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Week 14 is here and it’s time to get real serious! This is one of the most heated times of the fantasy year because playoffs begin in just about every league. Whether you’re the first seed or the last seed, here is a look at who to start and sit in your lineup this week and who can keep your championship hopes alive!

Fantasy Football Week 14 Start Em Sit Em

Quarterback

Start Em

  • Alex SmithSmith was the number one start through the first half of the season but throughout the last few weeks he has been an average start. Well, until last week, when he scored four touchdowns against the Jets. That tied his touchdown production from weeks 8 through 12. Now there is no need to fear with him going back into a slump because he gets to face one of the worst defenses in the league. The Raiders rank 23rd in passing defense and should allow Smith to have a blowup game.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo

Pretty much everyone seemed impressed with Garoppolo in his first start as a 49er. Watching the film, Garoppolo looked like he belonged in the pocket.  You can tell he developed well in his time in New England and could lead the 49ers in winning two out of the four games left. His career continues with a game against the Texans who have just lost all hope since losing rookie Deshaun Watson. The Texans passing defense is in the bottom half of the league and makes Garoppolo a good streamer this week.

  • Josh McCownTypically, you do not want to start QBs against the Denver defense. But the Broncos are in a sort of free fall that you do not recover from until next season. Let’s also celebrate the fact that Josh McCown has made the Jets an exciting football team and completely blew out the notion that the Jets were tanking. McCown should be expected to play well in this one and you can be confident in putting him in the lineup.

Sit Em

One stat line I have seen throughout the week is the collection of terrible quarterbacks the Ravens defense has faced this year. While that may be boosting their status a little, anyone can watch film and see this defense is a legit top 10 type of group. Last time he played Baltimore, Roethlisberger had 216 yards, a touchdown pass, and an interception. You can expect a similar stat line as Baltimore is a top three passing defense.

Cousins has as many turnovers in the last two weeks as he does touchdowns (4-4). Those numbers come from matchups against a struggling Cowboys and Giants defense. While those are division rivals, it still shows the struggles of Cousins and his offense over the last couple of weeks. In week 14, the Redskins face an up and coming Chargers team that many have pegged to make the playoffs and could even win the division. The pass rush alone makes this a scary start for Cousins but the Chargers secondary has been locking people down. Find another option this week.

I had Russell Wilson in the sit column last week because of the matchup against the Eagles defense and boy did I get proven wrong. Although, the same reasons for the Wilson sitting apply for Goff. The Rams play well against bad teams but this Eagles defense is still no joke even after last week. I am wary of the second year man in this matchup and would keep him on the bench until he proves he can be a solid fantasy starter against good teams.

Running Back

Start Em

Barber was on one of the surprises of week 13 by being the main back in the Tampa offense while Doug Martin was out. As of writing this, Doug Martin is back at practice but Barber can still be a start in deeper leagues. He shredded the Packers defense and should still see a good number of carries even with Martin in the lineup.The Lions defense is also a below average unit that the Buccaneers can find success running against.

In what should be a blowout, the Patriots running back will prosper and continue to show his importance to the team on the way to the playoffs. When he played the Dolphins in week 12, he had 53 yards total and two touchdowns. His last two weeks have been the best of this season and there’s no reason to believe the Dolphins will be able to contain Burkhead in this second meeting.

Williams had done well to capitalize on his playing time while Aaron Jones has been out. With Jones’s return last week, we saw that both running backs are going to get touches in this offense. While Jones is still slightly recovering from his sprain, Williams should be the guy to explode against the Browns rushing defense which is ranked 27th in the league.

Sit Em

The Vikings go up against another NFC titan this week when they travel to Carolina. The Panthers have the fourth best rushing defense this season and have only given up three rushing touchdowns at home. Murray has been a great surprise for the Vikings but this matchup is leaning too heavily in the Panthers favor to justify a start.

Beast Mode returned somewhat last week with another long touchdown run and it was nice to see that Lynch could still break plays like that. However, that is Lynch’s first 100-yard game of the season and the closest he has been since week 1. He has been pretty inconsistent and not the RB1 many hoped he would be. Expect Lynch to fall back this week even against a Chiefs defense that has not played so well. We have to consider that the Raiders are still a bad offense and Lynch could easily be a bust this week.

