For many leagues, this is the beginning of the fantasy football playoffs. Some teams are rejoicing at a first-week bye, while others squeaked on the heels of a strong finish. Either way, for many, congratulations are in order. For the rest, don’t quit now. Season-long leagues may have ended, but this is an excellent time to shift focus to daily fantasy formats.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some solid matchups and identify the starts and sits this week.
Fantasy Football Week 14: Starts and Sits Featuring Aaron Jones
Jameis Winston vs. New Orleans Saints
This season for Jameis Winston has been tumultuous. Between suspension, reinsertion as the starter, re-benching, and then starting again, it’s been difficult to trust him and this organization. However, since regaining the starting mantle, he’s put together two very solid outings which both ended with his team eating a W and, almost as important, causing no turnovers.
Winston maintains a safe floor with passing volume and rushing ability. When he minimizes the turnovers, he’s a top-ten option every week. This week the Buccaneers revisit the New Orleans Saints who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Winston wasn’t at the helm when the Bucs handed the Saints their first loss of the season, but he is the better quarterback and will have to pass to keep up with Drew Brees and company.
This game has shoot-out potential written all over it. Winston is realizing that he is not guaranteed the starting role and therefore has made the most of his pass attempts recently. With a solid core of receiving options and virtually no run game, he’s a top-ten option this week and could put up top-five numbers. Fire him up this week.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Atlanta Falcons
This weekly article typically focuses on the fringe plays for weekly starters. To the surprise of many, Aaron Rodgers has become more of a streaming option as opposed to a locked and loaded, every week, top-five QB option.
Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers enter week 14 with a three-game losing streak. They host the Atlanta Falcons, a defense that is giving up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. With the recent firing of head coach Mike McCarthy it’s difficult to predict what type of offense they roll out on Sunday. The quarterback is good and the matchup is better. Rodgers could easily remind fantasy owners why they drafted him this weekend.
Josh Allen vs. New York Jets
Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen the Josh Allen we were expecting when he was drafted. He’s got a big arm and is willing to take shots, typically with mixed results. What drives his fantasy value is his rushing ability and nose for the end zone, which he has showcased the last two games. The matchup against the Jets is a good one. Allen definitely represents some risk, but the upside is very tantalizing.
Matthew Stafford vs. Arizona Cardinals
Say what you will about the Arizona Cardinals offense, but their defense has been very stout against quarterbacks. No quarterback who’s faced them this season has finished higher than QB10. Matthew Stafford has struggled to move the offense and score in the last several weeks. With the decimation of the wide receivers for the Detroit Lions, expect top corner coverage for Kenny Golladay. Either way, it’s shaping up to be a steer-clear type of matchup for Stafford this week.
Starts: Running Backs
Aaron Jones vs. Atlanta Falcons
The play of Aaron Jones has been fantastic, the usage has been utterly frustrating. Give the best running back the ball and the volume, he delivers. Seems simple to us non-NFL-coaching types. With McCarthy gone, expect a little more creativity on the offensive play calling. That should start with Jones and be followed up by Rodgers. The Falcons give up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. We cannot predict how the coaching staff plans to use Jones, but we can predict that if they use him, he will put up solid numbers. He’s a potential top-five running back this week.
Lamar Miller vs. Indianapolis Colts
In the last six games, Lamar Miller has rushed for 100 yards or more four times. He’s also had all three of his rushing touchdowns in that same span. Entering the season, Miller was viewed as volume-based RB2 but little else. The last six weeks, he’s flipped the switch and has ended up in RB1 territory several times. Volume has always been one of the advantages of plugging Miller into lineups. He should continue to see volume this week against a Colts defense that allows the 12th-most points to running backs. He’s a high-end RB2 this week.
Sits: Running Back
Dion Lewis vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
In the last four games, Dion Lewis has rushed for a total of 125 yards. He’s losing work to the equally unexciting Derrick Henry. While Lewis still has some PPR appeal, even that aspect of his game has been uneventful.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are stiff against the run and pass-catching backs. Derrick Henry seems to have a hold on goal-line work, making him the better, but still unappealing, option in a difficult matchup. Owners who have another viable option should consider benching Lewis this week.
Starts: Wide Receivers
Amari Cooper vs. Philidelphia Eagles
For all of our faithful readers, this may seem redundant, but Amari Cooper is a strong start this week. The Philidelphia Eagles secondary has been depleted and what’s left has been ineffective. Cooper has slid into the primary wide receiver role and has the right skill set to take advantage of a plus matchup. The Eagles are allowing the third-most points to receivers. Cooper is a plug-in WR2 in an upside type of matchup. He should be started in all formats.
Chris Goodwin/Adam Humphries vs. New Orleans Saints
I know it seems like cheating to slam two players into one start-’em-up article, but this seems like the appropriate way to do this. The matchup is great and Winston has been playing well recently. Expect Marshon Lattimore to focus his attention on Mike Evans throughout this game. Both Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries have been solid PPR options recently. With Desean Jackson looking like he may be shut down for the season, both options remain enticing throughout the fantasy playoffs. They both represent low-end WR2/high-end WR3 with scoring upside in a good matchup this weekend.
Sit: Wide Receiver
Alshon Jeffery vs. Dallas Cowboys
Alshon Jeffery started off as hot as any receiver after returning from injury. In the last five games, he hasn’t gained more than 48 receiving yards and hasn’t scored since week seven.
The Dallas Cowboys have not been overly generous to wide receiver this season, and are only allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to the position. Heading into the fantasy playoffs, teams should look for a more reliable option this week. He should end up as a bottom-end WR3 in a tough matchup.
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