Hello everyone today on the Fantasy Coaches Podcast Network I will be discussing the biggest fantasy headlines from Week 14. The playoffs are finally here, and if you are reading this article, you likely have some fantasy football teams in the big dance. Keeping that in mind, I focused my analysis today on some of the most impactful injuries and performances from this past weekend and how that will impact these players in the weeks ahead. Preseason takes are now fully out the window, and what I want to do for my own playoff teams is throw my previous notions out the window.
While we expected players like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to have big years, it’s safe to say it’s simply not going to happen this season. The best thing you can do is move these players to the bench for lesser known players (more on that later) who have more of a recent track record of success these last few weeks. Good luck this weekend and we hope to see you back here next week for the semi-final matchups.
Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson’s Health Ahead of Week 15
Both Lamar Jackson’s and Russell Wilson’s statuses are uncertain ahead of their Week 15 matchups and both appear on the bad side of questionable. This is tough for fantasy managers who are in their first playoff matchup and that were depending on these players. Although no one in 1 QB leagues was likely starting Russell Wilson at this point, he was still likely in a lot of superflex lineups. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome concussion towards the end of Denver’s Week 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Given the league’s “new” concussion protocol I would put Russell Wilson as a longshot to play this weekend.
Lamar Jackson’s managers already had to find another option last week, but if that option was Tyler Huntley, they might be back on the waiver wire again after he left with a concussion. Initial reports this week indicate the Ravens may choose to be conservative with Jackson, given they’re locked into the playoffs, and that Week 16 may be a more realistic return date. Although Jackson hasn’t been his usual self most of this season, this is devastating for fantasy managers who will likely be left with QB2 streaming options.
Week 15 Quarterback Streaming Options
Ultimately, you will have to check your waiver wire, but the options are likely thin at Quarterback given injuries are piling up. Two notable players that I’ll be targeting on waiver wires this week are Mike White and Brock Purdy. White has energized this team and as long as he’s healthy (ribs) he will be in a fantastic matchup against the Detroit Lions. They are dead last in fantasy points given up to the Quarterback position and he was a QB1 in back-to-back weeks prior to facing the Bills.
As hard as it is to believe, Brock Purdy is also a fantastic waiver wire target this week with a very favorable fantasy football playoff schedule. He also suffered an injury (oblique), so his status will also need to be monitored ahead of the 49er’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Having said that, initial reports are positive and Kyle Shanahan indicated him being pulled the last drive was precautionary more than anything. Seattle is fresh off of giving up 30 points to the Carolina Panthers and Purdy finishes the season against the Raiders and Cardinals. He is the QB8 this week in fantasy ahead of the Monday Night Football game and will likely be a borderline top 15 QB in Week 16.
D’Andre Swift’s Frustrations Continue
Just when we thought that we could begin trusting D’Andre Swift, Detroit reverts right back to a committee backfield. Swift carried the ball just 6 times compared to 16 attempts for Jamaal Williams and also split passing work with Justin Jackson. To make matters worse Jackson scored the touchdown out of the backfield leaving Swift and Williams as risky options heading into the fantasy playoffs.
It will be tough to start either player as more than a borderline RB2 against a tough New York Jets’ defense. Swift will get passing work but will be hard to trust considering he might not get 10 opportunities with the football in his hand. Williams on the other hand should get 12-15 rushing attempts, but with no 3rd down role, he will be entirely touchdown dependent. It’s best to look elsewhere in Week 15 as this is not the week you want a bust at Running Back.
Travis Etienne’s Tough Day
Another Running Back with a poor fantasy outing, Travis Etienne wasn’t able to get anything going against the Tennessee Titans. He accumulated just 32 rushing yards on 17 attempts which marked his worst yards per carry total of the season. Those three straight top 10 Running Back performances feel like a long time ago as he’s finished outside the top 24 in four straight weeks. To make matters worse this Jacksonville Jaguar regime appears to have little interest in involving Etienne as a pass catcher. This was one of his most valuable traits coming out of college but he has received over 3 targets just three times this season. He has been held catchless in two of his past three games too leaving him trending in the wrong direction as we get into the fantasy playoffs. Etienne also has tough matchups the next two weeks against the Cowboys and Jets before facing one of the worst run defenses in the league In Houston. Etienne will be a top 24 Running Back for me in Week 15 only because there aren’t too many names you can trust.