NFL Week 14 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Sunday's games

2TC3X27 Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

David Njoku’s career game: Njoku scored twice for the first time in his NFL career while gaining 91 yards — the second-most in a game in his career.

• Tight ends dominate the early slate: Along with Njoku, we witnessed touchdowns by Evan Engram, Kyle Pitts, Isaiah Likely, Tanner Hudson, Jimmy Graham, Mo Alie-Cox and Davis Allen.

D.J. Moore scores twice in upset win: Moore scored the first rushing touchdown of his career early in the first quarter and caught a touchdown to give Chicago a lead late in the third quarter.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

  • Drake London: 10 receptions, 172 yards
  • Rachaad White: 25 carries, 102 yards; 2 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Kyle Pitts scores in an expanded role: Pitts played his highest snap share of the season by far.

  • The Falcons only had three tight ends on the active roster after having four in recent weeks. Parker Hesse had been the fourth tight end, but he was not elevated off the practice squad for this game.
  • For whatever reason, Pitts doesn’t play much in 11 personnel. This week, the Falcons only ran seven snaps out of 11 personnel — their fifth-most frequent personnel grouping.
  • The Falcons were throwing the ball all day, typically out of 12 personnel with Pitts and Jonnu Smith as the two tight ends.
  • Atlanta spent most of the game playing from behind and, in general, Pitts has played 66% of Atlanta's offensive snaps when behind and 48% when leading.
  • The Falcons play the 1-12 Carolina Panthers next week, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they are back to running all day for that game.
  • Still, it was good to see he’s capable of being a fantasy starter in the right matchup. 

Rachaad White keeps improving: White put together one of the most complete games of his NFL career.

  • He started the season as one of the top running backs in offensive snaps but has been playing even more these last three weeks.
  • White ran a career-high 25 times in this game, leading to the third 100-yard rushing performance of his career.
  • He also gained the second-most receiving yards on the team and scored his fifth-career receiving touchdown.
  • More often than not, he’s been held under 4.0 yards per carry, but this is one of the few games where he reached double-digit carries and stayed above 4.0 yards. Typically, a big play will impact his yards per carry, but his longest run was just for 12 yards. He achieved 4.0 yards per carry by consistently good runs.
  • The reliance on the run game helped Tampa Bay achieve the road victory.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Bijan Robinson surpassed 75% of Atlanta's offensive snaps for the first time since Week 6. This was likely due to. the game script. 
  • Tyler Allgeier didn’t play much but the Falcons ran 60% of the time when Allgeier was on the field, and he led the team in rushing yards with 40.
  • Mack Hollins returned to the Falcons after missing three straight games due to an ankle injury. He was used sparingly in the first half, but the ankle injury was still bothering him or potentially was re-aggravated. He was ruled questionable to return and didn’t play a snap in the second half.
  • Mike Evans was held to one catch for eight yards, making this his worst receiving game since 2020. It was the fifth time in his career he played and was held under 10 receiving yards.

Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens

Keaton Mitchell’s time takes a step back: Mitchell ended up splitting time with Gus Edwards more than in Week 12.

  • Mitchell’s playing time had increased every week before this one. It seemed like he would get another chance for him to take more of the backfield snaps after the Ravens' bye week.
  • The Ravens won this game but spent more time than usual playing from behind,in addition to playing more two-minute snaps than usual. This left Justice Hill playing more snaps than usual.
  • Despite Hill’s role, Mitchell had played double the number of early downs as Gus Edwards last week, but that wasn’t true in this game.
  • Mitchell was still the best running back in terms of fantasy value. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry on his nine carries while Edwards averaged 2.5.
  • While Hill was the clear receiving back, he and Mitchell both caught one pass each.
  • Mitchell remains the top waiver option at the position because he’s the only top running back on his team that’s still available off the waiver wire.
  • The only concern is that the Ravens face division leaders each of the next three weeks, so we might not have a game script where Mitchell can run 15 or more times in a game. He would likely need to take snaps from Hill on passing downs to be a league winner.

Odell Beckham is on the rise: Beckham played over 50% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps for the first time since Week 8.

