Injuries defined Week 14, as many Fantasy seasons were ended or extended thanks to players leaving early. We'll look at where opportunity might have opened up, and what players could be sneaky Week 15 options as a result. 

Data is typically courtesy of Pro Football Reference, RotoViz, the RotoGrinders Premium Usage App, or PFF. Always feel free to hit me up on Twitter @YardsPerGretch with any questions about anything I covered or to ask my thoughts on something I glossed over. That is some of my favorite feedback, because sometimes it's something I've missed.

Here are some important statistical acronyms to know for Stealing Signals:

Green Zone - Inside the opponent's 10-yard line.
HVT - High-Value Touches: for running backs, all receptions and all touches inside the 10 yard line. 
TRAP - Trivial Rush Attempt Percentage: for running backs, the percentage of all touches that are not high-value touches.
WOPR - Weighted Opportunity Rating: a metric created by Josh Hermsmeyer, it balances team share of targets and team share of air yards. Because a player's WOPR is a share of his team's overall opportunity, it's important to consider team volume as additional context. 
RACR - Receiver Air Conversion Ratio: also created by Hermsmeyer, RACR is calculated as total receiving yards divided by total air yards. Similar to yards per reception or yards per target, but per air yard instead.

Week 14
Week 14
Bears 31 - Cowboys 24

Snap Notes: Javon Wims: 45% (-46 vs. Week 13), Riley Ridley: 40% (+34 vs. previous season high), J.P. Holtz: 52% (+8 vs. previous season high), Jesper Horsted: 47% (+38 vs. previous season high), Blake Jarwin: 30% (-7 vs. season average)

Key Stat: Mitchell Trubisky — 10 rushes, 63 yards, TD (26 rushes, 80 yards, one touchdown in other 11 games)

  • The Cowboys scored 17 fourth-quarter points to make the scoreline look closer than the game, but the Bears had a significant script advantage throughout. Because of that, the pass/run ratios diverged substantially, with Chicago throwing 31 passes against 34 runs and Dallas at 49 passes and just 22 runs. 
  • Mitchell Trubisky was mostly efficient, taking conservative passes underneath and posting an average throw depth of 6.4 yards, his lowest such figure since Week 7. His two 30-plus yard completions to Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end J.P. Holtz were both caught around the line of scrimmage and featured plenty of yards after the catch. 
  • Allen Robinson did amass over 100 air yards on his eight targets, but he totaled just 48 yards on his five catches, though he brought in two short first-half scores. Tarik Cohen (6-6-24), Anthony Miller (4-3-42-1) and tight end Jesper Horsted (4-4-36) all chipped in with mostly unexplosive receiving lines. 
  • Alongside David Montgomery's workmanlike 20-86 rushing line, Trubisky added plenty of rushing value, something we haven't seen much from him this year. Trubisky rushed 10 times for 63 yards and his second rushing score of the year, after just 26 rushes for 80 yards across the first 11 games combined. He averaged over 30 yards per game on the ground in 2018, something that helped provide a solid floor for his Fantasy production.
  • For the second week in a row, the Cowboys opened with an impressive drive then immediately fell flat. Ezekiel Elliott got off to a hot start, rushing for 33 yards and a score on the first possession, but he would finish with just 93 total yards for the game, though he punched in a second score on a fourth down early in the fourth quarter. 
  • The majority of Dak Prescott's 334 passing yards came in the futile fourth quarter rally, as he threw a whopping 27 passes for 224 yards in the final period. Outside the typical four downfield weapons, Blake Jarwin saw a bump in opportunity, catching six of seven passes for 50 yards, but Jarwin didn't actually see a bump in playing time. Amari Cooper (8-6-83-1) and Michael Gallup (10-6-109) remained the top two targets, with Jason Witten and Randall Cobb chipping in 80 yards combined. 

Signal: Mitchell Trubisky — rush attempts ticked up in Weeks 12 and 13 before this performance, appears we're seeing a return of that aspect of his Fantasy value

Noise: Blake Jarwin — no playing time bump, just positive target variance

Week 14
Packers 20 - Washington 15

Snap Notes: Aaron Jones: 58% (+0 vs. Week 13), Jamaal Williams: 42% (+0 vs. Week 13), Derrius Guice: 14% (knee injury)

Key Stat: Aaron Jones — 44 air yards (most since Week 6)

  • The Packers scored touchdowns on two first-quarter drives — each of which got underway with a 20-plus yard completion to Jimmy Graham on the first play — and then dialed it way back with a conservative style the rest of the way. The end result was positive for the Packers, as they easily coasted to a win, but negative for Fantasy players, with a couple of exceptions.
  • Aaron Jones was the star, rushing for 134 and a score on just 16 carries, and adding six catches on seven targets for 58 yards. He nearly matched his season high with 44 air yards. We noted earlier this year that some downfield receiving opportunity was integral to Jones' midseason productivity in the passing game, but in four games since Davante Adams returned — prior to Week 14 — Jones had totaled negative air yards. During the three games (Weeks 6-8) preceding that stretch, Jones saw at least 20 air yards in each, 95 combined, and caught 15 balls for over 200 yards. 
  • An interesting corollary to — or perhaps cause of, if Washington was giving Adams extra attention — Jones and Graham seeing downfield opportunity was Adams seeing a season-low 38 air yards, catching just four of six balls for 41 yards. Of course, Rodgers didn't even hit 200 passing yards for the third time in five games. Chalk up Adams' lack of productivity to the early lead and conservative passing game throughout, which also limited the ancillary Packers' targets.
  • After a breakout Week 13, Derrius Guice unfortunately hurt his knee, and his status is unclear going forward. Guice logged just five touches, leaving Adrian Peterson to carry 20 times for 76 yards and a score. 
  • Chris Thompson also played heavily, and led the team with eight targets, catching seven. He, Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims accounted for every Dwayne Haskins target. Target concentration is a good thing, although Haskins threw just 27 times even in a trailing script and also failed to reach 200 yards. 
  • McLaurin recorded three of his four receptions and a touchdown with 1:22 remaining on the final drive of the game to finish with a solid 7-4-57-1. That was his best game since Week 6, but he'll continue to be difficult to trust in this passing environment. 

