5 breakout fantasy football stars to pick up for Week 14

It's do-or-die for fantasy football playoff hopefuls in Week 14. These five pickups could be the difference between a spot in the playoffs or a spot in the loser's bracket.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, New England Patriots

This whole concept of seeing Ezekiel Elliott as the top waiver wire pickup in Week 14 seems quite odd. Elliott was a fantasy stalwart for years before losing his job with Dallas after last season, leading the Patriots to scoop him up over the winter.

New England has largely used Elliott as a change of pace back behind starter Rhamondre Stevenson, which hasn't led to much fantasy relevance for him outside of vulture touchdowns. That changed in Week 13 as Stevenson suffered an ankle injury on the Patriots' second drive of the game, leaving Elliott as New England's lead back for the rest of the afternoon.

Elliott rushed 17 times for 52 yards while adding another 40 yards on four receptions, numbers that offer some flex appeal. There is a fear that Stevenson will miss some time with the injury, which is believed to be a sprain, and he will almost certainly be unavailable for a short week turnaround against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.

Anyone looking for help at running back should claim Elliott, who is rostered in 35 percent of leagues, as he should be a volume-based RB2 for as long as Stevenson is out. While the Patriots' offense is a unit we try to avoid in fantasy circles these days, having their top running back when Bill Belichick doesn't trust any of his quarterbacks is the best option in a bad bunch.