  • Beckham wasn’t much of a factor in the Ravens offense during the first half of the season, leading to Rashod Bateman overtaking him in playing time. The two have been in some kind of rotation all season long.
  • He’s played much better since that point, scoring in three of his last five games and achieving at least 2.8 yards per route run in each of the last four weeks.
  • His top two games in terms of PFF receiving grade this season were the last two weeks, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this game ends up among his top three.
  • The increase in playing time along with the increase in production will make it easier for him to be placed in fantasy starting lineups over the next few weeks.

Monitor Tutu Atwell’s health: Atwell is currently in the concussion protocol after not catching his only target.

  • He’s been rotating with Demarcus Robinson the last few weeks, and the rotation continued on the first drive before Atwell's injury.
  • Once Atwell left the game, Robinson became a mainstay in the Rams offense. He played in 32 of a possible 33 second-half snaps.
  • He was just as involved as the Rams' other star wide receivers. Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Robinson were all given 10 opportunities in that game.
  • Robinson only caught three of his targets for 46 yards, but one of them was a touchdown.
  • Robinson is someone worth considering in very deep leagues if Atwell ends up missing time.

Monitor Hunter Long’s health: Long suffered a knee injury in the second quarter that required him to be carted off the field. He was immediately ruled doubtful to return.

  • Long was playing significant snaps because Tyler Higbee has been dealing with a neck injury that left him inactive.
  • Long missed the first half of the season while on injured reserve but spent the previous two weeks as the Rams’ primary backup tight end.
  • The former Miami Dolphin started the game and played all 16 snaps on the first two drives.
  • Rookie Davis Allen was given the third drive. Long started the fourth drive.
  • Allen took over as the primary tight end for the rest of the game and took advantage of his opportunities with four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.
  • This was the first time all season that a Rams tight end reached 50 or more yards and scored, so there is at least a chance Allen will be given more opportunities even if all of the tight ends are healthy.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Wide receiver Devin Duvernay suffered a back injury on a special teams play and didn’t return. He was a major part of the Ravens wide receiver earlier in the season but has largely been phased out of the offense over the last month. This allowed Tylan Wallace to be the returner on the game-winning touchdown.
  • Tight end Isaiah Likely scored the most fantasy points in his career in this game and posted his best numbers of 2023.
  • Kyren Williams ran 25 times for the second time this season. He and Josh Jacobs are the only running backs with multiple 25-plus-carry games this year.

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

  • D.J. Moore: 6 receptions, 68 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 carries, 20 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Jahmyr Gibbs: 11 carries, 66 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards

D’Onta Foreman returns to Chicago: Foreman had missed the Bears' Week 12 game due to an ankle injury.

  • Foreman had all of their Week 13 bye week to recover and was a full participant in practice all week.
  • This was the first time since Week 1 that Foreman, Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson all were healthy and active to start and end the game.
  • Foreman returned to the role he had while Herbert was out, playing a clear majority of Chicago's early-down snaps. He ran the ball 11 times for 50 yards.
  • Johnson had surprisingly played ahead of Herbert throughout Week 12, but he was back to being the passing-down back. He fell to third on the depth chart on early downs.
  • Foreman is the Bears' only back who needs to be on fantasy rosters given the touch distribution in this game and when Foreman has been healthy since the start of November.

Josh Reynolds’ playing time drops: Reynolds set a season-low in snap share among games when healthy.

  • He was on a streak of five straight games with 15 or fewer receiving yards.
  • He was still on the field for a clear majority of 11 personnel snaps, but he did not take a single snap in one- or two-wide receiver sets.
  • In fewer snaps than usual, Reynolds posted his best numbers since the middle of the season. He caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown, leading the team in receiving yards.
  • Jameson Williams was rotated out a little bit more in 11 personnel, but he played more in other personnel groupings, leading Williams to play the second-most snaps for Detroit.
  • This didn’t necessarily lead to more playing time for Williams. Detroit ran 11 snaps out of 13 personnel. Amon-Ra St. Brown was the receiver in that personnel grouping for nine of the 11 snaps.
  • Ideally, we would be at a point where Williams was running more routes than Reynolds given how much the team has invested in Williams. Instead, he didn’t catch his only target and he ran once for four yards.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Equanimeous St. Brown was inactive due to a pectoral injury that popped up late this past week. Tyler Scott was the primary third receiver like he was earlier in the season when St. Brown was out. He was rotated out a little bit more than he was earlier in the season, which is why Trent Taylor and Velus Jones Jr. played some snaps.
  • David Montgomery played a lot more than usual last week while Jahmyr Gibbs played a lot less. In this game, those trends were reversed, as the two returned to their normal roles in the offense.

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals

  • Chase Brown: 8 carries, 25 yards; 3 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Joe Mixon: 21 carries, 79 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 46 receiving yards

Chase Brown’s role increases: Brown emerged on Monday Night Football and received even more work this week.

  • Brown ran the ball nine times for 61 yards on Monday Night as Joe Mixon‘s backup.
  • He played a higher percentage of the early-down snaps in this game, but it led to one fewer carry.
  • The bright side is he was more involved as a receiver. He took Trayveon Williams’ spot as the Bengals' primary third-down back. He caught one third-down pass but also two passes on early downs for 25-plus yards each.
  • While this is exciting for him, Mixon is still the clear early-down and short-yardage back. The Bengals' next three games are against the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Those should each be competitive games where the Bengals are unlikely to have big leads and can run a lot.
  • He still is one of the better running back options off the waiver wire despite this because he might be able to take more snaps away from Mixon.

Colts continue four-man tight end rotation: All four tight ends for the team played between 17-24 offensive snaps.

  • Luckily, the tight ends had clearer roles this week with Kylen Granson and Will Mallory playing more in passing situations.
  • The Colts stayed in 11 personnel for most of the game like usual, with all four playing between three-to-seven 12 personnel snaps.
  • Mallory posted the best receiving numbers of his career, catching five passes for 46 yards. He was the Colts' second-most productive receiver.
  • Mo Alie-Cox was the only Colts offensive player to score a touchdown despite only running seven routes.
  • This rotation has been a nightmare for fantasy managers for years and could be even worse next year if Jelani Woods can come back from his hamstring injury.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Tee Higgins didn’t show up on the injury report this week, but he still isn’t playing as much as he was earlier this season when he was healthy. He was playing over 85% of Cincinnati's offensive snaps in his first three games this season before his first injury, and this was his second-straight game playing under 80%.
  • Jake Browning left the game briefly early in the fourth quarter due to cramping but was able to return for the rest of the fourth quarter without problem.
  • While Zack Moss’ fantasy managers were disappointed by the game, Moss is still playing more snaps than most running backs, so he needs to stay in fantasy starting lineups.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns

Replacements for Christian Kirk: The Jaguars slot receiver landed on injured reserve and had surgery due to the core muscle injury he suffered on Monday Night.

  • The Jaguars followed the same strategy they utilized last week once Kirk left the game. Parker Washington took over the 11 personnel snaps while Zay Jones played more in 12 personnel.
  • Tim Jones was frequently rotated in last week, but he didn't play nearly as much this week.
  • That didn’t lead to much production by any of the wide receivers, which likely had to do with the matchup against the Browns defense, the weather and Trevor Lawrence not being 100%.
  • Zay Jones was Lawrence's favorite receiver with 14 targets over the game, but that only led to five receptions for 29 yards.
  • The Jaguars play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16. The Buccaneers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
  • Ideally, by that point, Lawrence will be healthier and that game shouldn’t be impacted by bad weather. Jones is worth a waiver wire target specifically for that game.

Marquise Goodwin returns to the Browns: Goodwin had missed the last four games due to a concussion.

