There are just four weeks remaining in the 2021 NFL season following Sunday’s slate of games. Happy Week 14 to NFL fans everywhere. With many fantasy leagues beginning their postseason play next week, players are left fighting for seeding or byes. Managers still possess a unique challenge this week, as four franchises are on bye. The New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins all have no matchup.
Continuing on with our fantasy sleepers article, our picks endured an up-and-down slate of games a week ago. Enjoying an efficient day behind another strong running performance from superstar running back Jonathan Taylor, Carson Wentz tossed for 158 yards and a score in the Colts 31-0 victory over the Houston Texans. Furthermore, Van Jefferson hauled in six passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in the Los Angeles Rams blowout victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, both Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida became factored out of their respective team’s game plans on Monday Night. Bourne failed to generate a target in the Patriot’s run-heavy attack. Meanwhile, Breida became glued to the bench after an early fumble.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Garoppolo has quietly played some of the best football of his eight-year NFL career during the last month of the season. He has led the 49ers to victories in three of their four games. The 30-year-old is averaging over 240 yards passing per contest while completing over 70 percent of his passes. He has finished as QB8, QB13, and QB16 over that stretch of time. Set to square off in a road game against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 14, play him as a solid QB2 in Superflex leagues.
Strong against the pass all year long, the Bengals have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL. However, with over 260 passing yards surrendered in three of their last four contests, the opportunity will be present for the former second-round pick to have a strong performance on Sunday. Limited by the high-powered rushing attack present in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, look for there to be enough volume for him to sneak inside the top 15 for the week.
Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee Titans
Fresh off a bye week, Hilliard put together one of the finest performances of his season during his last time out. Running all over the Patriot’s defense, the 26-year-old amassed 131 yards on the ground on 12 carries while adding in a rushing score. He is certain to remain in the mix for carries in the Tennessee backfield even with the return off pass-catching back Jeremy McNichols and D’Onta Foreman.
In a divisional matchup with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, start him if you need an option at the position. The Jaguars have been unable to slow down any opposing offenses as the season has rolled on. The Jaguars have allowed over 93 yards per game to opposing rushers on 23 touches. This has led the spot to average 17 fantasy points per game against them. Owned in 56% of Yahoo leagues and 41% of ESPN leagues, he is a comfortable RB3.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons
Gage is beginning to become a bigger and more reliable part of the Falcons passing attack over the last few games. The 25-year-old wideout has seen 27 targets over his previous three NFL contests, leading to 22 receptions. He has finished as WR8 in full-point PPR leagues over that stretch of time. The Louisiana State alumn has averaged 16.7 fantasy points per game.
Headed for a matchup with the Carolina Panthers, stream him if you are looking for help at the receiver spot. Stingy against the pass all season long, the Panthers are allowing under 12 receptions each matchup to the position. However, Matt Rhule’s group has still given up 12 touchdown receptions through 13 weeks. A safe option for owners, Gage possesses a high floor and should be viewed as a solid WR3 in deeper leagues.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
Valdes-Scantling is quickly emerging as an NFL go-to guy, behind superstar wideout Davante Adams for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Locked in as the primary deep threat in Green Bay’s offense, the 27-year-old has seen 19 targets over his past two games. This has led him to post eight receptions for 173 yards and a score with an average depth per target of nearly 22 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Now without veteran Randall Cobb after he underwent core-muscle surgery, start Valdes-Scantling as a Flex option this week.
Struggling in the secondary over the last half of the season, the Chicago Bears are allowing over 162 yards per game to opposing wide receivers. Furthermore, the group is giving up 1.2 passing touchdowns on average to the spot. Ranked as the worst unit in football against deep passes according to pro football outsiders, the Packers speedster should be able to take advantage of a back end searching for answers. He still remains a boom or bust option. Nonetheless, all it takes is one long connection from Rodgers to pay off for owners.
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks
Everett has developed a rapport with Russell Wilson since the return of the longtime Seahawks quarterback from injury. The 27-year-old tight end has drawn 27 targets since the Seahawks bye week. This has led him to average five receptions per contest. However, Everett struggled in the team’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. The University of South Alabama alumn dropped a touchdown and fumbled another at the goal line.
Looking to bounce back this week, play him in a plus matchup against the Texans. Romeo Crennel’s team checked into week 13 as the sixth-worst defense in the league at defending the tight end spot. With over 53 yards given up per matchup to the position, the group has already given up 53 catches for 645 yards to the position this season. Suddenly a vital piece of the Seahawks offense, he is a low-end TE1 for the week.
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