by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – at Philadelphia
Over the past four weeks the Eagles have been the worst defense against opposing quarterbacks, yielding 1,112 yards (fifth most) and 15 TD (the Saints have allowed the second most, with just 11 over this span). Taylor has also been finding his stride, putting up strong numbers the past two weeks against very good defenses:
- Week 13 (at Kansas City) – 291 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
- Week 14 (vs. Houston) – 211 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
He added a rushing TD against the Texans, just to add a little bit extra to his appeal. When you couple the matchup with the way he’s been playing, it’s impossible not to have Taylor in your starting lineup this week.
Sit – Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Kansas City
He’s thrown for 202 yards or less, without a TD, in two of the past three games (including a matchup with the Chiefs). Throw in the crumbling receiving corps around him, with both Dontrelle Inman (neck strain) & Stevie Johnson (groin injury) uncertain to play after being injured in Week 13, and things look that much worse. Given the matchup and the uncertainty on who he will throw the ball to, it’s hard to trust Rivers for the coming week.
Start – Shaun Draughn – San Francisco 49ers – at Cleveland
He’s averaged 19.5 touches per game over the past four weeks, yielding 86.25 yards (despite matchups with the Seahawks and Cardinals). He also finally found the end zone this past week and draws a Browns defense that has allowed the ninth most points to opposing running backs over the past two weeks (and the most rushing yards on the season, at 1,543). San Francisco’s offense has been playing better of late and with no return in sight for Carlos Hyde continue to plug Draughn into your lineup.
Start – Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – at Denver
Murray finally came to life this past week, taking 20 carries for 86 yards and 1 TD against the Chiefs. We all know how difficult the Broncos are to throw on, so it’s extremely possible that the Raiders instead focus on the running game. He’s not a top option, as he’s had some poor performances of late, but he’s a workhorse and there should be enough opportunities that he yields some results.
Sit – DeMarco Murray – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Buffalo
We talked about the situation earlier in the week, but it’s becoming abundantly clear that Murray’s skill set simply isn’t a fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. Last week he was out touched by both Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner, and now with Ryan Mathews seemingly set to return his role could shrink even more. Given his poor performance this season and the risk of limited opportunities, it’s impossible to utilize Murray with your fantasy season on the line.
Sit – Antonio Andrews – Tennessee Titans – at New York Jets
The matchup is a difficult one and the Titans seem prepared to work David Cobb into the offense more and more (he had 13 carries in Week 13, the same as Andrews). Is it unthinkable that Cobb is given even more opportunities? Even in a time share, do we want to trust Andrews given the matchup?
Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Eric Decker – New York Jets – vs. Tennessee
He’s the “second” receiver on his team, though exactly what does that mean? He’s been targeted at least 9 times in five straight games, has 8 TD on the season and draws a Tennessee defense that has allowed the third most yards (728) and second most TD (7) to wide receivers over the past four weeks. Exactly what is there not to love about his upside?
Sit – Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
While the Cowboys have done well over the past few weeks against opposing wide receivers (they are ranked 27th), this is more about Cobb and his struggles. Since Week 4 he’s had six games under 45 yards and seven games under 55 yards, scoring just 2 TD in the process. The Packers offense simply isn’t what it used to be making it impossible to trust him in shallower formats.
Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins – vs. New York Giants
There are questions hanging over Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins appear committed to establishing a running game, but Parker has scored in each of the past two games as Miami tries to get the rookie’s feet wet. Over the past two weeks the Giants have allowed 401 yards to opposing wide receivers, seventh most in the league, as well as 2 TD. As the Dolphins continue to evaluate what they have for the future, look for Parker to continue playing a significant role.
Sit – Dorial Green-Beckham – Tennessee Titans – at New York Jets
It would be easy to get excited and plug him into your lineup, given the huge game he’s coming off, but it’s just that… One Game. Sure there’s upside, but if Darrelle Revis is back the matchup isn’t going to be easy and Green-Beckham has been far too inconsistent to trust at this stage of the season.
Start – Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
While Seferian-Jenkins was limited in his first game back it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering he hadn’t played since Week 2. The Saints have been the worst team at defending tight ends this season, including a league high 1,016 receiving yards. Look for Seferian-Jenkins to be a focus of the offense and he could be in store for a big performance.
Sit – Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears – vs. Washington
Bennett is banged up and draws a Washington defense that ranks 26th against opposing tight ends, including allowing just 2 TD. It becomes an even tougher sell considering he has 58 total yards since Week 10.
Update — Bennett has since been put on season ending IR, so he obviously is not an option for the remainder of the season
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, CBS Sports
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings: