Fourteen weeks of football are in the bag and we have plenty of the data needed to make informed decisions. It’s virtually impossible to watch every second of every game, so naturally, there are things that you miss from week to week. This article aims to name mostly under-the-radar, mid-tier, but fantasy-relevant players that are trending up or trending down. You’ll never see me mention that Justin Jefferson is trending up because that’s a headline you can read just about anywhere. You’ll also never see me slap a player like Matt Breida with a “trending down” label, because (with all due respect) who cares? But you will see me hold “star” players to a higher standard by occasionally featuring them in the trending down category. The underlying purpose of this article is to identify rising players before they become popular waiver wire adds.
Chris Moore- WR, Houston Texans
When called upon, Chris Moore has been a steady source of production. Both of Moore’s touchdowns this season have come in games where he played at least 55% of his team’s snaps. Things seem to be trending up for Moore this coming week. With Brandin Cooks (calf) and Nico Collins (foot) already ruled out Moore will once again be the Texans’ top target. The main concern for Moore however is his quarterback situation. Last week saw a mix of both Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel under center. In fact, it was Driskel who was responsible for the only touchdown thrown by the team. Moore and the Texans will have to deal with the Chiefs this week. Kansas City’s pass defense has left a ton to be desired this season and don’t represent much of a challenge for opposing quarterbacks. Look for Moore’s streak to continue this week.
Hold up, Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins aren’t playing this Sunday?
Chris Moore, let’s ride 🚀
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) December 16, 2022
Marquise Goodwin- WR, Seattle Seahawks
Marquise Goodwin has been boom or bust all season long. To his credit, Goodwin has never been known as a volume receiver. Goodwin’s production has mostly come on big plays, deep downfield. In the last couple of games, Goodwin has been targeted at a higher rate than normal. This led to his first game over 90 receiving yards. Goodwin also caught five passes in this game (Week 14) on six targets. Tyler Lockett is trending toward missing next week’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Lockett is reportedly having surgery to repair and stabilize the finger fracture he sustained during Thursday Night Football. This leaves Goodwin in prime position to post another solid outing. Just like the Texans this week, the Seahawks will have to do a ton in order to keep up with Mahomes and company. Goodwin could and should be a big part of that.
Ben Skowronek- WR, Los Angeles Rams
Let me say it before some cheesy CBS announcer beats me to it. Could Baker Mayfield and Ben Skowronek be the next Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp? [Expletive] no! Not a chance. But they could do enough to make a little noise in fantasy. Sure, it was Van Jefferson who caught Baker’s lone passing touchdown, but it was Skowronek who led the team in receiving. He was targeted a team-high eight times and reeled in seven of those passes for 89 yards. The Rams face Green Bay this week. The Packers have been trending down as of late. They’re not the matchup that they used to be, so it will be interesting to see how Baker and the rest of the Rams fare this week. With Baker having a long week to digest the playbook, he and Skowronek should be able to put on a show.
I’m just on the fact that mf Ben Skowronek mossed somebody 😂😂pic.twitter.com/BMMK0TdUn7
— Mari (@17RingzWRLD) December 9, 2022
Mack Hollins- WR, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have designated both Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller to return from IR. Hollins’ volume had already been spotty over the last few games. The return of two viable targets should only further hinder Hollins’ ability to get consistent looks from Derek Carr. Even when heavily targeted (9 targets) in Weeks 11 and 13, Mack failed to reach 60 receiving yards, posting just 52 an 35 yards respectively. It must be noted that before the injury to Renfrow, Hollins had been playing in two-wide receiver sets over Hunter. It remains to be seen if this will continue, but the return of the two Vegas stars has Hollins trending down in a bad way.
Mike Gesicki- TE, Miami Dolphins
Mike should have made this trending down list a long time ago. The Miami tight end has now successfully gone three, yes three, that’s très, triple, a trio of games without catching the pigskin. The streak began in Week 12 against Houston, he played 54% of snaps and Tua glanced in his direction once. Week 13 obviously wasn’t much better. Mike was blessed to get 20% of the snaps and another target, to no avail. Ahh, but Week 14, oh yes Week 14. The heavens opened up and allowed Gesicki to receive a whopping two targets and 39% snap share. I’d like to say that there are better days ahead for Mike, but those better days probably won’t be coming in a Dolphins uniform. Maybe this is all just Tua’s master plan to make sure none of us ever have to witness a griddy as atrocious as this ever again.
Mike Gesicki. pic.twitter.com/FakPjSCBpx
— M A G G ⭕️ T R Y (@MagOfTheTree) December 6, 2022
Kenyan Drake- RB, Baltimore Ravens
Drake and Mack Hollins are in the same boat. Not just the “trending down” boat, but their situations. Just like Hollins, Drake will have to further endure the presence of two returning players. Both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards will be in action again this week. If last week is any indication, Drake won’t be seeing much work. Kenyan was on the field for 18% of snaps and only got three touches. He recorded one carry for one yard and caught two passes for an additional yard. It’s not looking good. Pair that with the fact that J.K. Dobbins just went berserk (15-120-1) and Gus Edwards was solid (13-66-0) in relief and you’ve got little to no room for Drake to participate. The re-injury risk feels abnormally high for both of these backs, so while Drake isn’t of much use to you now, it’s not time to cut ties.