Start Cam Newton and Chuba Hubbard In Week 14? More Fantasy Football Players To ‘Play, Hold, Drop’

Start Cam Newton and Chuba Hubbard In Week 14? More Fantasy Football Players To ‘Play, Hold, Drop’ article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Panthers QB Cam Newton, Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard

On the Thursday edition of the Fantasy Flex podcast, my colleague Brandon Anderson and I play a fun game we're calling, "Play, Hold, Drop."

The rules are the same as a familiar game, FMK, which stands for — well, you know. Each week, we will review three players at each position — quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end — one of whom we have to play, one we have to hold and one we have to drop.

Let's dive into this week's edition!

Fantasy QBs To Play, Hold, Drop

  • Russell Wilson, Seahawks (at Texans)
  • Cam Newton, Panthers (vs. Falcons)
  • Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. 49ers)

Play: Cam Newton

Newton posted a serious dud on the road in Miami in Week 12, completing just 5-of-21 attempts for 92 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions for a QBR of 5.9, per ESPN. He did find the end zone on the ground, but eight fantasy points against the Dolphins' defense doesn't inspire much confidence heading into the final week of the fantasy regular season.

That said, Newton does have a number of factors working in his favor. First and foremost, this week's matchup is juicy: The Falcons have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Panthers will also be well-rested coming out of the bye and could be reinvigorated by the firing of offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

Newton is a one-week play with the Bills on deck in Week 15 — a matchup with bust potential given Newton's style of play. There's a good chance you need to swing for the fences in Week 14, which is precisely the type of play Newton is.

Hold: Russell Wilson 

Wilson looked better last week vs. the 49ers than he has since returning from injury. He completed 30-of-37 attempts for 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception — good enough for 18 fantasy points and a QB15 finish.

Wilson is a fringe QB1 this week in a tough matchup against the Texans, who have randomly been very tough against quarterbacks, especially of late. Their defense has allowed an average of 11.5 fantasy points to the position over the last four games — granted, that was against Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Tannehill, Zach Wilson and Carson Wentz.

Wilson looks to be on the upswing, which is why I am holding onto him, but I'm okay benching him for one more week.

Drop: Joe Burrow

Burrow has looked somewhat better over the last two games, but he's declined in the second half of the season. Since Week 9, he is QB27 on a per-game basis, averaging just 13.6 fantasy points over that span. He also suffered a dislocated finger in Week 13 against the Chargers and played through the pain, but might be hampered by it rest-of-season.

This week, he faces a 49ers defense that's allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards this season and an average of 14.2 fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five games. You can stash him if you'd like for Weeks 16 and 17 against the Ravens and Chiefs, but I generally don't roster two quarterbacks in most one-quarterback leagues.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Bengals QB Joe Burrow.

Fantasy RBs To Play, Hold, Drop

  • Jamaal Williams, Lions (at Broncos)
  • D'Onta Foreman, Titans (vs. Jaguars)
  • Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (vs. Falcons)

Play: Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard once again finds himself thrust into the spotlight with the oft-injured Christian McCaffrey done for the season. Hubbard shouldered the lion's share of the workload during Weeks 4-8 while McCaffrey was out with a hamstring injury and averaged 19 attempts and 11.6 fantasy points per game in half PPR.

Hubbard's upside should be higher in a Cam Newton-led offense that naturally lends itself to the run. The matchup is also excellent against the Falcons, who rank seventh-worst in fantasy points allowed to running backs.

Hold: D'Onta Foreman 

Foreman logged a 109-rushing yard game in Week 12 against the Patriots and saw more touches than Dontrell Hilliard. Hilliard had the better day for fantasy, however, and logged 12 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown. This backfield could be a mess for fantasy, especially with the return of Jeremy McNichols.

Foreman may emerge as the alpha, but as of right now, I don't feel comfortable firing him up as a RB2 — even against the Jaguars — with so many mouths to feed out of this backfield.

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Drop: Jamaal Williams

Williams was a bit of a letdown in Week 13 with D'Andre Swift out with a shoulder injury. Williams shouldered nearly all of the work out of the Lions' backfield and saw 17 carries for 71 yards, but was barely involved in the passing game; backup Jermar Jefferson saw five carries for 18 yards.

