Concern for D’Andre Swift? | Everything You Need to Know for Week 14

by Matt Babich · Fantasy Football
D'Andre Swift Fantasy

This is Everything You Need to Know, Week 14 Edition. In Week 13, we nailed our prediction of a Colts/Titans shootout, completely over-exaggerated Geno Smith’s downfall, and were once again left disappointed by the usage of Pat Freiermuth. Without further ado, let’s get right into Everything You Need to Know for NFL Week 14, including the Elijah Moore fantasy takeover in Cleveland, Austin Ekeler‘s positive outlook, concern for D’Andre Swift and a must-stash running back in Cincinnati.

Elijah Moore Late-Season Resurgence

It appears Joe Flacco is the only QB that properly understands the value and talent of Elijah Moore. If you recall, Flacco was at the helm for most of Elijah Moore’s successful rookie season. Now, the two are reunited in Cleveland.

Last week, Moore led the team with 12 targets (27-percent Target Share) and led the league in Air Yards with 255. This is the usage that fans and fantasy managers alike have been begging for since Moore’s sophomore season. Despite turning his opportunities into 83 receiving yards, Moore still only corralled four receptions. There’s still room to grow.

Given Flacco’s performance, we should expect him to continue starting and providing Moore with fantasy-relevant opportunities. With the vet at the helm, and Amari Cooper dealing with a concussion, Moore becomes a WR3 with WR2 upside this week. 

Parker Washington’s Time to Shine

After Christian Kirk left Monday’s game with a groin injury, sophomore receiver Parker Washington took over as the team’s slot maestro. Despite playing less than 60-percent of the team’s snaps, he drew six targets. He turned those targets into 61 receiving yards and a touchdown.

The sophomore’s breakout game certainly didn’t go unnoticed by fantasy gamers, as he was one of the most added players through the weekly waiver cycle. I’m here to tell you this was not a one-game fluke. We’ve seen small flashes of Washington’s talent, and now we saw what he can really do when given the opportunity. Given Kirk’s expected long-term absence and the Jaguars playoff schedule, Washington is a must-roster and a flex-plus play going forward.

Keep the Faith in Austin Ekeler

This is a take I can see falling flat on its face, but I’m here to provide takes that can win leagues. Austin Ekeler has had a rough season thus far, clocking four weeks inside the top-six and five weeks outside of the top-24 backs. I am in the camp that this has more to do with Ekeler’s ankle than his age.

Despite his struggles, Ekeler has logged three straight games of 22-plus fantasy points, and has earned at least five targets in six of his nine appearances this season. In each of those games, he’s logged at least 10 fantasy points and averages 20.9 Fantasy Points Per Game. The Broncos have allowed the most fantasy points per game to running backs on the season, and have made starting backs look hyper-efficient. I’m fading the press conference noise about getting Joshua Kelley more touches, and keeping the faith in Ekeler down the stretch.

Do We Need to Worry About Chase Brown?

Bengals rookie Chase Brown took a surprising share of the backfield opportunities in Monday’s matchup against the Jaguars. Brown led the team in rush attempts in the first quarter, out-carrying Joe Mixon five to one. Brown also drew the attention of fantasy gamers by ripping off a 31-yard run. After that, however, Mixon out-carried the rookie 18 to four throughout the rest of the game and drew seven targets.

There should be no worry about Brown taking over the starting role, or even significantly cutting into Mixon’s workload, just yet. However, Brown has vaulted into handcuff territory going into the fantasy playoffs. The Bengals have a somewhat favorable playoff schedule for running backs. Brown would be a must-roster if Mixon were to go down. If you have roster space, stash the rookie.

Don’t Panic on D’Andre Swift

Last Sunday, D’Andre Swift was out-snapped by teammate Kenneth Gainwell for the first time since Week 1. Swift logged only six carries, but also earned six targets. The blowout loss was the reason for Gainwell’s surge in playing time. While this is now two straight weeks of sub-par performances, the Eagles’ rest-of-season schedule is quite favorable for running backs. With positive Game Scripts on the horizon, don’t give up on Swift.

Implied Team Totals – Sunday Main Slate

Highest Implied Team Totals

  1. San Francisco 49ers (28.5)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (25.5)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (24)
  4. LA Chargers (23.5)
  5. Detroit Lions (23.25)

The obvious chalk game of this week’s main slate is the matchup between the Bills and the Chiefs. This high-octane matchup always draws the attention of fantasy gamers, and rightly so. I will still have exposure to these teams, but I would be shocked if this game put up more total points than the Lions/Bears and Chargers/Broncos matchups. Considering price and exposure, I’d rather buy into the latter matchups to be able to fit week-to-week studs like Tyreek Hill into my lineup.

