2021 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview

by Richard Savill
2021 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview

This comes up around playoff time every year. You might be in the playoffs already and looking for a higher seed. Perhaps a "win and in" or "win and need help" situation falls upon you. It's just like real football playoff races! As we approach fantasy playoff time, we often hear the aphorism, "always start your studs" when it comes to difficult decisions in your weekly lineups.

The thinking goes that you are better off losing with your studs on the field than having them on the bench scoring empty points.

There is not much argument from me on the face of it. However, when your intuition continues to bother you about an awkward circumstance within a matchup or some other matter, there is obviously something amiss.

This is a time of the season where overthinking hinders our objectivity far more than the easy "let it be" days of September and October. The importance of these December weeks determines whether your focus is on preparation for the fantasy playoffs or Christmas. Fortunately, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. For those with fantasy football OCD, yeah, not so much.

A Remedy for Overthinking?

But, even at the mall when you are shopping for gifts, don't tell me daydreaming never draws you toward that fantasy smartphone app when taking a break from the crowds for a coffee.

That's how overthinking feeds.

Advice? Set your lineup early in the week. Usually, your first instincts are correct. As the weekend approaches, that's when doubts begin to appear and decisions trickle into ambiguity. Injury status comes into play, and you have to monitor that. On that front, yes, a player can go into a game as a decoy, running routes with low contact. Those game-time decisions require your fantasy intuition.

The bottom line is this: resolve that altering your early-week first lineup choices later in the week is like making an amendment to the constitution. This way, your initial decision overrides any overthinking.

Good luck in your playoff pursuit!

The 2021 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview is next.


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2021 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview

Latest update: December 12, 2021 @ 10:00:30 ET
10:00:30 ET - Tony Pollard
December 12, 2021↑
17:10:12 ET - Darrell Henderson on the RC list
16:50:35 ET - Elijah Moore on IR
07:36:01 ET - updated weather
December 12, 2021↑

2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

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Byes: Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles

The Games this Week2021 Fantasy Football Week 12 Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.

Early Sunday: Cowboys (8-4) at Washington (6-6) +4.0 48.5

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Yes, it's a big game in the NFC East. It's one of the classic NFL matchups too. In fantasy, it always helps when your players are on the rosters of teams still in the race.

Taylor Heinicke and the Football Team seem to have a formula that works. Four straight wins at this point in the season following four straight losses means an adjustment of some sort hit the proper notes. The streak began with a stunning victory over the Buccaneers.

How is Washington pulling this off?

Sound defense and ball control are pushing some of the positives. Nothing outstanding, but enough to put Washington in the top-10 of several defensive categories. However, when I did a little number crunching for the blurbs this week, I noticed one thing that struck me. Washington have the most first downs via opposition penalty and stand 2nd in time of possession after Green Bay.

Now add in that Dallas are the most penalized team in the NFL. If these stats mesh neatly for this game, with the caution that there is no guaranteed bankability for stuff like this, Washington should find good field position by playing legal football and letting Dallas make all the mistakes.

Speaking of the Dallas defense, rookie Micah Parsons is playing the linebacker position like a veteran. He has 16 tackles for loss this season, tying him with Nick Bosa and T.J. Watt for the league lead. He also has 10 sacks, putting him right among the elite defenders in the NFL. I don't often mention the IDP fantasy studs, but Parsons is right in there!

Zeke vs Pollard

Tony Pollard's upside pressure over Ezekiel Elliott in the Dallas backfield took a downward turn with the injury report of a torn plantar fascia. Pollard now becomes a game-time decision. Both remain as 1a and 1b options, but Zeke is starting to look like the bee. I would go as far to say that the Cowboys will have a Denver-type split before the season is up. This all depends on Pollard's health in the medium term.

Elliott maintains a 65 to 52 touch advantage over the last four games, but Pollard has a 310 to 220 scrim-yard advantage in that same span. The touchdowns favor Zeke by three to one.

Note: Corey Clement looking like an interesting add with Pollard on the wrong side of questionable OUT. Starting Clement as a Flex, risky, but playable if other options are dry.

