What are we to make of what happened on Thursday night? Do we suddenly see a different Baker Mayfield down the stretch than we saw with the Browns and Panthers? Is there now a rush to the waiver wire for Cam Akers, Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell, and Van Jefferson?
Baker Mayfield played the game of his career—at least in one quarter. To get some perspective, we still need to look at the Raiders, the team that fell to pieces while Baker was picking up the pieces. The Raiders gifted penalty yardage to the Rams on that final drive. One crucial moment was the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following a nine-yard sack, when a Raider slapped the ball out of Baker's hand. Taunting. Fifteen yards and a fresh set of downs. Utter silliness.
A Quick Study
It's still amazing that Baker could take over an offense in 48 hours, taking just 20 or so throws with the team on arrival as basic prep. When you compare that to Deshaun Watson's first game with his new team, and having far more preparation, you can't make sense of it.
Was Baker badly coached by the Browns? And is that what we will see the Browns' culture do to Deshaun Watson too?
It's unfair to indict the Browns just yet, because we'll have to see how Baker does against the Packers next week at Lambeau. After all, Baker had an in-between team following the Browns. On the Panthers, he brought next-to-zero fantasy upside for that offense. We can't suddenly erase what came before.
Nevertheless, nothing will ever take away that moment for Baker Mayfield. He got his fresh start and then some. Now, a new file opens for Baker Mayfield and fantasy football.
Good luck in Week 14.
Let me know in the comment section below what you think or on twitter @RRSSavill.
The 2022 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview is next.
Byes: Bears, Colts, Commanders, Falcons, Packers, Saints
Updated: Dec 11 1130am ET (final)
Trending: Saquon Barkley active; Michael Carter active
Early Sunday | Late Sunday | Feature Games | In the Booth | Comments
2022 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview
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The Games this Week2022 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview
A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.
Early Sunday: Jets (7-5) at Bills (9-3) -9.0 44.0
Mike White and the Jets fell short of rallying on the road against the Vikings last week. White made 57 pass attempts, the most since Joe Flacco's 59 in Week 1. This kind of "letting loose" helps us remain positive in fantasy football for the Jets' offense.
The emergence of Zonovan "Bam" Knight is another plus for the Jets and fantasy owners. He rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries. This included a 48-yard scamper, which kept the Jets in the hunt for a win against the Vikes.
So while the Jets have made forced changes to the offense in recent weeks and overall remain positive in their outlook, they face another tough test against the Bills before heading home to face the Lions.
Your Jets are startable in this matchup, but set your expectations closer to the floor than the ceiling. The usual tactic against the Bills is to start off by going ground-heavy. It may take a while before Mike White gets the green light from Saleh for the deeper shots downfield.
Bills Back On Top
The Bills are back in control of the AFC playoff seedings. This game is their second in a trilogy of divisional games with the Dolphins visiting next week.
The Bills continue to evolve and experiment with new ideas on offense. James Cook, in particular, has taken on a larger role and becomes a more flexible option as we enter the fantasy playoffs.
Although this game has obvious defensive overtones, you can start all the fantasy regulars on the Bills in this game in their varying tiers. We can expect an average between the floor and the ceiling. Hold your optimism for big numbers with Stefon Diggs. Be aware that Gabe Davis is on the hook for a long-awaited burst following three straight quietish weeks.
Fun Fact: The Bills have scored 68 points in the second quarter in their last six games, but just 17 points in the third in that same span.
Sleeper: Tyler Conklin, TE, Jets
Observe: Nyheim Hines, RB, Bills
Pick Poll: Bills 95%
Update: Michael Carter A
Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...
Browns (5-7) at Bengals (8-4) -6.0 47.0
The Browns scored everything on defense last week, and Deshaun Watson certainly had more than rust to contend with. The Browns are alive, but not well, in the playoff race. It's very doubtful Watson has any chance of running the table. Apart from Nick Chubb, your fantasy Browns look risky. The Browns were stellar on defense against Houston, and your Bengals have that to contend with, but start them all regardless.
Observe: Deshaun Watson, QB, Browns
Pick Poll: Bengals 93%
Update: David Bell Q↑ | David Njoku Q↑ | Amari Cooper A | Hayden Hurst O |
Texans (1-10-1) at Cowboys (9-3) -17.0 45.0
Another game in which the offensive Cowboys may be given light duties in the fourth quarter. It's better than having the Houston side of things. You can't really start your Texans unless you are counting on garbage time. The Cowboys might only need to use Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard for most of the game. A blowout can still yield a cache of fantasy points for the Cowboys, even if they are sitting late in the game.
