Fantasy Football: Week 14 starts, sits
|12.07.12 at 9:24 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 14 starts and sits. It’s a high-stakes week and I have found some matchups worth highlighting, but a lot can change between now and Sunday, so stop by our Sunday morning chat if you need any last-minute help or a second opinion on a lineup decision. We’ll kick off the chat at 11 a.m. I hope to see you there. We also have full lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com and I will update them over the weekend, so check that out, too.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers vs. Eagles
Freeman will get back on track after a few rough weeks of tough matchups. The Eagles at home looks like a get-well game to me. Start the Bucs QB if you normally would.
Matthew Stafford, Lions at Packers
Don’t overthink. Stafford has a few red flags, like injuries to his receivers and a road matchup against Green Bay, but he also has a piping-hot Calvin Johnson to work with, and Stafford himself has played a bit better recently. The Lions also have solid depth players like Tony Scheffler, who can replace guys like Titus Young and Ryan Broyles in the slot. Unless you have a really strong second option, just roll with Stafford in Week 14.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Saints
He was OK last week despite the medium statistical output. Look for Manning and the Giants to post better numbers at home against a weak Saints defense. I have him ranked 12th overall this week in our preliminary rankings.
Chad Henne, Jaguars vs. Jets
Henne is likely to be playing without Cecil Shorts and already has lost Laurent Robinson for the year. The Jets play solid defense, so this is a situation to avoid for Week 14.
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Steelers
He’s going bad and his team is in turmoil. Throw in a bad road matchup against a very motivated team and you have a reason to look elsewhere. Rivers is viable but very risky and he lacks the upside he’s had in recent years. Avoid him if you can.
Bryce Brown, Eagles at Buccaneers
Unless you live in a cave, you know what Brown can do for you. Just keep him active. The Bucs have played the run well, and Brown has had fumbling problems, but there’s just no reason that the Eagles coaches will go away from him. Start this guy, even in 10-team formats. He’s a top-10 option right now.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals vs. Cowboys
With no competition for carries, BJGE has been a true bell cow tailback over the the last month. This matchup looks solid and the Law Firm has been running well. Keep him active as a strong RB2 in all formats.
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers vs. Chargers
He is now the man in Pittsburgh. Rashard Mendenhall was not even active in Week 13 and that trend should continue in Week 14. The Chargers are no pushover, but Dwyer will get enough chances to be a solid RB2 option in all formats. The backfield now belongs to him, and Isaac Redman comes in on passing downs.
Reggie Bush, Dolphins at 49ers
He’s sharing touches. and this is a problematic matchup. Bush can always find a way in the passing game, but this is a week to consider other options if you have them. He’s a very weak play as an RB2 in 10-team leagues.
Ryan Mathews, Chargers at Steelers
I said the other day on Rotobahn that there was madness in San Diego. Well, somebody agreed with me, as the new rumor is that general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner will be fired at the end of the year. It’s a move that comes at least a year too late, but it’s still a move that had to be made. As for Mathews, I just can’t recommend him given his recent workloads and this horrendous matchup. If you have other solid options, then I would look to them this week.
Randall Cobb, Packers vs. Lions
His numbers have been down the last few weeks, but he still is a big part of the Green Bay offense. Start him as a WR2 in all formats, especially in PPR leagues. With Jordy Nelson and James Starks both hurt, there should be plenty of targets and touches to go around.
Torrey Smith, Ravens at Redskins
He was a risky play last week and it showed, but I like Smith against the Washington secondary. He is a good solid WR3 option in all leagues sizes for Week 14 and he has plenty of big-play potential.
Chris Givens, Rams at Bills
The matchup is not a worry and he has carved out a consistent role for himself in St. Louis. With Danny Amendola banged up, it’s looking like Givens will be their best option in Week 14. He is a solid WR3 option in 12-team leagues.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins at 49ers
He is a viable play, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go with Hartline in this tough road matchup. He’s a reach as anything other than a flex in 12-team leagues. Be careful with him this week.
Malcom Floyd, Chargers at Steelers
Like Hartline, he is viable, but I do not like his chances against a tough Steelers defense — even with DB Ike Taylor out, this is a solid bunch. Plus, the Chargers are a mess right now.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Jets
Lewis is a Rotobahn favorite going back to 2010, but he struggled mightily with Blaine Gabbert at the helm. Since the switch to Chad Henne, Lewis has looked a lot like his old self. He can help those in 12-team leagues in Week 14.
Heath Miller, Steelers vs. Chargers
Miller has been very consistent all year. The key is his week-to-week involvement. Miller has always been a very talented player, but he has thrived since the switch to Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. With Ben Roethlisberger returning, we see Miller as a safe option in all formats.
Jared Cook, Titans at Colts
Speaking of coordinator switches, Cook has a new lease on life with Chris Palmer gone and Dowell Loggains in. His role increased immediately in Week 13 and I expect that to continue. Throw in the fact that Cook has excelled late in the year before, and you have a potential riser here. If you lost Rob Gronkowski and Cook is on the waiver wire, this could be the move to make. Start him with confidence in Week 14.
Brent Celek, Eagles at Buccaneers
I’d avoid buying into last week’s positive outing. Celek has been far too inconsistent and there are better options on most waiver wires. For example, I’d play Tony Scheffler over him this week, and you can get Scheffler in most 14-team leagues.
Dustin Keller, Jets at Jaguars
The Jets may end up getting Keller on the field at less than 100 percent. I strongly suggest that you don’t do the same. Go to the waiver wire if you have to. Keller is not going to help you win this week.
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