2020 Season: Week 14 Movers & Shakers

(Photo Credit: Keith Allison)

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

On Wednesday night we had our podcasting debut, so unfortunately we had to prioritize our preparation for that over publishing a waiver wire article. Special thanks again to Jessie over at Bacon Games Fantasy Sports (@BGFSports) for having us on. It was a blast!

Hopefully, we did not leave you hanging with the drop of our Week 14 Heat Check: Dart Throw Edition Wednesday afternoon, but just in case we wanted to make sure you had all the #analysis you needed going into your playoff matchups this weekend. So we dusted off Movers & Shakers to take a look at the best options still available going into Week 14. Enjoy!

Week 14 Movers & Shakers: Quick Takes

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater (CAR): The Panthers QB has a potentially good matchup against a Broncos defense missing star CB A.J. Bouye. However, he may be limited by the fact that RB Mike Davis will have an even better matchup. The Broncos are 26th in rushing defense, allowing over 130 yards per game. Bridgewater's 18.15 PPG probably will not lose your matchup, but the ceiling is low with key pieces of the offense missing in RB Christian McCaffrey (non-COVID), WR DJ Moore, and possibly WR Curtis Samuel.

Mitchell Trubisky (CHI): If Bridgewater is a high-floor/low-ceiling QB, the Bears QB is exactly the opposite. In a good matchup against Detroit, he posted a lowly 13.3 points, which is not going to cut it in the fantasy playoffs. A closer look at the game log shows that Trubisky played a very efficient game, and Houston presents an opportunity for redemption in Week 14. Trubisky will need to use his legs to get fantasy managers the win, but if you are desperate for a QB this week he is probably the best "boom" play available.

Running Back

Frank Gore/Ty Johnson (NYJ): One of these two will be the Jets starter in Week 14, so you will need to monitor this situation closely if you are planning to play one. If Gore starts, which is a true toss-up after missing practice on Thursday, he is a volume-based FLEX play that you hope falls into the end zone. Which to be fair, many running backs have done exactly that against the Seahawks this season. Johnson has a similar outlook but he felt more explosive against the Raiders than Gore has this season, so his ceiling is the higher of the two.

Phillip Lindsay (DEN): Carolina used to be the best matchup in the league for running backs, but even with some improvement they still give up plenty of points to RBs. If the version of Phillip Lindsay we saw to begin the season was playing I would say he is the best option out there with his big-play upside. Unfortunately, from Week 9 on he has only managed three yards per carry. Given the timeshare and the lack of production, I would avoid Lindsay with everything on the line.

Adrian Peterson (DET): Green Bay is an excellent matchup, and Peterson is coming off back-to-back weeks of 17+ fantasy points. Unfortunately, even with D'Andre Swift out Peterson saw basically zero work in the passing game. With Swift likely to return this week, Peterson is unlikely to be playable this week. From Week 8 to Week 11, Peterson saw approximately eight opportunities per game, and that is not enough to get the job done. However, if Swift were to miss another game on Sunday, Peterson becomes the best RB on waivers.

Devontae Booker (LV): Booker struggled in Week 13 with the run game on his shoulders. Unfortunately, it is impossible to ignore the potential volume if Jacobs remains out for Week 14. As of now, the latest on Jacobs is that he is likely to be out, yet is also regularly suiting up for practice. The Colts are a tough defense to go against (limited yardage but some TD upside), so Booker is a really tough sell for fantasy managers in need this week. Snag him if you can, but starting him is another matter.

Wide Receiver

Keke Coutee (HOU): The Bears are typically good against the pass, allowing close to the least fantasy points in the NFL to opposing WRs. So it was a surprise to see them give up 400 passing yards to the Lions in Week 13, allowing both Marvin Jones Jr. and Quintez Cephus to be fantasy relevant in PPR. A similar performance against Houston would be a great opportunity for Coutee, who finished as WR7 in his first week as the WR2 for Houston. With David Johnson now out for Week 14, Houston will need to rely on its passing game even more against the Bears.

Michael Pittman Jr. (IND): Pittman Jr. has done pretty much everything asked of him since coming back from injury in Week 8, but unfortunately Frank Reich does not care about your fantasy team. Yes, in Week 12 he caught only two of nine targets, but many of those targets were contested downfield, and only one was a drop. The good news for Pittman is the Raiders are not particularly good against the pass, or at getting to the QB. The bad news is that T.Y. Hilton has seen more targets than Pittman over the past two weeks, and the Raiders are even worse against the run. The talent is there, but you should stay away from Pittman given the weapons he is competing with on Indianapolis' offense.

