Scouting Room: Fantasy Football Breakout Performers – Week 14

Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more surprises, the NFL opens up and presents us with a new rash of unexpected heroes. Hello Josh Allen, Dante Pettis, Chase Edmonds, Jaron Brown, Jeff Wilson, Jr., and Zay Jones, thanks for stopping by the 20+ point club, hope to see you again.

It’s unlikely many of those names sound familiar to you or were on your fantasy radar heading into the week, but should they be on your radar heading into next week? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe let’s talk about it!

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills – Pop Quiz: Pat Mahomes has the most fantasy points over the past two weeks, who has the second most? If you answered anyone other than Allen, go to the end of the line. The rookie has simply made plays happen, either through the air or on the ground. For those keeping track at home, that’s back to back weeks with 99+ rushing yards … as a QB. his next three opponents are the less than intimidating defenses of the NY Jets, Detroit Lion, and New England Patriots. There’s some legit upside here as the 2018 rookie QB crop continues to flourish.

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills – The Second question of the pop quiz: who benefited the most from Allens breakout? You guessed it, Zay Jones. Don’t look now, but Jones has two weeks with 20+ points in the past three… and then a week of 0 points. Yeah, consistency has been an issue. Still, the Bills need someone to step up so it might as well be Jones. He’s worth a stash, especially in dynasty leagues.

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Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers – Final question: who was the top producing fantasy wide receiver last week? Gotcha, it was Keenan Allen, but Pettis was really good to going off for 29.70 PPR points. He now has 17+ points in back to back games and 3 TD in that span. Pettis was a 2nd round draft pick and appears to be coming into his own down the stretch. Like Zay Jones, someone has to catch balls on every offense.

Jaron Brown, WR, Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson and Pete Carrol have a Bill Belichik streak in them. From time to time, Wilson will pick a random receiver and feed him a feast of touchdowns fit for a king, or Antonio Brown, or whatever. Brown had only 3 targets, he caught all 3, for 60 yards and 2 of them were touchdowns. #fluke #moveon

Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals – I do so love this one. David Johnson has been quietly flustering his fantasy owners all season and now, in the 11th hour, Edmonds shows up and goes for 53 yards on 5 carries and 2 TD!!! Light the world on fire, it’s over DJ owners. Supposedly Johnson missed a blitz pick up and got benched for it, but here’s the reality of the situation. The Cardinals are bad, they aren’t winning and Johnson is their best offensive weapon long term – why risk him? There’s going to be some times when Edmonds is a nifty little back up and might carve out more of a role down the stretch. He can’t be trusted for fantasy purposes though but he might hurt Johnson owners.

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Jeff Wilson, Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers – The little engine that could, also known as Matt Breida, finally couldn’t and the breakout back exited early on Sunday with an injury. There’s no real reason to force Breida to play much the rest of the way and he’s already been ruled out for Week 14. Wilson proved very capable as the all purpose back going for 61 on the ground with 8 catches for 73 yards through the air. He’s a must add this week as a huge asset in Week 14 at a minimum and potential playoff star based on pure volume.

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers – I still can’t type LA Chargers without having to delete San Diego ten times. Ugh. Anyway, Jackson appears to be the early down option for the Chargers with Gordon out. The rookie now has 120 yards on 15 carries since Gordon got hurt including a TD. It would be nice if he sprinkled into the passing game a little more but he faces the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs less than scary defenses the next two weeks and is a thumbs up playoff start.

Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos – Who has two thumbs and was one week too early picking Sutton as a breakout candidate? This guy. He finally broke through in Week 13 with 4 catches on 7 tagets for 85 yards and a TD. Sutton is a big man, a great jump ball winner and a top tier WR prospect in the mold of Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffery and Demaryius Thomas. He should be a guy that makes owners happy every week.

Nick Mullens, QB, San Francisco 49ers – Say it with me: “garbage time”. Good job, this was complete garbage time clean up stats. But hey, the real games trash time is fantasy gold because those points count. Also, the 49ers are gonna be playing in a lot of garbage games. Mullens gets the Broncos next and they’ve been burned for yards even when Chris Harris was healthy, now the All-Pro slot corner is hurt, this could be another nice yardage day for Ol’ Slick Nick.

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As always, I like to give a breakout candidate for the upcoming week and this week is no different. This one is especially fun:

Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE, Pittsburgh Steelers – Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. You’re reading that right, he’s tight end eligible in Yahoo! and isn’t that just a kick in the pants. The caution flags are up saying that the Steelers will use Steven Ridley plenty this week but Samuels is going to get his chances and he’s a better player than Ridley. Samuels could be leading the Steelers backfield in touches and starting in your TE slot throughout the playoffs if Conner’s injury is a high ankle sprain and it starts this week against a meager Oakland defense. In basically one drive, he had 3 catches for 20 yards and a TD last week. All systems go.

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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

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Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
Ben Stecker