We have made it to Week 14 and a lot of fantasy football playoffs are starting this week! Check out this Sunday game-by-game breakdown to make sure you come away with a W!
Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears
Injury concerns: Brandin Cooks QUES, David Johnson OUT, Keke Coutee QUES
Duke Johnson was a hot waiver wire add if he had been dropped with the news that David Johnson wasn’t going to be making the trip to Chicago. I wouldn’t have much confidence in him facing the 10th best defense in fantasy at limiting RBs. It doesn’t get much better for Watson’s WRs as they are facing the fourth best team against their position. Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee are still viable fantasy options, just from volume and Watson’s ability to get them the ball.
If you held onto David Montgomery, congrats! Montgomery had 27.1 PPR points last week and this week faces the team ranked 31st at limiting RBs so he is primed to have another ball-out performance. Allen Robinson faces the 21st ranked Texans defense against WRs and even though he had a middling game last week, Trubisky is still his QB and the reliability that Robinson brings to his QB is going to help him see the ball come his way often. Also, it appears Cole Kmet has surpassed Jimmy Graham for the starting TE spot, but you shouldn’t play either to be honest.
- Start Watson
- Flex Duke Johnson, Start David Montgomery
- Flex Cooks, Coutee
- Start Robinson, Deep Flex Miller and Mooney
- Avoid TEs here
Dallas Cowboys @ Cincinnati Bengals
Injury concerns: Tee Higgins QUES, Ezekiel Elliot QUES
I normally would say it is a surprise that Zeke was a late injury report add and you should be worried, but have you been starting him with any confidence since Dalton took over? Michael Gallup was able to break out last week, but I still view him as the third receiver in this offense and they face the 18th ranked CIN defense against WRs so at least they have a good matchup this week.
If there was a game you could have confidence in Brandon Allen, it would be this one. Okay don’t do anything crazy and start him, but at least his teammates have great matchups seeing as the Cowboys are…well…really bad. Giovanni Bernard will be facing the 26th ranked defense against his position and Tyler Boyd draws the 25th ranked defense against his so you really can’t hate these matchups. Drew Sample looked the part last week, but I don’t think you can trust him in the playoffs.
- Avoid QBs here
- Start Pollard if Zeke sits, Flex Zeke if active
- Flex Gio
- Start Cooper, Flex Gallup, Deep Flex Lamb
- Start Boyd, Flex Higgins if active, Sit Green
- Sit TEs here
Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins
Injury summary: Salvon Ahmed OUT, Matt Brieda OUT
Give credit where credit is due, this Dolphins defense has vastly improved. That being said, it’s the Chiefs. You are playing your studs and this offense has plenty of them. The only player I have concerns about are CEH. He faces a middle of the road defense, but he isn’t an automatic start anymore because he is unreliable.
We will have to see if the Dolphins will all be able to remain in the game this week or if they will continue to throw hands with their opponents like last week. I still think this offense is better with Fitzmagic under center, and the only value here is still Parker (facing the 2nd ranked defense against his position), Gaskin (19th), and Gesicki (22nd).
- Start Mahomes
- Flex CEH, Sit Bell
- Flex Gaskin
- Start Hill, Flex Watkins, Sit Hardman
- Start Parker, DEEP Flex Grant
- Start Kelce, Gesicki
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants
Injury summary: Devonta Freeman OUT, Daniel Jones QUES, DeAndre Hopkins QUES, Kenyan Drake QUES
Facing the 23rd ranked defense against the run, Kenyan Drake should be able to get back on track in this one, and may be relied on heavily with some banged up teammates. Chase Edmonds is a tough situation to crack because he hasn’t retained his value with Drake back, but Drake isn’t known for his consistent clean bill of health. Hopkins is expected to play and we have seen that even if he isn’t a full go you can’t count on any other WRs to step up for the Cards.
Daniel Jones is questionable for this one so keep an eye on the injury report. Colt McCoy has helped the team get into the W column, but at the same time he is tanking fantasy value around him for players not named Gallman or Morris. I think you can still trod out Engram and Shephard, but with lowered expectations as McCoy hasn’t consistently gotten into a rhythm with anyone.
- Start Murrary
- Start Drake if healthy, Start Edmonds if Drake active, Flex if he isn’t
- Start Gallman, Flex Morris, Sit Lewis
- Start Hopkins
- Flex Shepard
- Sit Arnold
- Start Engram
Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Injury summary: Alexander Mattison OUT, Kyle Rudolph DOUBT, Irv Smith Jr. QUES
I get it, you are probably worried that Dalvin Cook is facing the fifth best run defense in the league against RBs in fantasy. You are starting your studs, especially when their backup is already ruled out of the game. The benefit of this matchup really lies with Thielen and Jefferson owners because they are going to be relied on facing the 24th ranked defense against WRs.
