If you are in doubt about some players in a tough spot this week, or players that haven’t produced yet this season, you have come to the perfect spot. We dive into a few names to start in borderline matchups, and also talk about players to fade. You can also check out our rankings area to see where players on your team rank and their projections heading into Week 14. Be sure to check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football content.
Sony Michel Vs. Kansas City
If the Patriots win this game, it is going to be with the running backs. They will need to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, and they can do so with Sony Michel against this run defense. They have allowed a 5.1 yards per carry this season, and 141 rushing yards per game. Michel has been a touchdown dependent option this season, and hasn’t surpassed ten fantasy points since back in October. In a crucial week for many, if you have Michel, he is a worthy start as an RB2 or FLEX option. The Chiefs are allowing the second most fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season.
Kareem Hunt Vs. Cincinnati
The Bengals are allowing 27 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, in PPR scoring formats of course. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both can have standalone value, and Hunt in PPR formats is going to be an easy start. The Bengals are allowing a whopping 157 rushing yards per game, and 4.8 yards per carry. Hunt has seen 25 targets over the four games since his return, and 25 rushing rushing attempts. The Browns have a 24.5 implied total this week, and should bring a lot of production on the ground.
Benny Snell Jr @ Arizona
We will have to watch James Conner of course, who hasn’t played in a few weeks, and when he tried the shoulder injury flared up again. If Conner is out, Benny Snell continues to get a ton of work now that he is back and healthy. He has seen 16 and 21 touches over the past two weeks, even though he doesn’t get much work in the passing game, he should get a ton of volume against Arizona this week. Over the past four games, the Cardinals are allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Devonta Freeman Vs. New Orleans
Devonta Freeman was back last week after missing a few games, and had 21 touches against New Orleans. He posted just 10.4 fantasy points in a tough matchup, but will get Carolina this week. Carolina has allowed 5.3 yards per attempt to opposing backs this season, 22 touchdowns, and 137.5 rushing yards per game. Freeman has a breakout spot, and it comes at an important time for those who stuck with him or picked him up for the playoff run. Carolina has allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing backs, and 20 touches for Freeman, it could be a big week.
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Colts Running Backs @ Tampa Bay
I really don’t want any part of the Colts backfield this week against Tampa Bay. Marlon Mack does have a chance of playing, and even then I am not sold on him being plugged back into lineups at a crucial time. Now if Mack does sit, we are going to see a heavy rotation of guys that isn’t fantasy friendly. Nyheim Hines has PPR potential in deeper leagues, so I understand the need there, but Jonathan Williams splitting work with Jordan Wilkins is not ideal. The matchup is also not ideal at all. The Buccaneers have allowed just 76 rushing yards per game, 3.4 yards per carry, and the third fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Kenyan Drake Vs. Pittsburgh
The Steelers have allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. Kenyan Drake is the clear lead back here in Arizona, with more than 15 touches a game since arriving. We have seen him post rough fantasy outings against tough defenses, and it will be another one. Pittsburgh has allowed just 3.8 yards per carry, and overall teams are only scoring 18.7 points per game against them. I’ll pass on most of the Cardinals offense this week.
Bo Scarbrough @ Minnesota
Minnesota is a tough run defense, although against Seattle you might not believe it anymore. Despite that game, they are still allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. They also rank 9th in DVOA against the run. Bo Scarbrough has looked good, and the Lions jumped out to a lead or kept it close to where they could feed Scarbrough. That won’t be the case against a good Vikings offense who will jump ahead and force the Lions to go more to a receiving back. Scarbrough doesn’t offer passing game work, so I don’t expect a big amount of touches for him.
Miami Running Backs @ New York
For some reason whenever a Miami back goes down or gets traded, we talk about their backups actually being fantasy relevant. Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird are going to be the lone backs splitting time, and I don’t want a piece of either of them. The Jets are actually a stout run defense, allowing 75 rushing yards per game, and 2.9 yards per carry. Miami will be able to move the ball through the air, and thats where the fantasy points will be.
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