Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 14 Reactions


For the majority of fantasy football players, Week 14 was the beginning of the fantasy playoffs. Conveniently, it was one of the most unpredictable weeks we’ve had all year. To start, James White only had 28 yards and Antonio Brown only had 35 yards. Just what we expected.

On the flip side, Amari Cooper had 200+ yards and three (!) touchdowns.

And most surprisingly of all, Derrick Henry had 238 yards and four touchdowns. So, the undefeated, dominating Fantasy team in your league could have gone down this week. With that said, let’s break down the most important parts of a wild week.

2018 Fantasy Football Week 14 Reactions

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1. Have the New Orleans Saints slowed down?

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While it goes in the books as a W, the Saints certainly didn’t love their performance on Sunday. Yes they beat the Buccaneers 28-14, but it took them a while to get going, scoring only three points in the first half. Last week was not any better, scoring only ten points against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys have an excellent defense, but a team like the Saints should be putting up better numbers regardless. Drew Brees, in particular, has not played as well. In these past two games, he’s thrown two interceptions and only two touchdowns. And, he’s only added 328 yards through the air total.

However, I would take these performances with a grain of salt. Any team goes through rough patches and that’s most likely what’s happening to New Orleans right now. They’ve got two struggling teams coming up, the Carolina Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They will be fine and get it going. But, it’s an unfortunate event during the fantasy playoffs.

2. Are Derek Carr and Jon Gruden finally on the same page?

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After beat writers were calling for his replacement, Derek Carr has been putting together a few good games with the Oakland Raiders. Possibly his best performance this season was on Sunday as Carr completed 74% of his passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning drive.

Carr has played well in consecutive weeks while playing AFC division leaders close, including a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things are still not “good” in Oakland, but there are more and more promising plays each week.

With a possible rebuild of the offensive line over the offseason, Carr is a player to watch in dynasty. I’m not guaranteeing success, but he’s only two years removed from his MVP-candidate season and will be extremely cheap. If you have an extra spot on your bench, Carr might be a guy to watch.

3. Is Cam Newton safe to start?

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Things are getting ugly in Carolina fast. After Sunday’s loss to the Browns, the Panthers are 6-7 and Ron Rivera’s seat is on fire. Cam Newton has struggled back-to-back weeks and is extremely banged up.

While the Panthers are only one game out of a wild-card spot, it doesn’t feel like it. The Panthers have lost five straight games, with three of the teams owning records below .500. Newton has thrown six interceptions over the past three games and has just four touchdowns.

However, he does have two top-5 matchups for the rest of the fantasy playoffs. The New Orleans Saints, Week 15’s opponent, allow the fourth most points to quarterbacks. The Falcons allow the second most points.

Cam Newton is most likely going to be ranked as a QB1. But, consult our rankings before you make any irrational decisions and start him over a better quarterback.

4. Is JuJu Smith-Schuster Pittsburgh’s WR1?

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JuJu Smith-Schuster outperformed Antonio Brown once again this week, putting up 130 yards and two touchdowns compared to AB’s 35 yards. This week’s performance increases his total yardage lead over Brown, 1,234 to 1,063.

AB is still more talented than Smith-Schuster, but he and Ben can’t seem to form a consistent connection this season. He’s still getting a ton of targets but can’t seem to do much with them. Some say Brown has hit the 30-years-of-age mark and is beginning to regress, but I’m not buying it.

Once people start taking a holistic review of the 2018 NFL season, you’re going to see Smith-Schuster’s name popping up often in top-10 receiver rankings. He is incredible. He dominates in the red zone, high points deep passes but can still find soft spots in the zone and play slot receiver. JuJu should be a top-5 option heading into next week’s showdown against the New England Patriots.

5. What is Amari Cooper’s ceiling?

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Amari Cooper, oh my goodness! He had one of the best performances we’ve seen out of a wide receiver all year, catching 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Another great performance this year? Himself two weeks ago! He caught eight passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns on Thanksgiving.

The lack of production Oakland got out of Cooper is astonishing. He’s showing why he was the #4 overall pick in Dallas, displaying all of the qualities an elite WR1 should have. He’s a big reason why the Dallas Cowboys are 8-5, winners of five straight.

Cooper gets a stout Indianapolis Colts pass defense ranking fifth against WR’s next week before a glorious matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the fantasy championship in Week 16. Even against Indianapolis, Coop is a WR1.

Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Noah Spurlock

Noah’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and isn’t afraid to show love for his hometown teams. If there’s a Steelers or Penguins game on, he’ll be watching. He’s been playing fantasy football since he can remember and isn’t afraid to give out some hot takes. Follow him on Twitter @NoahSpurlockNFL!

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