Need some quick tips to assemble your fantasy lineup for Week 14? For most owners, this weekend marks the beginning of the fantasy football postseason. That means it’s time to agonize over roster decisions. We’ve combed the far reaches of the Internet and culled only the choicest fantasy tips and advice for your quick consumption. Below you’ll find easily digestible nuggets from multiple fantasy experts, addressing some of the critical situations fantasy owners will face from week to week.
Dig in. And dominate.
Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles: Ertz had not been practicing since suffering a concussion early in Week 13, but he went through a limited session Thursday. If he is cleared, then he’s a must start for owners. Grab his backup Trey Burton, especially since Rob Gronkowski owners are looking for a sub this week, in case you need to replace Ertz.
Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots: New England gets good news with Hogan’s return to the practice field this week. He appears to be on track to play Monday night against the Dolphins. Hogan owners have had to get by for several weeks, but it’s tough to sit Patriots wide receivers, especially with Gronkowski out in Week 14.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: Martin sat out Week 13 with a concussion, but has been a full participant at practice this week. Nothing has been announced regarding backfield duties this weekend for Tampa Bay. It puts a crimp in any plans owners of Peyton Barber might have had after Barber’s big outing last weekend. Martin isn’t worth playing, but should Barber be given the bulk of the workload, he could provide decent production. It’s a big gamble for any owners in playoff matchups, however.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: The rookie tailback is dealing with a concussion he suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Steelers. He did not practice Thursday, which means Giovani Bernard could be in a for a nice afternoon.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers: Olsen was held out in Week 13 for precautionary reasons, but has been fully participating in practice this week. Carolina can use all the help it can get with a tough home matchup vs. the Vikings. At tight end, owners will likely roll the dice that Olsen can finish this game. If he’s being considered for a flex play, then Olsen isn’t a done deal if you have other options.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Cardinals: I use this space to focus on injuries that play a role in fantasy football. I’m not sure if Peterson being banged up qualifies since he’s really not been a factor in fantasy. He’s not worth a play this weekend even if he was healthy, which he isn’t.
Damien Williams, RB, Dolphins: Williams is still nursing a shoulder injury and sat out practice Thursday. That bodes well for Kenyan Drake (more below).
Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins: With Damien Williams suffering a shoulder injury in Week 12, Drake took advantage with a career day in Week 13, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown. With Williams looking iffy for Week 14, Drake would stand to inherit another large workload against the Patriots. That’s great news for Drake owners after it appeared he would be limited in a committee approach. I’m a sucker for touches and volume, so while Drake may be hard-pressed to repeat his Week 13 outing, he still should contribute in what is typically the first week of the playoffs in fantasy leagues. Drake is worthy of an RB2/flex play. He remains available in 25 percent of ESPN leagues.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers: Over the past four games since Carolina traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills, Funchess has accumulated 33 targets, hauling in 21 receptions for 346 yards and three touchdowns. All that is terrific for Funchess owners, but a Week 14 matchup against the Vikings looms. Minnesota just held the Falcons’ Julio Jones to two catches for 24 yards a week ago. Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes gets a lot of credit, but the team’s entire secondary was pivotal in shutting down Jones. And before we get too carried away with that performance by Minnesota, as impressive as it was, let’s also remember that the Lions’ Marvin Jones tallied more than 100 yards and two scores in Week 12 against the same Vikings’ secondary. So what’s an owner to do? There’s certainly reason to have doubts about Funchess. But at the same time, given Cam Newton‘s mobility and Funchess being a popular red-zone target, perhaps it’s one of those situations where owners shouldn’t overthink it. If you are worried about Funchess and have at least some comparable options for your WR2/flex, then go with your hunch. No pundit is going to be touting Funchess this weekend as a must-start, but some owners may not have the luxury of sitting him.
Marquis Goodwin, WR, 49ers: Like Funchess, a void was created that has allowed Goodwin to blossom in San Francisco. Since a season-ending injury to teammate Pierre Garcon, Goodwin has picked up the slack. While he only has 24 targets over his past four games, he has 15 receptions for 328 yards and one touchdown. There’s a lot to like about Goodwin with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the mix. Goodwin is a popular pickup this week, and has a nice matchup against the Texans in Week 14. Despite a huge jump, Goodwin is owned in just 33.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
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Giovanni Bernard, RB, Bengals: With rookie Joe Mixon going through concussion protocol, Bernard represents one of the few players an owner could potentially pluck off the waiver wire and insert into the lineup for Week 14. Mixon is looking doubtful for the weekend, and if you grab Bernard (available in 67 percent of ESPN leagues), you’ll need to monitor Mixon’s status. Bernard was exceptional in relief last week and should do well in a matchup against the Bears should Mixon be unable to go.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets: Kearse has had 21 targets over the past two weeks for New York, but has a tough matchup against the Broncos secondary. Not everyone is a believer, but this isn’t necessarily a recommendation. Kearse is for those desperate and in need of a WR2/flex play; he at least represents a player that has the ability to provide production in Week 14. When it comes to long shots, that’s all you can ask for. After a small jump this week, Kearse is owned in nearly 47 percent of ESPN leagues.