It is time for the Fantasy playoffs and it is no time to joke around. Make sure your playoff run keeps on going by taking a look into every Week 14 Fantasy Football matchup.
Many times, your lineup decisions come down to one or two big decisions, so we hope this weekly preview will help break any tiebreakers you might have. Don’t overthink your decisions, either.
If all else fails, check out the consensus rankings at FantasyPros.com to see what over 100 writers think.
Week 14 Fantasy Football PreviewHouston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday
Ben Tate struggled against the Jaguars last time they played and was ultimately benched. I wouldn’t expect him to perform like he did last week but don’t expect the performance he gave you last time out against the Jaguars either. He is a safe start this week as a solid RB2.
Ace Sanders is tied for 19th in targets over the last three weeks, along with teammate Cecil Shorts, with 27. He isn’t a top option, but in leagues where you are forced to play three receivers or you need a decent flex in leagues of 12 or more he can be a similar version of Kendall Wright, someone who won’t win you a week, but safe play.
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins
Everyone is starting Jamaal Charles , and don’t look now, but Alex Smith has propelled himself into being a legitimate playoff starter. I think he is a better start than some of the bigger names like Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, and Matt Ryan. The defense has struggled which has forced the Chiefs to score more, and it has lead to Smith racking up solid fantasy numbers.
The Redskins are an offense I would like to stay out of if possible. The Chiefs have allowed 4.6 yards per carry this season and I think the Redskins will try to give Alfred Morris more carries after they ignored him in the second half. The Giants went after him on read option plays and it forced Robert Griffin III to run more than usual and it took some carries away from Morris. I think they will give him more traditional carries to make sure they get him involved in the game and he should be locked in as a RB1.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay PackersIn the past four weeks Harry Douglas’ targets have gone 8, 9, 11, and then 15. With Roddy White having a big game last week, teams might start putting focus back on White and that could mean less coverage on Douglas. I still don’t trust White, until I see it again from him, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he had another big game against Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers has missed four games and in those four games Eddie Lacy is averaging just three yards per carry. The only game he ran well was against a Vikings defense that ranks 29th in Fantasy against running backs.
Jordy Nelson is a must-start because of what he is capable of doing, but James Jones and Jarrett Boykin are hard to start with the ugly quarterback situation.
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots
Josh Gordon is the only starter on the Browns that will be universally started this week, but one thing the Patriots are known for doing is taking away the opposing team’s best offensive weapon. He needs to be started, but I think added coverage on him will lead to the middle of the field opening up for Jordan Cameron.
Shane Vereen, Rob Gronkowski, and Tom Brady are must start players this week and possibly the rest of the season. Even if Steven Ridley is active this week. I wouldn’t start him. Julian Edelman has 23 targets over the past two weeks and with all the weapons finally healthy I think he is now in the Wes Welker role.
This isn’t necessarily meaning he is running all of the routes that Welker used to run, but he is the one wide receiver that Tom Brady can trust, head and shoulders above everyone else.
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens
Adrian Peterson is the only one that can be trusted at all on Minnesota. I still like Cordarrelle Patterson has amazing talent but he can’t be started this week or at all in redraft leagues this season. People in keeper and dynasty leagues need to add him for future seasons.
I think Ray Rice has lose the ability that made him a first round pick this season but the Vikings have a bad defense and are a bad team overall. I think the Ravens will run successfully against the Vikings to make Ray Rice a top 20 running back.
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CJ Spiller had the best game of his disappointing season last week but was noticeably limping during the game. I think he is back in the terms of a top 20 running back and he has the weekly upside of being a top 5 player. He is never going to be a player you can rely on to get touchdowns its the big play ability that lured many owners into spending a top 10 pick on him in August. He is still seeing fewer snaps than Fred Jackson but all he needs is 1 or 2 carries to make his week.
I think the Tampa Bay passing attack bounces back this week and Mike Glennon and Vincent Jackson have good games. I expect Mike Glennon to be a good play in daily leagues but it is hard to start him in anything outside of 2 quarterback leagues.
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
There isn’t much to say about the Lions. The big 3 of Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, and Matt Stafford are started everywhere. I expect this to be a high scoring game with these three lighting up fantasy scoreboards. If you need a sleeper starter out of the Lions Joique Bell could get some more run after playing well last week. Reggie Bush didn’t practice Wednesday with a calf injury after practicing on Tuesday. It isn’t something of concern yet but keep an eye on his practice reports the rest of the week.
After the top 5 quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, and Tom Brady, Nick Foles is next in line. The Lions have a bad pass defense and I expect him to tear them apart for another big game. LeSean McCoy will have a good day in total yards when all is said and done but expect most of that to come through the air. The Lions have only allowed 3.7 yards per carry and rank 3rd in rushing yards allowed.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
I am down on the Colts offense all around. Coby Fleener is a good start since T.Y. Hilton has been struggling against the extra coverage and the ground game isn’t getting it done. In the 5 games since Reggie Wayne was lost for the season Coby Fleener has averaged 61.8 yards and since teams have taken away T.Y. Hilton has struggled without Reggie Wayne, the last 3 weeks, he has 15 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown. After the elite options at tight end Coby Fleener is at the top of the next tier of tight ends for this week.
I expect the Bengals to run over the Colts this week. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will have a good game running out the clock but he is a risky play and in daily leagues he can be had very cheap. Giovani Bernard is the upside play in the backfield and is still the number one option for fantasy owners.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Lamar Miller appears to have the backfield to himself but I don’t think that means he is a good option in fantasy leagues. The Dolphins tend to get away from the run too quickly if they get down. I think Mike Wallace is only worth a start if you are a big underdog in your game. Even after back-to-back good games he is still a boom or bust play.
