I hope you’re in the classic victory position this weekend: Feet up, beer on your right, smile on your face with a cigar hanging out of your mouth.
If you were good enough to earn a first-round bye in your fantasy league, that’s what the picture should look like. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Take it all in.
However, if you fell just shy of the bye, or scratched and clawed to squeak in last minute, it’s time for us to get real freakin’ serious. It’s make-or-break time. No more fooling around; no more margin for error.
Again, as we’ve discussed in recent weeks, the waiver wire is wide open for the taking. Coaches in the Consolation Bracket don’t generally make roster moves (and a lot of leagues have restrictions on that, anyway). Two coaches are on the bye. Generally speaking, only four coaches are making moves in your league this week.
Let’s do this. Championship run, here we come…
Potential Pickups for Week 14 (Fantasy Playoffs Round 1)
(Always for Superflex or 2 QB)
Jalen Hurts, Eagles and Colt McCoy, Giants: Same guys as last week, so I’ll blur right through: Hurts finally came in for a benched Carson Wentz, and in a short period of time, threw for more yards than Wentz did in the entire game (109 to 79). He’s not an immediate savior for the Eagles’ franchise, but he has Superflex potential, adding a touchdown through the air and 29 rushing yards on 5 totes.
Of course, McCoy would be a total desperation play if “Danny Dimes” misses another week of action for the G-Men. If named official starter, Hurts is the viable play of the two, here.
Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic, Washington: Whyyyy, Antonio Gibson? Whyyyyyy??!
The rookie running back has been a potential league winner this fantasy season, ranking ahead of “name” studs like Josh Jacobs and Ezekiel Elliott, and hype rookies Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor. But the day finally had to come, I suppose. All good things come to an end. Gibson’s toe injury forced him out of Washington’s shocking victory over then-undefeated Pittsburgh, and we haven’t received a definitive report since. I’m holding my breath.
In the meantime, Barber is the slow-footed bellcow and McKissic is the change-of-pace PPR play. Neither guy is a fantasy stud in the absence of Gibson.
Ty Johnson, Jets: Don’t get me started on this one. Many of you know I am a Jets fan. Why the F was Frank Gore starting over this kid in the first place?? After the future Hall of Famer was concussed in the early going, Johnson stepped in and carried the rock 22 times for 104 impressive yards and a TD. Big plays suddenly emerged in the Jets’ offense. Even if Adam Gase tries to force Gore back, Johnson is younger, faster and simply more explosive. New York needs to lean on Johnson to see what they really have in him.
Josh Adams, Jets: Looked just as good as Johnson, if not better. Adams is tall and lean – he has an unusual look for a running back – but he’s shifty and has a nose for holes. He averaged a whopping 9.3 yards per carry, with 74 yards on just 8 attempts. Again, why was Gore playing over this kid, too?
Cam Akers, Rams: Finally getting the workload we’ve been pontificating about for weeks. Hopefully he is still there for you to grab.
Adrian Peterson, Lions: Putting him last because he’s likely already taken in the more competitive leagues. The vet keeps racking up double-TD performances. Doin’ some serious work at the goal line.
In deeper leagues, I hope ya’ll listened to me, last week: Laviska Shenault had a touchdown, Gabriel Davis had a touchdown and Keke Coutee had a monstrous day: 141 yards on 8 receptions. Hope that helped you get into the playoffs.
This week, the wide receiver situation is quite similar. It’s a lot of the same potential pickups, if available. A couple of quick additions:
Rashard Higgins, Browns: We liked him when OBJ went down, but he hasn’t really done much. This week, during Baker Mayfield’s big-money performance, Higgins snatched 6 passes for 95 yards and a TD. It all depends on the matchups with this Cleveland passing attack.
Cam Sims, Washington: Is clearly the club’s WR2, now. That’s not necessarily saying much, but he finds ways to get separation and veteran Alex Smith has taken a liking to him. He’s on the deep league radar, now.
Week 14 DFS Plays
Safe: Russell Wilson $7,900 vs. NYJ
Sleeper: Mitchell Trubisky $5,600 vs. HOU
Perfect Storm: Aaron Rodgers $7,500 @ DET
Summary: Ya can’t go wrong this week. The matchups are juicy. There’s also Deshaun Watson @ Bears, Brady vs. Minnesota, Herbert vs. the Falcons and Tannehill @ JAX. Big QB week.
Safe: Aaron Jones $7,600 @ DET
Sleeper: David Johnson $5,200 @ CHI
Perfect Storm: Austin Ekeler $7,000 vs. ATL
Summary: I like the Chargers this week after getting completely shut down by Belichick’s crafty D. Lot of checkdowns and dump-offs for Ekeler, here. Easy PPR game.
Safe: Tyler Lockett $7,200 vs. NYJ
Sleeper: Michael Pittman Jr. $5,000 @ LV
Perfect Storm: Allen Robinson $6,800 vs. HOU
Summary: Oh man… the Seahawks this week. After LOSING to the Giants? Now playing the Jets who are in full-on tank mode? Russ, DK and Lockett are gonna cook. Easy cake.
Safe: Travis Kelce $7,400 @ MIA
Sleeper: Dan Arnold $3,600 @ NYG
Perfect Storm: Hunter Henry $4,400 vs. ATL
Summary: Arnold has been slowly creepin’ up within that Arizona offense. Kyler is really starting to look for him, now. He churns out a big play, here or there. Like that $3,600 salary.
I hope you move on to the fantasy semifinals!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.