It’s Week 14, which means in the majority of non-MFL leagues, it’s playoff time.  For some, it’s been a must-win week for awhile now, but now, everyone can relate.  With no hesitation, let’s get to this week’s starts and sits.


Start ‘Em

Kenny Stills, New Orleans: When Brandin Cooks went down, owners gravitated toward veteran Marques Colston to fill the void in the struggling New Orleans offense.  What happens when you count on Colston, class?  Correct, he lets you down.  It has been Kenny Stills, the second-year receiver out of Oklahoma, who has benefited with an increase of targets and production with Cooks out of the picture.  He burnt a horrible Pittsburgh secondary last year to the tune of five catches, 162 yards and a score.  Against an equally poor Carolina secondary, expect Stills to put up a big day again on Sunday, as he’s our start of the week.

Other WRs to start: DeAndre Hopkins, Josh Gordon, Kelvin Benjamin, Kendall Wright, Golden Tate, Jarvis Landry, Stedman Bailey, Donte Moncrief, Robert Woods, Eddie Royal.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami: He had an off-week last week, but Tannehill has quietly been one of the better and more consistent quarterbacks this year in fantasy, in part to his running ability.  Tannehill faces a banged up Ravens secondary in Miami, where the Dolphins have played better.  Expect Tannehill to put up top-12 numbers at the position this week.

Other QBs to start: Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Zach Mettenberger.

Rashad Jennings, New York Giants: What a boost Jennings has given to this offense, eh? doesn’t expect Jennings to miss anytime with an ankle injury suffered during last week’s game, so he’s an automatic start against a poor Tennessee run defense.  Jennings, who scored twice last week, should find the end zone again this week and, as always, will contribute in the passing game, too.

Other RBs to start: Isaiah Crowell, Mark Ingram, Joique Bell, Ryan Mathews, Dan Herron, Trent Richardson, Tre Mason, Justin Forsett, Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota:  Rudolph seems to still have the training wheels on since his return from injury.  A week after putting up a zero, he managed to find the end zone last week.  This week, the matchup is great, as he faces a Jets’ defense that has struggled against the tight end all year, allowing 12 touchdowns to the opposition.  At this point, you start the tight end that gives you the best chance to score.  This week, it’s Rudolph.

Other TEs to start: Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Heath Miller, Anthony Fasano, Antonio Gates, Charles Clay.


Sit ‘Em

Philip Rivers, San Diego: I think I just like typing his name in this section because he’s such an easy guy to root against.  For real, though, putting bias aside, it’s a bad matchup for Rivers, as he’ll take on New England.  The Patriots have been relatively tough on quarterbacks this season, and while you may not have better options at this point in the season, temper your expectations after Rivers’ big game last week.

Other QBs to sit: Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Josh McCown, Cam Newton.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo: It was nice to see Jackson lead the Buffalo rushing attack in its win over Cleveland, however, he hasn’t been too productive since returning to the lineup from injury.  Add to the fact that the Bills face Denver’s stingy run defense this week, Jackson should be considered as no more than a low-end RB2 or flex play.

Other RBs to sit: Lamar Miller, Denard Robinson, Raiders running backs, Doug Martin, Matt Asiata, Patriots running backs.

Brandon LaFell, New England: LaFell has been one of the better values this year in fantasy, as he’s enjoyed a breakout year (finally) with Tom Brady and Co.  This week, however, he will square off against Brandon Flowers of San Diego, who has held No. 1 receivers in check this season.  LaFell should be considered a WR3 or flex play this week, at best.

Other WRs to sit: Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Vincent Jackson, Michael Crabtree (forever), Michael Floyd, Sammy Watkins, Keenan Allen.

Greg Olsen, Carolina: You’re not benching Olsen.  Chances are, if a tight end on your roster can catch a ball, you’re playing him.  Olsen is here — like others in the past — to tell you to temper your expectations for his matchup against the Saints.  Olsen has struggled against them throughout his career, and New Orleans is one of the better defenses against the tight end this season.  You’re starting him, but count on production from your other positions.

Other TEs to sit: Vernon Davis, Mychal Rivera, Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Owen Daniels, Jordan Reed.

  1. rainking99 says:

    I need to pick a WR2, RB2 and Flex (standard scoring)

    Roddy @ GB
    Evans @ DET
    Miller vs BALT
    Herron @ CLE
    Ivory @ MIN
    Andre Williams (if Jennings is out, I assume a lock for RB2)

    Available as FA:
    S. Bailey
    C. Johnson
    D. Allen (I have D. Walker starting and Cameron on bench)

    Thank you for your advice!

