Fantasy Football: Week 14 starts, sits

December 11, 2015 - 4:12 am
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Welcome to Week 14! It's playoff time, so some congratulations are in order. I have isolated some strong plays for Week 14 in this week's column, but we have more ways to help you, as you probably know. Over at Rotobahn, I will updating this week's rankings later Friday and again Saturday. If you need last-minute help on game day, you should head over to our weekly chat at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. Jim Hackett and I also will be hosting another addition of the Fantasy Football Hour this Sunday at 8 a.m., so check that out if you're an early riser. If you miss it, you can listen online when you roll out of bed. As I often mention, the players listed below are here because they have relatively strong value this week. To get a more exact feel for who you should play and who you should sit, go to Rotobahn and consult our full lineup rankings. It's free. QUARTERBACKS Start Jameis Winston, Buccaneers vs. Saints He has all of his starters around him now. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are a dominant trio of red zone threats, and that goes with a very productive ground attack led by Doug Martin. Winston has that all going for him in a sweet home matchup vs. the porous Saints defense. He can help you win the big game this week. Tyrod Taylor, Bills at Eagles There are never any guarantees with a young quarterback or with a Rex Ryan offense, if there is such a thing. That said, Taylor has been very productive lately, and the reason why is easy to spot. A healthy Sammy Watkins changes everything for the Bills because he tilts the field like Julio Jones or Odell Beckham. This opens up things for the ground game, which includes Taylor and also gets the other receivers involved more easily. Taylor should be very active and productive once again in Week 14. Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Colts It's a solid home matchup and he gets Allen Hurns back -- giving him his big three weapons all healthy at the same time, and that's been a rare thing this season. Bortles is not an elite play, but he certainly is a good one, so stick with him if he's carried your team this far. Sit Philip Rivers, Chargers at Chiefs He's got no weapons left. It's that simple. He's also playing behind a beat-up offensive line and in a bad road matchup, so there are far more reasons to avoid Rivers this week than to consider playing him. RUNNING BACKS Start Eddie Lacy, Packers vs. Cowboys He's been a disaster at various points this season, and he's also looked very good in recent weeks when given the chance. Of course he then went and got himself mostly benched for Week 13 -- killing many of his fantasy owners. That is, if they weren't dead already. So maybe this is a waste of a recommendation, but I would be looking to use Lacy as an RB2 this week. The team appears ready to give him a shot at leading the way, and it's Lacy's time of year. Shaun Draughn, 49ers at Browns It's amazing to say, but the new back in San Francisco is a very appealing option this week for a few reasons. First, he's getting a big percentage of the snaps and touches regardless of game flow. Second, he has a sweet matchup with the reeling Browns. Get him active as an RB2 or flex with a very strong floor in all scoring formats. Ryan Mathews, Eagles vs. Bills It's a tough matchup and he has been out a few weeks with a concussion, but Mathews has a lot of upside in this must-win game for the Eagles. He's been the best back on the roster all year and you can rip off big plays against Rex Ryan defenses at times. Mathews is a very capable RB2 in bigger formats if you need him, and he's got plenty of flex appeal in all leagues. James White, Patriots at Texans He's an enigma so far, but you have to like his chances of being heavily involved this week. At worst, you give yourself a puncher's chance at a big game in PPR leagues, and I don't think you'll see a bagel as we saw against the Broncos in Week 12. White is a nice flex or emergency RB2 option. Sit Antonio Andrews, Titans at Jets It's a tough road matchup for the Titans and I am not sure how many goal-line carries will be available. It's also not totally clear which back will get those carries, as David Cobb is beginning to emerge. I'd avoid Andrews unless you really need him. WIDE RECEIVERS Start Jarvis Landry, Dolphins vs. Giants Forget last week. It was an anomaly. Landry will get right back to his high-volume ways this week against a very, very beatable opponent. He's got WR2 appeal in all leagues and scoring formats. Allen Hurns, Jaguars vs. Colts Hurns should return this week (concussion), and he should hit the ground running as a high-volume receiver. Hurns has been really good when Allen Robinson is locked up with a stud cornerback, and that should be the case this week as I expect Robinson to be shadowed by Vonte Davis. Hurns has WR2 appeal. Start him with confidence. Jordan Matthews, Eagles vs. Bills Rex Ryan often will ask a lot of his slot cornerbacks. You'll see them giving cushion to allow the outside guys room to move and avoid getting picked pre-snap. This leads to a lot of free releases, and I think it will help Matthews this week. He's got WR3 appeal in all leagues. DeVante Parker, Dolphins vs. Giants He is the top option on the outside for Ryan Tannehill now that Rishard Matthews is out, and he is taking advantage of the opportunity with scores in the last two games. This week I can see the rookie posting another touchdown and perhaps his first 100-yard game, so get him active as a WR3 in all leagues. Sit Rueben Randle, Giants at Dolphins Maybe you have no choice, but I would at least look for other options before playing Randle this week. I'd rather go to the waiver wire for a guy like Brian Hartline than play Randle, who clearly is not at 100 percent right now no matter what the Giants claim. TIGHT ENDS Start Ben Watson, Saints at Buccaneers With all the injuries in New Orleans, Watson is going to see the ball a lot this Sunday. Watson's been solid most of the year and this week is looking very good. The Saints will be chasing the Bucs and they have no ground game to lean on with Mark Ingram finished for the season. Richard Rodgers, Packers vs. Cowboys Forget the big play last week. The reason to consider Rodgers is his red zone ability and his increasing role in the offense. He's had five or more targets in every game since Week 9 and he's had 15 targets over the last two games. He's playable if you need him. Clive Walford, Raiders at Broncos He's not as predictable as Watson or Rodgers, but Walford can help you in deeper leagues, and this week's matchup could send more targets his way as the Broncos really clamp down on the outside. If you are looking for an option in a deep league, Walford could help. Will Tye, Giants at Dolphins Tye's a good bet to get you a handful of points, and he has the ability to get it going in the red zone, too, though that hasn't happened yet. Tye is a good play for those in deeper formats who are in need of an option. There's a good chance that he's sitting there on the waiver wire. Sit Jason Witten, Cowboys at Packers He's just not what he has been, and he's getting killed by the loss of Tony Romo. Witten is viable in deep PPR scoring leagues, but you probably can do better -- even in those PPR formats. Avoiding Witten makes tons of sense this week. DraftKings DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! 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