It’s the final week of the 2023 fantasy football regular season. In a season saturated with injuries, especially to the quarterback position, player values across the league have risen and fallen week-to-week. At the end of this month, your leagues will be crowning a winner. Knowing which players you can depend on to get you there is crucial. That said, consider these risers, fallers, and one player I’m putting on the hot seat ahead of Week 14.
Week 14 Risers, Fallers, and Who is on The Hot Seat
Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Atlanta Falcons
I’m making it a point to lead off with Bijan Robinson on the Week 14 riser list because of his fantasy football playoff schedule. You may be fighting for a playoff spot in Week 14 because of Bijan Robinson’s up-and-down season. However, if you can survive and advance, I think you’ll be happy to have him the rest of the way.
Bijan Robinson and the Atlanta Falcons host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14. We didn’t get to see Bijan go up against the Bucs earlier this season, though. Remember “the headache game” where he scored 0.30 points? Too soon?
Anyway, Carolina Panthers running back, Chuba Hubbard, just ripped off 104 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries against this beat-up Bucs defense last week. If given the opportunity, which I realize can be a big ask from head coach Arthur Smith, I think Bijan can take advantage of a typically difficult matchup.
Then, there’s the fantasy football playoffs. Bijan Robinson opens with the Carolina Panthers in Week 15 who allow the second most points to running backs. That includes a league-leading 17 rushing touchdowns to the position. In the fantasy semi-finals, Robinson takes on the Indianapolis Colts. They allow the fourth-most points and are tied in allowing the second-most rushing scores to the position.
Lastly, with your league title on the line, Bijan Robinson will face the Chicago Bears. They’re allowing just the 13th-most points to running backs, but notably have allowed the most receptions, receiving yards, and second-most receiving touchdowns to the position. Bijan Robinson hasn’t fully met fantasy expectations as a rookie but is rising up to be a league-winner.
Joshua Dobbs, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
We now know the Minnesota Vikings are sticking with Joshua Dobbs as their Week 14 starting quarterback. This news comes after rumors, over their Week 13 bye week, that he could be relegated to a backup role. Following his Week 12 performance of just 8.5 fantasy points, with four interceptions, Dobbs could be available in your league.
If you’re prepping for the fantasy playoffs, go pick up Dobbs. It’s easy to call him a fantasy riser because I strongly believe his 8.5 points in Week 12 was rock bottom, and perhaps overdue after a season full of wild success. In three games prior for the Vikings, Dobbs averaged seven rush attempts per game, threw four touchdowns, rushed for three more, and averaged 22.66 fantasy points.
All three of Dobbs’ fantasy playoff opponents rank inside the top five in rush yards allowed to opposing quarterbacks. His Week 15 and 16 opponents, the Bengals and Lions, rank inside the top eight in fantasy points allowed to the position, as well. It’s been a tough year for quarterbacks. If you’re even considering Dobbs for your playoff roster, you probably lost the starter you drafted at some point this season. I’m confident in Dobbs’ rushing upside and upcoming schedule to avenge whichever quarterback you thought would have led you to a title this year.
Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns
If Elijah Moore doesn’t produce throughout the remainder of the 2023 season, I don’t know when he will. Most of your league is probably overlooking Moore because his 12.3 PPR points in Week 13 is only his second-highest score of the season. While he failed to reach the end zone for just the second time this season, Moore’s 12 targets and 83 receiving yards are both season-highs.
There are two things to point to as to why Elijah Moore is an all of the sudden riser. First, Amari Cooper is struggling with injuries. Cooper entered Week 13 with a rib injury, played through it, then suffered a concussion knocking him out for the remainder of the game. His status for Week 14 is to be determined. Following Cooper’s exit, Moore drew 11 of his 12 total targets after seeing just one of a possible 15 to that point.
For that, we can thank quarterback, Joe Flacco. He is the best option the Cleveland Browns have at quarterback with Deshaun Watson out for the remainder of the season. Elijah Moore and Joe Flacco have a history of playing together on the New York Jets. In seven games together on the Jets, Moore averaged seven targets per game from Flacco. He also logged 40 or more receiving yards in all but one of those games.
