Fantasy Football Winners and Losers of Week 14 - Roto Street Journal
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Fantasy Football Winners and Losers of Week 14

WINNERS

QB     Aaron Rodgers      18/23 for 246 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

This week Aaron Rodgers actually was tied for the most QB fantasy points with Matt Ryan.  How to break the tie… I know!  If one of them was playing against the Rams, it shouldn’t count.  As it turns out, Ryan was facing the Rams while Rodgers went against the supposedly formidable defense of the Seahawks.  Advantage: Rodgers.

From the very beginning, Rodgers torched the Seahawks, completing 78% of his passes and keeping Seattle on their heels the whole game.  Meanwhile, in beautiful Los Angeles, Matt Ryan sipped daiquiris as he casually tossed the ball into the air and assumed his receivers would catch it because the Rams are unspeakably terrible.  Advantage: Rodgers.

And finally, after losing 4 in a row and being written off by pretty much everyone, the Packers are now the winners of 3 straight and are suddenly a threat for a playoff spot.  The Falcons held serve against the hapless Rams, but do not exactly have momentum and have the Bucs—winners of 5 in a row themselves—breathing down their necks.  Personally, I think the Falcons are going to miss the playoffs.  Advantage: Rodgers.

RB      Le’Veon Bell      38 for 236 yards, 3 TDs      4 catches for 62 yards

All-time record for rushing yards in a game by a Steeler?  Check.

3 rushing touchdowns?  Check.

18 more fantasy points than any other player in the NFL this week?  Check.

Death for anyone who faced him in the fantasy playoffs this week?  Checkmate.

WR      Tyreek Hill      6 catches for 66 yards, 1 TD      1 punt return TD

There was not a clear choice at WR this week as far as Winner of the Week honors go.  Sure, there were a few guys who had big games, even some guys who had better fantasy scoring games than Tyreek Hill.  But as far as actual impact on the actual football game—as in, if he weren’t on the field his team wouldn’t have won—Tyreek Hill was the clear victor.

Hill has made the Chiefs more than a Travis Kelce jerk off-a-thon as far as passing the ball.  The guy runs a 4.25 40 yard dash, and he put that speed on display multiple times on Thursday against the Raiders—a team that was previously unbeaten on the road.  His 6 grabs for 66 yards and a touchdown is a very good game, to be sure.  But when you factor in the punt return for a TD that he had—and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend to watch it—he is suddenly head and shoulders above the field.  It seemed like he was making moves on defenders at absolutely full speed without slowing down at all.  He reminded me of Cordarelle Patterson, but good.

Of course, Hill comes with a little bit of unpleasant baggage which makes rooting for him challenging.  And while punching and strangling your pregnant girlfriend does not disqualify him from winning this prestigious award, I can assure you I will NOT have him on any of my fantasy teams next year.  If that costs me games, I can live with it.  But wow that guy is a serious athlete.

TE        Zach Ertz                     10 catches for 112 yards on 13 targets 

I hate Zach Ertz.  It’s no secret.  It’s well known by anyone who has talked football with me in the past 3 years or so.  I think he’s overrated.  I think he’s overhyped.  I have no idea what he looks like, but I’ll bet I would think he is ugly, too.

But he had a serious game (in a loss) this week against Washington. 13 targets for a TE is prime Jason Witten country, and that’s nothing to sneer at—even if you hate Zach Ertz.  I actually had him on my bench for my game against the Wolf this week in the RSJ league, and keeping him there may end up costing me the game.  I played Kyle Rudolph instead, so it wasn’t a disaster, but it’s one of those every-point-counts games, and I definitely left a few on the table.

The only other guy I could’ve seriously considered for Winner of the Week honors was Tyler Eifert, but his numbers came at the expense of the Browns, who cemented themselves as an 0-16 team with the pile of shit they left against the Bengals (at home, no less) this week.  Much like I disregarded Matt Ryan’s performance against the Rams, I will choose to ignore Eifert’s numbers against the Browns.

I said this on the podcast last week, and I’ll say it again because I get so few things right it is important to go on incessantly about the things I am correct about.  Remember when the Eagles were 3-0 and everyone thought they were great?  I said they would end up sucking, and well, they have won 2 out of their last 10 and are a solid last place in the NFC East.  Small victories, Truth.  Small victories.