Signal: Aaron Jones — saw some downfield passing game usage for the first time in over a month

Noise: Packers passing game — overly conservative due to an early lead and nonthreatening opponent; Terry McLaurin — caught three of four passes and his TD on final, futile drive 

Week 14
Buccaneers 38 - Colts 35

Snap Notes: Breshad Perriman: 83% (+15 vs. previous season high), Justin Watson: 55% (+40 vs. previous season high), Mike Evans: 23% (hamstring injury), Peyton Barber: 38% (-1 vs. Week 13), Ronald Jones: 35% (+7 vs. Week 13), Parris Campbell: 49% (first game since Week 9), Nyheim Hines: 56% (+11 vs. previous season high), Marlon Mack: 41% (first game since Week 11)

Key Stat: Marlon Mack — single-digit routes run in four consecutive healthy games (zero such games in first seven)

  • Two bad turnovers and some bad cornerback play on a 46-yard Marcus Johnson touchdown got Tampa Bay into an early hole, but their aggressive style helped them roar back and eventually win a shootout, all of which is just so quintessentially Buccaneer football — save perhaps the win.
  • Jameis Winston threw for 456 yards and four scores on 45 attempts, rushing for another score but also throwing three interceptions. He fractured his thumb in the game, but was able to play through it in the second half. 
  • Late in the first quarter, Mike Evans caught a 61-yard touchdown but pulled his hamstring just before the end zone, and he was not able to return. That left Chris Godwin to lead the team with a 9-7-91 line, while Justin Watson filled in for Evans en route to an 8-5-59-1 line on a team-high 91 air yards. Breshad Perriman's snaps and routes also increased in his downfield role, and he saw five targets for 80 air yards, catching a pair of 25-plus yard passes in addition to the go-ahead 12-yard touchdown late, to finish with a 3-70-1 line. Assuming Winston is able to play through his injury, Perriman and Watson are names to watch in this vertical passing game with Evans set to miss time. Godwin of course takes the biggest jump in value.
  • O.J. Howard (5-4-73 with 70 air yards) saw a bump in opportunity as well, though Cameron Brate (4-4-30-1) was still very involved in the red zone, catching one pass down to the 1 and another for a touchdown. 
  • After being benched in Week 13, Ronald Jones was back as the starter but still wound up playing fewer snaps than Peyton Barber. Barber was also in the game on Winston's 1-yard touchdown plunge, further confirming his status as the goal-line back. 
  • Though they led for the majority of the game, the Colts ran just 22 times in Marlon Mack's return, four of which were Jacoby Brissett scrambles. Mack rushed 13 times for 38 yards and a score, but wasn't targeted as he ran single-digit routes for the fourth consecutive healthy game after he ran at least 14 routes in each of his first seven games. Nyheim Hines played a season-high snap share, catching four passes while running routes on a season-high 60% of dropbacks. 
  • Outside Hines, the targets were concentrated between Zach Pascal (9-5-74-1), Johnson (7-3-105-1), Jack Doyle (6-2-27, in a down game) and Parris Campbell (5-3-12). Johnson's 133 air yards led the team and were sixth in the NFL for the week; he's the downfield option in this offense with T.Y. Hilton out. Campbell must have suffered a setback because he was sent to IR Monday. 

Signal: Justin Watson — filled the Mike Evans role, Perriman's routes also increased; Marlon Mack — single-digit routes run in four straight healthy games, Hines playing far more on passing downs

Noise: Jack Doyle — just two catches on six targets (ran routes on 75% of dropbacks)

Week 14
49ers 48 - Saints 46

Snap Notes: Raheem Mostert: 60% (-14 vs. Week 13 season high), Matt Breida: 18% (return from injury), Tevin Coleman: 16% (-2 vs. Week 13 season low), Josh Hill: 86% (+12 vs. previous season high), Jared Cook: 11% (concussion)

Key Stat: Saints/49ers — 698 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns combined

