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Week 14 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em

Matt Brandon Dec 8th 6:39 PM EST.

It’s the final week of the fantasy football regular season. This could be a win-or-go-home type of situation for plenty of fantasy owners. With just one week remaining in the fantasy football regular season, you probably have tons of questions about who to start, especially with four offenses consisting of top-tier talents on byes (the Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots). Fortunately for you, FantasySP has the answers. 

With Jaylen Hurts, Carson Wentz, Mac Jones, and Tua Tagovailoa, managers will have to make difficult decisions about which quarterback to start. The top player in all of fantasy football, Jonathan Taylor, as well as Damien Harris, Rahomondre Stevenson, Myles Gaskin, and Miles Sanders, will also be sidelined. Wide receivers Michael Pittman, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers are the top wideouts who will need to be replaced, and fantasy owners will need to find startable tight ends to replace Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki, and perhaps Hunter Henry.

Week 14 kicks off with a matchup between two teams barely clinging on to postseason life. The 6-5-1 Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Pittsburgh can really improve their chances of making the playoffs with a victory. Minnesota will practically be eliminated with a loss. Injuries will play a pivotal role in this game as the Steelers will be without Joe Haden and Stephon Tuitt while the Vikings will surely miss the consistency of wideout Adam Thielen

Be sure to use FantasySP’s Start / Sit Tool to help you make the most informed decisions in the industry. You know to start your studs each week, no matter what. But what about those flex players? What about those WR3’s? We don’t need to tell you to start Tom Brady, Austin Ekeler, Justin Jefferson, or Travis Kelce. This article is reserved for less obvious options. If you don’t see a player you are curious about listed in this writeup, be sure to check out our projections and customizable rankings!

Now that you've checked out this week’s top waiver wire options, used Predictive Analytics, and have sifted through our exclusive Trade Value Charts, it’s time to optimize your seasonal lineups ahead of your pivotal Week 14 matchup. Get ready for this week’s edition of Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em!

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks To Start In Week 14

QB Start of the Week: QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton may not be the same player he once was as evidenced by his Week 12 outing in which he was benched for P.J. Walker after completing less than 25% of his passes and throwing two interceptions. However, we all know that you can’t give up on a player after one bad performance. In his only previous start this season, Newton accumulated 235 total yards, two passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown (with zero turnovers). In his last 17 games, Superman has totaled 14 rushing touchdowns! He is an absolute beast in the red zone and may be asked to run the ball more often with Christian McCaffrey down for the count. In Week 14, Newton gets a matchup against a generous Atlanta Falcons defense that permits the fourth-most rushing yards and second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Look for Cam to air it out to D.J. Moore and to find the end zone with his legs at least once. He should finish amongst the top 10 quarterbacks this week.

Start: QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Another quarterback with dual-threat abilities makes this list. The Saints head to the Meadowlands in Week 14 to take on the dreadful New York Jets. New York is dreadful against the run, but they aren’t too great at defending the pass either. They are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, and have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last seven weeks. In Week 13, Gardner Minshew (playing for the injured Jalen Hurts) looked like the next coming of Tom Brady against Gang Green. He completed 80% of his passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns without committing any turnovers. Minshew made New York look like a Junior Varsity squad right out of the gate, lighting up a secondary that blew coverage assignments all day long.

In Hill’s first start of the season last week, he struggled with turnovers, finishing with four interceptions against the Dallas Cowboys. However, he still managed to finish as the third-best quarterback in fantasy in Week 13 after producing 264 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 101 rushing yards. Hill is averaging 21 fantasy points per game in his five career starts dating back to last season. I have a feeling that Sean Payton is going to utilize Hill a ton in the running game, using him as more of a running back than a quarterback. And considering the Jets rank dead-last at limiting fantasy production by opposing running backs, Hill should flourish. Expect another 100-yard day and multiple touchdowns from Hill. 

Fantasy Football Quarterback To Sit In Week 13

Sit: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

Typically, I recommend starting players against the Detroit Lions. This week, I am making an exception for Teddy Two Gloves. Bridgewater began the season strong and did an incredible job protecting the football, which is the main reason the Broncos started the season 3-0 (they also have a very easy schedule). Through the first four weeks of the season, Bridgewater didn’t throw a single interception. Since then, he has been picked off seven times. Bridgewater has only eclipsed 300 passing yards twice this season despite having one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. He has only finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback once this season and has not thrown two passing touchdowns in a game since Week 7. The Lions are flying high after snapping their winless streak last week against the Vikings. Dan Campbell has done a tremendous job getting the most out of a team that lacks much talent. Detroit’s defense has improved throughout the season, but they are still dreadful against the run. Denver has a very strong rushing attack featuring rookie Javonte Williams and veteran Melvin Gordon. With Gordon out last week, Williams shined in his first start of the season, turning 29 touches into 178 yards and a touchdown. Gordon should return this week, which means Denver will lean on the running game even more. Denver’s defense should shut down Jared Goff and the Lions, which will also dampen Bridgewater’s production. He likely won’t attempt many throws in the second half after Denver gets out to an early lead. Keep Teddy Two Gloves on your bench in Week 14.

Check out our Start / Sit tool to see which players to start. 

Fantasy Football Running Backs To Start In Week 14

RB Start of the Week: RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

I touched on my reasoning for starting Williams in the write-up above about Bridgewater. Denver’s backfield gets a juicy matchup against a Detroit Lions defense that allows the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The rookie has excelled in his last two games, eclipsing 100 total yards in each contest, including 102 rushing yards, six receptions for 76 additional yards, and a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Gordon is questionable to suit up in Week 14 after missing last week, but even if he returns, Williams has earned more snaps after his massive performance in Week 13. The rookie has been phenomenal this season and his numbers would be even better if not for a few touchdowns that were called back due to holding penalties. Fantasy owners should expect another 100-yard day from Williams and at least a touchdown. He will get 20+ touches as the Broncos look to run out the clock in the second half.

Start: RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Barkley has been incredibly disappointing after being drafted in the first or second round of all fantasy leagues. After missing four weeks in the middle of the season, he was eased back into the game plan in New York’s Week 11 loss to the Buccaneers. However, Barkley has returned to his typical workload in the past two games. He played 75% of the snaps in Week 12 and 86% of the snaps in Week 13, though he only managed 127 yards from scrimmage on 34 touches during that span. His 10 receptions saved him in PPR formats, though he still isn’t putting up the numbers fantasy owners would like to see. The former first-round pick has failed to find the end zone since returning from injury, but I think that changes in Week 14. The Giants face a Chargers defense that is allowing the second-most rushing yards and seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. With Daniel Jones likely out and Jake Fromm making his first NFL start, the G-Men are going to rely heavily on the running game. The Chargers have allowed a top-12 running back in three of their last four games. Joe Mixon was on his way to making it four consecutive games before exiting the game early with an injury. Saquon is due for a big performance and he will likely be on the receiving end of plenty of dump-off passes from an inexperienced quarterback. Barkley did show up on the injury report today so fantasy owners will need to monitor his status. But so long as he plays, Barkley will finish as an RB1 in Week 14.

Fantasy Football Running Back To Sit In Week 14

Sit: RB Tevin Coleman, New York Jets

With Michael Carter sidelined, Coleman served as the Jets’ lead-back last week against the Eagles. He produced double-digit fantasy points for the first time this season and has now seen double-digit carries in two consecutive weeks. However, Coleman has an extremely difficult matchup looming against a Saints defense that allows the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. New Orleans only permits 3.6 yards per carry. Coleman isn’t very active in the passing game, as Ty Johnson is the pass-catching back that Robert Saleh is more comfortable utilizing. If you have other options, I’d keep Coleman on the bench this week.

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers To Start In Week 14

WR Start of the Week: WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Higgins has been the top wide receiver over the last two weeks in fantasy football. Some managers were afraid of starting him last week, thinking Week 12 was a bit of a fluke. However, if you chased the points last week, it paid dividends. Over the last two weeks, Higgins has seen 22 targets and produced 15 receptions, 252 yards, and two touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase has fallen off a cliff in recent weeks and Higgins appears to be Joe Burrow’s favorite target. This week, the Bengals face a San Francisco 49ers defense that has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards (479) and four touchdowns to wideouts over the last four weeks. After getting torched by the Chargers last week, Joe Burrow will put the team on his back despite a finger injury and lead the Bengals to a critical victory. Higgins will be the focal point in the passing game.

