Week 14 is the start of the fantasy playoffs and the start of a new “short” season for most of us. We are all 0-0 at the beginning of Week 14. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are in the championship bracket of your league, or the consolation bracket, you are 0-0. Either way, you need to make sure your lineup is playoff ready for Week 14, especially if you are in the championship bracket.
Even if you are not, you need to take this seriously or you risk suffering whatever punishment your league has in store for you if you finish last. I have mentioned in the past my love for leagues that punish those who finish last. Having repercussions for losing the whole thing keeps everyone in the league engaged. If you don’t currently do anything like that in your league you should really consider it. From a pink bedazzled license plate frame that reads, “I suck at fantasy football,” to a terrible tattoo (which is a little too harsh for me, but to each their own) there are multiple great ideas out there if you want to start such a thing.
Again, whichever bracket you are in does not change the fact that you are once again 0-0 right now, so let’s do what we can to help you get thru the fantasy playoffs, and, as always, let’s start with quarterbacks.
Derek Carr has been doing good things in Oakland lately. At 90 percent availability in most leagues Carr has been putting up good numbers and avoiding interceptions. In fact he hasn’t thrown an interception in seven straight games and he put up 285 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas City on Sunday. You would think he’d be someone to pick up, but on second thought I believe you should hold off on the Oakland quarterback. He will be playing Pittsburgh in Week 14, and Pittsburgh allowed 299 yards and two touchdowns to Philip Rivers on Sunday. Carr and Oakland, however, can not be put in the same category as Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers this season. Pittsburgh has been really stout against quarterbacks this season and Oakland has been too inconsistent. You are better off trying your luck with another quarterback.
Josh Allen is a quarterback that comes to mind.
At first it seems odd suggesting a Buffalo quarterback, but have you seen his stats lately? Allen is available in 96 percent of leagues and just came off a great game against Miami where he threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 135 yards. That is 28 points in a standard league, and if you have been paying attention that gives him 234 yards and one touchdown rushing in the last two weeks. With running stats like that and the fact that his passing stats are starting to come around almost makes him a must-start in Week 14. Couple that with the fact that he plays the New York Jets this next week, and the Jets have been very easy on quarterbacks this season, and you have yourself a no-brainer waiver wire quarterback.
If Allen doesn’t “float your boat,” how about Nick Mullens?
The San Francisco quarterback is available in 94 percent of leagues and is coming off a week where he threw for an amazing 414 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. Mullins has been solid since starting four weeks ago, though he has experienced some growing pains. He seems to have worked through them the last few weeks and looks like a quarterback who can put up some good numbers in the weeks to follow. He plays Denver in Week 14 at home and then gets that same Seattle (this time at home). If he continues his new rapport with Dante Pettis you could be in luck by picking him up if you need the help at the quarterback position.
Usually this time of year is tough for running backs. This year still has interesting running backs available on the waiver wires, though. The first running back who many have been talking about is Baltimore’s Ty Montgomery. Montgomery is available in 87 percent of leagues and caught five passes for 42 yards and ran for 13 as well on Sunday against Atlanta. On second thought Montgomery should not be a running back who flies off the waivers this week; in fact, owners should pump their brakes when it comes to him. Montgomery has not been getting much playing time and is relegated to the passing down back positions. John Harbaugh’s new toy Lamar Jackson has been hogging much of the rushing duties (including goal line), so I really don’t trust any Baltimore runner these days. You would be taking a big risk rolling the dice with Montgomery in Week 14.
Jeffery Wilson, on the other hand, is a much better bet.
The San Francisco running back is available in 100 percent of leagues. When Matt Breida got hurt on Sunday it made space for Wilson to come in and go for 61 yards rushing on 15 carries and 73 yards receiving on eight catches. He seems like a smart pickup and I would roll the dice with him but it should be mentioned that San Francisco running backs have been known to disappoint in the past, so, buyer beware.
Justin Jackson is a running back of which we do not need to beware.
The Los Angeles Chargers rookie running back is available in 88 percent of leagues and ran the ball eight times for 63 yards and a touchdown, plus he added 19 yards receiving. They will be playing Cincinnati in Week 14 and these days that is a fairly easy gauntlet to run. If you have a need at running back, Jackson should be good for at least another week while Melvin Gordon is recuperating.