  • The sheer amount of things that happened in this back-and-forth shootout could fill up this column on their own. This game was insane, with 981 total yards of offense, 698 passing yards, 94 points and 10 passing touchdowns. I'm going to break it down in phases, because how else do you parse a game that was more like two or three in one?
  • The Saints were aggressive early, and Drew Brees found Jared Cook for two downfield scores in the first quarter. Cook was concussed on the second, and left the game having played just eight snaps but with 64 yards and two touchdowns to his name. Early in the second, Brees found backup tight end Josh Hill for a short score out of the fullback position. After a touchback, Jimmy Garoppolo found Emmanuel Sanders for a 75-yard score on the first play on the next drive, on a deep pass where Sanders went down but was apparently not touched, then got up and ran it in. That was Garoppolo's second touchdown of the game and all of this happened by the third play of the second quarter.  
  • Before halftime, Raheem Mostert caught a 35-yard from Sanders on a trick play. Later in the second, Mostert scored on a 10-yard run and the 49ers backfield was his again. Even with Matt Breida back and Tevin Coleman active, Mostert finished with another huge snap share, rushing 10 times for 69 yards and catching two passes for 40 more, plus the two scores. Breida and Coleman likely won't just go away, but Mostert looks fresh. He's also still widely available, and should be viewed as the top target on waivers for Week 15.
  • Garoppolo threw two more scores in the second half, the first to George Kittle, who finished with an 8-6-67-1 day behind only Sanders (9-7-157-1) in targets. Deebo Samuel also saw eight targets, catching five for 76 yards, and that trio continues to be the clear core of San Francisco's passing game. Garoppolo's other two touchdowns — 6-yarders in the first and fourth quarter — both went to Kendrick Bourne, whose role didn't change and who caught just one other pass on four total targets. Bourne is mostly an afterthought. 
  • Brees also added two second-half touchdowns, giving him five passing plus a second-quarter 1-yard run. Michael Thomas' 15-11-134-1 line was no surprise in this high-scoring of a game, while Tre'Quan Smith pulled in the other. Even after his concussion, Cook finished as the second-leading receiver for New Orleans, though Ted Ginn posted a solid 6-4-50. 
  • Somehow, amidst all of this, Alvin Kamara totaled just 43 yards on 17 touches. That was made more noticeable by Latavius Murray generating 94 yards on just nine touches. Kamara still clearly played ahead of Murray, and his usage remains strong, as he caught four of six targets and notched three green zone touches to Murray's one. But Kamara's efficiency just wasn't there, and he may not be fully healthy. But Kamara's seen at least five high-value touches in each of his five games since returning from injury — and 40 overall for an average of eight per game — so I'm still inclined to trust that the production will come. 

Signal: Raheem Mostert — appears to be the lead back for now, but could probably change quickly

Noise: 49ers/Saints — 981 total yards, 94 combined points; Kendrick Bourne — two touchdowns (role remained the same)

Week 14
Falcons 40 - Panthers 20

Snap Notes: Calvin Ridley: 53% (abdominal injury, done for year), Olamide Zaccheaus: 31% (+20 vs. previous season high), Austin Hooper: 65% (return from injury), Ian Thomas: 86% (+42 vs. Week 13 season high) 

Key Stat: Ian Thomas — 10 targets, 118 air yards

  • The Panthers rush defense continues to crumble as Devonta Freeman recorded his first rushing touchdown of the season en route to a 17-84-1 line; Brian Hill added nine carries for 62 more yards and another score. 
  • Calvin Ridley went 5-5-76-1 but suffered an abdominal injury that he announced will keep him out for the remainder of the season. Ridley was coming on late, and finishes up a strong sophomore season with 866 yards and seven scores in just 13 games to build the 821-10 line he posted as a rookie in 16 games. 
  • Olamide Zaccheaus took over Ridley's role with Russell Gage remaining in the slot role vacated by Mohamed Sanu weeks ago, and Zaccheaus caught a 93-yard touchdown on one of two targets he saw. That should help his case to play big snaps the rest of the way, although Christian Blake and Justin Hardy also both mixed in. Zaccheaus came out of nowhere a bit, but Blake played big snaps when Jones missed and Gage's consistent usage in the Sanu role suggests the Falcons had/have specific backups for the receiving roles in their offense. 
  • Austin Hooper saw six targets in his return, though he caught just two for 32 yards. There should be plenty of opportunity for Hooper to finish 2019 strong alongside Julio Jones (8-5-66 in Week 14). 
  • Ian Thomas played a full snap share in place of Greg Olsen and saw a whopping 10 targets, catching five for 57 and a score. D.J. Moore (6-4-81) and Curtis Samuel (4-2-25 with 117 air yards) ceded targets to Thomas, while Christian McCaffrey led the team with 12 targets and 11 catches for 82 yards. 
  • Targets will fluctuate a bit and Jarius Wright saw a bit of an uptick in Week 14 as well, but the Panthers remained highly concentrated and continue to be one of the most consistently projectable teams in the league week in and week out. 

Signal: Ian Thomas — big role if Olsen remains out; Olamide Zaccheaus — appears to be the replacement for Ridley, or at least the lead of a rotation

Noise: Falcons — broke 150 rushing yards for the first time this season, just their third game over 100 as a team (everyone can run on the Panthers)

Week 14
Vikings 20 - Lions 7

Snap Notes: Dalvin Cook: 47% (-20 vs. season average), Alexander Mattison: 37% (+14 vs. season average), Bisi Johnson: 71% (+15 vs. Week 13), Laquon Treadwell: 25% (-5 vs. Week 13), Logan Thomas: 56% (T.J. Hockenson out)

Key Stat: Vikings — 30/39 pass/run ratio

  • With Adam Thielen out again and Dalvin Cook banged up, Minnesota was much like Packers in their win over Washington, coasting offensively to a win. Cook rushed 18 times for 62 yards and a score, but played just a touch more than his injury-shortened Week 13 snap share as Alexander Mattison mixed in often. Mattison was mixing in as early as the first quarter, and rushed 14 times for 46 yards. Each back caught two passes as they essentially operated as a split backfield in the same role. 
  • Stefon Diggs dominated the targets, catching six of nine passes for 92 yards. His 138 air yards were 64% of Minnesota's total, the highest such percentage for any player in Week 14 by 12 percentage points. What that means practically is outside a few shots to Diggs, Kirk Cousins was very conservative. No other Viking had more than four targets, and Laquon Treadwell's 42 yards made him the only other Viking with more than 25. 
  • There was nothing particularly notable from the Lions. David Blough mostly struggled in his second start, throwing for 205 yards, 131 of which — and the Lions' only touchdown — came in the fourth quarter. Kenny Golladay caught that late score to get to 8-6-58-1, while Danny Amendola (8-5-34) and Marvin Jones (7-3-38) were the other highly-targeted Lions. Amendola played a season-high snap share and seemed to be relied on more with T.J. Hockenson out.
  • Bo Scarbrough led on the ground again, rushing 19 times for 65 yards, and he even caught a pass! But Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic each ran more routes, as they continued to split the majority of the passing downs work. Scarbrough also suffered a rib injury in the game, but he plans to play through it. He shoulf remain the top option in the running game unless Kerryon Johnson returns from I.R. 

