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.
TFC Draft August 13th
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been working to stay in shape this offseason and has not undergone any surgeries, per The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The 31-year-old is still one of the best receivers in the game and going through the offseason without major injury concerns is a bright sign for the Alabama product's fantasy value heading into this season. Still firmly entrenched as the WR1 for Atlanta and coming off a 1,394 yard season, Jones stands firmly as a top-five fantasy receiver.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) looked good in Friday's practice, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. Landry had hip surgery on February 4 but he was able to participate in team drills on Friday and even found the end zone during 11-on-11 drill where he beat safety Andrew Sendejo deep and connected with Baker Mayfield for about a 50-yard score. Stefanski said of Landry, Ive been able to watch him progress here over the last couple of weeks. Hes doing a nice job. Hes not afraid to work. I enjoy watching him out on the practice field. I enjoy having him around the meeting rooms. Hes progressing nicely. All signs point toward Landry being ready for Week 1 when Cleveland faces off against the Baltimore Ravens.
Elite Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey didn't hesitate to say his own name when it came to selecting the first pick in fantasy drafts, per ESPN. The 24-year-old's claim is backed up by an incredible 2019 season which saw him garner 1,387 rush yards, 4.8 rush yards per carry, 15 rush touchdowns, 116 receptions, 1,005 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. The Panther also finished with the second most fantasy football points in the history of the game at 471 points. It should be no shock that the RB would consider himself the top pick for 2020 and with a role as the focal point of the Carolina offense, along with coming off an astounding fantasy season, there is no disputing that.
Washington Football Team running back/wide receiver could fill the role planned for recently-released running back Derrius Guice. Gibson has been practicing as both a running back and a wide receiver, but with Guice no longer in the backfield, Gibson could be the best bet in a still-crowded running back room. Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, and J.D. McKissic will also be battling for playing time. Gibson is a huge upside/gadget player floor choice right now.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said that he is "optimistic" about coming to an agreement with the team on a long-term contract extension after this season. It seems the two sides never got too close to a deal in the offseason, as Prescott wanted more money and fewer years than the Cowboys were offering. He'll play under the franchise tag this year and could be tagged again next year if the two sides still can't agree, although next year's tag would cost the team $38 million.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he's "finding out how to get back to the basics" after a disappointing sophomore campaign in 2019. "I lost myself in that and I wasn't able to be who I am for these guys on the team. I told them that," Mayfield continued. "I told them that if I'm not doing that, hold me accountable." Head coach Kevin Stefanski's zone-run and play-action scheme should fit Mayfield better, but some fantasy owners may still be skeptical. Mayfield was being taken as a top-five fantasy signal-caller in 2019. That won't happen in 2020 drafts, but the 25-year-old from Oklahoma could surprise some as a QB1 with an improved supporting cast.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook plans to be a full participant at training camp while he seeks a long-term contract extension. "I'm out there full go, 1,000 percent," Cook said. The RB1 in fantasy should be present for workouts on Monday for the start of camp. The 25-year-old second-rounder was a top-five running back last year despite missing two games due to injury. With the Vikings passing game less of a certainty now that Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, Minnesota could lean even more on Cook, both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy managers probably won't view the former Florida State running back as elite because of injury concerns, but he's been pretty money in his short career when he's on the field.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Marcus Mariota "really fired me up today" at training camp on Friday. He has turned a corner with his ankle (injury) and he is a dazzling playmaker. He had a very nice day. It might just be coach speak, and we all know that Gruden typically loves almost every player he's laid eyes on in the NFL, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Incumbent Derek Carr could easily be on the hot seat early in 2020 if he doesn't impress the coaching staff with his production, and Mariota, despite his failures in Tennessee, remains athletic and is one of the highest-paid backup QBs in the league. If Mariota winds up making starts this year, he'd be a low-ceiling, low-end QB2.
Free-agent QB Trevor Siemian (Jets) worked out for the Detroit Lions Friday, Aug. 14.
New York Jets RB Kenneth Dixon (hip), DE Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and LB Jabari Zuniga (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been meeting with the running backs at camp, instead of the wide receivers. This could be an indication that head coach Matt Nagy is planning to use the speedy receiver out of the backfield more this year. This is Patterson's second year with the Bears. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 83 yards while adding 17 rushes for 103 yards. It's certainly an intriguing development, but we'll need to see it play out quite a bit more before we start to get excited about Patterson for fantasy purposes.
Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Seahawks) received interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but the two sides were not able to reach a contract agreement, according to a source.
Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14. The team also waived S Jeremiah Dinson.
Free-agent S Jahleel Addae (Texans) is scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source.
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter underwent knee surgery on Thursday according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. The veteran lineman reportedly had the surgery to remove loose bodies from the knee. Stefanski would not elaborate on how long Tretter would be out but the NFL Network reported that he will probably only miss a couple weeks. In Tretters absence, rookie center Nick Harris will get a chance to show what he can do. Tretter is a key piece to a revamped Cleveland offensive line this year.
New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14.
New York Jets RB Frank Gore (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Adam Gase said Gore was held out as a precaution.
Fantasy Spin: Gore likely will be the No. 2 running back for the Jets and see a handful of carries each game. He could be a handcuff to Le'Veon Bell in fantasy leagues but probably will not have a big fantasy impact.
New York Jets CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.
Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said Friday, Aug. 14, he 'lost myself' in 2019 and started doubting himself after a couple of sub-par performances. Mayfield, though, said Friday that's in the past. 'In a much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll,' Mayfield told reporters at training camp. 'Back to where I need to be to be the leader.'
Fantasy Spin: Drafted as a breakout No. 1 QB last season, Mayfield stumbled badly, throwing for five fewer touchdowns and seven more interceptions than he did as a rookie in 2018. He should bounce back the other way some in 2020, but he's still figures to wind up as a QB2 when all's said and done.
Updating previous report, New England Patriots RB Lamar Miller received a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes $200,000 in guarantees with $1.5 million also available in 'achievable' incentives.