2014 Fantasy Football: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em WEEK 14
2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL: START ‘EM or SIT ‘EM WEEK 14
A helpful look into who should be in your line up or riding your bench this week.
Always remember one of our biggest rules here at FFChamps.com:
Commandment #10: Thou shall ALWAYS start thy Studs
Every major fantasy football site gives you a start 'em or sit 'em article every week to try and help you with you line up selection. Unfortunately we can't always get it right. Some calls looks genius, and others not so much. Each week I will review the past week of my start and sit selections to let you know how well it went. I (like every else in this industry) won't always get every call right every week, and I will share all the results with you so you know where I was right and where I was wrong. Here is the criteria I will use to say when the players from the previous week were a GOOD CALL or a BAD CALL.
For the Start 'Em:
QB - Any quarterback who finished in the top 16 will be a Good Call.
Any quarterback outside the top 16 will be a Bad Call.
RB - Any running back who finished in the top 36 will be a Good Call.
Any running back outside the top 36 will be a Bad Call.
WR - Any wide receiver who finished in the top 48 will be a Good Call.
Any wide receiver outside the top 48 will be a Bad Call.
TE - Any tight end who finished in the top 16 will be a Good Call.
Any tight end outside the top 16 will be a Bad Call.
For the Sit 'Em:
QB - Any quarterback who finished out of the top 16 will be a Good Call.
Any quarterback in the top 16 will be a Bad Call.
RB - Any running back who finished out of the top 36 will be a Good Call.
Any running back in the top 36 will be a Bad Call.
WR - Any wide receiver who finished out of the top 48 will be a Good Call.
Any wide receiver in the top 48 will be a Bad Call.
TE - Any tight end who finished out of the top 16 will be a Good Call.
Any tight end in the top 16 will be a Bad Call.
WEEK 13 RESULTS: (YTD)
Good Calls: 15 (189)
Bad Calls: 9 (128)
Peyton Manning Denver Broncos vs Buffalo Bills
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night)
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns
Tom Brady New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears (Thursday Night):
Romo and the Cowboys were just absolutely embarrassed by the Eagles on Thanksgiving when he threw for 199 yards with no touchdowns and 2 picks. Now to have a chance to win the NFC east, Romo and the Boys must win in Chicago this Thursday night. The Bears are virtually out of the playoffs and still have the worst defense at stopping QBs (25 points per game against them). Romo's 3 points last week was tied a career low for Romo in a game he's started and finished. The only other time he posted 3 points he came back the next game (on the road) to throw for over 350 yard with 3 TDs and no picks. In fact Romo has had 17 career games since becoming the starter with under 200 passing yards; he's come back for 250+ in 15 of the next 17 (including 11 games with 300+) and threw for at least 1 TD in 16 of the 17 and multiple TDs in 12 of the 17. Romo and the Cowboys know they must bounce back to have a shot at the division title when the roll into Philadelphia for some revenge next week.
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles:
Could be a trap game for both teams. Facing each other sandwiched between their respective rivals (49ers and Cowboys), but even if that's the case I really like Wilson to shine this week. While he and the Seahawks have a less-than-pedestrian passing game this season, the Eagles are still a bottom 3 team against QBs and are just 1 of 3 teams to allow 24+ points per game to QBs. Against the NFC east this season Wilson is averaging just 166 passing yards with just 2 total TD and 3 picks, but he is chipping in 80 rush yards and 1 TD on the ground. Oh and both of his passing TDs against the NFC east came on the road. Factor in that in the 4 games after he's faced the 49ers in his career to this point he's averaging 223 pass yards, 2 TDs, and 33 rush yards and I wouldn't be shocked at all to see Wilson post somewhere in the high teen's to low 20's this week. Definitely respectable QB1 numbers.
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers (Monday Night):
This game is just going to be points, points, points, and then some more points. The Packers average 41 points per game in Lambeau so every team must score to keep pace. The Falcons are definitely a pass first team, which of course bodes well for Ryan this week. While the Pack have allowed all but 1 quarterback to hit double-digits in Green Bay this season, Ryan has scored double-digits in every game away from Atlanta this season and has under 17 points just once in those 6 away games. Gotta love having that Monday Night Football mojo in week 1 of the playoffs! Rodgers will score, Ryan will score, and the entire MNF audience will be entertained for the evening.
