Sizzle or Fizzle – NFL Week 14

7 December 2023 • by Bryan Oldham

sizzle or fizzle

Welcome Back to Sizzle or Fizzle! We took last week off to celebrate Thanksgiving, and we have a lot of trends to look at as the NFL regular season winds down. 

Keep in mind, we aren’t going to inundate you with stats, nor are we going to do deep dives into these topics. We’re keeping things bite-sized on purpose, so you can get the quick hits and make decisions accordingly. Let’s dive in ahead of Week 13.

Sizzle: Justin Jefferson is a League Winner

The Vikings took their time getting JJetas back healthy, and it’s about to pay off. Justin Jefferson has been practicing in-full since his return window opened, and he’s slated to return this week against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

We obviously haven’t seen what he can do with a quarterback not named Kirk Cousins, but it’s doubtful any of us want to bet against arguably the best wide receiver in football. Josh Dobbs has been serviceable, though he’s turned the ball over a ton more as the Vikings play caller. Now, though, the Vikings weapons will be at full strength with a pretty nice four-game schedule left for the fantasy season: the Raiders, Bengals, Lions, and Packers. Jefferson should come right back into WR1 status and has the potential to be a league winner, the way nature intended

Fizzle: Breece Hall’s RB1 Aspirations

Though Breece Hall will probably have a better time with Zach Wilson back under center, a sentence that reads like a contradiction, Breece cannot rely purely on being Breece Hall. While the remaining matchups against the Texans and Commanders look good, Hall will also run into the Miami and Cleveland defenses in Weeks 15 and 17 respectively

With only 3 RB1 finishes this season in PPR scoring and a tough schedule in this back part of the year, Breece is always a high-upside, one-play-away type of guy, but he’s far from trustworthy. At best, Hall projects as a low-end RB2 for the remainder of the fantasy season, and maybe for the entirety of his Jets tenure. This organization doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, and it might be time to consider a move off of him in dynasty formats if you can capitalize on the name, particularly if you’re on the cusp of a Championship.

Sizzle: Evan Engram May Finally See Some Run

One of the fantasy silver linings when a backup quarterback slots into the starting role is the expected uptick of the tight end usage. Evan Engram finally scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 13, and now he will likely have C.J. Bethard under center if Trevor Lawrence is sidelined by his ankle sprain 

While this is a bit of a narrative-y stat and there aren’t a ton of numbers to back it up, the check-downs do seem to happen more when a backup starts. Combine that with the fact Engram has caught 5 of his 7 red zone targets for 0 touchdowns this season, and regression to the mean is likely (aka he’s due). Now that Christian Kirk is on the shelf with a core muscle injury, Engram’s targets are going to increase, and he might just save his fantasy season. The next two matchups are tough (Cleveland and Baltimore), but we’ll take the volume.

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