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Boom and Bust Candidates for Week 14: Jameis Winston, Devonta Freeman, Randall Cobb & More!


Congratulations to all who made the postseason! There’s a lot of luck involved in head-to-head fantasy football on a week-to-week basis, but making the playoffs is a true test of skill. Getting in usually requires at least seven or eight wins, and we all know how difficult it can be to get a win in fantasy.

Now it’s time to start thinking about advancing on. Just remember, there is no tomorrow. If you make the wrong lineup choices this week, you may find yourself staring at an abrupt ending to your season.

We’re here to help make sure that doesn’t happen by providing our weekly list of potential boom and bust candidates.

 

Potential Booms of the Week

Quarterbacks:

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers: The New Orleans secondary has been missing in action for most of the season and Jameis Winston has played surprisingly well for a rookie. Since Week 5, only one QB has scored fewer than 14 fantasy points against the Saints, so Winston may be worth a roll of the dice, depending on who your normal starter is.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills: Over his last two weeks, Tyrod Taylor has passed for six TDs, no INTs and posted an average of 27.7 fantasy points per game. The Eagles have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, surrendering an average of 20 fantasy points per game to QBs and allowing 18 TD passes in the last five weeks.

 

Running Backs:

Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins: He’s been a bit quiet over the last three weeks, but a Monday night matchup against the Giants should get Lamar Miller going again. The Giants have allowed over 100 rushing YDs to backs in seven of their last nine games, and last week’s win over Baltimore showed that the Dolphins have recommitted to giving Miller the rock.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars: T.J. Yeldon got his first 100 YD rushing game in Week 4 against the Colts and is a good candidate to top the mark again this week. The Colts have not been great against the run this season, allowing at least 90 rushing YDs to the position in each of the past three weeks.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: In PPR leagues, Stewart has scored double figure fantasy points in three of the last four weeks. The Falcons have been bad against the run for most of the season, but especially over the last two weeks where they’ve allowed 345 rushing YDs and three TDs to the position.

 

Wide Receivers:

Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills: Sammy Watkins has suddenly come alive over the last couple of weeks (three TDs and 267 YDs), so kudos to you if you stuck with him through the early struggles. This week, he gets a great match up against the Eagles who have allowed at least one TD to receivers in all but one game this season and at least three scores in three of the past five weeks.

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers: Since Week 7, Mike Evans has been a pretty consistent contributor (three games with 126 or more YDs), especially in PPR leagues. Facing one of the worst passing defenses in history (Saints have allowed 15 WR TDs since Week 7), this has the makings of a big-time performance for Evans.

 

Tight Ends:

Scott Chandler, TE, Patriots: If Rob Gronkowski is out this weekend, you can’t go wrong with Scott Chandler who performed well in his stead a week ago. Chandler has nine receptions for 119 YDs and two TDs in the last two weeks and faces a Houston Texans team that has shown some vulnerability to tight ends. At a very shallow position, Chandler is poised to be one of the top producing TEs in Week 14, if Gronk sits.

 

Defenses:

Seattle Seahawks: Seattle has forced eight turnovers in the last four weeks and has been one of the best defensive options in the league so far. Baltimore is down to its backup QB and RB and gave up 15 fantasy points to the Dolphins last week and nine to the Browns the week before. Seattle should have a big week.

 

Potential Busts of the Week

Quarterbacks:

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: Matt Ryan has been a bit of a disappointment to fantasy owners this year, with just three 300 YD games so far. In the last two weeks, he has two TD passes and three INTs. Carolina has one of the best defenses in the league and have held five of the last eight QBs they’ve faced to one or fewer TD passes.

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders: It has been a nice season for the second year QB who has thrust himself into the Top 10 fantasy QB discussion. Despite throwing for multiple TDs in six of the last seven games, Carr is likely to be shut down by a strong Denver defense. The unit held Carr to 9.7 fantasy points in Oakland in Week 5. Fantasy owners can expect more of the same this week.

 

Running Backs:

Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons: There’s no way you can bench him in Week 1 of the postseason, but just don’t expect much. Devonta Freeman has just one score in his past five games and hasn’t topped 100 YDs on the ground since Week 7. Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed just one rushing TD since Week 8. During that stretch, they’ve allowed a total of 154 rushing YDs.

Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders: Early this season it looked like Latavius Murray was ready to enter high-end RB2 territory, but the past few weeks have shown that his upside is somewhat limited. Denver’s run defense isn’t impenetrable, but they held Murray to 39 YDs on 13 carries in Week 5, and nothing suggests there won’t be a repeat performance.

Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens: Javorious Allen’s Week 13 performance propelled a lot of fantasy owners into the postseason, but his upcoming schedule doesn’t bode well. This week he faces Seattle’s top-ranked run defense that has allowed just four rushing TDs all year.

 

Wide Receivers:

Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders: The rookie receiver has been on a bit of a downslide during the second half of the season and has just one TD since Week 9. The Broncos have the league’s best defense and have allowed just one TD to a wide receiver this season.

Randall Cobb, WR, Packers: Most fantasy owners are likely stuck with Cobb’s production at this point in the season. He has been held to fewer than 50 YDs seven times this season, has just three TDs since Week 3 and has been completely unreliable. Add in the fact that Dallas has been fairly strong against receivers, allowing only seven TDs to the position all year, and this looks like a very bad matchup.

 

Tight Ends:

Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: His scoring potential makes him difficult to sit, but no team in the NFL has been better against TEs than Kansas City. No TE has gained more than 71 receiving YDs against them all season and the Chiefs have allowed only three TDs to the position.

 

Defenses:

Houston Texans: The Patriots may seem to be reeling a bit following their second consecutive loss, but I would still not give Houston’s improved defense the green light. Philly’s performance last week was highly fluky and unlikely to be repeated again anytime soon. Let’s not forget how average Houston looked against the Bills in Week 13.

 

Diamonds In The Rough

There’s no room for error and no time to wait in the postseason. If injuries or underperformance have left you in need at one or multiple positions, just follow our emergency waiver wire recommendations:

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins: After disappointing fantasy owners early this season, Tannehill is likely available in your league. He faces the Giants who specialize in making QBs look much better than they are.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns: He’s likely to get 10 – 15 touches against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses.

Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals: The Steelers are below average against the pass and will be focused on stopping A.J. Green. Jones should have an opportunity to shine.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Dolphins: His lack of production makes him tough to trust in the postseason, but the Giants have given up the second most fantasy points to TEs this season.

Detroit Lions: Many may not want to rely on a no-name defense in the opening round of the playoffs, but have you seen the St. Louis offense recently?

 

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