Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers: Antonio Gibson, Denzel Mims absences open door for J.D. McKissic, Breshad Perriman
The fantasy playoffs have arrived and now, start ’em, sit ’em decisions are more important than ever. With no teams on bye, owners will have their full rosters at their disposal minus some major injury question marks, so the need to rely on sleepers is a bit diminished. Still, there is always room in the flex spot to utilize a streamer in a good matchup or a “boring” player that is getting a lot of volume to bolster your chances of advancing to the next round. Ahead of Week 14, J.D. McKissic, Philip Rivers, Breshad Perriman, and Anthony Firkser represent some of the best under-the-radar options.
In Week 13, our sleepers panned out pretty well. At RB, Cam Akers put up a solid outing and continued his scoring streak on a nice TD run. At QB, Kirk Cousins, Mitchell Trubisky, and Taysom Hill all posted solid numbers as Cousins and Hill each had multiple TDs. Keke Coutee and Corey Davis had career days at WR, Jordan Reed scored a late TD, and Eric Ebron caught seven passes at TE. We’ll try to stay hot with these picks and avoid mistakes in what looks like a loaded Week 14 slate.
Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers: Running backs
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos @ Panthers (Jacob Camenker). The Panthers have gotten better against the run as the season has gone along, but they have still allowed 1,200 yards and 10 TDs on the ground to RBs along with the eighth-most fantasy points to the position. Lindsay has struggled of late and was dealing with a knee injury last week, but he is still averaging 13 carries per game in his past three outings. That volume is enough to make him a relatively safe flex play with RB2 potential in a solid matchup.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals vs. Cowboys (Vinnie Iyer). Did you see how pathetic Dallas’ run defense has become? Assuming Joe Mixon (foot) is still out, Gio goes off.
J.D. McKissic, Washington @ 49ers (Matt Lutovsky). Even if Antonio Gibson (toe) plays this week, McKissic will likely see more work, especially in the passing game. He’s received at least six targets in six games this year and at least 10 targets in three games. San Francisco has given up at least five catches to an individual RB in four games and allow just under five catches and 39 receiving yards per game to RBs overall. McKissic should blow those numbers out of the water and get a few more carries than usual, too.
BONUS PICK: Devontae Booker, Raiders vs. Colts (Lutovsky). Booker failed to impress in his first week filling in for Josh Jacobs (ankle), but he did get 17 touches and should see a similar workload against a struggling Colts defense. Over the past seven games, Indianapolis has allowed 11 RB touchdowns (at least one in each game), three of which have been through the air. It’s also allowed two 100-yard rushers in that span. Booker should get enough touches to do damage and pay off as a flex. (Update: With Josh Jacobs likely playing this week, Booker isn’t a good starting option.)
Week 14 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterbacks
Philip Rivers, Colts @ Raiders (Camenker). Rivers is on a bit of a hot streak, as he is averaging 289.3 passing yards over his past three games and has totaled seven passing TDs in that span. Things are clicking for the Colts’ passing offense, and the Raiders have given up the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs this season. Rivers has a high yardage floor and should be able to continue scoring in a solid matchup.
Daniel Jones, Giants vs. Cardinals (Iyer). Signs are pointing to him returning from his hamstring injury, and he’ll want to show what he can do passing and running opposite fellow 2019 first-rounder Kyler Murray.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings @ Buccaneers (Lutovsky). Tampa has given up multiple TD passes in each of the past six games and allowed a combined 838 yards and six TDs in their previous two games (Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes). Cousins has averaged 287.6 passing yards and 2.8 TDs over his past five outings, so he has a high floor and high ceiling this week in a game where Minnesota figures to have issues running the ball.
Week 14 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide receivers
Darnell Mooney, Bears vs. Texans (Camenker). We’re still waiting on Mooney to have a breakout game, but it could come this week. Mooney has caught seven passes for 77 yards in his past two games, but he has seen 15 targets in that span, indicating that Mitchell Trubisky likes throwing to him. The Texans could end up being a good matchup for Mooney as they’ve lost their top corner, Bradley Roby, to a suspension and have allowed two deep-threat receivers to go off in the last three games — T.Y. Hilton had 110 yards and a TD against them while Damiere Byrd had 132 yards and a TD against them. Mooney could be the next in line to go off.
Mike Williams, Chargers vs. Falcons (Iyer). He’s overdue to connect for big plays with Justin Herbert, and Atlanta’s defense will oblige.
Breshad Perriman, Jets @ Seahawks (Lutovsky). Perriman had just one catch for 22 yards last week, but in the previous three games, he had 11 catches for 234 yards and three TDs. In a game that could easily be lopsided in the second half this week, Perriman should see ample targets against the league’s worst pass defense.
Week 14 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tight ends
Anthony Firkser, Titans @ Jaguars (Camenker). Jonnu Smith (knee) missed last week’s game against the Browns and even if he returns this week, Firsker may still be a fine streamer. Since Week 6, Smith has just 12 catches for 117 yards and two TDs. In that same span, Firkser has 25 catches for 264 yards and a TD. Ryan Tannehill loves throwing to his TEs when on the field, and it seems that he trusts Firkser to get the job done when he’s out there. The Jaguars have struggled against TEs this year, so even if Smith does play, Firkser may be worth a flier if you’re desperate for TE help.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins vs. Chiefs (Iyer). He’s alive and well in their offense making big plays, and he’s a tough matchup inside and outside for Kansas City.
Jordan Akins, Texans @ Bears (Lutovsky). You’d really be going out on a limb trusting Akins after two worthless games, but those were against two of the best TE defenses (Lions, Colts). The Bears have been consistently abused by TEs this year, allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position, so Akins could surprise with one of his occasional big games.
Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers: Defenses
Arizona Cardinals @ Giants (Camenker). The Giants just beat the Seahawks, but their offense still wasn’t anything special. They turned the ball over once, let Colt McCoy get sacked twice, and saw Seattle block a punt for a safety while scoring just 17 total points. Daniel Jones (hamstring) is set to return and take over for McCoy this game, but the Cardinals will be able to slow down the Giants and force him into some turnovers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Vikings (Iyer). They will give up some points and yards, but they should also rack up some sacks and takeaways from Kirk Cousins.
Carolina Panthers vs. Broncos (Lutovsky). Drew Lock is a walking turnover, and Carolina is coming off two straight big D/ST games (shutout, five sacks, one takeaway vs. Detroit; two sacks, three takeaways, two TDs vs. Minnesota).