by Will Overton
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 –Josh McCown – New York Jets @ Denver
Sometimes matchups are all about timing, and the timing for McCown this week seems just right. He is on a roll after a huge game against the Chiefs last week. Meanwhile, the Broncos have been a tough team to go against this season but the wheels seem to be falling off, given they allowed 35 points last week to Miami. The Jets are pretty content being a pass heavy offense right now and McCown should keep piling up the fantasy points.
Sit – Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis
The matchup is a plus, but I am still not feeling good about using Taylor. He is currently questionable with a knee injury, but I am not sold even if he does play. The Colts can be thrown on, but does that really mean the Bills are going to totally change their game plan and throw the ball a bunch? I doubt it. I assume the Bills will do what they do best and pound the ball with LeSean McCoy, especially if they can get out to an early lead. The knee injury also may limit his upside since his ability to run gives his fantasy potential a boost.
Start – Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland
The fantasy value of Hunt has surely taken a hit and I can’t blame owners for not wanting to play him right now, but I think this is a bad week to go away from him. The Chiefs have to recognize that they can’t give the ball to Hunt nine times and expect good things. He may be a little boom or bust, but when he gets 15+ carries good things always seem to happen. That includes last time he played Oakland and had 117 yards from scrimmage.
Start – Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland
There are a few reasons to be a little reluctant with play Williams this week. Aaron Jones returned last week and while he only carried the ball once, it was an impressive 20 yard run for the game winning TD. There’s also the fact that the Browns run defense is actually quite good. Those things established, I still like Williams enough to play him in a playoff matchup. The Packers are running a lot while Brett Hundley is under center, so ethe workload should be there. While I do expect Jones to get more looks, Williams should still get the majority and has proven to be a pretty decent receiver (something Jones never really showed). Expect another 20+ touches and solid production.
Sit – Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans @ Arizona
After the last two weeks the temptation to play Henry certainly has to be strong. He is coming off a game where he carried the ball 11 times for 109 yards, including a 75 yard TD run. That said, we have no reason to believe that the Titans are going to be turning more of the workload over to him at this point (you can’t expect more than 10 – 12 carries), and we haven’t seen him get the goal line work either. So then you’re hoping he breaks a big one, which we know he can, but Arizona’s run defense is solid and it’s pretty hard to bank on a big run. Henry could be a FLEX, but even then I’d be leery.
Sit – Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit
With Doug Martin out last week against the Packers, Barber got a chance to shine and made the most of it. He ran for 102 yards while adding another 41 through the air on four catches. There is reason for hesitancy before sticking him in your lineup this week, including Martin returning from his concussion. Martin has been bad, so I think Barber keeps the gig as the lead back, but I assume Martin cuts into his touches some. There’s also the fact that before last week Barber hadn’t flashed much.
Wide Receivers (Two-Receivers Format)
Start – Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay
Finally Gordon returned to the football field last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. He was targeted a team high 11 times and ended up with four catches for 85 yards. DeShone Kizer isn’t the most accurate QB, as we can see from the catch rate, but if Gordon is getting double digit targets we can live with a few bad throws. He is a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches it and the Packers have been known to allow some big games to receivers.
Sit – Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina
I think it’s time that we stop riding those first four games from Diggs. The Vikings receiver has scored just one TD in his last seven games and he’s also been held to 35 yards or fewer in four of his last six. Diggs is a big play threat with real talent, but he’s in an offense that just isn’t built for big plays and a QB who is finding success with short passes and check downs. Adam Thielen is the perfect receiver for the Vikings offense and the numbers bear that out, for both Thielen and Diggs.
Wide Receivers (Three-Receivers Format)
Start – Marquise Goodwin – San Francisco 49ers @ Houston
All the talk this week has been about the connection between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trent Taylor. Yet last Sunday it was Goodwin who caught eight passes for 99 yards and led the team in targets. I’m a believer in Garoppolo being a real QB and I think the 49ers are invested in seeing what they have, so he’ll be throwing a fair amount. This week’s matchup is a dream too and Goodwin should be able to pile up the points and hopefully find the end zone.
Sit – Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans @ Arizona
I believe in the talent and the upside of Davis and I feel like he’s on the brink of a big game, but I really don’t think it’s going to happen this week. After piling up the targets for a couple of weeks he has only had eight total the last two weeks. There are so many options that Davis can’t seem to separate himself. He also may be getting the Patrick Peterson treatment, which will really cap his upside.
Start – Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys @ NY Giants
This one is a simple matchup play, and if you have a decent tight end going against the Giants you should be using him. Witten’s production has been all over the board, with either one catch or seven in the last five games. This week should tend towards that higher end. In Week 1 Witten had seven catches for 59 yards and a TD. The Giants are almost a lock for a TE touchdown every week and so I’ll bank on a Witten score.
Sit – O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit
I do love to play tight ends against the Lions, but I don’t think Howard is the one I’ll be using. Jameis Winston came back last week and suddenly Howard has two targets while Cameron Brate comes back to the top of the heap of TE’s in Tampa Bay. Howard was starting to shine with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing QB, but I think he’s headed back to the back burner which is a shame because you’d really like to see what he can do.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings: