The end of Week 13 signals the end of the fantasy regular season for a majority of leagues. Unfortunately for some, this is the end of the line for a frustrating season. Every bad draft pick, every bad trade, every bad waiver add, every bad starting lineup decision can easily be dismissed as bad luck. At least that’s what we will tell ourselves as we swear off this game of chance and promise to never play again. But even in our darkest hour, we all know we will return next season to somehow find a way to get back into the good graces of the fantasy gods.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the playoff teams. We cry tears of joy as strong as Knowshon Moreno hearing the Star Spangled Banner being sung. We are the victors who have navigated the treacherous waters of the regular season to remain afloat. Week 14 brings the start to the gauntlet of the fantasy playoffs; a three week sprint that will crown the league champion. An honor that will make the countless hours we spent reading articles, utilizing all of the tools and conversing on the forums at FantasySharks.com all worth it.
Whether you are looking ahead to the playoffs or looking back at what went wrong, here are the top-10 Names You Should Know for Week 14.
Ben Tate, RB HOU
He lives! Ben Tate’s 1-yard rushing effort in Week 12 sent many people to the waiver wires to grab Dennis Johnson in anticipation of a changing of the guard in Houston. Unfortunately as is the case more times than naught, Tate exploded to have his best game of the season while sitting on many, many benches in one of the more important weeks of the season. Tate came to life to carry the ball a season high 22 times on his way to a three TD day while Dennis Johnson was relegated to four touches. The team that held Tate to 1-yard rushing is next on the schedule so it’s going to take a huge leap of faith to trust Tate again.
Michael Crabtree, WR SFF
Michael Crabtree made his 2013 season debut and immediately gave the Niners a little jolt in the passing game. Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin have held down the fort admirably but Michael Crabtree is a difference making wide receiver that was finally starting to peak at the end last season and into the playoffs. Playing limited snaps, Crabtree saw four targets catching two of them recording 68 yards vs. the Rams. Crabtree’s usage and stats figure to go up over the next few weeks as the Niners get ready for their playoff push. If he’s not already owned in your league, make him a priority this week. While it will be hard to trust him right away, you’re not going to find his kind of talent level on the waiver wire this late in the season.
Zach Ertz, TE PHI
The rookie from Stanford had his best day as a pro catching five balls for 68 yards and two TDs against the Cardinals. On the season, Ertz has only eclipsed 40 yards receiving once and has only one other touchdown to his name, so his heavy involvement in the game plan should be looked at with a bit of skepticism. The matchup was an ideal one for the tight end position and with the Lions on deck, it’s an output that Ertz likely won’t duplicate this week. Ertz does have top-10 tight end matchups the following two weeks (Vikings, Bears) making him someone to keep on your watchlist.
Andre Holmes, WR OAK
Who? After seven catches, 136 yards and a touchdown we better find out who Andre Holmes is. Checking out his stats over the previous two weeks, it would seem that a breakout was apparent. Holmes received three targets at Houston, then upped his targets to five against the Titans before breaking out on the Cowboys with Matt McGloin looking for him a whopping 11 times. With the New York Jets porous secondary next on tap, can Holmes do it again? There’s a fine line between chasing stats and playing the matchups.
Brandon Myers, TE NYG
Last month there was a story that Brandon Myers was still adjusting to Eli Manning and the Giants offense. Well consider him adjusted. In the past two weeks, Myers has caught a touchdown and has eight receptions for 100 yards combined. Myers is finding a groove and Eli appears to be more than happy to locate the big tight end for some easy catches. As Cruz, Randle and to a lesser extent Nicks attract defensive attention, Myers is left to roam the middle of the field and give us a low TE1 to add for the fantasy playoffs.