Ryan Tannehill (vs Jacksonville)
Tannehill isn’t a safe play, but he is one with upside because the Titans should be able to put up a lot of points against the Jaguars, even with Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown sidelined. Julio Jones is back and D’Onta Foreman has been doing a decent Henry impression. The Titans thumped the Jaguars 37-19 earlier this season, and the Jaguars haven’t improved since then. Tannehill is always a threat to run one in himself and he might even get Golden Tate in this game if the Titans activate him from the practice squad.
Ben Roethlisberger (at Minnesota) **Thursday**
Roethlisberger came alive in the second half last week because he was calling the plays. The Steelers playoff hopes were kept alive last year in a similar fashion, but the team didn’t keep the keys to the car in Roethlisberger’s hands. Hopefully the team learned their lesson and Roethlisberger can play sandlot ball against the Vikings defense that just made Jared Goff look like a solid NFL starting quarterback.
Cam Newton (vs Atlanta)
Newton was a disaster the last time we saw him, but that was also before offensive coordinator Joe Brady was fired. The Panthers are obviously going to focus on the running game now, which could actually light Newton’s fuse. If he can get 15+ rush attempts, including goal line looks, and have some “run to set up the pass” play action attempts, he might end up being one of the better fantasy quarterbacks this week against a Falcons defense that Tom Brady and the Bucs just ran ragged last week.
Ty Johnson (vs New Orleans)
Tevin Coleman is still in concussion protocol, so he’s unlikely to go in Week 14. Austin Walter will share with Johnson, but Johnson is more experienced, and he should be in on passing downs, when he made some noise while Zach Wilson was out earlier this year. Elijah Moore is unsure for this week, so it’s possible that Johnson could be a primary target in the passing game if Wilson takes after the backup quarterbacks in a tough spot against the Saints.
D’Onta Foreman (vs Jacksonville)
Foreman should be prepared as the starter going into a matchup that Derrick Henry would usually crush. He has the most power and burst in the Titans backfield, and the Titans should be able to handily dispose of the Jaguars coming off of a bye and with Julio Jones back in the fold. Henry had three touchdowns in the first matchup, which the Titans won 37-19, so Foreman should be good for at least one.
Jeff Wilson (at Cincinnati)
Wilson had a flare up in his surgically repaired knee last week, but he’s still in better shape than Elijah Mitchell, who is in concussion protocol, and also has some discomfort in his knee. JaMycal Hasty is healthy, but the team has seemed inclined to only use him on passing downs. The Bengals lost their stud middle linebacker Logan Wilson last week, and Wilson should get plenty of opportunities in the run first offense.
Chuba Hubbard (vs Atlanta)
Like Newton, Hubbard should benefit from a renewed commitment to the run in the wake of the firing of Joe Brady. The team has showed a willingness to treat Hubbard as a bell cow when the game script has allowed, and it should against the Falcons, who lost to the Panthers 19-13 in the first matchup this year. Hubbard had 24 carries for 82 yards and a score in that game, and Sam Darnold had eight rushing attempts if you’re worried about how much there will be left over with Cam Newton at quarterback.
Sony Michel (at Arizona)
Michel was the clear lead back last week even though Darrell Henderson was active, and with the team activating Mekhi Sargent from the practice squad already this week, it doesn’t appear that they are preparing to have Henderson at full speed this week. There was already talk that Michel was going to turn this into a committee before Henderson got hurt, and the Cardinals weakness on defense is the run, so this sets up for a good spot for Michel to help the Rams win the time of possession battle and keep Kyler Murray on the sidelines.
Any or all of these wide receiver could hit after they played in a windstorm on Monday night. The Bucs will encourage the Bills to go pass heavy, and Josh Allen doesn’t need much encouragement to do that anyway. Tom Brady should force the Bills to open up the offense to keep up, which will create opportunities for all of these receivers. Sanders is the most likely to catch a long score, Beasley to rack up receptions to help in PPR leagues, and Davis has the look of a player who should be getting more work down the stretch.
