The New England Patriots are once again the No. 1 team in the AFC, and first-round fantasy running backs are dropping like flies right before the start of the fantasy football playoffs. Therefore, the Week 14 waiver wire is critical for fantasy managers who are looking to fill voids in lineups.
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It’s crazy that we are just one week away from the start of the fantasy playoffs. I continue to tweak my fantasy football player rankings based on new information and trends, but at this point, we know each player’s role and how defenses can be attacked.
Therefore, don’t get cute and bench a stud after a bad game if the peripheral usage is still present, especially with boom-or-bust wide receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase or D.K. Metcalf. The rookie still generated a 22% target share last week and is on the cusp of a win-your-week type of performance. The Seattle Seahawks No. 1 wide receiver has recorded a boatload of end-zone/deep targets over the past few weeks, foreshadowing a massive showing in the near future.
With plenty of other PFF premium stats available to adjust rankings based on a player’s high-value opportunities, expected fantasy point output and route participation, it will be easy to highlight the best waiver-wire pickups, optimal starts/sits, under-the-radar DFS plays and beatable player prop bets.
Those key data points — along with PFF player grades, implied team totals, PFF fantasy projections and strength of schedule — are all factored into my position-by-position Week 14 fantasy football rankings.
2021 WEEK 14 QB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS
|Patrick Mahomes II||KC||5||1|
It’s a downright travesty that NFL defenses had to smarten up and start running Cover-2 schemes to slow down the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. It not only makes Mahomes and company less fun to watch, but it nukes fantasy lineups with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel — at least in Week 14. The Las Vegas Raiders run almost exclusively Cover 3 and rarely utilize Cover 2, so I’d bet we see a vintage Mahomes performance this week.
Mahomes threw five touchdown passes the last time he played the Raiders. Start him with confidence as a top-five fantasy quarterback.
Thursday night can go in a few different directions for Cousins. He could dice up the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Cover-3 defense as PFF’s third-highest rated passer against that particular coverage scheme (104.5), or he could get overwhelmed by the Steelers pass rush that has the second-best DL/OL advantage on the week. I side with the Vikings quarterback, as Minnesota's offense focuses more on the ground attack with Alexander Mattison.
No team has allowed more fantasy points to running backs over the last four weeks than the Steelers, so the Vikings offense should attack Pittsburgh on the ground. Tackle Christian Darrisaw and receiver Adam Thielen are unlikely to play, which is why Cousins currently ranks outside his usual fantasy QB1 territory.
I'm out on Carr this week. The Chiefs defense has vastly improved since the start of the season, grading as PFF’s fourth-best defense since Week 7. Kansas City has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in the last four weeks, which is why Carr isn't in any type of smash spot this week.
Besides, Carr has hardly earned unabated trust from fantasy managers, as he has been super inconsistent since the team’s bye week. He is PFF’s 28th-graded quarterback while averaging just 15.7 fantasy points per game — good for QB23 over that span.
Bet the under on Carr’s 265.5 passing yards prop on PrizePicks.
2021 WEEK 14 RB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS