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Fantasy Football Rundown: Starts, Sits, & Everything In-Between for Week 14

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Rundown: a weekly article written by yours truly in which I give at least one sentence on every single fantasy relevant player for Week 14. Starts, sits, sleepers, busts, DFS plays, you name it, I talk about it here. Be warned, this is a beast of a piece. If you’re looking for a specific player, I recommend using your web browser’s search function to head straight to said player. Enjoy reading!

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
Over/Under Points Scored: 48.5
Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott – Washington’s defense, aided by solid play from CBs William Jackson III and Kendall Fuller on the perimeter, has improved since their Week 9 bye. Dallas continues to hurt its chances of winning by force-feeding RB Ezekiel Elliott touches despite his balky knee as well. Expectations for Prescott should remain high though as he’s had Washington’s number in the past. Although he missed both WFT bouts in 2020 on IR, the totals for 2019’s Week 2 and Week 17 games are sights to behold. Week 2: 26-of-30 passing for 269 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 5 carries, and 69 yards. Week 17: 23-of-33 passing for 303 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 3 carries, and 35 yards. He remains a fantasy QB1.

WR CeeDee Lamb – With Amari Cooper back in the lineup, Lamb’s running the majority of his route lined up in the slot, ensuring light doses of the aforementioned Jackson and Fuller. Fantasy WR1.

WR Amari Cooper – Cooper was far from 100% last week after a tough bout with COVID-19. He should be far healthier now with a good shot at building on his strong 2020 outings against the Football Team; 7 catches on 7 targets for 80 yards and 6 catches on 8 targets for 112 yards and 1 touchdown.  Borderline WR1/2.

WR Michael Gallup – WFT has done a good job of limiting explosive pass plays this year so Gallup’s a volatile, back-end WR3.

TE Dalton Schultz – Not as dominant as he was with starting WRs out but he’s a mainstay of Dallas’ offense at this point as has a clearly defined, helpful role. Locked-in top-12 TE play.

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Zeke recently revealed that he’s about a month away from his knee fully recovering–which, of course, assumes he doesn’t suffer any setbacks and that’s far from a guarantee. That said, backfield-mate Tony Pollard recently revealed he tore (degree unknown) the plantar fascia in one of his feet on last week’s 58-yard touchdown run. Pollard is a game-time decision and the injury ensures a high-volume of touches for Elliott in Week 14. He’s a mid-to-high RB1.

RB Tony Pollard – Pollard’s intended touch counts over the last 4 weeks (plus kick returns): 18 (1), 9 (2), 14 (3), and 11 (1). Zeke’s intended touch counts over the last 4 weeks: 17, 15, 17, 16. This was a 1A/1B situation but as mentioned above, Pollard is now less healthy than Zeke is which drops Pollard from the high-end RB2 zone to an RB3.

Washington Football Team

QB Taylor Heinicke – Heinicke is going to be running for his life. Dallas is getting massive reinforcements along the defensive line this week as starters DE Randy Gregory and DT Neville Gallimore are expected to return to play immediately after being activated from Injured Reserve. Rotational, impact DT Trysten Hill has completed his one-game suspension and will also be back in action this week as well. Back-end QB2.

WR Terry McLaurin – McLaurin has never actually had a bad game against Dallas. Through 3 NFL contests against the division foe, McLaurin’s gone 5-of-9 for 62 yards and 1 touchdown, 7-of-11 for 90 yards and 1 touchdown, and 7-of-9 for 92 yards. It’s a very tough matchup but he just might have their number. Volatile WR2.

WR Adam Humphries – WR8.

WR Dyami Brown – Dallas is top-5 in both total explosive pass plays allowed (50, SharpFootballStats.com) and explosive pass play rate (11%). Outrageously volatile WR7/DFS-only guy.

WR Curtis Samuel – Cannot trust him in redraft (groin). Although his single reception last week got him to positive fantasy points (0.30), he finished with -2 yards.

TE John Bates – Filling in for Logan Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones, Bates is not inside the position’s top-24.

