With the Fantasy Playoffs starting this week, we wanted to change things up a bit with our Start and Sit article. Throughout the season, our fantasy experts, Josh Uron and Amar Desai, have been rotating this weekly column. However, with the importance of the playoffs, we thought that it would give the reader more information if both Josh and Amar collaborated on one article, similar to our weekly live fantasy show.
So for each position group, Josh and Amar give a Start that they a love, and a Sit that they hate. Then there will be one or two starts and sits that both guys agree on. Let us know what you think about this format and the styling of the article, feedback is wanted!
Here’s to moving on to the second round of the playoffs!
2018 Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 14
Amar Quarterback Start Em
Josh Allen vs. New York Jets
Allen is coming off his best performances of the year against the Dolphins. He is making plays not just through the air, but also on the ground. He rushed for 135 yards against Miami and this is one of the reasons he becomes a hot streaming option against the Jets. Although the Jets don’t have the worst defense in the league, they do own a defense that is allowing 128.3 rushing yards per game and 376.4 total yards per game. Allen is starting to look more like the seventh overall pick and his matchup with the Jets will further solidify his status as a top streaming option through the fantasy playoffs.
Josh Quarterback Start Em
Baker Mayfield vs. Carolina Panthers
Mayfield got a little dose of reality last week when he faced a fierce Texans defense that caused him to throw three interceptions. Despite the turnovers, Mayfield still threw for nearly 400 yards and a touchdown. This week the emerging star will face a Carolina defense that has given up multiple touchdowns through the air in 10 of 12 games. This should be a competitive match on both sides of the ball and I expect Mayfield to bounce back.
Quarterback Start We Agree On
Lamar Jackson vs. Kansas City Chiefs
While Allen has been an impressive runner for a quarterback, that fails in comparison to Jackson. Starting in only three games this year, Jackson is currently second in the league in rushing at the quarterback position. He sits behind Cam Newton, who is only 46 yards ahead of him. Jackson is really making this Ravens offense more dynamic with his ability to run, but he is slowly developing more as a passer. With every game, he is looking to throw more than run and this makes defenses need to account for his dual-threat ability more and more. A matchup against Kansas City sounds daunting, but that goes more for the Ravens defense going up against Patrick Mahomes. Jackson will need to make sure he is on his game in order to keep up with the Chiefs’ high-octane offense. He will meet that challenge easily and flourish.
Amar Quarterback Sit Em
Jameis Winston vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are coming off one of their worst performances of the entire season. The offense was unable to get any sort of rhythm going and the defense was consistently letting Dallas sustain drives. The number one seed is still up for grabs in the NFC and the Saints will be hungry to notch another win to keep pace with the Rams.
This is where the bad news comes for Famous Jameis. Although he has been playing well since his return to the starting lineup, New Orleans will be looking to get him into pressure situations and force mistakes they can capitalize on. Normally, Winston may be a good option to stream in your lineup, but count this particular matchup as not a good week for him. Keep him on your bench and definitely don’t think about adding him to your roster.
Josh Quarterback Sit Em
Dak Prescott vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Dak has really turned a corner since the acquisition of Amari Cooper. The third-year quarterback has led his team to four straight wins and has seven touchdowns during that time period. However, Dak still has not surpassed 300 yards passing in a single game this year, and only has multiple touchdowns in six of 12 games. While Dallas is currently enjoying success as a team, Dak is very boom or bust as a fantasy option. In a tough division match-up, I expect the Cowboys to lean on Ezekiel Elliott more than on Dak.
Quarterback Sit We Agree On
Kirk Cousins vs. Seattle Seahawks
Cousins just had his second worst fantasy game of the season last week and is on the road for a second straight week against a tough Seattle defense. Since the week 10 bye, Cousins has thrown for 2, 3, and 1 touchdown, with 4 interceptions. Inconsistency has been the biggest issue for Cousins, who has the ability to put up gaudy numbers, but then turns around and has a game like last week 201 yards 1 TD 2 INT. Don’t trust him against Seattle this week unless you’re in a 2QB league.
Amar Running Back Start Em
Justin Jackson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Consider these stat-lines. Austin Ekeler had 18 touches for 43 total yards. Jackson, on the other hand, had nine touches for 82 total yards. With limited touches, Jackson has shown more ability with his touches and warrants more opportunities in the Chargers offense. Melvin Gordon is sitting out one more week to get ready for the Chiefs game next Thursday night, so this is Jackson’s chance to take the second string job for the rest of the year. Although Jackson will not be used in the passing game, his patience and vision while running the football have made him a very worthy addition to your roster. Couple that with an excellent matchup against the Bengals this week and Jackson has the chance to do even better than last week. Start Jackson this week in your flex spot.