Colt McCoy Washington Redskins vs St. Louis Rams:
Please don't get caught up in all the hype based of McCoy's numbers from last week. Sure he had an amazing stat line going for 392 yards with 3 TDs and no picks, but can you really trust him in the fantasy playoffs? No you can't. Last week the Redskins were in catch up mode basically all day after the first 10 minutes of the game. The 300+ passing yards that Colt accumulated is only the 2nd time in his career (23 starts) he's hit that magic number, and the 3TDs was a career high. McCoy actually has more games with 0 touchdown passes (7) than he does with multiple touchdowns throws (6). The Rams have kept QBs touchdown-less in 4 games this season and have not allowed a QB to put up 2+ TDs on them since Russell Wilson in week 7. Oh and St. Louis has found it's pass rush once again, sacking quarterbacks 22 times in the last 5 weeks (at least 2 per game over that span). Can't imagine anyone out there rolling with Colt in the post season but just in case the thought crossed your mind for some reason, SMASH IT NOW!
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals:
This is huge game for both teams. Cincinnati trying to extend their game and a half (don't forget about their tie earlier this season with Carolina) while Pittsburgh is trying to inch closer to a division title and just keep pace in the AFC wild card picture with the other 5 teams siting at 7-5 after 13 weeks. In his last 5 games in Cincinnati, Roethlisberger has posted nearly identical numbers in each, going for 1 touchdown and 1 interception in each with yardage totals of 276,163, 245, 278, and 251. That's an average of 12 points per game. Not bad but not great, plus the Bengals are the only team in the NFL to have more picks than touchdowns given up to QBs. 9 of their 12 interceptions have come at home this year and they have 3 picks in 3 division games in 2014.
Eli Manning New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans:
Manning now has ODB to throw to which is a huge plus. There are some downsides this week though. First off Rashad Jennings is back and looks great last week but more on him later. Secondly outside of road division games this season, Eli is averaging just 231 yards per contest with 1 TD and 1 INT. In fact Manning hasn't thrown for multiple TDs on the road (outside of the NFC east) since November of 2011 The Titans have allowed just 1 quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns in 5 home games this season, and just 1 has surpassed the 300 yard threshold as well. This is Eli Manning's 3rd career game against the Titans, his career numbers versus Tennessee? 529 passing yards with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. History do not favor Manning and his week 14 match up.
LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles vs Seattle Seahawks
Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals
Matt Forte Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys (Thursday Night)
Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night)
Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles
Justin Forsett Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
Rashad Jennings New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans:
In his 8 games played this season, Jennings has 6 games with 7+ points and 5 of those 6 went for double digits. He's still a top 20 back (number 19 currently) despite playing the fewest number of games among those in the top 20 (3 others have played 9 games while the rest have played 10+). After increasing his total points each of the last 3 weeks since he's returned from injury, it's apparent he is going to be a main focal point in the Giants offense the rest of the way. Since returning from his MCL sprain, Jennings has 50+ rush yards in each game with 2 total TDs and an average of 13 fantasy points per game. Now he gets to take on the Tennessee Titans, the 2nd worst team at stopping RBs, giving up 23.6 per game. The last 5 RB1s to face the Titans have all posted double-digit points including 3 games with 20+, 1 game went for over 30, and none of those 5 scored less than 16. Expect a huge dose of Jennings this week, and a huge dose of points.
Joique Bell Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Last week with no Reggie Bush against a decent run D, we saw a glimpse of the old Joique Bell and I think that continues this week against an even weaker run D in the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is a bottom 10 team against running backs, and 1 of 11 teams allowing 20+ points per game to opposing RBs. They are also 1 of 4 teams to have allowed 70 or more receptions to RBs thus far in the season. Bell has multiple receptions in every game but 1 since week 4. He's also scored 8+ points in 5 of those games and had double-digits in 4. The Buccs have let RB1s post double-digits on them in 9 of 12 games this year and in 4 of the last 5. The Lions are on the playoff hunt and know they have to establish a running game and with no Bush they know Bell is they guy to lean on. He's had an increase in rush attempts in each of the last 4 weeks with AT LEAST an extra 4 carries per week. Don't be shocked to see Bell get close to 30 touches this game and if he does he will make the most of them.
Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers @ Oakland Raiders:
The Raiders are the bottom of the barrel in terms of allowing fantasy points to running backs, giving up 25 per contest. They have let 11 running backs eclipse 15 fantasy points in a game in the 12 they've played. Gore has played the Raiders twice in his career and is averaging 141 yards per game against the silver and black. Gore also is not one to have long slumps in the fantasy world. Since the start of 2012 he's had just one streak of more than 2 games with single-digit points. He's failed to hit double-digits in his last 2 so odds say he's going to play well this week. Oh and remember what Tre Mason did to this rush defense last week? Yeah I'd play Gore if you got him.
Lamar Miller Miami Dolphins vs Baltimore Ravens:
Thus far in 2014 Lamar Miller has had 5 games against teams in the top 8 at stopping RBs from scoring fantasy points on them. His points read; 4,1,8,5,11. That's one double-digit game in 5 opportunities and now the top rated Ravens run D comes to south beach hungry for a win after giving up a sizable lead in the 4th quarter last week to San Diego. Since week 3 the Ravens have given up double-digit points just 3 times and just barely on each occasion; 10 to Gio Bernard, 11 to Le'Veon Bell, and 10 to Ryan Mathews. The Ravens has allowed RBs to COMBINE for 166 total yards and 1 touchdown in the last 3 weeks. That averages out to about 7 points per game over that span. Plus the only time Miller faced the Ravens in his career was last season, in Miami, where he managed a whole 15 yards on 7 carries. Don't rely on Miller to carry you to round 2 of the playoffs.
Fred Jackson Buffalo Bills @ Denver Broncos:
Jackson has played just 3 games on the road this season for a grand total of 24 points per contest. 2 of those games came against middle-of-the-road rush defenses (Chicago & Houston) while the third was against a tough run D in the Lions. This week Jackson and his Bills go into Denver to face the AFC west-leading Broncos who are a top-notch defense at stopping running backs. Denver has given up 1,203 total yards to RBs this season, that's less than the amount of just RUSH yards 15 teams have given up. Let's add in the fact that Denver has not allowed a running back to come into Sports Authority Field and post double-digits since week 5 and have allowed just 1 touchdown by a RB since that point. Jackson also averages 15 yards less per game on the road in his career as opposed to being in Buffalo and scores a TD in just 1 of every 3 road games. I know he's a RB1 for his squad so I can't kill you if you need to use him in a RB2/FLEX role but temper expectations and realize he more than likely won't score you double-digit points this weekend.
Tre Mason St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins:
How do you sit Mason after that epic performance last week against the Raiders? I'll tell you how. First off Mason has 3 games of 80+ yards this season, all-coming at home. His average rush yards/game at home is a healthy 89 while away from the Dome in St. Louis it's just 52. He's also scored all 4 of his touchdowns on the season at home. Second let's be honest, the Raiders suck. Not just in the real life football they play, but they are the worst team at stopping the run, WORST. The are allowing 25 points/game while Mason's next opponent, the Washington Redskins are the 5th best team at stopping RBs allowing just 14 per game. That's already an 11-point swing in the wrong direction for Mason. The Skins are even better at home, letting backs score an average of just 7 per and have not let a RB post 10+ on them in the nation's capital since Marshawn Lynch accomplished that in week 5. I know it will be hard to bench Mason this week but odds are you will have a better option to help yourself move on into round 2.
Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos vs Buffalo Bills
Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears (Thursday Night)
Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys (Thursday Night)
A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers (Monday Night)
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night)
Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins vs Baltimore Ravens:
How about those rookie wide outs this season? We all know the major names, but guys like Landry and the Packers Davante Adams (more on him later) are still producing respectable numbers are have proven themselves flex worthy of late. Landry is quickly becoming Ryan Tannehill's favorite target. Landry has 7 games this season with 6+ targets, and has 6+ in 4 of the last 5 weeks including 10+ in 3 of those 5. He's also has reeled in 5 or more balls in each of those 5 games, has 46 or more yards per contest and has scored 4 of his 5 touchdowns on the season in that span. And while I hate Lamar Miller and his match up this week against the leagues best D versus the run, Landry is in the opposite situation, as the Ravens are the absolute worst against the pass. Against WRs this season Baltimore is allowing the 2nd most receptions (185), most yards (2,537), 4th most TDs (14), and most fantasy points per contest at 29 per. Take away the game versus Tennessee and the Ravens have allowed 9+ targets to the top WR on each team and right now, and for the foreseeable future, that guy in Miami is Mr. Landry.
