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FFL: Playoff Week 1 | NFL: Week 14

From The Godfather: Week 10

Sat Nov 9 2:48pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

Six teams are on a bye this week: New England, Philadelphia, Houston, Denver, Washington and Jacksonville.  Some premier fantasy will be missing in lineups, who can you replace them with?

The Colts get the gimme game with the Dolphins coming to town, but T.Y. Hilton is out and Jacoby Brissett looks doubtful.  Their defense remains a good play.  The other matchup of bad teams meet in the battle of New York with the Giants playing the Jets. There is very little to get excited about there.

There are two matchups where a lot of offense is predicted, so playing the guys on these four teams makes sense: Arizona at Tampa Bay, and Atlanta at New Orleans.  Not far behind will be Kansas City at Tennessee, and Minnesota at Dallas.  

In one of the better good versus bad team matchups, Baltimore plays Cincinnati.  This should be a very one sided game.

Three Bengals have one of the worst defenses in the NFL against both the pass and rush, so Cincinnati has no chance to stop the potent Ravens offense.  Lamar Jackson should have a big day both rushing and passing. And the other Ravens players should put up big numbers - Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews.  Play them all!

Quarterbacks: Kyler Murray and the Cardinals travel to Tampa. The prize the Cardinals get is the Bucs defense.  Their secondary is in shambles, having allowed 300-passing yards and two touchdowns the last six games.  The rookie quarterback has a great chance to have one of his best days as a pro in this one.  And on the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston could put the ball up 40 times playing catch up.  You can safely play both quarterbacks. Arizona is really bad defending against tight ends. Could this be the day everyone has been waiting for from O.J. Howard?  I say no. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians doesn’t make up plays that go to tight ends, and I doubt he’ll start against his former team.

Drew Brees gets an easy game against a pitiful Falcons defense at home in what should another very one-sided game.

My sleeper quarterback pick is whoever starts for the Colts at home against Miami.  I think Brian Hoyer might have better day than banged up Jacoby Brissett, and I don’t think the Colts need him to dispose of the Dolphins.  It’d be smarter to give home the week off to heal.  If Hoyer starts, he makes a great DFS play.

Running Backs: David Montgomery has averaged 110 yards his last two games, and the way Mitch Trubisky has been playing, the key to victory for the Bears is to run him early and often against the Lions.  You can expect the big five - Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook - to all have the games you’d expect this week.

Devin Singletary has taken over the lead running back role in Buffalo, and he should have a really good day against a Cleveland rushing defense that is giving up over 120 yards per game.  

And the Colts are playing the Dolphins, so the Marlon Mack express should be chugging along.

Wide Receivers: Look at the quarterbacks above. The question is what receivers will they be throwing to?  I think Murray’s top receiver will be veteran Larry Fitzgerald, but Christian Kirk will have a good day, also.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see both top the century mark.  On the other side when James isn’t throwing to Arizona cornerbacks, I look for Chris Godwin to out-catch Mike Evans this week. The main reason is because Winston might want to stay away from Patrick Peterson, who likely shadows Evans.

The most consistent wide receiver this year has been Michael Thomas, and he’ll be Drew Brees’s favorite target this week.  To go with my sleeper pick with the Colts at quarterback, Zach Pascal will be on the receiving end for which ever quarterback plays.

Tight Ends: Travis Kelce should have a good day against a questionable middle linebacker group in Tennessee, especially if Patrick Mahomes does indeed play.  And if George Kittle is healed enough to play for the 49ers against the Seahawks Monday night, it’s a great matchup for him, but right now he looks really risky.  My top pick this week is Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, especially if Matt Ryan is back at quarterback.  New Orleans has allowed the sixth most yards per catch to tight ends this year.

Defenses: The obvious three are Indianapolis (vs. Miami), Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati) and New Orleans (vs. Atlanta).  The Bears at home against the Lions are a good call, too. Look for them to get a pick six.

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

Player Notes
Gareon Conley Dec 8 10:03am ET

Houston Texans CB Gareon Conley (hip) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Denver Broncos, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.

From TheHuddle

Bradley Roby Dec 8 10:03am ET

Houston Texans CB Bradley Roby (hamstring, toe) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Denver Broncos, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.

From TheHuddle

Ryan Tannehill Dec 8 10:00am ET

The Tennessee Titans are reportedly discussing a contract extension for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Since taking over for Marcus Mariota as the team's starting passer in Week 7, Tannehill has been putting up solid numbers, with 12 touchdown passes and three interceptions while completing 71.9 percent of his passes. He's also rushed for three scores. Tannehill appears to be a solid starting quarterback going forward, and with the Titans not bad enough to draft a top quarterback in the upcoming draft, it makes sense to extend him. He's a solid fantasy QB2 with QB1 upside depending on the matchup.

From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Dec 8 9:53am ET

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin) has been playing through a painful sports hernia injury this year which will require surgery during the offseason, according to multiple sources.

