For those reading this, welcome to the playoffs and the week 14 start or sit column! If you’ve dropped by to see the “so-called” fantasy experts this week, odds are you have some playoff life in your Fantasy Football team, so congratulations!
After all the lineup decisions, waiver wire pickups, trades and nail biting Monday nights you’ve made it to the big time. It’s do or die from this point on so let’s make sure you’ve got the best lineup possible to smack your opponent with in the first round of the playoffs
You can start over and throw a fresh lineup together at FanPicks while forgetting that you drafted Eddie Lacy, Dez Bryant, and Andrew Luck in what seemed at the time like the perfect draft.
So, for the playoff bound season long owner, as well as the daily players out there, we’ve got some guys to target in your starting lineups and some to avoid as we break down the week 14 start or sit options!
Week 14 Start or Sit – Powered by FanPicks
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
With a tilt against the Colts looming Bortles looks like a top tier QB, particularly with a number of the big name guys in tough matchups. The 2nd year passer has taken leaps this year and currently ranks as the 6th overall QB in fantasy scoring. By next year we might even have to consider the Jaguars as a bonafide source of fantasy football playmakers. Over his last five games Bortles has topped 300 yards three times and thrown a total of 12 touchdowns. This was against real defenses like the Jets and Titans. This week its Indianapolis coming to town sporting the league’s 25th ranked defense in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Fire Bortles up as a top six quarterback for your first round of fantasy playoffs.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
If I were Rex Ryan I wouldn’t go getting a Tyrod Taylor tattoo just yet, but being proud you made the right call with this QB is in order. When healthy he’s played like a QB1 due to his combination of turnover free passing and rushing skills. Unlike many passers that also generate points on the ground Taylor doesn’t turn the ball over when he throws. While the yardage may be lacking he’s thrown for three TDs four different times this year, including the last two in a row. He now gets the Eagles defense which has allowed 13 passing TDs over their last three games.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Rivers has come back to Earth since his receiving corps was mowed down by injuries over the last month. While he threw four TDs against the Jaguars two weeks ago, in his other three most recent games he’s thrown one total TD. This includes a game against the Chiefs. In their last meeting Rivers went for 178 yards passing, no TDs and a pick. The Chiefs now have an eight game streak in which they have not allowed a 300 yard passer. This pass D has become one to avoid over the season and has moved up to the 11th ranked squad against the pass in fantasy points allowed. This all says consider benching Rivers if you’ve got another viable option.
Cam Newton faces the league’s second ranked defense against fantasy quarterbacks but this doesn’t scare me. The Falcons have had a soft schedule and Cam is playing matchup proof football. The Vikings defense has been stingy, but faces Carson Palmer missing some key pieces. Upgrade the Cardinals offense accordingly. Russell Wilson is the hottest QB in the league right now and gets to face one of the league’s worst secondaries with the Ravens. You can salivate now. Add me to long list of experts saying Matt Ryan needs to be benched against Carolina, and probably against about three quarters of the rest of the league as well. It’s a gutsy move in a daily tournament, but Ryan Tannehill has an awfully nice matchup against the Giants and had a dismal performance last week. Look for him to be under-owned in the daily game with some upside for a big day.
Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns
— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) December 9, 2015
The Cleveland run defense has cleaned things up a little over the last few weeks, but they are still one of the worst in the league. Whoever is running against this team is worthy of consideration in the fantasy game. The great thing about Draughn is that he’s all the 49ers have at this point. We know he’s going to get the carries as well as be involved in the passing game. With all this opportunity has come good production as well, which is a nice plus. He’s had at least 77 combined yards in each of his four starts and is particularly effective in PPR leagues with at least four catches in each game. He’s a good bet to break 100 yards this week with a handful of catches, maybe even score his second TD.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants
With 1,026 combined yards and seven total TDs on the season Miller is the fourth ranked back in fantasy football right now. Imagine if the Dolphins would have stayed committed to the run all season! There seems to be concern in the fantasy community that Miller will lose touches to Jay Ajayi but his 20 carries last week suggest otherwise. If the Dolphins really do want to run first this is a good week to do it. They get the Giants who allow the 22nd most rushing yards per game.
Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams vs. Detroit Lions
Over their last four games the Lions have allowed 42, 44, 64, and 41 rushing yards and one TD on the ground. Gurley’s last four games have included 45, 66, 19, and 41 rushing yards. So, it looks like these two match up pretty well! There is no doubt Gurley is an upper level talent at the RB position and probably has a very bright future in this league. However, he is going to need some help. Completely abandoning the passing game is no way to bring the young back success. Hopefully, by the start of next year this Rams team can find at least some ability to throw the ball. It will only help Gurley’s stock. For this week he is bench worthy if you have a decent alternative. His talent alone could allow him to bust a run open, but that’s really what you are relying on now.
Now sitting as the No. 5 overall RB for the season, Doug Martin gets New Orleans at home. He will have every chance to impress for both season-long and daily owners. If Andy Reid could just pick one either Charcandrick West or Spencer Ware could be great against San Diego. Together they cancel each other out and are risky to start.
Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
While Vontae Davis attempts to keep up with the emerging Allen Robinson, the other Allen will have ample opportunity to find space against the Colt’s reeling secondary. Hurns has made it through the league’s concussion protocol so he is cleared for all activity leading up to this game. His seven game touchdown streak may have been snapped a few weeks back, but there is no better time to start a new one than in week 14.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Five touchdowns in his last two games and over twenty points in a PPR format in three of his last four matchups. The Doug we’ve grown to know would be happy to have that in a season. Either Baldwin went through puberty over the last month or the Seahawks are tailoring their game plan towards him while Russell Wilson is hot. His average of six catches a week over the last four contests supports the latter theory. If this trend continues expect Baldwin to get another ten or so targets against a pitiful Baltimore secondary.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
I’ve got Julio in one league and luckily have a bye in the playoffs this week. I wouldn’t feel confident if I had to go into a do or die game starting him. It will however be interesting as a spectator to see how the Panthers and Josh Norman handle the elite receiver in the first of their matchups. Remember, we get a rematch in your fantasy championship week 16. If Julio can find space this week it may bode well for the next game. If not, well let’s worry about that later. I think it’s likely that the Falcons will use a variety formations to get Jones away from Norman, with limited success. If I had to guess I would say a 4-50 line would be about right this week.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Packers wideout is one of many busts in a season littered with them. He’s barely hung onto WR2 territory while failing to surpass 100 yards receiving since week 2. His touchdown last week just muddies that fact that he has under 30 yards receiving in two of his last three games. Of course with Aaron Rodgers on your side there is always a chance at a blowup game, but playing a difficult Dallas secondary this week doesn’t make me optimistic. Unless you are very deep at receiver you probably can’t bench him, but add Cobb to the list of guys that just didn’t get it done this season.
If you go with Tyrod Taylor in the daily game consider a stack with Sammy Watkins. This Philly defense is bad and Watkins could light it up. A.J. Green has another mouthwatering matchup against the Steelers in a game that has some shoot out potential. Oakland gets the Broncos this week so a downgrade is needed for both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Better late than never with DeVante Parker. He’s scored in two straight and has finally worked himself into the Dolphin’s passing attack.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
You can’t go wrong targeting the Saints defense and now that ASJ is finally healthy add him to the mix. I like all Bucs receivers this week and like the tight end’s chances of getting in the end zone for the first time since week 1. If you need TE help in your playoff lineup consider grabbing him off the wire. This is also a nice DFS play considering his mid tier pricing and possibility of low ownership due to his lengthy absence.
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins
With Martellus Bennett placed on IR Miller looks to be in line for the starter’s share of tight end looks with the Bears. He’s impressed in his limited time on the field and attracted the attention of the fantasy community. It stands to reason that owners may be tempted to put him into lineups this week hoping for more big play potential. However, he’s got iffy ribs already and faces a Redskins defense that has been rough on tight ends as well as playing well overall recently. Resist the temptation to put him in your lineup this week.
Delanie Walker faces the Jets and their defense allowing the second fewest points to tight ends. Who cares? Walker is such a big part of the offense that he should still get enough targets to put up points. He’s had between six and eight catches in seven of his last eight games and is about the most consistent TE in football this year. The Colts have loosened up against tight ends allowing five scores over their last seven games and Julius Thomas has a three game scoring streak going. I like the odds of a score here.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chiefs have turned themselves into a top three fantasy defense after a little bit of slow start and have put together solid points in five of their last six games. The Chargers are coming to town and looking for hitchhikers that can catch footballs along the way just to fill their depleted receiving corps. In their last meeting the Chiefs held San Diego to three points on their way to a rout and the Chargers have gotten worse since then due to injuries. Kansas City may just be the best option at defense in the fantasy game this week.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals have been start worthy most weeks in standard 12 team leagues this season but this is a daunting matchup, especially in your playoffs. The Steelers passing game is on fire and their run game isn’t bad either. I would be very concerned if I had to go to battle with this unit in a must win situation.
Best of luck with your fantasy football teams this week! Hopefully our Week 14 start or sit column helps guide you to victory. Make sure to check out our plethora of other fantasy football articles including waiver wire advice, weekly rankings, daily talk, and other life changing information through the links below.