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Lewis the Better Back in New England This Week
With the #1 rush defense coming to New England in the Baltimore Ravens, Dion Lewis may be the preferred Patriots running back in Week 14. While LeGarrette Blount is one of the most reliable fantasy backs in the game right now, you can bet Bill Belichick will scheme to attack his opponent’s weakness as he normally does, which means not a ton of Blount’s ground-and-pound runs up the middle. Lewis should have no problem finding room to work, and you can always count on Tom Brady to find his pass-catchers in space so they can make plays.
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Thielen’s Floor Makes Him a Flex Favorite
Thielen has now posted 10 or more PPR fantasy points in five straight games, and 13+ in each of his last three. That is exactly the kind of floor you want from your flex player--it doesn’t need to be an earth-shattering performance, but it needs to not drag your team down. While many would attribute Thielen’s success to Stefon Diggs’ recent absence, Thielen still thrived with Diggs back in the mix, catching seven balls for 86 yards in Week 13. In San Bradford’s dink-and-dunk offense, there is a ton to like here if you’re looking for a streaming option.
Brandon Marshall’s WR1 Days Are Over
Here’s a fun tidbit: Brandon Marshall was drafted as the 18th player overall in fantasy drafts this year on average. Through Week 13, he is player #124 in total scoring, even falling behind some defenses and kickers. Most (if not all) of Marshall’s struggles can be blamed on poor quarterbacking, and things certainly aren’t going to improve down the stretch. The Jets announced Tuesday that they will start rookie QB Bryce Petty for the rest of the season, and while Petty has potential he is far from polished. Marshall can only score if he someone can get him the ball, and that simply won’t be the case. With your season on the line, look elsewhere for WR production.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Each week we will identify three players worth taking a shot on in deeper leagues.
Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers – Green finally broke out in Week 13, shredding the Giants with a 6-110-1 line. He could be the #2 option that Big Ben and the Steelers have been looking for.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills – More than just a handcuff, Gillislee is coming off an 8-49-2 line and should remain in the mix to spell LeSean McCoy with Tyrod Taylor struggling.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – Has a great matchup against the Browns this week, and has 15 targets over his last two games. May not find the end zone, but the yardage and receptions should be there.