RB Antonio Gibson – J.D. McKissic should return from his Week 13 concussion-based absence but that doesn’t mean that Gibson’s receiving work will take too big of a hit. With both backs healthy in Weeks 10-12, coming off their Week 9 bye, Gibson trailed JDM in routes run, 40 to 47, and targets, 11 to 9, per PFF.com. In Weeks 10-13, Gibson’s 95 carries are second among all NFL backs behind Jonathan Taylor’s 101–the next closest back, Joe Mixon, has just 77 to his name during that span. Gibson’s a locked-in RB1 but his nagging shin injury remains a concern regarding his floor.

Update 12/12/21: J.D. McKissic is out. Antonio Gibson’s floor/ceiling rise. Wendell Smallwood is an RB4.

J.D. McKissic – Floor-play RB4.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Over/Under Points Scored: 43.5
Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Trevor Lawrence – The wheels have fallen off. Borderline QB2/3.

WR Marvin Jones Jr. – The Titans’ defense has made strides in recent weeks and the Jags’ passing attack is in disarray. WR5.

WR Laviska Shenault – After telling media that he was going to scheme up more touches for Shenault both on the ground and through the air, Urban Meyer unveiled a 5-target, 3-carry Shenault-game plan that resulted in a grand total of 3 catches and 31 yards from scrimmage. DFS-only guy.

WR Laquon Treadwell – Somehow now running as the No. 1 WR, Treadwell is still far from being a coveted fantasy asset. WR5.

TE James O’Shaughnessy – Jacksonville did their best to force-feed the ancient, subpar tight end last week, funneling six targets his way. He caught 2 of them for 13 yards. Ignore him.

RB James Robinson – Robinson (knee/heel) is far from 100% but Meyer was running him out there late in a blowout loss last week. He’s a back-end RB2 for now but we’ll update as we learn more about his health.

RB Carlos Hyde – Bench stash at best right now.

Tennessee Titans

QB Ryan Tannehill – The health and availability of JAX edge rusher Josh Allen is pivotal here. He and fellow edge man Dawuane Smoot have kept the otherwise awful Jacksonville defense alive this year–their secondary is bottom-2 in both interceptions (5) and passes defended (31). Allen missed time in last week’s game after suffering a shoulder injury. His status for Week 14 is undecided at this time. Tannehill has a makeshift receiving corps though so he’s a high-end QB2 at best. For now, mid-tier.

WR Julio Jones – Jones has been activated from IR but still not looking 100% per Dr. David Chao. He’d be a volatile top-36 play with target hog upside if active.

WRs Cody Hollister and Dez Fitzpatrick – Career backup Hollister ran as a full-time perimeter player before the Titans’ Week 13 bye but the rookie Fitzpatrick holds far more potential and the team has to know that. Expect the “post-bye rookie bump” to be in full effect. Back-end WR6.

WR Chester Rogers – Primary slot man Rogers is set to duel with backup slot DB Rudy Ford this week. Ford’s more “never was” than a “has been”. Fantasy WR6.

WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine – The best of the bunch, NWI will cycle between the perimeter and the interior. Per PFF.com, A.J. Brown was far and away the most targeted Titan vs zone coverage, Jacksonville’s bread and butter. Although NWI is no AJB, he is his direct backup and could siphon targets away from the rest of the WRs, due to his role. Fantasy WR6.

TE Geoff Swaim – Tennessee tight ends have a great track record against Jacksonville. In two games last year, their irritatingly deep position group went 6-of-6 for 59 yards and 1 touchdown and 8-of-9 for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. Swaim is not a reliable redraft player but he is the best of the bunch and could be fired up if necessary. He should absolutely be used in DFS lineups. MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser are contrarian DFS options.

