Week 14 of the 2022 fantasy football season featured huge performances by Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff and Jalen Hurts. Which other developments from the week are worth reading into? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft offer their analysis.
Lawrence becoming a QB1?
Has his career breakthrough finally arrived? While the statement comes with some hesitation on my part, considering he also seemed to be trending upward a couple of weeks into the year before hitting a rough patch, Trevor Lawrence‘s recent play has been phenomenal. He has scored 20-plus fantasy points in five of his past six games, capped by his career-best 33.42 in Week 14, and is now riding a streak of 181 consecutive passes without an interception. Yes, Lawrence’s hot streak coincides with what has been an outrageously favorable stretch of schedule (LV, @KC, BAL, @DET, @TEN), and he does now face a pair of true toughies in the Cowboys (Week 15) and Jets (Week 16). Flash back to his play in Week 13 against the Ravens, when he made some big-time throws late, and it’s clear he’s capable of delivering a serviceable score even in those games if you need him. Consider Lawrence more of a high-end QB2 for those, but it’s his final two weeks when he might really shine and put your fantasy team over the top, as he’ll draw the Texans and a rematch with the Titans. — Cockcroft
What to make of Goff’s big game
The Lions quarterback will remain one of the top matchup-dependent streamers at the position after he dropped 26.1 fantasy points on the Vikings’ defense in Week 14. As we’ve said before here, when Goff can throw from clean platforms, he will hit the schemed windows and challenge vertically down the field. Goff finished with 330 yards passing and three touchdowns in this one, working the ball to all three levels. And he’s now posted back-to-back games with 20 or more fantasy points. With the Jets’ defense up next in Week 15, Goff will slide back in my rankings. However, when looking ahead at the schedule, Goff will be back as a fringe QB1 for matchups versus the Panthers and Bears in Weeks 16 and 17. — Bowen
Tristan H. Cockcroft details his fantasy outlook for Jared Goff the rest of the season.
Hurts, Eagles’ system a perfect match
The Eagles have the best quarterback run game in the league. It’s multiple in terms of formation and scheme — zone, power, misdirection. And it puts Jalen Hurts in a position to play downhill as a ball carrier or to attack the perimeter. The Eagles quarterback, who dropped 30.38 fantasy points on the Giants’ defense in Week 14, logged 77 yards rushing (and a score) on just seven carries. And the dual-threat traits continued to jump here, as Hurts posted multiple touchdown throws for the third straight game. He’s the first quarterback in history with 10-plus rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons, and he’ll be my QB1 in the rankings for the Week 15 matchup versus the Chicago defense. — Bowen
Jefferson joins another all-time list
He continues to dominate the game in a way few in history have. To that point, Justin Jefferson‘s 33.3 PPR fantasy points in Week 14 were his fifth game of 30-plus this season alone — and the ninth in his young career. Among wide receivers, only Lance Alworth had more such games through the first 46 games of an NFL career with 11. With his huge day, coupled with the pedestrian performances of both Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs, Jefferson has now taken a commanding lead at his position, his 296.76 PPR fantasy points 18.16 more than Adams has. Jefferson is also on pace for 388.1 points for the season, which would be the fourth most in history by a wide receiver. — Cockcroft
Cowboys running backs a bright spot
While it might be frustrating to either running back’s fantasy manager to see them in a partnership in the Dallas backfield, both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott seem to be capitalizing upon the arrangement. Each has had at least 14 touches in each of the four games since Elliott’s return from a knee injury, and Pollard has scored at least 22.2 PPR fantasy points in three of those four, while Elliott has scored at least 16.5 in all four. Generally, the Cowboys appear to be utilizing Elliott more in scoring position, giving him 17 touches in red zone situations to Pollard’s 10. Pollard, meanwhile, is asked to do more of the damage between the 20s (59 touches to Elliott’s 54), where he can break off bigger plays with his dynamic skill set. This team has been one of the most run-heavy this season, and especially so since Pollard’s emergence and Elliott’s healthy return, executing a rushing play on 52.4% of its plays in the past four weeks. That’s plenty of opportunity for both to be locked in as high-end, weekly RB2s. — Cockcroft
Tristian H. Cockcroft explains why fantasy managers should start both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers: McCaffrey has played his best football for the 49ers over the past two weeks. Twenty-eight or more PPR points in both games. Receiving usage. Run game volume. Scoring production from multiple alignments. CMC posted 153 total yards on 15 touches in Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay, with two explosive play touchdowns. And he gets the Seattle defense next week. Given that matchup, I’ll take McCaffrey as a top-three play in Week 15. — Bowen
