Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 14 lineups.
Start: Allen Lazard, Matthew Stafford
Assuming Lazard is good to go, he’s worth starting with Green Bay indoors and having this week’s highest implied total against a Detroit defense that ranks last in DVOA. Aaron Rodgers had a fed-up look on his face last week after Marquez Valdes-Scantling suffered yet another drop, so expect Lazard to see increased targets Sunday.
The Lions ran a faster pace and threw the ball downfield more during the team’s first game without Matt Patricia last week, and the results were Stafford getting 9.6 YPA with three TD strikes in Chicago against a good Bears defense despite missing Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift. Stafford is well worth starting in Week 14 at home versus a Green Bay team with an offense sure to score a lot of points, yet with a defense that’s been gashed for 6.2 yards per play (fourth-most) on the road this season.
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Corey Davis, Mike Glennon
Maybe Davis is too good to appear here, and usually, it’s best to fade someone coming off such a huge game, but his setup is again highly favorable this week against a Jacksonville secondary that’s allowed the most fantasy points to his primary side over the last eight weeks. In a fast-paced game that projects to be among the highest-scoring this week, and with A.J. Brown hobbled after suffering what appeared to be a serious-looking ankle injury last week, I have Davis as a top-15 fantasy WR in Week 14. He’s gotten the third-most yards per route run this season, behind only Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson.
Glennon has been competent since taking over, and he has a healthy set of offensive weapons (including DJ Chark) and a defense that ensures passing volume. He’s a DFS option ($25) in Week 14 facing a Tennessee defense that’s been among the most favorable to quarterbacks over the last five weeks.
Start: Cowboys D/ST, Bengals D/ST
The Cowboys and Bengals are cheap in DFS ($12), widely available in season-long leagues and sneaky starts to open the fantasy playoffs. Both defenses enter with advantages up front and a path to score fantasy points, with Cincinnati starting a highly questionable quarterback (and just placing LT Jonah Williams on IR), and Dallas sporting the second-worst point differential (-125) and traveling after just having played Tuesday night.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants
Sit: Kyler Murray, Sterling Shepard
Murray has struggled since suffering a shoulder injury, and whether or not that’s the reason, he’s also stopped running (after averaging 9.7 carries for 67.1 rushing yards with 10 TDs over the season’s first nine games, he’s at 5.0 for 20.3 with zero TDs over the last three). Arizona now makes a long trip to face a New York defense that has shut down quarterbacks lately, and the suddenly limited DeAndre Hopkins is more of a WR2 while shadowed by James Bradberry this week.
Shepard has taken over as New York’s clear #1 receiver, but he’ll either be dealing with Colt McCoy or a hobbled Daniel Jones throwing to him Sunday while facing off against Patrick Peterson. Shepard is seeing good volume, but he hasn’t reached 75 yards in a game this season, so aim higher during the fantasy playoffs.
Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears
Start: Jordan Akins, Cole Kmet
Akins had a quiet line last week but actually saw a big increase in snap share and routes run, and he should see some targets Sunday with the Texans unlikely to have any success running versus the Bears.
Kmet has overtaken Jimmy Graham as Chicago’s #1 tight end, and he’s a sleeper if you’re searching for one this week at a thin position. The Texans’ secondary has ceded 7.8 YPA and a welcoming 22:3 TD:INT ratio this season.
Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers
Start: Noah Fant
Start in DFS: Robby Anderson ($19)
Fant saw a healthy 26% target share last week and gets a favorable matchup this week against a Carolina defense that’s been susceptible to tight ends this season. He ranks top-five in WOPR among his position over the last two weeks.
If one or both of Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore end up sitting out this week, Anderson is going to be a DFS option while looking at a ton of volume with Christian McCaffrey also sidelined. Anderson also gets a Broncos defense missing A.J. Bouye (suspension), making him a top-15 fantasy WR this week.
Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start: Kirk Cousins, Antonio Brown
Cousins is playing well (9:1 TD:INT ratio over the last three contests) and gets a Tampa Bay defense that’s been fading against the pass and has produced the highest neutral pass rate in the NFL by a wide margin, so added volume should be there. Irv Smith is also a sleeper at tight end with Kyle Rudolph banged up in a game that projects to feature a bunch of plays.
Brown is a gamble but with Mike Evans banged up, he also has upside coming out of Tampa Bay’s bye and up against a vulnerable Vikings secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. AB hasn’t gotten going since returning, but he’s one game removed from seeing 13 targets, and his roommate Tom Brady is likely to feed him Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins
Start: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tua Tagovailoa
Edwards-Helaire is (rightfully) enemy #1 for many fantasy managers after he didn’t play a snap while “active” during Sunday night football versus a run-funnel defense with the fantasy playoffs on the line, but he’s still worth starting in Week 14. CEH is back practicing in full this week, and Le’Veon Bell has looked as slow in a KC uniform as he did in NY, so fire up the rookie back against yet another run-funnel defense in Miami (they rank #6 vs. the pass and #24 vs. the run in DVOA).
