Fantasy Football On Target: How Week 14 weather ruined many fantasy teams

by Tim Heaney on December 10, 2013 @ 07:08:11 PDT

 

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For a complete listing of targets and touches, check out our Statistics Analyzer and Utilizations pages.

Write-ups labeled with WW are waiver wire targets. Find more fantasy football risers in our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire.

KFFL Target Data

Bull's eye

Weather had its way with the first round of the fantasy playoffs.

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
See ya in '14?

Adrian Peterson (foot), Eddie Lacy (ankle) and Reggie Bush (calf) were among those who sustained injuries, with Bush going down during pre-game warm-ups. (More on these later.)

Calvin Johnson (four targets) and Matthew Stafford (10-for-25, 148 yards, zero TDs) were among the big names that suffered because of aerial limitations. Slippery terrain gave way to the run game -- and play-calling that accentuated after-the-catch yards -- and as a result padded many box scores. (See Baltimore Ravens-Minnesota Vikings.)

It's a reminder to take into account why Megatron only saw five targets on the day and not to hold it against him, and others who went sledding, the rest of the way.

***

Though weather didn't play a part in it, Sunday's biggest casualty so far was Rob Gronkowski, who tore the ACL and damaged the MCL in his right knee (not to mention sustained a concussion) and will miss the rest of this season.

Gronk owners must scramble for a replacement, but this could be Danny Amendola's chance to reclaim his fantasy value. Tom Brady will have to reconnect with the intended replacement for Wes Welker. Lately, that has been Julian Edelman, who has a more extensive history and rapport with No. 12.

Look for Amendola to assume some of Gronk's work. New England's backup tight ends, Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan, aren't worth chasing.

Shane Vereen was already safe given his perfect fit as a receiver out of the backfield. Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) will likely continue to rotate their offensive roles, if they can get away from the sideline.

Running backs

Week 14 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk14
Notes
1
Ryan Mathews
SD
33
Shouldered the load in a blowout.
2
Joique Bell
DET
30
With Bush (calf) sidelined, Bell took over.
3
LeSean McCoy
PHI
30
Weather-aided workload, terrain.
4
Matt Forte
CHI
29
Was pulled for Michael Bush in GL spot, but stud regardless.
5
Bobby Rainey
TB
26
Finally landed in a great matchup for his workload.
6
Eddie Lacy
GB
25
Will ankle injury hold up for next week?
7
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
24
No ill effects from concussion
8
Marcel Reece
OAK
24
WW: Mediocre besides big TD run. Rashad Jennings (concussion) could return soon, but stash anyway.
9
DeMarco Murray
DAL
23
For second straight week, biggest workload since Week 3
10
Jamaal Charles
KC
22
All-weather vehicle
11
Ray Rice
BAL
22
Thankfully, he can catch passes.
12
Knowshon Moreno
DEN
21
Montee Ball will keep taking chunks of touches, as well.
13
Shane Vereen
NE
20
Clear leader in this backfield
14
Andre Brown
NYG
20
Peyton Hillis stole a TD.
15
Marshawn Lynch
SEA
20
Hard to justify resting him until Week 16

WW: Peterson may try to play this weekend, but if he can't, Toby Gerhart, if he can overcome a hamstring injury of his own, will carry the Vikings load again.

WW: Lamar Miller's concussion may keep him out. Daniel Thomas would replace him. He looked healthy after a bum ankle jeopardized his season not one week ago, making some hard cuts in nasty weather.

WW: Willis McGahee's concussion should open up more time for Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whittaker.

Darren Sproles was the victim of game plan once again with just four utilizations. The New Orleans Saints took control in the second quarter and leaned on Mark Ingram -- well, mainly Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham. Sproles remains a volatile play at the flex spot.

Wide receivers

Week 14 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk14
Notes
1
HOU
21
Regardless of QB, he'll be fed.
2
NO
13
It was his turn to dominate the game plan.
3
WAS
12
Would Kirk Cousins pay him the same attention?
4
DEN
12
If Wes Welker (concussion) can't go, this'll continue.
5
ARI
12
Looked fresh, becomes starter-worthy down the stretch.
6
BUF
11
Rough QB play limiting potential.
7
CLE
11
He doesn't care who's taking snaps as long as the ball gets to him.
8
BAL
11
Hard to count on this every week.
9
DEN
10
Going to be hard to clear protocol by Thursday.
10
MIN
10
Maintains PPR flex value
11
ATL
10
Could be one of the biggest draft values next year.
12
DEN
10
Most consistently targeted DEN WR
13
OAK
10
So much for Andre Holmes' momentum.
14
CHI
10
Did you see that catch?

WW: Da'Rick Rogers (nine) and LaVon Brazill (four) have overtaken Darrius Heyward-Bey in the Indianapolis Colts' hierarchy. They'll likely continue taking reps from the stagnant run game with their big-play ability, but the choice to play each week will depend on matchups. Rogers is the ideal choice to replace DHB on the outside, so he's the better bet.

WW: Why haven't you picked up Cordarrelle Patterson (eight targets)? His after-the-catch brilliance, aided by the winter wonderland in Baltimore, proves that the Vikings will continue to involve him frequently.

Michael Crabtree's eight targets doubled the number from his debut, and he may be hurting Vernon Davis' involvement as a result. Colin Kaepernick leaned on Crabtree last year during the wideout's breakthrough campaign.

WW: Justin Hunter (eight looks) continued his surge up the Tennessee Titans' target totem pole. The rookie's downfield ability (19.7 yards per grab this year) was highlighted in his 41-yard TD scoring play and another 57-yard grab.

Tight ends

Week 14 utilizations
Rk
Player
Tm
Wk14
Notes
1
Garrett Graham
HOU
14
Owen Daniels (leg) won't be rushed back.
2
Greg Olsen
CAR
12
Expect this again vs. NO in Week 16.
3
Jimmy Graham
NO
11
Good job managing his workload to time for late-season brilliance.
4
Dennis Pitta
BAL
11
Wasted no time getting involved again. PPR glory awaits.
5
Charles Clay
MIA
10
Miami's best playmaker?
6
Jordan Cameron
CLE
9
Encouraging that Jason Campbell connected with him.
7
Coby Fleener
IND
9
Losing steam to Rogers, Brazill.
8
Mychal Rivera
OAK
8
Intriguing pickup for 2-TE leagues
9
Julius Thomas
DEN
7
TD machine kept going.
10
Andrew Quarless
GB
7
Will trade work with Brandon Bostick. Don't grab.
11
Brandon Myers
NYG
7
Biggest workload since Week 2, could keep rising.

The return of Eddie Royal from injury hurt Ladarius Green (one target, zero grabs), so Antonio Gates (six) has returned to relative target safety for now.

Another beneficiary from Welker's injury could be Jacob Tamme, who saw five passes come his way and played in the slot almost exclusively after the wideout went down.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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