The draining of blood from the face. The pit at the bottom of your stomach. The awful thought racing through your brain, screaming “OH NO. WHAT DID I JUST DO?”
For all the things we love about fantasy football (and there are many), there is also some things that drive us nuts.
And there may not be anything worse in fantasy football than the self-inflicted wound.
I mean, injuries happen, bad calls happen, unlucky scheduling when you score the second most points in a week but lose to the person with the highest score in the league. Those things happen every week, in every league and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
But what about the thing that we have full control over? What about a move that we made of our own free will, that we had the ability to never do, but in fact, actively CHOSE to do. Made the conscious choice to, it turns out, significantly hurt your own team.
It happens to the best of us. You had your reasoning and logic. You did the research, you felt good about it at the time and it made total sense to you.
It just turned out to be wrong. In some cases, hilariously so.
Which means, with my annual apology to the band OASIS, it's time once again for the 15th annual edition of “Don't Look Back in Anger.”
So no matter what bad moves you may have made this season, hopefully you realize you are not alone. And that somewhere out there, there is someone who has made a move worse than you. In every case, I verified these moves by seeing the screenshots (some of which are included here).
So here you go. As always, these are actual moves by actual fantasy managers.
Probably not surprising is that many moves involve Josh Jacobs. With his fifth year option not picked up by the Raiders, many (including me!) faded Josh Jacobs this year. We were wrong. But some more wrong than others.
Sometimes, Josh Jacobs was just a throw in to another deal, as Blaine Prince (@TheBp15 on Twitter) told me someone in his league did.
Bad as that is, at least in that trade Breesy Like Sunday Morning got a use-able player for a while.
I saw some absolutely BRUTAL trades from the Fantasy Life App users.
Like @Steppity who, on September 29, traded away Austin Ekeler for… James Robinson.
You think that's bad? That's peanuts. That's not even the worse trade involving the Sun God.
I mean in the preseason, @Baconbits13 traded away Amon-Ra St. Brown AND Dameon Pierce for… Cam Akers. I like that Pierce wasn't enough for Akers. He had to throw in Amon-Ra. Unreal. Akers was on my preseason “hate” list. You guys were warned about him. But at least with Akers you eventually knew to cut bait.
Think about @Hansel97 who traded Rhamondre Stevenson away for…Mecole Hardman and probably had to keep hanging on, hoping for a breakout. Why do I think he started Hardman every week until finally benching him before that one three touchdown game?
Speaking of three touchdown games, gotta be tough for Brandon Carney (@BencwarmerBran on Twitter) he watches his former player continue to put up those type of games. As he wrote to me: “Needed some depth. Thought Sutton would get to WR1/2 form. Believe in a Packers bounce-back. Went poorly.”
Oh yeah, that went poorly for sure. But that's far from the worst trade I've seen. There have been some real doozies.
How about John Alty (@theRealJohnAlty on Twitter) who, after week 3, felt like James Robinson had full control of the Jaguars backfield and that Russell Wilson would figure it out. So he acquired both players…. For Ja'Marr Chase.
And as bad as all those trades are, none of them are as bad as the sequence of events that Daniel Seitz (@dseitzgop on Twitter) started against himself.
You see, he traded Jahan Dotson for Ken Walker in early September. Great. Smart. No issues there. BUT. After a few weeks of nothing from Walker he got impatient. So he dropped Walker for Tyler Allgeier. Yes, that's bad. But wait, as the commercial goes, there's more. Eight days after Daniel makes that move, Rashaad Penny goes out for the year and the guy who Daniel originally traded Dotson to for Walker picks Walker back up.
Ken Walker being dropped because teams got impatient showed up a LOT. Among the players
Ken Walker was dropped for? On Twitter:
@TVatWork dropped him for Kenneth Gainwell.
@Mario_Ruiz dropped him for JD McKissic.
And on the Fantasy Life App…
@Feedme dropped him for Phillip Lindsay
@Tyhill04 dropped him for Hassan Haskins
And the topper…
But the bad drops weren't just limited to Kenneth Walker. How about some of these, presented without comment?
From @EliBowicz on Twitter
From @bradclark2323 on Twitter (a team in his league) who notes this team also, later, dropped White.
