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Sneaky Starts, Pivot Plays, and Post-Waiver Pickups for Week 14 - Ryan Tannehill, James Cook and Jameson Williams

Travis Homer - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

One more week and then it's night-night forever. Well, only for some of your fantasy teams, and hopefully not even that! Shoutout to anyone who is a big Impractical Jokers fan like myself and understood that reference. Anyway, the goal this week is to get you into the fantasy playoffs in your league and help you go as far as you possibly can. 

A week like this is always an interesting one because, on one hand, you want to go with the guys who got you there. You want to play it safe and not spoil your shot at the playoffs by doing something weird that you normally wouldn’t do. At the same time, you have to take those shots to try to get over the hump and in. I am a supporter of starting the players that have gotten you this far, but the more fringe guys in your lineup can hit the pine if you want. 

To make this week even tougher, the schedule makers did us no favors with six different teams on bye. The Bears, Colts, Commanders, Falcons, Packers, and Saints will all be sidelined this week. Oh, and there were a ton of injuries to key players in Week 13. So between injuries and byes, you may need multiple pivot options in the biggest week of the season so far. But don’t worry, I got you covered! 

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Quarterback Pivot Options for Fantasy Football 

If QBs Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, and Tua Tagovailoa don’t play, you can pivot to… 

Ryan Tannehill is coming off two duds but he gets a much better matchup this week against the Jaguars. Dating back to Week 6, every QB who has faced the Jaguars except for Russell Wilson finished as a top-10 fantasy QB. Jared Goff just scored his most fantasy points in two months against them, a week after Lamar Jackson did the same thing.

The Jags have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to QBs in the last month (25.2). Combine that with the fact that they have been putting up more points as of late and the Titans' defensive struggles against the pass, and we could have a high-scoring game here. Tannehill is in play as a strong streaming option this week. 

Jared Goff is coming off his best fantasy game in two months where he dropped 21 fantasy points against the Jaguars. He gets another favorable matchup this week against the Vikings, who have allowed 20.6 fantasy PPG to QBs in the last month, the seventh-most in the NFL in that span.

Plus, his playmakers around him are getting healthy and the Vikings' offense can put up points, meaning Goff likely has to keep on throwing. You can certainly do worse if you are pivoting at the QB position this week. 

Brock Purdy is the most relevant Mr. Irrelevant arguably in NFL history! With Jimmy Garoppolo done for the year, Purdy is the man to carry the Niners the rest of the way. His first start comes against the GOAT Tom Brady and a tough Bucs defense.

Streaming Purdy isn’t so much about trusting him as it is about the many playmakers around him, as well as Kyle Shanahan. That is a bet I am willing to take if I am diving deeper on a QB this week. 

 

Running Back Pivot Options for Fantasy Football 

If RB Kenneth Walker doesn’t play, you can pivot to… 

James Cook split snaps with Devin Singletary last week while leading the Bills' backfield with 14 carries and six targets. The rookie could be taking over the backfield for the rest of the way, and if so, he has the upside to change the landscape of your fantasy team.

But even if he splits reps, he is the far more explosive back, meaning he is the one I would rather have in fantasy. Especially since Singletary’s pass-game usage has been dwindling fast. Plus, we saw Cook used last week in a goal-to-go situation. There is a lot of upside here. You definitely want Cook on your roster, and if you are in need of an RB this week, plug him in! 

Cam Akers played 73 percent of the snaps for the Rams last week, his first game all year with over half the snaps. He also saw 17 of 20 RB carries and added a target. He finished with 60 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage is not ideal, but the usage stands out. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Raiders, who allowed the eighth-most fantasy PPG to the position in the last month (26.6). If you are diving a little deeper, Akers is in play. 

DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer would both be pivot plays if Kenneth Walker sits. You have to monitor that injury closely as it is a weird one. But if you have Walker, be sure to get one of these backs on your roster. Homer, who looks like he will be able to play after missing last week, would likely split the groundwork and handle the bulk of the pass game usage. He would be the preferred play of the too. Dallas is up in the air himself but would be a deeper option if he suits up. It is not ideal, but in a favorable matchup against the Panthers, they are in play if Walker sits. 

 

Wide Receiver Pivot Options for Fantasy Football 

If WRs Mike Williams, Rondale Moore and Kadarius Toney don’t play, you can pivot to…

Jameson Williams and DJ Chark are both in play as streaming options this week. Chark brings the much safer floor, but Williams is the upside play here. Williams was limited last week in his first game back but head coach Dan Campbell said to expect more of him this week.

Williams is an elite deep threat when he is at full strength. The Lions, in a huge game for them, face the Vikings, who not only have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to receivers in the last month but have also allowed the second-most production this season on deep passes.

I anticipate the Lions will take a couple of deep shots with him. Understand there is no floor, but there is an upside there. Chark saw six targets last week and turned them into 98 yards. He is certainly in play as a pivot option this week. He is safer than Williams, but the upside is not as high. 

Zay Jones has averaged 10.5 targets per game in the last three weeks, the seventh-most at the receiver position in that span. Plus, he is in a great matchup. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy PPG to receivers this season.

They have also allowed the most production on deep passes, so Jones has a good chance of scoring points in chunks. I know he disappointed last week, but do not shy away from him if you need a streamer. Better yet, if someone cut bait with him, pick him up quickly.

Rondale Moore was injured immediately in his last game and then missed the next week. Prior to that game, he had seen at least eight targets in four of five games. There is some concern about him taking a hit to his volume with all of DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and James Conner back healthy.

However, with DHop and Brown on the outside to take defensive attention away, it could create a lot of openings for Moore in the middle of the field. I would prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with him, but with six teams on bye and injuries piling up, you may not be so lucky. 

Corey Davis saw 10 targets last week in a game the Jets trailed throughout and had to have Mike White throw 57 times. The Jets will not try to do that again this week, but they may not have much of a choice but to throw a bunch if Josh Allen and the Bills play their way at home. If you are diving deeper, Davis can provide volume, if nothing more. 

Richie James is a deeper option because of the Eagles' secondary. Their top two corners are in the bottom three in passer rating when targeted. They are going to make life extremely difficult for the Giants' outside receivers. However, the Eagles are top-10 in the NFL in yards allowed to players lined up in the slot.

James will operate largely out of the slot and could see a bump in volume if the Giants are chasing points against the Eagles, which they likely will be. Again he is a deeper name, but with six teams on bye, he can help managers.

 

Tight End Pivot Options for Fantasy Football 

If TE David Njoku doesn’t play, you can pivot to…

Hunter Henry is in play solely because of the matchup. Arizona has allowed over 20 fantasy PPG to tight ends this season – whereas only one other team has allowed over 15!

They have allowed the most targets, catches, yards, and TDs to the position as well. Start tight ends against the Cardinals! If you are really diving deep, Jonnu Smith leads the Patriots non-RBs in YAC and the Cardinals allow a ton of it. He is a deep sleeper this week. 

Greg Dulcich led the Broncos with eight targets, six catches, and 85 yards last week. Plus, it's looking like Courtland Sutton will not suit up this week, which means more volume for Greggy D.

He can see even more volume this week if the Broncos are chasing points against the Chiefs. You never feel great starting anyone on Denver, but if there is any position to take the gamble, it is at tight end. 

Chigoziem Okonkwo tied for the team lead with five targets last week, catching four of them for 68 yards. It was two straight games with five targets, and last week was the rookie's best game of the season.

He has shown flashes throughout this season and is capable of making a big play. He has three catches for over 30 yards this season, and two over 40. Not many tight ends are capable of that! If you are diving deeper at tight end, Okonkwo is an option. 

Other pivot tight ends: Noah Fant, Evan Engram, Daniel Bellinger

 

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.



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