I had another slightly above-average week last week, going 9-7. The Week 14 Start or Sit predictions are the most important yet as we start the Fantasy Playoffs.
“Always Start Your Studs” is a tricky argument used by many Fantasy pundits. Sometimes I agree with this, but there are instances in which you must questions whether a guy is still a “stud.”
For instance, DeAndre Hopkins was taken in the first round of every Fantasy Football draft, sometimes in the Top 5. He is NOT a stud anymore. If you have a better option, including waiver wire pick-ups Tyreek Hill, Tyrell Williams, and Terrelle Pryor, then bench him. So evaluate your guys for this kind of situation and swing for the fences. In the Fantasy Playoffs, there are no second chances.
As always, if a guy outperforms his ranking as a Start, then it’s a win. If he does so as a Sit, then it’s a loss. Vice versa for the under-performing. If someone outperforms/under-performs their ranking by 12 or more spots, it will be a Major Win. By these metrics, my Start or Sit predictions are 93-72-1 for the year heading into the Week 14 Start or Sit plays, with 48 Major Wins.
Once again, for our Week 14 Start or Sit purposes I am going to focus on guys that are ranked outside of the Top 24 RB/WRs and Top 10 QB/TEs for my “starts,” and inside the Top 20 RB/WRs and Top 8 QB/TEs for my “sits.”
Week 14 Start or Sit
(All rankings are based off of the SCFE Staff Consensus PPR Rankings as of 12/7)
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (QB12)
I had him last week and I’m staying on the Cousins train this week. Cousins has the fourth most points among all quarterbacks now. He has multiple touchdowns in seven straight games and still has no fewer than 260 yards in a game outside of the blowout of the Browns. Cousins is a must-start every week, regardless of the opponent.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (QB19)
I know, it is a terrible match-up for the Titans. Unlike most quarterbacks though, Mariota brings a higher floor due to his rushing numbers. Mariota gets nearly 30 yards per game on the ground and the Broncos have actually given up the seventh most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. I think Mariota gets about 50 yards on the ground to help make him start-able in deeper leagues.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders (QB22)
This is a gut call, but I think Smith has a good night against Oakland. At least, it will be good enough to be a front-end QB2 starter in dual quarterback leagues.
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (RB30)
I’ve been trumpeting Dixon for almost a month now in my Waiver Wire Additions column. Dixon has increased his rushing yardage for five straight games and has caught four passes in back-to-back games. He has taken over the majority of the touches from the Baltimore backfield. The Ravens will be trying to pound the ball and control the clock against the Patriots, and Dixon will be able to run on New England.
Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins (RB32)
Sproles is quietly on a PPR tear. Outside of the Seattle game where he was injured, Sproles has averaged over five catches a game over the last two months. He has back-to-back games with double digit PPR Fantasy Points and now the Eagles face off against the Redskins’ bad defense. With Mathews still questionable and Wendall Smallwood looking mediocre, Sproles will have a massive game.
— FantasyPros (@nfl_alerts) December 5, 2016
Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (RB55)
Sims makes his return from injury in a great match-up with New Orleans. The Saints have given up the second most receiving yards to opposing running backs along with the fourth most touchdowns. Both Doug Martin and Sims will be viable playoff options for you this weekend.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders (WR25)
Hill continues his consistent run with his fourth straight game with double-digit Fantasy Points, and sixth of his last seven. Not only is Hill getting at least four catches a game, the Chiefs continue to utilize him in the rushing game at least once or twice. Even with Jeremy Maclin returning, I think Hill has too much consistency to leave on the bench.
Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR39)
The Saints are going to need to throw, and throw a lot against Tampa on Sunday. Snead is far from the most consistent Saint receiving threat, but once every few games he has a monster day. I just have a feeling that this will be his day.
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (WR43)
Jones missed a great match-up with New Orleans last week, but should be back for a juicy tilt with Chicago. After starting the year on fire, Jones has not crossed the 10-point barrier since Week 7 and has not scored since Week 6. This is another feel play, as I think he busts back out as Matthew Stafford wants to get him going for the stretch run.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens (TE13)
With Rob Gronkowski out, everyone assumed Marty B would break out. He proceeded to have two catches for four yards. In the seven games without Gronk at all, Bennett put up 100 yards in three of them. I think that Bill Belichick was hiding some of how he will use Bennett for this sneaky-important game against Baltimore.
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (TE16)
Witten did not have a catch for the first time since the Bush Administration (130 games) last week, so you know Dak Prescott will get him involved early. The last time the Cowboys played the Giants, Witten had nine catches on 14 targets for 66 yards. This time around, Jason Pierre-Paul will not be there to force Witten into helping with pass protection. I think he has a monster day and finishes as a Top 4 option at the position.
There aren’t technically any defense/special teams plays for the Week 14 Start or Sit, as the best ones are all ranked highly. The Bengals against the Browns, Vikings at the Jaguars and Lions against the Bears are the best options.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (QB8)
First off, I am starting Jameis in the majority of my leagues so you know he will have a dud. Secondly, while the Saints can be passed on, they can be run on even easier. With the return of Charles Sims, I see this game going like the first Atlanta/New Orleans game in which the Falcons had two running backs in the Top 5 of Fantasy Scoring. He is my biggest lock for my Week 14 Start or Sit picks.
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (RB16)
Murray is the 13th highest scoring running back at this point in the season. Yet, he has the third most rushing touchdowns. He is sneakily touchdown-dependent and has one single 100-yard game this year. Hell, he has only rushed for more than 82 yards that one time. Now, he gets the Chiefs, who have given up the fifth fewest rushing touchdowns this season. He does not get a score and will finish outside of the Top 30 at the position.
Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (RB23)
Booker took over for C.J. Anderson in Week 7 and had a strong 17-carry, 83-yard effort. Since that day, the Bronco has not cracked 80 yards rushing nor four yards per carry. Last week against the lowly Jaguars, Booker averaged less than two yards per touch. Justin Forsett was just signed by the Broncos, showing how little faith they have in the rookie.
Jamison Crowder, RB, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (WR24)
This is another gut feel, but I think Crowder takes a backseat to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon this week. Jackson, especially, will want to take it to his old team and you know he will be in Cousins ear about feeding him the rock.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (WR10)
Nelson has been on a roll with either a touchdown or 91 yards in the last six games. However, I think that run comes to an end. Seattle has given up the third fewest touchdowns to opposing receivers this year. With Earl Thomas out, that will open up the middle of the field for Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. Nelson will still have Richard Sherman on him.
Why it Worked, Week 13: How the Packers slowed down DeAndre Hopkins – Yardbarker https://t.co/LM410sbhPW
— Packers aggbot (@Packers_Newz) December 7, 2016
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (WR28)
I know, he is out of the Top 24. However, this is more out of spite. As the only player on my biggest league team from the first five rounds that didn’t have a season-ending injury, Hopkins has been a letdown. Moreover, Brock Osweiler has been a letdown. I just know that he will let me down one more time in the playoffs.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (TE8)
Walker is another guy who is surprisingly touchdown dependent. Walker’s average PPR point total in non-touchdown games: 6.9 points per game. Only one team has given up less touchdowns than the Broncos to opposing tight ends, two. Walker does not get in the end zone and does not have 8 PPR Points. He is the second best bet for the Week 14 Start or Sit picks.
That’s it for the Week 14 Start or Sit predictions! Check out my personal blog for picks against the spread where my picks are 94-77!
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