My contrarian shootout of the week falls in the matchup between the Vikings and the Raiders. Josh Dobbs has been named the Vikings starter for the week, which is great news for Vikings fantasy assets. Dobbs has produced the 3rd fastest Pace of Play among quarterbacks this season, and Aidan O’Connell is averaging nearly 30 pass attempts per game throughout his stint as the team’s starter. The two struggling defenses should allow plenty of points to the surprisingly capable opposing offenses.

Lowest Implied Team Totals

  1. New York Jets (14.5)
  2. Carolina Panthers (16.25)
  3. LA Rams (16.5)
  4. Houston Texans (18)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (18)

We actually have a chance to take advantage of fading lower implied team totals this week. If you’ve been a weekly reader, you know that the typical names on this list are the Patriots, Giants, Jets, and Panthers. Now, we have some capable offenses that have made it on the list.

The Seahawks are getting a discount due to their poor Thanksgiving performance versus the 49ers. The Seahawks offense clicked in a major way last week, and I expect that to leak into this week’s contest. Houston draws a Jets defense that has limited teams to lower scoring totals, but have allowed fantasy performers to put up usable weeks. Finally, the Rams have put up at least 30 points in two straight games, while the Ravens have allowed at least 20 points in three of their last five matchups.

I’m comfortable gaining exposure to Cooper Kupp, Dalton Schultz, and DK Metcalf in these matchups to create some unique lineups with lower-exposure players.

DFS Values: Russell Wilson ($5800), Bijan Robinson ($6500), Rachaad White ($6800), Zay Flowers ($5700), Courtland Sutton ($6100), Rashee Rice ($5400), Dalton Kincaid ($5500)

Injury Report

Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor did not practice on Wednesday and is unlikely to suit up in Week 14. When asked about Taylor’s availability, Shane Steichen said “We’ll see.” That’s coach-speak for “He’s not playing, I just don’t want to say it yet.” Expect Zack Moss to lead the Colts’ backfield again this week.

Rashid Shaheed

Rashid Shaheed did not practice Wednesday, nursing his thigh injury that kept him out of Week 13’s contest. He’ll need to log at least a couple limited sessions in order to suit up this week. If he makes it back into the lineup, you can slot him back into your lineup. At this point in the week, that outcome is growing more unlikely by the day.

Aaron Jones and Christian Watson

Aaron Jones missed Week 13’s matchup due to a knee injury, while Christian Watson was knocked out of said matchup due to a hamstring injury. 

With their next matchup coming Monday night, the Packers have held injury info for these two players close to their vest. We have yet to hear any updates on them, which is not a promising sign for their availability. We’ll need to monitor both situations closely as the week progresses.

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence is reportedly considered day-to-day with a sprained ankle. It seems like a stretch to say that Lawrence will play next week. Even if he can play through the pain, sending your ailing star quarterback out to play against the ferocious Browns front-seven seems like a bad idea. If Lawrence suits up this week, play him at your own discretion.

Christian Kirk

Christian Kirk will miss Week 14’s game with his core muscle injury. It’s unknown how long he’ll be out. We’ll learn more about his situation next week.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Dorian Thompson-Robinson still has yet to practice due to being in the league’s concussion protocol. With the success of Joe Flacco last week, it’s unclear who the starter will be when DTR returns to action. From my point of view, we should expect DTR to return as Flacco’s backup. 

Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper has yet to practice this week due to being in the league’s concussion protocol. He suffered a concussion in last week’s contest, meaning that we should expect him to miss the Week 14 game against the Jaguars. There’s a chance, albeit small, he clears protocol by the end of the week. If he returns, he can return to your lineups.

Derek Carr

Derek Carr (multiple boo-boo’s) has yet to practice this week. He’s suffering from a concussion, a shoulder injury, a rib injury, and “Big Stink Syndrome” (meaning he’s been putting up a piss-poor performance at quarterback). Given his health and performance issues, there’s a good chance that we see Jameis Winston take the helm in Week 14.

Dalton Schultz

Dalton Shcultz returned to practice after missing Week 13 due to a hamstring injury. Returning to Wednesday’s session is a great sign for his availability. Barring a setback, he should return to the Texans lineup in Week 14.

Dallas Goedert

Dallas Goedert practiced in full on Wednesday and is on track to play in Sunday night’s contest against the Cowboys. 

On to Week 14

Week over week, we’ve been paying attention to the right details and will continue to refine our process as we learn lessons from our losses. By continuing to attack the right matchups and following the right usage and efficiency trends, we’ll continue to DOMINATE in fantasy matchups and DFS lineups. Happy hunting!