Samuels is James Conner's handcuff and should be owned in all formats
Fantasy owners playing in Week 14 are either in their fantasy playoffs (congrats!) or the last week of their fantasy season. At this point, don’t just take a chance on someone if it means dropping a better player from your roster. Pick up a player that will help you this week, because you don’t know if you’ll be playing in Week 15 (unless you have a bye for Week 14, of course). Another strategy is picking up a player that you may not start but you don’t want to play against.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (5 percent owned)
The Bills face the New York Jets in Week 14, and Allen should continue to run wild. Allen finished with 135 rushing yards in Week 13. The only running back that had more was Phillip Lindsay (157). Allen also added 231 yards through the air, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s putting up decent fantasy numbers because of the rushing yards. Allen is a QB2 for Week 14 and could be an option for those who just lost Colt McCoy (broken leg).
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (30 percent owned)
Chris Carson dislocated his index finger on Sunday, and while he might be okay to play in Week 14, it's no guarantee. The Seahawks play on Monday night so Carson owners should try to grab Penny if he is available. In Week 13, Penny had seven carries for 65 yards and a touchdown and appears to have replaced Mike Davis in the backfield pecking order. When Carson missed Week 10, Penny had 12 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown. He’s the handcuff Carson owners should grab.
Damien Williams and Charcandrick West, Kansas City (24 percent and 1 percent owned)
While Spencer Ware quickly became the most-added player in a day this season on Friday, he was kind of a disappointment in Week 13. He had 14 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown that saved his fantasy day. Williams only had five carries, but they went for 38 yards. Charcandrick West re-signed with the Chiefs on Monday. This running back picture is going to be messy, but fantasy owners can gamble on any of them.
Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (24 percent owned)
While many fantasy owners rushed to the waiver wire to pick up Austin Ekeler after Melvin Gordon was injured, it was Jackson who was the Chargers' back to start in Week 13. Ekeler ended up with 13 carries for 21 yards and five receptions for 22 yards. Jackson, meanwhile had eight carries for 63 yards and a touchdown to go along with one catch for 19 yards. Assuming Gordon is out another game, Ekeler will be a RB3 in PPR formats, but Jackson is a low RB2 in either format.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (9 percent owned)
James Conner owners should have already picked up Samuels. However, given that he is owned in less than 10 percent of leagues and Conner is owned in 99 percent, many owners did not handcuff their starter. Samuels also has tight end eligibility in Yahoo! leagues, which is even more incentive to pick him up. On Sunday night, Conner sustained what is being called a lower leg contusion. It's too early to get a sense of how bad it is, but it's enough of a reason to go ahead and add Samuels in all formats.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (2 percent owned)
After the 49ers neglected to reveal that Matt Breida tweaked his troublesome ankle in pregame warm-ups, Wilson got the start and most of the work in Week 13. He had 15 carries for 61 yards on the ground and added eight receptions for 73 yards. The 49ers have already ruled Breida out for Week 14, although it may be too late for his fantasy owners that needed a Week 13 win. It does bode well for Wilson, however. Alfred Morris also will be in the picture, but Wilson will have RB3 value.
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders (30 percent owned)
After two weeks of not recording a catch, Nelson posted 10 for 97 yards on Sunday. He hadn’t had more than five receptions since Week 3. Trusting Nelson is plenty risky, but for those looking for some wide receiver help he's in the WR4 territory. The Raiders face the Steelers in Week 14. This seems like a tough matchup, but they just allowed Keenan Allen to put up 148 yards and a touchdown in Week 13.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (18 percent owned)
With the injury to Greg Olsen, Samuel may be the one to benefit. He had 11 targets in Week 13, and he caught six of them for 88 yards. He’s still playing behind DJ Moore and Devin Funchess remains in the mix, but Samuel is worth adding in most formats. The six receptions are the most he’s had all season. The Panthers face the Browns in Week 14, and the Browns allow the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers (5 percent owned)
It’s unclear what is going on with Marquise Goodwin, and Pierre Garcon is still injured. This means that someone needs to step up at wide receiver. In Week 13, that was Pettis. He had five receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers face the Broncos in Week 14, and Denver has allowed receivers to have big games (most recently, JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 12). Pettis is a WR3 assuming Goodwin and Garcon remain out.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (1 percent owned)
With Greg Olsen injuring his other foot, he is now out for the rest of the season. The next tight end up for the Panthers is Thomas. In Week 13, he had five receptions for 46 yards. The tight end landscape is pretty desolate, so fantasy owners may want to just take a chance on Thomas.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Detroit Lions (7 percent owned)
The Tennessee Titans are nearly 50 percent owned, and would likely be a better streaming option at home against Jacksonville on Thursday night. However, since fantasy owners that are streaming DSTs need available options, the best one that is likely available is the Lions. Detroit does travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals, but they just lost Christian Kirk, who had emerged as one of their primary playmakers, as well as another starting offensive lineman to injury. The Lions were able to put up positive DST points against the Rams in Week 13 and although they aren’t a great option for Week 14, they shouldn't cause you to lose this week either.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo by Karl Roser, courtesy of www.steelers.com)