Speaking of Fields…. On the Fantasy Life App:
Early in the season @Jermdrop dropped Chris Olave for a finally healthy Michael Thomas.
And @jimmybrooks24 on Twitter dropped Fields for the Ravens defense.
But this year, I save the last for the very surprising NY Jets.
@Norrdeke dropped Garrett Wilson for Wandale Robinson
@biggwilly48 made this trade.
And @tarmijo made this trade:
Hopefully you now feel better about whatever dumb move you have made… and will make.
Let's get to it. Tough week with six teams on a bye but we power through.
Quarterbacks I Love in Week 14:
Justin Herbert vs. Miami
Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert went 5-6 in the 2020 NFL Draft. I'm not going to debate whether Miami made the right pick at No. 5 because franchise-altering draft decisions are not that important in the grand arc of life. What's so much more important is will each of these have a strong Week 14 fantasy performance with so many fantasy playoff spots on the line. Tua is locked in as a top-five play so let's talk Herbert in a game with a total of 52 (second-highest of Week 14). Over the last four weeks, teams facing Miami have averaged the fourth-most pass attempts against per game over the past four weeks. Herbert should be chucking it all over the field. Remember: Herbert is putting up big numbers since Keenan Allen returned from injury, averaged 296 passing yards per game. He also has at least five rushing attempts in three of his past five games. I have Herbert as my QB2 in the 2020 Draft (after Joe Burrow) and my QB6 in Week 14 of the 2022 season.
Jared Goff vs. Minnesota
Christen Harper, a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and Jared Goff's fiancée, said this week that the couple met on a dating app. Swimsuit models, supposedly the most beautiful women in the world, need to use dating apps? Apparently. But it's actually less surprising than you may initially think. I mean, Jared Goff is available on all kinds of fantasy apps even though he's been about as beautiful as it gets of late, averaging 19.6 PPG over his last two games. Goff is also averaging 20.5 PPG at home on the season, including multiple touchdown passes in six of his seven games at Ford Field. Now he gets a Minnesota defense that has allowed 300+ passing yards in four consecutive games. I have Goff inside my Top 8 quarterbacks for Week 14.
Kirk Cousins at Detroit
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady aren't exactly putting up the numbers we're used to, but if you're looking for a couple of veteran quarterbacks who very well may provide monster stats this week, I give you … Jared Goff vs. Kirk Cousins? Sure, why not. It's been that kind of year. Cousins has attempted 35+ passes in 10 of his past 12 games, while quarterbacks who throw the ball at least 35 times against the Lions this season are averaging 23.9 PPG. Detroit also allows the most fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks on this season and this game's 52.5 total is the highest of Week 14. Goff vs. Cousins: a matchup you'll tell your grandchildren about. Give me Kirk Cousins, who I don't know where he met his wife, as a Top 10 fantasy quarterback this week.
Others receiving votes: Frank Caliendo has his talents, but for my money Tyler Huntley is the best impressionist out there. His Lamar Jackson is amazing. In Huntley's six games over the past two seasons in which he's played at least 80% or more of the snaps, he's averaging 15.9 PPG. He's also averaging 54 rushing yards in those games and has 30-plus pass attempts in all six. … I'm not sure if the Titans firing GM Jon Robinson is good news or bad news for Ryan Tannehill considering Robinson just drafted Malik Willis. What I am sure of is that Tannehill will get to make his case to stay the Titans quarterback this week against a Jaguars defense that, over the past four weeks, is allowing touchdown passes at the second-highest rate and has given up 18+ fantasy points to every quarterback it has faced. ... The last few weeks have been huge for Mike Whites. The filmmaker Mike White is drawing rave reviews for Season 2 of The White Lotus on HBO, while the quarterback Mike White is drawing rave reviews for putting an end to Season 2 of Zach Wilson. In (quarterback) White's two starts, he is averaging 21.1 PPG and has 300+ passing yards in each. He'll look to keep it rolling on Sunday against a Bills team that, over the past four weeks, is seeing an average of 41 pass attempts per game and is a bottom five pass defense.
Quarterbacks I Hate in Week 14:
Deshaun Watson at Cincinnati
Was Deshaun Watson getting booed last week because he's Deshaun Watson and everything that entails given the allegations against him or was he just booed because he subjected the crowd to atrocious football? Why does it have to be just one? Watson's 5.3 points in his return to action was the third-worst fantasy game of his career and the Browns offense set season-lows for passing yards and first downs. They also scored zero offensive touchdowns. Surely Watson can't play worse this week. But I also don't see him playing much better, not against a Cincinnati defense that allows touchdown passes at the fourth-lowest rate. I have Watson outside my Top 18 quarterbacks this week.
Tom Brady at San Francisco
This game was supposed to be Jimmy Garoppolo versus his former mentor Tom Brady. Instead we have Brock Purdy playing. And no disrespect intended to the 49ers rookie, but he's easily the least purdy of the quarterbacks mentioned! Garoppolo and Brady are certified hotties. I'd rank them 1 and 2 in the league. But when it comes to quarterback play this week, and not appearance, Brady is outside my Top 15. Why? Because as easy as Brady and Jimmy G are on the eyes, the 49ers defense is that hard to play against. Only three quarterbacks have managed even 14-plus fantasy points versus the Niners this season. On the season, the 49ers have more interceptions (12) than touchdown passes allowed (11). They also are Top 5 in both sack rate and yards per game allowed. Brady's game winning drive last week was a beautiful thing to behold but much as I love Tom overall, I'm not starting him this week.
Running Backs I Love in Week 14:
Everything is bigger in Texas, but especially the holes in the Houston Texans' front seven. Houston has allowed at least 135 rushing yards in 10 of 12 games this season. The Texans are also tied for the most rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs on the season. That means there are plenty of fantasy points to be had, even by a timeshare backfield. Not that Dallas is your usual timeshare, of course. Tony Pollard is averaging 18.3 touches in his last three games even with Ezekiel Elliott active. As for Zeke, he has five straight games with 15+ fantasy points and a touchdown. I have both Pollard and Elliott as Top 15 backs this week.
D'Andre Swift vs. Minnesota
D'Andre Swift got 18 touches last week in Week 13, matching his season-high reached way back in Week 1. Yes, the 11 weeks in between those two games were pretty rough for Swift managers, but there's every reason to believe all that patience could pay off for the stretch run. Get this: Swift also got 51% of snaps last week, marking the first game he's out-snapped Jamaal Williams since Week 8. Not only that, after being essentially ignored near the goal line for the first half of the season, Swift has multiple touches inside the 10-yard line in four straight games. Facing a Minnesota defense this week that ranks bottom-five in receptions and receiving yards allowed to running backs, I have Swift inside my Top 15 backs.
D'Onta Foreman at Seattle
D'Onta Foreman missed practice earlier this week with a foot injury, but every indication is that he'll play on Sunday. And if we're being honest, with all the running they've been doing, Foreman's feet deserve a day or two of me time. In the six games he's played since Christian McCaffrey's trade, Foreman has 110-plus rushing yards in four of them. He's averaging 19.7 touches over that stretch and has three games with at least 24 touches. Now he gets a Seattle defense that, over the past four weeks, is allowing a league-high 168 rushing yards per game to running backs. Give me Foreman as a borderline top-12 running back in Week 14.
Others receiving votes: Chiefs rookie Isiah Pacheco has 15+ touches in four straight games and touchdowns in back-to-back appearances. He should keep both streaks going against a Denver defense that has allowed 100-plus rushing yards to running backs in four of their past six games. … The Chargers allow a league-high 5.6 YPC to running backs and have given up 150+ rushing yards in six straight. That's good news for both of the Miami backs facing LAC this week, Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert, both of whom are flex-viable… Two career NFL games, two games with more than 100 combined yards for Jets rookie Zonovan Knight. Not a bad start to a career. Knight also has 17+ touches in both games, so the Jets trust him. Even with Michael Carter returning I expect Knight to have a flex worthy role against a Buffalo defense that, over the past four weeks, is allowing 123.5 scrimmage yards per game to running backs… James Cook the explorer made the first recorded contact with the Hawaiian Islands by a European in 1778. James Cook the football player had season-highs in touches (20), total yards (105) and snap percentage (44%) last week. Who's to say which is the bigger accomplishment? I just know that if I could only have one James Cook in Week 14, it would be Buffalo's Cook facing a Jets defense that is allowing 156 scrimmage yards per game to backs over the past four weeks. (Also, the other James Cook has been dead for over 240 years.)
Running Backs I Hate in Week 14:
Travis Etienne at Tennessee
Through Week 9, Travis Etienne looked like a fantasy league winner. And that has held true … as long as your league ended in Week 9. Because in the four weeks since, Etienne has put up just 18.2 fantasy points total over three games. It's unlikely to improve this week against a Titans defense that gives up the second-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs on the season. In fact, no running back has hit even 70 rushing yards against the Titans since Week 1. In a week with six teams on a bye you likely have to start him and hopefully the Jaguars can scheme up a lot of plays for him in the passing game as the Titans have allowed just three rushing scores all season to backs. Either way, I hope you have another league winner on your roster because I have Etienne as merely a low-end RB2 in Week 14.
Dameon Pierce at Dallas
Dameon Pierce managers probably enjoyed his return to passable fantasy production last week (95 yards on 21 touches). But I have bad news: Pierce's Week 14 is going to look a lot more like the Pierce of Weeks 11 and 12 (33 total yards on 20 touches). The Texans are a massive 16-point underdog in this one and in the six games Houston has lost by more than 10 points this season, Pierce is averaging just 10.1 PPG. Dallas also has allowed just five rushing touchdowns to backs this season, tied for fourth-fewest. Let's hope the Texans get a lot better by next season just for Dameon Pierce's fantasy stock. But until then, I have him as RB20. (Again, six teams are on a bye. Top 20 this week doesn't mean what it does in a normal week.)
Leonard Fournette at San Francisco
Leonard Fournette handled just 53% of Tampa's running back carries last week. But even if he was getting 100% of Tampa's offensive touches, I'm not sure I'd feel good about playing him against San Francisco. The 49ers allow the fewest rushing yards per game to running backs on the season, as well as a league-low 3.2 YPC to the position. Thankfully, San Francisco is much more giving to pass-catching backs. That's right, instead of allowing the fewest yards per reception to backs, they instead allow the second-fewest yards per reception to backs. How generous! In a timeshare in a bad match-up, even during a Bye-Mageddon I have Fournette outside my Top 24 backs in Week 14.
Pass Catchers I Love in Week 14:
Chris Godwin at San Francisco
Apparently, no one told Chris Godwin that Tampa Bay's offense is a mess. Godwin now has nine straight games with at least six receptions, along with 10-plus targets in seven of those games. And while Leonard Fournette and the Tampa run game will have a rough go of it against the 49ers, Godwin actually has a positive matchup … partly because San Francisco's defense is so good. Teams facing the Niners have the fifth-shortest time to throw on the season. That's good news for Godwin managers because his aDOT is just 5.7 on the season. Tom Brady will look to Godwin when he's under pressure. For similar reasons, San Francisco has allowed 80+ yards to the slot in three of their past four games. Clearly I'm down on most Bucs in this game, but high on Godwin. He's inside my Top 12 wide receivers for the week.
Christian Kirk at Tennessee
A.J. Brown torching Tennessee last week undoubtedly hurt the Titans in a personal way, but Brown was far from the first receiver to light them up. On the season, the Titans allow the most PPG to wide receivers and the fifth-most receptions to the slot. Over the past four weeks, Tennessee has surrendered a league-worst seven touchdowns to wide receivers. I don't know if the issues of the secondary contributed to Tennessee firing General Manager Jon Robinson despite being first in the division but I do know that this is all very good news for Christian Kirk, who comes into the matchup on a string of five straight games with a target share of 24% or higher. I have Kirk as my WR13 in Week 14.
DeVonta Smith at New York Giants
Last week the Giants allowed 20 receptions and 220 receiving yards to Washington wide receivers. I mean, sure, the Eagles don't have a superstar MVP candidate like Taylor Heinicke at quarterback so it's not a fair comparison, but Jalen Hurts is no slouch either. And last week was no aberration; over the past four weeks, the Giants are allowing the third-most yards per game to perimeter wide receivers. Cornerback Adoree Jackson is unlikely to play again this week, too. Yeah, bad news for the Giants. But good news for DeVonta Smith who has been crushing, especially with Dallas Goedert out of the Eagles' passing offense. He now has four straight games with eight-plus targets and in Week 14 he will continue to get fed. He's a Top 18 wide receiver for me this week.
