Strong Fantasy streamers for Week 14
Let me tell you about my home league. It’s the league I care about most, more than any industry league. Let’s face it, we all do. We want to beat our friends, family and co-workers. This is a deep superflex league in which we start three RBs and four WRs along with the flex positions. I’ve had a monster lead pretty much since Week One. However, I’ve had more than my share of injuries. I lost Derrius Guice before the season started, then Marshawn Lynch and Jack Doyle in season along with some lesser players. No big deal, I know. Then, the Fantasy gods decided to get involved in my league. I lost James Conner and A.J. Green on Sunday. Wednesday, I lost Emmanuel Sanders. The only way I could lose this league was because of injuries, and that’s happening. Why do I bring this up? Well, because I’m aggravated and because depth is so important. Speaking of that depth, I had Malcolm Brown on that team also (Todd Gurley owner) and even he is out for the rest of the regular season. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you prepare the gods are just out to get you. Here are some players I will have to look at this season for my team and that you may want to pick up for your team as well.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: The question here is, “what will the Cowboys offensive game plan be?” Will they attack the weakness on the defense or will they continue what has been their recipe for success, the run game? If it’s attack the defense, Dak could have a big day. If not, then he will need to connect on the deep shots he takes to pay off for Fantasy.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: It looks like LJax will get another start this week in place of Joe Flacco. He’s been a running machine through his first three games as starter, but facing the Chiefs he will have to throw more than the coaching staff and Fantasy owners would probably like. Still, the upside is there if he can hit on a big play or two.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: Like most, I like Mayfield, but who would you start him over? I know Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady haven’t been great this season, but would you have the intestinal fortitude to bench either one for Mayfield in what is likely the first-round of the playoffs? I doubt I could do that unless I needed the upside. Maybe you can start him over a Kirk Cousins-type, but even that is risky.
LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions: Kerryon Johnson is expected to miss this week once again, keeping Blount the starting RB for another week. Blount will be a low-end RB2 and will need a TD to pay off for Fantasy, but every starting RB has value. Do you want to start him? No, but this isn’t the worst matchup for this offense either.
Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Gordon isn’t going to play this week, so once again Jackson and Austin Ekeler will split the role. Jackson actually looked better than Ekeler on Sunday, and the Chargers may be worried about how the long season is playing out on Ekeler. They may elect to keep his role the same as it was when Gordon was healthy in order to keep him fresh for the ROS and thus give Jackson, who hasn’t been used anywhere near as much this season, the larger share of the touches this week.
Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers: This isn’t the greatest of matchups for any 49ers’ RB, but with Matt Breida out (ankle), Wilson could make for a solid start here. Wilson had a big game against the Seahawks last week, but Seattle hasn’t been good versus the run all season. The Broncos will present a different challenge, but you’re still starting Wilson as a RB2.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers: I know head coach Mike Tomlin has stated that he will use a RBBC approach with James Conner sidelined, but Samuels should still lead that committee. Might the Steelers throw more than run with Samuels? Sure, but he’s a good pass catcher as well. Stevan Ridley could also be a claim this week should you believe the Steelers will indeed split the backfield evenly here.
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Adams may be the starting RB for the Eagles, but they are still using Corey Clement and now Sproles. Yes, you’re starting Adams should you have the option, but he’s not a pass-catching threat and if the Eagles were to fall behind in games and be forced to throw the ball, Sproles would be the beneficiary in PPR leagues.
Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns: Callaway should’ve had two big plays last week, but one was called back via penalty and he fumbled while going into the end zone on the other. The Browns will throw the ball and they will take their deeps shots, so I’m willing to give Callaway a go once again.
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos: Emmanuel Sanders has been lost for the season due to Achilles tear. This vaults Sutton to WR1 status. Naturally this means his value raises, but keep in mind, he will also face more defensive scrutiny as there is little else for defenses to worry about in the passing game. DeSean Hamilton could also be a play in deeper leagues.
Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Humphries has touchdowns in three straight games. That alone should be enough to put him in your lineup. The Bucs have to throw as their defense is poor and running game average at best. It doesn’t hurt any that DeSean Jackson may be out for this game, if not the ROS, as well.
John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals: With A.J. Green out for the season, Ross once again vaults to the WR2 position for the Bengals. Ross has the speed to get past any secondary, but remember, all of those TDs he scored a few weeks ago came with Andy Dalton at QB, not Jeff Driskell.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers: Pettis has been hot of late and has three TDs in his last two games. Pettis will also be up against a Broncos’ secondary that will be without it’s top CB in Chris Harris. One word of caution: Pierre Garcon is practicing this week and could return to action and Marquise Goodwin will return from a personal absence, there just might not be enough targets to go around.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys: If you do believe the Cowboys will throw the ball around the field Sunday, then Gallup will be your man. Gallup is a deep threat who has caught several long balls this season and would have several more if not for poor throws by Prescott. With Amari Cooper on the other side and Ezekiel Elliott toting the rock, it’s not like defenses will be worried about Gallup.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers: In what should be a shock to no one, Greg Olsen is out for the season with yet another foot injury. Thomas isn’t a big-time prospect, but with TE being the vast wasteland it’s been so far this season, it seems any TE has value. Beggars can’t be choosers at this point in the season.
Buffalo Bills: The problem for the Bills this season hasn’t been the defense, it’s the lack of playmakers on offense. This week they play the offensively-challenged Jets, who will start Sam Darnold once again. Darnold was a turnover machine for most of this season. The Bills will be gunning for an interception or three.
New York Giants: It’s not the Giants have a great DST—they don’t—and they just may have lost their best defensive player for the season in Landon Collins, but Washington doesn’t have an offense. They lost several more OL on Monday. They will be starting Mark Sanchez at QB, who just signed with the team two weeks ago. They don’t have any playmakers on offense. It’s risky, but the Giants DST should do well here.