Moore is quietly seeing a steady amount of volume in the Browns’ passing game despite catching passes from four different quarterbacks this season. Assuming Flacco remains the starter, Moore is a riser and high upside flex for the remainder of the season.
C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Houston Texans
It brings me great pain to lead off the Week 14 faller list with C.J. Stroud. He’s won me multiple matchups, especially in the back half of this season. However, to claim your league’s title, we need to look at what’s in front of us, not behind. C.J. Stroud faces a tough schedule without one of his best playmakers moving forward.
We all know by now that rookie wide receiver Tank Dell is done for the season with a broken leg/ankle. He accounts for 18.8% of the team’s targets, 19.8% of the team’s receiving yards, and 24% of the Texans’ offensive touchdowns. Losing Dell at this point in the season is a massive loss for the Texans and fantasy football.
After three straight home games, C.J. Stroud now heads on the road to face the New York Jets. While their offense is nothing to write home about, the Jets’ defense is the heart of their team. They’re allowing just 13.3 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks which is the fourth-least amount.
Stroud is fortunate enough to have two matchups with the Tennessee Titans in the fantasy football playoffs, but another tough test with the Cleveland Browns in between. They’re allowing just 12.7 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the second-least amount. Without one of his best offensive weapons, and in tough matchups, Stroud is a shakier start than he has been as of late. I’m not dropping him, but I’m reviewing other options, especially in 1QB leagues.
Chris Godwin, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin is by no means a “must start” in fantasy football ahead of Week 14. After years of success in this offense, Godwin’s 2023 production leaves a lot to be desired.
Godwin has just eight receptions less than Mike Evans, but 406 fewer receiving yards, nine fewer receiving touchdowns, and 91.3 fewer PPR fantasy points. We all know Mike Evans is having another stand-out season, including his 10th straight year with 1,000 or more receiving yards. However, I didn’t expect Godwin to be so much of a faller for fantasy football as a result.
Week 8 is Chris Godwin’s last game with double-digit fantasy points. In Week 13, he failed to record a catch on just three targets but had his day salvaged with a 19-yard rushing touchdown.
Over the next two weeks, Godwin and the Bucs face the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 14 and the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 15. Both defensive units rank in the bottom seven in points allowed to wide receivers. Godwin is nothing more than a flex who will hopefully make something of his seven targets per game. He is enough of a fantasy faller to consider benching for other options.
The Week 14 Hot Seat
Austin Ekeler, Running Back, Los Angeles Chargers
I put Cooper Kupp on the Week 13 hot seat and I’m staying in Los Angeles to put Austin Ekeler there ahead of Week 14. Both he and Kupp are former fantasy football rock stars. This year? Not so much. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Austin Ekeler is averaging 14.34 PPR points per game this season. It’s definitely nowhere near what a player selected inside the top three or so in most drafts should be scoring, but perhaps you hit on other players later on in drafts. After missing time with an ankle injury, Ekeler even looked like his old self averaging 21.9 points per game from Weeks 8 through 10!
Unfortunately, since then, Ekeler has scored 21.1 PPR points TOTAL over his last three games. I have to put him on the Week 14 hot seat for this disappointing streak capped with 4.7 points from 27 total yards on 16 touches in Week 13. He’s averaging just 7.4 points from receiving production alone after averaging 12.32 points per season, over his last four, in the passing game.
Luckily for Austin Ekeler, he has a fantastic schedule for the remainder of the fantasy football season. In Week 14 as well as Week 17, the fantasy football championship, Ekeler gets the Denver Broncos who are allowing the most points to opposing running backs this season. In between two bouts with the Broncos, Ekeler faces the Raiders and Bills who rank seventh and 15th respectively in points allowed to the position.
So, while Ekeler sits on the Week 14 hot seat, I’m optimistic he can still be the league winner you drafted him to be. The talent and opportunity is there to do so. If you’re lucky enough to still be competing for your league’s title, start Austin Ekeler.