Week fourteen is here! And while you really should have your lineup squared away, it’s okay if you don’t. After all, I thought I had my health squared away and as I wrote this I felt myself get increasingly sicker. Don’t take health, or fantasy football lineups for granted! Let’s get you a victory in the last week before the playoffs! To make this list, a player must be available in at least 50% of fantasy leagues, with one player at each position available in at least 90% of fantasy leagues!
Baker Mayfield at Atlanta (50% rostered)
Mayfield hasn’t finished inside the top 15 for three straight weeks, but before that, he had four straight weeks inside the top 12 at the position. These finishes match up completely with his opponents, as he played the 49ers, Colts, and Panthers in those last three contests. All three of those teams rank outside the top half of the league in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks. This week, he gets the Atlanta Falcons, who allow the eleventh-most fantasy points per game to QBs, and he will do it with a banged-up defense that will force him to throw to catch up with the stupid stuff they are going to let the Falcons do. This team allows Baker to throw (he’s eighth in pass attempts on the year) and he should volume play himself to a good fantasy week.
Gardner Minshew at Cincinnati (27% rostered)
Mississippi Baker has finished inside the top-12 at quarterback in back-to-back weeks, as he posted 16 points during the Byepocalypse and 19 points last week, going against the banged-up Buccaneers and the pass funnel Titans. This week, he gets the Cincinnati Bengals, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks both in the last five weeks and on the season. Granted, they’ve played an absolute gauntlet lately, but Minshew should add himself to the 20+ fantasy scorers. He has over 40 passes in back-to-back games, and two of the three QBs with more than 35 pass attempts against the Bengals this year finished with at least 20 fantasy points.
Joe Flacco versus Jacksonville (5% rostered)
This was originally Desmond Ridder (gross) because we weren’t sure if Flacco would start. Well, he’s starting, baby! Not So Sleepy Joe made his roaring return to the NFL last week, and he got off the couch to score 17 points against the Rams, who allow the thirteenth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. This week, he gets the Jacksonville Jaguars fresh off of them getting their pants Browninged. Flacco managed 250 and 2 while wiping potato chip dust off his chest, he should finish as a top-ten quarterback this week against a woeful Jags defense that let the pride of Folsom High School carve them up last week.
Elijah Moore versus Jacksonville (50% rostered)
Don’t look now, but all of a sudden, the Browns like Elijah Moore. As I write this, they waived P.J. Walker and elevated Joe Flacco to the active roster, indicating that he is likely the man going forward. This is probably your last chance to get in on the Elijah “High PPR Floor” Moore business. Moore had 12 targets from Joe Flacco last week, but his 35 targets over the last four weeks ranks sixteenth in targets per game. They’ve turned over to Moore as they did with Jarvis Landry several seasons ago, letting him act as the designated release valve. The Jags stink out loud against wide receivers, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. Moore has at least seven targets in four-straight games, and 12 of the 16 receivers with at least seven targets against the Jags finished with a double-digit fantasy day.
Jonathan Mingo at New Orleans (17% rostered)
With Adam Thielen shuffling off into the sunset, there’s a new WR1 in Carolina. Is he good? Well, let’s not worry about that. But he is certainly getting a ton of targets, with six or more in four-straight games, including ten last week. He turned that ten into six catches for a very nice 69 yards, but he failed to score. On paper, the Saints are a bad matchup, but in the two games without Marson Lattimore, they’ve given up double-digit fantasy days to three different wide receivers (and one of the teams was the Falcons, so this was a feat). He’s not great, but he should get a ton of targets in what became a good matchup sans Lattimore.
Dontayvion Wicks at N.Y. Giants (4% rostered)
Sub-10% wide receivers are dire this week, so I’ll take the one with at least four targets in five straight games with a top-five matchup. He’s down-line, for sure, but the Giants are hemorrhaging fantasy points to wide receivers.
Jerick McKinnon (35% rostered) versus Buffalo
This one has shootout written all over it, and with no Isiah Pacheco, one or both Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Jerick McKinnon benefiting from some close touchdowns. Personally, I spent the last hour or so being absolutely flabbergasted by Scott Barrett doing some truly horrendous stat manipulation. It led me to watch literally every touchdown from the 2022 Kansas City Chiefs. Not only did I not see a lot of shovel passes (shut up, Scott), but I saw a lot of Jerick McKinnon. He should punch one in and because of the late scratch, he’s available mostly everywhere.
Joshua Kelley versus Denver (19% rostered)
Is Joshua Kelley good? No. Not really. Is Austin Ekeler clearly playing hurt, leading to Joshua Kelley getting more touches? At least according to Brandon Staley, who should have a say in matters. That’s where this all sits. Kelley is going to get double-digit touches this week in what has proven to be a top-ten matchup, with the Denver Broncos. It’s not a great week for streaming running backs, so here we are. I’m advocating for a bad football player because he might get ten touches. What am I doing here? What are we doing, here? Do we derive enjoyment from fantasy football? Really?
Chase Brown versus Indianapolis (6% rostered)
Existential crisis over. Chase Brown, at least in a one-game sample size. Brown finished last week with nine carries for a career-high 61 yards against the Jaguars. I didn’t have to really check in on if 61 carries was a career-high because he had 2 career carries going into last week’s game. That is to say: Chase Brown is an unknown quantity, and as such, most folks haven’t snagged him yet. He’s worth a speculative add just for the mystery box of it all. Joe Mixon has lost a step, and if he loses games, you could be ahead of the curve on Brown. The Bengals could use him exactly like Mixon because that’s how Illinois used him in college: often. He reminds me a ton of Raheem Mostert, and you can just go get him, for free, just in case.
Isaiah Likely versus L.A. Rams (50% rostered)
Likely has just two games without Mark Andrews under his belt this season. The first didn’t go so well, with just two fruitless catches. That was the game where Andrews was hurt in the first quarter and Likely wasn’t really a part of the game plan. Last week, however, he finished with six targets and the oh-so-lovely 4/40 line. That came against the Chargers, who are a good defense for tight ends, but this week he gets the Rams (who are a great defense for tight ends to go against) in a shoot-out. The Rams have given up at least 13 fantasy points to a tight end in four straight games while playing against Jake Ferguson, Luke Musgrave, Trey McBride, and Harrison Bryant.
Gerald Everett versus Denver (47% rostered)
Sometimes fantasy football doesn’t have to be difficult. The Chargers and Broncos are squaring off in an AFC West potential shootout, and the Chargers will be playing with drop merchant Quinton Johnston as their WR2 and Jalen Guyton as their WR3. They’ll need Everett to produce to have any chance of winning this one, and we are in luck: The Broncos allow the most fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Dawson Knox at Kansas City (7% rostered)
This one has shoot-out written all over it, and the roster rate lags behind the name and likely production due to the late-in-week removal from the IR. While Dalton Kincaid started strong without Knox, he hasn’t been overwhelming. The Bills are in a must-win game, on the road, in Arrowhead. It’s highly likely that Josh Allen goes back to ol’ reliable in this one. Before his injury, Knox was on pace for 100 targets while averaging double-digit fantasy points per game.