Jarvis Landry (vs Baltimore)
Landry posted a 6-111 line going into the bye, and he’s rested now and ready to help the Browns with their playoff push. The Ravens just lost their top corner Marlon Humphrey for the season, so Landry should be facing one of their weaker backups and he should be able to win that matchup consistently. Landry also works the short and intermediate stuff, which should help Baker Mayfield as he also plays through a myriad of injuries. Landry can also contribute as a runner and is just a player the Browns rely on in key moments.
Tyler Boyd (vs San Francisco)
Boyd has been coming on as the season has unfolded, and he could be an important target this week if the injured finger on Joe Burrow’s throwing hand limits him as a downfield passer. Boyd actually has at least 10.9 PPR points in three of his last five games, and the two where he was a miss were blowouts. This should be a close game, which will keep Boyd involved.
Jalen Guyton (vs New York Giants)
Guyton has been stepping up for Justin Herbert, including winning a deep ball that Herbert underthrew last week. He should be a starter with Keenan Allen sitting on the covid list. Mike Williams could also miss this game, but the team is projecting him to play as long as he doesn’t have a positive covid test by Saturday. The Giants allowed 20-185-2 to Dolphins wide receivers last week.
K.J. Osborn (vs Pittsburgh) **Thursday**
Osborn will start in place of Adam Thielen this week against a Steelers secondary that has some holes at cornerback with Joe Haden out again. Osborn made an impact last week after Thielen went out, scoring in the failed comeback effort, and he should be a primary target with the Steelers likely to focus on Justin Jefferson.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs Chicago)
Valdes-Scantling should be ready to be the top deep threat against the Bears, a team that Aaron Rodgers owns in his own words. Valdes-Scantling could get more targets with Randall Cobb out, and the Bears should be ready to blanket Davante Adams with double coverage after he posted 11-206 and a score in the first matchup, which the Packers won 24-14.
Russell Gage (at Carolina)
Gage maybe shouldn’t be considered a sleeper after posting an 11-130 line last week, but he is being overlooked, especially in PPR leagues. Kyle Pitts should be locked up by Stephon Gilmore, and the Falcons haven’t been using Cordarrelle Patterson as much as a receiver, which could make Gage a target hog again this week.
Cook and Parham both have a chance for increased targets and maybe an extra end zone look with Keenan Allen likely sidelined by covid this week. If Mike Williams isn’t cleared as a close contact of Allen’s because he tests positive between now and Saturday, Cook and Parham could be central to the passing game. Keep an eye on this situation as the Chargers should be able to move the ball with or without their starting wideouts.
Tyler Conklin (vs Pittsburgh) **Thursday**
Conklin has been promoted to a top target in the Vikings pass offense with Adam Thielen sidelined. He tied his season high with seven catches last week and he also posted his highest target number of the season with nine. The Steelers should have a make someone other than Justin Jefferson beat us on passing downs approach, which will give Conklin better matchups. Conklin has a wide receiver skillset on fades and the team could use him as an outside receiver at the goal line, like they did last week on a failed pass attempt.
Ricky Seals-Jones (vs Dallas)
Seals-Jones has returned to practice to get in limited sessions just as Logan Thomas has gone on injured reserve. He proved to be a capable fill-in in fantasy leagues when Thomas was out earlier this year, and the Cowboys just allowed 5-84 to Saints tight ends last week. Quick, name a healthy Saints tight end! Juwan Johnson, Garrett Griffin, and Nick Vannett were the correct answers.
Foster Moreau (at Kansas City)
Moreau burned us last week, but with Darren Waller sitting for the first two practices of the week, it looks like he’ll get another start. The Chiefs held Waller to a 4-24 line in the first matchup between these two teams, but they won’t give Moreau as much attention in the defensive game plan. Moreau did have a 34-yard catch last week and the Chiefs have struggled to cover tight ends at times this year.