Our Week 14 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is an in-depth look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they will impact your lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Our list of Week 14 quarterback starts and sits features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup, or fail to meet expectations due to the strength of their opponent.
No one has been more consistent than Jameis Winston over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ four-game winning streak. While the defense has chipped in some great performances and Mike Evans has posted stellar individual numbers in multiple contests, the one mainstay in the equation has been Winston. The second-year quarterback has posted 16 + fantasy points in seven straight games and is exemplifying the winner’s mentality he demonstrated in college that got him drafted No. 1 overall in the 2015 Draft. Winston will be ready for some home cooking this weekend, as the Bucs welcome in the Saints who are vying for position within the division. Look for Winston to continue his stellar play this weekend, as he could easily flirt with 300 yards and 3 TDs.
Andy Dalton took a big step forward last week, despite being without the services of his go-to receiver A.J. Green for the second consecutive week. Dalton threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs against the Eagles respectable defense, en route to a 32-14 Bengals win. This week, it should get theoretically easier for Dalton and company, as the Bengals travel to Cleveland to take on the winless Browns. While this is still a divisional game and the teams are extremely familiar with one another, as Hue Jackson served as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator last season, I still expect the Bengals to dominate. With Tyler Eifert looking healthier each week and Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell doing their best to fill the void left by A.J. Green, it should be smooth sailing for the Bengals this week.
Its been obvious all season that one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL has been the Carolina Panthers. One year removed from representing the NFC in the Super Bowl, Carolina finds themselves all but eliminated from this year’s postseason, sitting in the basement of the NFC South at 4-8. This week, Cam Newton and the Panthers will be playing for mostly pride, as they play host to the Chargers. While the Panthers offense has struggled to generate a ton of offense recently, the Chargers susceptible defense is a good recipe for the Panthers to eat up on Sunday at home. With Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin more than overdue for blowup games, I think there’s overwhelming evidence for a bounceback game from Cam.
I know, I know – Marcus Mariota has leveled out as a top five quarterback in most fantasy leagues, depending on the scoring format. That being said, the Denver defense has been one to stay away from all season. I think the Titans will rely on the running game even more than usual this week, as Denver’s run defense has proven to be far leakier than their pass defense. With the Broncos fighting to stay atop the AFC West with the Raiders and the Chiefs, the Titans are fighting just as hard to fend off the Texans and the Colts in the AFC South. This game has all the makings of a dogfight and I want no part of it from Mariota’s perspective. Fantasy owners can find better options for the first week of the 2016 fantasy playoffs.
It seems like I have a penchant for recommending Blake Bortles as a perennial sit. He has been flat-out atrocious this season and has somehow still flirted with garbage time enough to solidify his stock as decent, low-end QB1 dependent on garbage time. That said, why in the world would you want to rely on a revolving dumpster-fire against one of the league’s most elite defenses for Week 1 of the fantasy playoffs? You wouldn’t. That’s right, Bortles at home this weekend against the elite Vikings defense is NOT an advisable start.
Ryan Tannehill followed up a strong performance two weeks ago with a “True Life: I’m Ryan Tannehill” type performance. Meaning he played uninspiring, non-aggressive football last week in an embarrassing 38-6 defeat in Baltimore. This week, Tannehill will try to prove his haters wrong by bouncing back at home against the Cardinals. Here’s the deal though; somehow the Dolphins are 7-5 and in position for a wildcard spot in the AFC playoff picture, but the reality is that Tannehill is just not a good quarterback. Despite his decent showings every few weeks, he has never shown the ability to sustain any form of success. I would be shocked if Tanny threw for more than 260 yards or 2 TDs this week. I’m expecting a baker’s dozen amount of fantasy points as his ceiling in Week 14.