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FFL: Playoff Week 1 | NFL: Week 14

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Players: Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Dak Prescott, Jeff Driskel, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott drops back to pass during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)


Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) stiff arms New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back Will Harris (25) and cornerback Darius Slay during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


DETROIT (AP) The Dallas Cowboys ’ offense is having a great year - statistically at least.

Dallas is leading the league in total yards for a fourth straight week and has a chance to close the season as the NFL’s top-ranked offense for the first time in 42 years.

“It’s all kind of clicking for them,” Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay said.

Despite the success of Dak Prescott and Co. - they are averaging 437-plus yards a game and are the league’s best offense on third down - the Cowboys are not rolling into the Motor City with much momentum.

Dallas (5-4) is coming off a loss to Minnesota at home and has dropped four of six games.

The Cowboys are tied with Philadelphia atop the NFC East, but they probably can’t afford to lose to the slumping Detroit Lions (3-5-1) because their schedule down the stretch is challenging with games against New England and the Eagles on the road.

“This is a confident group that knows we’re going to peak at the right time,” Prescott said. “We’ve got all the faith and trust that we’re going to get there and handle the things that we need to handle.”

The Lions, meanwhile, have lost five of six after a solid start and don’t want the season to slip away.

“Nobody’s wants to say the last few weeks haven’t gone the way we wanted and just lay an egg,” Detroit offensive tackle Taylor Decker said.

Here are some things to watch Sunday at Ford Field:

FEAST OR FAMINE

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had five 100-yard rushing games in his first eight games for the first time in his career.

However, Elliott has been held to four of the nine lowest rushing totals in his career when he hasn’t run for 100 yards.

The two-time rushing champion struggled in the 28-24 loss last week to Minnesota. His longest carry was 6 yards, and he was limited to 47 yards on 20 carries.

A chance to win escaped when Dallas went to Elliott three straight times inside the Minnesota 15 late in the game. He had two rushes that for a combined minus-3 yards before he was the target on an incomplete pass on fourth down.

“Take it with that chip on your shoulder and use it as fuel when you go back to work the next week,” he said.

SECOND SHOT

Detroit will be without quarterback Matthew Stafford for a second straight week because of hip and back injuries, giving Jeff Driskel another opportunity to show the NFL what he can do under center.

The fourth-year pro was 27 of 46 for 269 yards passing and 37 yards rushing - all career highs - with a touchdown and an interception in his sixth career start in last week’s loss at Chicago.

“He’s a really talented guy,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s big. He’s athletic. He can throw it. He played a lot of football in college and just seemed like a really smart guy who understood the game and just needed an opportunity. So, it doesn’t surprise us one bit that he’s playing.”

Driskel got his first opportunity to play last season with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting five games in place of the injured Andy Dalton, with mixed results.

“Everybody wants to be out on the field and playing and competing,” Driskel said. “Kind of how we all got here is our competitive nature.”

PLAYING A MAN DOWN

The Cowboys already know one way they can improve the defense against screen passes after Dalvin Cook tied his career high with 86 yards receiving, most of it on screens. Dallas can start by making sure 11 men are on the field. There were just 10 on a 30-yard play by Cook that set up the second Minnesota touchdown for a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. The play was made worse for the Cowboys when defensive end Robert Quinn was called for roughing the passer.

TAKING AWAY TURNOVERS

Detroit got off to a 2-0-1 start and had chances to win the next two games in part because its defense forced 11 turnovers in five games. The Lions’ defense has not recovered a fumble or made an interception in two straight games and has forced only one turnover over a four-game stretch.

“We’re trying to find new tricks and trades to turn the ball over,” Slay said.

OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLE

Dallas left guard Connor Williams will miss several weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. Right tackle La’el Collins (knee and back) and right guard Zack Martin (back, ankle and elbow) are also banged up, but are expected to play at Detroit. Xavier Su’a-Filo played well when Williams was out with a knee injury last year and is taking his spot again.

Player Notes
Terry McLaurin Dec 6 2:00pm ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin's outlook has been and will continue to be hurt by having Dwayne Haskins as his quarterback, but there is big-play potential in his spectrum of outcomes for Week 14 if this pass offense can display some level of competence. The Packers are allowing nearly 16.5 yards per catch to opposing WRs, setting McLaurin up well if his inaccurate rookie QB can actually connect with him a few times. Adding to the risk in this matchup is that while Green Bay is susceptible to big plays from wideouts, the Pack is tied for the second-fewest receptions allowed to the position. As such, McLaurin doesn't carry a high PPR floor, and cannot be considered a safe play.