RB Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman – Over the Titans’ last two games, Hilliard’s led the backfield in snaps (57%), is No. 2 in carries (19 carries, 166 yards, 1 touchdown, has fumbled twice but only lost 1), No. 1 in routes run (52, PFF.com), and No. 1 in receiving usage (12 targets, 9 catches, 49 yards). Foreman is No. 2 in snaps (34%), No. 1 in carries (26 carries, 124 yards, 1 fumble that was lost), No. 2 in routes run (16), and No. 2 in receiving usage (2 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards). Foreman may be given grinding ground work but he’s no longer an explosive player post-Achilles rupture. Hilliard is explosive and also adds return game value (5 returns for 87 yards). The Jags are T-26th in run defense NEFF. Hilliard is an RB3, Foreman is an RB4.

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
Over/Under Points Scored: 41.5
Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson – Pete Carroll’s hell bent on sticking to his magic number nonsense but the team could turn in positive results against the NFL-worst Houston Texans. Wilson’s a borderline QB1/2. Sell-high after this week.

WR Tyler Lockett – Wilson’s go-to. Has averaged 6 targets, 4.66 receptions, 93 yards, and 0.33 touchdowns per game over the last 3 weeks. High-floor WR2.

WR D.K. Metcalf – Metcalf’s got a chance here as Houston’s 23rd ranked NEFF pass defense simply cannot hang with him. Low-floor/high-ceiling WR3.

WR Freddie Swain – Fantasy WR7 who draws DFS appeal vs. Houston’s lacking slot coverage.

WR Dee Eskridge – Fantasy WR8 as a rotational inside/outside guy.

TE Gerald Everett and Will Dissly – Everett lost two fumbles and kicked a ball into a defender’s hands for an end zone interception last week. Expect the team to get Dissly going more after that circus act. Houston is top-10 in .5PPR TE PPG allowed (12.1). DFS-only options.

RBs Rashaad Penny and Adrian Peterson – Penny led the backfield in snaps last week and tied Adrian Peterson with 11 total touches (10 carries, 35 yards, 1 target, 1 reception for 27 yards to Peterson’s 11 carries, 16 yards, and 1 touchdown). Since their Week 10 bye, Houston’s been allowing 27.8 .5PPR RB PPG, 3rd most in the NFL. Fantasy RB3s.

RB Travis Homer – His inflated box score from last week came from a fake punt TD. Ignore.

Houston Texans

QB Davis Mills – Fantasy QB3.

WR Brandin Cooks – Fantasy WR4 who’s no longer getting intense volume.

RB Rex Burkhead – Fantasy RB4.

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Over/Under Points Scored: 48.5
Las Vegas Raiders

QB Derek Carr – Carr’s last three games (2021 to 2020) against KC: 25-of-35 for 261 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 3 carries for 18 yards, 23-of-31 for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, and 3 carries for 6 yards, 22-of-31 for 347 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 4 carris for 1 yard. Those finishes earned him finishes of QB7, QB8, and QB9 respectively. The offense has struggled without Henry Ruggs but Carr retains back-end QB1 status due to consistency.

WR Hunter Renfrow – Has finished as a top-12 WR in 4-of-5 games since Ruggs’ release and went 7-of-9 for 46 yards and 1 touchdown against Kansas City in Week 10. Borderline WR1/2 this week.

WRs Zay Jones and DeSean Jackson – Jones and D-Jax are largely sharing the downfield role, both working with an average depth of target (aDot) between 21 and 22 yards. KC was getting gashed by the long ball early in the year but have drastically improved as impact defensive players have returned to full health. Volatile WR7s.

WR Bryan Edwards – Fantasy WR7 who did have a good game against KC before disappearing almost entirely.

TE Foster Moreau – As of Thursday, Darren Waller (IT band/back) has not returned to practice. KC’s 12.2 .5PPR TE PPG allowed are 8th most in the NFL. Moreau’s a TE1.

RB Josh Jacobs – Jacobs’ 106 routes run since LV’s Week 9 bye (PFF.com) comfortably lead the rest of the backfield. Kenyan Drake (placed on IR this week) had just 56 to his name. Jacobs has also efficiently caught 25-of-29 passes thrown his way in that span. He’s a back-end RB1 against KC’s middling NEFF run defense.

