Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 14

Written by Eric Moody
December 3, 2019
3,670 views

Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 14

Start 'Em and Sit 'Em is the definitive weekly study of NFL Matchups and the effect they'll have on your fantasy football team. It will not focus on obvious players like Aaron Rodgers, Dalvin Cook, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. All player matchups are based on PPR formats. The column will leverage all of the stats, advanced metrics and other resources available at FantasyData. For your final starting lineup decisions, please review our weekly fantasy football rankings. You can also reach out to me on Twitter (@EricNMoody).

The 13th week of the 2019 NFL season was defined by a number of astonishing performances. Aaron Rodgers finished as the QB1. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the Packers win over the Giants. 

James White finished as the RB1. He rushed 14 times for 79 yards and caught eight of 11 targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. 

DeVante Parker finished as the WR1. He caught seven of 10 targets for 159 yards and two touchdowns in the Dolphins win over the Eagles.

Tyler Higbee caught seven of eight targets for 107 yards and one touchdown in the Rams win over the Cardinals. He finished as the TE1. 

If you took action on the recommendations from last week's column here are some of the players you would have had in your starting lineup:

  • Carson Wentz
  • Rashaad Penny
  • Kareem Hunt
  • Courtland Sutton 
  • DeVante Parker
  • Tyler Boyd
  • Alshon Jeffery
  • Jack Doyle
  • Kyle Rudolph

Are you staring at your fantasy football starting lineup this week wondering what happened? You put together an amazing team during the draft. Others in your league were envious of the players you had on your bench. There was only one problem. You left points on your bench. This shortcoming may have cost you a victory in Week 13. Are you aware of the old adage “start your studs”? If the answer is yes then it’s time to erase that phrase from your memory. It’s okay to take informed risks. These are risks in which the calculated potential payoff outweighs the calculated possible loss, given the knowledge someone has about the circumstances. You’re in the right place to accelerate that change. I will reference expected points (EP), fantasy points over expectation (FPOE), and breakaway runs. EP is based on the average fantasy point value of plays in similar down, distance, and field position instances. FPOE, on the other hand, takes a player’s actual fantasy points and subtracts out the expected points. EP measures volume while FPOE measures efficiency. Start Percentage shows the number of ESPN fantasy leagues a player is started in divided by the number of leagues he is eligible in. This helps indicate how the public views a player. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for Week 14 as we enter the fantasy playoffs.

QUARTERBACKS

Start Gardner Minshew (1.5% ST)

Minshew replaced Nick Foles in the second half of last week's game against the Buccaneers after Foles turned the football over three times and was unable to score points on any of Jacksonville's offensive drives. Minshew completed 16 of 27 passes for 147 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He averaged 19.6 fantasy points per game with positive total fantasy points over expectation before being replaced by Foles after the Jaguars bye week back in Week 10. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said that Minshew will start this week against the Chargers. He also confirmed that this move would last for Jacksonville's final four games. Minshew faces a Chargers defense that has only allowed an average of 32.2 pass attempts, 21 completions, 189.6 passing yards, one touchdown, 0.6 interceptions, and 14.5 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over its last five. Three of these games were against Drew Lock, Derek Carr, and Mitchell Trubisky. Minshew can be viewed as a high-end QB2 during the first week of the fantasy football playoffs if you're in a pinch and need a quarterback. 

Start Kirk Cousins (13.4% ST)

Kirk Cousins.jpgCousins completed 22 of 38 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in the Vikings loss to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. He has finished as a QB1 in six of Minnesota's last eight games. Cousins is averaging 5.2 fantasy points per game more than expected in 2019. He faces a Lions defense in Week 14 that has allowed an average of 33.4 pass attempts, 21.4 completions, 280 passing yards, 2.2 touchdowns, 0.4 interceptions, and 23.1 fantasy points per game over its last five to top quarterback scorers. Cousins can be viewed as a low-end QB1 against Detroit. He had 337 yards and four touchdowns against the Lions back in Week 7. 

Start Ryan Tannehill (7.1% ST)

Tannehill completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans win over the Colts. He also had four rushing attempts for five yards. The running game with Derrick Henry continues to be the offensive focal point for Tennessee, but Tannehill can be a viable streaming option in the right matchup. He has led the Titans to wins in five of his first six starts. Tannehill and Tennessee have a critical game against the Raiders in Week 14 that has potential playoff implications. Oakland's defense has allowed an average of 32.2 pass attempts, 18.2 completions, 243.6 passing yards, 1.6 touchdowns, one interception, and 21 fantasy points per game over its last five to top quarterback scorers. Tannehill can be viewed as a high-end QB2 with upside in Week 14 on the road against the Raiders. 

