Preemptive Strike: Week 14
Ah, you smell that? The aroma of the playoffs in the air is getting stronger, as the run to the championship begins now. It’s time to make whatever additions are necessary to get you to hoist the trophy at the end of this journey. Fantasy managers should be adding depth at every position, especially running backs and wide receivers as an injury now might derail your quest for the title. Here are several options for you to hopefully get you to the promised land.
Phillip Rivers, Colts - If you are in need of a quarterback for a run at a championship look no further than Phillip Rivers. The veteran quarterback has two matchups in the next couple of weeks that are favorable and potential shootouts versus the Raiders and Texans. The only worry is that you may need a back-up plan for the finals because the Colts have a date with the Steelers in Week 16, as they allow the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Rivers is a great option to add before the waiver wire rush next.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins - Tua Tagovailoa was back in the starting line-up for the Dolphins last Sunday after missing the previous game due to a thumb injury. In his return, Tagovailoa tossed for 296 yards and a touchdown. This week he faces the Chiefs who are surely going to jump out ahead of Dolphins early and Tagovailoa will be needed to throw the ball early and often to try and keep up with the Champs. The Dolphins' backfield is in shambles as their top three running backs are out for the contest due to either injury of COVID-19. Add Tagovailoa now for match-up purposes as he will be involved in shootouts this week and in finals versus the Raiders.
Daniel Jones, Giants - Daniel Jones missed last week’s contest due to a sore hamstring but returns in time for a possible shootout with the Cardinals. Jones will also have a favorable matchup next week versus the Browns who are giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Add Jones now for free before you will have to pay next week.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles - It’s time for the Jalen Hurts era to begin. Carson Wentz has failed miserably this season to get the Eagles on track this year. Early on Wentz had the excuse that most of his receiving options were injured, but since Week 10 almost all of his weapons have been back and he still has not gotten the Eagles offense back in gear. Now Hurts enters as the starting quarterback to spark the offense with not only his arm but his legs as well. Add him now before it's too late.
Baker Mayfield, Browns - Baker Mayfield’s following two games are highly unfavorable, with dates against the Ravens and Giants who are both top-10 versus quarterback fantasy production this year. After that, the Browns play against the Jets in the finals which would be an excellent matchup for fantasy managers who's starter has a tough matchup in Week 16. Mayfield is a great quarterback to add to pair with your starter for matchup purposes and depth.
Mike Glennon, Jaguars - In deeper leagues, Mike Glennon is a great streaming option for Week 14. The Jaguars will be playing from behind once again this week and the Titans do allow the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Tyler Johnson, Jets - Monitor the status of Frank Gore leading up to kick-off as he is in the concussion protocol. If Gore is to miss this week Tyler Johnson should be added in all league formats as he will get the bulk of the carries and has a highly favorable opportunity to deliver big-time in the playoffs for fantasy managers. Last week after taking over running back duties for the Jets, Johnson delivered on his 22 carries with 104 yards and one touchdown performance.
DeAndre Washington, Dolphins - As previously mentioned the Dolphins are missing their top three running backs (Myles Gaskins, Salvon Ahmed, and Matt Brieda) this week due to either COVID-19 or injury. This opens the door for DeAndre Washington to have a major role in the Dolphins offense this week as he has already been named the starter. Washington can be used as a dual-threat as not only he can run, he can also be used in the passing attack, although Patrick Laird may be used more in passing situations. Fantasy managers that are in a bind and need a running back in deeper leagues Washington may be your key for victory this week.
Jeffrey Wilson, 49ers - Jeffrey Wilson is Raheem Mostert's insurance policy but also has stand-alone value as he is getting some touches already in the 49ers offense. He is averaging 10.5 touches a game over his last two games and would be an RB2 if Mosert would get injured once again.
Boston Scott, Eagles - Boston Scott is Miles Sanders’s insurance policy and would be PPR gold mine if Sanders were to get injured and miss time like he did earlier this season.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys - Tony Pollard is Ezekiel Elliot’s insurance policy and should be owned in all league formats at this point.
Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team - Once Antonio Gibson went down last week with a toe injury, Peyton Barber’s number got called to help out the running game. J.D. McKissic is the running back to own in WFT’s backfield if Gibson is out, but Barber is a name to add in deeper standard leagues for fantasy managers that are in a pinch, though he may be touchdown dependent to be prosperous for your fantasy squad.
Ito Smith, Falcons - It appears that Ito Smith is the true insurance policy for Todd Gurley, as it was Smith who produced when Gurley was out a couple of weeks ago not Brian Hill. Smith is a solid depth add for Gurley and non-Gurley owners in deeper leagues.