RBs Jalen Richard and Peyton Barber – Pass catching specialist Richard is either a COVID-19 close contact or tested positive this week, putting Barber in line for change of pace duties. Not redraft relevant though.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Patrick Mahomes – Mahomes has had an up and down year but the last time these teams faced off in Week 10, he completed 35-of-50 pass attempts for 406 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Top-5 fantasy QB this week.

WR Tyreek Hill – Elite WR1.

WR Byron Pringle – Just a role player but he’s technically the No. 2 WR here.

TE Travis Kelce – LV is No. 1 in .5PPR TE PPG allowed with 15.3. Elite TE1.

TE Noah Gray – Gray draws contrarian DFS consideration in the league’s best tight end fantasy matchup.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Darrel Williams is still seeing plenty of time on the field (46% of snaps last week) but CEH is the clear-cut lead back and KC is a -9.5 point home favorite, which should provide ample opportunity for Edwards-Helaire to make his mark. High-floor RB2.

RB Darrel Williams – High-floor RB4.

New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
Over/Under Points Scored: 43.5
New Orleans Saints

QB Taysom Hill – Hill’s finger injury is something to monitor but that sweet, sweet rushing floor was on display last week (11 carries for 101 rushing yards) which hysterically helped him to a top-10 fantasy finish despite throwing 4 interceptions. Interceptions are far from a concern against the Jets’ league-worst NEFF pass defense this week though so Hill draws elite fantasy QB1 prospects this week.

WRs Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith – Since NOLA’s Week 6 bye, Callaway has operated as the field-stretcher, lining up on the perimeter over 80% of the time (PFF.com). Smith’s played the primary slot receiver role while now-suspended Deonte Harris alternated lining up inside and out. With Harris out of the picture through Week 17, expected Callaway and Smith to stick to the respective perimeter/slot duties even more. Against the Jets’ Bryce Hall (37 receptions, 435 yards, and 4 touchdowns allowed this year, PFF.com) and backup CB Javelin Guidry, Callaway draws decent boom/bust WR5 consideration. Likewise, Smith should put the hurt on whoever’s filling in for the already lackluster slot DB Michael Carter II (concussion).

WR Kenny Stills – Not redraft relevant.

TE Nick Vannett – NYJ is No. 7 in .5PPR TE PPG allowed per game (12.6). Vannett’s a viable TE2/DFS play.

RB Alvin Kamara – Kamara (MCL) has been a full participant in practice this week and No. 2 back Mark Ingram is out due to a positive COVID-19 test. The Jets “boast” the league’s 4th worst run defense NEFF score and are allowing a league-high 32.1 .5PPR RB PPG. Kamara’s a top-2 RB play this week.

RB Ty Montgomery – Montgomery’s been featured with Kamara out as of late but he’s likely to just be a low-used change of pace back this week.

New York Jets

QB Zach Wilson – NYJ will be missing a number of offensive starters this week. It’s entirely possible the Jets fail to score a touchdown all day. BorderlineQB2/3.

WR Jamison Crowder – With Corey Davis out for the year and Elijah Moore (quad) out for Week 14, Crowder’s a good bet to post one of his classic high target/receptions yet low yardage outings. High-floor WR3/4.

WR Keelan Cole – Fantasy WR4.

WR Braxton Berrios – Not redraft relevant.

WR Denzel Mims – Not redraft relevant.

TE Ryan Griffen – Fantasy TE3.

RBs Ty Johnson and Austin Walter – Two weeks ago, Robert Saleh made the teenie tiny Walter his scoring position back. They quickly abandoned that in Week 13 though and basically made Tevin Coleman the featured back while Johnson saw the field for cardio and a couple passes. Coleman’s out due to a concussion so expect Johnson to get six or so targets and maybe five carries. Walter probably operates as a change of pace run-centric back. High-end RB4s.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Over/Under Points Scored: 43.5
Atlanta Falcons 

QB Matt Ryan – No. 2 in QB pressure rate, Carolina’s gonna sack the hell out of him. Fantasy QB3.

