Our Week 14 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 14 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
After burning his owners for fewer than 5 points in Week 13, it’s hard to see how anyone could start Kap here. I think that the 49ers brain trust saw what we saw on the field last week, and that’s precisely why I think he’s a vastly underrated start this week. If I was SF, bidding for a playoff spot, the one thing I would need the most this week was a great confidence-building week from my QB. The Raiders are the perfect opportunity for Kaepernick to both run wild and throw at will, and I think he throws for 200+ yards here and potentially adds a rushing score in a bounce-back performance.
The way I see it, there are only two outcomes in Cleveland. One: Brian Hoyer starts, Indianapolis trashes the Browns defense just like it did Washington’s and the game gets out of hand quickly, and Manziel is in before halftime. Two: JFF is named the starter this week, and the Browns defense still gets trashed but it leaves him plenty of garbage-time to rack up the stats. I feel like he gets significant playing time either way. He showed he’s a viable runner with a score in relief last weekend, and I think a full game of Manziel, with Kyle Shanahan (think 2012 RG3) calling the shots could lead to some serious fantasy production, especially with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron expected to be back in the fold.
Dan “Boom” Herron
Herron made owners risked starting him look great on Sunday, averaging 11 yards per carry on his way to 88 total and a touchdown. Again he looked way better than Trent Richardson, and again it looks like the workload will be split between them. Fine by me – Herron looked home-run explosive against a good Redskins run defense, and this week he’s against a Browns defense that struggles to contain even average rushers. Fire him up as a RB2 without hesitation.
When your team signs Chris Ogbonnaya off the street on Tuesday, it’s a pretty good sign that they’re worried about their starter. The Giants did just that, and it seems more than just a possibility that Rashad Jennings’ ankle injury will keep him out of Week 14, despite his comments to the contrary. Assuming I’m correct, this makes Williams a great start against a positively terrible Tennessee run defense. He’s been a major bust in the starting role so far, but if there’s ever a matchup to exploit, this is it. Keep an eye on this situation all week.
With DeAngelo Williams suffering from a broken finger, it looks increasingly likely that Stewart will take over the feature back role this coming Sunday. Stewart has been better than Williams anyway and the matchup against the Saints 29th ranked defense couldn’t possibly be better. I think Cam and Co. will score more than their fair share of points in a key matchup to decide the NFC South.
Stills crushed it last week and I’m rolling with him again. He’s taken possession of the Brandin Cooks role in the Saints offense and more, roasting the Steelers defense (on the road no less) for 160+ yards and a TD. This week the Saints are at home. in a must-win game, against the hapless Panthers pass defense. There are a ton of big name WR I’d start him over – Wallace, Fitz, Johnson, Garcon, DJax, Sanu, Tate, Wayne, and more. He’s a top 15 WR (if not higher) in my book.
I’m pretty interested in Boldin this week, for many of the same reasons I’m interested in Kaepernick. Coming off a terrible game against Seattle, it seems likely that the 49ers will do everything they can to get their best and most consistent WR going again. I think Anquan gets a ton of targets here and gets into the end zone, significantly outperforming where many of the industry analysts will have him ranked.
Whelp, Landy didn’t quite find the end zone against the Jets as I’d hoped, but he did receive a team-high 11 targets, catching 8 for 68 total yards. Additionally, he was open down the field (WIDE open, more than once) and Ryan Tannehill either missed him or just didn’t see him. There was potential here for a much, much bigger game. The Dolphins return home this week to face off with the Ravens defense, which is murder against opposing RBs but Swiss Cheese to opposing WR. They rank 31st overall, and I think Landry is a top 30 WR here if not more in a must-win game for the Fins.
The Jets give up the third-most points to TEs. They also give up the first-most TDs to TEs. Rudolph scored a TD last week against CAR, and should be licking his chops anticipating this matchup. When you also consider the dominant nature of the Vikings defense, you have to think there will be plenty of offensive opportunities to be had this week in Minny. If you’re gonna throw a dart in Week 14, Rudolph isn’t a terrible toss. Plus, we’re pretty close to Christmas, right?
Defenses / Special Teams
Minnesota D / ST
If you watched the debacle that was the Jets pass offense on Monday night, you get this recommendation. New York HC Rex Ryan was literally terrified to let Geno Smith throw the ball, and I totally get why. Smith looked dismal, and if possible, played even worse than that. The Vikings defense is fresh off a 30+ point whitewashing of the Panthers and have all the confidence in the world. Whether its Geno or Mike Vick, the Week 14 Jets are going to be the fresh meat thrown to the proverbial lions.