Coming out of their bye week, the Buccs are healthy and everyone seems to be a full-go for this game. Ronald Jones draws the 17th ranked defense against the run, but Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown have to be foaming at the mouth to get at this 29th ranked defense against wide receivers in fantasy football.
- You could do worse than Kirk this week, but be wary in the future
- Start Brady
- Start Jones, Sit Fournette
- Start Thielen and Jefferson
- Start Godwin, Flex Evans and Brown
- Start Gronk
Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers
Injury report: Christian McCaffrey DOUBT, DJ Moore OUT, Ian Thomas QUES
The Broncos survived their game with the Chiefs last week and are facing a much worse team in the Panthers this week. Melvin Gordon is trying to stay relevant and he should be helped by the 27th ranked defense in fantasy against RBs, and Noah Fant has a good shot at a good effort facing the 26th defense against his position. Tim Patrick balled out last week so I think you can move him much close to Jerry Jeudy in your rankings and feel confident about starting both for flex value.
We crapped on the 49ers for having a bad bye week because of Covid and stuff, but look at the Panthers. CMC was off the injury report for like an hour and then hurt his quad during bye week practice. Then DJ Moore gets put on the Covid list and has already been ruled out for this one. Mike Davis, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel will do their best against a Denver defense that is pretty stout against position players in fantasy.
- Avoid QBs here
- Flex Gordon and Lindsay
- Flex Davis
- Flex Jeudy, Patrick
- Start Anderson, Flex Samuel
- Start Fant
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Injury summary: None
The Titans have a clean bill of health heading to Jacksonville and this is a great matchup for any Titans players you may have. Henry is a must start weekly, but even teammates Corey Davis and AJ Brown face the 28th ranked defense against WRs. Jonnu Smith will be active here, but has the worst matchup facing the 20th ranked defense against TEs. (That just shows how good everyone else’s matchup is).
James Robinson put the Jags on his back and put up 22.8 fantasy points last week. DJ Chark fell out of favor with a poor Glennon performance, but it was a nice game for Shenault. Robinson faces the 25th ranked defense against RBs this week, and hopefully Glennon can get Chark involved enough to open up some running lanes for Robinson.
- Start Tannehill
- Start Henry, Robinson
- Start Brown, Flex Davis
- Flex Chark, Deep Flex Shenault
- Start Smith in deeper leagues
Indianapolis Colts @ Las Vegas Raiders
Injury summary: Josh Jacobs QUES
Despite his best efforts to just fade away into fantasy irrelevance in the beginning of the season, TY Hilton has strung together two solid games. This week he and Pittman face the 20th ranked defense against WRs in fantasy so there could be some value here. Johnathan Taylor had his coming out party and this week faces the 28th ranked defense against the run in fantasy. Avoid TEs in Indy as they have three guys competing for favor with Rivers.
It’s Waller if Jacobs is out. That’s the only value here. Carr went off last week, but it was the JETS. Ruggs went off last week, but he also caught the Hail Mary on a botched defensive play to win the game with five seconds left. I don’t trust anyone else in this offense if Jacobs sits.
- Avoid TEs here
- Start Taylor, Flex Hines
- Flex Jacobs if he is active, Sit Booker if Jacobs is inactive
- Flex Hilton and Pittman
- Avoid LV WRs
- Start Waller
New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks
Injury summary: Rashaad Penny OUT, Jamison Crowder QUES, Frank Gore QUES, Denzel Mims OUT
Just when I thought writing this paragraph couldn’t get anymore ludicrous I now have to say that you could throw out Ty Johnson against the Seahawks defense. He filled in for Gore in a big way last week, but the Jets should be down early in this one so don’t trust the run. Crowder and Perriman face the worst defense in fantasy with WRs, so throw them out there as their lone game of fantasy relevance approaches.
Similar to the Chiefs offense, the Seahawks fantasy contributors are pretty set in stone now. Wilson, Carson, Lockett, and Metcalf should all be in your lineups weekly in some fashion, but you play anyone against the Jets. Don’t overthink this one.
- Start Wilson
- Flex Gore if active, Flex Johnson if Gore sits
- Start Carson
- Flex Crowder if active, Perriman
- Start Metcalf and Lockett
- Avoid TEs here
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Injury summary: D’Andre Swift QUES, Kenny Golladay OUT, Matthew Stafford QUES
Aaron Jones should FINALLY be able to be set free in this offense facing the worst defense in fantasy against RBs. Other than Jones, Adams and Lazard face the 27th ranked defense against WRs, and Robert Tonyan draws the toughest matchup with the seventh ranked defense for him. That being said, Rodgers has shown that he will feed his TE despite the matchup so you could do worse than Tonyan this week.
