Josh Gordon is back. See why he's a must-start this week.
A lot of success in fantasy football comes down to volume. Even if the players aren't producing, but their touches and targets are still consistent, then they should continue to maintain starting consideration.
That's becoming clear among wide receivers, especially among the top two in the last four weeks. Antonio Brown and Keenan Allen have far outdistanced the field in fantasy points over the last month, overcoming slow starts to their seasons.
Even with those slow starts, they kept getting targets. That matters, and now that production has caught up to the looks they have been getting. Brown is first in targets overall for the season, while Allen is fourth. So even if your receivers are having a tough time producing, as long as the volume is there, be patient, even in the fantasy football playoffs.
With that in mind here are some wide receivers (and tight ends) to hitch your wagon to in Week 14.
Good Calls for Week 13...
Start Devin Funchess (12 fantasy points) – In a week where few WRs really broke out, you’ll take 60 yards and a touchdown from Funchess.
Bad Calls for Week 13...
Sit Dez Bryant (12.1 FP) – Bryant has been struggling all year and in a game where Dak Prescott only threw for 102 yards, half of them and a touchdown went to him.
Sit Cameron Brate (15.9 FP) – only 39 receiving yards, but he caught two touchdowns.
I warned you about starting Travis Kelce (21.4 FP) because of how badly the Chiefs’ offense was struggling. Good thing you probably didn’t listen.
START THESE WRs...
Josh Gordon, CLE (vs. GB)
How nice is it to see Gordon back and making an impact. He had 11 targets, catching four of them for 85 yards against a tough Chargers defense, now he’s got the Packers, who are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, on deck. He’s absolutely flex-worthy with that amount of volume.
Marvin Jones, DET (at TB)
Jones is seeing consistent targets and he's producing. He has at least 85 receiving yards in five of the last six games, with three of those efforts going for more than 100. He's part of an offense that doesn't have much of a running game, so he's being targeted often, getting at least eight in five of the last seven games. He's not matchup-dependent anymore, but in Week 14, he gets a fantastic draw against a team allowing the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. The only caveat to this game is Matthew Stafford's health. But even if Stafford is limited or can’t play, Jones still deserves to be in your lineup.
Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. DAL)
Dallas made some lineup changes on defense and the results were noticeable against the Redskins. The Giants will start Eli Manning in what could be an emotional day at MetLife Stadium. The Cowboys’ new-look scheme worked well against Washington’s vertical passing game. New York will counter with short passes, mostly to Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. The volume of targets assures Shepard a good floor. If he can break even one short crossing pattern, he will end up among the scoring leaders at his position for Week 14.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marquise Goodwin, SF (at HOU)
Jimmy Garoppolo looked fantastic in his first start with the 49ers, but didn’t throw a touchdown. That didn’t stop Goodwin from having a day, catching all eight of his targets for 99 yards. Goodwin was already trending up over the last few weeks, now solid QB play could put him into the flex or WR2/3 category depending on how deep your league is.
SIT THESE WRs...
Jamison Crowder, WAS (at LAC)
The Chargers are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last five weeks, and they're keeping them out of the end zone. That's been one of Crowder's main drawbacks in fantasy. He doesn't provide many touchdowns. He has just one this season, so if he's not piling up yards, his value vastly decreases. The yards won't come easy against the Chargers, so you should look in another direction this week.
Robby Anderson, NYJ (at DEN)
Anderson has been one of the biggest surprises of this fantasy season. And while the Broncos appear lifeless, there's still enough pride on that defense to limit Anderson. Denver has enough in the secondary to keep Anderson in check. Over the last three games his usage and likewise his numbers went up against the likes of Tampa Bay, Carolina and Kansas City. All three teams are in the bottom half when it comes to fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, with the Buccaneers and Chiefs the two most generous. The Broncos, despite all their deficiencies, still allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Stay away from Anderson this week.
Sammy Watkins, LAR (vs. PHI)
Even with Robert Woods out of the lineup, Watkins just doesn't get enough targets to earn the designation of a weekly starter. His fantasy points haven't been bad in the last five weeks, thanks to scoring at least one touchdown in four of five games. However, he has more than four targets in only one of those games. That's not going to be enough against the Eagles, which are allowing 152 passing yards per game in their last three contests. This game won't be as high scoring as many believe, so don't expect much volume for Watkins.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Davante Adams, GB (at CLE)
People continue to be surprised by Cleveland’s defense. It has gotten even better with the arrival of Myles Garrett. They are a top-10 fantasy defense against wide receivers. Brett Hundley will have to adapt to using his tight ends and running backs in the passing game more. If he doesn’t, and the Browns hold up against the run, this will be as good a chance as any for Cleveland to get in the win column.
START THESE TEs...
Cameron Brate, TB (vs. DET)
Just when you thought O.J. Howard was taking the reins at Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston hands them back to Brate. He caught just two of five targets in Week 13, but both of those resulted in touchdowns. Winston continues to look for his favorite target early in his progressions. Detroit’s weak defense against tight ends (11.4 points per game allowed since Nov. 1) just cements the rationale to start Brate this weekend.
Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. WAS)
Henry is finally starting to get his chance as he produced a solid 15.1 PPR points last week in a win over the Browns. He should remain a positive contributor against the Redskins, who have struggled to stop tight ends this season. In fact, no defense has surrendered more yardage or PPR points to the position on the road.
Lance Kendricks, GB (at CLE)
Cleveland just can’t seem to cover tight ends. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points and almost every week it seems a tight end scores a touchdown against the Browns. Kendricks isn’t a lock as Richard Rodgers could play the role of vulture, but it’s also possible both will end up fantasy-relevant since Cleveland has been so tough on WRs this season.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Garrett Celek, SF (at HOU)
Celek saw four targets in San Francisco’s win over Chicago last Sunday, catching two for 30 yards. This week, the 49ers face Houston, who has struggled against TEs (fifth-most fantasy points allowed). The Texans defend running backs well, leaving the tight ends as the next logical, safe target. Watch Jimmy Garoppolo throw to Celek, and maybe George Kittle, more often as he continues to settle in running the San Francisco offense.
SIT THESE TEs...
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at CAR)
Rudolph has three touchdown catches over the last four games as Case Keenum has finally grown comfortable throwing to his tight end. But this is not the best matchup for Rudolph, as Carolina has been the fourth-stingiest to the position. Since Week 9, the Panthers have surrendered just 2.77 fantasy points per game to TEs, the best mark in the league. Be wary of Rudolph in Week 14.
Jared Cook, OAK (at KC)
Believe it or not, Cook has only scored 0.9 fantasy points total in his last two games. Now this week, he goes up against the Chiefs who happen to defend tight ends really well. The Chiefs are among the top 10 defenses against the position (5.89 fantasy points per game) but have really clamped down over the past four games, limiting TEs to just 3.75 per contest.
Eric Ebron, DET (at TB)
After everyone basically cut Ebron in the middle of the season, he has averaged almost 10 PPR points per game over his last four, but he's still not a viable streamer against the Buccaneers for Week 14. Despite the fact that Tampa Bay's defense is one of the worst against the pass overall, tight ends have scored just one touchdown and have averaged a mere nine PPR points per contest.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Vernon Davis, WAS (at LAC)
Davis has seen his production and value decline recently, as he's caught just two passes for 15 yards over the last two games. This week he faces the Chargers, who have allowed just one touchdown on the year on their home field to tight ends and are giving up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position on the season.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.