Start Carson Wentz (43.4% ST)

Wentz completed 28 of 46 passes for 310 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the Eagles loss to the Dolphins. The return of Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor helped his fantasy outlook. Wentz has QB1 upside in Week 14 against the Giants defense. New York has allowed an average of 34.2 pass attempts, 22.4 completions, 270 passing yards, 2.4 touchdowns, 0.8 interceptions, and 25.42 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over its last five. 

Start Andy Dalton (0.6% ST)

Dalton completed 22 of 37 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals surprising win over the Jets. Cincinnati's offense was functional with him back under center. Dalton can be viewed as a solid QB2 with upside for more against the Browns in Week 14 despite averaging 2.5 fewer fantasy points than expected this season. Cleveland's defense has allowed an average of 33 pass attempts, 18.4 completions, 221.2 passing yards, 1.2 touchdowns, 1.4 interceptions, and 18.7 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over its last five. Two of these performances came from Devlin Hodges and Brandon Allen.  

Start Sam Darnold (12.5% ST)

Darnold wet the bed last week after a stellar run of fantasy performances. The Bengals' defense did an excellent job of pressuring him. Darnold completed 28 of 48 passes for 239 yards in the Jets embarrassing loss to Cincinnati. It is always best to look forward and not through the rearview mirror in fantasy football. Darnold has a plus matchup against the Dolphins in Week 14. Miami's defense has allowed an average of 38.2 pass attempts, 23.6 completions, 271.4 passing yards, 2.2 touchdowns, 1.2 interceptions, and 22.8 fantasy points per game over its last five. Darnold threw for 260 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception against the Dolphins back in Week 9. He can be viewed as an upside QB2. 

Start Jacoby Brissett (26.5% ST)

Brissett completed 25 of 40 passes for 319 yards and two interceptions in a loss to the Titans. He's been a solid QB2 all season and has QB1 upside against a Buccaneers defense allowing the second-most passing yards per game. Brissett's receiving weapons have been devasted by injuries, but the matchup against Tampa Bay is too juicy to pass up for those in deeper formats. The Buccaneers defense has allowed an average of 39 pass attempts, 24.6 completions, 269.6 passing yards, 2.4 touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions, and 24.2 fantasy points per game to top quarterback scorers over its last five. Brissett can be viewed as an upside QB2 in Week 14. 

Sit Drew Brees (68.6% ST)

Brees completed just 18 of 30 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the Saints win over the Falcons. He's finished as a QB2 in two out of New Orleans' last four games. Brees is more a QB2 against a stout 49ers defense at home in Week 14. San Francisco's defense has allowed an average of 166.4 passing yards per game to top quarterback scorers over its last five. The quarterbacks over that time frame who have had the most success against the 49ers defense have been mobile quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, or Kyler Murray.   

RUNNING BACKS

Start Derrius Guice (12.5% ST)

derrius guice Redskins.jpgGuice rushed 10 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins win over the Panthers. Adrian Peterson still led Washington in rushing attempts (13) and finished with 99 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins backfield is still a committee, but this game made it abundantly clear that Guice's athleticism cannot be ignored. He has earned more touches in Week 14 and the matchup against the Packers defense provides fantasy players with another opportunity for him to go boom. Green Bay's defense has allowed an average of 18.2 touches, 99 total yards, 0.8 touchdowns, and 18.1 PPR fantasy points to top running back scorers over its last five. Guice can be viewed as an RB3 with upside. 

Start Devonta Freeman (30% ST)

Freeman rushed 17 times for 51 yards and caught four of five targets for 13 yards in the Falcons loss to the Saints last week on Thanksgiving. He's averaged 17.3 opportunities and 72 total yards per game this season with negative rushing fantasy points over expectation. Freeman has been more effective as a receiver out of the backfield this season. He hasn't scored a rushing touchdown this season. The great news is that Freeman faces the Panthers defense in Week 14. Carolina has allowed an average 12.6 touches, 89.2 total yards, 1.4 touchdowns, and 21.35 PPR fantasy points per game to running back scorers over its last five. Freeman can be viewed as a high-end RB2 with upside. 

