Fantasy football Week 14 recap and waiver wire suggestions

If you had a good weekend playing fantasy football, you very likely had some unexpected performances turn in your favor. Other than Le’Veon Bell owners, virtually no owners with weekly top-tier performers were guaranteed victories.

For the most part, big-name players under-performed in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. If you were able to avoid those disasters, you survived a terrible Sunday.

Starting with the worst quarterbacks this week, you had Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota and Ben Roethlisberger all score in single digits. It was as if they didn’t know, or worse didn’t care, that this week was crucial to our fantasy success.

Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) and defensive end Adolphus Washington (92) celebrate after Alexander intercepted a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) and defensive end Adolphus Washington (92) celebrate after Alexander intercepted a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Only eight running backs topped 100 yards. The biggest disappointment was Melvin Gordon, through no fault of his own, as he was injured early in the game. He had three carries for 5 yards before a hip injury had him carted off the field. NFL.com reports that he will be day-to-day, just three yards shy from 1,000 for the season.

Mark Ingram was a big dud as well, and he was available the whole game. Seven carries for 14 yards isn’t going to do it as an RB1 in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully you had other players step up.

Thomas Rawls had limited impact because of game script as the Seahawks trailed early and by a lot. He looked good and gained 67 yards on 12 carries, but became a victim of circumstance with the Seahawks needing to throw.

Seattle Seahawks' Thomas Rawls runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Seattle Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Devonta Freeman was virtually invisible in a game in which the Falcons scored 42 points. Tevin Coleman scored twice, on the other hand.

Your biggest receiving disappointment was Dez Bryant, who fumbled away his only reception of the night, leaving him in negative-point territory. Mike Evans, who’s been very consistent, and Brandon Marshall, who hasn’t, both failed to eclipse 42 yards receiving.

Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball as Janoris Jenkins #20 and Keenan Robinson #57 of the New York Giants make the tackle in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball as Janoris Jenkins #20 and Keenan Robinson #57 of the New York Giants make the tackle in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The disappointments didn’t end with the skill positions. The Seahawks defense was terrible as well, giving up 38 points, 21 in the first half, to the Packers.

Basically, if you’ve been consistently good all year, Week 14 was very likely not your week.

On the bright side, the odds of your opponent having a bad week were pretty good as well. Here’s hoping you had at least a few of the following fantasy studs on your side.

There was Bell, who had nearly 300 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. His 38 carries were a season high and he was basically worth two RB1s in the game.

Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets rushes for a 19-yard touchdown to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in overtime of their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets rushes for a 19-yard touchdown to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in overtime of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bilal Powell and Carlos Hyde were distant second- and third-place performers to Bell.

Powell filled in for an injured Matt Forte, gaining 179 yards on 34 touches and scoring twice. Forte is considered day-to-day. Hyde averaged 11.3 yards per carry against the Jets as he totaled 193 yards and caught a short touchdown pass.

Tom Brady was spectacular against the Ravens on Monday night, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Aaron Rodgers lit up a Seahawks defense that gave up 16.2 points per game before Sunday. He threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The wideout who benefitted the most was Davante Adams, who caught an early 66-yard touchdown. He ended the game with four catches for 104 yards.

T.Y. Hilton caught nine passes for 115 yards and scored while the Broncos’ receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, both topped 100 yards. DeSean Jackson had his second 100-yard, one-TD game in three outings.

At tight end, Tyler Eifert took advantage of the Browns’ defense as expected, scoring twice. Zach Ertz has been on a serious roll as well.

If you somehow survived the bloodbath, here’s a look at some waiver wire suggestions in case your league allows them during the playoffs.

Quarterbacks

  • Trevor Siemian, Broncos (Still available in a lot of leagues)

Running backs

  • Bilal Powell, Jets
  • Kenneth Farrow, Chargers (22 touches-78 yards, great schedule ahead if Gordon is unavailable)

Wide receivers

  • Alshon Jeffery, Bears (suspension is over)
  • Chris Hogan, Patriots (5-129, TD)
  • Pierre Garcon, Redskins (5-59, TD)
  • Marqise Lee, Jaguars (Not for Week 15 at Houston, but for Week 16 vs. Tennessee)

Fantasy football Week 14 preview

Whether you have one week left in the regular season or you’re starting the first round of playoffs this weekend, Week 14 is a very big one. For all intents and purposes, it’s playoff time, fantasy owners.

Here are the guys you should start or sit to stay alive for your league championship:

Start

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — Even without A.J. Green and Gio Bernard, Dalton had a great game against the Eagles last week. He faces the Browns this week, so he should have a solid outing. The last time he faced them he had 308 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers — Things look good for Winston as he gets to face the Saints twice in the next three weeks. New Orleans has surrendered 19 touchdowns through the air and gives up 277 yards per game.

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers — Just in case you were scared off due to his performance last week, you have to factor in that he was at Seattle. This week he will take on the Chargers at home.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — He wasn’t as bad as he seemed last week against the Colts. He totaled 79 yards against a bad defense. This week he should find the end zone as he takes on the worst team in points allowed to running backs, 49ers.

Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals — Hill’s the main man in Cincinnati and should roll against the Browns. He had 168 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins — Despite the Cardinals doing well against most running backs, Ajayi is a high-volume player and the Dophins should be able to keep the game close unlike last week.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks — Facing Green Bay has turned into a nice treat for fantasy football players. Baldwin’s had two tough games in a row, but he has two nice matchups in the next two weeks.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The Ravens have given up 21 touchdown passes, which is in the bottom half of the league. Edelman has had at least seven targets in eight straight games and is coming off his first 100-yard outing.

Broncos receivers — If Trevor Siemian is good to go, I think both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are good starts against the Titans. Tennessee is 31st in points allowed to wideouts.

Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers — He has four touchdowns in his last six games and could find the end zone against the Saints.

Bengals defense — They face the Browns and a rusty Robert Griffin III.

Sit

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens — Don’t go chasing last week’s production. New England will be a much tougher matchup than the Dolphins were last week.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s had a fantasy season to remember, but you can’t start him against the Broncos in the first week of your playoffs.

Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — His yards-per-carry average hasn’t been good since taking over for the injured C.J. Anderson. The Broncos signed Justin Forsett, who knows the offense well. Be wary of Booker this week against the Titans, who rank sixth in points allowed to running backs.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants — The Cowboys have only given up five rushing touchdowns all year and are second best in rushing yards allowed per game. They’re fourth best in points allowed to running backs.

Ravens running backs — Neither Terrance West nor Kenneth Dixon should fare well against the Patriots. They’ll likely trail the host team for most of the game, forcing them to abandon the run.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers — He’s only been good every other week over the last month and he faces the Seahawks defense. Expect Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to make the most hay.

Steve Smith, WR, Ravens — He’s been targeted at least five times in each of his last five games, but his production has been on and off. The Patriots are sixth best in points allowed to receivers.

Dolphins receivers — DeVante Parker is ailing and Jarvis Landry has had just two solid games in the last five weeks. The Cardinals are 10th-best in limiting wideouts’ fantasy points.