Carolina Panthers

NFL fantasy football: New players available to target in Week 14

Chargers running back Justin Jackson should get an increased workload this Sunday. He’d be a good addition to a fantasy team.
Chargers running back Justin Jackson should get an increased workload this Sunday. He’d be a good addition to a fantasy team. AP

If you’re perhaps starting your league’s playoff match-ups this week you may have a set lineup, but if needed there are players to consider here to boost your lineup (or potentially block your opponent from adding improvements to their lineup).

▪ Matt Breida (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 14 leaving Jeff Wilson (San Francisco) in-store for another big workload after a 134-yard game last week along with eight receptions.

▪ Likewise, James Conner (ankle) has also been ruled out in Week 14 though his workload is likely to be split between Jaylen Samuels (Pittsburgh) and Stevan Ridley (Pittsburgh). Both could be used this week against an Oakland defense that has allowed 190 yards rushing per game over its past three games (NFL high) though Samuels has the higher upside.

▪ Justin Jackson (LA Chargers) will again get a share of the Chargers’ backfield with Melvin Gordon (knee) likely out. Jackson has averaged 8.0 yards per carry over the past two weeks.

▪ With the season-ending injury to tight end Greg Olsen, Ian Thomas (Carolina) will start going forward. The rookie contributed five receptions last week after moving into the starting lineup.

▪ Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) is out for the season and his role will be filled by DaeSean Hamilton (Denver). Hamilton left college as Penn State’s all-time leading receiver.

Other Play ’Em

▪ It’s on the road cross-country, but keep your Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) and your Steelers in the lineup against an Oakland defense allowing 30.6 points per game (second-most).

▪ Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) could be in store for an emotional boost (and much-needed fantasy bump) with Mike McCarthy fired as head coach while Atlanta allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

▪ Phillip Rivers (LA Chargers) should be set for another strong game against a Cincinnati defense that allows a league-high 30.9 points per game and the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Another big game from Rivers could keep him in the discussion for 2018 NFL MVP.

▪ Phillip Lindsay (Denver) has moved into the upper-tier of rankings. Lindsay has been the No. 4 running back over the past three weeks.

▪ Nick Chubb (Cleveland) is a safe start for guaranteed volume and he also comes into Week 14 having scored in four straight games.

▪ Dalvin Cook (Minnesota) has been the No. 11 running back over the past two weeks while the Seattle defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs over the past three weeks.

▪ Tarik Cohen (Chicago) comes off a massive 12-catch game and should be heavily counted on in this one as well -- the Rams have allowed three receiving touchdowns to a running back in their past four games.

▪ Lamar Miller (Houston) should be in-store for another big game this week -- Miller leads the NFL in rushing (605 yards) since Week 7.

▪ Michael Thomas (New Orleans) hasn’t scored in two straight games but he should break out of that slump this week. Thomas had a 16-catch, 180-yard game the last time he faced Tampa in Week 1.

▪ Amari Cooper (Dallas) has been the eighth-best fantasy wide receiver over the past five weeks since being traded to Dallas, while Philadelphia is banged up in the secondary and allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

▪ Josh Gordon will likely be covered by star cornerback Xavien Howard, leaving Julian Edelman (New England) as the top Patriots’ fantasy receiver for the week. In his past five games against the Dolphins, Edelman averages seven receptions and 98 yards with four touchdowns.

▪ Zay Jones (Buffalo) was shut out in Week 12 against Jacksonville, but more broadly he’s warmed up of late with three touchdowns in his past three games, while the Jets allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Sit ’Em

▪ Matthew Stafford (Detroit) has been just the 23rd-best fantasy quarterback over the past three weeks, while Arizona allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

▪ Spencer Ware (Kansas City) will be the lead back for the Chiefs though the Ravens have allowed just 87 rushing yards per game (third-fewest).

▪ Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia) hasn’t scored in five-straight games while the Dallas defense allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Alan Satterlee is in his fifth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.

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