This is when people are bound to get really mad at my predictions. I hope I get death threats! That’s how you know you’ve made it, right?!
After this article goes live I’ll be answering all of your comments Saturday evening when I’m free for the night so get to posting!
Dak Prescott, @NYG, 38.6% starting: Dak has looked lost without Ezekiel Elliott. He’s only averaging about 10 fantasy points per game over his last 6 starts. However, he now will face off against the Giants. In week 1 when everyone was optimistic about a great Cowboys/Giants rivalry at the top of the NFC East Prescott scored 16 fantasy points. Now, the Giants are the laughingstock of the league and just lost one of their top DBs in Janoris Jenkins — I think Prescott bounces back and can even top his 14 fantasy point game that he had against the Redskins in week 13.
Marcus Mariota, @ ARI, 18.8%: Mariota has been mediocre for much of the season, but in week 1 of your fantasy playoffs I think he’s going to find some success. The mobile Mariota heads to sunny Arizona to face off against the team that has allowed the most rushing TDs to QBs and the the 6th most fantasy points.
Jimmy Garoppolo, @ HOU, 9.6% starting: I’m very high on Garoppolo this week — even listing him as one of my QB waiver adds on Tuesday. Let me save you the clicking: “Jimmy beat the Bears in his first start with his new team 15-14. He threw for 293 yards with 0 TDs with a 70% completion percentage. Quite impressive against a defense that was allowing the 9th fewest fantasy points per game. With the first start jitters out of the way I’m thinking Garoppolo has a fantastic game against the Houston Texans. The Texans have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to QBs including 18 to Marcus Mariota in week 13.”
Kirk Cousins, @ LAC, 47.9% starting: Sorry Kirk, but the Chargers have been whooping on the other three NFC East QBs (and most QBs for that matter.) They held Carson Wentz to 14 fantasy points in week 4, Eli Manning to 13 fantasy points in week 5 and Dak Prescott to 3 fantasy points in week 12. Overall, they are allowing the 4th fewest fantasy points per game to QBs.
Ben Roethlisberger, vs BAL, 47% starting: Back in the early “I want to retire” days of Big Ben, the Ravens held him to 10 fantasy points in week 4. Now in the more recent “I want to retire” days, the Ravens are going to shut him down again. The Ravens have held 6 of the last 7 QBs they faced to single-digit fantasy point games.
Duke Johnson Jr., vs GB, 23.3% starting: The pass-catching back of the two-headed Browns rushing attack is in a good position to do what he does best. DJJ is currently 5th among running backs in receptions and 6th in receiving yards. The Packers have allowed the 8th most receiving yards to RBs which is setting Duke up for a nice PPR FLEX game.
Peyton Barber, vs DET, 3.6%: As a guy who traded for Doug Martin while he was injured, I can tell you that he ain’t done jack since week 6. Single-digit fantasy games all over the place. In fact, none of the Buccaneers running backs had rushed for over 100 yards all season. Enter the lost Barber brother, Peyton, who put up 102 rushing yards in week 13 for 18 fantasy points. Barber could run away with this job against a nice matchup — the Lions have allowed the 2nd most rushing TDs and 4th most fantasy points to RBs.
Marlon Mack, @ BUF, 1.8% starting: In deeeeeep leagues where you’ve had lots of injuries, I’d think about FLEXing on Mack. He had 7 less rushing attempts than Frank Gore but only 15 less yards in week 13. I don’t really understand what the Colts are trying to accomplish with this Gore/Mack tandem. One guy will be making appearances at his car dealership in 2 season — one could be a top-10 RB in the league. The Bills have allowed the most fantasy points to QBs by a fairly healthy total and that trend will continue in week 14.
Latavius Murray/Jerick McKinnon, @ CAR: Don’t look at Carolina’s run defense last week. They were up against the best running attack in the NFL and get molly-wopped on the ground. Prior to that molly-wopping they were holding team’s rushing attacks to roughly 14 fantasy points per game. Murray and McKinnon are splitting too many snaps to have an impact against a tough Panthers defense. Molly-wop is my new favorite phrase in case you couldn’t tell.
Alex Collins, @ PIT, 35.9%: I know it’s tempting to start Collins after scoring a rushing TD in three straight games, but the Steelers have only allowed 1 rushing TD since week 6. They’ve also held opposing rushers to around 15 fantasy points per game as well.