  • This is the healthiest the Browns wide receiver room has been since they traded Donovan Peoples-Jones to the Detroit Lions.
  • Amari Cooper was also questionable due to a rib injury and a concussion, but he played his normal amount of snaps.
  • Goodwin was just a rotational player while Cedric Tillman played the clear majority of snaps in three-receiver sets.
  • David Bell remained a rotational player and made his biggest impact of the season with a 41-yard touchdown reception.
  • Cooper is likely the only Browns wide receiver with fantasy value given his target share despite the recent injuries, but it will generally help the Browns offense to have more wide receiver options.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Travis Etienne Jr. hasn’t played as much in recent weeks due to injury. He was still limited all week due to his rib injury, but he played over 75% of Jacksonville's offensive snaps for the first time since Week 8.
  • Last season, 75% of Evan Engram’s touchdowns occurred from Weeks 13-14. This season, all of Engram’s touchdowns have occurred from Weeks 13-14.
  • Josh Pederson was active for the first time with Brenton Strange out with injury, but he only played on special teams. This week, he was active again without Strange and took seven snaps from two or three tight end sets.
  • Joe Flacco was named the Browns' starting quarterback for the rest of the season after this game.

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints

  • Alvin Kamara: 12 carries, 56 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, -11 receiving yards
  • Chris Olave: 4 receptions, 28 yards, 1 touchdown

Saints adjust without Taysom Hill: The Saints tight end/quarterback/running back missed the game due to both a foot and left-hand injury.

  • This left Derek Carr taking every snap at quarterback despite coming into the game with a rib and shoulder injury as well as a concussion.
  • The Saints were also without rookie Kendre Miller, who missed his fourth-straight game due to an ankle injury.
  • This left Jamaal Williams as the clear second running back option, which allowed him to reach double-digit carries for the first time since Week 1.
  • The change also elevated Jimmy Graham to the third tight end spot on the depth chart. He made a highlight-worthy 12-yard catch, making it his first reception of the season where he didn’t score a touchdown. He also scored a touchdown late in the game.
  • Once Hill is healthy again, we can expect him to be a fantasy starter again with less work available for both Williams and Graham.

Chuba Hubbard’s playing time reaches a new high: Hubbard played over 77% of Carolina's offensive snaps for the first time in his career.

  • He reached 25 carries for the first time in his career last week and followed that up with a 23-carry performance — his fourth-most carries in a game.
  • This is particularly remarkable this week considering the game script that left the Panthers playing from behind since the start of the second quarter.
  • Hubbard running even more than earlier in the season corresponds with the team firing head coach Frank Reich.
  • Unfortunately, this has also left Hubbard less involved in the passing game. He only caught two passes for nine yards. He wasn’t targeted at all last week.
  • It’s worth noting Hubbard was checked out in the medical tent at one point but was quickly able to return.
  • Miles Sanders didn’t play much, but he ran the ball on 10 of his 17 snaps, leading to 74 yards — mostly from one 48-yard run. This means there is at least a chance Sanders can cut into Hubbard’s playing time next week.
  • Despite this risk, Hubbard should remain in fantasy starting lineups next week.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Rashid Shaheed missed a second-straight game due to a thigh injury. Lynn Bowden remained his replacement on passing downs. Bowden tied for the team lead in receptions at four.
  • D.J. Chark Jr. played less than half of Carolina's offensive snaps last week, playing less than Mike Strachan. This week, Strachan was barely involved in the offense while Chark led the team in routes run.
  • Hayden Hurst missed his fourth game due to a concussion he suffered over a month ago that resulted in Post Traumatic Amnesia. He was limited in practice and is reportedly heading in the right direction, but the team is being cautious.
  • Ian Thomas was part of the tight end rotation to start the game but left in the first quarter due to an ankle injury and didn’t return. This left Tommy Tremble and Stephen Sullivan as the only remaining tight ends. Tremble played more in run situations while Sullivan played more in passing situations.

Houston Texans @ New York Jets

  • Alvin Kamara: 12 carries, 56 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, -11 receiving yards
  • Chris Olave: 4 receptions, 28 yards, 1 touchdown

Devin Singletary takes the early-down role again: Singletary was the best part of the Texans offense, scoring their only touchdown.