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Remember when Sanders was shut out on the touchdown ledger in 2021? Yeah, me neither. He scored his 10th and 11th rushing touchdowns in Week 14, dominating the Giants, especially as his Eagles aimed to control the clock late in the contest. Sanders scored 28.5 PPR fantasy points, giving him 71.3 in the past three weeks combined, second most among running backs behind Josh Jacobs‘ 88.7. Sanders and the Eagles will next face the Bears, a plus matchup for the position, giving him RB1 potential. — Cockcroft
Eagles RB Miles Sanders rushed for 144 yards and two TDs against the Giants, crossing 1,000 rushing yards for the first time, and reminding fantasy managers that his lack of scores last season was aberrant. Video by Eric Karabell
Zonovan Knight, RB, New York Jets: Still available in over 40% of ESPN leagues, the undrafted rookie posted 15.7 PPR points in the Week 14 loss to the Bills, his third straight game with double-digit PPR production. And the rushing volume remained consistent for Knight, even with Michael Carter (ankle) back for this game. Knight finished with 17 carries here, logging 71 yards rushing and a score. Knight is a decisive runner who can handle volume and play within the structure of the blocking scheme, and I expect him to remain the No.1 in New York. And that puts him in the RB2 discussion for the Week 15 matchup versus the Lions. — Bowen
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens: In his first game since Week 7 (knee), Dobbins carried the ball 15 times for 150 yards with a red zone rushing score. And the short-area burst was there. That’s really what I wanted to see with Dobbins back on the field. The ability to get downhill and then shift gears to find daylight. That showed up on his 44-yard explosive play rush, too. With Gus Edwards also seeing run-game touches (13), the Ravens did split up the workload in the backfield. However, with another run-heavy game plan expected in Week 15 versus the Browns’ leaky rush defense, plus the Ravens injuries at quarterback, Dobbins will be in the RB2 mix. — Bowen
Eric Karabell reacts to J.K. Dobbins’ impressive fantasy game against the Steelers.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: The unexpected star of the Chiefs’ 34-28 victory over the Broncos, McKinnon had two receiving touchdowns and finished his 100th career NFL game with a personal-best 32.4 PPR fantasy points. At one point late in the game, he hadn’t even had a rushing attempt, as he continues to be a heavily used option on passing downs since Clyde Edwards-Helaire was lost to an injury. McKinnon has a pair of dream matchups upcoming against the Texans (Week 15) and Seahawks (Week 16), and even with all teams back in play for those weeks, he should be an appealing flex play due to his expanded role. — Cockcroft
DJ Chark, WR, Detroit Lions: One of my top streaming options heading into Week 14, Chark posted a season-high 21.4 PPR points in the Sunday win over the Vikings. He caught 6 of 7 targets for 94 yards, including a deep-ball touchdown for 48 yards. And that’s where you see the upside of Chark in your lineup: Go routes. He’s a linear, straight-line-speed target on vertical throws, in addition to the in-breakers/second-level concepts in this Detroit route tree. And he’s seeing the ball right now, with 13 targets in his past two games. Chark gets a tough matchup in Week 15 versus the Jets’ secondary, but he will have value as an upside WR3 in deeper leagues for the Week 16 game against the Panthers. — Bowen
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos: He scored a career-best 33.3 PPR fantasy points on only nine targets, benefiting from the matchup against a weak Chiefs secondary. While it has been tough to trust quarterback Russell Wilson and his receivers this season, Jeudy’s success facing a soft matchup bodes well for him as a potential fantasy WR2, considering he’ll face the Cardinals, Rams, Chiefs (again) and Chargers in the season’s final four weeks. Courtland Sutton‘s (hamstring) health will have a say in how involved Jeudy is in those games, however. — Cockcroft
Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: A primary beneficiary of Lawrence’s career day, Engram had a personal-best 39.2 PPR fantasy points of his own. Engram saw a whopping 15 targets, another career high for him, though that shouldn’t be shocking considering how often he lines up as a receiver, coupled with the Titans’ extreme struggles to defend wide receivers. It’s an encouraging sign for those digging deep for tight end options — Engram is available in 55.7% of ESPN leagues and has the skills to be a TE1 on his better days — but not something to expect to repeat, especially in either of the next two weeks. — Cockcroft
Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers: The rookie posted 21.7 fantasy points (in his first pro start) versus the Tampa Bay defense on Sunday. Efficient in the pass game, Purdy completed 16 of 21 passes, with two touchdown throws. He added a rushing score here, too. And in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which is very heavily schemed, Purdy can operate as a ball distributor, with the mobility to create on second-reaction rushing attempts. Up next for the rook is the Seattle defense in Week 15. Keep him on your list as a potential streaming option. — Bowen
Fantasy football NFL Week 14: Lawrence, Hurts shine again