Start: WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

The Saints are very good at stopping the run so quarterback Zach Wilson is going to have to air it out if the Jets have any shot at winning this contest. With Corey Davis out for the season and Elijah Moore dealing with a quad injury, Crowder could be Wilson’s go-to target. Against the Eagles last week, Crowder hauled in four receptions on six targets for 62 yards. Even if Moore can suit up, Crowder should see an uptick in production against a Saints secondary that is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. The veteran doesn’t have the upside that many other receivers have, but he has a pretty safe floor, especially in PPR formats.

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver To Sit In Week 14

Sit: WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

It’s difficult to trust Cooks with Davis Mills taking over for the injured Tyrod Taylor heading into a Week 14 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is very good at keeping receivers out of the end zone. They have allowed just seven touchdowns on the season to the position and zero in the past four games. The Seahawks allow the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts on the season. They are much more susceptible to the run so Houston will likely try to run it up the gut. This will also help limit the mistakes that the rookie quarterback is prone to making. Cooks had been struggling even before Taylor went down with an injury. He has been held to 45 yards or less in three consecutive outings and has just one touchdown in his last four contests. If you have a better option, it might be worth considering leaving Cooks on the bench in Week 14.

Fantasy Football Tight Ends To Start In Week 14

TE Start of the Week: TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Freiermuth has surprisingly outplayed fellow rookie tight end, Kyle Pitts, this season. The rookie out of Notre Dame had five touchdowns in his last five games heading into a nice matchup with the Ravens in Week 13. However, Freiermuth put up a stinker with just three receptions for 26 yards. That said, he has caught at least four passes in all but four games this season and has been a touchdown machine (six scores on the season). Freiermuth has emerged as Big Ben’s go-to guy in the red zone. This week, he gets a Vikings defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends over the last three weeks. Expect the rookie to find the end zone yet again on Thursday Night Football.

Start: TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Fant is a very good football player, but he hasn’t been very productive this season due to the Broncos’ offensive scheme. He also has to compete with Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick for targets. Fant has not exceeded 59 yards or scored a touchdown since Week 6. Denver is going to try to run it down Detroit’s throat, but they will have to pass the ball too if the running game is going to be effective. The Lions give up a ton of points (the third-most in the NFL) and have allowed three tight ends to finish among the top 12 at the position in the last two weeks. I think Bridgewater finds Fant in the end zone as the tight end will finally break out of his slump.

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Fantasy Football Tight End To Sit In Week 14

Sit: TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

After a late-season surge last year, many fantasy owners expected Higbee to be better than he has this season. He has only surpassed 50 receiving yards twice and has three touchdowns on the season. This week, he faces an Arizona Cardinals defense that has been lights out against tight ends, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. George Kittle is the only tight end to produce at least 50 yards against Arizona. With Odell Beckham being phased into the offense more and more, especially in the red zone, Higbee owners have little incentive to start him. After all, he only has one touchdown in his last seven outings. Let Higbee ride the pine in Week 14.

Fantasy Football Defense / Special Teams To Start In Week 14

Start of the Week: D/ST Los Angeles Chargers

Against a formidable offense in the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chargers dominated defensively, finishing as Week 13’s top defensive unit in fantasy football. Los Angeles put Joe Burrow on his back a whopping six times and forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles), one of which they returned to the house. This was by far the Chargers’ most complete game of the season. In Week 14, the Chargers get a treat, as they will host a New York Giants squad that will likely be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants only score 17.6 points per game and allow the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. The G-Men failed to find the end zone with Mike Glennon under center last week and will resort to the former fifth-round pick out Georgia, Jake Fromm. Fromm has never started an NFL game and will struggle against the Chargers’ explosive defense. Los Angeles will have no problem preventing the G-Men from moving the chains. Joey Bosa is going to wreak havoc and Derwin James will force a turnover in one way or another. The Chargers could finish as this week’s top defensive unit for a second consecutive week.

Fantasy Football Kicker To Start In Week 14

Start of the Week: K Greg Joseph Minnesota Vikings

This is the third consecutive week that I am highlighting Joseph in this section. He delivered last week, converting all three of his field-goal attempts in Minnesota’s loss to the Lions. He also hasn’t missed a field goal since Week 6. This week, Minnesota faces a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense that is especially good at bending but not breaking. The Steelers allow the ninth-most fantasy points to kickers this season. In a Thursday Night Football game that is expected to be low-scoring, the kickers are going to be very important. Expect another three field goals with Joseph along with two extra points.

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