Death, Taxes, and Kenny Golladay being inactive in 2020. Swift is still dealing with his concussion and even though I think Kerryon Johnson would get more work this week, Peterson seems to be the primary beneficiary when Swift is out. Whomever fills in is facing the 30th ranked defense against RBs. Marvin Jones went off last week, but temper expectations as the Packers are limiting WRs this season ranking sixth in fewest points allowed in fantasy.
- Start Rodgers
- Start Jones, Sit Williams
- Flex Swift if active, Flex Peterson either way
- Start Adams, Flex Lazard
- Flex Jones
- Start Tonyan, Hockenson
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
Injury summary: None
Drew Brees is eligible to come off of IR, but Taysom Hill is still expected to be the QB in this one. All the pieces that hadn’t clicked once Hill took over chose to come together last week as everyone seemed to be involved in the game. This week Kamara draws the 11th ranked defense against his position, Thomas the 17th, and Cook the 25th. I think you are going to be rolling the dice with anyone not named Kamara or Thomas so proceed with caution, but I think you can still trust them enough to play them.
It is Jalen Hurts o’clock for Philly and lucky for him, he is making his first career start against the third best defense against QBs in fantasy. Miles Sanders had a great matchup on paper last week and put forth an absolute dud. Now, he faces the top ranked defense against RBs so you are going to want to drop him down your rankings. Honestly, the beneficiaries of Hurts taking over were Reagor and Greg Ward, so it is going to be tough to see who is used in what capacity with a full game of Jalen this week.
- Start Taysom Hill
- Start Kamara, Flex Sanders
- Start Thomas, Flex Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith deep flex
- Flex Reagor and Ward, Sit Fulgham and Jeffrey
- Sit Cook
- Start Ertz or Goedert and hope for the best
Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Chargers
Injury summary: Julio Jones OUT
This game is sneaky difficult to assess value because Calvin Ridley is drawing the fifth ranked defense against WRs, but Julio is out so the defense can key on him. Todd Gurley has a great matchup on paper, but he has been awful for the Falcons so I don’t trust him. Russell Gage has done decently when Julio sits, but Matt Ryan has been awful when Julio is out so be wary there.
Good lord it couldn’t get much worse for the Chargers than last week. Blanked by the Patriots, but luckily for Herbert and Co. this matchup is much more manageable. Yes, Eckler faces the fourth ranked defense in fantasy against RBs, but his involvement in the passing game should keep him relevant especially in PPR. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams draw the 31st ranked defense against WRs and definitely still start Herbert who faces the worst defense in fantasy against QBs.
- Sit Ryan
- Start Herbert
- Flex Gurley
- Start Eckler
- Start Ridley, Flex Gage
- Start Allen, Flex Williams
- Start Hurst, Start Henry
Washington Football Team @ San Francisco 49ers
Injury summary: Antonio Gibson OUT
Terry McLaurin had a rough one against the Steelers last week, but with Gibson out, he does have a solid matchup facing the 19th ranked defense against WRs. McKissic will be the primary back and I think he and Barber still have value even facing the sixth ranked defense against RBs. Bright spot TE Logan Thomas draws the toughest defense against his position, but we have seen that Alex Smith likes involving him so he should at least still have solid volume.
Every week we suggest trying to guess the RB that will be most successful for the 49ers and last week it was Raheem Mostert with a whopping 5.3 points. Both the RBs and WRs for the 49ers will be facing the third best fantasy defense against their positions so there really isn’t a bright spot for them in this one. Take your pick, and good luck.
- Avoid starting a QB here
- Start McKissic, Flex Barber
- Flex Moster, McKinnon, Sit Coleman
- Start McLaurin, Flex Sims
- Flex Deebo, Aiyuk
- Start Thomas
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Injury summary: None
The Steelers are coming off of their first loss of the season, but they do get James Conner back from the Covid list. Conner faces the 21st ranked defense against RBs, while the WR trio faces the 11th ranked defense against them. For this Steelers corps, I would still rank them Johnson, JuJu, Claypool with how much I trust them to perform. Eric Eborn did well last week, and has the fifth worst defense against TEs so he should still be targeted.
This is going to be a tough matchup for the Bills, but Josh Allen will try to take advantage of the Steelers injuries at LB by getting out of the pocket and being mobile. He faces the best defense in fantasy against QBs, but I’m still not super worried about him. Singletary and Moss take the biggest hits facing the second ranked defense against RBs, but the Steelers just don’t allow much on the ground. Cole Beasley went off last week and he and Diggs do have the best matchups against the ninth best defense against WRs, but I don’t expect him to have the same output this week.
- Start Big Ben, Allen
- Start Conner, Flex Singletary and Moss if you have to play them
- Start Johnson, Flex JuJu, Claypool
- Start Diggs, Flex Beasley
- Start Ebron
If you have any questions or want to send me your fantasy football opinions, find me at @TeddyRicketson on Twitter.
As always, good luck with your matchups this week (unless you’re playing me).