Nelson Agholor (LV): The Colts should be a tough matchup for Agholor. They are tough against the pass and do not allow much to WRs. However, Agholor's dominant share of the Raider's targets over the past few weeks has made up for his inability to find the end zone lately. If the Raiders are playing from behind against Indianapolis, the eight to nine targets Agholor has been seeing could be the floor for his work, making him a high-floor/low-ceiling play in Week 14.

Darnell Mooney (CHI)/Anthony Miller (CHI): These two Chicago wideouts have been nearly identical in terms of target share in 2020, a distant 2a and 2b to Allen Robinson II's role as WR1. Against Houston though, either one is a solid high-ceiling candidate. If I had to pick one, I would lean Anthony Miller over Darnell Mooney. Mooney sees slightly more targets, but Anthony Miller sees significantly more red zone targets, giving him a higher TD upside.

Allen Lazard (GB): The pros this week for Lazard are obvious. He is the Packers WR2 since coming back from injury, he has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, and he has the Lions defending him, and they are a good matchup for WRs. Unfortunately, when you are seeing only four to six targets, those positives are greatly diminished. Especially when the WR1 on your team sees more than double the targets you do. Despite the good matchup, I would stay away from Lazard this week, who is apparently still on a snap count.

Tim Patrick (DEN): I do not have the stat for this, but I feel nobody does more with less than Tim Patrick. Despite seeing on average only five to six targets per game, most of the games he has played this season with a real QB (yes, as bad as he is, Drew Lock is still a real QB) have resulted in double-digit points. This likely is helped by his numbers in the red zone, where he has caught nine of 10 targets for five TDs. Unfortunately, Carolina just is not a great matchup, so I cannot recommend starting Patrick unless some of these other guys above him are not available in your league. He is behind Coutee and the Chicago duo for me unless you need a safe FLEX play.

Tight End

Cole Kmet (CHI): I mentioned Kmet in this week's Heat Check, and the Bears TE is my top recommendation for this week. Disclaimer: the sample size on Kmet is small. If you are going to play him, you need to be comfortable with that shortcoming.

Jordan Reed (SF): The Washington Football Team is clearly weaker against TE than other positions, and Reed is the most targeted TE on San Francisco's roster since George Kittle went out in Week 8. The four to six targets are not the greatest, but he may be the Niners' best shot at getting into the end zone.

Dalton Schultz (DAL): Similar to Reed, but with a better matchup and less competition. The Cowboys face the Bengals in Week 14, and Cincinnati's defense leaks points to TEs like a broken faucet. Schultz has seen five to six targets a game since QB Dak Prescott went out and sees about 15% of the Cowboys red zone targets. They have not translated into many TDs, but that has a decent chance at changing this Sunday.

Defense/Special Teams

Washington Football Team (WFT): No matter how you cut it, the Washington DST has been a top-12 unit this year. They should have no problem limiting Nick Mullens on Sunday after handling Ben Rothlisberger this past week. As I mentioned in the Heat Check, the San Francisco QB has a knack for throwing interceptions and does not have the ability to run the ball. Expect Washington to pressure him all day in a very winnable game in Arizona (where the Niners are currently playing home games).

New York Giants (NYG): If Kyler Murray remains limited with his shoulder injury, then the Giants will have a leg up in their battle at home against the Cardinals. Over the past two games, Murray has posted an average of 171.5 passing yards, 23 passing yards, and has a 3:2 TD-to-INT ratio and a lost fumble. The Giants have one of the lowest TD percentages in the league and are one of the best units at getting to the QB (fourth in QB Hits). If Murray is still limited physically, the Giants should keep this a low scoring affair.

Cincinnati Bengals (CIN): The Bengals are not a good defense, but they have shown flashes this year. If you are incredibly desperate, they are worth a shot against the Dallas Cowboys this week. They are okay in terms of points allowed to QBs, though they struggle to pressure the QB, and while they allow a ton of rushing yards to RBs, they do not allow many TDs. It will not be pretty, but they are a potential borderline DST1 this week.

Kicker

Graham Gano (NYG): Gano saw a surprising lack of work with backup QB Colt McCoy running the offense, but he still made his lone field goal attempt. The three games before he averaged 12-13 points, so if QB Daniel Jones is back under center Gano should be a good play against Arizona.

Ryan Succop (TB): Succop has made 93.5% of his kicks this season, most of which have been between 30-40 yards out. High-floor/low-ceiling is what you can expect from Succop, who has averaged just over nine PPG in 2020. However, Minnesota should be a better matchup than most, meaning double-digit points are within reach.

Michael Badgley (LAC): Unlike last week, where Badgley missed two field goals in a game that saw Los Angeles shutout by the Patriots, Sunday's game against the Falcons should be a high scoring affair. Badgley is definitely a boom/bust play, but if you are desperate, the matchup makes me lean boom this week.

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