Tagovailoa hasn’t lit up the scoreboard like Justin Herbert during his rookie campaign, but a 7:0 TD:INT ratio isn’t so bad, and Tua’s YPA would’ve looked a lot better last week if not for this egregious drop. KC has been a favorable fantasy matchup for quarterbacks recently, and the training wheels may be forced to come off for the rookie with Miami likely to be playing from behind entering as touchdown underdogs.
Indianapolis Colts @ Las Vegas Raiders
Start: T.Y. Hilton
Sit: Derek Carr
Hilton has quickly returned to the fantasy scene after recording 80+ yards and a touchdown each of the last two games, ranking top-five in target share (31.4%) last week. The now-healthy veteran (and apparently not washed) receiver gets to play indoors Sunday against a Raiders defense that’s been gashed for the second-most yards per play (6.1) at home this season … Jonathan Taylor has to be treated as a top-15 type back given the RB environment right now, his upside and the matchup, but realize he entered the fourth quarter with just three carries last week (and his TD catch came on a blown coverage), so there’s also downside.
Carr is coming off a big game thanks to an inviting Jets defense but gets a much tougher test this week versus a Colts pass defense that ranks #5 in DVOA. Volume could also prove to be a problem during a game that should be among the slowest-paced this week.
New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks
Start: Breshad Perriman
Start in DFS: Chris Carson ($26)
Seattle’s defense has improved some, but they have still allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and Perriman could be extra busy Sunday with Denzel Mims out and Jamison Crowder banged up. He averaged 104.8 yards and scored four touchdowns from Weeks 14-17 last season, so Perriman doesn’t mess around during the fantasy playoffs … Frank Gore is reportedly set to play, but if not, Ty Johnson would be a major sleeper and worth starting in fantasy leagues.
Carson wasn’t quite 100% yet last week but still dominated Seattle’s backfield work (including seeing six targets). He’s getting closer to full strength and is ready for “a full load” in Week 14 when the Seahawks are near two-touchdown home favorites against a winless Jets team.
Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angles Chargers
Sit: Todd Gurley
Start: Mike Williams
Gurley’s chronic knee issues are catching up to him, and he’s now part of a three-man committee, so he’s best left on fantasy benches even in a favorable matchup. Gurley may be limited to a third-down and red-zone role moving forward.
The Falcons are playing better defense of late, but they have allowed the most fantasy points to Williams’ primary side this season, and Justin Herbert should bounce back after last week’s career-worst performance. Atlanta has actually been the toughest defense for fantasy backs over the last five weeks, so expect LAC to throw heavily.
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sit: Latavius Murray
Start: Eagles D/ST
Murray saw just five carries last week, now has a mobile QB who rarely targets running backs and steals goal-line touchdowns and goes outdoors to face an Eagles defense that’s been stingy against the rush. I’d rather start Jeff Wilson this week.
If you’re looking for a flier defense or a cheap DFS option ($13), the Eagles enter with the seventh-best pressure rate this season while allowing the fifth-fewest yards per play at home. Taysom Hill has been a big help in fantasy leagues, but he’s also taken nine sacks and committed a whopping seven fumbles (with a pick) over the last 3+ games, and just one of those came outdoors (like Sunday’s will). Jalen Hurts (who will be a much better fantasy start in Weeks 15-16) will also be a big help to Philadelphia’s defense by being an upgrade over Carson Wentz.
Washington Football Team @ San Francisco 49ers
Sit: Logan Thomas
Start: Brandon Aiyuk
Thomas is coming off a career-best game, but it was the first time he reached 70 yards all season, and the 49ers have been especially tough against fantasy tight ends over the last five games.
Aiyuk has a touchdown or at least 75 receiving yards in each of the last five games he’s played, including seeing 33 targets over the last three. Deebo Samuel is banged up with a foot injury (as is Raheem Mostert with a lingering ankle injury, making Jeff Wilson a sleeper this week), so Aiyuk is once again going to be a big part of San Francisco’s offense Sunday. Both Kyle Shanahan and Trent Williams will be motivated to help in revenge games, and the impressive rookie wideout should have his way with Kendall Fuller and company.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Start: Eric Ebron, Cole Beasley
The Steelers struggle to run the ball (and likely will continue to even with James Conner back) and should once again throw heavily against a Bills team capable of scoring more points than the Steelers typically allow. Buffalo has yielded the most receptions to tight ends this season.
Beasley has seen 11+ targets (with a TD) in two of the last three games and should remain active Sunday with John Brown still out and facing a Pittsburgh defense difficult to run against. Moreover, the Steelers have completely shut down outside receivers this season yet allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the slot, where Beasley has lined up 90% of the time.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Start: Mark Andrews, Browns D/ST
Andrews has disappointed this season, but he had two of his best games before going on the COVID-reserve list that he’s expected to return from Monday night. He gets a favorable matchup right away versus a Browns defense that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Cleveland’s defense enters this matchup with a big advantage in the trenches, so the Browns are a sleeper fantasy DST this week against a Baltimore passing offense that’s struggled all season. Lamar Jackson hasn’t gotten 7.5 YPA in a game since Week 4, and he’s now up to 32 fumbles over 44 career games.
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