Fantasy Football Week 14 Cheat Sheet: Identifying Sleepers for Deep Leagues

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 14 Cheat Sheet: Identifying Sleepers for Deep Leagues

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    Jets RB Zonovan Knight
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    For fantasy managers in season-long leagues, the playoffs have either arrived or are extremely close. Unfortunately, the NFL schedule-makers decided to place six teams on bye in Week 14, which isn't ideal for managers in a critical matchup.

    With the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders, the waiver wire and the bench will be important assets in fantasy this week. The question, of course, is which players are worth picking up and/or starting?

    Below, we'll dive into some of the top waiver-wire targets and potential sleepers for Week 14. We'll examine why players on the bench can be worth a start this week and run down a list or the top waiver-wire targets.

    All picks are based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.

Waiver-Wire Cheat Sheet

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    Bills RB James Cook
    Nic Antaya/Getty Images

    Player (ESPN Roster %)

    1. James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills (25%)

    2. Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets (11%)

    3. Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions (40%)

    4. Zonovan Knight, RB, New York Jets (39%)

    5. Greg Dulcich, TE, Denver Broncos (39%)

    6. Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions (30%)

    7. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (28%)

    8. Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (25%)

    9. Mike White, QB, New York Jets (14%)

    10. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (53%)

Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions

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    DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 04: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks to pass the ball during the first half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
    Nic Antaya/Getty Images

    Detroit Lions signal-caller Jared Goff is the quarterback to target on the wire this week. He's rostered in only 51 percent of Yahoo leagues and 40 percent of ESPN leagues.

    If the 28-year-old is already in your lineup, great. Now is the perfect time to start him.

    Goff is widely viewed as a sleeper, and he definitely isn't viewed as an elite fantasy QB. However, he has legitimate top-10 potential this week due to a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

    Minnesota has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

    The Lions, meanwhile, feature their own lackluster defense, which gives this matchup shootout potential. With weapons such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift at his disposal, Goff can take advantage.

    The California product is coming off of back-to-back strong outings—240 yards, two touchdowns; and 340 yards, two touchdowns—and should be in store for another great day on Sunday.

    Start Goff if you have him, try to pick him up if you don't.

Zonovan Knight, RB, New York Jets

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  New York Jets running back Zonovan Knight (27) during the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears on November 27, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.   (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Running back Zonovan Knight—an undrafted rookie—got his first opportunity with the New York Jets in Week 12.

    "It was honestly a blessing just to even be back out there,” he told reporters.

    Knight racked up 69 rushing yards, three receptions and 34 receiving yards in his pro debut. He was even better last week, starting in place of the injured Michael Carter. Against the Vikings, he ran for 90 yards and caught five passes for 28.

    The caveat here is that the 21-year-old's role could shrink if Carter returns to the lineup, so managers will want to watch the injury report. However, he is worth a start if his teammate is limited, even against a sound Buffalo Bills defense.

    The Bills have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs this season, but Knight should carry enough PPR potential to overcome the tough matchup.

    The NC State product is rostered in just 47 percent of Yahoo leagues and 39 percent of ESPN leagues, so if he's available in your league, now's the time to put in a waiver claim.

Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions

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    Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams runs a route against the Jacksonville Jaguars during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    AP Photo/Paul Sancya

    Lions wideout Jameson Williams, who suffered a torn ACL in the last year's national title game, didn't have a catch in his NFL debut last week.

    However, head coach Dan Campbell recently hinted that the rookie's role is set to expand.

    "Moving forward, it'll be, 'OK, we'll get him a little more involved now,'" Campbell told 97.1 The Ticket (h/t Jeremy Reisman of SBNation). "So we'll have some things for him."

    There's still a lot of boom-or-bust potential with the untested 21-year-old, but he is worth a gamble in deeper leagues. The Vikings secondary has struggled all season, and Minnesota has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers.

    In a potential shootout, Williams could play a huge role as a downfield threat and an after-the-catch weapon in subpackages.

    If the former Ohio State and Alabama player isn't rostered in your league, grab him. His growing role gives him a lot of potential value for the fantasy postseason, especially with the Lions playing playoff-caliber football offensively.

    Williams is rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues and 30 percent of ESPN leagues.

    *Fantasy scoring and roster information via FantasyPros.