Fantasy Spin: The 27-year-old Beckham has 57 receptions for 805 yards and just two touchdowns through the first 12 games of the season. As a result of the injury, he has missed a great deal of practice time, which could explain why he and QB Baker Mayfield often appear as though they're not on the same page. Despite the sports hernia issue, Beckham will continue to receive a decent number of targets in the Cleveland passing game and should be viewed as a low-end WR1 or high-end WR2 in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Todd Gurley Dec 8 9:50am ET

The Los Angeles Rams plan to unleash running back Todd Gurley over the last four weeks of the season, giving him a full workload as the team tries to bolster their chances of making the postseason. Gurley's played two games this year with a snap rate of 90 percent or better, though his yardage and yards per carry in those games weren't great. There's still risk with Gurley, but he should be a solid RB1 if the Rams do give him the majority of their running back touches.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Dec 8 9:33am ET

Updating a previous report, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) will probably miss Week 14's game versus the Detroit Lions but has a good chance of returning for Week 15's game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fantasy Spin: Thielen is a must-start option when healthy, although he has not played a full game since Week 6 and hasn't played at all since Week 9. Fantasy owners should keep him on the bench this week and look for safer receiving alternatives.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Dec 8 9:23am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week. He is the main target in New England's passing game and is worthy of consideration as at least a No. 2 fantasy receiver this afternoon.

From TheHuddle

Mohamed Sanu Dec 8 9:13am ET

New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Sanu was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week. He could be a decent flex option in most fantasy formats this afternoon because this has the potential to be a high-scoring game and he's likely to be targeted more frequently than normal.

From TheHuddle

Marlon Humphrey Dec 8 9:03am ET

Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (thigh) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Buffalo Bills, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions and one full session during the week.

From TheHuddle

Adam Thielen Dec 8 8:53am ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is not expected to play in Week 14's game against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Thielen had been listed as doubtful on the injury report after not practicing at all during the week and it appears as though he will be sidelined for the fifth time in the last six games. Fantasy owners should keep him stashed on their benches this afternoon and look for alternative options.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Dec 8 8:53am ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is not expected to play in Week 14's game against the Denver Broncos, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller was listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week. When healthy, he makes a decent flex option but fantasy owners should keep him stashed on their benches this week and proceed with safer alternatives.

From TheHuddle

Von Miller Dec 8 8:23am ET

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) is expected to play in Week 14's game against the Houston Texans, according to a source. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week.

From TheHuddle

Jamal Adams Dec 8 8:23am ET

New York Jets S Jamal Adams (ankle) is not expected to play in Week 14's game against the Miami Dolphins, according to a source. He had been listed as doubtful on the injury report after not practicing at all during the week.

From TheHuddle

Odell Beckham Jr. Dec 8 8:20am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is playing through a painful sports hernia injury, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The star receiver will need to have offseason surgery to repair the injury. While it hasn't caused Beckham to miss any games, the injury has cut into his practice time and can be one of the reasons why he and Baker Mayfield have struggled with their on-field rapport this season. For now, it appears that Beckham will finish out the season but there is a risk of him getting shut down early if the Browns fall out of playoff contention.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Dec 8 8:20am ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is expected to be out against the Lions in Week 14. Thielen suffered the injury at the end of October and will likely miss his fourth straight after failing to log a practice this week. In his absence, expect more looks for Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Alexander Mattison on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 8 8:10am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (shoulder) is expected to be available for the critical matchup with Kansas City on Sunday. Edelman has been dealing with the ailment for quite some time but has been able to play. He has logged at least 11 targets in each of his last seven games and should continue to get plenty of looks from Tom Brady in Week 14 despite Mohamed Sanu (ankle) also expected to see the field. Keep him starting in all fantasy formats.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Dec 8 8:10am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is not expected to play against Denver on Sunday. After playing against the Pats in Week 13, Fuller will probably miss his fourth game of the year after suffering another setback. While this isn't a massive blow to fantasy owners, especially considering the matchup against a relatively tough Broncos Defense, it isn't good news for those in deeper fantasy formats. Expect Kenny Stills to serve as the primary beneficiary in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Dec 8 8:00am ET

Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder) may not play against Tennessee on Sunday, with his status for Week 14 still up in the air. Jacobs has carried this designation over the last five weeks, and while he has been able to suit up during that span, this may be the first time that Oakland is without him this year. He was able to practice on Friday in a limited capacity after missing the previous two sessions, but if he is out, expect Deandre Washington to carry the load as the No. 1 option out of the backfield against an average Titans Defense. Keep an eye on his availability up until kickoff.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Dec 8 7:50am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) is expected to play on Sunday in Buffalo. Hollywood has been dealing with this issue for the majority of the year, so his designation throughout the week wasn't a huge surprise. The rookie fizzled in Week 13 against the 49ers after accounting for two touchdowns against the Rams in Week 12, and while the upside is there, he draws a tough matchup against a Bills Defense that is ranked in the top-six against opposing wideouts this season. Proceed with caution.

From RotoBaller

James Washington Dec 7 11:03pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington has had a reception of 30-plus yards in four of the last five games and has recorded at least 90 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of the last four games.

Fantasy Spin: Despite Pittsburgh's quarterback carousel, Washington has emerged as a dangerous deep threat. He's a big-play dependent but high-upside WR3 against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.

From TheHuddle