Faves and Fades is a weekly installment that focuses on players who you might be deciding between in your flex spot. We won’t be talking about any of the biggest producers here because you are going to start them regardless of the matchup. These players will be low-end WR 2 – Waiver wire range. The flex spot is oftentimes the sweatiest decision and also the X factor that can decide the matchup. This ones for the Gunslingers.
Last Week’s Recap
Last week was not a fun week for me. The Rams fan in me led me to believe we would for some reason contain Tyler Lockett but instead he had his best game of the year. Hope you didn’t listen to me on that one. Or Kyren Williams… although I think that surprised a lot of people. He had 70% of the snaps last week and the Rams are amidst a busted season where they need to evaluate who they got. They played very hard and Cam Akers’ familiarity with the Seahawks may have led McVay to trust him more in this game and potentially going forward who knows with this team, just stay away altogether for the playoffs.
Dameon Pierce had a decent day again and could have had an amazing day with a TD. That’s the kind of upside and floor you want from a player in your lineup. Maybe Chase Claypool is still learning the playbook… because in a week with no Mooney he still only manages 28 yards. He did get 6 targets and 5 catches and was on the field alot more than his first few weeks but his “breakout” might not come till next year. Aiyuk had a healthy 9 targets but didn’t do much with them. I love his consistent role and he’s one of my favorite lineup locks rest of the season.
Singletary ran in a TD giving you a useful week if you had to use him. Robinson continued chugging along with 21 carries. They love giving this kid the ball. Elliot and Pollard torched the Colts defense. Elliot is in the middle of this weird resurgence in which he has scored over 15 points 5 weeks in a row despite pollard also dominating and being less explosive cause of his age. I thought the Colts would poke a hole in his armor but to be fair it’s hard to beat the cowboys during this end-of-season hype stage before they inevitably choke in the playoffs.
Brandon Aiyuk WR 49ers / 9 targets 5 receptions 46 yards: 9.60 PPR points
Juwan Johnson TE Saints / OUT
Chase Claypool WR Bears / 6 targets 5 receptions 28 yards: 5.80 PPR Points
Dameon Pierce RB Texans / 18 rushes 73 yards 3 targets 3 receptions 22 yards: 12.50 PPR points
Kyren Williams RB Rams / 3 rushes 9 yards 1 targets 0 receptions: 0.90 PPR Points
Brian Robinson RB Commanders / 21 rushes 96 yards 2 targets 2 receptions 15 yards: 13.10 PPR points
Ezekiel Elliot RB Cowboys / 17 rushes 77 yards 1 TD 3 targets 3 receptions 14 yards: 18.10 PPR Points
Tyler Lockett WR Seahawks / 12 targets 9 receptions 128 yards 1 TD: 27.80 PPR Points
Devin Singletary RB Bills / 13 rushes 51 yards 1 TD 2 targets 0 receptions: 11.10 PPR points
Week 14 Faves
Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, RB / Cowboys vs Texans
I made some bad calls last week and to atone for those sins I’ll give the Cowboys backfield the respect they deserve. If you find yourself with one of these pieces at this point in the season you should consider yourself lucky that this juicy matchup has found you in what is the last game of the season or the first week of the playoffs. Houston is a hot mess right now and the cowboys are surging. This one should get ugly fast and both Elliot and Pollard should feast on one of the worst run defenses in the NFL as there will be little reason for the boys to air It out.
Jared Goff, QB / Lions vs Vikings
The Lions want to prove themselves a legitimate team and who better to prove that against than the division leaders? Plus Goff has been somewhat of a gunslinger this year. He’s had his few dud games but more often than not they have needed to rely on his arm and he has delivered. They have won 5 of their last 6 and lost some of the early games purely because of their terrible defense. The Vikings defense has proved to be very beatable this year and now swift is healthy. A fully healthy backfield with the addition of Jameson Williams who will only get more and more involved has me salivating for Goff during the playoffs. If you have had QB injuries recently but find yourself in the playoffs (Tua, Lamar, Jimmy G owners I’m looking at you) spend the rest of your FAAB on Goff. They will have to compete in every game as they try to stay within sniffing territory of the playoffs. I think Goff explodes for 30+ in this heated divisional matchup.
