Happy Sunday and welcome to Week 14! With bye weeks officially over, we have a full slate of games on tap for this weekend. Depending on your league’s format, Week 14 could also be the last week of the regular season. So, you need a victory this week to potentially secure a playoff spot or lock up a higher seed.
With that, let’s go get that victory and dive into this week’s preview:
Tom Brady vs Minnesota
The Buccaneers have now lost three of their last four games, but hope last weeks bye will help right the (pirate) ship. Brady is in a strong spot to produce at home against the Vikings, who have struggled in the pass rush department this season. The 43-year old has been much more successful with a clean pocket and should be able to take advantage of the Vikings’ defense allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game.
Justin Herbert vs Atlanta
The rookie sensation has been in decline mode the past few weeks. However, after the worst performance of his young career last week (zero touchdowns, two interceptions), Herbert will have a big bounce-back opportunity in Week 14. The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to QBs, as eight opposing quarterback have scored 20-plus fantasy points against them.
More Starts: Ben Roethlisberger at Buffalo, Ryan Tannehill at Jacksonville
Kirk Cousins at Tampa Bay
Cousins has red-hot of late - tossing 14 touchdowns over his last five games. While the Tampa Bay defense has declined over the past few weeks, Cousins has been much worse on the road this season. He averages just under 13 fantasy points on the road compared to 25 fantasy points per game in Minnesota.
Kyler Murray at New York Giants
Since suffering a shoulder injury Week 11, Murray has posted his two worst fantasy performances on the year the past two weeks. Averaging almost 10 carries per game over the first nine weeks, Murray’s fantasy ceiling has lowered as his carries have dipped to just five per game over his last three contests. He’ll now face a hot New York Giants defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs over the past four weeks.
More Sits: Jalen Hurts vs New Orleans, Derek Carr vs Indianapolis
Sleeper: Tua Tagovailoa vs Kansas City
Tua threw for a career-high 296 yards against the Bengals last weekend, but could have had even more if it was not for a drop by Jakeem Grant on a potential long touchdown. The Dolphins offense has not been as exciting with Tua under center, but they could in store for a shootout Sunday against the Chiefs. Besides Drew Lock last week, Kansas City allowed their last three QBs they have faced to score over 28 fantasy points. Tua could be a high-floor option this week.
Wayne Gallman Jr. vs Arizona
Gallman has been one of the best surprises of the season lately. Since taking over New York’s backfield, he ranks as the seventh best fantasy running back - scoring over 13 fantasy points in six straight games. Gallman had his first 100-yard rushing output of the season last week and should find continued success this week against Arizona’s poor run defense.
Melvin Gordon III at Carolina
Gordon’s up-and-down season continued last week, as he broke off a season-high 135 rushing yards. He’ll now matchup against a Carolina defense that has allowed the sixth-most points to opposing runners, while giving up 12 total touchdowns to the position.
More Starts: Jonathan Taylor at Las Vegas, Myles Gaskin vs Kansas City
Miles Sanders vs New Orleans
Sanders’ production has plummeted as the Eagles offense continues to be a dumpster fire. While they’ll make the switch to rookie Jalen Hurts this week, Sanders should remain on fantasy benches. The Saints defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher since 2017 (!) and currently allows the least amount of fantasy points per game to enemy backs.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Miami
After not playing a single snap last week due to a stomach virus, Edwards-Helaire role has drastically decreased in the Chiefs offense. Since signing Le’Veon Bell, the rookie has averaged under nine carries per game and recorded just a 17.6 percent touch share. Edwards-Helaire has also found the end zone in just four games this year, as Kansas City owns the second-highest pass-play rate (56.6%) in the league inside the 10-yard line. Combine that with a matchup against the Dolphins, who allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points to visiting running backs, leave the first-rounder on your bench if possible.
More Sits: Bills Running Backs vs Pittsburgh, Kareem Hunt vs Baltimore
Sleeper: Ty Johnson at Seattle
With Frank Gore (concussion) sidelined, Johnson broke off a career game last week against the Raiders. The 23-year old back recorded his first career 100-yard game and found the end zone for the first time in his career. He now faces a Seattle defense that allowed over 170 rushing yards and a score to the Giants backfield last weekend. Johnson also provides value in the pass catching game, leading the Jets backfield with 14 pass routes last week. He should be able to capitalize through the air as well against a historically bad pass defense.
Cole Beasley vs Pittsburgh
Beasley pilled up a career-high 130 yards last Monday night, as the veteran continues to absorb targets in the Bills passing game. With John Brown still on IR, Beasley should continue to see plenty of work through the air against Pittsburgh this Sunday night. While the matchup may appear tough on paper, Pittsburgh has been vulnerable against opposing slot receivers. The veteran could be in store for another big week.
Corey Davis at Jacksonville
The fourth-year breakout is alive and well as Davis rumbled his way to 182 receiving yards last week. Davis has now scored double-digit fantasy points in every game but one this year, while eclipsing the 100-yard mark in three of his last six games. He’ll now have a date with a Jacksonville defense that has allowed 14 touchdowns to receivers, as well as the sixth-most points against on average. Start Davis with confidence in a game that could turn into a shootout.
More Starts: Chris Godwin vs Minnesota, Robby Anderson vs Denver
Jerry Jeudy at Carolina
Since his 100-yard outing in Week 9, Jeudy’s production has plummeted in recent weeks. Dealing with a lower-body injury, the rookie receiver had just one catch on four targets last Sunday. He’ll now travel to Carolina to face a Panthers defense that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers when at home.
JuJu Smith-Schuster at Buffalo
JuJu has failed to record more than 40 receiving yards his last three games as his aDOT sits at a measly 5.6 yards. He has a tough matchup with the Bills on deck, who have been successful with slowing down slot receivers. Buffalo has allowed just one slot receiver to score more than 13 fantasy points against them. Smith-Schuster’s targets have been consistent, but his ceiling is capped in this matchup.
More Sits: Cincinnati Receivers vs Dallas, Allen Lazard at Detroit
Sleeper: Christian Kirk vs New York Giants
After a three game stretch of 20-plus fantasy point performances, Kirk has fallen back down to Earth as Kyler Murray struggles. While he’ll face a tough Giants defense, it will be DeAndre Hopkins who draws cornerback James Bradberry in coverage. This will leave Kirk with a favorable matchup against corner Issac Yiadom. According to PFF, Yiadom is New York’s worst cover corner this year, allowing a 126.2 passer rating, four receiving touchdowns and 13.4 yards per reception.
Dalton Schultz at Cincinnati
Schultz continues to have a consistent floor in Dallas’ passing attack no matter who is at quarterback. He has recorded at least four catches in five straight games and now has an extremely favorable matchup against the Bengals. Cincy has allowed the most targets and receiving yards to tight ends, while giving up at least 10 fantasy points to an opposing tight end on eight different occasions this year.
Jordan Reed at San Francisco
Jordan Reed continues to have a solid bounce back season while taking over TE1 duties for the 49ers with George Kittle (foot) out. He’ll now have a revenge game against the Football Team on schedule, who have been much tougher on wide receivers compared to tight ends. Reed has seen at least six targets in more than half of the games he’s played as he consistently runs 25 pass routes per game, per PFF. Opportunities should be there for Reed to capitalize on Sunday.
More Starts: Mark Andrews at Cleveland, Hunter Henry vs Atlanta
Zach Ertz vs New Orleans
Ertz made his return to play last week but saw just four targets (catching two for 31 yards). He now faces a Saints defense that has dominated tight ends of late, allowing just one to score more than 3.3 fantasy points since Week 5. With Dallas Goedert option one at the position in Philly, Ertz is not to be trusted.
Austin Hooper vs Baltimore
Hooper has seen two total targets in three of his last four games while averaging just 5.5 fantasy points per game over that stretch. Hooper will now face a Baltimore defense this week who held him to just two catchers for 15 yards in their Week 1 matchup.
More Sits: Robert Tonyan at Detroit, Jimmy Graham vs Houston
Sleeper: Jacob Hollister vs New York Jets
No Seattle tight end has been worth trusting the year, but Hollister provides an extremely high-upside play this week against the Jets. New York has been miserable against tight ends this year, allowing 11 touchdowns to the position in 11 games. He won't put up 200 yards as Darren Waller did last year, but there should be room for Hollister to work in this one.
That is all for this week’s preview. If you have any additional questions regarding your lineup, specific players, or strategies going forward, leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines. And as always, I’m rooting for you!