You’ve probably heard the phrase “Follow the money.” I think I first heard it in the movie “All the President’s Men,” when “Deep Throat” gives Bob Woodward those instructions. There’s no evidence that he said that, but it makes for a good script.
How could this possibly relate to fantasy football? Valid question. Here’s how:
Week 14 is the start of the playoffs in many leagues, and your team might need some reinforcements. What do you do?
Follow the points.
See what I did there?
Here’s an example from personal experience. Last week, I had to replace the Lions’ Marvin Jones as my third wide receiver because he was out with an injury. I had the Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin on my bench, but I was concerned about his matchup against the Seahawks. He wasn’t tearing it up anyway, so I considered another option.
I had claimed the Chargers’ Dontrelle Inman after he put up 119 yards and a touchdown in Week 12. He ranks 50th in basic scoring among wide receivers (70 points), but the Chargers are sixth in passing offense and fourth in points, all of which has led to some big fantasy outputs. Still, I went with Benjamin, No. 23 at the position (98) and the better talent, even though the Panthers’ offense has been middling.
Bad call. Inman had two catches for 49 yards and a touchdown (12 points in my PPR league) against the Buccaneers, and Benjamin had two catches for 18 yards (three points). Inman was in a better offense, and he had a better matchup. For a third receiver, I should have followed the points.
Here are three other lower-tier players worth considering because they are where the points are:
Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel: He’s tied for 48th among wideouts (71 points), but in the last five games, he has outscored teammate and No. 3 scorer Julio Jones 63-46. This isn’t to say he has overtaken Jones, but he has passed Mohamed Sanu in scoring. Gabriel is a rising receiver on a team that ranks third in passing offense and first in points.
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon: The target share among the Redskins’ top four pass catchers is almost even, but Garcon is now first, and he was available in 55 percent of ESPN leagues before waivers. The Redskins rank second in passing offense and 10th in points, and their schedule is receiver-friendly.
Raiders WR Seth Roberts: He’s the team’s third receiver behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, but he’s right with them in red-zone targets. Crabtree has 16, Roberts 13 and Cooper 11, according to pro-football-reference.com. He’s also second on the team with five touchdown catches. The Raiders rank fourth in passing offense and third in points.
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WEEK 14 OUTLOOK
Steelers TE Ladarius Green: He took advantage of the attention the Giants paid to Antonio Brown and posted his first 100-yard game.
Raiders RB Latavius Murray: He’s up to third in the league in rushing TDs. Plus, his involvement in the passing game has supplemented his low rushing yardage.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen: He has four consecutive games with no more than four points. You have to play him because the position isn’t deep, but lower your expectations.
Jaguars WR Allen Robinson: In the last three games, he has only eight catches for 73 yards, and his next two are against the WR-stingy Vikings and Texans.
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins: In his last four games against the Eagles, he has averaged 336 yards with 10 touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Chiefs RB Spencer Ware: He rushed for 131 yards against the Raiders in Week 6, and their run defense hasn’t gotten any better, ranking 29th in the league.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota: Though he’s fourth in scoring at his position, points will be at a premium against the Broncos, who have allowed the fewest to QBs.
Dolphins WR DaVante Parker: He figures to cool off against CB Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals, who rank third in pass defense.