Observe: Noah Brown, WR, Cowboys
Pick Poll: Cowboys 99%
Update: Nico Collins O | Brandin Cooks O |
2022 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview
Eagles (11-1) at Giants (7-4-1) +7.0 45.5
We're kind of used to the idea that when the Giants fall behind in a game, they ain't rallying back. They just aren't built for it. Getting the ball down the field isn't going to happen when Darius Slayton is the only guy the defense has to cover downtown. So the Giants will try, and likely fail, to put yet another game on Barkley's shoulders to keep Jalen Hurts off the field. All Eagles are green starts. Daniel Bellinger is an upside sleeper.
Observe: Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Giants
Pick Poll: Eagles 88%
Update: Saquon Barkley Qgt | Richie James Jr. Q | Quez Watkins Q↑ |
Vikings (10-2) at Lions (5-7) -2.5 53.5
Not to jinx anything, but we get very few fantasy duds when the Lions are playing somebody. Imagine if they had a better defense. They don't, and so that's why their record is what it is. Speaking of duds, Kirk Cousins has had a few of those lately, including last week against the Jets. The Lions are just the tonic he needs to start getting on a roll. Get everyone fantasy relevant out there. Need a sleeper? Try K.J. Osborn.
Observe: Jameson Williams, WR, Lions
Pick Poll: Vikings 74%
Update: Kalif Raymond Q | C.J. Ham Q |
Ravens (8-4) at Steelers (5-7) -2.5 37.0
Will Kenny Pickett get a top-ten quarterback finish this season? Even quarterbacks lower on the scale than he is can usually get at least one. With a tight defensive game on tap, it's not likely. Tyler Huntley can make plays almost the way Lamar Jackson does, so you are starting him. Overall, you are looking at tight ends and pass-catching running backs for the best fantasy points. As the OU suggests, temper the expectations all around.
Observe: Josh Oliver, TE, Ravens
Pick Poll: Ravens 54%
Update: Diontae Johnson A | Lamar Jackson O | J.K. Dobbins A |
Jaguars (4-8) at Titans (7-5) -3.5 41.5
Has potential for an upset. Just when you thought the Titans' passing game had something going, Treylon Burks gets knocked down and ends up in the conk-pro. Derrick Henry needs a big game to secure a win. The Jaguars are out to spoil and even get ideas about taking over this weak division. Start all your Jags. Apart from Henry, everyone sits on the Titans except for two sleeper options: WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and TE Chigoziem Okonkwo.
Observe: Jamal Agnew, WR, Jaguars
Pick Poll: Titans 94%
Update: Trevor Lawrence Qep | Zay Jones A | Treylon Burks O | Hassan Haskins Q | James Robinson O
Late Sunday: Buccaneers (6-6) at 49ers (8-4) -3.5 37.0
Without Tom Brady's late heroics, his team could easily be at 4-8 heading into this game. The Bucs are favorites for the "Cardiac Kids" award this season. The Bucs, at 6-6, still have work to do because the Falcons remain just one win behind if the Buccaneers lose this game.
It's just as an important game for similar reasons for the 49ers. The Seahawks aren't going away either as we look forward to that pivotal Thursday night matchup in Week 15.
So it's always a good fantasy stimulant when teams still have something to play for in the closing stages of the regular season.
Brock Purdy at the Helm
Fortunately, the 49ers do not operate their offense where the quarterback holds a position of overt chief centrality. This takes a lot of pressure off Purdy, so they can play a short game.
There still comes a time where Brock Purdy will need to exercise that arm accurately enough to keep the Bucs' secondary from closing in to make run-blitz schemes effective. In other words, they have to keep that Buccaneer defense honest in all areas of the field. Can Purdy do the job?
He showed against Miami that he can go 25 of 37 for 210 yards. Then the defense does the rest. This tame upside is enough to start him in 2-QB leagues with acceptable risk.
The script calls for low scoring and for the teams to seize every first down they can get. It's a field position game, and the Buccaneers will find that the 49ers are like a deluxe model of the Saints.
Everyone relevant in fantasy football can start this game, and except for a few players, above-average or outlier production is unlikely. George Kittle is the only player who looks the best positioned on both sides in the Fantasy Points Against category. The Buccaneers allow the fourth most to tight ends.
Fun Fact: This is Tom Brady's first visit to Levi's Stadium since he was with the Patriots in 2016. In fact, the Buccaneers as a team haven't played there since 2016 either.
Sleeper: Julio Jones, WR, Buccaneers
Observe: Jauan Jennings, WR, 49ers
Pick Poll: 49ers 68%
Update: Christian McCaffrey Q↑ | Deebo Samuel Q↑ | Leonard Fournette Qep |
Other Late Games in Brief...
