Well, FAmily, we’ve officially finished the final week of the fantasy football regular season. Did you make the playoffs or are you casually observing from your couch? If you rostered Tyreek Hill, Austin Ekeler, or Justin Jefferson, let’s just congratulate you on your championship now. However, there were several big surprise performances this week that may have helped you if you were on the bubble. Jared Goff showed off in a big way against the Vikings, pushing the Lions into playoff contention, Chris Moore delivered in the absence of Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins against the Dallas Cowboys, and Evan Engram?! Whew! But, much like Thanos, the fantasy gods had to deliver balance to our rosters, and they did so by severely hindering the production of studs like Stefon Diggs, Nick Chubb, and Travis Kelce. So what did we learn from all this?
Number one, the NFL is an unpredictable beast that is full of surprises. You never really know what you’re going to get from week to week, no matter how much research and analytics you put into it. Two, and more relevant for us, we learned that there is no shortage of hot takes, even this far into the season! With that, let’s not waste any more time and dive straight into our spiciest takes from the Sunday slate of Week 14.
Russell Wilson is a QB1 the Remainder of the Season
Russell Wilson may have pulled off the biggest catfish of the fantasy season on Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs. Just when everyone had finally accepted he was done, he pulled off the best game of the year; had he not exited the game early, it would have been undoubtedly better, but beggars can’t be choosers. Kansas City’s secondary is one of the worst in the league, to be sure, but the Broncos’ upcoming schedule is a quarterback’s dream. Next week, they face the Arizona Cardinals who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to the quarterback, followed by the Los Angeles Rams, then, for fantasy championship week, they once again get the Chiefs. Courtland Sutton will hopefully be back in action by then, adding to their depleted receiving corps, and if head coach Nathaniel Hackett hopes to keep his job, he’ll pull out all the stops to help Russ cook a hearty holiday meal for those hoping to win a fantasy championship. Look for him to finally live up to the QB1 expectations we all set for him in the preseason down the stretch.
Evan Engram Can Help You Win Your Fantasy Championship in a Tight End Wasteland
We all had high hopes for Evan Engram entering the season in a Doug Pederson offense, but despite having several promising weeks (and more than a few touchdowns called back because of offensive penalties), he didn’t quite deliver. Today, he flipped the script in a HUGE way, finishing with a massive 15 targets, 162 yards and two scores, outshining Zay Jones and even Christian Kirk in a lopsided win over the AFC South leading Titans. (Alexa, play Soundgarden “Outshined.”) This crushed the narrative that Engram is “bad at football,” and for the precious few weeks we have left of the fantasy season, he should continue this streak. The former Giant is now TE4 in PPR leagues, and the Jaguars aren’t lying down anytime soon. They do have fairly difficult matchups against the Cowboys and Jets, but in Week 17, they face the Houston Texans who rank 26th in DVOA against the tight end. When you make it all the way to the finish line, don’t be shocked when Evan Engram helps you hoist your championship trophy.
Brock Purdy is a Legitimate Starter Rest of Season
The “Mr. Irrelevant” moniker may need to be retired next season because after Brock Purdy’s performance the past two weeks, he looks like HIM. No one, even Vegas, expected this game to be a high scoring affair, but in true Michael Jordan fashion, Purdy took that personally and nearly covered the over/under himself, even scoring a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak. He scored over 25 fantasy points against a Buccaneers defense that until Sunday had only given up 15 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position and did so by only attempting 21 passes. The 49ers are scary good on both sides of the ball, and Purdy looks fearless in his new role, doling out targets to every weapon on the offense. And their upcoming schedule? Don’t look now, but they face the Seahawks, Commanders, and Raiders over the next three weeks, all of which have given up massive fantasy points to the quarterback position. Purdy could really follow the 2017 Nick Foles trajectory and win a quarterback-needy team a fantasy football championship in the next few weeks.
The Detroit Lions Will Make the Playoffs with Jameson Williams Leading the Way
The Hard Knocks bump may have taken a while to get going, but the Detroit Lions have caught fire just in time for a playoff push! They have won five of their last six games, putting them at 6-7 and just outside the postseason bubble in the NFC, and the competition ahead of them has started to crumble. The New York Giants are 7-5-1 and on a free fall, losing and/or tying each of their last four games, and the Washington Commanders face a tough schedule against the 49ers and Browns in the next few weeks. The Lions, on the other hand, are just hitting their stride, especially with the addition of rookie receiver Jameson Williams. Despite faking out fantasy managers everywhere last week in his NFL debut, Williams showed up in a big way Sunday, taking the first catch of his career to the house, and I expect that role to only grow going forward. I’m not trying to bring down the vibe with Amon-Ra St. Brown fantasy managers, but with so many defenses keying in on stopping him, Williams will emerge as the main target on this offense just in time for your fantasy championships and the Lions will continue to steamroll their way into postseason play.
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