2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Gold Mine
The first round of the fantasy playoffs for the majority of us has finally found its way to our front door step, and injuries remain to be a massive issue for all of us as the season winds down to its final seconds.
Following the Rob Gronkowski injury two weeks ago we were told that it wasn’t that serious, yet he still fails to play. Tyler Eifert was a last minute scratch, Brandin Cooks could miss due to an injury to his head in practice, and Mark Ingram is done for the season. I could go on, but we all have seen the news and we have all dwelled over it long enough.
The moves to make your team competitive never end regardless of where you are in the standings. Did you happen to get a first round bye? Your job isn’t done yet. Sixth seed ready to take over and shock the world? Your job isn’t done yet. Last place team that can spoil the 9+ teams ahead of you as they vie for the championship? Your job isn’t done yet.
Because of this there are still a ton of fantasy relevant options waiting your second look. As always the following players can all give your team a boost and are heavily under-owned with less than 35% of ownership in ESPN leagues.
Heath Miller (PIT): ESPN: 33.7; Yahoo: 27; NFL: 18.4; FD: 5.4k; DK: 3.2k
By most standards Heath Miller hasn’t lived up to the same level of performances that we have seen from him in the past. However, in his last four played games he has had at least four receptions in three of those games and has been listed probable to return following the rib injury that sidelined him for week 13. With Adam Jones and Leon Hall expected to miss the game the Bengals may look to put more pressure on the QB and more coverage on the outside as they try and slow down Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and company. In doing so they will most certainly leave Heath Miller open on several pass attempts. The Bengals have been ranked as the 17th worst defense against Miller’s position this season and have given up double-digit fantasy points in three of their last four games against the tight end.
Bilal Powell (NYJ): ESPN: 23.7; Yahoo: 14; NFL: 1.9; FD: 4.8k; DK: 3.5k
Bilal Powell is one of those risky plays where you’ll need to be pretty deep or pretty desperate to make the play. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad play as Powell has been getting plenty of additional looks in the offense with two of his last three games being in double-digit fantasy points. What makes him a risky play is that he really only holds value in PPR leagues and he only holds value when the game flow is in his favor. The Titans have been the best run defense in the league this year which of course doesn’t bode well for Powell or Chris Ivory in the contest. However, the Jets defense has been incredibly inconsistent lately which could easily allow for the Tennessee Titans to take an early lead which gives Powell plenty of value as the Jets play catch up.
Tyler Lockett (SEA): ESPN: 20.1; Yahoo: 33; NFL: 7.9; FD: 5.6k; DK: 3.5k
Doug Baldwin is going to be the easy go-to-guy for the Seattle Seahawks this week against one of the worst passing defenses in the game. However, with Jimmy Graham out for the entire year, they are going to need another guy to step up in order to keep their foot on the pedal. Tyler Lockett can be that guy, with double-digit fantasy points in two of his last three games and the Seahawks offense kicking it up a notch lately the Russell Wilson should continue to look the talented rookies direction. The Baltimore Ravens may have played well last week against a less than stellar Miami Dolphins offense, but they have been ranked in the bottom five of the league more often than not this season. Other than having two games of their last three with less than 20 fantasy points given to opposing wide outs they have given up less than 30 points only one other time this season and at least 39 fantasy points seven times.
Robert Woods (BUF): ESPN: 10.5; Yahoo: 10; NFL: 4.1; FD: 5.1k; DK: 3.5k
It has been six weeks since Robert Woods had his nine catch, 84-yard, one touchdown performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 7. Since then has had five games and only 26 fantasy points, combined. Despite the low numbers recorded by woods the Bills are on a role lately offensively and their week 14 opponent Philadelphia Eagles are statistically the worst defense in the game against opposing wide receivers. There has been a ton of talk around the revenge game for LeSean McCoy and the stellar play of Sammy Watkins, but Chip Kelly isn’t dumb and he is going to have something up his sleeve to at least thwart any plans McCoy and the Bills have. This should allow for Robert Woods to get back to the 23 point performance he had in that Jaguars game a few weeks ago.
Johnny Manziel (CLE): ESPN: 6.8; Yahoo: 5; NFL: 2.2; FD: 6.4k; DK: 5k
In atwo-QB season long league or a daily fantasy contest, Johnny Manziel holds a fairly large amount of value this week against the inept San Francisco defense. The 49ers have given up the 15th most points to opposing QBs this season including giving up at least 260 yards passing in three of their last four games. Manziel is coming back to the starting role for the first time since being benched for off-field issues two weeks ago. Following the season-ending injury to Josh McCown and then poor performance by Austin Davis the Browns have finally come to their senses and have put in the kid. Just before getting benched Johnny Football had two straight double-digit fantasy games with 540 yards passing, two touchdowns and an additional 48 yards on the ground. Because it is Manziel and because it’s the Browns, there will be plenty of players who decide to fade this game, but it could be the one play that is the difference between nothing and a lot of somethings.