As for this game, the script favors Dallas, and as a result, you can start all your available fantasy checklist Cowboys comfortably. Without Logan Thomas, Terry McLaurin will get the blanket from the Cowboys' secondary.

So McLaurin is on the fade side of the ledger this week. If Ricky Seals-Jones plays, that may help the Washington downfielders. DeAndre Carter is a reasonable dart-throw, but Adam Humphries is not.

Start Antonio Gibson as per usual and look for good things.

Fun Fact: Heinicke is the best quarterback in the NFL by PFF grading when he throws less than ten yards, but ranks 20th when throwing further than twenty yards.
Sleeper: DeAndre Carter, WR, Washington
Pick Poll: Cowboys 73%
Weather: 44° Clear

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...

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Forty-Niners (6-6) at Bengals (7-5) -1.0 47.5

A strange mixed bag game script. Partly because Joe Burrow's finger injury leads one to suspect that Joe Mixon will muster the work with a shorter passing game. This makes C.J. Uzomah a useful fantasy plug despite the 49ers allowing the fewest FPs to TEs. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, especially the latter, will get most of their targets through seams and slants. As for Ja'Marr Chase, we might see less 'go' type routes and more outside hitch type stuff. George Kittle projects as the best downfield fantasy feaster on the 49ers in combo with their own running attack. Elijah Mitchell is out with concussion, so Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty are in the fantasy sweet spot. Go Wilson first and Hasty a low second. Brandon Aiyuk is a fantasy accessory; especially if Deebo Samuel cannot go.
Pick Poll: Bengals 66%
Weather: 42° Clear

2021 Fantasy Football Week 12 Blurbview

Ravens (8-4) at Browns (6-6) -2.5 42.5

That's no typo. Vegas favors the Browns in this one. Baker Mayfield needed the bye to get some healing. In what figures as a low-scoring affair, the RBs on both teams are the best fantasy options. On the other hand, Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown have their usual upside starts. Sit all the other Ravens. For the Browns, Donovan Peoples-Jones has his usual risk-reward sleeper appeal. Jarvis Landry's production should be around a B-minus with his regular floorish output. Apart from Peoples-Jones, there is one other dart-throw with real upside - Austin Hooper. With David Njoku out, it clears some clutter for Hooper to be a good TE spot start.
Pick Poll: Ravens 71%
Weather: 41° Clear

Raiders (6-6) at Chiefs (8-4) -9.5 48.5

Although the DST of the Chiefs look great these days, fantasy owners are getting uncomfortable with the Tyreek Hill stat-lines. Patrick Mahomes looks for a bounce-back game as well. Bold prediction? Both Hill and Mahomes have their best game of the season in fantasy - launching you like a rocket into your playoffs! One of those, "where was this last week?" type of scenarios. We're also expecting the Raiders to get their own fantasy muscle going. The Raiders can unleash Josh Jacobs freely without Kenyan Drake. Darren Waller remains out, but Foster Moreau simply cannot match the talent as a straight plug in. Consider Moreau a mild and rather risky option at tight end. Then again, he could turn out as another "where was this last week?" surprise.
Pick Poll: Chiefs 93%
Weather: 45° Clear
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Saints (5-7) at Jets (3-9) +5.5 43.5

If Alvin Kamara plays, Taysom Hill can avoid too much excessive scrambling and stick to short passing. This seems about the best his talent allows, and let's face it - he throws a rather ugly ball. On the plus side, Taysom Hill is a gamer quarterback with the ability to pull out amazing plays from nowhere. Bottom line: You can start him and get good fantasy points. Unreal. Mark Ingram is a likely scratch adding to Hill's share of carries. As for those Jets, avoid the RBs. The Saints are allowing the 2nd most FPs to WRs this season. Note: Elijah Moore placed on IR. Have a browse in your waivers; Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios should see extra targets. If you really want to get fantasy impudent, try that Kenny Yeboah guy.
Pick Poll: Saints 88%
Weather: 44° Clear

Falcons (5-7) at Panthers (5-7) -3.0 42.5

The math for the playoffs really harms the loser. When a 6-6 record is enough to secure the 6th and 7th seeds at this point in the NFC, the game is on. We like that because teams compete like they mean it. Unfortunately, the game script looks more orangish than green for fantasy. Cam Newton could have a good game, even with his scrappy style. However, the rest of the Panthers, including D.J. Moore, aren't looking too hot since Cam came back to the team. The Falcons have their own issues, but Cordarrelle Patterson, of all people, remains among the steadiest rocks in 2021 fantasy. Consider Russell Gage and Kyle Pitts on the riskier side of your starters this week.
Pick Poll: Panthers 64%
Weather: 47° Clear
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Seahawks (4-8) at Texans (2-10) +7.5 42.0

Davis Mills returns as quarterback for the Texans. A "get right" game for D.K. Metcalf like this could not come soon enough. Against the 49ers, although Seattle gained a victory, the weary problems of the team's offense remained evident. The Texans are in "bag head" mode at this point. This means they'll take a few 4th down chances without demoralizing their defense too much. After all, you're playing for pride, and not more misery. So there are bottom-feeder fantasy points galore if things break well that way. The Seahawks will play hard for the playoffs until the math says no. Stick to the fantasy norms when it comes to starting running backs on both sides.
Pick Poll: Seahawks 95%
Weather: 51° Clear

Jaguars (2-10) at Titans (8-4) -9.0 44.0

Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson share one thing in common. A 58% completion rate - lowest in the league. This makes owning a receiver from Jacksonville undesirable. If the Titans had better health, like the Rams last week, this game would spec as another blowout loss for the Jags. As it is, the Titans have a comfortable enough victory to celebrate if they avoid too many mistakes. D'Onta Foreman or Dalton Hilliard? Go with Foreman first, Hilliard second. Both are playable. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine takes a hit if Julio Jones plays, but even Julio seems risky. James Robinson remains highly questionable, but Carlos Hyde is a less-than-desirable cuff and is among the lowest Flex options. Laviska Shenault is an interesting add, including for backfield stints, but an even riskier start than Hyde.
Pick Poll: Titans 98%
Weather: 43° Clear

Late Sunday: Bills (7-5) at Buccaneers (9-3) -3.5 52.5

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Every team the Buccaneers face following this game are currently under .500 and the Bills only have the Patriots left on their schedule in this regard.

This is one of the better fantasy games this weekend and a fun one to watch. The Bills go from Belichick to Brady. It just seems like there is Patriots DNA wherever they go.

It scripts as a "last possession wins" type of game. However, the Buccaneers with the better running game may force the Bills into another drain of timeouts with barely any clock left to attempt a rally or win.

Defense is Key

Look for Josh Allen to gain a pile of yardage with his legs. It is key for the Bucs defense to prevent this and contain Allen within the pocket. As keenly noted by the commentators on Monday, Allen prefers escaping to his right, so expect the Tampa edge rushers to seal that up. Shaquil Barrett loves that job.

For Brady, his dangers lie with the Buffalo secondary. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are among the best cover safeties in the NFL. Brady knows his stuff, of course, and will simply work the sidelines until the Bills mess up the coverage down the middle.

Everyone with reasonable fantasy stripe starts on both teams, except your Bills in the backfield.

Fun Fact: Tom Brady currently leads the league with most passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, pass completions, and a number of other quarterbacking categories. 2021 MVP? Sure looks that way.
Sleeper:  Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 80%
Weather: 79° Mostly Cloudy

Other Late Games in Brief...

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2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

Lions (1-10-1) at Broncos (6-6)

Everyone was a Lions fan this week. Amon-Ra St. Brown's big game-winning catch brought him some waiver wire love. He's the brother of Equanimeous St. Brown of the Packers. Back to normal for Week 14, I'm sorry to say. The Lions will find the sledding tougher at Mile High. You can still start Amon-Ra as a fantasy dare, but there aren't many points to chase.  D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are out. Next man up is Jermar Jefferson, then Godwin Igwebuike. Jefferson gets preference and the matchup is not all that bad. T.J. Hockenson is doubtful, which generally means out. Brock Wright is not fantasy viable. For the Broncos, anyone for another heaping helping of Javonte Williams? Tim Patrick is your bonus sleeper. Denver will pause for a moment of silence for Demaryius Thomas who died this week.
Pick Poll: Broncos 94%
Weather: 50° Partly Cloudy

