Kelce. JuJu is a viable Flex option in a Mahomes-led offense, but temper your expectations against a solid coverage unit.

Fade: N/A

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Jerry Jeudy

Surprisingly the Broncos are 21st in passing yards per game which isn’t great, but the considering the vibe around this team, you’d think they were dead last. What there are dead last in, is passing touchdowns (8); tied with Pittsburgh for the fewest. And this why Russell Wilson had his receivers have been terrible fantasy plays for much of the season. However, there is some life for Jeudy this week who gets a decent matchup and should vault into a dominant role in the gameplan with Courtland Sutton likely to miss with a hamstring injury. There simply isn’t anyone else to turn to on this offense with the exception of…

On the Fence: TE Greg Dulcich

The Broncos tight end is on the better skill position players on the roster so it would make sense to get him more involved with Sutton down. And to their credit, the Broncos did just that, as Dulcich saw 8 targets against the Ravens last week converting them into a 6-85-0 line. Expect to see him lined up all over the field in an attempt to create mismatches with the Chiefs linebackers and safeties. He certainly has the ability to beat the Chiefs in their man-coverage schemes. If the Broncos are going to score a touchdown through the air this week, it’s likely come from either Jeudy or Dulcich.

Fade: QB Russell Wilson, RB Latavius Murray

Wilson ranks 26th in quarterback fantasy points per game through 13 weeks (QBs with at least 4 starts). Ouch. That’s going to happen when you have only 8 TD passes this late in the season. Murray has 21, 14 and 21 touches his last three games finishing as the RB13, RB32 and RB28 respectively. He’s a volume based RB3 with RB2 upside if he’s able to score a highly elusive Broncos’ touchdown.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Broncos 13 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ 49ers - (Krueger)
Line: SF -3.5
Total: 37.5

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: WR Chris Godwin

Godwin has eight-straight games with at least six catches but has only topped 100 receiving yards once as the Bucs offense has shifted towards short and intermediate throws. He has seven games with double-digit targets and is 99 total targets lead the team. The missed connections with Mike Evans down the field have contributed to better PPR numbers for Godwin who is reportedly back to feeling like his normal self after an ACL injury last season. The 49ers defense in general has been great but their weak point is the WR position where the likes of Tyler Lockett, Cooper Kupp, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Greg Dortch and Tyreek Hill have all had 100-yard games against them.

Update: Leonard Fournette is expected to play.

On the Fence: RB Leonard Fournette (foot), Rachaad White

Leonard Fournette returned from his hip injury last week and played roughly 60% of the snaps, including most two-minute drill situation. Although, it should be noted that the Bucs brough White into the game for the last play of their game-winning drive and got him a touchdown. At best, it seems like the two will be splitting time almost evenly which caps the upside of both players and makes them middling RB2s on a weekly basis. Given this is worst possible matchup for fantasy running backs, I’d consider both Tampa RBs as Flex options in Week 14 with higher value in PPR leagues.

Fade: QB Tom Brady

Brady chucked it 54 times last week against the Saints for 281 yards and 2 TDs. As his 5.2 yards per attempt would indicate, it’s been a struggle for him connecting on the deep ball with Mike Evans. The short area throws to Chris Godwin and dump-offs to running backs Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White have become the norm for this passing offense. That makes good PPR plays out of those receivers and backs but until Brady starts connecting on some deeper throws, he going to struggle holding on to low-end QB1 value. The 49ers defense has only allowed 11 passing TDs on the season and only Patrick Mahomes has topped 300 yards against them. I’d be steering clear of Brady this week if I could.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: RB Christian McCaffrey

Favorite: WR Deebo Samuel

With Elijah Mitchell back on the shelf, the 49ers chose to add a few more touches to Christian McCaffrey’s plate rather than expanding the role of Jordan Mason or integrate Tyrion Davis-Price. They also kept Deebo involved in the running game by giving him four attempts (5 yds) to go along with 10 targets. He should be the offensive focus moving forward and the least likely of the two starting receivers to put up a bad game if Brock Purdy continues to display the accuracy inconsistencies he showed last week.