From RotoBaller

Chris Thompson Dec 6 2:00pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson was a non-factor in his return from injury last week, and there is little evidence to suggest he'll see much of an uptick in Week 14 against the Packers. Dwayne Haskins is given minimal opportunities to throw the ball for obvious reasons, and it helps that Washington has been able to establish an effective rushing attack of late. Thompson doesn't factor into that rushing attack, so his opportunities to produce fantasy numbers are almost entirely limited to whatever work he sees on passing downs. The Packers could theoretically jump out to an early lead and force the Redskins to throw, in turn boosting Thompson's outlook. That's not worth banking on this late in the season with fantasy championships at stake.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Dec 6 2:00pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) won't be suiting up for a Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay. Hilton had another setback in practice a few weeks ago and wasn't able to practice at all this week. He has already stated that he's not sure if he'll be able to play again this season. At this point, fantasy owners should not be expecting anything from the speedy wide receiver. Zach Pascal will benefit the most from Hilton's absence, especially against a soft Tampa Bay secondary.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Dec 6 1:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not practice Friday, Dec. 6, and is listed as doubtful for the team's Week 14 game against the Detroit Lions.

Fantasy Spin: Unless there's a semi-miraculous change in fortune over the next 48 hours, it appears as if Thielen will miss his fifth start in the last six games. His fantasy owners should be well-versed in the Plan B drill.

From TheHuddle

Adrian Peterson Dec 6 1:50pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson continues to split backfield work with Derrius Guice, but the two of them proved together last week that they can both enjoy success in the right matchup. They'll get their second consecutive "right matchup" this week at Lambeau Field against a Packers Defense giving up the sixth-most rushing yards per game and the second-most total rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. Guice is the better boom-play here, with more potential for big-time production on middling volume. Peterson should still be in line for enough of his own share, however, and should be regarded as a flex possibility unless you are fortunate enough to be super-deep at running back.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Dec 6 1:43pm ET

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) practiced again Friday, Dec. 6, and will play Sunday, Dec. 8, in Week 14, head coach Dan Quinn announced.

Fantasy Spin: Check back pre-game Sunday to be certain, but it appears as if it's an early Christmas for Hooper owners, who have been without fantasy's top tight end (10.8 points per game) since Week 10.

From TheHuddle

David Njoku Dec 6 1:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (wrist) told reporters on Friday that he expects to be activated from the injured reserve for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Njoku has been sidelined since he fractured his wrist during Week 2's win over the New York Jets. He told reporters that he felt ready to play two weeks ago, but it is apparent that the team did not want to rush him back into action. It remains to be seen whether he will see a full complement of snaps in his first game back against Cincy. That being said, Njoku's Week 15 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals makes him a priority waiver add for any forward-thinking fantasy GM hurting at the tight end position. Arizona has been one of the worst defenses in the league when it comes to defending enemy tight ends.

From RotoBaller

Dwayne Haskins Dec 6 1:40pm ET

Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins will go for his third straight victory in Green Bay on Sunday. Whether the Redskins pull off the upset or not, their two-game winning streak is in spite of their quarterback--not because of him. Haskins has just two touchdowns in six appearances this year, and hasn't eclipsed 215 passing yards in any of his starts. This is arguably the least interesting pass offense in the NFL, with both Haskins and his pass-catchers shouldering the blame for that distinction. The rookie's only upside for Week 14 comes in the form of potential garbage-time chances at production, as the Packers could reasonably be expected to win this one going away.

From RotoBaller

Derrius Guice Dec 6 1:40pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice couldn't have many better matchups in which to follow up on his excellent Week 13 outing. The Packers are allowing the sixth-most yards per game to running backs, and their 13 rushing touchdowns surrendered to RBs is the second-most. We know the Redskins would run the ball on every single play if they could, so look for Guice to once again be a focal point of his team's offensive game plan. Continuing to cap his upside is the presence of Adrian Peterson, but Guice proved last week that a backfield split isn't enough to totally neutralize him when the matchup is right. Guice should be viewed as a fantasy starter in all formats for Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Dec 6 1:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) practiced again Friday, Dec. 6, and will play in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers, head coach Dan Quinn announced.

Fantasy Spin: Good news for Jones owners as the wideout will return to the WR1 ranks, and now all that's needed is for Jones to deliver a WR1-quality stat line and snap his frustrating eight-game streak without a TD.

From TheHuddle

Le'Veon Bell Dec 6 1:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell (non-injury) on Friday, Dec. 6, sat out a second consecutive day of practice with an illness, and head coach Adam Gase said he's unsure if Bell will be able to play Sunday, Dec. 8, in Week 14.

Fantasy Spin: Bad timing for Bell owners who will need to be extra vigilant up until kickoff. If Bell can't go, it will likely be a combo of Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery filling in, but neither would be much more than a dart-throw flex option.

From TheHuddle

Raheem Mostert Dec 6 1:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert erupted for 154 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in Week 12, rendering starter Tevin Coleman obsolete. The fifth-year back has been explosive in limited opportunities this season, averaging 5.9 yards per tote, but it may not translate into increased usage in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints. With Matt Breida (ankle) returning and Coleman inevitably in the mix, Mostert will likely revert to his standard change-of-pace role. Against a tough Saints rush defense, the Niners may play the hot hand, giving Mostert an upside of double-digit touches. But due to the high backfield uncertainty, fantasy managers should prudently view him as a flex option.

From RotoBaller

Greg Olsen Dec 6 1:13pm ET

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) on Friday, Dec. 6, was ruled out of Week 14 with a concussion.

Fantasy Spin: As expected, Olsen is a no-go for the first time this season. Backup Ian Thomas is a decent fantasy fill-in if the tight end options are as thin as they are in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Evan Engram Dec 6 12:43pm ET

New York Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) is expected to play in Week 14 after missing the previous three games with a foot injury. 'All indications are he'll be ready to go,' Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said before practice Friday, Dec. 6.

Fantasy Spin: A return for Engram, who ranks sixth among tight ends with an average of 13.7 PPR points per game, would be a welcome sight for his fantasy teams who have had to make do without him for the last month. We'll, of course, check the practice and injury reports leading up to Monday night's game in Philly, but the light appears green at the moment.

From TheHuddle

Golden Tate Dec 6 12:43pm ET

New York Giants WR Golden Tate (concussion) is expected to play in Week 14, head coach Pat Shurmur said prior to practice Friday, Dec. 6.

Fantasy Spin: Tate has been the Giants' most productive pass-catcher, averaging 15.2 PPR points per game since making his season debut in Week 5, and would be a high-end flex, low-end WR2 play in a great matchup Monday if he indeed returns after sitting out Week 12. Stay tuned ...

From TheHuddle

Sterling Shepard Dec 6 12:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard will see a downtick in value with both Golden Tate (concussion) and Evan Engram (foot) returning on Monday night. Shepard will move to the boundary receiver role with Tate back, which is actually a boost to his value, but there just simply might not be enough targets to go around. Eli Manning is also not able to buy time in the pocket for deep passes like Daniel Jones was, so Shepard may be less likely to hit on the big play. He's still viable as a WR4 or WR3 in deeper leagues, but he's far less reliable than he had been.

From RotoBaller

Darius Slayton Dec 6 12:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton is off the fantasy radar with Eli Manning back under center and Evan Engram (foot) and Golden Tate (concussion) back on the field. Slayton will now be the 4th option in the passing game (perhaps 5th behind Saquon Barkley) with a quarterback who hasn't played many games with him and isn't as prone to taking deep shots down the field. It all makes Slayton way too risky for fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Tannehill Dec 6 12:40pm ET

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has quietly been producing consistent QB1 numbers since his insertion in the starting lineup six weeks ago. Tannehill has the Titans 5-1 since that time and firmly in the playoff picture, but Week 14 represents a crucial matchup. Tannehill and the Titans will face an exploitable Oakland Raiders Defense this week, where he can safely be counted on for the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Tannehill is the QB6 overall since becoming the starter, and it would not be surprising to see him flirt with that status this week as well.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Logan Dec 6 12:33pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB/KR T.J. Logan suffered a broken thumb in practice Friday, Dec. 6, and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Logan has been the Buccaneers' primary kickoff and punt returner, and RB Dare Ogunbowale (kickoffs) and WR Justin Watson (punts) are now expected to handle those duties.

From TheHuddle

Austin Hooper Dec 6 12:03pm ET

Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is practicing Friday, Dec. 6.

Fantasy Spin: It's unknown if it was a full practice, but he's trending toward returning after a month-long absence against the Carolina Panthers. It's an uninspiring matchup, but he'll be a low-end TE1 option.

From TheHuddle