Tue Dec 3 8:39am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Fitzpatrick has favorable finish
There actually are a few position changes this week, mostly at quarterback. But that means some players most likely on waivers will have some value going forward. There could be a few players out there this week that could help down the stretch. Here are the top options for Week 14. . . .
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins. Fitzpatrick had a season high 31.45 fantasy points last week. He had a three-touchdown game, giving him multiple scores four of six games. He has produced well in the Dolphins pass-first offense. The Dolphins play the Jets, Giants and Bengals their next three games, making Fitzpatrick an intriguing fantasy play gong forward. He has some real potential in these matchups.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars. Minshew replaced Nick Foles last week and gave the offense a spark, going 16-of-27 for 147 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He is likely to return to the starting lineup going forward. Remember, he had five multiple touchdowns five of eight games before Foles was healthy and returned to the starting lineup. He can help fantasy teams in a starting role.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton returned to the starting lineup and led his team to their first victory of the season. He was 22-of-37 for 243 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals have the Browns and Dolphins two of their next three games, making Dalton a player to consider streaming if you are in need of quarterback help. He has six games with 20-plus fantasy points this year.
Alexander Mattison, Vikings. Mattison hasn’t gotten a ton of chances his rookie year, but impressed with his work. He averages 4.8 yards per carry and has nearly 500 total yards on just 94 touches. Dalvin Cook injured his shoulder Monday night, making Mattison a must add for any league that still has him available. We aren’t sure if Cook misses any time, but if so, Mattison will have big fantasy value in this offense.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Mostert was the leading rusher for the 49ers last week and had his first 100-yard game of his career. He is outplaying Tevin Coleman right now and should be setup for more work down the stretch. He has touchdowns two straight and had a 146-yard performance in Week 13 against a good Ravens defense. Mostert remains available in 66 percent of leagues.
Derrius Guice, Redskins. Guice showed his potential last week, rushing 10 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He brings a lot to the table in a starting role for the Redskins. His workload could be increasing down the stretch after having 10 carries each of the last two games. Guice is available in 20 percent of leagues.
Bo Scarbrough, Lions. Scarbrough has emerged as the lead back for the Lions, running well in place of Kerryon Johnson. He has 80-plus rushing yards two straight games and at least 14 carries three straight. He doesn’t catch the ball but will get his yards and the goal-line work for the Lions. Scarbrough is averrable in 34 percent of leagues.
Benny Snell, Steelers. Snell scored his first touchdown of the season last week, rushing 16 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. He has 37 carries his last two games, getting the starter’s nod for the Steelers with James Conner out of the lineup. Snell has fantasy value as long as Conner is sidelined.
John Ross, Bengals. Ross returns from his broken collarbone this week. He had 100-yard games each of his first two to start the season before getting injured in Week 4. He will return to the starting lineup and could have a big game or two the rest of the way. He is worth a speculative add if you need receiver help.
James Washington, Steelers. Washington continues to excel as the No. 1 receiver for the Steelers. He hit the 100-yard mark for the first time all season last week, catching four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. He has 90 or more yards three of four and touchdowns three of those games. He has some good matchups down the stretch, facing the Cardinals and Jets two of the next three. Washington is available in 55 percent of leagues.
Cole Beasley, Bills. Beasley has touchdowns two straight and at least 74 yards three of four. He also has found the end zone five of his last seven games. Beasley is getting consistent work in the Bills offense and is a top red-zone target for the team. He is available in 38 percent of leagues.
Russell Gage, Falcons. Gage continues to emerge in the Falcons passing game, especially with Julio Jones hurting. Gage scored his first touchdown of the season last week. He has at least four receptions four of five games. He can be a good spot play for fantasy teams in the Falcons pass-first offense.
