Week 14 Fantasy Football Workshop: Win Your League
Week 14 Fantasy Football Workshop
Every week in the fantasy football workshop, I will go through all the important news + notes and look at any important statistical oddities that can improve our process in fantasy football (and help our rosters) while also posting my rest-of-season rankings. The idea behind this space is to give readers an insight into how rankings are made and for all of us to keep track of players’ values throughout the course of the season.
Week 13+14 Fantasy Football News And Notes
-Chris Godwin underwent a procedure to have pins removed from his surgically repaired finger, which caused him to miss practice on Tuesday. It is expected that he will play on Sunday against the Vikings, but there is probably some threat of decreased effectiveness with the finger injury.
-The Carolina Panthers are dealing with their own mini-COVID outbreak. The team on Monday put Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, DT Derrick Brown, DT Zach Kerr, LB Shaq Thompson, OT Greg Little, and P Michael Palardy on the reserve/COVID-19 list. You might notice that both Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore are on the list. If they are not able to play on Sunday, Pharoh Cooper and Seth Roberts would play as starting wide receivers and we may see a resurgence of Ian Thomas’ fantasy value for the first time this season.
-It is not particularly surprising but The Athletic’s Bengals beat writer is reporting that AJ Green will not be back with the team in 2021. Given the emergence of Tee Higgins, Green has basically no role in the Cincy offense. While the team is overloaded with the position now, if John Ross, Green, and Auden Tate are all gone next year, the team might be in the free-agent market for another impact WR.
-Antonio Gibson suffered an injury that allowed him only one drive on Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Peyton Barber did his usual battering ram impersonation, this would shift a massive amount of fantasy value to JD McKissic who is the more versatile Washington Football Team back. If Gibson were to not play, McKissic would be a clear starter in 12-team PPR leagues.
-Darrynton Evans has finally been activated from the injured reserve. While Jeremy McNichols and Dont’a Foreman have done decently in their small stints in the Titans backfield, it is Evans who might actually threaten some of The Big Dog’s playing time and offer the Titans a slightly different look on offense. He is worth a speculative pickup at the moment.
-The Falcons have now publicly stated that Todd Gurley is dealing with a knee injury, which explains why Ito Smith out-snapped Gurley this last week even though Gurley “started” the game. I can’t imagine wanting to start Gurley in any format for the rest of the season, as his only way of “getting there” will be short-yardage touchdowns.
-Coach Jon Gruden said that we “shouldn’t expect” running back Josh Jacobs for the Raiders game in Week 14. While Devontae Booker mostly disappointed in his audition against the Jets, he will remain in a 50/50 timeshare with Jalen Richard. The Raiders play as home underdogs to the Indianapolis Colts, which probably slightly favors a Richard-friendly game script. Neither will be clear cut starts.
-The Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is not committing to Christian McCaffrey being back for the teams’ Week 14 game. He stated that he is hopeful that CMC will be able to play (and we aren’t worried about a reduced workload) but that it isn’t a certainty. It seems you can probably plan on starting McCaffrey but have a backup plan ready.
Week 13+14 Team Level Fantasy Football Analysis And Player Usage Notes
-Last year one of my favorite things in fantasy football was using the Air Yards charts to create something I called the “Unrealized Air Yards” chart as well as “Unrealized Fantasy Points” which was basically just to see how many fantasy points wide receivers were leaving on the field. The formula is not tricky, it is just Air Yards subtracted by actual yards as well as yards after the catch.
This is the table for the last month of the season (minus the Tuesday Night game):
-Hollywood Brown has a great chance to come good on Tuesday night against the Cowboys. His involvement has been as good as ever, but his efficiency is way down. Chase Claypool, after running hotter than the sun, is now just running bad. I’d look for that to turn around in Weeks 14-16. Antonio Brown is getting fed in Tampa Bay but doesn’t have the same skills he did at 29. Justin Jefferson is a fantasy football god.
-These are the players who have scored the most points UNDER expectation this year, per Rotoviz’s weekly stat explorer:
-No surprise, this list is filled with dusty names like Chris Herndon and Nick Vannett. It is interesting to see Diontae Johnson, a player that many people view as uniquely talented, as a player who scores fewer than an expected amount of fantasy points. With an RB1 workload, Myles Gaskin is also a surprising addition to this list, thanks to his horrible luck at the goal line. Also, just a great reminder not to draft WRs over the age of 32.
-We are in a time of truly great WR play. This is a list of the 35 best rookie WR seasons in terms of yards per game:
-Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk, and CeeDee Lamb are having top 1% seasons all-time for rookie WRs. That is not even counting encouraging starts from the likes of Michael Pittman and Jalen Reagor. Using your 2021 first-round dynasty rookie picks to buy up 2020 rookie WRs is going to be a very smart use of capital.