It's your last chance to make one final push for those illustrious fantasy football playoff spots, if you haven't secured your spot already, so your start/sit decisions this week could be the most crucial of the season so far. We have 4 teams on their bye this week, and some top fantasy options will be missing, but @K_H_Ray, @ZTwiceFF & @MattFFDynasty are here to help you make those tough decisions, with their top starts and sits for Week 14.
Teams on their Bye Week:
New England Patriots
Russell Wilson @ HOU (@K_H_RAY)
If there were ever to be a "get right" game for Wilson and the Seahawks, it would be Week 14 against the Texans. Russell has been a hard start in recent weeks. He's too good to bench, but too hard to trust. But things may be swinging back in the other direction as his hand continues to heal and they try to right the ship coming off a big win against the 49ers. Wilson has thrown for multiple TDs in back-to-back games, and with Seattle's limited run game, the fate of this matchup should fall directly on Wilson's shoulders.
Taysom Hill @ NYJ (@ZTwiceFF)
Like I wrote about in the waivers article, Taysom is a great fantasy option while being a not so great real life QB. Throwing 4 interceptions last week and still having a productive fantasy day shows why he's a great fantasy asset. This week he plays an exploitable Jets defense making a him a great option at QB.
Taylor Heinicke Vs DAL (@MattFFDynasty)
Taylor Heinicke had a solid outing last week vs LV after throwing 2 TDs and just under 200 passing yards. He has a chance to improve on that this week going up against DAL who have given up the 5th most passing yards per game and 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. That, coupled with the fact that Heinicke has some rushing upside (289 yards and 1 TD so far this season) means that Heinicke is a solid streamable option at QB this week.
Matthew Stafford @ ARI (@K_H_RAY)
It appears Stafford needed the bye week to get himself back on track in the fantasy department. Coming out of a mid-season slump he's posted 21+ point weeks in both Week 12 and 13. This week, however, the Rams face the Cardinals who rank 3rd against opposing QBs. In fact, the Cardinals have only given up more than 20 points to a QB one time this season! And that was to Kirk Cousins way back in Week 2. Stafford has the offensive weapons to do it, but I'll take the odds here and say Stafford has a long day against their NFC West rival.
Justin Fields @ GB (@ZTwiceFF)
Returning from injury after missing the last couple weeks, Justin Fields walks into a tough matchup in Green Bay. The pass D for the Packers are potentially getting back Jaire Alexander to add to their already solid defense. This game also means a lot more to the Packers in their push for the #1 seed than it does for Chicago. Fields has a solid floor with his rushing ability but lacks the upside with a tough game ahead.
Matt Ryan @ CAR (@MattFFDynasty)
Matt Ryan had one of his best passing games in weeks (in terms of passing yards) after throwing for 297 yards vs TB. However, he failed to throw a single TD and it resulted in just 9.08 fantasy points. It's been hard to get excited about Ryan for much of the season this year, and the same applies again this week. CAR are a strong defense, allowing just 177 passing yards per game and it's hard to imagine Ryan's fortunes changing this week.
David Montgomery @ GB (@K_H_RAY)
Volume. Volume. Volume. David Montgomery had 29 total touches in Week 13, including 8 receptions as Andy Dalton played the check-down game. Fine by us! Montgomery is the best offensive weapon the Bears have at the moment until Allen Robinson returns (not that they use him much nowadays). Darnell Mooney is also a rising star, but DM is the only must start fantasy option coming out of Chicago. This week the Bears take on the Packers on the road, and I see Chicago once again relying heavily on Montgomery to be the workhorse keeping drives alive through the air and on the ground.
Josh Jacobs @ KC (@ZTwiceFF)
Josh Jacobs has been a productive RB this year. With Kenyan Drake out for the year with a broken ankle, not only will Jacobs be produce on the ground, he also will have added passing upside without Drake. The Raiders play Kansas City this week and Jacobs should be in for a large workload.
Alexander Mattison Vs PIT (@MattFFDynasty)
What a day Mattison had last week taking over from the injured Dalvin Cook, 90 rushing yards and a TD plus 3 receptions for 34 yards resulting in 21.4 FPs. Cook has returned to practice in a limited capacity but with this game being on TNF, I doubt Cook will be able to make a return just yet. This means Mattison should carry the load again this week against a below-average PIT run defense, who have allowed 12 rushing TDs so far this year, and makes him a top option at the position yet again.
(UPDATE: Dalvin Cook is now trending towards playing. Although I believe MIN won’t push Cook too hard coming off his shoulder injury and Mattison is the guy I would rather start out of the two of them, it now makes him a risky option this week)
Devonta Freeman @ CLE(@K_H_RAY)
We don't have to look too far back to get an idea of Freeman's prospects this week. During their Week 12 matchup, the Browns held Freeman to just 7 total fantasy points. Now coming off a bye week, the Browns defense will look to repeat their performance and do what they can to shut down the Ravens. Even though the volume is there (at least 13 touches in the last 5 games) I'm downgrading Freeman to a low-end RB2.
Adrian Peterson @ HOU (@ZTwiceFF)
I understand there may be some of us who have to start Peterson this week because of injuries and byes (me) but Peterson should be avoided at all costs. His only ability to score fantasy points is at the goal line, as he has not played well outside of the RedZone. Seattle is playing Houston so if Peterson will have any good games it'll be this one but that will only be because he falls into the end zone.
James Robinson @ TEN (@MattFFDynasty)
Your guess at what's going on with the coaching in Jacksonville is as good as mine. After a fumble early on in the game by Robinson, Urban Meyer immediately pulled Robinson out of the game for Carlos Hyde (who actually fumbled the ball himself later in the game). Now, normally I'd say Robinson should be the clear starter again this week given his clear talent advantage between the 2, however with Urban Meyer you just don't know. So with that concern, it makes it hard to start Robinson with confidence, and even the matchup isn't great with TEN allowing the 5th least fantasy points to opposing RBs.
