There are three distinct acts to the fantasy football season.
We start with the opening act in September with those first four to five weeks where we're not really sure what to believe. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick for real? Nope. Is James Conner actually this good? Yep.
And then we hit that sweet, sweet second act. Those glorious weeks in October and November where we know the landscape and even bad teams are giving it their all.
Now, we've reached the final act, complete with the pitfalls of December football. So before we get to this week's picks, let's talk about a few things to watch out for in these final weeks.
• Make sure you're checking the weather report. Simple enough, right? It's best to target games in warm climates or indoors. Naturally we think about cold and snow, but the biggest worry is actually wind. Anything over 15 mph has a real chance to lower passing efficiency.
• Double check inactives. You should already be doing this, but it becomes even more critical now with teams choosing to play it safe with injuries whether they're out of playoff contention or trying to ensure someone is healthy for January. Pay extra attention to defensive backs, which can dramatically alter a receiver's fantasy potential.
• Don't buy in to bad chalk. Between injuries and teams looking at their younger players, there's going to be plenty of value that opens up each week. There are times to take the plunge (Spencer Ware), and others where you just let others walk into that trap (Carlos Hyde).
Now onto Week 14's picks:
Baker Mayfield ($5,800 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel): The rookie is still making some throws that will make you cringe, but the upside is too good to pass up against the Panthers. Still living on its reputation, the Carolina pass defense actually ranks near the bottom of the league.
Jeff Wilson Jr. ($3,800 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel): Yes, this could be the bad chalk I was referring to earlier, but Matt Breida has already been ruled out and Alfred Morris isn't coming back to life. It helps that Nick Mullens is so willing to check down. Wilson should be in line for 20 touches.
Alvin Kamara ($8,100 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel): It's time for some price enforcement after Kamara's price dipped following two sub-par performances. There's definitely some blowout risk here against Tampa Bay, but the Bucs' inability to even remotely slow down pass-catching RBs outweighs the risk at this price.
Courtland Sutton ($4,500 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel): San Francisco's pass defense was suspect to begin with. Now, it appears to have completely evaporated after giving up four TDs to wide receivers in Week 13. Sutton will get behind the defense at least once on Sunday.
T.Y. Hilton ($6,300 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel): Hilton's targets over the last four games: 13-10-9-7. Injuries have taken a toll on the Colts' passing tree, leaving Hilton and Eric Ebron to soak up targets. Indy will need to pass early and often against Houston's stout run defense.
David Njoku ($3,900 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel): The second-year tight end disappointed in a plum matchup against the Texans last week. Njoku gets a chance to redeem himself against the Panthers, who have been silver plattering touchdowns to TEs.