T.J. Hockenson at Detroit
Since dealing TJ Hockenson to the Vikings, the Lions have gone 4-1. Since acquiring TJ Hockenson from the Lions, the Vikings have gone 4-1. Obviously, the key to success in the NFL is trading away, or trading for, TJ Hockenson. (How I haven't gotten an interview for the Titans GM job is beyond me.) Anyway, Detroit is tied for the second-most touchdowns allowed to tight ends this season and also allows the sixth-highest catch rate to the position. Meanwhile, Hockenson has multiple red zone targets in three of his five games with the Vikings and a 21% target share since the trade, averaging 8.0 targets per game as a Vikings. TJ Hockenson will have the homecoming every player dreams of growing up: a game in which he scores double-digit fantasy points. I have him as my TE3.
Others receiving votes: … Detroit has allowed 75-plus yards to multiple wide receivers in a game four times this season, so don't let Justin Jefferson's presence scare you away from Adam Thielen facing the Lions. In fact, back in Week 2, Thielen went for a 6-61-1 line against Detroit. Thielen hasn't been use-able most weeks but this week I'm in on him as a WR3 with upside… D.J. Chark had season-highs in catches (5) and yards (98) last week and now has five-plus targets in four of his five healthy games this season. A healthy Chark can put up a healthy amount of fantasy points against a Minnesota defense that allows the most yards per game to wide receivers. …The great thing about starting Nico Collins is you don't have to actually watch the game. It won't be pretty, but he does have 36 targets over his past four games and double-digit fantasy points in three of those four. Brandin Cooks once again didn't practice on Wednesday and the switch back to Davis Mills at QB also can't make things any worse. … Arizona has allowed the most receptions, yards and touchdowns to tight ends this season. So stream on down to the Tight End Store for some Hunter Henry. Over the past two weeks, Henry has run a route on 76% of drop-backs. … If you're really scraping for a tight end with a pulse, it's worth noting Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger is back from injury and has a 17% target share in three of his past four games with at least one red zone target in each of those.
Pass Catchers I Hate in Week 14
Gabe Davis vs. New York Jets
In the season opener against the Rams, Gabe Davis had a 47-yard reception and a 26-yard touchdown catch. In Week 5, he had a ridiculous 98-yard touchdown catch and run against the Steelers. A week later, he reeled in a 34-yard touchdown reception in Buffalo's win over the Chiefs. Gabe Davis was a big play machine. Since then? The machine appears to be out of order. Forget big plays, Davis has less than 40 receiving yards total in four of his past six games. Now he faces a Jets secondary that is one of the best at limiting big plays. The Jets allow the lowest completion rate on deep passes, a big reason they give up the third-fewest fantasy PPG to wide receivers. Gabe Davis only needs one play so you never know, but in a week with six teams on a bye, I still have Davis down at WR30 this week.
JuJu Smith-Schuster at Denver
The Broncos don't just have a terrible passing game of their own, they also shut down the passing game of other teams. Denver is an equal-opportunity hater of the forward pass. Have to respect the consistency. For the season, the Broncos allow the second-fewest yards per game to wide receivers and are tied for second for the fewest touchdowns allowed to the position, as well. Denver has also given up less than 55 yards to slot receivers in each of their past two games, which isn't ideal for JuJu Smith-Schuster. Add to it that Smith-Schuster has struggled since returning from a concussion, with less than 40 yards and five targets in each game, and I have him as merely a low-end and risky WR 3 this week.
Tyler Boyd vs. Cleveland
That's right, Tyler Boyd is on the Hate list. I'm telling you that this week you should … wait for it … Avoid the Boyd. No? Really? No 1980s pizza chain commercial fans out there? Ah, well. No one appreciates fine art anymore. Anyway, onto the case against Tyler Boyd. Since Week 7, Boyd has just one game with more than four receptions. Over his past seven games, he hast only one end zone target. And now this week he gets a Cleveland defense that allows the fewest yards to the slot per game and is tied for the fewest touchdowns allowed to the slot. I have Boyd outside my Top 40 receivers this week. Playing him will make you feel worse than eating an entire Dominos pizza.