Fresh off Sunday’s slate of games, Fantrax looks back at all the good, the bad, and the interesting from the Sunday slate of NFL games in the Week 14 fantasy football recap.
Hopefully, we can use what we learned in the first 14 weeks of fantasy football to help make better lineup decisions moving forward. This weekly column will highlight the week’s slate from a fantasy perspective, while also analyzing what trends to pay attention to in the weeks ahead.
For Week 14, we will look at the slate highlighted by a massive day from Josh Jacobs, Trevor Lawrence looking like the number one overall pick, and Garrett Wilson benefitting from a quarterback change.
Week 14 Fantasy Football Recap
Week 14 Studs
The number one overall pick from 2021 saved Sunday to roll out the best game of his career, steamrolling the Tennessee Titans in the process. With practice reports labeling him with a foot injury, many were weary to use Lawrence despite his strong play lately. Here’s hoping you were one of the few, the brave that used him as he dropped three passing touchdowns and a rushing score on Tennessee. His 33.42 points were more than second-place Jalen Hurts and more than seven points better than the third spot.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Eagles have deployed specific strategies to defeat opponents. Against Green Bay, it was 360+ rushing yards and all the scores on the ground. Against Tennessee it was an aerial attack with Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown going off. Today against the New York Giants, the Eagles hit them from all sides with Jalen Hurts throwing for two scores and rushing for another. Miles Sanders (as we will see below) also went in this game. Through 13 games, Hurts has now officially passed Patrick Mahomes in total fantasy points and fantasy points per game. He is the year’s best fantasy QB.
Russell Wilson’s three touchdown passes against the Chiefs on Sunday tied the number of scores he put up from the last five weeks combined. Something clicked at home against Kansas City, and even without Courtland Sutton, Wilson relied on his other main weapon, Jerry Jeudy, to keep this game competitive. Wilson’s 26.58 fantasy points mark only the second time this season he has crossed 15 points in a given week.
You know I have to say it. Brock was Purdy, Purdy, Purdy good on Sunday. Considering many thought he would struggle against a stout Tampa Bay defense, Purdy stood tall, throwing for 185 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and adding another one on the ground. This 49ers team doesn’t look like it is going to miss a beat if they can set up Purdy to succeed like this and also let Christian McCaffrey do the heavy lifting on offense. With three of the next four against Seattle, Las Vegas, and Arizona, this could be quite the finish to the season for 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant.
Considering McKinnon is only rostered in like 60% of leagues across the fantasy landscape, it wouldn’t surprise me if very, very few teams had McKinnon in today for the game of his life. Most of McKinnon’s 28.9 fantasy points came through production in the air. He caught seven of nine targets for 112 receiving yards and two scores. If you were desperate and had to go here on Sunday, it looks like the fantasy gods are smiling on you as you begin your playoff run.
This was a vintage 2018-2019 McCaffrey game today. He piled up 119 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards, and two total touchdowns to lead the 49ers to an absolute beatdown of Tampa Bay. That’s now back-t0-back games with over 24 fantasy points for McCaffrey, and with Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel now injured, CMC is going to get all the work he can handle as San Francisco tries to secure the NFC West in the coming weeks.
To illustrate just how much the positive touchdown regression has hit Sanders this year, his 11 total touchdowns are just one fewer than he had in his first three full seasons in the NFL. It helps to be on the best offense and paired with the best defense in football, but Sanders is certainly doing all he is asked this year as well. Coming into the Sunday Night Football game, Sanders was eighth overall in running back fantasy points this year after 144 rushing yards and another two rushing touchdowns on Sunday.
Welcome all the way back, J.K. Dobbins! In his first game action since he saw very limited snaps on October 16th, Dobbins replaced all the Lamar Jackson rushing and then some with 120 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 15 touches. With Lamar out and Tyler Huntley leaving this game concussed, there is a strong likelihood that the Ravens rely on Dobbins and Gus Edwards in a huge way down the stretch. Tied with the Bengals for the division lead, Dobbins is healthy at the right time to get unbelievable matchups against Cleveland and Atlanta in the next two weeks.
