Week 14 Quarterback Starts & Sits: Can We Give Mike White The Keys To The Car?
Welcome to Week 14. We’ve got a strange week ahead of us. This is obviously the most important week of the season thus far, but it will also be a week without some massive difference-makers. The Packers, Falcons, Bears, Colts, Saints, and Commanders are all on bye this week. Which means we’ll be without anyone from Aaron Jones to Justin Fields to Terry McLaurin to Jonathan Taylor and all the way to some useful lesser stars like Christian Watson, Brian Robinson, and Jahan Dotson.
In case you’re new to the column, here’s a quick explainer of what we’re trying to do here (skip down if you’ve been here before). We’re here to wrestle with the decisions that are keeping us up at night. Do you bench a struggling player you took in the second round? Do you take a chance on the guy who has seemingly been playing over his head? Do you sit the high-floor/low-ceiling player for the low-floor/high-ceiling player? We won’t know the “correct” answers until the games are over. But we’re going to do our best to talk through it.
But time is short and the decisions are plenty. Let’s quit goofing around and dive into the Week 14 quarterback start/sit decisions that are keeping us up at night.
START OF THE WEEK: Mike White, New York Jets
I’ll be honest that I’m a little scared of the Bills here. They’re not the 85 Bears, but they’re a lot better than the two previous defenses that White has faced. And they’ll be the home team in a very tough stadium to play in during the month of December. But I also can’t ignore the fact that White has finished at QB6 and QB7 in the two games he’s started this year. He also has some nice weapons around him (especially Garrett Wilson), so I think he has a decent floor built-in with some nice upside if they’re playing from behind. Even if he’s more like QB12 or 13 this week, White is a more-than-acceptable fill-in for someone like Fields or Mariota.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
I’m going to keep writing about Carr until the wheels fall off. Over the past six weeks, he’s turned in four top-10 fantasy QB performances and he’s finished all six of those weeks in the top 15. He’ll face a potentially tough Rams defense this week, but they just gave up 27 to the Seahawks so I don’t think they’re much to worry about. Carr and Davante Adams have been going bananas lately and they should continue that connection this week. I’m feeling good about starting Carr this week. Famous last words, I know.
Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens
As of writing this, it looks like Huntley will be the starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens this week. While it remains to be seen what that will mean for the Ravens win-loss column, it likely means great things for your fantasy team if you have him on your roster. Huntley isn’t likely to throw for 300 yards against the Steelers this week, but he is likely to run the ball 8-12 times. And some of those runs will likely come in the red zone. Is he risky? A tad. Does he have enough upside to steal you a win this week? Absolutely.
SIT OF THE WEEK: Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
I totally get the urge to start Watson. You’ve waited on him all year. You remember how good he was two years ago. I get it. But can you really trust him after last week? I can’t. Six fantasy points just isn’t going to cut it during a fantasy playoff push. That could lose you a playoff berth (and probably lost you Week 13). I’m sure Watson will do better this week, but that’s all relative since there isn’t much worse he could do. He’s on the road against a Bengals defense that somewhat held the Chiefs in check last week, so he’s got an uphill battle. And at this point during the year, that’s not a battle I want to willingly fight. I’m not telling you to sit Watson over a scrub like John Wolford or anything like that. But I’d shy away from him this week if possible.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
What would you say if I told you that you could start a QB this week who has finished his last five games as follows: QB25, QB33, QB20, QB21, and QB21? While being QB22 on the year. Would you want to start that guy in Week 14 of the fantasy football season? I sure wouldn’t. Ignore that it’s Russell Wilson. Ignore that he might have a (small) chance to get into a shootout against Kansas City. Find a better option because you just can’t trust Wilson at this point.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Full disclosure: I’ll be starting Jones in a superflex league I’m in where I don’t have any other good options. With that said, I’d sit Jones this week if I could. He’s been surprisingly good fantasy-wise this year (QB10 on the season currently), but this is shaping up like one of those weeks where he finishes as QB23. The Giants are hosting the Eagles, and this will be the biggest test Jones has faced this year. While I don’t think he’s going to kill any hopes you have of winning (his rushing ability provides a solid floor), I think Jones is going to struggle and look more like the Danny Dimes we saw against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving (a week where he finished as QB20).
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