With Week 14 of the NFL season in the books, we have a bunch of new information to break down. Let’s dive right into the Top 10 dynasty football takeaways from week 14.
Takeaway #1: Evan Engram Is Going Nuclear
The tight-end landscape has been wild this year. Sam Laporta and Dalton Kincaid are breaking the rookie stigma and dominating in year one. With everything going on, Engram is quietly averaging 13.1 PPG in 2023.
Many people had high hopes for Engram coming into the season, mainly because of Trevor Lawrence. Even though Lawrence hasn’t been great, Engram is having the best season of his career. Coming off a 23.2 and 32.5-point performance, Engram continues to crush and increase his dynasty value.
#2: Drake London Finally Showed Out
Due to playing for the worst coach in football, London has been dissipating since being drafted. The talent is there, but London still isn’t seeing the volume he should. After a relatively quiet season, London exploded for 29.2 points in Week 14.
Watching London play helped confirm that he’s an elite talent. London was able to draw 11 targets for ten catches and 172 yards this past week. While I’m still not all in on London until Arthur Smith leaves, this should give all London owners some much-needed hope.
#3: Cooper Kupp Is Still a Great Contending Asset
It’s no secret that Kupp isn’t the elite contending asset we thought coming into the 2023 season. Kupp has been disappointing for most of the year, and fantasy owners have begun to write him off. In Week 13, Kupp turned a corner, scoring 15.9 points on eight targets. In week 14, Kupp continued to trend up, scoring 25.5 points on ten targets.
Even though Kupp may not be an elite WR1 for the rest of the season, don’t count him out yet. We’ve all seen what he can do on the field and healthy. Things are looking suitable for Kupp, and he should play a key role in helping your dynasty team win a championship.
#4: Chase Brown is on the Rise
Coming out of Illinois, Brown was one of my favorite deep sleepers. I put my money where my mouth was trading Peyton Hendershot and Luke Schoonmaker for Brown just a few weeks ago. It’s worth noting that before Week 13, Brown only had two carries on the year as he’s been dealing with injuries.
The hype began when Brown had nine carries for 61 yards in week 13. After a great game in Week 13, Brown had an even better performance in Week 14, scoring 19.5 points. Joe Mixon is not the same back he once was, and I expect Brown to have a role in the Bengals offense for the foreseeable future.
#5: Michael Pittman Jr. is Having a Quiet WR1 Season
Just a few weeks ago, I was shocked to learn Pittman is currently having a WR1 season. He is the WR11 on the year, averaging 17 PPG. It seems like the market has corrected too much after Pittman was overvalued just a year ago. According to KeepTradeCut, Pittman is the WR19, which still seems too low.
MICHAEL PITTMAN JR WINS IT FOR THE COLTS 😱— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 3, 2023
What a game 🙌pic.twitter.com/cXMP5zCQJ6
While you can argue that Pittman benefits from Gardner Minshew, let’s not act like Minshew is a great quarterback. Even though Anthony Richardson will run the ball more, the Colts offense should be even better in 2024. Assuming Richardson continues to develop as a passer, he will be much better for Pittman than Minshew.
#6: Zay Jones Is Back
The 2023 season has been a wild ride for Jones. After scoring 16.5 points in week one, it looked like Jones was officially taking over the Christian Kirk role. Unfortunately, Jones went down in week two, and this new role never came to fruition. However, after Kirk’s season-ending injury, Jones will play a big role on the Jaguars again.
Jones only had 7.9 points in Week 14, but more importantly, he drew 14 targets. Jones ran 52 routes, three more than Evan Engram and three less than Calvin Ridley. Even if not all of these targets translated to fantasy points, Jones will be a crucial part of this offense for the rest of the season.
#7: Justin Herbert Fractured His Right Index Finger
Ever since his rookie year, it seems like things just haven’t gone Herbert’s way. He is a great talent, but he’s either been screwed over by poor coaching or injuries around him. Sadly, this trend isn’t going away, as Herbert fractured his right index finger in Week 14.
While this won’t affect Herbert long-term, having your QB1 go down right before the fantasy playoffs is detrimental. Per NBC Sports, “Herbert is expected to undergo finger surgery Tuesday.” It’s anticipated that Herbert will miss the Chargers Week 15 game and possibly even more time.
#8: Ezekiel Elliott Turns Back the Clock
The last player I expected to be talking about in 2023 was 28-year-old Elliott. Without Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott took on the bell-cow role for the Patriots and scored 27 points in week 14. He isn’t an efficient runner, averaging 3.1 YPC last week, but he caught seven passes for 72 yards.
I don’t expect this kind of production from Elliott for the rest of the season, as Bailey Zappe just had a career game. In reality, the Patriots are 3-10 and have been a mess all year. It’s hard to call Elliott a league winner when he’s not an elite talent who can overcome this poor situation.
#9: Jayden Daniels Wins the Heisman
Based solely on statistics, Daniels was easily the Heisman winner. During his 2023 campaign at LSU, Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, ran for 1,134 yards, and recorded 50 total touchdowns. Although the Heisman award doesn’t mean everything, it will help bump Daniels’s draft stock.
For a rushing quarterback like Daniels, draft capital is everything. Even if he doesn’t develop in the NFL, being a first-round pick gives him job security for a few years. As long as Daniels is a starting quarterback, with his elite rushing upside, he should be a QB1 in fantasy.
#10: Michael Penix Jr. Wins the Maxwell Award
To be quite honest with you, the Maxwell and Heisman award should go to the same person. The only difference is that the voters and team success are bigger factors for Maxwell. This year, the record seemed to be the case as Penix led Washington to a 13-0 record while Daniels and the LSU Tigers only went 9-3.
Nonetheless, being recognized as a top-two player in college football will help Penix and his draft stock. Despite his age and injury history, he has displayed an incredible set of tools during his time at Washington. Although this award won’t move the needle, I expect Penix to be a consensus late first-round draft pick by the time April rolls around.
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