  • Singletary was playing 80% of Houston's offensive snaps two weeks ago, but that rate dropped dramatically last week. Dameon Pierce was back to playing a slight majority of early-down snaps, including short-yardage and goal-line situations, while Dare Ogunbowale took over the third-down role.
  • Ogunbowale kept the third-down role this week, but Singletary was back to having the early-down role.
  • He took every snap on early downs on the first two drives before Pierce took over on the third drive.
  • He remained the primary early-down back the rest of the game, including taking a goal-line snap for a touchdown.
  • The Texans were playing from behind throughout the second half, which led to only 19 carries by the running backs in the game, but 13 went to Singletary.
  • The injury to C.J. Stroud could lead the Texans to become even more dependent on their running backs next week.

Monitor Nico Collins’ health: The Texans’ star wide receiver left due to a calf injury in the first quarter and was ruled out by halftime.

  • This comes a week after Houston lost its other young breakout receiver, as Tank Dell suffered a season-ending injury last week.
  • Houston stayed in 11 personnel on all five plays of the Texans' first drive. Collins was joined by Noah Brown and Robert Woods for the first three plays before his injury. Xavier Hutchinson was his replacement.
  • Houston stuck with the Brown, Woods and Hutchinson trio for nearly every play in 11 personnel in the first half. John Metchie III played in Hutchinson's place in 11 personnel for the third quarter, and all four played significant 11 personnel snaps in the fourth quarter.
  • Metchie was one of the two primary receivers in 21 personnel. Hutchinson and Woods split the snaps opposite Metchie.
  • A combination of the injuries at wide receiver and tight end, the Jets secondary along with the heavy rain led to a very quiet day for the Texans’ passing game.
  • The Texans play the Tennessee Titans next week and in Week 17. Tennessee has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
  • Even though Noah Brown has been shut out the past two weeks, Brown caught 13 passes for 325 yards and a touchdown in his previous two healthy games. He is a risky waiver wire target, but he could pay off in a big way.

Former Green Bay Packers receivers get more playing time: Allen Lazard played more snaps than usual while Randall Cobb scored the first touchdown of the game.

  • Both Lazard and Cobb have been healthy inactives at times in recent weeks. Both were active today because Jason Brownlee was out due to an ankle injury.
  • This meant Lazard was back to being an every-down starter. Over half of the snaps he missed were from one wide receiver sets while the rest were just getting rotated out from more typical personnel groupings.
  • Despite running 34 routes, Lazard was never targeted.
  • Cobb played ahead of Irvin Charles as the fourth wide receiver. He had only caught three passes for 20 yards before this game as a Jet and caught his only target for the 15-yard touchdown in this game.
  • While these were small steps in the right direction, both are still far away from being worth considering for fantasy rosters again.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • C.J. Stroud is in the concussion protocol after hitting his head late in this game. Davis Mills took over for the rest of this game and would be the starter if Stroud misses a game.
  • Dalton Schultz missed a second-straight game due to a hamstring injury. Brevin Jordan continued to play Schultz’s usual role. He led the Texans in receptions (three) and receiving yards (35). 
  • Dalvin Cook started over Breece Hall for the first time all season, but the running back usage throughout the game was very similar to last week. Hall is the primary early-down and third-down back while Cook will continue to see 5-10 carries per game.
  • C.J. Uzomah landed on injured reserve while Kenny Yeboah returned from injured reserve. Yeboah played more snaps than Uzomah had been playing, cutting into Tyler Conklin’s playing time.

Minnesota Vikings @ Las Vegas Raiders

Monitor Justin Jefferson’s health: Jefferson lasted only 13 snaps before suffering a chest injury and leaving the game.

  • Jefferson played nine of a possible 10 snaps on the first two drives, leaving the field only for a run play out of 21 personnel.
  • At the start of the season, K.J. Osborn consistently played ahead of Jordan Addison in 12 and 21 personnel. On the first two drives of this game, Addison played ahead of Osborn. Brandon Powell didn’t play a single snap on those first two drives.
  • After the injury, the Vikings' wide receiver rotation was mostly back to “normal,” with Addison and Osborn playing in two-receiver sets and Powell joining for three-receiver sets.
  • Jalen Nailor frequently rotated in for Osborn over the rest of the game.
  • This was the most Nailor has played in a game this season outside of Week 10 when more players were out with injuries.
  • Nailor caught two of his five targets for 13 yards, while Osborn caught four of seven targets for 15 yards.
  • Osborn gained 99 yards in Week 8, but outside of that, he has yet to exceed 50 receiving yards, so it’s not surprising that he is getting rotated out more.
  • Osborn may see a significant decrease in snaps once Jefferson is 100%.