Giants (4-8) at Chargers (7-5) -10.5 44.5

League pundits continue to praise Justin Herbert and his mechanics. When Herbert is in the zone, he's lethal. Mike Glennon continues at quarterback for the Giants. The receivers he throws to, or at least makes the attempt, have among lowest trust in fantasy. So no Giants should be on your starting lineup.  Not even Saquon Barkley. It's precisely the opposite for the Chargers. Keenan Allen did not clear protocols, so Josh Palmer might be worth a shot. You may think "why not Jalen Guyton?", which on its face sounds logical, and a must-start as well under the circumstances, but Palmer is the proper Keenan Allen understudy.
Pick Poll: Chargers 98%
Weather: Dome

Feature Games

Sunday Night: Bears (4-8) at Packers (9-3) -12.5 43.5

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Justin Fields will return as the quarterback of the Bears. Is this good or bad for the downfield fantasy options? In particular, Darnell Mooney?

Reactions across the various fantasy platforms based on their projections seem mixed. Most regard Fields as a downgrade for Mooney. It's a tough matchup to begin with, but we should look at Mooney as a must-start over several other receivers in his recently elevated range.

The best Bear, David Montgomery, is hitting a peak at the moment and has less fantasy shade. One more thing on the Bears front. Allen Robinson will play. Treat his low expectations the same as you would for Mooney.

Aaron Jones or A.J. Dillon?

A comparison between Jones and Dillon shows a visible edge to Jones, but both are playable. The only disappointment in the arrangement is that draft expectations for Jones (ADP RB6) and A.J. Dillon (ADP RB34) left the owners of Jones getting the short end of the stick. An RB6 ADP refers to an RB1 with touchdown upside. Because of the Dillon deployment surge, that could not happen for Jones in 2021.

All your fantasy Packers start with upside. It will be a bit chilly out there, as Lambeau is this time of year, but not so biting as to affect production on either team.

Fun Fact: The Broncos and Patriots have allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns with six.
Sleeper: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, WR, Packers
Pick Poll: Packers 98%
Weather: 33° Mostly Cloudy

Monday Night: Rams (8-4) at Cardinals (10-2) -2.5 51.5

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Once again, Monday Night Football Inc. gets the big game of the week.

I'm going to say it anyway. All players on your fantasy team involved in this game can start. Now, on to the details...

Chase Edmonds will return for this game, and the James Conner bump-up ride ends. Conner's fill was quite successful. We're back to a 1a and 1b backfield, but in situations like this we need to sit tight and hope an "easing in" for Edmonds is not an issue.

Note: Darrell Henderson out for this game. Once again, Sony Michel leads the backfield with Mekhi Sargent getting the relief work.

Because of the potentially large number of fantasy points on the table for this game, major shifts in your fantasy playoff seedings should make for some real excitement.

However, in games like this, where fantasy joy spreads everywhere, there is always that one fantasy guy who, for some reason, ends up left out of the party. I'll go out on a limb and make a bold prediction of who that unlucky fellow might be. I'm going to guess it's Christian Kirk.

Fun Fact: Jordan Hicks won the award for NFC defensive player of the Week following his performance against the Bears. This is the sixth “Player of the Week” selection for the Cardinals in 2021. The last time the Cardinals had more than six “Player of the Week” selections in a season was in 2009 with seven.
Sleeper: Rondale Moore, WR, Cardinals
Pick Poll: Cardinals 74%
Weather: Dome

In the Booth on Sunday

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Jay Feely

CBS Early

Raiders at Chiefs: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Ravens at Browns: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Saints at Jets: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Jaguars at Titans: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely

FOX Early

Cowboys at Washington: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Falcons at Panthers: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Seahawks at Texans: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

CBS Late

Bills at Buccaneers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
49ers at Bengals: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta

FOX Late

Giants at Chargers: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Lions at Broncos: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

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