WR Russell Gage – Volume-driven, high-end WR4.

WR Olamide Zaccheus – Not redraft relevant.

WR Tajae Sharpe – Not redraft relevant.

TE Kyle Pitts – Borderline TE1/2.

RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Last week was a good sign. ATL had been scaling back Patterson’s non-backfield pre-snap positioning but they got him back on track, frequently lining up in the slot or outside last week. Mid-tier RB1.

RB Mike Davis – Fantasy RB4.

Carolina Panthers

QB Cam Newton – High-end QB2 whose floor is tied to his lackluster passing and whose ceiling is tied to multi-rushing touchdown upside against the league’s 22nd ranked NEFF run defense.

WR D.J. Moore – Moore’s production has stabilized with Newton under center, posting back-to-back WR21 finishes over their last two games. He’s a mid-tier WR2.

WR Robby Anderson – Boom/bust WR7.

WR Brandon Zylstra – Not redraft relevant.

TE Tommy Tremble – Not redraft relevant.

RB Chuba Hubbard – Over the last week HC Matt Rhule has fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady and declared a re-commitment to establishing the run. Hubbard set to benefit. He’s a high-end RB3 with RB2 upside. Sell-high after this week though. His rest-of-season schedule is a three-game slate of brick walls: Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans.

RB Ameer Abdullah – High-end RB4 whose number will be called often after Week 14.

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Over/Under Points Scored: 42.5
Baltimore Ravens

QB Lamar Jackson – Jackson had a meltdown vs. Cleveland 2 weeks ago, tossing 4 interceptions while being harassed by DLs Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who combined for 13 QB pressures. A “good” type of Cleveland, mauler guard Ben Cleveland, should return to Baltimore’s offensive line this weekend to replace Week 12 turnstyle Ben Powers. Count Jackson as an elite QB1 once again this week.

WR Marquise Brown – Although Sammy Watkins has more so infringed upon Rashod Bateman’s perimeter/X-receiver role, the presence of another receiver in the rotation may be hurting Brown’s prospects a tad. He’s still a talent-based WR2 though.

WRs Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman – Watkins damn near replaced Bateman in the lineup last week and made the most of the opportunity, catching 4-of-6 targets for 39 yards and 1 touchdown. Expect a timeshare for another week or two if Bateman doesn’t separate. Boom/bust WR4s.

WR Devin Duvernay – Fantasy WR8.

TE Mark Andrews – Andrews’ last 3 games against the Browns from 2021 to 2020: 4-of-10 for 65 yards and 1 touchdown, 5-of-6 for 78 yards, 5-of-6 for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s got their number. Elite TE1.

RB Devonta Freeman – He struggled against Cleveland last time but he’s averaged 13.8 carries and 4.4 targets per game since Baltimore’s Week 8 bye. Rock solid RB2.

Cleveland Browns

QB Baker Mayfield – Few players needed a Week 13 bye like Mayfield did. He was injured from head to toe and this is likely to be the healthiest he’s been in months. Low-end QB2.

WR Jarvis Landry – Landry’s been his high-floor self against the Ravens over the last year and a half. He’s a high-end WR3.

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones – DPJ is the only remaining fantasy-relevant Browns receiver with Anthony Schwartz about to miss his third game due to a concussion and Rashard Higgins being a healthy scratch for their last bout. He’s a high-end WR7 due to a tragically low floor. Decent contrarian DFS play though.

TE Austin Hooper — The Ravens are allowing the 3rd most .5PPR TE PPG this year (13.6) and both David Njoku (COVID-19/Reserve List) and Harrison Bryant (ankle) are out this week. Hooper is suddenly a fantasy TE1 this week.

RB Nick Chubb – The loss of stud tackle Jack Conklin (torn patellar tendon) is a massive blow to the offense. Chubb remains a safe RB2 though.

RB Kareem Hunt – Cleveland eased Hunt back into things in his lone game back in action before the Week 13 bye. He’s sure to return to the 11.5 carries and 4 targets per game he was averaging earlier this year though. Fantasy RB3.