Monitor Alexander Mattison’s health: Mattison suffered an ankle injury early in the third quarter and didn’t return.

  • Mattison played 21 of a possible 30 first-half snaps, while Ty Chandler played only seven.
  • After the injury, it was clearly Chandler for the rest of the game.
  • Kene Nwangwu took his place for three snaps in the middle of the half, while C.J. Ham continued to play some third-down snaps, as he’s done in most weeks.
  • Even if the injury keeps Mattison out for one week, Chandler would still be among the top waiver wire targets at running back. He is likely one of two running backs available who could see over 60% of offensive snaps.

Monitor Josh Jacobs’ health: Jacobs suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.

  • The Raiders played only six offensive snaps after the injury.
  • Ameer Abdullah took the snap immediately after the injury because it was a third down. He also took the third snap on the following drive and the two snaps in the last two minutes because they were clear passing situations.
  • Zamir White took the other two snaps. White would presumably take Jacobs’ role if the 2019 first-rounder misses time.
  • The Raiders play the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football. The short turnaround makes it less likely that Jacobs plays this week.
  • Given how well running backs typically do against the Chargers and the possibility of White playing 15-20 snaps, he is the top waiver-wire option of the week unless Jacobs is good to go.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Joshua Dobbs was benched in favor of Nick Mullens. Dobbs completed just 10 of his 23 passes for 63 yards, while Mullens finished 9-of-13 for 83 yards. Mullens may start next week.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

  • Deebo Samuel: 7 receptions, 149 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 carry, 1 rushing yard, 1 rushing touchdown
  • Brandon Aiyuk: 6 receptions, 126 yards

The Seahawks' backfield is close to normal: Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet were questionable for this game.

  • Walker had missed Seattle's last two games with an oblique injury, but he was back at practice by the end of last week. Charbonnet suffered a knee injury late in Week 13, but he was also practicing by the end of the week.
  • In Week 14, Walker played the majority of snaps on early downs, while Charbonnet played the majority of snaps on passing downs.
  • The Seahawks' recent games included a lot of third downs and a lot of two-minute drill snaps, leading Charbonnet to lead the team in snaps.
  • This week, they played fewer third-down snaps than usual and had no two-minute drill snaps. This left Walker leading the backfield.
  • While the snap distribution looked normal, the carry distribution was not. Charbonnet ran nine times, while Walker ran eight times. Typically, Walker runs about twice as much as Charbonnet.
  • Charbonnet ran three times for 42 yards in the first quarter, while Walker managed just 2 yards on four carries. Charbonnet was then given every carry in the second quarter. Given the game script, the team ran only five times in the second half.
  • The Seahawks play the Philadelphia Eagles next week, which could mean a lot of Charbonnet, but the following two games could be more favorable for Walker.

49ers thrive despite injuries to role players: The 49ers relied even more on their top four skill players while three players were out due to injury.

  • Backup running back Elijah Mitchell didn’t practice all week due to a knee injury and was inactive. This moved Jordan Mason up to the backup spot.
  • Mason took one snap on the first drive to give Christian McCaffrey a break after his 72-yard run. This allowed Mason to score a touchdown. Most of his other snaps occurred in the last two minutes, with the game all but over.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud III has been a primary replacement to Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings at various points this season, but he was recently placed on injured reserve with a rib injury. 
  • Chris Conley was elevated off the practice squad and served as the fourth wide receiver. Half of his snaps occurred in the last four minutes.
  • Ross Dwelley was also inactive with an ankle injury. He has largely been phased out of the offense as the third tight end. Brayden Willis served as the third tight end, but he played only in the last two minutes.
  • The 49ers are a team that makes a point of getting their top few players the ball, and they did it even more this week.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Tyler Lockett led the Seahawks in receiving yards (89). This was his third-best game of the season in terms of receiving yards, but it’s now been over a calendar year since he’s reached 100 receiving yards in a game. 

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

  • James Cook: 10 carries, 58 yards; 5 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Rashee Rice: 7 receptions, 72 yards, 1 touchdown

The Chiefs miss Isiah Pacheco: Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon split the workload in Pacheco’s absence. 

  • Pacheco (shoulder) didn’t practice all week, and there is a chance he will miss more time.
  • Edwards-Helaire took most of Pacheco's role, accounting for the majority of snaps and carries on early downs.
  • The only reason the snap share was so close is because the Chiefs were losing and played 17 snaps in two-minute drills. Over half of McKinnon’s snaps came during those situations.
  • McKinnon scored a 7-yard touchdown on a third down in the last two minutes of the first half. That touchdown meant McKinnon scored more fantasy points than Edwards-Helaire, but the early-down back received more opportunities throughout the game.
  • The Chiefs’ next two games are against teams with losing records. If Pacheco misses more time, Edwards-Helaire will likely be the guy to start.

Your weekly Chiefs wide receiver update: The Chiefs made some big changes to their wide receiver rotation this week.

  • Rashee Rice‘s playing time seemed to stabilize over the last month, but he took a major step forward in Week 14, playing all but 10 offensive snaps.
  • He was targeted at least nine times for the third straight week, and his fantasy value should continue to rise.
  • Kadarius Toney was also much more involved this week than in the past. His 29 offensive snaps were the second-most for him as a member of the Chiefs. His six opportunities were the most for him in a game since Week 6.
  • This left Skyy Moore with a massive decline in snaps, going from two-thirds of the snaps last week to one-third this week. Marquez Valdes-Scantling also experienced a sizeable decline, and Justin Watson had a slight decline.
  • There are rightfully concerns about the Chiefs wide receiver room, but we no longer need to worry about Rice or his playing time.

Dawson Knox returns to the Bills: Knox had missed the last five weeks of the season due to a wrist injury.

  • He was a full participant in practice all week, so he presumably played without restriction.
  • The injury allowed Dalton Kincaid to break out and become one of the league's best fantasy football tight ends. Knox’s return left fantasy managers concerned about Kincaid’s playing time.
  • Luckily, Knox’s return didn’t significantly impact Kincaid’s playing time. Kincaid played 77% of offensive snaps and 60 total snaps. That raw total marked a single-game high for the rookie. 
  • The Bills ran more snaps out of 12 personnel than they had the last few weeks, resulting in less playing time for Khalil Shakir.
  • Kincaid was targeted plenty, but he gained only 21 yards off five receptions.
  • Knox was targeted three times and gained 36 yards, finishing second on the team in receiving yards.
  • Kincaid can safely remain in fantasy starting lineups going forward.
  • It’s worth noting that Kincaid suffered a shoulder injury and was in the X-ray room at one point, but he reportedly was fine after the game.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Justyn Ross has been on the exempt list after a recent arrest. He was suspended for six games, but his time on the exempt list counted as part of the suspension. His suspension will be lifted after this week, and he will be eligible to return to the team.
  • Last week, James Cook posted his first 50-plus-yard game of the season and his first game with five or more receptions. Week 14 was his second game of the season with five or more receptions and 50 or more yards.

Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers tweak their backfield: Before the game, there was plenty of talk of the team moving more toward a committee or going with the hot hand. 

