Fantasy Football: Week 14 Sunday Morning Last-Minute Advice

An update on the latest injuries heading into Sunday's games along with some news and notes on weather, quarterback changes and more.
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It’s Sunday morning! Time to finalize your lineups in season-long and DFS formats. With so much news flying around all week, are you finding it difficult to keep up with it all? Well, you’re in luck.

Every Sunday morning here at SI Fantasy, we’ll condense all the major news and notes into this last-minute advice column to get you fully up to speed before the 1 p.m. ET games kick off. It will include everything you need to know from injuries, to surprise inactives, to crucial weather information and more. We won’t just tell you what’s happening, we’ll give you analysis you can use to help you win. Don’t set your lineups until you read what’s below.

INJURY REPORT

QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants (OUT)

Jones is in a walking boot and won’t play in Monday night’s game against the Eagles. This may mark the end of his rookie season because the 2-10 Giants have no incentive to rush him back into action early. Eli Manning will get a bit of a New York farewell tour and it starts tomorrow night. He’s not in consideration for fantasy managers this week, but Saquon Barkley could get a bit of a boost in value if he gets more dump off passes.

RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (ACTIVE)

Despite having one fewer day to rest than in an average week, there was little doubt Cook was going to suit up for this game. He suffered a shoulder injury on Monday Night Football but will not go into this week’s game against the Lions with an injury designation. He’s a no-brainer, must-start against a terrible Detroit rush defense, but keep in mind the Vikings might limit his workload, especially late in the game. Limited for Cook might be 18-20 touches, but when you’re used to getting 25-30 that’s worth noting. Alexander Mattison should get about 15 touches, making him an intriguing flex play.

RB Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets (OUT)

An illness kept Bell out of practice on Thursday and Friday and will keep him out of today’s game against the Dolphins. It’s a massive disappointment for his owners that were salivating over a juicy matchup with Miami. Bilal Powell should get the majority of the carries and is a flex play. Expect Ty Montgomery and Josh Adams to get some carries as well, but they’re not worth considering for fantasy purposes.

RB Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (ACTIVE)

Mack will return from his hand injury this week and head coach Frank Reich said he won’t put a pitch count on him, but I’d avoid the Colts’ run situation like the plague. Mack can’t be 100% and the Buccaneers have an elite rush defense that’s second-best in the NFL against fantasy RBs. Reich also noted that four running backs will be active today, meaning there’s still some concern Mack could get reinjured or that he’s not being completely truthful about Mack’s “pitch count.” Mack is a risky flex play, as is Nyheim Hines. Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams are not startable.

RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (OUT)

Conner is practicing at least but won’t be on the field again this week when the Steelers take on the Cardinals. He was ruled out by head coach Mike Tomlin a little earlier than usual, with the news dropping on Thursday. Benny Snell, who has back-to-back double-digit fantasy days, will get the lion’s share of the carries again this week and is a low-end RB2. Jaylen Samuels is droppable and not a Top 40 RB this week, but will still get some passing game work.

RB Damien Williams/Darrel Williams Kansas City Chiefs (OUT)

Williams missed practice all week for the second straight week with a rib injury and was ruled out by Andy Reid on Friday. Rookie Darwin Thompson and LeSean McCoy should split the workload against a strong Patriots defense. After Darrel Williams left last week’s game, Thompson and McCoy each played 24 snaps, so a true 50-50 split seems likely. Both running backs are risky flex plays this week.

RB Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders (QUESTIONABLE)

We found out this week that Jacobs is playing with a shoulder fracture. That’s not the news fantasy managers wanted to hear going into the playoffs. Jacobs will be a game-time decision. It’s worth picking up DeAndre Washington as a handcuff for this week and the rest of the season just in case, but continue to roll with Jacobs when he’s active.

RB Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (DOUBTFUL)

It feels like a broken record, but Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact so he likely won’t play on Monday night. The Eagles are still in desperate need of a victory and Howard would have played a significant role against the Giants, but they should be able to take care of business without him. Miles Sanders has been really solid lately and will continue to have by far the biggest role in the Eagles backfield. Sanders is an RB2 this week and you can ignore Jay Ajayi for fantasy purposes.

WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (OUT)

The Vikings’ star receiver may have suffered a setback, even if the team hasn’t officially said so itself. Thielen didn’t practice all week after practicing in a limited capacity prior to Week 13. He won’t play in Week 14. Continue using whatever backup option you’ve been rolling with. Tight end Kyle Rudolph continues to be a low-end TE1 this week because he’s really hit his stride with Thielen out of the lineup.

WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (OUT)

Hilton is out again with a calf injury after not practicing all week. He’s hopeful he’ll play again this season, especially if the Colts make the playoffs, but fantasy managers can’t rely on him during the fantasy playoffs. No team gives up more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Buccaneers, so both Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell are intriguing WR4/flex options.

WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (ACTIVE)

Jones will return to the field after missing the Thanksgiving night game last week with a shoulder injury. He should be inserted right back into fantasy lineups as a mid-level WR1 against a Panthers team that allows the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs this season and has been destroyed by the Titans, Packers, Saints and the Falcons over the last five weeks. Give a slight downgrade to Russell Gage, who drops from a low-end WR3 to a high-end WR4.

WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (QUESTIONABLE)

Brown is expected to play through his ankle injury despite being listed as questionable after popping up on the injury report on Thursday. He’s not expected to be limited from his normal workload, but he’s been a pretty unreliable fantasy option most weeks. His boom-or-bust nature makes him a WR4 this week.

WR Will Fuller V, Houston Texans (DOUBTFUL)

Fuller played each of the past two weeks with a questionable tag, but was limited at practice on Friday and is not expected to play today, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller was a boom-or-bust WR4 anyway, so you likely already have better options. His absence means a slight boost for Kenny Stills, but he isn’t a Top 40 WR this week.

WR John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals (ACTIVE)

Ross will return to the field for the first time since Week 4. He averaged eight targets per game from Andy Dalton over the first four weeks of the season, but it’s tough to trust him this week. The Browns play very well against outside wide receivers and Ross was a disappointment in Weeks 3 and 4 after back-to-back strong performances to open the season.

WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (OUT)

Green did some side work at practice this week, but he’s still a ways away from playing and was officially ruled out a few days ago. That’s not a surprise and it’s starting to look like he won’t play a game this season. Drop him if you haven’t already.

WR Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (QUESTIONABLE)

No need to spend much time here. Edelman practiced in limited fashion all week. He’ll play through his shoulder ailment. He’s a must-start WR1 against the Chiefs.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (OUT)

This knee injury is obviously worse than many expected and Smith-Schuster will sit out his third consecutive game. He still hasn’t practiced since suffering that knee injury in the infamous prime time game against the Browns a few weeks ago. James Washington is a must-start this week in a matchup against the worst secondary in football. Vance McDonald also gets a boost against an Arizona team that hasn’t covered a tight end in years. Diontae Johnson is a little banged up, but is more of a WR5 even in this matchup.

WR Golden Tate, New York Giants (ACTIVE)

Tate is out of concussion protocol and will play on Monday night against the Eagles. It’s a juicy matchup vs. one of the worst teams in the NFL against fantasy wide receivers. Rain will certainly be a factor, but Eli Manning’s penchant for getting the ball out quickly to avoid getting hit only helps Tate’s value. He’s a low-end WR2 this week even with the bad weather. Sterling Shepard drops to a WR4 and Darius Slayton to a WR5.

TE Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (ACTIVE)

Hooper will finally return to the field after missing the last three games with a knee injury. That’s right on time for many fantasy managers with the playoffs now underway. It’s not an easy matchup against the Panthers, but you have to play him. Hooper is a mid-level TE1 this week and has earned enough trust to be an automatic start despite missing time.

TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (OUT)

Olsen suffered a concussion on a scary hit early in Week 13’s game against the Redskins and was unsurprisingly ruled out on Friday. Ian Thomas will take over as the starting tight end in Olsen’s absence. He caught four passes for 24 yards last week. He served as an OK fill-in at times for Olsen last season. He’s not a Top 20 TE, but if you’re desperate or don’t want to pay up for a TE in DFS, he’s an option.