Rashad Penny, Seahawks - Rashad Penny is nearing his long-awaited return to the Seahawks lineup. Penny has been practicing and is still on the PUP list, so you can add Penny now and stash him on your IR spot for later if you have the roster space.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys - With the return of Andy Dalton to the Cowboys' starting lineup, it has made Michael Gallup a relevant fantasy player once again. Over his last two contests, Gallup has averaged 9.5 targets and has totaled 13 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Even though there are plenty of weapons for Dalton to choose from it appears he does have some chemistry cooking with Gallup and fantasy managers should snatch him up before other league mates do.
Keke Coutee, Texans - Keke do you love me? That might be fantasy manager's new favorite song if you had happened to add Keke Coutee prior to last week’s contest against the Colts defense, as he exploded for eight catches for 141 yards against the Colts. He may have a tough matchup this week versus the Bears, Coutee will be one of Deshaun Watson’s go-to targets moving forward. The wideout should be on the WR3/Flex radar not only this week but for the rest of the season in PPR leagues. Press the add button on your waiver wire screen and enjoy the ride.
Allen Lazard, Packers - Allen Lazard has been on a snap count since his return from a core muscle injury, but his usage will continue to grow in the offense going forward. Add Lazard with a rest of season mindset as he could pay huge dividends deep in your fantasy playoff run.
Tim Patrick, Broncos - One of Drew Locke’s favorite targets has been Tim Patrick this season. With Jerry Jeudy playing through a sore ankle over the last weeks, Patrick came up big last week with a couple of touchdowns. Patrick is a name to add in 12-team leagues.
Breshad Perriman, Jets - Breshad Perriman could be in store for a huge game this week with Denzel Mims out this week due to personal reasons. With the Jets facing the Seahawks who are allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, Perriman could be looking at WR3 numbers for this week. Perriman is only 20% owned in Yahoo leagues and should be added in 12-team leagues as a good streaming option this week.
Henry Ruggs, Raiders - Oh if only Henry Ruggs could get the ball in his hands more often. Ruggs is a game-breaker that is a boom or bust kind of player but over the last couple of weeks, he has been targeted nine times which is hopefully a hope of things to come. He can be an add for 14-team or deeper leagues.
Laviska Shenault, Jaguars - Speaking of game-breakers, Laviska Shenault is another rookie who has boom capabilities but has been underutilized for most of the season. He has a favorable match-up this week against the Titans who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. Shenault also gets a couple of touches in the rushing game as well. He is another wideout to add in deeper league formats.
Russell Gage, Falcons - Russell Gage alert! With Julio Jones has already been ruled out for Week 14 so add Gage if you’re a Jones owner in deeper leagues as he may come through for you in your pivotal playoff match-up.
Gabriel Davis, Bills - A name to add in deeper leagues is Gabriel Davis. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games. The rookie’s role in the offense has grown immensely since John Brown landed on IR a few games ago.
Irv Smith Jr., Vikings - The tight end that I really would like to add to most line-ups this week in 12-team leagues is Irv Smith Jr. The tight end has missed the last couple of games due to a groin injury but is slated to return in Week 14. What makes Smith Jr. so enticing is that Kyle Rudolph is currently listed as doubtful for this week’s contest and if indeed Rudolph is ruled out, Smith Jr. should be in store for a great opportunity to be fantasy productive and could post close to TE1 numbers.
Jordan Reed, 49ers - The Jordan Reed revenge game narrative shall begin now. I’m sure Reed has been looking forward to this game all season long. Reed played for the Washington Football Team for seven years and was highly productive when healthy. The WFT allowed him to leave after the 2018 season. Now after healing up in 2019 Reed has proved that he can still be a top-notch tight end in the game if given the opportunity as long as health is on his side. Reed should be owned in 12-team leagues.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys - Dalton Schultz is a tight end that hovers around seven to ten fantasy points a week and is what fantasy managers should expect moving forward. He is your basic floor play at tight end.
Trey Burton, Colts - It would be great if there were fewer mouths to feed at the tight end position in the Colts offense as there are three good tight ends on the roster. But for my money, I will still choose Trey Burton as my tight end in this offense to own. He has the best receiving skills of the three and could post TE1 numbers on any given Sunday.
Tyler Eifert, Jaguars - Since Mike Glennon has taken over as quarterback for the Jaguars, Tyler Eifert has become fantasy relevant once again. He has scored 10 fantasy points in each of his last two weeks and could be in store for another double-digit fantasy points performance this week as he faces a Titans team that allows the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Eifert should be added in 14-team leagues and tight end premium leagues.
Cole Kmet, Bears - Cole Kmet is an upside tight end who appears to be starting to take over as the tight end to own in the Bears offense. Last week when he finally received seven targets in a game Kmet came through with five receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Kmet is another tight end to add in 14-team leagues and tight end premium leagues.
If you would like to further discuss this or have any fantasy questions you may reach me on Twiter at @smooth1074.