  • Ekeler had been held under 3.6 yards per carry in all but two games this season and averaged just 1.3 yards per carry last week.
  • Isaiah Spiller was inactive for each of the last five games as the team stuck with two active running backs. Spiller was active for this game, which was the first change.
  • Ekeler started the game as usual, with Joshua Kelley rotating in on the first drive. The Chargers ran 12 plays on the first three drives and reached a fourth drive at the end of the first quarter. Spiller started mixing in during the fourth drive.
  • Ekeler played only half of the snaps in the first quarter but took the backfield over by the second quarter. He played 23 of 34 snaps in the second and third quarters, with Spiller taking over as the backup and playing nine snaps in those two quarters. Kelley was only on the field twice in that time.
  • Ekeler finished the game by taking all 18 snaps in the fourth quarter.
  • This was Ekeler’s best game in a month. He can safely remain in fantasy starting lineups. If anything, this might mean Spiller will be the handcuff going forward instead of Kelley.
  • There is also a chance the Chargers are looking ahead to next season and want to know what they have in Spiller so they know how much to prioritize running back in the offseason.

Lucas Krull elevated for a third time: The former New Orleans Saint took several routes away from Adam Trautman for the third time this season.

  • He played most of his snaps in 11 personnel. It was a pass play whenever he was on the field in 11 personnel. He also played in three-tight end sets and on kneel-downs.
  • While Trautman didn’t run as many routes as usual, he caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown, his second touchdown in the last three games.
  • Krull has been targeted once in each of his games. His targets in the first two games fell incomplete, but his target in this game went for 35 yards.
  • If the Broncos want to continue utilizing Krull, they need to sign him to the 53-man roster rather than elevating him from the practice squad.
  • Greg Dulcich is on injured reserve and hasn’t had his practice window opened yet, but there is also a chance he will return this season as the Broncos’ receiving tight end.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Justin Herbert fractured his right index finger and didn’t return to the game. The injury could very well end Herbert’s season, and any fantasy manager with him should be making a backup plan.
  • Joshua Palmer had his practice window open up. He was limited in practice all week and wasn’t brought to the active roster. He may be back in the lineup soon.
  • Alex Erickson has overtaken Jalen Guyton as the third wide receiver for Los Angeles, but both will fall down the depth chart once Palmer returns.
  • Courtland Sutton has caught a touchdown in 10 of 13 games this season. He is now tied for second in receiving touchdowns, behind only Tyreek Hill.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Goedert returns: The Eagles star tight end missed the last three weeks with a forearm injury.

  • Goedert played over 90% of snaps at the beginning of the season, but in the middle stretches of the campaign, he played between 75% and 80% of snaps in most games.
  • Tonight, he played even more than he did in the middle of the season, which was great to see. It wasn’t as much as he played over the first month of the season, but he mostly missed snaps on run plays.
  • He caught four passes for 30 yards and was one of just three Eagles to see more than one target.
  • Goedert doesn’t have the best schedule for fantasy tight ends going forward, but his talent alone is likely enough for him to be in fantasy starting lineups over the rest of the season.

Cowboys shift toward a two-man committee: The Cowboys relied heavily on two running backs rather than just Tony Pollard.

  • Pollard was the clear leader in snaps, as usual. He caught seven passes for 37 yards, tying his season-high in receptions. 
  • Rico Dowdle was much more involved in the run game than usual tonight.
  • There have been plenty of games where Dowdle ended up with significant carries, but nearly half of his carries before tonight came in the fourth quarter of blowouts.
  • He ran the ball 11 times in the first three-quarters tonight while his previous high was six. This included a goal-line snap, where he scored a touchdown.
  • Pollard was the main back in the fourth quarter and ended with 16 carries for 59 yards.
  • The Cowboys have a rough schedule ahead, as they take on the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions. It would be difficult to start Dowdle next week without knowing if this was a one-time thing based on the game plan, and the Dolphins and Lions are top-six teams against running backs this season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Peyton Hendershot was activated off injured reserve before this game after missing the last nine games with an ankle injury. Hendershot played significant snaps in passing situations before the injury but didn’t play much tonight. They could be easing him in, but it’s also possible Ferguson has just taken too big of a lead for the receiving tight end role.
  • Julio Jones (groin) didn't practice to start the week. He was limited on Friday but wasn’t given an injury designation. He was a clear fourth on the Eagles’ depth chart, with Quez Watkins playing the majority of snaps in three-receiver sets. Jones may get the third job back when he’s healthy, but he may also remain fourth. Neither player was targeted in this game.

Table Notes

  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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