Tyler Higbee, Rams. Higbee got the start last week with Gerald Everett injured. Higbee made the most of his start, catching seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. He played great against a Cardinals defense that can’t stop the tight end. So don’t overvalue Higbee, but he could have another big game or two before the season is out. He has some potential in this offense.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins. Gesicki found the end zone last week for the second straight game. He has double-digit fantasy points three of five games. He has some fantasy value in the Dolphins pass-heavy offense. Plus, Gesicki has some great matchups down the stretch, facing the Jets, Giants and Bengals.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb) is officially active for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. Winston wasn't able to throw a football in practice until Friday, though he was able to finish off last week's 456-yard, four-touchdown performance with the injury. Winston has a great chance to stay hot against Detroit's suspect pass defense. Fantasy owners must beware the risk- Winston can be erratic even without a fractured thumb.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (ribs, illness) is inactive for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos. Darwin Thompson, LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware will shoulder the load for Kansas City. The Chiefs backfield isn't an ideal fantasy situation, though McCoy, who's had success running in snowy conditions, and Thompson are probably the safest choices.
Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is officially inactive for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Scarbrough wasn't able to practice on Thursday or Friday, so it was likely a longshot for him to play anyway. Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, and practice-squad call-up Wes Hills will lead the backfield in Scarbrough's absence. All are shaky plays, considering Tampa Bay possesses the league's best run defense.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans. When healthy, Fuller has been a difference-maker, averaging 7.6 targets and 74 receiving yards per game. He possesses considerable upside and could be worth a start in what should be a competitive divisional game. Fuller's presence is also a boost to quarterback Deshaun Watson's stock for this contest.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is active for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Edelman was optimistic about playing, though it's nice to get the official word. He's a must-start considering his eight-game streak with double-digit targets and the fact that Tom Brady doesn't seem to trust any other receiver in this offense right now.
The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Lane Johnson, DL Shareef Miller, OG Sua Opeta, DE Derek Barnett, QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Jordan Howard and WR Nelson Agholor inactive for Week 15.
Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is not active for Week 15's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Henry should receive his normal workload this week and has been one of the top running backs in the NFL during the second half of the season. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller will return to the lineup after missing some time because of his hamstring injury. He should see a handful of targets in the passing game but may not be more than a flex option in leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 15 game.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman should be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots this week and can be a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.
According to a report by NFL's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns plan to retain Freddie Kitchens as their head coach after the season ends. Kitchens has gone through some growing pains as a first-time head coach, struggling with play calling at times while trying to manage some big egos in the Cleveland locker room. Despite the rough year, Kitchens is said to have support from the front office barring a late-season disaster. In what has seemed like a lost season at times, Kitchens and the Browns still have a chance to finish with a winning record, which would be just the third time that has happened since the team came back in 1999.
The New York Giants have declared TE Rhett Ellison, TE Evan Engram, OG Kevin Zeitler, QB Daniel Jones, OG Chad Slade and RB Wayne Gallman inactive for Week 15.
The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, OT Garrett McGhin, CB Corn Elder, TE Greg Olsen, DE Marquis Haynes, DL Woodrow Hamilton and LB Ramik Wilson inactive for Week 15.
The Tennessee Titans have declared WR Adam Humphries, CB Adoree' Jackson, LB Daren Bates, LB Sharif Finch, DE Matt Dickerson, DT Isaiah Mack and OG Kevin Pamphile inactive for Week 15.
The Washington Redskins have declared OG Brandon Scherff, TE Caleb Wilson, WR Trey Quinn, CB Quinton Dunbar, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, OG Ross Pierschbacher and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 15.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is not planning on requesting a trade this offseason. This is a change from what Fox's Jay Glazer reported last week when he broke that Beckham has been telling opposing coaches and players to trade for him on-field before games. While it now appears that Beckham will stay in Cleveland, he is among a group of veterans who are hoping the team makes a few adjustments to the coaching staff and how roles are delegated for the 2020 season. Beckham is also said to be playing through a hernia injury although no decisions have been made in regards to his offseason plans just yet. A source told LaCanfora that the injury is not a major one and that surgery may not be a requirement this offseason.
The Denver Broncos have declared DL Adam Gotsis, OG Ronald Leary, CB Shakial Taylor, OT Ja'Wuan James, DE DeMarcus Walker, OT Calvin Anderson and DT Dre'Mont Jones inactive for Week 15.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Nick Allegretti, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton and TE Deon Yelder inactive for Week 15.