Updated Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings | Sleepers | NFL DFS Picks
Looks like we made it. Look how far we've come my baby… I can't be the only one that had a crush on Shania Twain. She remains one of the only country music artists I ever enjoyed. Trust me, it says a lot that I could tolerate any country music, let alone intentionally listen to it and know the words. Not a fan?
You're crazy if you don't like Shania in one way or another, but in any case, congrats if you made it to the playoffs. As mentioned in the Waiver Wire column, it's time to gut your bench. Handcuffs, backup quarterbacks and tight ends and matchup-based DSTs should be your focus. The worst thing you can do is leave yourself open to scraping the waiver wire for a Week 16 quarterback and end up starting Jared Goff. Have a bunch of fringe starters and "depth" on your team?
Week 14 QB Sleepers
Colin Kaepernick, SF – Jake, are you mad?! After what happened last week, how can you suggest this?! Yes, I know Kaepernick's benching cost people wins and money in DFS. However, Kaepernick doesn't have to worry about weather anymore. He's home in San Francisco and then off to Atlanta and Los Angeles. There were reports that Kaepernick was tentative to run with his leg injury and the weather. That won't be an issue against the Jets. And yes, the Jets have a good run defense, but their pass defense is atrocious, and Kaepernick can run on any team. Look where I have him in the rankings. Is Kaep a must start? No. Is he a better option than some quarterbacks you're considering? Yes, especially with such a high ceiling.
Week 14 RB Sleepers
Jeremy Hill, CIN – In Hill's first two games with no Giovani Bernard, the numbers have been uninspiring. Totaling 82 yards against the Ravens actually deserves some kudos, but last week's touchdown masks Hill's inefficiency running the ball… namely 33 yards on 22 carries.
However, Hill's best game came against the Browns with nine carries for 168 yards and a touchdown, plus 24 yards receiving, and that was with Bernard in the mix. Even if you "take away" that 74-yard run in that game (hate when people suggest taking away plays, but bear with me), Hill still had eight carries for 94 yards. Only the 49ers are worse against the run. Hill has RB1 potential in Week 14.
Mike Gillislee, BUF – No, this isn't reactive and it's not calling for Gillislee to score twice again. In fact, I used Gillislee in a deeper league for the same reason I'm recommending him again this week – pure rushing volume in the Bills offense. LeSean McCoy should torch the Steelers poor run defense, but he's going to need a few breathers, and unfortunately for his owners, some of those come near the goal line and go to Gillislee. Even if Gillislee doesn't score, he could easily put up 40-50 or more rushing yards of his own, as the Bills main hope of stopping the Steelers will be with ball control.
Week 14 WR Sleepers
Broncos WRs – With 89 yards between them last week, many owners are going to be hesitant in using Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, especially in the first week of the playoffs. It's hard to bench either though, as the Titans not only allow the fourth most FPPG to receivers at 26.1, but that number jumps to 37.4 over their last three games. That numbers is also nearly seven points higher than second place and includes six touchdowns. I don't expect Paxton Lynch to throw for 300 and three, but it's tough to bench Thomas or Sanders this week given the matchup.
Malcolm Mitchell, NE – It was always about the snap count with Mitchell. Two weeks ago, Chris Hogan had 92 percent with Mitchell a mere 37. Last week, Mitchell saw 85 percent of the snaps, just one percent behind Hogan and more than Julian Edelman at 68 percent. Yes, Edelman was banged up, but Danny Amendola (and his 24 percent) is out, and the Patriots are running more three wide sets with Rob Gronkowski done for the year. As I previously mentioned, Mitchell's stop-and-go ability is running back-like and gets him open in space and deep. The Ravens have given up the second most touchdowns to receivers, which gives Mitchell a terrific opportunity to score.
Robby Anderson, NYJ – Nooooo, I don't want to use a receiver on the Jets with Bryce Petty at quarterback. However, if I'm looking for a home run play, Anderson is the call.
Petty clearly trusts Anderson more than any other receiver, as once he took over, Petty targeted Anderson 11 times. Petty only attempted 25 passes. That's a huge target share, and Quincy Enunwa didn’t see even one. Brandon Marshall had five come his way for reference, and I'd still play him over Anderson, but as you saw/can see, Petty loves him some Anderson and found him for a touchdown against the Colts.
Week 14 TE Sleepers
Antonio Gates, SD – No, I'm not yanking your leg with some of these. Yes, I know Gates had a goose egg against the Texans and just 37 yards last week, but he had scored in each of the prior three games, and the Panthers are on tap. The Panthers have passed over the Browns and Lions for most FPPG allowed to tight ends and are tied with both with nine tight end touchdowns allowed. The Panthers have given up a tight end touchdown in three straight games (NO, OAK, SEA), and Gates will look to make it four straight with Luke Kuechly still sidelined.
Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings | Week 14 Flex Rankings
Week 14 Blind Spot Players
In case you're new to this, the Fantasy Blind Spot refers to players that you want to target in tournaments, such as the Millionaire Maker, etc… contrarian players if you will. They usually have one of the following characteristics:
1) have been performing well but haven't had a breakout game or big enough numbers to get Fantasy players talking, and/or
2) are in a price range of other more popular option, and/or
3) have frustrated with disappointing performances but have a great matchup to finally break through
DraftKings Week 14 Sleepers
Russell Wilson $6600 – This is mainly due to people overreacting to the weather. Unless we're talking about a foot of snow or heavy rain, wet weather actually benefits the offense. The players know where they're going, and putting defenders on their heels on a slick field only helps the offensive players elude them. Wilson has his feet back under him and makes a great pairing with either of his receivers in DFS. The Packers secondary couldn't stop a peewee team right now. Get excited.
Jeremy Hill $5800 – While I already talked about Hill above, I have to mention him again given the price. Hill sits between Jay Ajayi and Thomas Rawls. His green matchup will make Hill stand out against the other two, but that's not why he's here. Obviously, that would seem to put Hill in the bright spot. However, many will still be reluctant to use Hill is cash. In fact, I would almost do the opposite of what you normally should with Hill: fade him in GPPs and play him in cash. That price is simply too good for the upside he brings, and with a guaranteed 20 touches, his floor is higher than most.
Todd Gurley $5000 – It's sad that we have to include Gurley as a blind spot pick and that many people will still want to avoid using him. It's also sad that he's $800 less than Hill! Yet, here we are. The good news is that the Falcons have been torched by running backs their last three games with 78 Fantasy points allowed. They have also allowed a league-high 94 receptions, 779 yards and five touchdowns to running backs in the passing game. If Gurley is ever going to give us a glimpse of last year's potential, it's now (and in Week 16 against the 49ers).
DeAndre Hopkins $5800 – As with Gurley, it's really come to this, hasn't it? Blame Brock Osweiler all you want, but being ticked off at him doesn't soften the blow of how poor Hopkins season is in comparison to last year. Nevertheless, as seen last week, Hopkins can do enough work after the catch to score on his own. He doesn't need Osweiler to hit him in the end zone to find it, and just like Hopkins, Vontae Davis has fallen off quite a bit from last year. Davis isn't a worrisome matchup anymore, and in fact, he's been one to exploit. Hopkins could sleepwalk his way into 3x value or more this week… assuming Osweiler doesn't muck it up.
Dontrelle Inman $4800 – Fair warning, but every time I'm ready to buy into Inman, he ghosts us. However, he's been the second best option for Philip Rivers for a while now, and Inman also has the best matchup of all three receivers this week with Leonard Johnson on him. In fact, Travis Benjamin will like draw James Bradberry more than the others will, and that's the worst matchup of the trio. If Rivers throws three touchdowns (which is likely against the Panthers weak secondary), one of them likely ends up in Inman's hands.
Jason Witten $3100 – It's the Giants! No, really, it's as simple as that. Don't overthink it.
Going all the way back to Week 1 when Witten faced the Giants the first time, tight ends and middle-of-the-field receivers do work on the Giants defense. Their linebackers simply struggle in pass coverage. Many people will be off Witten after last week's goose egg, but this price is drool inducing, as simply repeating his first game against the Giants would give him 5x value!
FanDuel Week 14 Sleepers
Carson Palmer $7400 – Palmer is far from the quarterback we saw last year, but so are his receivers. They can't stay healthy, they're not inconsistent… heck, they're nonexistent sometimes. Palmer does have three games with at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, giving him scores of 24.16, 23.52 and 23.9. The Dolphins pass defense has fallen apart the last four weeks with three touchdowns given up to Philip Rivers, three to Colin Kaepernick and four to Joe Flacco with an average yardage of 336. This is an intriguing play.
Lamar Miller $7200 – I'm not intentionally trying to pick 2016 letdowns, that's just what the pricing (appropriately) reflects and allows for some interesting values. Miller's last two games were terrible, but he does have a 31.3 effort on the season and six other double-digit games that would near 2x value. The Colts have seven games of allowing at least 100 rushing yards, all of which came with a touchdown via a running back rush or reception. As a matter of fact, Miller's 31.3 game was against the Colts.
Jonathan Stewart $6500 – Stewart is as boom or bust as they come. He has three games over 20 points and five under seven. You know the risk you run with Stewart, but if he checks in with one of his two-touchdown games (all three of his 20-plus point performances), you have a big leg up on the competition because no one ever uses him. The Chargers are not only weak against the run; they also have the third most rushing touchdowns allowed (13). The matchup is right for Stewart.
Demaryius Thomas $6900 – Given the quarterback play and situation in Denver, Thomas won't have a high ownership. Even if Paxton Lynch is at quarterback, Thomas has plenty of upside this week. The Titans not only allow the fourth most FPPG to receivers, they lead the league over their last three games (league's last four weeks) by nearly seven points more than second place. In their last three games, the Titans have given up video game numbers with 58 catches, 772 yards and six touchdowns to receivers.
Jordan Matthews $5900 – With receivers such as Matthews, Fantasy players often need to be told (or reminded) that they play the role of slot flanker. Most of the time, that keeps them away from top-end corners such as Josh Norman. On paper, Matthews will match up with Kendall Fuller, and even if Matthews sees Norman half of the game and Fuller the other half, it's an exploitable situation. Fuller has been roasted this year, and the Eagles need Matthews on the field after the disaster of Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor last week… check that, this year.
Cameron Brate $5900 – Brate has four touchdowns in the last six games and is second on the team in red zone targets (14) behind Mike Evans (17). Brate actually has more receptions than Evans in the red zone and the same amount of touchdowns. He's been more efficient with his targets, and don't forget that Brate didn't see the field much in the first two weeks. The Buccaneers host the Saints this week, and while the Saints defend tight ends somewhat well, it will be hard to stop Brate from scoring in a matchup where the Buccaneers need to keep up.
Main Photo Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
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