Who To Start And Sit In Week 14 Of The 2016 Fantasy Football Season
It’s crunch time for most of us. Week 14 likely marks either the first week of your playoffs or the last week of your regular season. The only thing you can do for your squad at this point is make the right lineup decisions. The key thing here is to do your research. We’ve gotten enough data to know which teams are good and bad vs. specific positions. Look at little carefully, however, as some teams information may have changed in recent weeks due to scheme or injury. These are the games that count, so don’t do half-assed analysis. Go big or go home.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington)
The Eagles started the season with a prolific pass defense, but that’s deteriorated dramatically since their bye in Week 4 and has gotten much worse in the last six games. Five of the last six quarterbacks to face Philadelphia have amassed at least 21 fantasy points with all six of them throwing for over 250 yards. The Redskins specialize in the air, coming in as the 6th best passing offense according to Football Outsiders DVOA. Cousins has reached at least 18 fantasy points in five of his last six games, so expect him to exploit this juicy matchup.
Matt Forte (RB – New York Jets)
Forte has been tough to use this year as he’s gone through two rough stretches. His most recent one has seen him score 7 or less points in the last two games after throwing up four similar efforts from Week 3-6. What we do know is the Jets love to feed him the ball in close games as we saw in their games between Week 7-10 when they faced bottom half offenses. Forte averaged 17.5 points in those four games and should come close to that with another 20 touch game against the defense giving up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina)
It’s been hard for Stewart to get things rolling this year as the Panthers offense has been a bit disjointed. He’s got a chance to get it back on track this Sunday when he takes on San Diego, whose defense has given up double digit fantasy points to all but RBs in all but one game this season. The key is the Chargers inability to keep opposing RBs out of the end zone, giving up a rushing touchdown in all but three games. With the game projected with the second highest over/under of the weekend, the odds are pretty good for Stewart to help out your squad.
Steve Smith (WR – Baltimore)
The Ravens always seem to play the Patriots tight, but the 7.5 point spread means Vegas thinks the Patriots should be leading for a good majority of this game. That means the Ravens will be throwing on a Patriots pass defense that ranks 25th in pass defense according to DVOA. Smith moves all around the field, so he’ll likely avoid Malcolm Butler for large points in the game and produce for your fantasy team.
Kenny Britt (WR – Los Angeles)
The Falcons have been a sieve against defenses this year and it only got worse recently with Desmond Trufant being lost to injury for the season. That allows Britt to match up against inferior competition on the outside. As with Smith, Britt’s team is a large underdog, which means the Rams will be trailing and passing a lot. Atlanta’s not as intelligent defensively with their scheme, so they likely won’t bring pressure as often as New England last week. This will allow rookie Jared Goff to find Britt down the field for fantasy goodness.
Antonio Gates (TE – San Diego)
Gates didn’t exactly burst through last week, but the opportunity sets up for him to do so again this week. The Panthers are the worst team in the league at allowing fantasy points to the tight end position and things have gotten worse since the injury to Luke Kuechly. Vegas expects each team to score three touchdowns this week, so Gates will see plenty of looks in this week.
Other guys you should start: Jameis Winston (QB – Tampa), Philip Rivers (QB – San Diego), Carson Palmer (QB – Arizona), Colin Kaepernick (QB – San Francisco), Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati), Spencer Ware (RB – Carolina), Lamar Miller (RB – Houston), Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis), Jerrick McKinnon (RB – Minnesota), Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland), Jamison Crowder (WR – Washington), Desean Jackson (WR – Washington), Malcom Mitchell (WR – New England), Tyreke Hill (WR – Kansas City), Sterling Shepard (WR – New York Giants), Will Fuller (WR – Houston), Pierre Garcon (WR – Washington), Tyler Boyd (WR – Cincinnati), Robbie Anderson (WR – New York Jets)
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Marcus Mariota (QB – Tennessee)
Mariota has had a great season thus far and likely has been pivotal in the success of many fantasy seasons. You would be best suited, however, to look elsewhere in a huge game on your schedule. Denver at Tennessee is one of the lowest unders of the week at 43.5, so Vegas doesn’t expect many fireworks here. Denver’s weakness is their 26th ranked run defense according to DVOA. Look for the Titans to be run-heavy in this low scoring affair because attacking their #1 ranked pass defense isn’t in their best interests.
LeGarrette Blount (RB – New England)
It’s usually either a “Blount Game” or “not a Blount Game” and this week shapes up to be the latter. Blount’s matchup against the Ravens pits him against the best defense at limiting fantasy points by RBs having only allowed three 100-yard rushers and three rushing touchdowns to the position. This may shape up like the Seahawks game, but the Ravens have the better run defense of the two.
Devontae Booker (RB – Denver)
It’s time to get worried about Booker if you’re not already. He just hasn’t been nearly as productive as we all would’ve hoped. He hasn’t scored in double-digits since Week 8, largely due to the fact that he hasn’t reached four yards per carry in those games. While the Titans defense that Booker’s facing this weekend is league average, their pass defense is bottom barrel. Look for Denver to do most of their damage in the air, but who knows how much there will be as we already pointed out this should be a low-scoring game.
Rishard Matthews (WR – Tennessee)
Matthews’ production is obviously tied to Mariota, who is a few spots above on the sit list. Matthews has done great this year in taking advantage of matchups, but this week he faces the best group of corners in the league. It doesn’t matter whether he lines up in the slot or on the outside. Matthews doesn’t have the talent to win these matchups and isn’t worth starting in a key game for your team.
Allen Robinson (WR – Jacksonville)
We told you to bench Robinson last week because his scenario has gone down the tubes and the result bore out the good decision. He’s back on the list this week even though he apparently had a sit down with Blake Bortles and his offensive coordinator to get things right. I hate to break it to the trio, but things won’t improve this week. Like with Denver last week, Minnesota brings the pain on defense with a strong pass rush and a good secondary. Blake Bortles won’t handle the pressure well and Robinson has shown he can’t be trusted to overcome his QBs lack of talent.
Eric Ebron (TE – Detroit)
Ebron has been a bit up and down this year and this looks like another down spot for him. The Bears limit tight ends to 5.7 fantasy points per game this year, so that doesn’t bode well to start. Add in that the Lions should be leading this game comfortably and won’t be throwing as much and you’ll want to look for an alternative
Other guys you should sit: Derek Carr (QB – Oakland), Blake Bortles (QB – Jacksonville), Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo), Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco), Theo Riddick (RB – Detroit), Chris Ivory (RB – Jacksonville), James Starks (RB – Green Bay), Brandon Marshall (WR – New York Jets), Kelvin Benjamin (WR – Carolina), Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis), Davante Parker (WR – Miami), Jeremy Maclin (WR – Kansas City), Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota), Martellus Bennett (TE – New England), Dwayne Allen (TE – Indianapolis), Austin Hooper (TE – Atlanta)