    • rainking99 says:

      @rainking99: I would be dropping McKinnon…….

      • rainking99 says:

        @rainking99: I also own Landry vs BALT
        Thanks again!

  2. Brown L says:

    Great article, but care to speak more about the TRich endorsement? I know he’s technically in a timeshare in a high-powered offense, but he’s just so bad. At this point I’d almost rather start Carlos Hyde, who could get 10-12 garbage time touches against the putrid Raiders and do more with them.

    • @Brown L: Oh I think T-Rich is a horrible, horrible football player. That being said, if the Colts get within the 5, I think he gets the goaline carries. Pagano is a player’s coach. I would play Hyde over him, tho.

  3. EDUB says:

    Start D Adams or H Douglas if Roddy can’t go? Or should I avoid situation entirely and start Charles Johnson vs Jets on Sunday?

    • @EDUB: I take the chance with Roddy and have Adams as a backup. All high-risk, high-reward plays this week.

  4. Steve Stevenson says:

    If Jennings doesn’t start, would you flex Andre Williams @Ten over Tre Mason @Was in 0.5 PPR? I’m leaning Mason despite the matchups–putting my season in any Giant’s hands seems too risky.

  5. Mike says:

    In a keeper league where we can only keep two players each year. I traded away all my top talent for picks next year and am pretty loaded in that regard. However, now I’m struggling with a 2nd keeper. I have AP (hope he plays) and really no one else worth keeping. I have 2 waiver moves left on the year and the following guys are available on the wire. Which two should I grab with the hopes that one of them can be my 2nd keeper next year?

    Ray Rice (can I really have a team with Rice and AP?)
    Pierre Thomas


    • @Mike: I take a gamble on Spiller and Cruz. All of them are gambles, but they have the highest upside for me.

  6. david says:

    I love me some Razzball!

    Which 2 do I start in my PPR league?

    Bernard, Crowell, Joique, J. Hill, Williams (if Jennings sits)?

    • @david: Best site out there! I’m going Crow and Joique. Great matchup for Crow, and he’s the guy with West in the doghouse. Joique should get at least one score. You beat Tampa by running on them, and I’m not afraid of Reggie Bush.

      • david says:

        @Michael Waterloo:
        Thank you. I think that’s a great call.

  7. GS says:

    “Philip Rivers is such an easy guy to root against.”
    WTF is this writers problem? Must be a Cutler lover.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      I’m a huge Rivers guy, my favorite player to be honest, but I understand why someone would root against him.

      • @Jay: I think he’s a hell of a football player. Won’t take that away from him. Just easy to root against.

    • Mordacious Levator says:

      @GS: cutler and rivers are both very easy to root against. i don’t write here, and certainly a cutler bias isn’t amongst any problems i might have that lead me to root against rivers.

      • @Mordacious Levator: Agreed. Like Cutler as a fantasy player only. He’s right up there with Rivers as far as rooting against a guy.

  8. Jimmy says:

    Playoff time, facing an uphill battle. Need 2 QBs 6 pt TD. Eli, Ben or Fitzpatrick. Which one sits?
    Need 2 PPR: Matthews, Miller, Joique, Hyde or Sims?
    Need 2 PPR: Randle, Wright, Kearse or Patterson?
    Which D: NYG or KC?

    • @Jimmy: I’m sitting Fitzpatrick here…barely.

      Give me Joique and Mathews.
      Wright (if plays) and Randle.
      I’ll take my chances with the Chiefs. Superior D to me.

  9. Ahowe says:

    Fred Jackson or Maclin? .5 PPR

  10. Nightpandas says:

    Need 2 of 4 QB:

    6pts a Td, 1 pt per 25yrds pass, .5 completion, -.5 sack, -1.5 int, 1pt per 10 yryocc rushing


  11. Mike says:

    Offered 2 trades in my dynasty league which one would you accept if any? Round values attached to each player. 1/2 ppr league.

    Deandre Hopkins (5) for Giovani Bernard (5)
    Odell Beckham (25) for Jamaal Charles (5)

    • @Mike: Hard to say on the surface. Would depend on roster makeup and if your team is currently competing. If I were to take one, it would be the second trade. Tremendous value there, even with giving up a talent like Charles.

      • Mordacious Levator says:

        @Michael Waterloo: i think he’d be getting charles in the 2nd one.

  12. Nick says:

    Hey Waterloo, with R Jennings & Williams looking like a 50/50 split, should i plug Ryan Mathews in at flex or M Bryant, Sanu, L Murray, J Reed are also options…non-ppr league…thanks!

