What’s going on everyone, and welcome to Week 14, the first week of the fantasy playoffs! If you reading this, congrats, you’ve made it! But the hard work doesn’t stop here, so let’s talk about Week 14 and the great games that are on tap tomorrow afternoon!

Let’s get to it!

*Note* – My Week 14 Rankings can be found here, and be sure to check out Rudy’s projections for this week here!

*Note* – I won’t be including the “studs” in any of my “Start” columns. You should always start Aaron Rodgers, Todd Gurley, or Antonio Brown!


Start ‘Em

Ben Roethlisberger (@ OAK)

While he will be playing on the road, and will likely suck as a result (just kidding (hopefully)), this is still an unbelievable matchup for him against the Raiders. This Oakland secondary has been struggling all year long, ranking 32nd in pass defense DVOA, and giving up more than 25 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s over the past 4 weeks. With the Steelers being without Conner, he’ll have to throw it more, which is even better.

Philip Rivers (vs. CIN)

It’s a prime matchup for Rivers tomorrow against Cicny, as the Bengals rank 27th in the NFL in pass defense DVOA, as well as giving up close to 24 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. The only issue I see here with Rivers is the fact that the Bengals are actually very bad against the run, so we might not get 40+ passing attempts. Even still, Rivers is in a great spot to succeed.

Josh Allen (vs. NYJ)

In his last two games, Allen has averaged a crazy 31 fantasy points per game. He’ll get to square off against a Jets defense that has given up about 280 yards and 2 TD’s per game to opposing QB’s over the past 4 weeks. His fantasy ceiling will always be high with his ability to run around a lot, so Allen is once again a nice fantasy option.

Sit ‘Em

Matthew Stafford (@ ARI)

In the past 4 weeks, Stafford has been struggling, averaging only 16.6 fantasy points per game. It’s not even a great matchup for Stafford this week against the Cardinals, as they have only given up 20 fantasy points per game over these past few weeks to opposing QB’s. He can’t be used in the playoffs.

Derek Carr (vs. PIT)

While he played well last week, I have no expectations of Carr this week against the Steelers. While he has played well against Pittsburgh in the past, I don’t think he’ll fare well this week against them, as their secondary has only given up 17 fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s in the past 4 weeks.

Josh Rosen (vs. DET)

He’s extremely limited now with Christian Kirk out, and has only averaged 13.2 fantasy points per game in the past 4 games. Can’t use him in fantasy.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

Aaron Jones (vs. ATL)

While Jones did disappoint last week, I have faith he can do better this week against Atlanta. It’s a great matchup, as the Falcons have given up close to 6.5 catches, and 33 fantasy points per game to opposing RB’s in the past 4 weeks. With a new coach in place, hopefully Jones can get more work.

Philip Lindsay (@ SF)

With Emmanuel Sanders out, Lindsay will be called on once again, so we’ll go back to the well with him this week once more. It’s a beatable matchup for him against the Niners, and he’s been absolutely on fire as of late, averaging close to 25 fantasy points per game over the past four weeks.

Sony Michel (@ MIA)

Michel is shaping up to be another excellent play this week against the Fins down south. Earlier in the year, he absolutely crushed Miami to the tune of 112 yards and 1 TD, and should do quite well against them tomorrow once again.

Sit ‘Em

Isaiah Crowell (vs. BUF)

Not only is it a tough matchup for the Crow, but he’s been in-and-out of practice all week long with a toe injury. Even if he is able to suit up, I don’t think it’s worth it.

Josh Adams (@ DAL)

While Adams has been playing well these past few weeks, this is a very tough spot for him at Dallas. The Cowboys have only allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RB’s all season, and only one player has rushed for more than 62 yards against them since Week 3, which was Adrian Peterson in Week 7. I don’t think we can trust Adams this week.

Spencer Ware (vs. BAL)

While it’s good that he scored last week on only 55% of the snaps, I don’t feel good about him this week against a very stout Baltimore rush defense, a unit that has given up a very stout 16 fantasy points per game to opposing RB’s.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

Stefon Diggs (@ SEA)

With Theilen in the slot, Diggs will get the best possible 1v1 matchup on the outside as the Seahawks have a very good slot corner, but not so great outside CB’s. In the past 4 weeks, the Seahawks have given up close to 43 fantasy points per game to all opposing WR’s, so the matchup is certainly a good one for Diggs on MNF.

Amari Cooper (vs. PHI)

Cooper has entered must-start territory with some absolute crazy performances in recent weeks. Not only did he catch all 8 targets for the Cowboys last week, but he has averaged 14.6 fantasy points per game against the Eagles in his past two games, so lock him in!

