There is no more exciting time in the world of football than right now. The drama with college football has already begun, courtesy of Alabama, Florida State, and the College Football Selection Committee. NFL teams are fighting for their division title and scratching and clawing for the last playoff spots. And, on top of all that, fantasy football playoffs are just beginning. Let’s take a look around the Week 14 action from yesterday to see what some of our biggest takeaways are during this dramatic time. 


Week 14 Hot Takes

Is Joe Flacco Elite?

Thanks to sites like Reddit and X (formerly Twitter), this question turned into a classic NFL fan meme. But to about half of the Ravens fans out there, this one might have always been a legitimate question. At age 38 it’s hard to argue that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league but a guy like Kurt Warner is in the Hall of Fame because he proved everyone wrong not once as an undrafted free agent at age 28 with the St. Louis Rams but TWICE when brought the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008 at age 37. In his first game with the Browns he threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns and this week, in a crucial win against the Jaguars, he threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski just named Joe Flacco the starter for the rest of the season. If he can make some noise this post-season and maybe even make it to another Super Bowl with a little help from the Browns top-shelf defense, he’d certainly bolster his resume for the Hall of Fame. And the question of whether “Joe Flacco is elite” would be answered forever.         

Elevation by Competition

Last week the Cincinnati Bengals made a statement. And that statement was that rookie running back Chase Brown needed to play. And guess what? He looked great. And he looked great again this week, breaking off a 54 yard receiving touchdown. So how did Joe Mixon respond? By finishing as the PPR RB1 in Week 13 and tied for R4 in Week 14. Whether it’s the competition or maybe just getting a bit of a rest, Mixon has been ignited by this new change. Perhaps the Los Angeles Chargers saw this when they announced last week that there would be a competition for carries after Austin Ekeler has struggled. And how did he respond? With his best game yet with 100 yards from scrimmage, finishing as the RB5. Maybe a little competition isn’t so bad after all?

The Great 2023 QB Massacre Continues

It all started with Aaron Rodgers. On his second snap of the season with his new team, he tore his Achilles tendon. Since then a rash of quarterback injuries has crippled the league and ruined the playoff contention of a few teams. Six starting gunslingers are done for the year (Aaron Rodgers, Anthony Richardson, Deshaun Watson, Kirk Cousins, and Daniel Jones). And a TON of others have missed time at some point including Kyler Murray, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Bryce Young, Jimmy Garoppolo, Justin Fields, Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Desmond Ridder, and Geno Smith. Dak Prescott, Kenny Pickett, Brock Purdy, Baker Mayfield, and now, miraculously, Trevor Lawrence have gotten hurt in games but managed to keep playing. So of course this week we have three more quarterbacks have to leave the game in Jake Browning (muscle cramps), C.J. Stroud (concussion), and Justin Hebert (broke finger on throwing hand after already breaking finger on non-throwing hand earlier this year). In an era where there are a whole slew of rules designed specifically to protect the quarterback, it’s just a reminder of how dangerous this game actually is. 

No More Complaining About Tight Ends

There are some things I take personally with this game. And the tight end position is one of them. I pour my heart and soul into it. And trolls LOVE to tell me about how they eliminated it from their fantasy league. They love to say “it’s Travis Kelce and then who cares?” I care. And that’s why we win leagues. This week if you look at the top 36 flex players for fantasy football, eight in PPR are tight ends. Two of the top five players were tight ends and neither of them were Travis Kelce (Evan Engram with 32.5 points and David Njoku with 27.1). Three of the best tight ends this year have been first or second year players in Sam LaPorta, Trey McBride, and Dalton Kincaid. And next year a supposed generational talent will enter the draft in Brock Bowers out of Georgia. The tight end position isn’t going ANYWHERE. In fact, it’s better than ever. 

Rashee Rice Is Here To Stay

We worry about rookie wide receivers and their boom or bust nature at times and that goes double for Chiefs wide receivers. They have been hesitant all year to make any wideout a full time player.  In fact, outside of Week Two for Marquez Valdes-Scantling, no Chief WR has played more than 70% of the snaps in any game. Until now. In arguably their biggest game, rookie Rashee Rice came out and played 56 of 66 snaps which is good for 85%. In the last three games, he has no fewer than seven receptions and he’s put up 14.4, 18.2, and 24.7 PPR points. He actually outscored Travis Kelce in all three games, believe it or not. For a while it was hard to trust Rice but, based on his recent production, I’m locking him into lineups. And it couldn’t come at a better time with fantasy playoffs starting right now.