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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 14

D'Andre Swift - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL DFS Lineup Picks

Week 13 is now officially in the books. We have a lot of good information we can use to help make decisions as we head into Week 14 and beyond.

In this weekly column, we'll be looking at players whose arrows may be pointing up, and players whose arrows may be pointing down based on the previous week's games. We'll try not to overreact, but instead, use relevant data to make informed decisions about certain players.

Here are the key risers and fallers coming out of Week 13 of the NFL season.

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Week 14 Fantasy Football Risers

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

Swift has now seen his snap share and number of opportunities rise for five consecutive weeks. In Week 13, that culminated in a 51% snap share and 20 total opportunities. He turned those 18 touches into 111 total yards and a touchdown. Swift's 52.6% RB opportunity share was the highest it has been since Week 1 when he played on 67% of the snaps and got 18 opportunities.

And with his rising opportunity came a big decline in Jamaal Williams' playing time and opportunity share. Despite finding the end zone, the veteran played on just 30% of the snaps and got just 31.6% of the RB opportunities.

Needless to say, Swift seems to be getting healthy at the most opportune time for fantasy managers relying on him for the upcoming playoffs. On tap is a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. This game features an over/under of 53 points, with the Lions having an implied total of 27.8 points. In his career, Swift has gone over 16 PPR fantasy points in three of four career games against the Vikings. Combine the history and favorable matchup with his health, and you've got a recipe for success in Week 14.

After that, it's a decent matchup against the Jets in Week 15, followed by two extremely favorable matchups against the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears in Weeks 16 and 17.

D.J. Chark, Detroit Lions

"D.J. Chark doo-doo, doo-doo, D.J. Chark doo-doo, doo-doo." He's played just five fully healthy games this season, but in those games, Chark is averaging nearly six targets and 103.2 air yards per game. He's not a target hog like Amon-Ra St. Brown, but there's definitely a place for Chark on this high-powered Lions offense.

You might be wondering what will happen now that rookie Jameson Williams was activated off IR in Week 13. That's a fair question, but we also need to look at how the Lions bring back players recovering from injury. Here's my thought on the matter:

Williams played just eight total snaps in Week 13 and ran just two routes. He's not taking Chark's job anytime soon. In fact, if anything, he's coming for Josh Reynolds' workload, not D.J. Chark's, at least not in the near future.

Chark gets a very tasty matchup in Week 14 at home against the Vikings, a team that allows a league-high 283.6 passing yards per contest. With six teams on bye, Chark makes for an intriguing option as a WR3 this week.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills

The Bills finally let James Cook loose. In Week 13, the rookie handled 51.3% of the RB opportunities (20 total opportunities). He played on a season-high 43% of the snaps and turned those 20 touches into 105 total yards. On the season, Cook is averaging 5.38 yards per carry (YPC) on 60 rush attempts. In comparison, Devin Singletary is averaging 4.4 YPC on 137 rush attempts. Singletary saw his snap share dwindle to just 44% in Week 13, a season-low for him.

Typically, when a rookie back finds success after an opportunity bump, the team will continue to call his number more as the season progresses. If that's the case, Cook has a golden opportunity in front of him this season as the Bills look toward their future at the running back position with Singletary set to become a free agent after this season.

Relatively friendly home matchups against the Jets and Dolphins are on tap, while an extremely favorable Week 16 matchup against the Bears awaits Cook and the Bills. Not only should he be rostered in every league, but you should consider starting him in Week 14 with six teams on bye. And if he doesn't pay off in Week 14, chances are he'll pay off in either Week 15 or Week 16. Bottom line, roster this guy.

Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans

Speaking of rookie risers, we've got another one in Titans TE Chigoziem "Chig" Okonkwo, a University of Maryland product (#HeATerp, my Alma Mater). Slowly but surely, Okonkwo has eaten away at Austin Hooper's playing time and opportunities. In Week 13, this happened:

Not just that, but fellow rookie pass-catcher Treylon Burks had to leave the game early after suffering a blow to the head. His status for Week 14 is very much in question, which could bode well for Okonwo's value in a game against the Jaguars. Jacksonville is allowing 57.1 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season, which is the sixth-most in the NFL.