Signal: Danny Amendola — role expanded a bit with Hockenson out

Noise: Dalvin Cook — usage was light, Vikings took it easy with him after Week 13 injury

Week 14
Broncos 38 - Texans 24

Snap Notes: Noah Fant: 49% (foot injury), Kenny Stills: 96% (Will Fuller inactive) Keke Coutee: 71% (first action since Week 11)

Key Stat: DeAndre Hopkins — 194 air yards (led NFL in Week 14)

  • The Broncos came into Houston and shocked the Texans, with Drew Lock managing an extremely efficient game, completing 22 of 27 passes for 309 yards and three scores, two to tight ends and one to a running back. Lock's average throw depth hardly rose from 6.6 last week to 7.1 this week, which is still on the lower side. He took a couple more shots — Tim Patrick led the team with 62 air yards on his three targets — but the Broncos schemed a lot of short passes for him as well, which led to plenty of yards after the catch, most notably from Noah Fant who recorded 84 of his team-high 113 yards after receptions. I will note that Lock's touchdown throw to Fant was very well placed just over a trailing defender with his back turned, and he generally played very well, but it's important to note his line is a bit more impressive than what he's actually being asked to do. 
  • Fant exited early with a foot injury (which doesn't seem serious) after building a 4-4-113-1 line, while Courtland Sutton went 7-5-34 at an aDOT of just 6.4. It seems the only thing that can keep Sutton from making ridiculous downfield catches is not seeing downfield targets. Jeff Heuerman and Royce Freeman caught the other touchdowns, 8- and 3-yarders.
  • Phillip Lindsay had an early score called back by a hold on a wide receiver screen, but he punched in a touchdown later to help Fantasy managers. He rushed 16 times for 51 yards and caught two passes, but continued to play only about half the snaps and run fewer routes than Freeman. Lindsay's receiving role of late seems limited to mostly designed targets, which is helpful, but means he likely doesn't have potential for a spike receiving week of five or six catches.  
  • The Broncos led 38-3 early in the third, meaning the Texans were in pass-first mode. Deshaun Watson wound up throwing 50 times as Houston would score three late touchdowns to make the game look more competitive than it was. Each of the last two scores were Watson rushes. 
  • With Will Fuller out, Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee were both involved, though Stills saw just two targets despite playing a huge snap share. Coutee on the other hand caught five of eight targets for 68 yards. The tight ends were also involved, with Jordan Akins (9-4-49) seeing far more volume than Darren Fells (4-2-2), and Duke Johnson also caught six of eight targets for 40 yards. 
  • But the volume was mostly directed to DeAndre Hopkins, who led the NFL with 194 air yards on 13 targets, catching seven for 120 and a score. The downfield opportunity has been rebounding for Hopkins after he wasn't seeing many looks down the field earlier in the year, and it spiked this week with a big performance against Chris Harris and the Broncos secondary. 

Signal: Drew Lock — still running a conservative passing game, not a strong Fantasy option just yet

Noise: Deshaun Watson — nearly all of his production was garbage time, well after the game was decided (Houston could have just as easily removed him from the game)

Week 14
Ravens 24 - Bills 17

Snap Notes: Mark Andrews: 15% (injury, reportedly not serious), Devin Singletary: 81% (+2 vs. Week 13 season high)

Key Stat: Ravens — seven players with three targets, none with more than four

  • In this highly-anticipated battle of 2018 first-round quarterbacks, neither threw for 150 yards. The difference was that while Josh Allen struggled in completing just 17 of 39 attempts and didn't have any of his typical rushing production, Lamar Jackson threw three scores and was reasonably efficient on just 25 pass attempts, plus he added 40 rushing yards on 11 carries. 
  • Seven Ravens saw at least three targets, but none saw more than four, keeping with their pattern of spreading the ball around. Hayden Hurst had the big play with a 61-yard touchdown on a route that looked a lot like one Mark Andrews would typically run, after Andrews had left the game with an injury. No one else had more than 30 receiving yards and Willie Snead and Nick Boyle were the other touchdown scorers. 
  • You should know the drill with Mark Ingram by now — he's recorded big games in each of four multi-touchdown performances, and has otherwise been pretty unhelpful. He did catch three passes in Week 14, the third time he's done that this year, but his 10.9 PPR points were only his sixth-lowest total of the year. 
  • The Bills stayed in this defensive battle largely because of Devin Singletary, who played a season-high snap share for the second straight week and put up an efficient 17-89 rushing line. He also chipped in six catches on eight targets but for just 29 yards. Meanwhile, Frank Gore had a season-low four touches. 
  • Cole Beasley caught Allen's lone touchdown pass, and no Bill hit even 40 receiving yards. John Brown led in targets, though Robert Foster got a little run and edged out Brown for the team lead in air yards with 117 on his four catchless targets. Don't be surprised if Foster hits on a long touchdown in the coming weeks given he's racked up a few downfield looks in recent weeks, but he played just 25% of the snaps and shouldn't be trusted in lineups.  

Signal: Devin Singletary — role continues to expand, Gore nearly out of the picture

Noise: Josh Allen — he's an inconsistent passer, but this performance was unsustainably bad, while he also set a season low in rush yards

Week 14
Jets 22 - Dolphins 21

Snap Notes: Bilal Powell: 79% (+55 vs. previous season high), Daniel Brown: 87% (+60 vs. previous season high), Ryan Griffin: 4% (injury), Patrick Laird: 82% (+23 vs. Week 13 season high), Myles Gaskin: 18% (-5 vs. Week 13), Isaiah Ford: 76% (+49 vs. previous season high), DeVante Parker: 25% (concussion), Albert Wilson: 24% (concussion)

Key Stat: Patrick Laird — 82% snap share, 19 of 24 RB touches, 5 high-value touches

  • We weren't clear on either the Jets or Dolphins backfields, but Bilal Powell and Patrick Laird each played huge snaps shares in this AFC East matchup. For Powell, that may not mean much, as it seems unlikely Le'Veon Bell will miss another game with what was described as a sickness, and Powell left with a foot injury of his own anyway. For Laird, though, it could mean a lot, as Kalen Ballage is on IR and Laird's 82% snap share appears to signify he'll be something of a workhorse the rest of the way. 
  • Known as more of a pass-catcher, it's a bit odd Laird played such a big snap share but ran routes on just 59% of dropbacks. That said, Miami was splitting him out and he saw some targets down the field, catching four of five passes for 38 yards. He was mostly inefficient as a pure runner, but broke off a couple of decent gains late to finish with 48 rushing yards on 15 carries. Both Laird and Myles Gaskin got one green zone carry, but Gaskin had just four carries overall and played as the clear backup. 
  • Powell rushed 19 times for 74 yards and caught two balls, but appears headed for his backup role next week, if he's even healthy. Ty Montgomery's snaps saw an uptick as well, and he amassed 61 yards on 12 touches. 
  • For the second straight year, the Jets seem to have only just figured out what they have in Robby Anderson in the final weeks of the season. Anderson's 11 targets and 189 air yards both represented season highs, and come on the heels of 10 targets and 173 air yards last week. Anderson caught seven balls for 116 and a score, and now has 303 receiving yards over his past three games after just 359 across his first 10. 
  • Jamison Crowder and Demaryius Thomas worked in behind Anderson, while Ryan Griffin went down early, playing just three snaps. It was Daniel Brown who picked up the TE work. Brown wouldn't be a recommended option if Griffin misses time. 
  • DeVante Parker also left early with a concussion, followed by Albert Wilson with a concussion as well. That left Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to Allen Hurns (8-5-68) and Isaiah Ford (9-6-92) as his top two wideouts. One might have expected more work from Mike Gesicki, but the second-year tight end caught just one of five targets. 
  • Fitzpatrick was pretty clearly uncomfortable with his receiving options, and he scrambled a season-high seven times for a season-high 65 yards. Miami also was forced to settle for a whopping eight field goal tries, and their inability to find the end zone pretty clearly cost them the game. This offense has been vaguely interesting for a couple of weeks, but if Parker misses extended time it looks a lot less appealing. 

Signal: Patrick Laird — 82% snap share, potential workhorse role; Robby Anderson — consistent air yards, production in three straight

Noise: Ryan Griffin — one target, one catch (played just three snaps due to injury)

Week 14
Browns 27 - Bengals 19

Snap Notes: Stephen Carlson: 73% (+25 vs. previous season high), David Njoku: 38% (return from IR), Joe Mixon: 59% (-21 vs. Week 13 season high), Giovani Bernard: 40% (+22 vs. Week 13), Alex Erickson: 80% (+17 vs. Week 13), John Ross: 51% (return from IR), Auden Tate: 39% (injury)

Key Stat: Joe Mixon — 8 HVT, 5 green zone touches (season highs)

  • David Njoku's return didn't rock the ship much, as the Browns stayed highly concentrated between their two backs and two receivers. In a mostly plus script, Baker Mayfield threw just 24 passes, completing just 11. Jarvis Landry's 7-4-76 was easily the team lead in all categories, while Odell Beckham went 5-2-39.
  • Nick Chubb rushed 15 times for 106 yards, including a 57-yard run that led to a Kareem Hunt score two plays later. I'm not reading into that usage for Hunt much as a guy is going to need a breather after a long run. Chubb had the other RB green zone touch and has mostly dominated touches in close since Hunt's return. Hunt totaled 68 yards on 11 touches.
  • Joe Mixon's usage is hard to keep track of. Just like after Week 10, Mixon's Week 13 spike was a one-week blip, although this time he didn't lose a ton of routes to Giovani Bernard, as they each ran routes on 40% of dropbacks. That helped Mixon catch three passes on four targets (Bernard had two catches on three targets). Mixon also had his best rushing game of the year, going for 146 yards and a score on 23 carries. Mixon got a whopping five green zone touches, more than his past four games combined. Cincinnati's offense has been more competent with the return of Andy Dalton, but that type of usage is tough to rely on given the season-long trend of Cincinnati not running many green zone plays overall.
  • John Ross returned from IR but ran routes on just 38% of dropbacks, while Auden Tate left early with an injury of his own. Tyler Boyd (6-5-75) and Alex Erickson (7-5-45) were the only full-time receivers and led the team in targets. It seems possible if not probable Ross' snaps will tick up in his second game back. 