On the Fence: WR Brandon Aiyuk

The 49ers lost Jimmy Garoppolo early in last week’s game which resulted in a lot of work for Christian McCaffrey (25 touches). I expect a similar gameplan against the Bucs with fewer pass attempts which means less receiving volume for Brandon Aiyuk. His 9 targets from Brock Purdy last week resulted in 5 catches and 46 yards. His 82 catches still lead the team but the shift in starting quarterback could signal more reliance on Deebo and McCaffrey. Aiyuk was a comfortable WR2 most of the season but should probably be viewed more as a Flex option moving forward.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Buccaneers 23, 49ers 20 ^ Top

Panthers @ Seahawks - (Krueger)
Line: SEA -4.0
Total: 44.5

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB D’Onta Foreman

It’s no secret that Carolina would prefer to pound the ball with Foreman as long as the game flow doesn’t get out of hand. The Panthers starting running back has 24-plus carries in three times in his last five games including 26 carries in a narrow loss to the Falcons in Week 8 (37-34). Foreman suffered a foot injury in Week 12 and has been limited in practice this week, but the expectation is he’s going to play. He mentioned to reporters earlier in the week that he was 95% certain he was going to play. Assuming he does play, the matchup is juicy as the Seahawks have had trouble stopping opposing running backs, giving up five 100-yard rushing games on the season.

On the Fence: WR D.J. Moore

Moore is the unquestioned No.1 target among the receiving group but target numbers of 6, 5, 6, and 6 the last four games doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It certainly caps your upside. He got out of a three-game drought in Week 12 with a 4-103-1 line against a tough Denver secondary so there is proof he can get there on efficiency. The other wider receivers don’t see enough volume to be fantasy relevant… same goes the tight end position, so Moore’s WR2 value is probably safe even in a not-so-great matchup.

Fade: Sam Darnold

It wasn’t pretty for Darnold in his first start of the season against a difficult Denver defense back in Week 12. The result (11 of 19, 164-1-0) with a 58% completion rate was to be expected. A softer Seattle defense should provide some relief in theory but this offense will be dictated by their running game and frankly, the team lacks weapons on the perimeter outside of D.J. Moore and they don’t seem intent on throwing to their tight ends over the middle. Even with six teams on bye, you can find a better QB2.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: QB Geno Smith, WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett

The storybook season for Geno Smith continues with another solid performance last week against the Rams. Three more passing TDs and 367 yards through the air, good for a QB3 fantasy finish. There’s no reason for the Seahawks to let off the Geno gas now as their main running back Kenneth Walker is likely to miss this week’s game with a jammed ankle. Of course, as Geno goes, so goes his receivers. The concentration of targets for Metcalf and Lockett makes it easy on fantasy owners to deploy these two in their lineups as WR2s.

Update: Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas are expected to sit.

On the Fence: RB Travis Homer

With Kenneth Walker (ankle) and DeeJay Dallas (ankle) likely to miss this game we could Travis Homer in a significant role against the Panthers with Tony Jones likely to be used in a complementary role. Homer plays well in the pass game and should fit right in if the Seahawks choose to ride Geno Smith instead of their running attack. This game could turn ugly as Carolina’s defense is a bit underrated, but Homer is worth a look as a Flex option given we have six teams on a bye.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Seahawks 26, Panthers 19 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Chargers - (Krueger)
Line: MIA -3.0
Total: 54.5

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: WR Tyreek Hill

Favorite: QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Jaylen Waddle

Tua has been on a nice five-game stretch that’s seen him finish as the QB1, QB4, QB4, bye, QB17 and QB7 since Week 8. Having a couple speedsters like Hill and Waddle certainly helps, along with a head coach that’s willing to scheme to their offensive strengths. Even hitting an efficiency road bump last week (18-33) known as the 49ers defense, Tua was able to manage 295 yards and 2 TDs. We need to keep an eye on Waddle’s health as he left last week with a leg injury and later returned but finished with his lowest output of the season (1-9-0) on five targets. Assuming he’s good to go, expect a return to normalcy against a Chargers-D that just got wrecked by Davante Adams (8-177-2) a week ago.

On the Fence: RB Jeff Wilson, RB Raheem Mostert

In his press conference this week, Mike McDaniel was lamenting not getting his running backs more touches in last week’s game which saw Wilson and Mostert combine for 8 touches against their former team (SF). That can happen when the game flow turns negative as it did in Miami’s 33-17 loss to the 49ers. Also noteworthy, was Raheem Mostert played 61% of the snaps compared to Wilson’s 37%. This is a shift from what we’ve seen in recent weeks when Wilson has been the lead back. All of this uncertainty can create headaches for fantasy owner trying to decipher who is the correct play. The Chargers have given up seven 100-yard rushing games this season so if McDaniel chooses to give his RBs more work this week, it should pay off. Hopefully we get a clearer picture of who the lead back might be before kickoff.