Williams has a more difficult matchup this week versus Denver's above-average run defense. If Swift is fully ruled out for another week, I would consider playing Williams over Hubbard based on workload, though the matchup is suboptimal against the Broncos, who have allowed the 10th-fewest rushing yards per game.

Fantasy WRs To Play, Hold, Drop

  • Darnell Mooney, Bears (at Packers)
  • Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (at Bengals)
  • Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (vs. Lions)

Play: Jerry Jeudy

Jeudy bounced back after a disappointing Week 12 to record a solid fantasy performance on the road against the Chiefs. He caught 4-of-6 targets for 77 yards, good enough for 10 fantasy points and a WR30 finish. He tied Courtland Sutton for the second-most targets on the team behind Javonte Williams.

Jeudy gets another nice matchup against the Lions and offers the highest upside of the trio thanks to his sky-high talent.

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy

Hold: Darnell Mooney

Mooney came back down to Earth in a tough matchup last week against the Cardinals. Arizona was all over Andy Dalton and Mooney, who caught 5-of-7 targets for 27 yards — good enough for five fantasy points and a WR49 finish in half PPR.

The Packers have been stingy against the pass and middle-of-the-pack against fantasy wideouts, so the matchup isn't necessarily a stay-away. He could be a fringe WR2 if Allen Robinson sits out again, though Mooney remains risky in this lackluster Bears offense.

Drop: Brandon Aiyuk

Aiyuk could be back on thin ice with Kyle Shanahan. Aiyuk caught just 3-of-6 targets for 55 yards in Week 13 against the Seahawks, which was a bit of a letdown in light of the absence of Deebo Samuel.

Samuel's injury most benefitted George Kittle, who caught 9-of-12 targets for a whopping 181 yards and two touchdowns in the contest. The major issue is he did have a couple of painful drops, which could impact Shanahan's trust in him moving forward.

The matchup is neutral against the Bengals, who have been middle-of-the-road versus fantasy receivers. We shall see if Aiyuk is still in Shanahan's good graces this week, though Samuel could return in Week 14, which would lower Aiyuk's value into the WR3 range.

Fantasy TEs To Play, Hold, Drop

  • Kyle Pitts, Falcons (at Panthers)
  • Tyler Conklin, Vikings (vs. Steelers)
  • Zach Ertz, Cardinals (vs. Rams)

Play: Zach Ertz

Ertz is coming off an abysmal Week 13 on the road against the Bears, who have been permeable to the pass but tough against tight ends. He caught just 1-of-2 targets for 10 yards and finished as the TE38 for the week. I expect him to bounce back against the Rams, who allowed 15.1 fantasy points in Week 4 to Maxx Williams — the Cardinals' tight end at the time.

Ertz's talent and the strength of this offense keep him in the must-start realm.

Hold: Kyle Pitts

Pitts has been disappointing in the latter half of the season. Since Week 8, when he faced Carolina for the first time and was held to two catches for 13 yards, Pitts is TE29 averaging just 5.5 fantasy points per game in half PPR.

I'm still hanging onto him for his upside, but you cannot trust him against the Panthers, who have only allowed one double-digit fantasy performance to a tight end (Dalton Schultz in Week 4) and kept Mike Gesicki in check for just 3.2 fantasy points in Week 12 before the bye.

(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Drop: Tyler Conklin

Conklin is coming off a strong Week 13 performance in Detroit in which he caught seven passes on a season-high nine targets for 56 yards. His target share undoubtedly increased with Adam Thielen going down early with a sprained ankle.

Thielen is likely to miss time, especially on the short week with the Vikings playing this Thursday, which puts Conklin into the TE1 conversation. I expect some of Thielen's targets will also go to K.J. Osborn, who saw seven targets and found the end zone last week.

Conklin has the worst matchup of the trio against the Steelers, who rank 10th-best against fantasy tight ends. He is a fine spot start in a pinch in the final round of bye weeks, but I trust him and the Vikings less than Ertz and the Cardinals. 

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