Signal: David Njoku — no real role

Noise: Joe Mixon — huge rushing efficiency, green zone opportunity spikes

Week 14
Chargers 45 - Jaguars 10

Snap Notes: Chargers: went to backups early (snap counts down across the board), D.J. Chark: 88% (played nearly full game before foot injury), Keelan Cole: 52% (second straight game over 50%), Nick O'Leary: 68% (third straight game over 50%)

Key Stat: Chargers — 12 total RB HVT (lead NFL with 10.8 HVT per game average)

  • We've talked all year about Austin Ekeler's value as a player who sees a ton of high-value touches relative to his overall touches (i.e. the opposite of a TRAP back), but the efficiency spike in Week 14 really showed off his upside. Ekeler ran for over 100 yards on just eight carries, and also went over 100 receiving yards on just four catches, including an 84-yard touchdown on a wide receiver screen where Ekeler was virtually untouched. 
  • Melvin Gordon was still the lead early-down back, at least until the Chargers pulled their starters. Gordon rushed 12 times for 55 yards and a score, plus caught five passes of his own. The touchdown came from 1 yard out after a defensive pass interference in the end zone, though fullback Derek Watt did vulture another 1-yard scoring opportunity later. Overall, Gordon has maintained a good balance of those green zone touches and solid receiving work, even with the presence of Ekeler sharing the backfield, because the Chargers lead the NFL in team high-value touches for their running backs. 
  • Philip Rivers only threw 22 passes before ceding the game to Tyrod Taylor for the entire fourth quarter, but he was wildly efficient, and not just because of yards after the catch on plays like Ekeler's long touchdown. Hunter Henry saw a rebound of his air yards after a down Week 13, catching two of four targets at a huge aDOT of 17.2 for 39 yards and a score. Mike Williams' aDOT was even higher at 23.7, and he finally scored his first touchdown of the season on a 44-yard bomb late in the third quarter. Keenan Allen's 6-5-83 feels unimpressive, but all the downfield options had their volume capped by the huge lead. 
  • D.J. Chark played nearly the full game before suffering a foot injury, leading the team with nine catches on 10 targets for 75 yards. But the injury reportedly has him week to week, and it could potentially end his season. Keelan Cole has been mixing in as the fourth receiver behind Chark, Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook in the slot, and Cole figures to see a bump in playing time on the outside while Westbrook (7-6-25) might see an uptick in underneath targets without Chark consistently winning down the field. 
  • Leonard Fournette had a down game, as the Jaguars were scripted out of running the ball early and decided to give Ryquell Armstead a little bit of run late. Fournette still saw six targets, but caught just three. 
  • Nick O'Leary (5-4-30-1) played more than two-thirds of the snaps for the second straight week, and over 50% for the third straight since making his Jacksonville debut in Week 12. O'Leary's route percentage has also trended up each game in Jacksonville to a season-high 61% in Week 14, after starting the season in Miami but playing sparingly. The majority of his Week 14 production came in garbage time, and he's not much more than a desperation tight end option, but the Chark injury does potentially open up passing opportunity. 

Signal: Chargers RB — tons of high-value touches overall, both can be productive simultaneously

Noise: Chargers receiving options — big lead, pulled starters, Rivers threw just 22 passes; Leonard Fournette — scripted out of rushing work, subbed out for Armstead late due to the blowout

Week 14
Steelers 23 - Cardinals 17

Snap Notes: Nick Vannett: 63% (highest since Week 4), Vance McDonald: 52% (concussion), Kenyan Drake: 65% (-11 vs. Cardinals average), David Johnson: 37% (highest since Week 10), Chase Edmonds: 18% (first snaps since Week 8)

Key Stat: Diontae Johnson — 42% target share, 0.94 WOPR (both led Week 14)

  • Pittsburgh built an early lead in part on a punt return touchdown from Diontae Johnson, and you knew that would mean a conservative gameplan from there on out. Devlin Hodgers threw just 19 passes, but he completed 16 of them, and he found Johnson on six of eight targets for 60 yards and a passing score. Johnson dominated the Steelers passing game volume with that line, leading all players in Week 14 in team target share and WOPR. 
  • James Washington caught all four targets he saw for 33 yards, but no one else on Pittsburgh saw more than two targets in this low-volume game. Vance McDonald suffered a concussion, leaving Nick Vannett to handle the majority of the tight end snaps, but he's not an option in this passing offense, especially with JuJu Smith-Schuster set to return in Week 15 to further crowd things.
  • Benny Snell rushed 16 times for 41 yards as the lead back, but wasn't targeted, while Jaylen Samuels operated in his normal secondary role, catching two passes. There just frankly wasn't much here outside Johnson's production, and the Steelers as a team are not Fantasy friendly right now. 
  • The Steelers were able to keep it conservative because the Cardinals couldn't get anything going on their end, managing to get out-gained 275 to 236 in this offense-free contest. Kenyan Drake still handled the majority of the backfield, but David Johnson saw his highest snap share since Week 10, running 13 routes to Drake's 15. Johnson caught a late 24-yard touchdown, but he's still not to be relied on for Fantasy. His role, though, and Chase Edmonds returning to run nine routes, limits Drake's upside. Drake looked like a potential workhorse back, but his routes dipping to 39% of dropbacks is not a promising sign. 
  • Christian Kirk continues to dominate the downfield passing work, posting a 9-8-85 line, and should be considered the best Cardinals Fantasy option going forward. Larry Fitzgerald continues to be heavily involved, and his 7-3-20 line made him the only other Cardinal targeted more than three times.

Signal: Kenyan Drake — ceded passing downs work to Johnson and Edmonds (ran routes on just 39% of dropbacks), Steelers — despite Diontae Johnson's big game, this is not a Fantasy friendly team right now

Noise: David Johnson — scored, but not a trustworthy option

Week 14
Titans 42 - Raiders 21

Snap Notes: DeAndre Washington: 63% (+38 vs. previous season high), Jalen Richard: 38% (+9 vs. season average), Rico Gafford: 19% (season debut)

