Fantasy Football Week 14 Start ’Em, Sit ’Em

Helping with some of your tougher lineup decisions heading into Week 14.
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Quarterbacks

Start:

Ryan Tannehill, Titans—When the season began no one would have thought that Tannehill would be a viable option come fantasy playoff time, but now in Week 13 he might be one of the best starts of the week. Tannehill and the Titans play the Raiders, whose defense seems to have gone caput over the past two games. While Tannehill is rarely going to be the QB to throw for 350 passing yards and three touchdowns, he still provides a solid floor of production. In a year where QB play has been spotty at best, Tannehill is a safe, smart play who can help his fantasy owners advance to Week 15.

Philip Rivers, Chargers—If you have watched the Jaguars play over the past two weeks, it looks like their defense has completely given up. This is good news for Charger fans and Philip Rivers owners. Look for the Chargers to dominate on both sides of the ball and have a great offensive day. There might also be some underlying pressure on Rivers because if the Chargers lose this week, there will be many fans calling for Tyrod Taylor to play at some point soon.

Sit:

Kyler Murray, Cardinals—I have been one of Murray’s biggest fans all season. And while I have seen some good things out of him, I still think he will be overmatched against a Steelers defense that is playing great football. The Steelers will put pressure on Murray all game long and force him into making numerous hurried, poor throws. I can easily see Murray throwing 2-3 interceptions in this matchup.

Running Backs

Start:

Sony Michel, Patriots—The way to defeat the Chiefs is to run the ball well and play great defense. The Patriots know that stopping the run is the Chiefs' Achilles heel, so they will give the ball to Michel at least 20 times to try to control the clock and slow the game down. If Michel runs effectively, this will open the short passing game for Tom Brady to find Julian Edelman and his other receivers.

Derrius Guice, Redskins—What I like the most about the Redskins offense right now is that they are committed to running the ball regardless of the score of the game. Last week, when the team went down quickly to the Panthers, the Redskins maintained their composure and kept running the ball, which helped them make a huge comeback and steal the win on the road. This week, the Redskins face the Packers who have the fifth-worst run defense in the NFL. Look for the Packers to get out to an early lead, but watch for the Redskins to hand the ball off to Guice and to try to slow the game down as much as possible. The best part about Guice is his breakaway speed, which gives him a chance to make a long gainer at any time.

Sit:

Jonathan Williams, Colts—Sadly, it seems like the Jonathan Williams magic act will disappear in Week 14. The Bucs have the second-best run defense in the NFL and there is also a good chance that Marlon Mack returns to play in this game. Williams will still get some opportunities to run the ball, but if Mack returns, there is no chance that he gets 15 touches.

Wide Receivers

Start:

Robby Anderson, Jets—Most of the Jets underperformed in last week’s awful showing against the Bengals, but WR Robby Anderson did his best to keep the Jets competitive. Anderson had seven catches (on 10 targets) for 101 yards and provided Sam Darnold with a downfield presence all game long. The Dolphins have struggled in pass coverage and I expect that Darnold will challenge the coverage deep a few times on Sunday. Anderson is motivated as well as he is looking for a big payday in the offseason.

Mike Williams, Chargers—Williams has stepped up his play recently (he has two 100-plus receiving-yard games in the past month) and it just feels like he will finally catch a TD pass. The Jaguars seem to have given up on defense and I expect that Philip Rivers will take multiple shots to Williams early on to break the game open.

Sit:

Marquise Brown, Ravens—The Bills' Tre’Davious White is probably the best CB that most people have never heard of. He continually makes big plays against the other team’s WR1 and forces the opposing QB to throw elsewhere. As much as I like Brown, I am not sure that he is ready just yet to handle White’s suffocating coverage. The Bills' pass rush will also put loads of pressure on Lamar Jackson, giving him little time to throw which means that Brown will probably not have time to work his magic downfield. There will be many weeks to play Brown, this is just not one of them.

Tight Ends

Start:

Vance McDonald, Steelers—When a seldom-used tight end named Tyler Higbee explodes for seven catches for 107 yards and a TD, you know your team is awful at covering the position. The Cardinals have become a joke in the fantasy industry for being the most generous team in the league against opposing tight ends. This week the Steelers come to visit and it’s hard to imagine that McDonald doesn’t have one of the best games of the season. Look for him to find the end zone at least once in this game.

Jack Doyle, Colts—When Eric Ebron was placed on the season-ending IR last week, Doyle owners began to salivate. Doyle went from splitting snaps with Ebron to having the position all to himself. Last week, Doyle had six catches (on 11 targets) for 73 yards and a TD. This week his matchup is even better, as the Colts face the Bucs who are the second-worst team in the NFL at covering opposing tight ends. Fire up Doyle in all formats!

Sit:

Jared Cook, Saints—Statistically, the 49ers are the best team in the NFL at limiting opposing tight ends. Last week, the Ravens had success against the 49ers' pass defense, but that was mainly because the Ravens' top pass-catchers are all tight ends. I am not so sure that Drew Brees will have the same success with Jared Cook. Look for the Saints to find other avenues to beat the 49ers and leave Cook on your bench. 

More Advice From SI Fantasy

—Shawn Childs’s Week 14 PPR rankings: QB, RB, WR, TE

—Jamie Eisner’s Waiver Wire highlights the players you should be picking up

—Frankie Taddeo’s Week 14 Injury Report on the players who got hurt in Week 13

—Frankie Taddeo’s Streaming Options could make or break your playoff run.

—Jamie Eisner’s Stock Watch on players trending up and down

—Mark Deming’s Target and Snap Report pulls fantasy nuggets out of the Week 13 data