  • Alex CollinsAt this point in the week, it looks like Collins will play this week. But as his Coach John Harbaugh said, migraines are tough. With his availability possibly limited and the Steelers defense,  I would be wary of Collins this week. This is leaning towards more of a Danny Woodhead week.

Wide Receiver

Start Em

Jones and his fantasy ceiling could both easily underperform if Matthew Stafford misses the game with his throwing hand injury. But, I think he still has value depending who is in at QB. With Stafford in, Jones is a low-end WR1 who can easily perform at a top level against a struggling Buccaneers defense. Keep an eye on his quarterbacks status, but Marvin Jones can be good for you this week.

He’s back. Well technically he was back last week but now we can officially say Gordon is still a good wide receiver like he was before his suspension. He had 4 reception for 85 yards. The more important thing is that he had 11 targets. That’s exciting for Gordon as well as that he actually played for the majority of the game. His performance against the Packers this week will end up as a top 20 wide receiver and could lead the Browns to their first win this season.

Last week, Goodwin was a start and for this week he is still in this column for the reason mentioned above. Jimmy Garoppolo came in and turned the 49ers offense into an NFL level offense. With Goodwin being the number one weapon in this offense he is in a good position to be a solid WR2 this week.

Sit Em

There is no denying that Baldwin is a top receiver in the league. But the matchup this week against the Jaguars appears to be too much. I would sit Baldwin if you have the depth or a nice streamer still on waivers. The combo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye should be enough to limit Baldwins scoring to flex range.

Funchess is similar to Doug Baldwin in that he is not necessarily a bust but if you have the depth this is a matchup you want to avoid. Xavier Rhodes is coming over a good game against Julio Jones and has been one of the top corners this season. Funchess has not proven himself elite enough to produce WR1 numbers in this matchup and his ceiling is low-end WR2 in this matchup.

After a boom game in week 13, Wallace is back on bust alert this week. The Steelers boast one of the up and coming secondary’s. While Wallace did have success in this first matchup, playing at Heinz Field and the risk factor here keeps Wallace on the bench. There’s no need to take the risk here if there’s a better matchup on waivers.

TE Streamers

D/ST Streamers

  • Patriots
  • Bengals
  • Steelers

K Streamers

The Field

NFL Network

QB Starts: Alex Smith, Josh McCown,Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, Case Keenum.

QB Sits: Dak Prescott, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Blake Bortles.

RB Starts: Lamar Miller, Jamaal Williams, Rex Burkhead, Samaje Perine, Frank Gore.

RB Sits: Demarco Murray, Latavius Murray, Matt Forte, Ameer Abdullah, Jonathan Stewart.

WR Starts: Michael Crabtree, Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard.

WR Sits: Marqise Lee, Devin Funchess, Jamison Crowder, Cooper Kupp, Jordy Nelson.

ESPN

QB Starts: Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford.

QB Sits: Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota.

RB Starts: Dion Lewis, Marshawn Lynch, Carlos Hyde.

RB Sits: DeMarco Murray, C.J. Anderson, Adrian Peterson (Kerwynn Williams). 

WR Starts: Michael Crabtree, Marvin Jones Jr., Golden Tate, Josh Gorden.

WR Sits: Devin Funchess, Cooper Kupp, Rishard Matthews.

CBS

QB Starts: Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott.

QB Sits: Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, Eli Manning.

RB Starts: Lamar Miller, Rex Burkhead, Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, Kenyan Drake.

RB Sits: DeMarco Murray, Latavius Murray, C.J. Anderson, Orleans Darkwa, Christian McCaffrey.

WR Starts: Josh Gordon, Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree, Mike Wallace, Marquise Goodwin.

WR Sits: Golden Tate, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Doctson, T.Y Hilton, DeSean Jackson.

Pro Football Focus 

QB Start: Jimmy Garoppolo. Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson.

QB Sit: Kirk Cousins

RB Start: Giovani BernardAlfred Morris, Mike Davis, Rex Burkhead.

RB Sit: Latavius Murray, C.J Anderson.

WR Start: Josh Gordon, Sammy WatkinsMarquise Goodwin, DeSean Jackson.

WR Sit: Josh Doctson, Corey Davis.

Andrew Whisnant

Author Andrew Whisnant

Student, Fan, Coach, and Writer. Follow me on twitter @WhisnantAndrew

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