Larry Fitzgerald (vs. DET)

While he did only catch 3 of 6 targets last week, he’ll likely get a huge bump in production with the injury to Christian Kirk, and he’ll also draw a great matchup against the Lions, a secondary that has really struggled against wideouts, giving up 33 fantasy points per game to opposing pass-catchers. Fitz is a must-start.

Sit ‘Em

Allen Robinson (vs. LAR)

When Aqib Talib has been active for the Rams, they have only allowed just two total TD’s to opposing receivers over those four games. ARob also hasn’t scored in three games in a row, and while Mitch Trubisky will make his way back to the lineup, I still don’t think Robinson is a must-start by any means.

Jordy Nelson (vs. PIT)

While Nelson blew up last week against the Chiefs, catching 10 passes for 97 yards, I don’t think he has any chance to replicate that success again this week against the Steelers. Remember, Nelson didn’t score more than 3 PPR points from Week 5-13, so I don’t think we should view him any different after last week.

Tyler Lockett (vs. MIN)

While Lockett has been an absolute fantasy stud this season, I think we should leave him on the bench for this first week of the fantasy playoffs. It’s gonna be a tough outing for him this week against Xavier Rhodes, who should shadow him in coverage. He’ll be very TD-dependent in this matchup, and with Russ Wilson spreading the ball around like he does, I don’t think Lockett is in a prime spot.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Eric Ebron (@ HOU)

Even when Ebron doesn’t score, he still produces. Last week against the Jags, Mr. Eric caught 10 of 16 targets. In his previous matchup against Houston, he totaled 15 fantasy points, and the Texans on the year have given up close to 19 fantasy points per game to opposing TE’s over the past 4 weeks. Fire him up!

Sit ‘Em

Jordan Reed (vs. NYG)

While it’s a good matchup for Reed at home, his big fantasy days only really came with Colt McCoy under center. Now with Mark Sanchez starting, I don’t think we can trust Reed at all in the playoffs.

Kickers and D/ST

Start ‘Em

Mike Badgley (vs. CIN)

In what will likely be a high-scoring game against the Bengals, Badgley is a great fantasy kicking option this week for the Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers (vs CIN)

Again, I’m all-in on the Chargers this week. The Bengals have looked lost on offense with Jeff Driskel under center, allowing 10 sacks in the past four games for them. The Chargers D/ST are a must-start.

Sit ‘Em

Robbie Gould (vs. DEN)

With just 7 combined fantasy points in the past 2 weeks, with only two FG’s total in that span, we can look elsewhere.

Baltimore Ravens (@ KC)

While the Ravens have been a very stout unit all year long, I don’t think we should start them this week on the road against the Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Alright guys, that is all my time for today. Good luck to everyone in the first week of the playoffs, and I’ll be back on Wednesday for my Week 15 Rankings! As always, if you have a question or comment, don’t hesitate to leave one below!

You Can Find Me on Twitter here!

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4 years ago

Hey Zach, Jaylen Samuels wasn’t listed in your post and you probably talk about him somewhere, but what’s your ideas on him? My real dilemma is starting (2) D. Johnson, Samuels or Wilson. No one, that I’ve seen, is talking about the David Johnson/Chase Edmonds issue. Is it an issue? Who knows, but I think there might be more there than meets the eye. I mean, does ARI want to risk Johnson on a lost season? I’m serious considering benching Johnson for Samuels & Wilson. What do you think? It’s a Yahoo PPR league.

Thurgood Congo
Thurgood Congo
4 years ago

Awesome stuff. 2 questions for ya, as my 12-1 team in a 16-league .5ppr team has some tough decisions for Round 1 of the Playoffs:

1) Starting Davante and Gordon; at WR3, do I roll dice on Keke, Gallup or Daesean? Dropped Enunwa and Crabtree…

2) Starting McCaffery, but for RB2, RB3, TE and Flex, choose 4:
Justin Jackson
Josh Adams


4 years ago

I need to pick one out of ware, j Howard, pettis, a robinson, trequan smith. .5 ppr. I don’t like wares matchup. Thanks

4 years ago

Would you start engram or Herndon at tight end? Beckham out for nyg. Darnold is starting for nyj. .5 ppr. Thanks

4 years ago

Hey Zach, I see that neither Jeff Wilson or Jaylen Samuels are listed in your post. I have David Johnson, Wilson and Samuels and I need to start 2. What’s your opinion on the David Johnson – Chase Edmonds situation? I don’t know what to make of it and I could definitely see ARI taking it easy on Johnson, due to their lost season. I’m considering benching Johnson in favor of Wilson and Samuels, what do you think? It’s a Yahoo PPR league.