Terry McLaurin Vs DAL (@K_H_RAY)
Scary Terry has been slumping in recent weeks with just 7 catches and 73 yards over the last two. But next up is their NFC East rival, the Dallas Cowboys who rank in the bottom half of the league against opposing WRs this season. In the last two weeks, the 'Boys have given up nearly 500 yards and 3 scores to Saints and Raiders WRs. I like McLaurin to rebound this week.
Russell Gage @ CAR (@ZTwiceFF)
I don't feel comfortable putting Gage here but he's been producing at a high level for the past couple weeks. Last week against Tampa Bay he received 12 targets and went for 130 yards and a TD. This week Atlanta plays a tough Panthers defense, but they showed to be exploitable after giving up a huge game to Jaylen Waddle. I'm starting Gage everywhere I can and trusting the volume.
Van Jefferson @ ARI (@MattFFDynasty)
Since the injury to Robert Woods, Van Jefferson has done a great job filling in. Over the last 2 weeks, he's had 17 targets which he's turned into 9 receptions for 134 yards and 2 TDs. Now his matchup this week vs ARI may not look as appetizing as what he's had over the last couple of weeks, however, both these offenses rank in the top 10 in Pace of Play meaning there should be plenty of opportunities on offense at least in this one. Van Jefferson, with his current strong volume, is a solid under-the-radar flex option this week.
Brandin Cooks Vs SEA (@K_H_RAY)
Cooks is still going to be the primary receiving target for the Texans moving forward. But he's got just 8 catches over the last 3 games and hasn't scored more than 14 fantasy points since Week 8. With poor QB play and an offense that has been lack luster for some time, it's hard to trust Cooks to be a productive fantasy WR and should be considered a fringe Flex player at best, even with a decent matchup against the Seahawks.
Chase Claypool @ MIN (@ZTwiceFF)
This one is a little spicy but I'm sitting Claypool this week. When Juju was declared out for the season, most expected Claypool to take another step forward in his development after a monster rookie year. Unfortunately, he has regressed. He has only scored 1 TD this season so this may be the week it happens but it's gotten to a point where I can't trust him.
Darnell Mooney @ GB (@MattFFDynasty)
Mooney is having a solid season and currently sits as the WR24. He had a quiet week last week vs ARI with just 27 yards on 5 receptions and this week he has another tough matchup vs GB who are coming off their bye week. They've been a middle-of-the-road pass defense for most of the season but having an extra week to prepare for this game, plus star CB Jaire Alexander returning to practice this week, should give this defense a big boost. Mooney could be in for a tough evening in this huge divisional matchup
Dawson Knox @ TB (@K_H_RAY)
Let's all just forget Monday's game (from a fantasy perspective). To be sure, it wasn't exactly an ideal night for pass catchers. But you know where they don't have crazy wind and freezing temperatures? Tampa. The Bills go on the road, and will look to get back to their game plan, which includes plenty of Dawson Knox. In weeks 11 and 12, he combined for 9 catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns. The Bucs rank in the bottom half of the league against TEs, and it's a defense QBs can throw on. I like Knox a lot this week and expect an easy top 10 performance.
Tyler Conklin Vs PIT (@ZTwiceFF)
With Adam Thielen out, there is a lot of opportunity to catch passes alongside Justin Jefferson. The Vikings play a tough defense in Pittsburgh this week which may limit upside. Conklin is a very startable TE regardless due to volume and TD opportunities.
Zach Ertz Vs LAR (@MattFFDynasty)
Despite coming off a disappointing week vs CHI where he had just 1 reception for 10 yards, Ertz could be in line for a bounce-back this week vs LAR. As mentioned earlier with Van Jefferson, both these teams have fast-paced offenses which should lead to plenty of opportunities, but LAR are also allowing the 10th most fantasy points to opposing TEs. I expect Ertz to return to his usual healthy workload (averaged 6 targets per game before last week) and be a solid TE option yet again this week.
Tyler Higbee @ ARI (@K_H_RAY)
Higbee has flirted with "starter status" all season, but he just can't quite seem to get over the hill. Last week vs Jacksonville he had a healthy amount of targets (6) and receptions (5), but failed to cross the 10 fantasy point line. This week the Rams face the Cardinals in a Monday night showdown. It should be a great game, but Higbee may have trouble enjoying it, as the Cardinals rank 3rd best against opposing TEs this season. Higbee is a downgrade for me this week.
Noah Fant Vs DET (@ZTwiceFF)
The Broncos passing offense has produced minimal good fantasy outputs this season, especially for Noah Fant. He has received 4 targets in 3 of the last 4 games and hasn't scored since week 6. The Broncos will look to run a lot against the Lions and expect minimal volume for Fant again.
Evan Engram @ LAC (@MattFFDynasty)
Given all the injuries to NYG pass catchers, Engram has become the de facto top option in this offense. Last week he had 4 receptions for 61 yards despite usual QB Daniel Jones being out and Mike Glennon filling in. However, this week he could be catching passes from QB Jake Fromm who will be making his NFL debut, and against a very strong LAC pass defense. They have struggled against opposing TEs but with little threat from elsewhere for the Giants, they should be able to focus on Engram and RB Saquon Barkley. He's an unappealing option given the circumstances this week.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to keep an eye out for both our weekly articles, Tuesday Waiver Targets & Thursday Start/Sit and Waiver Recap with the @FF_Astronauts. Follow @K_H_Ray, @ZTwiceFF, & @MattFFDynasty on Twitter for more Fantasy Football content throughout the season, and hit us up with any of your Start/Sit or Waiver questions.