7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 14
It's Week 14. That means that there are only three more fantasy football weeks left - who lets it all come to a head in Week 17?
But whether you're on the fringe of the playoffs, locked into a top seed, or are out of contention and are fighting to avoid last place, you might need to rely on a deep sleeper if you're in a big league.
I have a regular sleeper article each week, and there are some deep suggestions there, too, but I'll be looking at some very available options for the weekend.
Week 14 All-Deep-Sleeper Team
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Started in 14.4% of ESPN leagues | Owned in 24.8% of ESPN leagues)
Everybody knows that Fitzpatrick went berserk last week, throwing for 358 yards and half a dozen touchdowns. That's why his ownership spiked by over 20% once waivers processed. He's still available in over 75% of leagues, though, and the matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars is pretty okay. And I'm not being sardonic.
For as much as the Jags are easy to rag on, they rank 16th in both fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP). That's not super enticing. They have also allowed more than 15 fantasy points to a quarterback just four times all year. So why recommend Fitzpatrick?
Fitzpatrick has failed to reach 12 fantasy points just once all season, and if you are looking for a safe play, he's probably the safest deep option there is. He is projected as our 15th-best quarterback on the week. I do think there's a sneakier play, whom I recommended in my regular sleeper article, though, who offers more upside.
Running Back: Marion Grice (0.2% | 3.5%)
The Arizona Cardinals versus Kansas City Chiefs matchup has the lowest over/under on the weekend, which isn't a great sign for offensive players. However, Andre Ellington is banged up and missed practice on Thursday. Grice played the majority of snaps last weekend and could be in line to do the same in Week 14.
Despite the low total, the matchup isn't awful. The Chiefs rank 25th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP, so there can be some production on the ground for the Cardinals even though they're one of the worst rushing attacks in football. It's not pretty by any means, but if you can wind up with a starting running back in Week 14 off the free agent pile, that isn't too shabby.
Running Back: Roy Helu (2.5% | 10.6%)
The Rams rank 12th in rush defense, according to our metrics, and ninth in fantasy points allowed to running backs, which is why Helu makes for a sneaky option in Week 14.
Helu has 42 targets this year - just one fewer than Jamaal Charles - is tied for seventh in the league in receptions by a running back, and ranks ninth in Reception NEP among all backs.
Helu has at least two catches in every game except one this year. Washington should expect trouble running the ball, and Helu should be the answer to that problem.
Wide Receiver: Charles Johnson (1.8 % | 10.4%)
Johnson has been coming on strong of late, and he played every snap but one last week. His production wasn't there - just 2 catches for 41 yards - but the opportunity is. Opportunity and a good matchup are the key to a worthwhile deep play, and the matchup is certainly right.
The Minneosta Vikings host the New York Jets, who rank 17th in fantasy points allowed to receivers and 21st in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP. The Jets aren't as targetable as they have been in the recent past, but with the benching of Cordarrelle Patterson, Johnson is definitely worth a look in Week 14.
Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief (4.0% | 11.2%)
As is the case with Fitzpatrick, rolling out Moncrief may feel like chasing points, but there is merit to the decision. The Cleveland Browns are a solid pass defense, ranking 12th in our metrics and 16th in fantasy points allowed to receivers, but the Indianapolis Colts' passing game is just too lethal to ignore. Indianapolis ranks second in passing according to our metrics, and Moncrief won't be the focus of Joe Haden.
There are a lot of hands to feed for the Colts, but Moncrief showed last week that all he needs is one target to make for a worthwhile play. Despite the anemic Browns' offense, this game has the fourth-highest over/under of the weekend, so there should be enough to go around in the high-volume pass offense for Moncrief to get some love.
Tight End: Jordan Cameron (4.6% | 33.0%)
I mean 4.6% is hasty considering Cameron hasn't played since Week 8, but there's a chance he returns this weekend, and the matchup is solid for him. The Colts are average against the pass, ranking 17th per our metrics, but they do have a weak spot. That's the tight end. They rank 31st in fantasy points allowed to tight ends this year.
It's hard to have faith in the Cleveland offense, but Cameron is a difference maker if he plays.
If he doesn't play, consider Tim Wright, who has an enticing matchup in what should be a high-scoring affair between the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers.
Flex: Kenny Britt (2.1% | 20.4%)
Britt is being benched nearly everywhere, and it's no real surprise. He has 3 receptions for 50 yards in his last two games.
But one of them was a 52-0 demolishing of the Oakland Raiders, and he saw only a single target, which he caught for 13 yards. Britt has faced some very tough pass defenses lately, but prior to the Oakland game, he had averaged a solid 6.0 targets per game, which isn't great by any means, but for a deep play, it's not awful.
Washington is 23rd in fantasy points allowed to receivers but, by far, the worst pass defense on an NEP basis. They have the eight-ranked rush defense per our metrics, so passing on them is the way to go if the Rams want to put points on the board.