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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 14

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Well, this is what we as fantasy owners have been playing for all season, the playoffs. A shot at winning a fantasy football championship and owning bragging rights over the rest of our leagues for an entire year. At this point, most fantasy rosters should be set with maybe a tweak here and there. The waiver wire will be a ghost town by week 14 but there may still be a player or two that can turn the tide and give that little boost to a fantasy team and take them to the promised land. As always, which players are worth adding and which players are just one week wonders? Bring on week 14 and the fantasy football playoffs.


Johnny Manziel- Quarterback- Cleveland Browns. (Note from Dave:  It was just announced that Brian Hoyer will keep the starting job for another week...  This limits the immediate value of Manziel but it is my personal belief that we will see him start in Cleveland before Week 16, so he's a good stash if you have the bench space.  Also, he's a sneaky grab for keeper leagues too.)  While Brian Hoyer sure wasn't the worst quarterback the Browns have had over the years, he just wasn't enough to get the Browns over the hump. That's where Johnny Football comes in. With more fanfare than most rookies entering the 2014 NFL draft, Manziel was expected to be the Browns starter a little earlier than week 14 but better late than never right? After Hoyer was unable to provide any offense for the Browns in their week 13 matchup versus Buffalo, Mike Pettine decided to go with the Texas A&M rookie and Manziel did not disappoint. Most fantasy owners are expecting Manziel to get the starting nod heading into week 14 and if Manziel does get and keep the starting job for the Browns, his match ups  could be somewhat appealing for fantasy owners heading into the playoffs. Over the next four games, the Browns face the Colts in week 14 who allow 18.5 fantasy points to the opposing quarterback, the Bengals in week 15 who allow 15 fantasy points to the quarterback, the Panthers in week 16 who allow over 19 fantasy points to the quarterback, and the Ravens in week 17 who allow almost 20 fantasy points to the opposing signal caller. Those seem like pretty tempting match ups  for fantasy owners who may want to upgrade the quarterback position heading into their fantasy playoffs.

Jordan Reed- Tight End- Washington Redskins- In the seven games that Reed has played in this season, he has 40 targets and is averaging five fantasy points per game. Since his return to action in week 11, Reed has a total of 14 targets over that two game span (He missed week 12). Week 13 saw Reed come up with nine catches for 123 yards and score over 12 fantasy points. For fantasy owners looking for a tight end heading into their fantasy playoffs, Reed faces the Rams in week 14 who allow 10 fantasy points per game to the tight end, the Giants in week 15 who allow over 13 fantasy points to the tight end, the Eagles in week 16 who allow under nine fantasy points per game to the tight end and the Cowboys in the final week of the season who allow 17 fantasy points per week to the tight end. The only matchup not in Reed's favor is week 16 versus Philadelphia. This is all dependent on Reed staying healthy for the rest of the season of course.


Marqise Lee- Wide Receiver- Jacksonville Jaguars- Lee saw a team high eight targets in week 13 versus the Giants and finished with six catches for 75 yards and a score. He has 37 targets in the eight games he played and caught 22 of those targets while averaging 4.2 fantasy points per game. Week 13 was also the second most targets Lee has seen since week one where he saw 10 targets. While he may be third on the depth chart as far as receivers go, Lee has a good chance at being more than that for both the Jaguars and fantasy owners for the remainder of the season. His matchup is extremely favorable for fantasy purposes with weeks 14 and 17 getting to face the Texans defense which is giving up the second most fantasy points to opposing wide outs and week 15 versus the Ravens which are allowing the most fantasy points to receivers. Also in there are the Titans who are allowing over 38 fantasy points to opposing wide outs. Marqise Lee has a good chance to help fantasy owners just when he's needed most. In the fantasy playoffs.

Chris Johnson- Running Back- New York Jets- While it may be difficult for any fantasy owner to rely on Chris Johnson at all let alone the fantasy playoffs, it is worth noting that he's averaging 6.4 fantasy points per week and has scored double digit fantasy points in four games this season. Week 13 saw Johnson rush for 105 yards and post his second double digit fantasy points game in four weeks. Looking ahead to match ups  for the fantasy playoffs, Chris Johnson has the Vikings in week 14 which are allowing the ninth most fantasy points to running backs, the Titans in week 15 which are allowing the eighth most fantasy points to running backs, the Patriots in week 16 which are allowing the twelfth most fantasy points to the running backs and finish the season with the Dolphins which are allowing 22.7 fantasy points to the running backs. For fantasy owners looking to bolster their tail back depth, you can do worse than Chris Johnson at this point in the season.


Jonathan Stewart- Running Back- Carolina Panthers- The only reason Jonathan Stewart has any fantasy relevance whatsoever is due to the hand injury DeAngelo Williams suffered. The Panthers offense has been inept at best this season and the running backs are always a headache to decide which will lead the team in touches on a weekly basis. While there is no guarantee that Stewart will even lead the Panthers backfield in touches in the last few weeks of the season even if Williams misses significant time, his matchup isn't the worst but Stewart has shown that even favorable match ups aren't a reason to start him anymore. He faces the Saints, Buccaneers, Browns and Falcons the last four weeks of the regular season and those teams are giving up 27.1, 26.8, 21.6 and 28.9 respectively to running backs on a weekly basis. Fantasy owners that may be desperate for running back help at this point may want to look at Jonathan Stewart but don't expect too much from him.

Corey Harkey- Tight End- St. Louis Rams- While the Rams offense may be streaking a bit over these last few weeks, Corey Harkey came out of nowhere and shouldn't be trusted heading into the fantasy playoffs. He's averaging less than two fantasy points per week and hasn't seen more than two targets this season. Week 13 saw him catch a touchdown and put himself on fantasy radars just when fantasy owners were looking for some depth at the tight end position. His remaining match ups are favorable for tight ends as he faces the Redskins this week who allow 14.4 fantasy points per week to tight ends, the Cardinals in week 15 which allow over 15 fantasy points to tight end per week, the Giants in week 16 which are allowing over 13 fantasy points to tight ends per week and the defending Super Bowl champions Seahawks who allow just over 13 fantasy points per week to the tight end. If fantasy owners are desperate enough for a tight end, Harkey may be worth a look but trusting him for the next few weeks while you're trying to win a fantasy championship may be asking too much.

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