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Fantasy football sizzlers, fizzlers: Hot QBs are gold come playoff time

Coming down to the end of the fantasy football regular season, many teams on the playoff bubble needed their stars to come up big. One standout effort might have been the difference between playing for a title or looking ahead to next season.

The question now becomes: Can those players who brought you to the dance be trusted to get you all the way home?

These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 14:

WEEK 14 WINNERS, LOSERS: Panthers, shockingly, can still win NFC South


QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: Lawrence had his best start as a pro (30-of-42 for 368 yards, 3 TDs) as he peppered tight end Evan Engram relentlessly with 15 targets in a solid win over Tennessee. But beware: His schedule in the fantasy playoffs is not an easy one. 

QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions: Detroit is on a tear and it all starts with Goff, who threw for 330 yards and three scores on the Vikings. Plus, he’s now gone five games in a row without an interception.

QB Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers: All the last pick of this year’s draft did was take on the GOAT, Tom Brady, and squash the Buccaneers. Purdy looked poised, completing over 75% of his passes, throwing for two TDs and running for another without turning the ball over.

RB Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs: McKinnon’s contributions come mainly in the receiving game — and this week he was at his best, catching seven passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He also added another 22 yards rushing. Both McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco can be weekly fantasy starters in this offense.

WR Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos: Jeudy reeled in eight receptions on nine targets for 73 yards and three touchdowns, and with the Chiefs back on the schedule in Week 17, he makes for an interesting championship game start if your team gets that far.


WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Evans has disappeared the last few weeks, and it doesn’t help one bit when he and Tom Brady are jawing on the sideline and pointing fingers at one another. He’s gone nine straight games without finding the end zone.

WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers: Moore had to leave late with an ankle injury but had not caught a ball from three targets to that point. Carolina has been extremely run-heavy under interim coach Steve Wilks, making it unlikely any of their receivers will make much of a fantasy impact.

WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals: Sunday marked the second time Higgins has been a scratch after the game started. He reaggravated his hamstring in warmups and did play one snap but then exited for good. It’s a problem for fantasy managers because he’s a must-start when healthy, but a stick of dynamite that could blow up at any time.

RB James Cook, Buffalo Bills: The entire Buffalo running game struggled to get anything going in sloppy conditions vs. the Jets. After a stellar outing in Week 13, Cook had just four rushes for 6 yards and one reception for 9 yards.

TE Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks: Fant was on a four-game streak of decent fantasy production, but he rewarded those who started him against Carolina with a goose egg on one target.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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