The Rundown: Week 14

Dec 09, 2020
The Rundown: Week 14

For many leagues, the fantasy playoffs begin this week. More than anything, it means that you not only need to start your best matchup players, but play the waiver wire a week or two early, stashing potential options that could become key plays over the next three weeks. Kickers and defense are the easiest to do this with but quarterbacks and tight ends can be another area where starters exist on the waiver wire that are one good matchup away from fantasy relevance.

It’s hard to take credit for the Week 13 callout of Dan Arnold since his points came from one big touchdown reception, but it showed that potential in Arizona if they highlight the tight end more often. Kirk Cousins continues to keep the offense humming, more on that in a bit, while Wayne Gallman remains a strong starting option in New York. Tyler Boyd had a nice rebound without Joe Burrow, keeping him in starting lineups for the time being.

This article leverages the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.

Quarterbacks Trending Up

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Some credit has to be given to Baker Mayfield this season, dealing with injuries all over the offense and still bouncing back from 2019. He hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 7 and while his fantasy numbers remain down overall, there are encouraging signs. His completion rate is up three points, his touchdown rate is his career-high, as is his adjusted net yards per pass attempt, and Mayfield’s sack rate is back to his rookie levels. The issue is volume, as Mayfield is averaging fewer than 30 attempts per game, making his ceiling disappointingly low. Maybe a matchup against the Ravens, the team who caused his season-high 39 pass attempts in Week 1, could provide him a chance to show off a little more.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

It wasn’t that long ago that Stafford was trending down, struggling to string together more than a week or two without a complete dud. Recently, Stafford is being given extra volume with his two most recent games, resulting in 42 pass attempts per contest. He’s also thrown for over 275 passing yards in three of his last four games, all without Kenny Golladay, who may be back this week. In Stafford’s last game against the Packers, he finished as the QB19 without Golladay. I would consider that a worst-case scenario with room for improvement.

Quarterbacks Trending Down

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson’s season is quickly becoming the tale of two halves. The first featured his first chance at real passing volume, leading to eight weeks of 13th place fantasy finishes or better without a single game below 20 points due in large part to multiple touchdown passes in every contest. In the four games since, Wilson has just one game inside the top-16, also his only game with multiple touchdown passes, while seeing a 10% drop in passing volume. It’s likely the Jets, the second-worst pass defense in the NFL, will give Wilson plenty of chances even if the volume stays low with Chris Carson back to full health.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Like Wilson, Matt Ryan has seen a second-half slide starting at his Week 10 bye. In the three games since, Ryan has yet to score 15 fantasy points, which is shocking considering he surpassed that mark the four weeks prior. A low touchdown rate has suppressed his fantasy scoring this year, he has the third-lowest rate since his rookie year, and his completion rate is the lowest in a decade. Perhaps playing a team in the Chargers with a bottom-10 ranking in pass touchdowns allowed and sixth-worst scoring defense overall will help this week.

Running Backs Trending Up

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