If Le’veon Bell starts he needs to be in fantasy lineups based on his performance this season but keep in mind what the Steelers offensive line will look like this weekend. After being considered a bad line had Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachem, David DeCastro get dinged up, and lost Fernando Velasco for the season and are now on their third center.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets
As of this writing it appears Rashad Jennings should be good to go for Sunday but keep an eye on his status. The backfield is now his if he is healthy. Andre Holmes showed great ball skills last week and is a guy to keep an eye on in keeper and dynasty leagues.
The only player to talk about on the Jets is Chris Ivory and he is a flex play this week with running back two upside.
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
Chris Johnson is a must start in fantasy playoffs he quietly has been a top 10 running back this season. The Broncos have been good against the run this year in large part to forcing teams to air it out because of the their offense so I expect the majority of points for Chris Johnson this week to come through the passing game. Kendall Wright has earned the “Wright” to be started in the playoffs as well. He has at least 69 yards in every game since week 5 and is a safe flex play with wide receiver two upside if he gets a score but keep in mind he only has 2 all season.
Wes Welker owners are grumbling after mediocre weeks over the last 4 and only scoring 1 touchdown in the last 6. Eric Decker owners will tell you that you just can’t sit a passing option in this offense. Julius Thomas put in another limited session on Wednesday just like in previous weeks. He was expected to play last week but had his knee stiffen up over the weekend and was forced to sit out. If he gets another week of limited practice have another option ready to go Sunday in case he doesn’t play.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks can put the division away the division this week with a win. The 49ers have not allowed a single running back to go over 100 yards on the ground this year and haven’t let a team combine for over 100 yards on the ground since week 6. I expect a decent game from Marshawn Lynch because I think he manages to punch one in.
Colin Kapernick has struggled over the course of the season for fantasy owners and I expect him to struggle a lot against the Seahawks. The Seahawks have allowed just one 300 yard passer this season and held him to only 127 yards in the air in the last meeting in week 2. Sorry Frank Gore owners but if you struggle against the Saints, Redskins, and Rams don’t expect it to change against the Seahawks. He has only 2 games over 100 yards rushing this season and the last one came in week 6 and has only 1 touchdown in his last 4 games. The odds are you have to start Frank Gore but if you can manage to sit him I would and I would stay away in daily leagues.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Zac Stacy is the lone Ram that should be started this week and in the future. The Cardinals have been the best defense against running backs this season allowing only 3 touchdowns to running backs and 804 yards on the ground. He is another guy to ignore in daily leagues and there is a good chance you have a better option on your teams since he was a waiver wire add in most leagues. The Rams defense as a unit should be in for a good day against the turnover and sack prone Carson Palmer.
Surprisingly the Cardinals have four start-worthy plays in the playoffs. Carson Palmer has five straight games where he has over 2 touchdowns and in the last four games has at least 240 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Fitzagerald is a must start and Michael Floyd is a borderline wide receiver two for this week. Rashard Mendenahall has tormented fantasy owners but if Andre Ellington misses this game he is a borderline running back 2/flex play.
New York Giants at San Diego Chargers
Andre Brown has played 4 games this year and has 343 yards and 3 touchdowns in those games. He struggled on the ground but managed to get two touchdowns to save his fantasy week. I expect a big bounce back game against the Chargers who allow 4.9 yards per carry on the ground and have allowed 10 touchdowns this season.
Danny Woodhead has seen his snap count drop in recent weeks. In weeks 5 through 9 he averaged 40.5 snaps perr game and over the last 4 weeks that has dropped to 28.75. In those last 4 weeks he has averaged only 3 receptions per game. This has let Ryan Mathews get more snaps and it has lead to good weeks for Ryan Mathews. His worst week over the last four was last week when he totaled 92 yards 31 of them coming through the air. The Giants have played well against the pass this year and they have not allowed a touchdown to a receiver since week 6 against the Bears. Ladarius Green played only 1 fewer snap than Antonio Gates this week and if that continues he is a top 10 tight end with top 5 upside.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
The Saints have yet to allow a tight end to get over 90 yards and have only allowed 4 touchdowns all season to opposing tight ends. I think Greg Olsen scores for the third time in the last four weeks and will be a top 8 tight end. I think him and Coby Fleener are on the same level this week behind the elite group.
The Saints come back home after a tough blowout loss in Seattle and I think they bounce back in a big way. The Panthers have been great against running backs as a whole but they have 82 receptions for 566 yards to running backs over the course of the season. There is no rhyme or reason to it but in primetime games at home the Saints seem to showcase Darren Sproles. Over the last 3 years in home primetime games he averages 90 total yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. I don’t want to rely on him but if you are in a bind at running back he is someone outside the top 25 running backs who I think could be in for a big week.
Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears, Monday
DeMarco Murray is in for another big week against a terrible Bears run defense. They are last in the league in terms of run defense and they average giving up 5 yards per carry. I expect a huge week for Mr. Murray.
If Josh McCown is playing he is another quarterback that deserves a start over some of the struggling big names. I think he finishes as a top 8 quarterback but make sure he is getting the start before you rely on him as your starter Monday night. In games Josh McCown has played the majority of the game, five games, Martellus Bennett has 2 touchdown and only 1 game over 48 yards.
This Week 14 Fantasy Football preview comes courtesy of Andy Germani, who writes guest posts weekly on DavidGonos.com. Ask him some questions in the comments section below.