Fade: TE Mike Gesicki

The Dolphins tight end has exactly 1 target in each of the last two games and is getting out-snapped by Durham Smythe. Any pass-catcher outside of Hill and Waddle are off limits in this offense.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: RB Austin Ekeler

Favorite: QB Justin Herbert, WR Keenan Allen

With a healthy game total of 51.5 both quarterbacks should have a solid, low-end QB1 floor, including Herbert who’s averaged 296 passing yards his last three games. He’s been a fringe QB1 this season with fewer spiked weeks than we saw just a season ago which can be attributed to his early-season rib injury. That injury is in the rearview mirror and we should be getting the best Herbert down the stretch. Keenan Allen has scored in back-to-back weeks and saw a healthy 14 targets last week against the Raiders. His catch rate was underwhelming (just 6 receptions) but there’s no mistaken who the lead receiver is on this team.

On the Fence: WR Josh Palmer

Palmer has been a nice fill-in much of the season, especially in PPR leagues, when Mike Williams and Keenan Allen have been sidelined by injury. He now has double-digit targets in four games including last week against the Raiders. Mike Williams (ankle) is back practicing this week which could give Herbert and the offense a needed boost should he be able to play effectively, but would be a downgrade for Palmer’s fantasy stock. Keep a close on Big-Mike’s status through the weekend and adjust your assessment of Palmer accordingly.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Chargers 24 ^ Top

Patriots @ Cardinals - (Krueger)
Line: NE -1.5
Total: 43.5

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: N/A

Favorite: RB Rhamondre Stevenson, TE Hunter Henry

The Patriots aren’t afraid to ride Stevenson when Damien Harris is sidelined by injury. Just look at last week when Rhamondre played all but one snap against the Bills. Kevin Harris got in the game and promptly botched a play and was immediately back on the bench. Harris injured his thigh in Week 12 and with this game being Monday night, we’ll have to keep close eye on his practice status this weekend. Assuming he’s out, then it’s wheels up for Rhamondre in a workhorse role where he’s averaged 7 targets in his last six games. He’s a PPR dream.

If you’re searching for a tight end play, Henry is a middling tight end (as most are) but he has the best matchup of the week. The Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points, the most yards and touchdowns to the position.

On the Fence: QB Mac Jones

If you watched last week’s game against the Bills you may have caught Mac Jones screaming about the play-calling on the sidelines. Bill Belichick isn’t one to grease the squeaky wheel but it may be the right move this week against the Cardinals. Arizona is tied with Kansas City for the most passing TDs allowed (24) and 10th in passing yards allowed (3073). It’s rare that the Patriots take a pass-heavy approach as Jones has just two 300-yard games under his belt this season, but a couple quick scores from the Cardinals early in this game could force New England’s hand.

Update: Jakobi Meyers is Out. DeVante Parker is viable.

Fade: Patriots’ WRs

Jakobi Meyers missed practice on Friday with a head injury. He’s the only reliable wide receiver in this offense as the Patriots love to use a plethora of players at the position. If Meyers does play, he could be a decent flex option, but in that scenario, I’d stay away from DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Tyquan Thornton as their roles and usage could change at a moment’s notice.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: WR DeAndre Hopkins

Favorite: QB Kyler Murray

In all likelihood, if the Cardinals are going to pull off a victory in this game it’s going to come from the arm and feet of Murray. The Arizona QB has three-straight games with at least two touchdown passes and another score on the ground against the Chargers in Week 12. He’s got Marquise Brown back from injury giving the offense another play-maker while Rondale Moore (groin) missed practice on Thursday and remains questionable for Monday night. Greg Dortch appears ready to play after his thumb injury kept him out Week 12.

On the Fence: RB James Conner

Beginning Week 10, Conner has played 96%, 78% and 97% of the running back snaps on offense, averaging 23 touches per game. That’s the kind of usage we want to see from our fantasy running backs and the team hasn’t shown any indication they want to give backup Keaontay Ingram a larger role. Standing in the way of Conner have a good game is the Patriots defense that has given up just two rushing TDs and three TDs overall to the position. If Belichick can focus on shutting down Hopkins without sacrificing his ability to stop the run, then we could see a sub-standard performance from Conner this week.

Fade: TE Trey McBride

With Zach Ertz out, the rookie tight end is playing a healthy number of snaps but him being on the field hasn’t translated to production in the box score. McBride has just 6 catches for 22 yards since Week 10 and with Marquise Brown back on the field, the tight end position is now fourth in the pecking order for targets.

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Patriots 23 ^ Top