In a surprisingly down afternoon slate for wide receivers (Tyreek Hill and Mike Williams saved it on SNF), Jerry Jeudy lapped the field with eight catches for 73 yards and three spikes on Sunday. His three touchdowns doubles his seasonal output, and it was clear from the opening kick that Russell Wilson was going to be locked in on him all day long.
What more can you say about this guy? It leaves you speechless when everyone expected him to be the best wide receiver on the day considering the elite game environment, and then he goes out and wildly exceeds those expectations. His 223 receiving yards on 11 catches set a franchise record and beat his own 2022 season-best by 30 yards. He is currently on pace for 1,961 receiving yards this season, which would fall just three yards short of the all-time record set by Calvin Johnson.
No Brandin Cooks? No Nico Collins? No problem for Chris Moore. He put up a PPR dream game with 10 catches for 124 receiving yards. We know Cooks is likely to be shut down at some point in these last four weeks, and if Nico Collins is as well, Moore is well worth the price of admission for whatever you will need to get him off of waivers. The Texans have games left against the Chiefs, Titans, and Jaguars and constantly find themselves trailing. He is s sneaky flex PPR play for the rest of the season.
Before tonight, Big Mike Williams had one target since October 23 in a game he tried to come back from, but it turned out he was still injured. Fully back healthy on Sunday night, Williams torched the Miami secondary for 116 yards and a receiving touchdown. It’s almost like he never left as he showed no signs of rust or fatigue. He is back and healthy at the exact right time to help fantasy managers pick up that title.
Engram had the game of his life with Trevor Lawrence going off as well. Engram scored more half-PPR points than any other player on the slate with his 11 catches, 162 receiving yards, and two scores. Those points were more than he has scored in his last five games combined, so I wouldn’t go too overboard in your excitement. But if you had to start him out of desperation this week, congratulations on your win.
The Week 14 dart throw tight play pays off! Okonkwo tallied six catches, 45 yards, a receiving touchdown, and a two-point conversion en route to the second-best tight end score of the day. With Treylon Burks out, the Titans signaled that they would be using Okonkwo like a wide receiver and that is certainly what happened. Regardless of what happens with Burks moving forward, Okonkwo has earned more playing time and will surely be paying off whatever little FAAB you paid to acquire him.
Week 14 Duds
In what was almost the upset of the century, Dak Prescott and every Cowboys player not named Tony Pollard disappointed against the lowly Houston Texans. Even the defense only scored four points against the intimidating combo of Davis Mills and Jeff Driskill. But Prescott, who had been on fire the last three games, threw just one passing touchdown, two interceptions, 284 passing yards, and just 23 on the ground. The 17.5-point spread certainly didn’t materialize, which is ironic because that is what most people said could cause Dak to have a down game. Nope, he just wasn’t good in about as elite a home matchup as he will ever see.
I am truly baffled how a quarterback can throw 55 times in one game and only come away with 12 fantasy points. Brady had one passing score to go along with two interceptions, and he just looked lost and out of touch against a stout San Francisco defense. All these reports came out prior to Sunday’s games that Brady was interested in his career continuing after this, his age-45 season. If I may: “Tom, it’s time. Go start your new life making millions on some network calling games.”
Cook scored an early touchdown in what was supposed to be the points bonanza of the slate, and we thought it was all systems go for the Vikings’ running back. But what happened after that is that the receivers all got involved on both teams and the running backs took a back seat. Cook finished the game with 23 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards, and a lost fumble to go along with his score, good enough for just 8.1 fantasy points. He would start the trend of first and second-round running backs who would disappoint today.
Nick Chubb was also in a good spot and was seeing an elite workload lately. Kareem Hunt has been phased out, and Chubb saw 45 snaps, almost double what Hunt got. But all that delivered for fantasy managers was a line of 34 rushing yards and 20 receiving yards with no scores. The Browns were almost completely shut down so it was a lost game for any Cleveland player not named David Njoku. It doesn’t get any easier with games coming up against Baltimore, New Orleans, and Washington during the playoffs.
