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Fantasy Football Fun: Week 14

Marcus Mariota celebrates

That was a disaster. Well, maybe actually a near disaster.

After enjoying three weeks at the top, I took a tumble with the lowest-scoring week for anyone all season. Having Kareem Hunt in my lineup didn't help, and saving Rob Gronkowski for the stretch run backfired as well. My 40.30 points "surpassed" Jordan Gross' 43.5-point effort back in Week 1. The esteemed Mr. Gross has fully recovered, becoming the fourth competitor to cross over the magical 1,000-point mark.

But here's the thing about my weak week: I was the worst, but I wasn't alone in easily the lowest-scoring week all season. Behind strong games from Christian McCaffrey and Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, Josh Klein of the Riot Report retook first place overall by pacing the pack with 73.38 points. Just last week, that score would have ranked eighth among our 10 panelists. It's the lowest top score of the season by a good margin, and speaking of, both Spectrum News sports director Mike Solarte and WCNC-TV sports anchor Kelsey Riggs also recorded season lows.

Was the lowest scoring a blip or the start of a trend? In real football and generally in fantasy football, I think it's a blip. The calendar turning to December does lend itself to some cold-weather games where defenses might heat up, but not likely to that extent again. Specifically in our competition, however, it could be more than a blip as panelists are running out of quality players to pick given that you're only allowed to take non-Panthers once (and Panthers just three times).

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Pts (rank) 1,051.16 (2nd) 942.72 (7th) 927.78 (9th) 1,009.04 (4th) 963.62 (6th)
Last week 40.30 (10th) 50.50 (9th) 64.14 (4th) 73.60 (2nd) 65.20 (3rd)
QB A. Rodgers T. Brady C. Newton D. Prescott A. Rodgers
RB E. Elliott M. Ingram A. Peterson L. Miller T. Cohen
RB L. Fournette S. Ware T. Cohen J. Samuels P. Lindsay
WR C. Samuel C. Samuel A. Brown D. Funchess A. Brown
WR T.Y. Hilton A. Brown M. Evans L. Fitzgerald A. Cooper
TE J. Graham Gronkowski D. Njoku J. Smith I. Thomas
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Pts (rank) 922.46 (10th) 942.64 (8th) 999.96 (5th) 1,078.60 (1st) 1,041.18 (3rd)
Last week 53.38 (6th) 51.68 (7th) 51.00 (8th) 73.78 (1st) 63.30 (5th)
QB B. Mayfield C. Newton P. Mahomes D. Prescott C. Newton
RB C. McCaffrey S. Michel E. Elliott A. Ekeler L. Fournette
RB J. Samuels L. Blount J. Samuels G. Edwards S. Ware
WR A. Cooper A. Robinson C. Samuel DJ Moore K. Allen
WR J. Edelman D. Pettis D. Adams C. Sutton D. Adams
TE J. Graham T. Burton D. Njoku J. Cook Gronkowski

I still have a few quality prospects at my disposal, though they're not all necessarily having the year forecast for them. This week I'm going with the Packers' disappointing duo of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and tight end Jimmy Graham. I'm hoping that maybe they're motivated by a coaching change and by the opportunity to face the Falcons defense.

At running back, it's been a tough year for Leonard Fournette of the Jaguars, but he had been running pretty well before serving a one-game suspension last week and should come out ready to put up a fight against the rival Titans on Thursday Night Football. Ezekiel Elliott has been great the last month, and the Cowboys should give him plenty of chances per usual in a key NFC East showdown with the Eagles.

At wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton of the Colts has been up and down just like his team, so coming off a shutout at the hand of the Jaguars, I think he'll step up against a blazing hot Houston team. My Panther this week is a pass-catcher – I'm going with Curtis Samuel coming off the first six-catch game of his career.