Key Stat: DeAndre Washington — 8 high-value touches

  • If you've been a season-long reader, you know I've been steadily documenting A.J. Brown's rise and called him a "high-upside option for the Fantasy playoffs" just a couple of weeks ago. He clearly took over the No. 1 role in this passing game from Corey Davis when David missed Week 10, and hasn't relented. About the only thing holding him back is volume in this run-heavy offense, but dude is going to be a star, as his 7-5-153-2 line indicates. He now leads all NFL players with at least 50 targets in yards per target at a ridiculous 12.8. Now that's pretty clearly going to be difficult to sustain, and the overall lack of volume remains a concern, so there's still some weekly "bust" along with the clear "boom" in Brown's profile right now. But his upside is hard to get away from.
  • If you've been a season-long reader, you also know I've been steadily wrong on Derrick Henry, but we've had our mea culpa there. Henry had just three high-value touches and again crushed despite that, because he's unstoppable.
  • Outside that duo and Ryan Tannehill — who was again wildly efficient, throwing for 391 yards on just 27 attempts — there really isn't much in the explosive Titans offense worth targeting for Fantasy. Jonnu Smith scored, and that made him usable despite just three catches on four targets for 29 yards, while Corey Davis continues to be out-shined by Brown.
  • DeAndre Washington dominated the backfield in Josh Jacobs' absence, not just as an early-down option but also running more routes than Jalen Richard (21 to 13). In fact, because Jacobs was splitting the backfield routes with two guys but his absence left things to be more concentrated between just Washington and Richard, Washington's 21 routes, seven targets and six receptions were all more than Jacobs' season highs (17 routes, five targets, three receptions). Washington racked up eight high-value touches, handling two green zone rushes along with the half dozen catches, and while he's not the same player as Jacobs, his usage makes him a solid option going forward.
  • Darren Waller led the downfield options with a 6-6-73 receiving line, while Tyrell Williams continues to struggle to see consistent volume. Newcomer Rico Gafford had a long touchdown (he played sparingly), while Zay Jones and Keelan Doss each had three targets to Williams' four. Williams isn't a preferred option for Fantasy playoff matchups. 

Signal: DeAndre Washington — strong dual workload, 8 HVT; A.J. Brown — a star, but that's been a signal here for months

Noise: Rico Gafford — ran just nine routes

Week 14
Chiefs 23 - Patriots 16

Snap Notes: Spencer Ware: 40% (KC debut), LeSean McCoy: 31% (-4 vs. season average), Darwin Thompson: 27% (-8 vs. Week 13), Mohamed Sanu: 58% (+36 vs. Week 13), Jakobi Meyers: 57% (-13 vs. Week 13), Phillip Dorsett: 49% (-22 vs. Week 13), N'Keal Harry: 3% (-23 vs. Week 13), Matt LaCosse: 81% (+30 vs. season average), James White: 61% (-17 vs. Week 13), Sony Michel: 13% (-4 vs. Week 13)

Key Stat: Spencer Ware — 40% snap share, only six touches

  • This game was wild, with reports before it even started indicating the Chiefs were close to forfeiting due to their equipment nearly missing the game, then key referee calls going against the Patriots and creating something of an uproar. 
  • The Chiefs mostly controlled throughout, with Patrick Mahomes rebounding from a bad early interception to post solid numbers, leaning on his typical trio of Travis Kelce (9-7-66 plus a rushing score), Tyreek Hill (8-6-66) and Sammy Watkins (8-4-50). Mecole Hardman continues to make big plays when called upon, but ran routes on just 24% of dropbacks and continues to be a part-time player behind Demarcus Robinson in the third wide receiver spot. Hardman caught a 48-yard touchdown on his only target, while Robinson also had just one catch on two targets while running routes on 87% of dropbacks. 
  • Signed off the street last week, Spencer Ware led the Chiefs backfield in snaps, about the clearest indication yet Andy Reid isn't going to give LeSean McCoy a majority of the snaps and perhaps doesn't yet trust Darwin Thompson. Ware wasn't particularly productive, and McCoy easily led in carries with 11 while Thompson led in RB targets with five. But Ware did run the most routes in the backfield at 16 (Thompson ran 14, McCoy eight), and while he was perhaps a trustworthy veteran presence on the field, he was also the reason this backfield can't be trusted for Fantasy unless Damien Williams is fully healthy and indications are he'll be the lead. 
  • The Patriots carousel continues, as they are rotating personnel seemingly every week, and pulling out all the stops in their playbook. James White completed a 35-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers while Tom Brady was scrambling for key first downs. The receivers behind Julian Edelman rotated heavily, and Edelman's 12-8-95-1 line made him the only downfield passing option with more than four targets. It was Matt LaCosse at four targets, and the oft-injured tight end played the majority of the snaps and may be someone to watch for Week 16, but certainly can't be trusted for Week 15 until we see his role stick. 
  • James White maintained a huge share of the backfield, although the Patriots trailed again, so I'm not sure we learned anything new. White caught five of seven targets and added 33 rushing yards along with his 35 passing. 
  • Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers each played about half of the snaps, and none was productive. N'Keal Harry played just two snaps, and while he left the game with a hip injury, that wasn't likely the cause of his limited role given his one catch came early in the fourth quarter. Harry scored on that play but was ruled out of bounds and the Patriots were out of challenges. The rookie does appear to have a red-zone role, but his playing time is far too sporadic to be trusted.