TE David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (ACTIVE)

We haven’t seen Njoku on the field since Week 2, but it looks like we’ll finally see him return to action today after being activated off IR. The Cleveland TE was a trendy player on draft day, and fantasy owners saw an immediate return with a 4/37/1 performance in Week 1. Baker Mayfield does like to target Njoku and the Browns have a fairly favorable matchup against the Bengals today. He’s more of a TE2 this week, but you can play him in a pinch.

TE Ryan Griffin, New York Jets (QUESTIONABLE)

Griffin is questionable to play today with an illness. Unlike Bell, he did get limited practice work on Thursday and Friday and should suit up. He’s a TE1 if he does play. If not, replacement options include Vance McDonald, Jack Doyle and Mike Gesicki.

TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (OUT)

Everett will miss his second game in a row with a knee injury. It’s too bad because he missed a great matchup against the worst defense against TEs, the Cardinals, last week and a matchup with the second-worst defense against TEs, the Seahawks, this week. Tyler Higbee, who had a career day last week with a 7/107/1 performance, is a borderline TE1 again this week. Other options include Vance McDonald, Jack Doyle and Mike Gesicki.

TE Evan Engram, New York Giants (OUT)

Engram was expected to return on Monday Night Football against the Eagles after missing the last three games with a foot injury but was ruled out on Saturday. He got limited practice work in on Friday but it wasn’t enough. Kaden Smith will serve as the starter and has played well recently in Engram’s place. He’s been targeted 14 times and caught 11 passes over the last two weeks. He’s not a Top 15 TE this week, especially in the rain, but if you’re desperate he’ll do.

K Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (OUT)

The future Hall of Famer will miss Sunday’s game with a left knee injury and will be replaced by the recently claimed Chase McLaughlin. If you’ve been relying on Vinatieri this season, first of all I’m sorry and second of all McLaughlin is a perfectly fine plug-and-play fill-in. Other options include Jake Elliott, Dan Bailey and Mason Crosby.

QUARTERBACK CHANGES

There are three quarterback changes of note in Week 14:

● Minshew Mania lives! The Jaguars are going back to Gardner Minshew for this week’s home game against the Chargers. It’s possible that the QB change sparks a return to glory for D.J. Chark, but there aren’t many major fantasy value changes. Minshew is not a Top 20 QB this week.

● The Lions will give David Blough his second straight start with Matthew Stafford still ailing and Jeff Driskel on IR. Blough threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns on Thanksgiving, but is not startable this week in another tough matchup in Minnesota.

● Just a reminder that Eli Manning will start tomorrow night’s game against the Eagles due to Daniel Jones’ injury.

WEATHER NOTES

Weather is going to be an issue around the NFL from this point forward. Here’s what you need to know this week:

Ravens @ Bills: It’ll be a windy one in Buffalo. Sustained winds of around 18 MPH are expected with gusts between 40-45 MPH. Temperatures should stay above 40 degrees with little to no chance of rain, so the wind is the only factor. Both passing games should be downgraded, but both QBs love to use their legs so they should maintain most of their fantasy value.

Bengals @ Browns: Sustained winds above 15 MPH are worth noting, but shouldn’t be a major downgrade for any of the fantasy-relevant players in this game.

Titans @ Raiders: Morning rain should clear well before kickoff. Don’t make any lineup changes due to weather.

Chiefs @ Patriots: Temperatures could drop below freezing during the game, but that’s the only concern. No rain or wind concerns mean no real drop in fantasy value.

Giants @ Eagles: There’s a high probability of rain, but the sustained wind speeds and temperature should be fairly reasonable. Wind gusts above 30 MPH are likely. This means downgrades to both passing games, so beware if you’re a Carson Wentz owner. 

More Advice From SI Fantasy

—Shawn Childs’s Week 14 PPR rankings: QB, RB, WR, TE

—Jamie Eisner’s Waiver Wire highlights the players you should be picking up

—Frankie Taddeo’s Week 14 Injury Report on the players who got hurt in Week 13

—Frankie Taddeo’s Streaming Options could make or break your playoff run.

—Jamie Eisner’s Stock Watch on players trending up and down

—Mark Deming’s Target and Snap Report pulls fantasy nuggets out of the Week 13 data