New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers
Over/Under Points Scored: 45.5
New York Giants

QB Mike Glennon – Glennon is expected to clear the concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s game against the Chargers in place of the injured Daniel Jones (neck). Opening at +10.5 road underdogs, Glennon should have ample opportunities to throw passes to LAC DBs. Fantasy QB3.

WR Kenny Golladay – Gollady (ribs) should see his normal low-volume, No. 1 WR workload on Sunday. Fantasy WR4.

WR Sterling Shepard – Shepard (quad) is on track to play this week. Fantasy WR5.

WR Darius Slayton – Glennon can’t throw that far.

WR Kadarius Toney – Toney was listed as an LP on Thursday (oblique) but was reportedly in pain while working out. Not looking good.

TE Evan Engram – LAC’s allowing 12.8 .5PPR TE PPG, 6th most in the NFL and Glennon was looking his way last week. Volatile TE2.

RB Saquon Barkley – En route to the league’s worst run defense NEFF score, the Chargers have given up 23.9 .5PPR RB PPG, 6th most in the NFL. Mid-tier RB2, stuck in a struggling offense.

RB Devontae Booker – Fantasy RB4/5.

Los Angeles Chargers

QB Justin Herbert – LAC had scaled back their downfield passing for a few weeks which led to an alternating win-loss skid. They tore the roof off in Week 13 though, dialing up Herbert’s deepest aDot of 2021, 10.9 yards, leading to a trouncing of the Cincinnati Bengals 41-22. There are COVID-19 related personnel concerns in this one but positional matchups for Herbert’s pass catchers help negate them. Elite fantasy QB1.

WR Mike Williams – Superstar slot receiver Keenan Allen (vaccinated) tested positive for COVID-19 this week and is highly unlikely to play. Williams is unvaccinated and was deemed a “close contact” to Allen but has yet to test positive for the virus. Given that the close contact was on Monday, he can clear the “close contact” protocol on Saturday on Sunday if he continues to produce negative tests. If active, he’s an elite WR1.

WR Jalen Guyton – Guyton’s the new No. 2 with Allen out and the opportunity comes immediately after Guyton posted a season-best 4-of-4 for 90 yards and 1 touchdown stat line last week. If Williams is active, Guyton’s a safe WR3. If Williams is inactive, Guyton would push for WR2 honors.

WR Josh Palmer – Fantasy WR7 with a chance to pop off.

TEs Jared Cook and Donald Parham – The G-Men LBs are about as bad as it gets and SS Jabrill Peppers is on IR. A pair of sturdy, high-end TE2s who should see an increase in short-area usage with Allen on the shelf.

RB Austin Ekeler – The man, Ryan Reynolds said it best here: “The Giants don’t have a linebacker that has any chance of covering Austin Ekeler this week, to the point he should have 5 targets before the end of the first quarter.” Since Week 9, NYG’s allowed an average of 7.5 RB receptions (3rd most) and 55.5 RB receiving yards (5th most) and LAC opened as -10.5 point home favorites, the second largest spread of the week. Ekeler’s going to fillet them. He’s this week’s top-ranked back and a great DFS play after a quiet Week 13 outing.

RB Justin Jackson – Jackson took over primary bellcow backup status last week.

Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
Over/Under Points Scored: 42
Detroit Lions

QB Jared Goff – Another decent matchup here. Denver’s front-seven is a shell of its former self and Goff’s go-to man Amon-Ra St. Brown has a great matchup against fill-in slot CB Kyle Fuller. Mid-tier QB2.

WR Amon-Ra St. Brown – As mentioned above, Fuller has struggled to fill in for the injured Bryce Callahan. ARSB thrashed Minnesota’s lacking slot coverage last week (10 catches on 12 targets for 86 yards and 1 touchdown). High-end WR3.

WR Josh Reynolds – Fantasy WR4 in a tough matchup against Denver’s solid perimeter coverage.