  13. Dom B says:

    Which to start at TE Jordan Reed or Delanie Walker at RB Johnathan Stewart or Fred jax and at DEF BAL or Buffalo

    • @Dom B: Walker. Going to have a huge day. Give me Steward with Deangelo out. I’ll take Baltimore D, if choosing between the two.

  14. A Wesley Snipes Life says:

    i thought everybody flocked to stills the week cooks went down, they did in all my leagues (me in 2 of them)

  15. A Wesley Snipes Life says:

    you might want to mention that roughshod isn’t 100% at all, and would likely be splitting carries with a.will.

    • A Wesley Snipes Life says:

      @A Wesley Snipes Life: others mention it above, but if somebody only read the article they might think he’s simply healthy and starting.

  16. Mike says:

    Your analysis is subpar. For instance, Lafell should be facing Shareece Wright, not Brandon Flowers.

  17. Barker says:

    12 team ppr

    Qb cam wr gordon stills rb lacy mason te bennett flex keenan allen
    K vinatieri def SF
    Bn ellington mathews denard clay bal

    Start Cam or drop for fitz or ortonor bridgewater
    Play allen or mathews or denard in flex

    • @Barker: I’m OK starting Fitz over Cam, but wouldn’t feel great about either. Mathews for flex.

  18. Bill says:

    Please sir….another cup of help!!

    standard scoring – RB,RB,FLEX,WR,WR

    Pick 4 (DeMarco already dominated…)
    M. Ingram
    J. Hill
    J. Stewart
    K. Stills
    J. Gordon
    G. Tate
    A. Johnson

    Keep in mind I already have Jimmy plugged in at TE (questioning starting 3 saints in my most critical matchup of the season)


  19. david says:

    If Desean Jackson sits… Should I start the Rams DST instead of the Vikings? I think MIN dst’s upside is capped by the Jets just running the ball at a ridiculous rate.
    What are your thoughts? Thanks once again!

    • @david: DJax is out. I have the Rams No. 2 for the week behind the 49ers

  20. Kano1 says:

    Who should I start ….2Wr 2Rb 1 flex 1TE…Watkins, Keneen Allen, Landry, Mathews, Smith sr Torey smith..RB Vereen ,Gray , Fjax, Jennings, Andre Williams, T.West, TE, Thomas, Fleener

    • @Kano1: Assuming standard scoring here….Landry and Torey Smith if he plays. Allen if he doesn’t. Fjax and Jennings. Sub Williams if he doesn’t go. Don’t feel great about either TE. If there isn’t good news about Julius early, roll with Fleener. Allen will take away from him once again, though.

  21. Fizz says:

    I’m an Ellington owner and need to replace him for my flex position. I need advice on who to start between Martavis Bryant, P. Garçon, Stepfan Taylor, D. Martin, or N. Paul. This is a ppr league.

    Thanks in advance.

  22. Fizz says:

    I have Matt Ryan starting in a ppr league, but have R. Fitzpatrick available on the waiver wire. Should I add him and start him over Ryan?

  23. bobbo says:

    Need some help for my playoff matchup, thanks!

    QB: (1pt per 25 yds, 4pt pass td, 6pt rush td, +5pt at 300 yds)
    Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, or Eli Manning

    Flex: (1pt per 10 rush, 1pt per 20 rec, 1 PPR, +5pt at 100 yards)
    Dan Herron, Mike Evans, Brandon LaFell, Doug Martin
    (already playing Julio Jones/Josh Gordon and LeVeon Bell/Tre Meson)

    TE: Flex: (1pt per 20 rec, 1 PPR, +5pt at 100 yards)
    Travis Kelce, Larry Donnell, Kyle Rudolph, Dwayne Allen, or Coby Fleener

  24. Nick says:

    Hey Waterloo, question about setting up my defense for the playoffs the next 2 weeks…I think playing ST Louis next week vs. Arizona is a good play with Stanton at QB & no RBs (ellington out), right?

    Then week 16 (fantasy championship), St Louis has the NYG I can try and grab Detroit from waivers (playing @Chi) or other options which might be better for week 16 are;

    GB @ TB
    NE @ NYJ
    Cle @ Carolina
    SD @ SF

    would you drop Sanu (want to keep A Williams in case Jennings is not 100% in my playoffs) or J Reed for any of the defenses above to hold for week 16 if I make it to fantasy championship, here is my roster;

    QB- Rodgers
    WR- Cobb, Beckham, K Allen
    RB- D Murray, R Jennings
    flex- Ingram
    Bench- A Williams, M Bryant, R Mathews, L Murray, Sanu, J Reed

    • Nick says:

      @Nick: scratch NE, open waivers, people are snipping :(

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