Daniel Bellinger TE / Giants vs Eagles
Bellinger might get the most targets in this game realistically. Before his injury, he was splitting TE snaps with Tanner Hudson who was typically the third down TE for the Giants. Bellinger has returned and Hudson has been released. The only other time Bellinger has had over 90% of the snaps was in week 6 against the Ravens where he turned in his best performance yet. He received a healthy 5 targets in his return last week and now the Giants find themselves going against the team with the best record in the NFL and an amazing secondary to go along with that. The Giants will need to be creative with how they score cause Daniel Jones isn’t going to be carving them up through the air. We might see a lot of Daniel Jones runs and heavy Saquan usage since the one thing the Eagles have trouble with is stopping the run. When Jones does go to the air I think he will be using his safety blanket TE more often than not and he’s also an amazing red zone weapon for this team. I think Bellinger gets a TD this week and a healthy amount of targets which is all you can hope for in a TE these days that isn’t Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews
Marquise Brown WR / Cardinals vs Patriots
The Cardinals are giving the Rams a run for their money on the messiest team in the NFC west right now. One shining light on the season has been Marquise Brown and he slid right back into his normal voluminous role immediately. The Cardinals will probably be without Rondale Moore again as well so the targets will be plenty with Marquise Brown. He has had 8 or more targets in every game since week 1 and has turned in 4 double-digit target games in the 6 weeks he’s played since week 1 as well. He’s a staple in this offense and a talented one with high-end speed. Which coincidentally The Patriots have trouble with. I think we see Brown break a few downfield plays Sunday and you don’t want that on your bench.
Week 14 Fades
George Pickens WR / Steelers vs Ravens
They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease but for many of you, this week potentially has your whole season on the line. Either the first week in the fantasy football playoffs or you are playing the last game of the regular season to see if you get in. George Pickens has certainly shown flashes and is the de facto WR 1 in this offense meaning he has great potential but his comments earlier this week scare me a little. He reportedly is unhappy with his target share and maybe Mike Tomlin fixes that by force-feeding him the ball or he teaches the rookie a lesson and doesn’t give in to his demands. Either way, I want none of it this week. Kenny Pickett has great moxy but he isn’t the most accurate thrower of the football even when he is giving Pickens targets. Pickens could obviously have a huge game because of his talent but in a week so important he’s not someone I want to depend on in my lineup.
Michael Gallup WR / Cowboys vs Texans
The Texans have only allowed QBs to score 20+ fantasy points three times this season. Despite them being probably the worst team in the NFL right now they have a respectable passing defense. Their run defense is what’s truly atrocious and ends up doing them in seemingly every game. Elliot and Pollard are poised to have huge days on what should be a cakewalk of a game. I think Gallup cools off a little from his recent hot streak more so from the game script than anything
Cam Akers RB / Rams vs Raiders
The Rams have been on a long losing streak. I think last week was a really important week for them to try and get a win against the division leader and stand up for themselves a bit after getting beaten down so terribly all season. Bobby Wagner was looking for a nice revenge game as well and played great. John Wolford drew the start who has a history of winning against the Seahawks and Cam Akers got the lion’s share of the carries, in my opinion, because he is the veteran in the backfield that has played the Seahawks many many times now. I think Akers will still be atop the depth chart but I don’t think he will dominate the backfield like that again. I think McVay was hyper-focusing on Akers trying to get that win. Akers was still relatively inefficient and Kyren Williams should see himself back on the field more and more eliminating any hope for a bell cow role for Akers and I want nothing to do with a running back committee on one of the worst offenses in football right now.
Nico Collins WR / Texans vs Cowboys
With Brandin Cooks seemingly out for the season because he has no incentive whatsoever to take a step back on the field Nico Collins has found himself a popular streaming option. Davis Mills is also returning this week which bodes well for his productivity he’s a 6’4 monster that is a huge mismatch for just about anyone in the red zone but the Texans are atrocious this year and they are about to play the most explosive defense in the NFL with Trevon Diggs getting plenty of looks on Collins throughout the game. Davis Mills might be sacked more times than he completes the ball. Maybe that’s a stretch but don’t talk yourself into a WR 1 on the worst team in football just cause he “should” get the work. Collins can be a nice playoff play depending on the matchup but stay away from the one with the Boys this week it’s gonna get ugly.