2021 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Stock Watch
Samantha Holt breaks down which players are moving up and which will bring your teams down with them as we head into the fantasy football playoffs.
Another week of booms, busts and injuries. On the upside the Cardinals proved that resting your best players properly while they’re dealing with injuries will yield the best results when they return. Arizona is a front runner heading full steam towards the playoffs and hopefully you are as well! Many leagues will be starting their playoffs this week, and if you are, hopefully a few of my notes can nudge you in the right direction.
Quarterback Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 14
Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals
He’s BACK!! Kyler Murray is back and he looks fresh and ready to roll. 59 rushing yards and two rushing TDs, plus two passing TDs and 123 passing yards. Love seeing him back at full mobility. Not worried about his upcoming match up with the Rams either as the last time he saw the Rams he was able to produce with 39 rush yards, 268 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. He’s ready to get you that win next week.
Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs
This isn’t what I want to do but I’ve got to do it. Mahomes has been brutal for fantasy managers. He’s had an interception in each of the last two weeks. Mahomes also went without a passing touchdown for the third time this season. Now I’m well aware if you have Mahomes you’re starting him. My playoff strategy has always been start your studs. Despite his up-and-down season the Chiefs are in playoff contention at 8-4, and this Week 14 game against the Raiders is a must win. The last time he played the Raiders he had over 400 passing yards and five passing touchdowns. Hopefully history can repeat itself in this one, fingers crossed.
Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints
Hill's first QB start of the season yielded a mixed bag of stats. His four interceptions were evened out by 101 rushing yards, two passing touchdowns and 264 passing yards. I say hold as he’s dealing with this finger injury that aided in the four interceptions. However with the rushing upside he’s a security blanket to keep on your roster. A must-start in two-QB formats and insurance policy in case of injury in standard leagues.
Running Back Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 14
Javonte Williams - Denver Broncos
While Melvin Gordon was out this weekend, Williams had the surge in fantasy points managers had been hoping for. He had a season-high 79% share of snaps, 23 rushing attempts for 102 yards and six catches on nine targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. As long as Gordon is dealing with this injury, Williams is a must start in this run-heavy offense especially against the Lions this week.
Joe Mixon - Cincinnati Bengals
So brutal to put someone in the down stock due to injury, but this one is significant as you head into the fantasy playoffs. Mixon is dealing with a neck injury after the loss to the Chargers. Neck injuries are absolutely brutal, and you’ll have to monitor his status through the week for practice. If he plays through this, he could be hindered in production. That being said, I can’t imagine being able to bench him in any situation with how thin the RB position is right now, but temper expectations and keep an eye on this situation.
Ezekiel Elliott - Dallas Cowboys
Back-to-back top running backs landing in the stock down column, I know, but these are red flags to not gloss over. Elliott hasn’t had more than 70% of snaps in the last four weeks, his average yards per carry sits at 3.2 yds per carry meanwhile Tony Pollard is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. All signs are pointing to McCarthy saving Elliot for the playoff push. I can’t imagine a fantasy squad with the ability to bench him, especially given his upcoming schedule. On the horizon he has Washington, NY Giants, Washington, Arizona and Philadelphia. Arizona is the only one that has me concerned. The Washington Defense hasn’t been consistent enough against the run. Like Mixon, there’s no way you’re benching him, but Zeke’s moving down into the RB2 conversation for sure.
Josh Jacobs - Las Vegas Raiders
This week Jacobs went nine for nine with his catches on targets for 38 yards, plus 52 rushing yards and a touchdown. The devastated backfield for the Raiders leaves few options but Jacob’s usage in the passing game certainly is encouraging. Against the Chiefs the Raiders will need all hands on deck to stand a chance given their last matchup together they were smoked 41 to 14.
Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 14
Tee Higgins - Cincinnati Bengals
As teams look to cover the juggernaut that has been Ja’Marr Chase this year, Higgins has been the beneficiary of the open coverage. Higgins has led the Bengals in targets the last two weeks. This weekend he had nine catches on 14 targets for 138 yards and a touchdown. I’m sure Burrow will make it through his pinky injury to continue to feed Higgins volume against the Niners this week.
Russell Gage - Atlanta Falcons
If you're looking for an upside deep-league start, pick up Russell Gage. In the pre-season I was so high on Gage. I literally had a post it note on my computer that just said “Russell Gage” so I wouldn’t forget to grab him late. Of course this took forever to finally hit, but hey better late than never. In Week 12, Gage had his second touchdown of the season along with six catches on seven targets. This weekend he had 11 catches on 12 targets for 130 yards. The upcoming match against the Panthers could be favorable as well given how up and down the secondary has been this season.
DK Metcalf - Seattle Seahawks
This weekend DK was able to get back on the board and had five catches on seven targets for 60 yards. Which isn’t much, but it is still more than he’s had in WEEKS. Metcalf has a better schedule ahead, but I’m still nervous about his usage. Russel Wilson is dealing with his lingering finger injury and Pete Carroll is sticking to his preference to run the ball even with a depleted running back crew made up of Travis Homer (who had 77 rush yards & a TD) and Adrian Peterson (who had a touchdown). Metcalf has also only had 13 catches the last four weeks and Tyler Lockett has been only marginally better with 16 total catches in that same stretch. It’s brutal to take this with you into the playoffs. However, you still have to start Metcalf, his upcoming matchups are too good not to. He’s a low-end WR2 in the rankings and you’re crossing your fingers the entire game.
Hunter Renfrow - Las Vegas Raiders
For each of the last two weeks Renfrow has posted over 100 yards and nine+ targets. His efficiency has given Derek Carr the trust needed to make him a favorite and incredibly efficient target. In fact, looking over the season Renfrow has averaged 7.6 targets and an average of six catches on those targets. If you’re needing a PPR WR3 or flex I like the upside Renfrow presents, especially matching up against the Chiefs which will force Carr to throw to keep up.
Tight End Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 14
Rob Gronkowski - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two touchdowns Gronk is back! Given Tom Brady’s other favorite red-zone target Antonio Brown is dealing with a suspension, Gronk has targets available to him. This upcoming match up against the Bills also shouldn’t deter fantasy managers. Gronk had 123 yards against a tough Colts defense, and the Bills have proven to be susceptible to the pass.
Hunter Henry - New England Patriots
The insanely windy and snowy Monday Night matchup was limiting to Henry's usage to say the least. This game aside, Henry has had a downturn in his regular production. Weeks 11-13 all lacked the touchdowns that made him so productive. He’s only had five or more targets in four weeks. This bare minimum simply won't do for a playoff push.
Zach Ertz - Arizona Cardinals
The return of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for the Cardinals this week was sure to have a ripple effect, though we were hoping for more of an uptick in targets than we saw. Ertz has cemented himself into the target share as a whole since his addition to the roster, so I would still hold onto him. He’s touchdown dependent but given the number of injuries at the position he’s worth starting in 12-team & deeper formats.