Signal: Chiefs RB — none can be started, with the possible exception being Damien Williams down the line

Noise: Patriots — all players outside Julian Edelman and potentially James White have unstable roles

Week 14
Rams 28 - Seahawks 12

Snap Notes: Robert Woods: 99% (+14 vs. Week 13), Tyler Higbee: 97% (+6 vs. Week 13 season high), Josh Reynolds: 66% (+21 vs. season average), Brandin Cooks: 39% (-25 vs. healthy season low), Cooper Kupp: 29% (-43 vs. previous season low), Chris Carson: 82% (Rashaad Penny torn ACL), Josh Gordon: 55% (+19 vs. Week 13)

Key Stat: Cooper Kupp — 29% snap share, routes on 52% of dropbacks (season lows)

  • The Rams are hard to recognize right now. Their heavy use of wide receiver rushes is one thing that reminds us of 2018, but then their passing game flowed through Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee, with Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp taking a back seat to additional Josh Reynolds snaps. That said, Cooks ran routes on 64% of dropbacks and Kupp 52%, far higher rates than their snap shares. Meanwhile, Reynolds wasn't targeted and ran routes on just 48% of dropbacks, but he did rush three times. It's clear the Rams were using personnel specific to run and pass plays, and things aren't quite as bleak for Cooks and Kupp, nor should Reynolds (seemingly on mostly for run blocking) be trusted.
  • Still, neither Cooks (2-0-0) or Kupp (4-4-45-1) is a full-time player right now. With Gerald Everett out, Higbee caught seven of 11 passes for 116 yards, leading all tight ends in Week 14 with a whopping 143 air yards. Woods is the one receiver Sean McVay and staff seem to trust in all formations, and that's great for his value. He caught seven of nine passes for 98 yards and his first receiving score of the year. Woods is a must-start, while Higbee probably is too, and Kupp is probably still usable despite his frustrating role given he's out there on a majority of passing plays and is an established red zone option and Jared Goff favorite. 
  • Todd Gurley rushed 23 times for just 79 yards and a score, but also added four catches for 34 yards. Malcolm Brown snaked an early 1-yard touchdown from his backup role. With the Rams seemingly focused on optimizing their offense to improve the run and Gurley still handling a big workload, he's a solid if perhaps unexciting option.
  • The Seahawks failed to score an offensive touchdown in a game where they looked very uninspiring throughout. Rashaad Penny was lost for the season on his first touch, and Chris Carson played a huge snap share as a result. He's a clear must start against Carolina's swiss cheese run defense in Week 15 after rushing 15 times and catching three passes in Week 14. 
  • A week after I declared Josh Gordon's role wasn't expanding, his snaps did jump in his fourth game with the Seahawks. Gordon boxed out some of the ancillary receiving options in running routes on 60% of dropbacks, concentrating the Seahawks passing game around Tyler Lockett (6-4-43), D.K. Metcalf (6-6-78), Jacob Hollister (6-4-34) and Gordon (5-2-34).

Signal: Rams — tailoring personnel to run and pass downs; Robert Woods — only full-time WR; Tyler Higbee — big role including strong air yards; Chris Carson — back to a huge role just in time for a cake matchup with Carolina

Noise: Cooper Kupp — the 29% snap share has gotten a lot of attention, but 52% routes is a lot more favorable number

Week 14
Eagles 23 - Giants 17

Snap Notes: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 90% (+54 vs. season avearge), Greg Ward: 87% (+38 vs. previous season high), Miles Sanders: 56% (-30 vs. average of Weeks 11-13), Boston Scott: 44% (+32 vs. season average), Alshon Jeffery: 22% (foot injury), Giants: main five guys in 11 personnel all at 80% or more

Key Stat: Boston Scott — 9 HVT

  • Eli Manning made his return and nearly pulled the upset, but the Giants' inability to sustain anything offensively in the second half — they totaled just 29 yards of offense after halftime — eventually caught up to them, as the also-struggling Eagles were finally able to pull level and force overtime before winning in the extra period. 
  • Manning completed 15 of 30 passes for 203 yards, 154 of which went to Darius Slayton. Slayton was electric in the first half, catching five passes for two touchdowns, and he wound up leading the team with eight targets and 127 air yards. 
  • The degree to which Slayton dominated Manning's passing yardage goes to show that Manning didn't have much throughout this game other than the few big plays. The Giants offense was highly concentrated, with the five main players in 11 personnel all playing 80% or more of the snaps and being the only players to log a rush attempt or target. And yet only Slayton was productive, because the offense as a whole largely struggled. Sterling Shepard totaled just 28 yards on seven targets, while Golden Tate (11 yards on five targets) and Kaden Smith (9 yards on five targets) were somehow worse. Saquon Barkley continued a scoreless drought that stretches back to October, while totaling just 67 yards on 20 touches. The Giants close the Fantasy season with Miami and Washington, and there will likely be production from this offense in those games, but it's difficult to know where it will come from and whether it will actually be worth chasing. 
  • Meanwhile, Philadelphia's offense was perhaps even worse until their final five drives, including one in overtime. Already thin at wide receiver, the Eagles lost Alshon Jeffery early and went to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (3-2-29) and Greg Ward (9-4-34) in full-time roles. Ward had a shot at a long touchdown catch, but was unable to haul it in. The passing game instead flowed through the backs and tight ends, led by Zach Ertz (13-9-91-2) and his game-tying and game-winning touchdowns in the late fourth quarter and overtime. 
  • After playing more than 80% of the snaps for three straight weeks, Miles Sanders was banged up in the third quarter, creating an opening for Boston Scott, who to that point had just one offensive touch. Scott took advantage of the increased opportunity, catching all six passes he saw for 69 yards and adding 59 yards on the ground on 10 rushes, including a short score to cap the drive Sanders was injured on. Sanders — who finished with 15 carries for 45 yards and four catches for 24 — did return and later got a rush from the 1-yard line, but the work was largely split at that point, and it was Scott who got a green zone carry from the 8 on the game's penultimate play. It's hard to gauge what Scott's role might be going forward as the injury clearly opened his opportunity, plus a potential Jordan Howard return looms, but Scott was productive and may force the Eagles' hand. His whopping nine high-value touches makes him an interesting Fantasy consideration if he does have a role.

Signal: Boston Scott — used in a high-value secondary role, but that only opened up after Sanders' injury (one touch before Sanders went off the field)

Noise: Darius Slayton — hard to trust a high-efficiency line in a crowded offense that was bad overall