Davante Adams Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night):
Yet another rookie wide out I am a huge fan of this week. I shouldn't have to say much more than Adams is playing at home and has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, but let's elaborate a little. Adams is getting more and more love as the season goes from his QB. Adams has a touchdown or 8+ targets in 6 of his last 8 games, and last week looked to be that breakout game against the Patriots. While the Pats had Revis and Browner taking out Nelson and Cobb last week, it was apparent that Rodgers began to trust Adams throwing to him a career-high 11 times while Davante hauled in 6 of those balls for 121 yards. He should have had 7 catches with a TD that he dropped and I think Rodgers finds a way to get Adams into the end zone this week to keep his confidence heading in the right direction. The Falcons are 1 of 5 teams to be allowing 26 or more fantasy points to wide receivers weekly and taking on the trio of Nelson/Cobb/Adams is going to exploit that number. Over the last 5 weeks Atlanta has given up 66 receptions (5th most in the league) and 930 yards (3rd most in the league) with over 200 yards per game to WRs on the road over that period. Teams have to keep Jordy and Randall at bay first which just means more opportunity for Adams and he will take advantage of that.
Kenny Stills New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers:
Stills was a guy that should have been picked up right away once Brandin Cooks was put on IR. Stills is the clear-cut number 2 option in the Saints passing attack behind Jimmy Graham now and if last week is any indication (with Graham being blanketed and not getting a single target) than Stills is in for a BIG final 4 weeks of the season. In the 2 full games he's played without Cooks lined up opposite of him, Stills has caught 13 of his 15 targets for 260 yards and 1 touchdown; all tops on the team other than TDs (where Graham and Colston each have 2). The Carolina Panthers have given up the 2nd most touchdowns to WRs this year with 16, and an outstanding 12 of those (75%) have come in their road games. Stills has a guy throwing to him named Drew Brees, perhaps you've heard of him? Well in his 1 career games against the Panthers Brees is averaging 290 yards per game with a better than 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. And in his last 6 games against Carolina in the Superdome, Brees has not thrown for less than 275 yards (5 games with 300+), has at least 1TD in each (with 4 games of 4 or more passing scores) and just 4 total picks in those 6. Yeah Stills is the main wide out in Brees' arsenal, and yes Drew will air it out this week.
Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers @ Oakland Raiders:
Crabtree is definitely not the guy we expected him to be before this season started. He's got just 3 games with more than 65 yards this season, and none those 3 games has he seen 100 yards in (85 is his best game thus far in 2014). He has just 4 games this season with over 8 points and all those games came with a score. If Crabtree doesn't score than he seems to be doing more harm than good to your fantasy team. Let's look at Crabtree compared to another wide out in San Fran, Stevie Johnson. Crabtree has seen 81 targets, 51 catches for 577 yards and 4TDs. Johnson has seen 47 targets, 34 catches for 435 yards and 3TDs. Mike has the slight advantage in stats but what if I told you he's been on the field for over double the snaps of Johnson (596 to 271). Also the Raiders are also one of the top 5 teams in stopping WRs from scoring points, allowing just 19 points per game to them. Over the last 3 weeks the Raiders are giving up less than 10 catches for 110 yards per game with just 1 total TD in that span. Stats that don't look good for a guy who's TD dependent to post respectable numbers.
Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles vs Seattle Seahawks:
Matthews still has the best connection with Mark Sanchez, and the Eagles are still going to score points and move the ball, so this is more of a temper expectations than flat out hate. First, and mainly, the Eagles are taking on the Seahawks, best at stopping WRs. Not just the best but the best by far. They allow just 14 points per game to entire wide receiver squads not just 1 player, tops in the NFL (2nd best team is giving up over 16 ppg). Seattle has allowed just 4, yes 4, touchdowns to wide receivers this year (2nd fewest allowed is 6). The Seahawks have also not let a WR score a TD in them on the road since week 5 (and just allowed 1 total since that point) while allowing just 2 receivers to eclipse 70 yards on road this season (DeSean Jackson & Kelvin Benjamin are the 2 to surpass the 70 yard mark). Matthews has just 1 game in his last 5 with single-digits but that came in Philadelphia and he's seen his yardage slip each week over the last 4 games.
Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers vs New England Patriots (Sunday Night):
Another guy like Mason whom absolutely went off last week but needs to be sat this week. Allen has himself 3 100-yard games this season, all have come against bottom 10 teams at stopping WRs, including the Ravens last week who are dead last in that category. Let's factor in the the other 9 games Allen has played this year he's hit over 55 yards or scored a TD in just 3 of those 9, and all 3 of those came against familiar foes in the AFC west. Now Allen and the San Diego Super Chargers need to keep themselves in the playoff race by stopping the New England Patriots this Sunday night. A Patriots team that just lost in Green Bay and hasn't lost 2 games on the road in a row since November/December of 2009. Yeah that's 5 years and I can't see that happening again this weekend.
Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers
Julius Thomas Denver Broncos vs Buffalo Bills
Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers (Sunday Night)
Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys (Thursday Night):
Currently Bennett is the 6th highest scoring tight end in fantasy football, just 18 points behind Jimmy Graham (a guy who was drafted over 4 rounds ahead of him on average this season) for 2nd place among TEs. Bennett is grabbing 6 balls for 54 yards on average at home this season and has 2 total TDs at Soldier Field. The Cowboys D is allowing the most receptions to TEs (73), 3rd most TDs (9), and 6th most yards (736) all while being 1 of just 5 teams allowing 10+ points per game to TEs. Chicago is desperate for a win and Dallas can't cover tight ends which means Martellus Bennett should see a big game Thursday Night.
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings vs New York Jets:
Since his return from sports hernia surgery 3 weeks ago Rudolph is the 18th highest scoring TE and that's with him getting 0 targets in his first game back. I know it doesn't seem like much to go on but with the tight end position being so thin this season everyone is grasping for straws every week that doesn't have a Gronk or Graham or Julius on their squad. Being in the playoffs with a position being unsecured is scary but Rudolph is a guy who could be a sneaky play this week against the Jets. New York is 1 of 2 teams to be allowing 11+ fantasy points per game to TEs this year and giving up a NFL high 12 TDs to tight ends. While Rudolph had only 7 receiving yards last week, the other 3 times in his career he had a single-digit yardage performance he bounced back the following week with either a touchdown, 90+ yards, or both.
Richard Rodgers Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night):
Rodgers has scored a touchdown in each of the last 2 games so he’s definitely usable again right? Eh I can’t agree to that. While he did find the end zone last week and the week before, he has had only 3 targets in those 2 weeks (by far the lowest on the team) and even on the season has just over half as many targets (19 compared to 34) as the Packers other TE Andrew Quarless. We all know the Packers will score but their TE position is nothing to drool over. Rodgers scored his TDs against 2 teams that have given up a combined 8 touchdowns to TEs this year, 1 of those teams (the Patriots) being bottom 10 team vs TEs. Now he faces the Falcons, who for as bad as they are on defense, can stop tight ends. Allowing the 4th fewest points to the position, and the 2nd fewest touchdowns this season (2). Atlanta is horrible against the run and against wide outs so expect big games out of Eddie Lacy and the talented wide receiver trio in Green Bay but not much noise from the tight ends.
Owen Daniels Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins:
Feels like Daniels has been on this list pretty frequently the last few weeks but his game isn’t improving enough to upgrade him to useful, especially in the fantasy playoffs. He’s taking on the top team at stopping tight ends in the Dolphins, who are the only team in the NFL to be allowing less than 5 points per contest to TEs. The Dolphins have allowed just 4 TDs to tight ends this year, and just 1 since their week 5 bye week. After scoring 2 TDs against the Steelers all the way back in week 2 here are Daniels numbers over the last 9 games: 0,4,7,3,11,5,2,0,3. Outside of the 11-point game and maybe the 7 he’s done nothing. Again he is not trustable in any league during your playoff run. I’d rather take a chance on guys like Jason Witten, Jared Cook, or Jordan Cameron this week over Daniels.