Josh Running Back Start Em
Chris Carson vs. Minnesota Vikings
Carson is averaging 17 touches per game on the team that leads the NFL in rushing yards per game. That’s a combination I want on my fantasy team. Due to the rotation at running back in Seattle, Carson may not have the ceiling of the elites, but the last three weeks his floor has been 12 points in PPR. Minnesota is only allowing 3.7 yards per carry but Seattle will run the ball early and often regardless. With the mobility of Russell Wilson, defenses cannot sell out to stop the run and generally have to assign a spy on the QB. This opens up running lanes for Carson and company. Start Carson with tempered expectations, but knowing he should provide a safe floor.
Running Back Start We Agree On
Jaylen Samuels vs. Oakland Raiders
James Conner has been an absolute star this season in the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The success has been great but it also raises a question. Can any running back find success in the Pittsburgh offense? Jaylen Samuels gets his turn at bat this week and all eyes will be on him in a great matchup against a poor Oakland defense. Steven Ridley is expected to split time with Samuels but it will be Samuels who will be the lead option. Last week another back up running back thrust into the starting role found success against Oakland and I expect this week to be no different.
Amar Running Back Sit Em
Chiefs RBs vs. Baltimore Ravens
Chiefs running backs had 22 total targets in the game against Oakland. Spencer Ware led the way with 15 of those and Damien Williams had the other six. Now we add Charcandrick West to this picture and the shares may become more evenly distributed. This offense is now going to run through Mahomes more than it already had been. The Kansas City running back situation took a serious hit when Kareem Hunt was released and this means you should avoid the Chiefs backfield at all costs. They also face one of the more stout rushing defenses in the Ravens and this just adds to the reasonings that the Chiefs’ current running backs should not be on your starting roster.
Josh Running Back Sit Em
Jordan Howard vs. Los Angeles Rams
Don’t be fooled. That’s all that really needs to be said about Jordan Howard. He’s a sit for the second consecutive week and if you read last week’s column, nothing has changed. Howard ran well against a poor Giants defense, but he faces the Rams this week and the sledding won’t be quiet as easy. In his best yardage performance since week 8, Howard was still outdone by his counterpart, Tarik Cohen. This offense simply is not tailored to Howards skill set and that likely won’t change in 2018.
Running Back Sit We Agree On
Theo Riddick vs. Arizona Cardinals
Riddick was afforded an excellent opportunity against the Rams in catchup mode for the Lions, yet he only managed 58 total yards and no score. Kerryon Johnson looks to be out again this week, and we would think that will mean more of a role for Riddick, but he was unable to make anything happen with the opportunity given last week. A matchup with the Cardinals won’t be as high scoring an affair, and as such, Riddick won’t be as involved. Bench him.
Amar Wide Receiver Start Em
Courtland Sutton vs. San Francisco 49ers
These are a crucial four weeks for Sutton. The loss of Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos offense is going to be tough to deal with, but Sutton should now emerge as a viable option this year and going forward. He is a bigger receiver and can use his height and body to his advantage. Going up against the 49ers this week, Sutton should have no trouble getting his work in for your fantasy roster. Keenum will not have many options in the passing game to go to and Sutton will be the beneficiary of being force-fed the ball. Expect Sutton to have a breakout week against San Francisco and show that this receiving unit is in good shape for the rest of the year and beyond.
Josh Wide Receiver Start Em
Chris Godwin vs. New Orleans Saints
DeSean Jackson out of the lineup has allowed Chris Godwin to see more targets. Godwin has averaged five receptions for 103 yards per game in the last three weeks. Cleary a big play threat, Godwin has a decent shot to score so long as Winston is slinging the rock. Godwin should see Eli Apple in coverage and that’s a very winnable matchup. Apple has been terrible this year and that’s a matchup to be exploited. Consider Godwin a solid start in three-receiver leagues and a flex in two-receiver leagues.
Wide Receiver Start We Agree On
Amari Cooper vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Cooper has been one of the most successful mid-season receiver trades in recent memory. While the price certainly seemed high at first, Cooper has already started paying dividends. Averaging 85 yards a game since joining the Cowboys, and he draws a favorable match-up against the Eagles this week. The Eagles have surrendered the 7th most passing yards to quarterbacks thus far, and Dak has had eyes for Cooper to the tune of eight targets per game. While the run game should also find success, Cooper should be considered a must-start in all formats.
Amar Wide Receiver Sit Em
Tyler Lockett vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are tied with the Jaguars in allowing the least amount of passing touchdowns in the league. Although Lockett has been having a great fantasy season, expect him to have a down week against the Vikings. Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot, so the Vikings defense will bring their best effort against Seattle. The Seahawks are also a run-first team, so they should be doing most of their damage on the ground. Lockett may get a handful of catches against Minnesota, but he won’t be reliable for your fantasy playoffs to warrant starting him. There are other viable options to roll with, so keep Lockett on your bench and sub in someone else who has a better matchup this week.
