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Week 14 Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Bryan Armetta breaks down players rising and falling in fantasy football value prior to Week 14.

Bryan Armetta breaks down players rising and falling in fantasy football value prior to Week 14.

The last week before the fantasy playoffs has never been more hectic. With six teams on bye for Week 14, finding instant contributors through the waiver wire or, if possible, a trade might make or break a season. Here are some names to target and avoid on the eve of the fantasy playoffs.

Stock Up: RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are the strangest offense in football, and anyone not named Cooper Kupp has been a constant source of frustration for fantasy managers. The poster child for a disappointing season in L.A. has been Cam Akers. A coveted preseason pick, anyone who has held onto the Rams running back has dealt with injuries, inconsistent playing time and a midseason trade request. In spite of all that, Akers could still be a league-winner.

In spite of rookie Kyren Williams‘s recent return, Akers was the clear lead back against the Seahawks last Sunday. He rushed for 60 yards and two scores on 17 carries. While touchdown-dependent performances aren’t ideal, the Rams’ anemic offense could get a boost with the arrival of (can’t believe I’m typing this) Baker Mayfield, who was picked up off waivers this week. While the former number-one pick has been terrible for most of his career, he’s an upgrade over the QBs that have filled in for the injured Matthew Stafford. Even a middle-of-the-road offense could allow Akers to emerge as a legitimate RB2 option.

Stock Down: TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

It looks like there are too many mouths to feed in San Francisco. Kittle, considered an elite fantasy tight end heading into the year, has failed to live up to his potential. He’s currently the PPR TE7, and things continue to get worse. Against a porous Dolphins defense on Sunday, Kittle recorded just two catches for 22 yards, his second straight game under six fantasy points. The 49ers tight end has received more than five targets in less than half of his games this year.

To make matters even worse, Jimmy Garoppolo is set to miss the rest of the regular season after suffering a foot injury this weekend. San Francisco is unlikely to throw the ball as much with backup quarterback Brock Purdy, which could mean even less work for Kittle. Due to a shallow tight end position, as well as a tantalizing playoff schedule, Kittle remains a must-start. Still, it’s hard not to view him as a lineup liability at the moment.

Check out where Kittle falls in our weekly TE and FLEX rankings for PPR, Half-PPR and Standard leagues!

Stock Up: WR Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

The Broncos’ offense is a mess, but it’s hard to blame Jeudy. Despite the team’s passing woes, the third-year wideout has had more than 50 receiving yards in seven of nine games this year. In his return from an ankle injury against the Ravens last week, Jeudy put up 65 yards on four catches, second most on the team. Considering he was on a snap count limit, Jeudy should see more playing time, and more passes thrown his way, in the coming weeks.

Aiding Jeudy’s case as a fantasy starter is the recent injury of Courtland Sutton, which is expected to sideline the other Denver receiver for this week, at the minimum. The immediate upside for Jeudy is an increased target share against Kansas City this weekend, a game that will likely force the Broncos to throw the ball often. Long-term, a prolonged injury to Sutton could lead to Denver ending his season with nothing left to play for. There isn’t much standing between Jeudy and total control of the Broncos’ passing game.

Stock Down: WR Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots

Meyers was once a promising buy-low, but he’s reached rock bottom. Even though Mac Jones and the Patriots’ passing game has been inconsistent all season, it’s surprising to see the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver struggle. Meyers hasn’t scored more than 10 fantasy points since Week 8, primarily due to a dip in targets. Although he was forced out of last Thursday’s game vs. Buffalo, he failed to make much of an impact with three catches for 22 yards. 

Can Meyers turn it around? Possibly, but it’s still tough to trust him with your season on the line. Matchups against the Cardinals, Raiders and Dolphins are appealing, but Meyers needs to be force-fed the ball to make an impact, something the Pats haven’t done in over a month. It’s hard to believe in New England as well; when the offense runs smoothly, it’s usually due to a steady diet of Rhamondre Stevenson. The notoriously touchdown-allergic Meyers has a clear connection with Jones, but can managers buy into it after nothing but disappointment the past five weeks? Don’t be so sure.