We’re at a point of the fantasy football season where one game of action — perhaps less — constitutes a trend. If you see something you like, jump on it as you prepare your roster for the fantasy playoffs.
Put another way, don’t bother trying to dissect how the 49ers backfield will play out next week in New Orleans. After running circles around Tevin Coleman in Baltimore (5 carries, 6 yards), Raheem Mostert (19-146-1 and owned in 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues) is a great target if you need a running back — or if you just want to play defense. The Saints will be difficult to run on in Week 14, but it’s not as if he gashed a slouch unit in the Ravens.
If your back is against the wall, Mostert is the type of wild-card chip you’d like to be able to throw at your opponent. Keep that in mind as you sort through the available options in your leagues.
Running backs: One-hit wonders
With only three weeks remaining in standard formats, one smash hit from the Chiefs’ Darwin Thompson (5%) may be all you need to claim your league’s crown. Darrel Williams was forced out of Sunday’s game vs. the Raiders with a hamstring injury, while LeSean McCoy handled eight touches to Thompson’s 11 carries. If nothing else, Thompson is the freshest set of wheels the Chiefs can turn to as they cruise to the division title.
Patrick Laird (1%) was “next man up” after Kalen Ballage was carted to the locker room with a leg injury. He proceeded to post a Ballage-esque five yards on 10 carries. He found the end zone, though, and added 43 yards on four receptions. Teams with nothing to lose — i.e. the Dolphins — can be dangerous, and stranger things have happened than Laird getting loose for a few games.
Your chance to add Derrius Guice (50%) to your roster became much slimmer after he rumbled through the Panthers’ porous run defense for 137 yards on 12 touches — including chunky 60- and 37-yard scampers. The Packers allow as many holes in the run game as there are in the blocks of cheese on their fans’ heads, so Guice could get on a roll again in Week 14.
Also read: Week 14 opening betting lines
Wide receivers: Short memories, long gains
We’ve seen the carnage a guy like Will Fuller V can leave in the wake of defenseless fantasy opponents. Robby Anderson (57%) possesses some of the same field-stretching qualities (15.1 average depth of target) and has been coming on of late with an 11-187-1 line on 15 targets over his last two games. Don’t let the sour aftertaste from a mostly barren first 11 weeks of the season scare you away from gambling on his immediate upside.
Mike Williams (71%) was a much bigger piece of the Chargers’ offense coming out of the bye, leading the team with seven targets and finishing with a 5-117 line. Not only does he have favorable home matchups against the Vikings and Raiders in Weeks 15-16, but fantasy owners have to ask themselves what the odds are of Williams finishing 2019 with zero touchdowns.
In a similar “bet on the boom” vein, James Washington (22%) has been a big play waiting to happen with 17 receptions, 348 yards and three touchdowns over his last four games. Having Devlin Hodges as his quarterback isn’t ideal on the surface, but two of those three scores were delivered by the third-stringer. Not to mention, the Steelers’ Week 14 matchup against the Cardinals looks awfully tempting.
Tight end: Looking for a pulse
The state of the tight end position has gradually deteriorated over the second half of the season, with injuries and dud performances demolishing last-gasp hopes of playoff contention. The Rams’ Tyler Higbee (10%) deserves some love for his 7-107-1 performance, but keep two things in mind: 1) Gerald Everett’s absence (knee) allotted Higbee a full complement of targets; 2) The Cardinals are the league’s most generous to tight ends.
Those Cardinals will be looking to donate to the “Vance McDonald Fantasy Fund” in Week 14. He’s available in 50% of leagues and should be a nice jab to throw come Sunday.
With Eric Ebron out of the picture in Indianapolis, Jack Doyle (57%) was free to lead the Colts with 11 targets, which he turned into a 6-73-1 line. It’s no secret at this point that Frank Reich and his offensive staff have a deep affinity for their tight ends, so don’t hesitate to jump on Doyle to fortify a weak position.
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