WR Kalif Raymond – Not redraft relevant.

TE Brock Wright – Starter T.J. Hockenson was downgraded to a DNP on Thursday due to a hand injury and is trending towards sitting this week. Wright made noise for the first time all year last week, catching 2-of-3 targets for 28 yards and 1 touchdown. He’d be a nebulous TE2 fill-in in Hock sits.

RB Jamaal Williams – D’Andre Swift is highly unlikely to play this week. From this week’s standalone RB Rankings piece: “Williams soundly led the backfield in rushing last week, taking 17 carries for 71 yards. He was definitively not the passing game back–that was Godwin Igwebuike– which was a disappointment. Fortunately he’s got a great matchup against the Denver Broncos whose front-seven has been decimated by injuries and trades, most notably all-star run stopper LB Alexander Johnson. Williams is a borderline RB1/2 in a nice bounce back spot.”

Update 12/10/21: Jamaal Williams has been placed on the COVID-19/Reserve List and is not expected to play. Jermar Jefferson becomes a borderline RB2/3 with a good matchup.

RB Godwin Igwebuike – Igwebuike only saw 2 targets come his way but he ran 25 routes (PFF.com) to Williams’ 9. High-end RB3. Denver’s ceded production to RBs in the passing game as of late.

Denver Broncos

QB Teddy Bridgewater – Mid-tier QB2 in a great matchup. The Lions are 29th in pass defense NEFF.

WR Jerry Jeudy – DET slot CB A.J. Parker is very, very bad. High-end WR3.

WR Tim Patrick – Low-floor/high-ceiling WR4.

WR Courtland Sutton – Low-floor/high-ceiling WR4.

TE Noah Fant – Albert O is just too involved for Fant to retain TE1 status. High-end TE2.

TE Albert Okwuegbunam – Perhaps the savviest contrarian DFS TE.

RB Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon – The rookie rocked the house last week but Melvin Gordon is expected to return (hip) this week and we just don’t know how HC Vic Fangio is viewing things. Does he want the steady veteran in there or do they want to continue developing the young Williams? Regardless, against the 25th ranked NEFF run defense, Williams is a high-end RB2. Gordon is an RB3.

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
Over/Under Points Scored: 47.5
San Francisco 49ers

QB Jimmy Garoppolo – Right tackle issues could pose a problem vs. Cincy’s 1-2 pass rushing punch of Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Mid-tier QB2.

Update 12/11/21: Deebo Samuel (groin) is expected to play. He’s volatile due to the injury but can be started as a fantasy WR2. Brandon Aiyuk slides back towards the end of the WR3s.

WR Brandon Aiyuk – Deebo Samuel still isn’t practicing (groin) so Aiyuk’s set to handle No. 1 WR duties again this week. His Week 13 usage (six targets and one punt return) wasn’t what we’d hoped though. High-end WR3.

WR Trent Sherfield – Just a rotational fantasy WR7.

WR Jauan Jennings – Last week, Jennings saw his highest route total of the year but was given just one target for his efforts. Doubly disappointing since it was in a can’t-miss matchup against Seattle’s lacking slot coverage no less. Mike Hilton is one of our favorite slot CBs to target but this usage just won’t cut it. Fantasy WR7.

TE George Kittle – Kittle’s pushing Kelce for the overall TE1 ranking right now.

RB JaMycal Hasty – Elijah Mitchell’s in the concussion protocol and dealing with knee irritation. He’s not going to play. Jeff Wilson Jr.’s surgically repaired knee also flared up last week. Kyle Shanahan likes Wilson a lot but Hasty’s looking like the lead back this week. Monitor the situation.

Update 12/12/21: Jeff Wilson Jr. was able to practice in full on both Thursday and Friday (knee irritation) and is expected to get the start. The knee drops his floor but any lead back in this system has a very high ceiling. No injury issues for passing game back JaMycal Hasty ensures a high floor but he’s got a questionable ceiling. Both Wilson and Hasty are high-end RB3s.

 Cincinnati Bengals

QB Joe Burrow – Burrow’s a back-end QB1.