Josh Wide Receiver Sit Em
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Detroit Lions
Fitzgerald has only seen 12 targets over the last three games. During that time, however, he has scored three touchdowns. Only once in 2018 has Fitzgerald passed 100 yards, and only three times has he recorded over five receptions. Sadly at this stage, Fitzgerald simply does not provide the safety net he once did, and I would not trust him in the fantasy playoffs despite the great matchup against Detroit.
Wide Receiver Sit We Agree On
Tyler Boyd vs. Los Angeles Chargers
It is simply a sad state of affairs for Tyler Boyd. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are both done for the season, which means Boyd is the number one option yet again but will be catching passes from Jeff Driskel this time around. We’ve been here before, and without Green to draw coverage Boyd has struggled. Add to that a backup quarterback and it’s not a situation to actively pursue. The one thing in his favor is that Boyd should see plenty of volume, so if he can pull down a few of those targets he could find his way to success in the form of garbage time points. I would not want to bet my fantasy playoffs on garbage time production.
Amar Tight End Start Em
Jimmy Graham vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are surrendering 264 passing yards a game. Now even though Graham has not been stellar all year, this matchup against the Falcons is too tough to pass over. The losses to the wide receiving group in Green Bay has also opened the door more for Graham to get more targets. Aaron Rodgers is always going to find the open receiver regardless of whether he plays tight end or receiver or running back. Graham will be able to take advantage of this porous Atlanta defense and he should be able to hit paydirt when they get to the red zone. Start Graham this week and he could be a sneaky addition to your fantasy playoff roster.
Josh Tight End Start Em
Vance McDonald vs. Oakland Raiders
Oakland is dead last in the league against tight ends in 2018, and Vance McDonald is coming to town. McDonald has the capacity to put up a solid day’s effort this week now that he’s back to full health. With the Steelers missing James Conner, it’s likely that they’ll pass more often than run in this match-up. McDonald has 39 targets over the last seven games. That’s all he needs to have an effective day against the Raiders. So long as he gets the targets, he should finish as a top 10 option at the unfortunate position of tight end.
Tight End Start We Agree On
George Kittle vs. Denver Broncos
Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz…… and George Kittle? Those have been the big three tight ends this season as Gronk has fallen off due to injury and inefficiency. In PPR leagues, Kittle has put up double-digit points 10 of 12 weeks. During that time, he’s only scored three touchdowns! That’s a huge statement about just how good Kittle has been. Denver’s defense continues to struggle against tight ends, allowing an average of 7 catches to tight ends in the last three games. Set it and forget it with Kittle.
Amar Tight End Sit Em
Eric Ebron vs. Houston Texans
Andrew Luck loves throwing to his tight ends and with the loss of Jack Doyle for the rest of the year, Ebron should see his stock rise. Now even though he becomes the de-facto starting tight end and he has had such a sensational season, the Texans defense has become a quite formidable defense. The Texans are rolling with a nine-game winning streak right now and they look very tough to stop. Ebron will have to deal with a Houston defense that is currently 10th in the league in sacks and sixth in interceptions. They should be able to handle the Colts offense pretty easily and this means that Ebron is worth keeping on your bench this week as you can find someone else to place in your starting roster with a better matchup.
Josh Tight End Sit Em
Kyle Rudolph vs. Seattle Seahawks
Kyle Rudolph has not scored a touchdown since week 3 and has not topped 70 yards since week 2. Due to the scarcity of the position, Rudolph remains in the starter conversation, but he’s not scoring nor putting up enough yards to warrant a start in my opinion. The Seahawks are allowing 6.1 fantasy points to tight ends to top it all off. This is a tough matchup for the Minnesota offense in general, and I do not expect Rudolph to be the exception. Sit him if you can, however, I do understand if you need to start him and simply cross your fingers!
Tight End Sit We Agree On
Trey Burton vs. Los Angeles Rams
Burton has been one of the more disappointing players of the fantasy season. Expected to have a breakout season as a starter in Chicago, he has had sporadic success and has not been involved enough in the offense to make him startable every week. This game against the Rams will be tough for the Chicago offense to move the ball on their tough defense. Whether Chase Daniel is the starter or Mitchell Trubisky is healthy enough to start (as of this writing, Trubisky is expected to start), both quarterbacks will have a hard time getting the ball down the field through the air. At this point in the season, Burton has become droppable and there are more options to pick up for your fantasy playoff success.
Defense/ST Starts We Agree On
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
Defense/ST Sits We Agree On
Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
What do you think of this format? Let us know your feedback in the comments below or hit us up on social media! Also, make sure to tune in to our LIVE Fantasy Al Dente show every Sunday morning at 8:30 am PT right here or on Twitter, or YouTube and get your final start and sit questions answered!