2019 Fantasy Football Week 14: Starts/Sits
Week 14 is upon us, and if you made your fantasy playoffs, congratulations! If not, there's always next season! For those of you still in the hunt for a championship, the hard work you put in to waiver claims, trades, add/drops hopefully will come to fruition putting you in the best position to win! To help you in that pursuit, we have not only starts and sits, but some players to not sleep on that could be quality starters for the week if you get in a pinch with injuries.
You can also find me on Twitter @ktompkinsii for more analysis including rankings updates, start/sit advice, and much more!
That said, let's get right into it!
START Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA @ NYJ
Pop quiz, hotshot! Who are the only two quarterbacks to outscore Ryan Fitzpatrick in fantasy since Week 7?
If you said only Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen, you’d be absolutely correct.
Fitzpatrick is definitely in the “Jameis Winston” mold of volume sprinkled with a turnover or two, but the matchup is a much better one than when he faces the Jets in Week 9, at full strength, when he scored 24 fantasy points. The Jets likely won’t have Jamal Adams or Brian Poole available in their secondary, so the fantasy points floor is very high for Fitzpatrick this week against the rest of the Jets secondary. I have Fitz as a top-8 play this week, so I’m starting him with confidence. If you've paid attention to Gary Haddow's waiver wire columns, you'll know he's been beating this Fitzpatrick drum for a few weeks now!
SIT Drew Brees, NO vs. SF
A touch matchup aside, Drew Brees loses LG Andrus Peat and may not have LT Terron Armstead, so that just adds fuel to the fire for a dominant San Francisco defensive line to tee off on Drew Brees. The 49ers have also allowed the least passing yards in the league at just over 161 per contest. Even at home, Brees is a fade this week against a defense that has allowed 1 touchdown pass a game this season. Yikes.
DON’T SLEEP ON Tom Brady, NE vs. KC
Tom Brady just had his first 20+ fantasy point week this past Sunday night against the Texans and looks to make it two straight against the Chiefs this week. Previous to last Sunday night, Brady's last 20+ point game in Week 6, which *checks notes* is not great, but for fantasy owners that roster him, he's definitely a viable option. The Chiefs rank in the middle of teams against fantasy quarterbacks, so with a potential shootout, I like Brady to eclipse the 20+ plateau this week.
START Miles Sanders, PHI vs. NYG
Jordan Howard continues to miss time, leaving the backfield in the arms of precocious youngster Miles Sanders. Sanders will matchup up with a Giants' run defense that has been pretty solid lately with the addition of Leonard Williams. In a high-leverage game and one that with a win will put the Eagles atop the NFC East, it's all hands on deck, and that begins with Sanders, who is a fringe RB1 this week me as a big time dual threat.
SIT Marlon Mack, IND @ TB
Come on, did you expect any less out of me?
Marlon Mack returns with open arms and the Colts backsliding out of playoff contention. Enter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Mack may not even see the full workload this week as one of Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Wiliams, and/or Nyheim Hines could see some touches to not overwork Mack. That combo of factors puts Mack in RB3 territory for me this week.
DON’T SLEEP ON Patrick Laird, MIA @ NYJ
Jamal Adams is likely to not play this week so with the Miami Dolphins trending up and Kalen Ballage hitting the IR, Patrick Laird steps in. I have him as a solid flex volume play, he may not give you a bunch of yards on the ground, but PPR formats will find Laird useful if needed, as he's very adept out of the backfield. The Jets have allowed a YPC to opposing running backs that's under 3 yards, so even without Adams on the other side, the Jets should be able to limit some opportunities for Laird, but I like him to make up that ground with his receiving work. All the targets can't just go to DeVante Parker.
START Alshon Jeffrey, PHI vs. NYG
With Alshon Jeffrey seemingly healthy for the first time in about a decade and facing one of the best matchups for a wide receiver in Giants rookie DeAndre Baker, Jeffrey should feast on the Giants and Baker this Sunday. He put up a 9-137 line with a touchdown against the Dolphins on 16 (!) targets, so Carson Wentz should feed him the ball early and often in a plus matchup such as this. He's a high-end WR2 with top 5 at the position upside this week.
SIT John Brown, BUF vs. BAL
John Brown, he of the absolutely remarkable consistency he's shown this season, has the ability to take one pass and break it for a long touchdown. He's not called "Smoke" for nothing. You have to think the Ravens, the best team in the NFL, would know that, right? He did play for them last season. The last two weeks against Denver and Dallas, he's needed a score in each game to eclipse that double digit point total in PPR scoring, so I'm predicting he puts up a bit of a dud, in some bad timing for intrepid owners who drafted him late. He's a WR3 but the floor and ceiling are far apart this week.
DON’T SLEEP ON James Washington, PIT @ ARI
Typically running in the slot more without Juju Smith-Schuster (and avoiding Patrick Peterson this week), James Washington has shown a rapport with Duck Hodges and frankly, has been great for fantasy owners in four of the last five weeks even when Mason Rudolph was still entrenched as the starter. Washington's catches (20 in his those same five games) have been just pedestrian, but it's what he's done with his touches that has made him a possible league-winner this late in the fantasy season. He's eclipsed 69 yards four times in that aforementioned timespan with 3 touchdowns to boot. With Juju out for this Sunday's contest, falls into a high-end WR3 with some upside in an excellent matchup.
START Jack Doyle, IND @ TB
I’ve got Jack Doyle as a top-4 play this week and for damn good reason. With Eric Ebron on IR, Doyle took advantage of his absence with a 6-73 line and a touchdown on 11 targets. With T.Y.Hilton out, Doyle is the defacto “WR1” and 2nd option at worst. Doyle and the Colts face Tampa Bay, who is neck and neck behind Arizona for the worst defense against tight ends in the NFL. If you’ve got Doyle, fire him up this week and reap the rewards!
SIT O.J. Howard, TB vs. IND
When some thought O.J. Howard was "back" in Week 10, he combined for 1 catch for 10 yards the next two weeks. Last week, he put up a 5-61 line. You can't trust anything about this Bucs offense aside from one of the perimeter receivers will blow up, Jameis Winston will chuck the ball a lot, that the running backs are a coin flip, and that O.J. Howard's usage is hit or miss, but usually miss. Don't trust him his week, he has a zero point floor and in the fantasy playoffs, that's such a bad bet.
DON’T SLEEP ON Ian Thomas, CAR @ ATL
Ian Thomas tends to show up at the end of the season to give you fringe TE1 performances, and like last year, where he was TE10 the last quarter of the season, he's going to be starting against the Falcons. Greg Olsen will not suit up due to his concussion. Outside of the starting TE, you'd be looking for anybody to fall into the end zone, but Thomas is one that has some upside with targets and yards as well. We've seen it before, so I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle Allen finds him with the same propensity this season as Cam Newton did last season.