Sterling Shepard, vs DAL, 24.4%: I know it’s nerve-wracking to think about starting Shepard since he’s been nursing a hamstring injury all week — but he practiced on Thursday and Friday and should play Sunday against the Cowboys. Something that isn’t going to show up on the scouting report is how much this Giants team is going to want to show up with Eli Manning back as starting QB and the team rallying together after Ben McAdoo’s firing. The Cowboys have allowed the most receiving TDs to WRs all season and Shepard is going to grab at least 1 of those for himself in this game.
Marquise Goodwin, @ HOU, 18.5%: I made my Goodwin good love known in my waiver article earlier this week: “Alright Marquise, I see you scoring double-digit points in each of your last three games! Chances are if i’m recommending a QB up above — you should be looking at one of his WR as a recommendation as well. Garoppolo and Goodwin are going to hook up early and often in week 14. Don’t tell their girlfriends.” The Texans have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to WRs this season.
Kelvin Benjamin, vs IND, 5.2%: Another guy who is returning from injury, but with a good matchup is Benjamin. The Colts have surrendered the 3rd most receiving yards to WRs. Admittedly, the Bills QB situation is in a bit of flux right now, but I think Kelvin is hungry to come back and make the Bills front office look good for putting their trust in him after trading for him earlier this season.
Doug Baldwin, @ JAX, 75.5%: This is the only WR I could find that I think you should sit and even I’m not convinced you should sit him. The Jaguars have allowed the fewest fantasy points to WR on the season and it’s not close. They beat the second best pass defense by 33 fantasy points. Baldwin himself has been a bit underwhelming the past 4 weeks with only 1 TD reception and 2 games where he only grabbed 2 receptions. Seahawks should still find a way to win this game, but it’ll definitely be on the strength of Mike Davis and Russell Wilson’s legs.
Jason Witten, @ NYG, 44.9% starting: 44.9 percent?! It’s the Giants guys! Witten lit them up back in week 1 for 18 fantasy points. The Giants have allowed double-digit fantasy points to TEs every single week except for week 12 against the Redskins and it’s probably because Jordan Reed was injured (name a week he WASN’T injured.)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, @ DEN, 22.5%: The Broncos “No Fly Zone” pass defense works well against wide receivers, but the Broncos have actually allowed the most receiving yards to TEs and the second-most fantasy points. ASJ has stumbled the past two weeks, but I’m expecting big things from him (and Josh McCown for that matter…)
Jared Cook, @ KC, 43.6%: Even with Amari Cooper out and Cook scoring 16 fantasy points against these Chiefs in week 7, I can’t recommend a TE who has 4 receptions in his last 3 games and only 7 total fantasy points in that span. The Chiefs to their credit have allowed less than 4 points in 4 of their last 7 games. Cook can’t be trusted at this point.
Green Bay Packers D/ST, @ CLE, 14.0%: I’m just going to quote my waiver add from earlier this week: “Fresh off a 14 fantasy point game against the Buccaneers in week 13, the Packers defense now get to enjoy the worst NFL offense in the Browns. The Browns have scored the fewest points in 2017 and nothing is going to change that in week 14 — not even Josh Gordon.” Sometimes when you’re so right, you gotta say it twice.
Philadelphia Eagles/LA Rams: I don’t care how good their defenses are or aren’t, when the league’s two best offenses are going head to head I don’t want to touch either of them. I want to sit back and enjoy the show!
Robbie Gould, @ HOU, 10.8%: Doubling down on this prediction too, sorry y’all: “Robbie Gould beat the Bears single-handedly in week 13 booting 5 out of 5 field goals en route to a 15-14 victory. All 5 FGs were under 40 yards, but who cares — points is points is points man. Now, Gould and the 49ers head to Houston to throw down against a Texans team that has allowed double-digit fantasy points to kickers in 5 of their last 7 games.”
Justin Tucker, @ PIT, 69.7%: Seems like eons ago, and I know Tucker has rifled off a string of double-digit fantasy games (7 of his last 8,) but right before that impressive streak he put up 3 points against these Steelers. Steelers have held opposing kickers to single digits in 11 of their 12 games this season.