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2022 Fantasy Football Week 14 Blurbview
Chiefs (9-3) at Broncos (3-9) +9.5 44.0
These teams are playing both their divisional home and away games late this year. The Chiefs remain in the chase for the top seed if they win, but their loss to the Bills in Week 6 forfeited the tie-breaker. The Broncos have put the clamp on every offense they've faced this year. The Chiefs are strong enough to finally rip this trend apart. Russell Wilson and your Broncos are all dart throw options—as per usual.
Observe: Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
Pick Poll: Chiefs 98%
Update: Jerry Jeudy Q | Courtland Sutton O | Kadarius Toney O |
Panthers (4-8) at Seahawks (7-5) -3.5 44.0
A key game for the Seahawks and their playoff hopes. With the 49ers, Chiefs, and Jets ahead on the schedule, it's still looking iffy. Your fantasy Panthers are quite playable against the defense of the Seahawks. It's a committee for the Seahawks to replace Kenneth Walker, but which one excels of DeeJay Dallas (Q), Travis Homer, or Tony Jones remains unknown. There is no clear best selection, but Jones is the healthiest.
Observe: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Panthers
Pick Poll: Seahawks 94%
Update: DeeJay Dallas Qgt | Ken Walker Qgt↓ | Travis Homer Q↑ | Will Dissly Q |
Sunday Night: Dolphins (8-4) at Chargers (6-6) +3.0 52.5
The Chargers are beating all their weaker opponents, but have yet to put a top scalp into the win column. Once again, here is an opportunity. It's a matchup which appeals to their offensive nature and one in which Justin Herbert thrives.
It is one where Tua Tagovailoa thrives as well, and Miami have the better firepower to outlast the Chargers. So, expect the Chargers to not hurry their pace too much and give their rushing attack all they can handle to control some clock.
Mike Williams Necessary Now
The latest report has Williams active. There is an urgency to get Mike Williams on the field for the Chargers, even if he isn't quite 100%. With only Joshua Palmer and Keenan Allen taking on most of the heavy lifting downfield with Gerald Everett, that extra oar will really help in a matchup such as this.
Expect normal participation and no snap count limitations. The Chargers must play him with full commitment to win this game. Even if his targets are in the medium range, the field presence is important.
The Dolphins and Game Plan
The only main issue on the offense of the Dolphins lies with Jaylen Waddle's injury. He's possibly dealing with a leg bruise.
We know these offenses well enough to know what kind of game we should see on Sunday Night Football. As for the defenses, well, star safety Derwin James of the Chargers is out for this game. His counterpart Jevon Holland will play for the Dolphins.
Fun Fact: This is the first visit by the Dolphins to SoFi Stadium hosted by the Rams or Chargers. The Chargers will also host the Titans next week in their first visit to SoFi. There will remain just eight teams having yet to play at the venue since its opening in 2020.
Sleeper: Trent Sherfield, WR, Dolphins
Observe: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Chargers
Pick Poll: Dolphins 77%
Update: Tua Tagovailoa Qep | Jaylen Waddle Q↑ | River Cracraft D | Mike Williams A
Patriots (6-6) at Cardinals (4-8) +1.5 43.5
The Cardinals really couldn't get it going in 2022. They certainly missed DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown for good portions of the season, but other injuries to James Conner, Kyler Murray and others seemed to disrupt game plans that the non-regulars could not execute.
So here they are, ready and relatively healthy with the season now almost over. We have to wonder what Kliff Kingsbury has in mind for the team as they play out the string. This is never a good scenario for fantasy, because playing for something in a season is better than playing for next season. The other argument is that a team can let loose and fire all the cannons with nothing to lose.
For this matchup, being a Monday night, I like the idea that the Cardinals will go with the cannons. Start them.
With that in mind, while we're good with our fantasy regulars for this game, it's still an awkward script for those needing a big point day from one of the Arizona studs. The New England defense is just that good.
Be aware that the Patriots are allowing the fewest rushing touchdowns with five this season. The league high is 21 held by the Bears.
Fun Fact: The Patriots have a record of 7-1 against the Cardinals since 1993. The Cardinals have won their last four games at home following two home losses.
Sleeper: Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots
Observe: Keaontay Ingram, RB, Cardinals
Pick Poll: Patriots 59%
Update: DeAndre Hopkins Q | Rondale Moore O | Greg Dortch Q↑ | Jakobi Meyers O | Damien Harris D |
In the Booth on Sunday
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Trevor Lawrence, Melissa Stark, Travis Etienne
Jets at Bills: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Ravens at Steelers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Browns at Bengals: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Jaguars at Titans: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Eagles at Giants: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Texans at Cowboys: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Vikings at Lions: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Chiefs at Broncos: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Buccaneers at 49ers: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Panthers at Seahawks: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.