Coming into Sunday, it was going to be hard to expect much from Saquon Barkley because of the matchup, but then came the, “he is 50-50,” report with a neck injury and put the nail in his fantasy coffin. Once the wheels started to come off for the Giants, Barkley was put on ice and finished with just 28 rushing yards and 20 receiving yards. It’s such a shame for his fantasy regular season to end this way after he was carrying the team for multiple weeks earlier in the year. If you can survive next week against Washington, better days are ahead against Minnesota and Indianapolis.
See Prescott, Dak. As Dak goes, so goes Lamb many times and that was certainly the case today. The Texans were swarming the box, pressuring Prescott all game long. That means Lamb finished with a lamb-like five catches for 33 yards. It was his lowest output since the opening game of the season and breaks a streak of five out of six games with at least 70 receiving yards.
Among all wide receivers who scored any number of fantasy points on Sunday, D.J. Moore was dead last among that group with 0.6 points. He rushed for six yards and did not catches any of his pathetic three targets in a very winnable matchup against the Seattle secondary. There was really no need for Carolina to throw since they ran all over Seattle for 223 yards and two scores. But after the promise showed with Sam Darnold last week (103 yards and a score), this was a punch in the gut to watch.
As with many of the players on this Dud list, Stefon Diggs’ performances likely cost thousands of people a shot at the playoffs. His 5.2 points in half-PPR formats were his lowest of the year and just the second time he has scored below 11 fantasy points all year. The weather was surely a factor in this one, but it’s a tough score to overcome if you’re fighting for a playoff spot. If you somehow did, a much better spot awaits next week against the Dolphins.
“Oh, the 49ers scored 35 points against the Buccaneers today. Let me go look at how George Kittle did for my team; he must have had a huge day!” Wrong. Kittle barely outscored Grant Calcaterra with his 4.8 fantasy points in Week 14. It was the McCaffrey and Aiyuk show on Sunday, and as he has many times this year, Kittle was left out of the fantasy party. Kittle has scored in double figures once since Halloween and it may be time to think about another option for the fantasy playoffs.
With a combination of Tyler Huntley and Anthony Brown under center, nothing could get going for Andrews (2.7 fantasy points). His managers surely missed his production and Mark Lamar Jackson’s blinders for him in this pivotal week. And now comes news that Jackson may not come back until Christmas Eve. Andrews is another player at the position where you may need to be thinking about a one- or two-week replacement.
Injuries to Monitor
Deebo Samuel Likely Has a High Ankle Sprain
Kyle Shanahan says Deebo Samuel has a left ankle injury. He said “we’re not sure” the extent but it’s “most likely” a high ankle sprain. It is not broken, he said.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 12, 2022
Analysis: Just when he was having his best game in a month, Samuel gets rolled over and has been diagnosed with what is being called a high ankle sprain. Samuel had a rushing touchdown in addition to 43 receiving yards when he left the game and now his status for the rest of the fantasy playoffs will be in jeopardy. Considering the draft capital you used to grab him this season, this might be the end to one of the all-time bust seasons for a second-round pick. Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings likely pick up the slack here.
Mike White Leaves Game Multiple Times with Injuries
#Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters that QB Mike White is headed to the hospital as a precaution. They announced two rib injuries and tests are for potential internal injuries.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 11, 2022
Analysis: There were some who said Mike White should never have come back into this game after suffering two brutal blows to the midsection. Now comes word that he is being taken to a hospital to be evaluated for internal injuries. I understand the mentality of needing to win this close game, but the way they treated White was reckless today. Be prepared for Joe Flacco to start with Zach Wilson back in uniform to back him up in Week 15.
Tee Higgins Mysteriously Plays Just One Snap
TV sideline reporter just said that Tee Higgins (who hasn't played much so far) is available but may not play that much due to a hamstring injury. This was a "coach's decision". He was left off the final injury report after two limited practices.
Brutal run out for fantasy.
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) December 11, 2022
Analysis: This might be the worst bad beat of all for fantasy owners as they stare down the playoffs. Higgins was limited on Thursday and Friday with a hamstring injury, but was off the official injury report heading into the game. Shortly before kickoff, rumors trickled out that he might be limited in this game. I would certainly say he was considering he played one snap in the first quarter and then was ruled out of the game. Just a brutal beat for a player who has been so good for fantasy managers.