It’s not exactly the prime-time game everyone wants, but there are still fantasy-relevant players to talk about. With the Kennt Pickett injury from this past week, it looks like we’ll be getting a match-up between Bailey Zappe and Mitch Trubisky…..yikes.
The Patriots are coming off a game in which they got shut out, and the Steelers are coming off one in which they only scored 10 points. If I were a betting man, it would be hard for me not to bet the under on this one.
Week 13 Game Ball: DK Metcalf – Six catches for 134 receiving yards and three touchdowns
While his team did not come away with he victory, Metcalf had a career day of his own. This was his first multiple-touchdown game since 1/2/2022. While I don’t expect this to become the norm for him, it was nice to see this from Metcalf, who has been performing under his ADP. Tripling his touchdown total will help boost your confidence to start him as he builds off his performance with Geno Smith. He gets another tough test against San Francisco next week.
TNF fantasy football preview: Week 14 starts
These are my locked-in starts that you never need to think twice about. Just put them in and watch the magic happen.
It looks like we have another week where we won’t have any elite starts. The Steelers are too inconsistent and the Patriots have very few players who are even worth rostering.
These are the starts you shouldn’t be nervous about but certainly aren’t locked in for top-tier production.
Pat Freiermuth – After a big Week 12 against the Bengals, Freiermuth came up short this past week with three catches for 29 yards. In most cases, having the backup quarterback at center usually correlates to a negative impact on fantasy players. Luckily for Freiermuth, backup quarterbacks tend to rely heavily on their tight ends. They serve as more of a security blanket for them. I don’t see a world where he can get over 100 yards this Thursday, but anything will be better than what he put up last week.
Projection: 5 catches for 60 receiving yards
Najee Harris/Jaylen Warren – This 1-2 punch in the Steelers backfield is one of the few things that they have going for them. While Harris has been getting most of the work and goal-line caries, Warren has shown more juice and agility. The Patriots rank 3rd in the league in yards given up so far this season. Even with that being the case, the Steelers have no choice but to feature the run. With Mitch Trubisky throwing the ball, he hasn’t exactly been known for his playmaking abilities.
Harris – 1 catch for 70 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown
Warren – 4 catches for 82 all-purpose yards
Flex Worthy Starts
They are worth a start, but no one is going to blame you if you want to bench them.
Ezekiel Elliott -While he isn’t the hot and flashy paler he used to be, Zeke can still put up some decent numbers for desperate fantasy managers. On a day when Rhamondre Stevenson went down, Zeke ended up accumulating 92 yards over the course of the game. The Steelers are currently giving up 121 rushing yards per game, and the Patriots may need to lean heavily on him this Thursday. Zeke is no stranger to large workloads from his time in Dallas. While it may not be efficient, he’ll get the job done for you in the flex spot.
Projection: 2 catches for 71 all-purpose yards
Diontae Johnson/George Pickens – Both these guys had preseason hype coming into the season. Pickens was getting ready to make his sophomore leap, and Johnson was ready to make a comeback season after putting up 0 touchdowns in 2022. While both have shown some promise here and there, neither are living up to what most hoped they could. A downgrade at the quarterback position for the Steelers certainly won’t help this cause. Fortunately, they play a Patriots defense that ranks 22nd in the league against wide receivers. The real question here is if Trubisky can get them the ball.
Johnson – 3 catches for 51 receiving yards
Pickens – 4 catches for 62 receiving yards
Hunter Henry – Henry is just barely making the flex list here. With limited options at the tight end position on waivers, you certainly can do much worse. It has been a disappointing season for Henry overall, but he has still managed three touchdowns. The Steelers are currently giving up less than 50 yards per game to the tight end position. Just pray and hope that he can recreate some of that early-season magic and sneak into the endzone.
Projection: 3 catches for 33 receiving yards
Break Glass in Case of Emergency Starts
Starts that will have questionable usage, and you are just hoping you can sneak a touchdown out of them. Pick your poison.
- DaVante Parker
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Ty Montgomery
- Bailey Zappe
- Tyquan Thorton
- Demario Douglas
- Mitch Trubisky
- Allen Robinson
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