Week 14 Recap: Le’Veon Another Planet
December 8, 2014 | Jeff
The fantasy football playoffs are in full swing and Week 14 was packed with great performances, duds, and some fascinating surprises to keep fake footballers on their toes. We saw top-level quarterbacks flop (thanks Peyton and Drew), another disappointment from big Jimbo Graham, and a few fantasy defenses took center stage with the Giants and Rams posting huge scores. If your fantasy squad will be moving on to fight again in Week 15, congratulations. If you took a loss or need a Monday Night Football miracle, don’t worry! You will still have your pals here at The Fake Football for moral support. Maybe we can start offseason counseling sessions in January. Just a thought. Hey, unlike NFL coaches, at least you can’t be fired from your own fantasy team! Ok, buckle up those chin straps and get ready to check out highlights and lowlights from Week 14’s fantasy action…
Le’Veon Erupts Again
For a third straight week, Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell strapped fantasy owners to his back and carried them safely to victory. Bell went bonkers in Pittsburgh’s 42-21 over AFC North rival Cincinnati, and now has an absurd three-game streak wrapped up that is ridiculous, even by fantasy football standards. Sunday’s effort of 235 total yards and three scores gives Bell an eye-popping 711 total yards and five touchdowns over the last three weeks. Now, take off your jacket and step into the Extrapolation Station with me for just one second. Bell’s three game average of 237 total yards per game would extrapolate to 3,792 total yards over the course of a 16 game season. Now, that won’t be happening any time soon but it underlines the absurd run that Bell has put together. Atlanta’s buttery soft defense is up next for Bell and the Steelers in Week 15. Giddy up.
RB Mayhem in Arizona
The fantasy football community was well aware of the fact that Andre Ellington would likely miss Week 14. We even had our finger on the pulse of Bruce Arians’ team and picked out a few probable, logical replacements to fill in while the Arizona lead back was out. Stepfan Taylor? Sure. Marion Grice? Fine with me! Kerwynn Williams!?! Ok, now things are getting out of hand.
When the smoke cleared after Arizona’s 17-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, it was none other than Mr. Kerwynn Williams leading the Cardinals backfield with 100 yards on 19 carries. This was an unexpected turn of events in the desert, as Williams was just called up from the Arizona practice squad on Friday. Going forward, with news that Ellington has been placed on the season-ending I.R., Williams could get a shot to keep his expanded role over the remainder of the 2014 season. The waiver wire crowd will be thin this week, and Williams may be the top target for running back hungry teams on ESPN or Yahoo waiver wires.
C.J. Strikes Thrice
While Peyton Manning was busy burying fantasy seasons on Sunday, his running back turned in an extremely productive fantasy day. The Broncos handled the Buffalo Bills 24-17, but it was C.J. Anderson doing the heavy lifting instead of Denver’s passing attack. Receiving studs Emmanuel Sanders and Demayrius Thomas were held to six catches for 67 yards. COMBINED. Anderson did his best to keep fantasy teams rolling in the postseason, as he chipped in with 58 rushing yards and three touchdowns. This makes a run of three straight huge fantasy efforts from Anderson, who is further proof that running behind Peyton Manning is a gold mine for fantasy running backs.
The Carolina Panthers crushed the sinking Saints on Sunday by a score of 41-10 while running back Jonathan Stewart showed flashes of why the fantasy world has had so much trouble letting go of the talented, but oft-injured back. Stewart followed up a solid Week 13 effort by running for 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. DeAngelo Williams sat this game out due to injury, which opened up additional work for Stewart. Among many problems swirling within the Panthers offense, the lack of utilization of Stewart (when healthy) is near the top of the list. Our old pal J-Stew may not be upright for much of the season, but he generally contributes when given the opportunity. A Week 15 matchup with Tampa Bay is next for Carolina, where Stewart will look to keep his momentum rolling.
T.Y. Hilton led the NFL in targets on Sunday, as he caught 10 of 19 Andrew Luck passes for 150 yards and two scores. This was an impressive effort from Hilton in a tough matchup. … Vincent Jackson was targeted a season-high 17 times on Sunday, catching 10 passes for 159 yards. The 2014 season has been a roller coaster for Jackson and his fantasy owners, but VJax will likely top the 1,000 yard mark for the sixth time in his career. … Running back Fred Jackson turned in a PPR dream stat line, catching 10 of 14 Kyle Orton targets for 37 yards on Sunday. Nothing like a running back running for 35 yards and no touchdowns and scoring over 17 PPR points! … Greg Olsen tied a season-high with 11 targets on Sunday, and caught 10 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Olsen is averaging 9.3 targets per game over the last four weeks. … Michael Crabtree saw a surprising 14 targets on Sunday, and the 49ers receiver hauled in nine of those passes for just 56 yards. Crabs won’t be reliable on a weekly basis with the current melt down occurring in San Francisco.