LOSERS

QB       Too many to pick just one

I hate to ride the fence on this, but there were so many QBs (many of them big name guys) who were unbelievably terrible this week that I found it to be a disservice to them and you, the public, to limit myself to just one.  So, for the sake of time and space, I will list the group of failures off for you and you can decide on your own.

  • Dak Prescott 17/37 for 165 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
  • Jared Goff 24/41 for 235 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
  • Drew Brees 25/41 for 257 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
  • Derek Carr 17/41 for 117 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • Russell Wilson 22/39 for 240 yards, 1 TD, 5 INT
  • Jameis Winston 16/26 for 184 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • Ben Roethlisberger 17/31 for 220 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
  • Brock Osweiler 14/24 for 147 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
  • Marcus Mariota 6/20 for 88 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

You decide.  No matter what you do, you can’t go right with this crew.

RB      Devonta Freeman      6 carries for 6 yards     2 catches for 12 yards 

Is this guy getting completely phased out?  While it’s not like Tevin Coleman exactly lit the world on fire against the Rams this week (55 total yards, 4.5 yards per carry), he did find the end zone 2 times, making him extremely fantasy relevant in any format.  Freeman on the other hand, had 18 total yards of offense and averaged a whopping 1 yard per rushing attempt.  It is possible that the writing is on the wall.

While his fantasy numbers have been OK (based mostly on occasional touchdowns set up by the Falcons’ solid offense), Freeman has only rushed for over 60 yards 1 time in his last 8 games—not exactly numbers to get excited about.  More so than Freeman getting the squeeze in favor of Coleman, I think the Falcons are poised to crash and burn.  (We’ve never seen that before, have we?)  With the injury to Julio Jones and the surging Bucs, don’t be too quick to pencil the division leading Falcons in for a playoff spot.

The real measuring stick for Freeman will come next week when the Falcons face the 49ers.  Just for the record, Bilal Powell (not to be confused with Adrian Peterson) rushed for 145 yards and a couple touchdowns against them this week.  If Freeman can’t make something happen against them, no one would fault you for going into full on panic mode.

WR      Dez Bryant      1 catch for 10 yards on 9 targets, 1 fumble

 It really seemed like Larry Fitzgerald or Donte Moncrief would have an inside track on this award.  Moncrief’s goose egg combined with my taking the Wolf’s advice and starting Ladarius Green over Eric Ebron cost me a playoff win in my hometown league, so I was extra ready to heap insults upon him.  Then along came Dez.

Bryant did not have a single catch until there were maybe 2 minutes left in the game Sunday night.  Then, with the Cowboys desperately needing a first down, Dez converted on a quick slant on 4th down—vintage Bryant, coming through when they absolutely needed him to.  Then, he fumbled the ball.  The Cowboys lose.  Anyone relying on Dez Bryant loses.  The sky is falling.

Dez is still a great receiver, but his rapport with Dak Prescott has not exactly been legendary this season.  And last night, Prescott looked like a rattled first year QB—much the way Jared Goff looked in his debacle vs. Atlanta earlier in the day.  We are not accustomed to seeing this from the Cowboys or Prescott, but if teams other than the Giants figure this guy out, it does not bode well for the Cowboys’ future or Dez’s.

TE      Jimmy Graham      1 catch for 16 yards on 4 targets

You saw Russell Wilson’s numbers in the list of horrible QBs this week, so the fact that Jimmy Graham didn’t produce may not come as much of a surprise to you.  Still, when a guy as talented as Graham who has allegedly returned to the great player he once was only manages to pull in 1 catch, he’s going to get called a loser by the RSJ.

Are there any good teams in the NFC?  Are the Cowboys and the Seahawks paper tigers with the Giants and the Packers lurking in the bushes waiting to pounce on the rest of the division?  I just don’t know anymore.

Here’s what I do know:  the Seahawks are playing the Rams next week.  If they don’t win and Graham doesn’t produce, they should just forfeit the season and he should retire from professional football.  Am I overreacting?  Of course.  But as I sit here in my house with kids home from school because of the snow, trying to write this while feeding and entertaining them at the same time, that’s where my head is at right now.

Author

  • The Truth is the oldest (and wisest) member of the RSJ team. He loves reality TV, is skeptical of pass catching running backs, and thinks John Elway is the greatest quarterback of all time.

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