Check out this list Okonkwo finds himself at the very top of:

Don't think for a second Chig isn't a viable streaming option for Week 14 and beyond this season, especially considering three straight favorable matchups against the Jaguars, Chargers, and Texans.

Other Risers: Derrick Henry, Raheem Mostert, Greg Dulcich, Mack Hollins

 

Week 14 Fantasy Football Fallers

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Through Week 8, Evans averaged 16.4 PPR fantasy points per game (PPG) and was the WR11. However, in his last four games, he's averaged just 8.6 PPG. In those four games, he's averaged just 7.5 targets per game, which isn't actually terrible. The problem is Chris Godwin has become Tom Brady's favorite target, averaging 11 targets in his last four games.

Also, believe it or not, Evans is competing with Julio Jones for deep targets on the outside. Since Week 9, Jones is averaging just 5.7 air yards fewer per game than Evans (85.8 vs. 91.5). Jones has also doubled up Evans on red zone targets the last four games (four vs. two).

With Godwin getting his targets in the slot and Julio healthy and competing for targets on the outside, Evans' opportunity and subsequent production have suffered in recent weeks. He'll look to get back on track against the 49ers in Week 14, but it won't be easy with Brady facing pressure from Nick Bosa and company. That likely means less time in the pocket and more quick, easy throws across the middle to a guy like Godwin.

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

See James Cook write-up above. Essentially, Singletary now appears to be the second option in this backfield after playing a season-low 44% of the snaps in Week 13 and getting a season-low 38.5% RB opportunity share.

He also got just one red zone carry in Week 13 and had a season-low route participation rate of just 31.3%. In comparison, Cook had a 37.1% route participation with four red zone carries in Week 13.

With Singletary set to become a free agent next season, it makes sense that the Bills would try to find out if Cook and Nyheim Hines could handle the workload in 2023. That means more opportunities for Cook and Hines and likely fewer opportunities for Singletary down the stretch.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

How can Joe Mixon be on the list of fallers if he didn't even play in Week 13? Well, that's part of the problem. Mixon hasn't played the last two games and his backup, Samaje Perine, has filled in admirably. In fact, many believe Perine has looked even better than Mixon in a featured role.

In his two starts, Perine has averaged 20.4 PPR fantasy points on 26 opportunities per game. That includes a whopping seven targets per game. That's similar to what we see out of Christian McCaffrey and Josh Jacobs.

Basically, it's hard to imagine Mixon coming back after a two-week+ absence and getting his full workload back with the way Perine has played. It might not be a 50/50 split due to Mixon being the one with the big contract, but we could see something like a 60/40 split in Mixon's favor. Compare that to Week 9 when Mixon got 77.1% of the RB opportunity share.

The Bengals also have some tough RB matchups ahead against the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Bills in Weeks 15 through 17. Temper expectations on the once workhorse back in Cincinnati.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

The Gus Bus has pulled completely back into the station. It chugged along slowly for a few weeks, as he scored three times in three weeks, but in Week 13, Edwards rushed just six times for 12 yards. He didn't see a single target either and played on just 24% of the snaps. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake had 10 total opportunities and played on nearly half of the snaps.

With J.K. Dobbins set to return soon (Week 14 or 15), this backfield is going to become even messier than it was before. The issue with Edwards is he's very game-script dependent, meaning he doesn't get the opportunities unless the Ravens get out to a lead and hold it. From a fantasy perspective, this backfield is an absolute mess and one to stay away from as we head down the playoff stretch. You try guessing who's going to lead this backfield on a weekly basis because I certainly don't want to.

Other Fallers: Kyren Williams, Jeff Wilson Jr., George Kittle



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