WR Ja’Marr Chase – As Ryan Reynolds mentioned on this week’s Nerding Out, Chase has a great matchup against San Fran’s zone defense. Mid-tier WR2

Tee Higgins – The team’s made a concerted effort to get Higgins more involved. Safe WR2.

WR Tyler Boyd – Boyd should see a few looks this week. SF does a good job of covering tight ends so Boyd’s unlikely to lose looks to TE C.J. Uzomah. Fantasy WR4.

TE C.J. Uzomah – Just a TE2 this week. It’s not a great matchup.

RB Joe Mixon – Mixon’s 253 touches rank 3rd in the NFL. He is ill but Zac Taylor expects him to play. Back-end RB1 due to the illness.

RB Samaje Perine – Perine was losing work to Chris Evans but then Evans sprained his ankle and now Perine’s back to primary bellcow back status. Fantasy RB3 with Mixon ailing.

Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Over/Under Points Scored: 52.5
Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen – +3 road underdogs in this week’s highest totaled game. Allen will be throwing non-stop. Elite QB1.

WR Stefon Diggs – Buffalo’s No. 1 weapon is a locked-in WR1.

Cole Beasley and Gabe Davis – The Bucs skew heavily towards zone coverage. That typically means it’s a Beasley week but Davis has begun to steal reps from him. Monitor the news but for now, Beasley’s a borderline WR2/3. Davis is a highly volatile, borderline WR6/7.

Emmanuel Sanders – Fantasy WR4. If he can’t do it here, it might be time to consider dropping him.

TE Dawson Knox – Tampa Bay is allowing the 10th most .5PPR TE PPG (11.5). Knox is a top-5 TE1.

RBs Zack Moss, Devin Singletary, and Matt Breida – Monitor news. They’re consecutive, back-end RB3s at the moment.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Tom Brady – Mid-to-high QB1.

WR Mike Evans – Evans will run free is the void left by injured CB Tre’Davious White. Locked-in WR1.

WR Chris Godwin – Don’t fear the matchup with Taron Johnson. Godwin just set the franchise record for single game receptions (15). Absolutely beast of a WR1.

WR Breshad Perriman – DFS contrarian play or boom/bust WR7.

TE Rob Gronkowski – Elite TE1 from here on out.

RB Leonard Fournette – Routinely getting sublime dual threat usage. Locked-in RB1 on the league’s most dominant offense.

RB Ronald Jones – The preferred bench stash over Gio Bernard.

Sunday Night Football: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Over/Under Points Scored: 47.5
Chicago Bears

QB Justin Fields – Green Bay looks like it’s getting back both lockdown CB Jaire Alexander and edge rusher Za’Darius Smith. Volatile QB2.

WR Darnell Mooney – Arizona didn’t let Chicago force-feed Mooney targets. Await word on Allen Robinson (hamstring) before making a judgement call on Mooney. Likely a WR3.

TE Cole Kmet – Got normal usage last week despite the groin injury but Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown and a two-point conversion on just two targets. Brutal. Kmet’s a high-end TE2.

RB David Montgomery – Bulletproof usage. Back-end RB1.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers was throwing for nearly 300 yards per game for 3 straight weeks, playing on a badly injured toe. He got Week 13 to get a little healthier and is ready to rock against a Bears’ defense that he torched en route to a stat line of 17 completions on 23 attempts for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns with 7 carries for 19 yards and 1 touchdown on top in Week 6. Mid-tier QB1.

WR Davante Adams – Elite WR1.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Volatile WR7 who should see a few more targets with Randall Cobb (core muscle surgery) out.

WR Allen Lazard – Lazard looks like he’s replacing TE Robert Tonyan as TE Josiah Deguara isn’t panning out. WR7.

RB A.J. Dillon – Dillon should rip through a Bears front-seven missing both Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan. Mid-tier RB2 with true dual threat usage despite Aaron Jones’ return.

Aaron Jones – He’s in a timeshare now. Mid-to-low RB2.