Start Bo Scarbrough (23.2% ST)

Scarbrough rushed 21 times for 83 yards in the Lions loss to the Bears on Thanksgiving. He was not targeted as a receiver out of the backfield. Scarbrough has dominated all of the early-down rushing attempts in the Lions running back by committee. This trend should continue for the rest of the season. Scarbrough has handled 18 opportunities per game since Week 11 averaging 1.5 fantasy points per more than expected. Heading into Monday Night Football the Vikings had allowed 16.4 touches and 85.2 total yards per game to top running back scorers over the last five. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny combined for 43 touches, 216 total yards, and three touchdowns against Minnesota last night. The Lions face the Vikings on the road in Week 14. Scarbrough can be viewed as a low-end RB2. 

Start Kareem Hunt (45.5% ST)

Hunt rushed seven times for 46 yards and caught all five of his targets for 19 yards and a touchdown in the Browns loss to the Steelers. He can continue to be viewed as a weekly high-end RB3. Nick Chubb (38%) continues to have a higher opportunity share than Hunt (20%) since their first game together in Week 10. Hunt has been more effective with those opportunities when reviewing fantasy points over expectation. Over that time frame, Chubb has averaged 4.9 fantasy points per game less than expected. Hunt's also averaging 6.2 targets per game which provides him a high floor in PPR formats. He faces a Bengals defense at home that has allowed 16.2 touches and 74.4 total yards per game to top running back scorers over its last five. 

Sit Le'Veon Bell (93.6% ST)

Bell rushed 10 times for 32 yards and caught four of five targets for 35 yards. He's averaged 18.5 opportunities and 15 PPR fantasy points per game in a disappointing season. Bell's only averaging 0.5 fantasy points per game more than expected. This is a matchup with a very high projected point total according to Vegas. It's in the realm of possibilities that the Jets lean more on the passing game to get the win. Bell can be viewed as a high-end RB3 in Week 14. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Start D.K. Metcalf (12.5% ST)

Metcalf caught six of seven targets for 75 yards in the Seahawks win over the Vikings on Monday Night Football. He led the Seahawks in receiving yards in three consecutive weeks. Metcalf has averaged 6.4 targets, 3.5 receptions, 57.3 receiving yards, 83.4 air yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game this season. He can be viewed as a WR3 with upside against the Rams in Week 14. Los Angeles' defense has allowed an average of 8.4 targets, six receptions, 68.4 receiving yards, 0.6 touchdowns, and 16.4 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over its last five. Metcalf finished with two receptions, 44 receiving yards, and a touchdown against the Rams back in Week 5.

Start DeVante Parker (41.7% ST)

Since Miami's Week 5 bye week Parker's averaged 8.6 targets, 5.4 receptions, 81.6 receiving yards, 97.6 air yards, 0.6 touchdowns, and 17.3 PPR fantasy points per game. He has set multiple career highs in 2019 and has provided fantasy players a nice return on their investment in fantasy drafts this summer. Parker faces a Jets defense that has allowed an average of 8.8 targets, 5.6 receptions, 67.2 receiving yards, one touchdown, and 18.3 PPR fantasy points per game over its last five to top wide receiver scorers. He can be viewed as a high-end WR2 in this matchup. 

Start Tyler Boyd (40.6% ST)

Boyd caught five of 10 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals win over the Jets. He's averaged 9.3 targets, 5.7 receptions, 63.1 receiving yards, 68.3 air yards, and 0.2 touchdowns per game this season. Boyd can be viewed as a high-end WR3 with Dalton back under center against the Browns. Cleveland's defense has allowed an averaged of 7.8 targets, 4.6 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 0.4 touchdowns, and 14.8 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over its last five.  

Start Alshon Jeffery (22.2% ST)

Jeffery caught nine of 16 targets for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins last week. He posted a season-high in targets and receiving yards and looked fully recovered from his ankle injury. Jeffery faces a Giants secondary that has allowed 8.2 targets, 5.4 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 1.4 receiving touchdown, and 23.4 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receivers scorers. This list includes Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Jamison Crowder, Amari Cooper, and Kenny Golladay. Jeffery can be viewed as a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside in Week 14. 

Start Jamison Crowder (43.1% ST)

Jamison Crowder.jpgCrowder caught two of nine targets for eight yards in the Jets loss to the Bengals. He surprisingly only has 13 targets, four receptions, and 26 receiving yards over the last two games. Darnold and the entire Jets offense will look to bounce back in Week 14. A matchup against the Dolphins at home is perfect to get New York back on track. Miami has allowed an average of 11.2 targets, 7.6 receptions, 107.2 receiving yards, 1.2 touchdowns, and 25.5 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over the last five games. Crowder caught eight of nine yards targets for 83 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins back in Week 9. He can be viewed as a WR3 with WR2 upside in Week 14. 

