Nick Mullens is on pace to throw for the second-most passing yards in NFL history through 16 starts, although that’s come with a 5-9 record. The backup QB is coming off a much better fantasy game (300-plus yards and three TDs), although in Week 14 there’s a good chance the opposite occurs. Mullens gets a tough matchup versus a Washington pass defense that ranks #3 in DVOA and has allowed just 6.8 yards per attempt, so he’s only a fantasy option in deep Superflex leagues (and San Francisco’s defense should fare much better this week, requiring the QB to throw far less).
Raheem Mostert’s health continues to be his biggest hurdle, as it’s clear he’s nowhere near 100 percent while still battling an ankle sprain, making him more of a flex option. Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson Jr. has overtaken SF’s RB2 role, and he continues to impress while running hard and is likely the favorite for goal-line work. With Mostert banged up and in this productive system, Wilson Jr. is a fantasy sleeper this week.
While Deebo Samuel is a wild card while dealing with a foot injury (reportedly unrelated to the Jones fracture, thankfully), Brandon Aiyuk has a touchdown or at least 75 receiving yards in each of the last five games he’s played, including seeing 33 targets over the last three contests. Aiyuk is once again going to be a big part of San Francisco’s offense Sunday, and the impressive rookie wideout should have his way with Kendall Fuller and company, making him a top-20 fantasy WR and a must-start this week.
Kyle Shanahan, Trent Williams and Jordan Reed will be motivated in revenge games (this actually isn’t tongue-in-cheek when it comes to the first two), and it’s safe to expect a rebound performance from San Francisco’s defense after last week’s disaster that included not forcing a punt until the final three minutes. It’s certainly not a normal situation with the team playing its “home” games in Arizona.
Alex Smith’s remarkable comeback this season was highlighted by handing the Steelers their first loss of the season last week in Pittsburgh, but it won’t be easy now traveling during a short week coming off a physical game Monday night. Logan Thomas just had the best game of his career, but like Smith he best belongs on fantasy benches this week against an SF defense that’s allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
With Antonio Gibson unlikely to play after suffering a turf toe injury last week, Peyton Barber should lead the Football Team in carries, but that doesn’t mean he should be anywhere near starting lineups to open the fantasy playoffs against a tough 49ers run defense. J.D. McKissic is a flex PPR option likely to see a bunch of targets yet again, while Terry McLaurin is coming off his worst game of the season and is due for a bounce back. “Scary Terry” is too good not to have scored over the last month and the 49ers have struggled to create a pass rush, so start the speedy receiver with confidence in the Alex Smith Bowl.