Start Zach Pascal (7.8% ST)

Pascal caught seven of 10 targets for a career-high 109 yards. Chester Rogers is expected to miss the rest of the season with a fractured knee and T.Y. Hilton continues to deal with a calf injury. Pascal is a great position as the Colts No. 1 receiver to be a difference-maker for you during the fantasy playoffs. The Colts offense faces a Buccaneers defense that has allowed 12.2 targets, 7.6 receptions, 109.8 receiving yards, 1.6 touchdowns, and 29 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers. Pascal can be viewed as a WR2 against Tampa Bay in Week 14.  

Start Curtis Samuel (31% ST)

Samuel caught four of seven targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers' loss to the Redskins. He's averaged 7.2 targets and 104.2 air yards per game, but Samuel has been boom or bust for fantasy purposes. The stars are aligning for him to go boom against the Falcons defense in Week 14. Atlanta's defense has allowed an average of 10 targets, 7.4 receptions, 98.4 receiving yards, 0.8 touchdowns, and 22.04 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over its last five. D.J. Moore finished with eight receptions and 95 receiving yards against the Falcons back in Week 11. The pendulum should swing back to Samuel in Week 14. He can be viewed as a WR3 with WR2 upside.   

Start A.J. Brown (5.1% ST)

Brown caught three of four targets for 45 yards in the Titans win over the Colts in Week 13. He finished Week 12 with four receptions, 135 receiving yards, and a touchdown. Brown has surpassed Davis as the Titans No. 1 receiver. He's leading the team in targets (54), receiving yards (626), receiving touchdowns (4), and air yards (619). Brown's biggest hurdle to fantasy success is Henry's opportunity share. He and the Titans face a Raiders defense in Week 14 that has allowed an average of eight targets, 5.8 receptions, 78.2 receiving yards, 0.4 touchdowns, and 16.3 PPR fantasy points per game to top wide receiver scorers over its last five. Brown can be viewed as a solid WR3 for those in deeper formats.  

Sit Tyler Lockett (78.3% ST)

Lockett will be difficult to trust after his last three games. He accumulated nine targets and 64 receiving yards. Lockett will also face Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey this week. He's made a huge difference for Los Angeles since coming over in a midseason trade. Ramsey has excellent man coverage ability which has allowed the Rams to be more aggressive on defense. Lockett is more of a high-end WR3 in Week 14. 

TIGHT ENDS

Start Mike Gesicki (5.3% ST)

Gesicki caught five of seven targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins win over the Jets. He's averaged 6.5 targets per game over the Dolphins last four. It has been nice to see Miami's coaching staff keep him actively involved in the offensive game plan. Gesicki can be viewed as a low-end TE1 against the Jets this week. New York has allowed an average of 4.8 targets, 3.8 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 0.2 touchdowns, and 10 PPR fantasy points per game to top tight end scorers over its last five. Gesicki caught all six of his targets for 95 yards against the Jets back in Week 9.    

Start Jack Doyle (23.1% ST)

Doyle caught six of 11 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown in the Colts loss to the Titans. He and Pascal were the receiving weapons that Brissett leveraged the most with all the injuries Indianapolis is dealing with. Doyle can be viewed as a TE1 against the Buccaneers in Week 14. Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 10 PPR fantasy points per game to tight ends with positive receiving fantasy points over expectation over its last five.  

Bringing It All Together

Making lineup decisions in fantasy football whether it's redraft, dynasty, or DFS is mind-numbing. It's important not to second guess yourself or make ungrounded last-minute changes. One good best practice is to set your lineup the night before your matchup begins. Breaking news should be the only thing that prompts you to make changes.

If you have additional questions please refer to our fantasy football rankings or better yet reach out to me on Twitter for an immediate response (@EricNMoody). 

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Eric Moody

Eric Moody is a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association). His writing has been featured at FantasyPros, Gridiron Experts, RotoViz, and TwoQBs. He has a lifelong passion for the game and even played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. Eric also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level. When Eric provides advice, he uses game film, analytics, and statistics to help you understand his perspective. He enjoys time with his family, Netflix, music, bass guitar, and coffee