There are instances, like last week, where you take huge gambles with your fantasy football team. When a tiebreaker comes down to total points scored, and you’re a significant number of points behind your biggest competition, you need big play performers to take you over the edge.
And if you’ve gotten over the hump and are in your fantasy playoffs during Week 14 because your previous week’s gamble paid off, you must remember to take a step back and start tapping the brakes a bit. As I mentioned last week: you put your money on red. Now, with the playoffs starting (in most leagues), it’s time to walk out of the casino and head to the bank to invest in something a little less risky.
Your start and sit decisions are more important than ever, and because of that, there’s no need to go crazy. Keep doing what has gotten you where you are. Don’t – and I mean don’t – start DuJuan Harris over Darren McFadden because you’re worried about DMC’s ability to work in a zone-blocking scheme.
It’s not time to get cute. It’s time to win.
Really Neat Week 14 Players
Josh Freeman is really neat.
I think Freeman has an opportunity to be a top-5 quarterback this week as he faces an Eagles’ defense that has allowed no fewer than two touchdown passes in a game since their Week 7 bye. Aside from his goose egg against Atlanta, one of the leagues better defenses against quarterbacks, Freeman has thrown multiple touchdowns in a game every week since Week 6. Start him with confidence.
Ahmad Bradshaw is really neat.
It’s not as if you’d bench him, but I’d like to point out that New Orleans has given up 100-plus yards to running backs in all but three weeks of this NFL season.
Knowshon Moreno is really neat.
He’s gotten 40 carries (a 20/20 split) over the last two games, and Oakland’s rush defense ranks 31st in the NFL against opposing running backs. Quantity, in this case, equates to quality.
Vick Ballard is really neat.
Donald Brown is expected to be out against Tennessee – the 29th defense against fantasy running backs – giving Vick Ballard a good opportunity to get some serious fantasy points. I’d start him as a potential high-end RB2 this week.
Jacquizz Rodgers is really neat.
I’m giving him one more shot this year. He made me look like a fool last week against New Orleans, but I think he could see significant time against a Panthers defense that has completely struggled stopping the run, especially as of late.
Danario Alexander is really neat.
Just because he’s facing the top ranked defense against receivers doesn’t mean you should bench him. He should be getting Cortez Allen treatment with Ike Taylor being out for Pittsburgh, and I’d expect him to get 10-15 targets in a game that could get away from San Diego. He may not get into the end zone, but I see him being a decent start in PPR formats.
Torrey Smith is really neat.
Washington’s defense is no stranger to the big play, although they’ve played better as of late. Smith could easily get one of his vintage deep balls this week.
Chris Givens is really neat.
After finishing third in targets at wideout last week, it’s clear that Chris Givens is Sam Bradford’s favorite non-Danny Amendola target. If Danny is out again, Givens is a solid play against Buffalo.
Jacob Tamme is really neat.
With Brandon Stokley sidelined last week, Tamme ended up catching 9 balls for 89 yards. According to reports, Stokley is out again, which means Tamme could have a big game against a defense giving up the 5th most points to opposing tight ends.
Brandon Myers is really neat.
I’ve attacked the Denver defense with tight ends nearly ever week, and it continues with garbage time Myers. Start him as a middle-of-the-road TE1.
The Cleveland defense is really neat.
The Browns have played good defense over the last few weeks. This week they get Brady Quinn’s Chiefs, who aren’t very good at a lot of football-related things.
Other really neat players: Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Jimmy Graham, Seattle D/ST, Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Demaryius Thomas, Jason Witten, AJ Green, Robert Griffin III, Andre Johnson, Drew Brees, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice, Aaron Hernandez, Marshawn Lynch, Vincent Jackson
Take a Seat Week 14 Players
Sam Bradford should take a seat.
You may be thinking “Sweet, Bradford’s got Buffalo. I can sneak him into my lineup!” Not so fast, my friend. Buffalo has held opposing quarterbacks over the last 3 weeks to just a total of 3 passing touchdowns, and an average of 196 yards thorugh the air. In Bradford’s defense, the Bills have faced Tannehill, Henne and Luck, but in today’s NFL, Buffalo has done well defending the pass over this time span.
Colin Kaepernick should take a seat.
The Dolphins have given up one 300-plus yard passer since their Week 7 bye week, and last week held Tom Brady to a modest 1 touchdown pass. Given it’s the fantasy playoffs, I’d rather trust a proven quarterback than one that gets you points from his legs.
Dolphins running backs should take a seat.
Against San Francisco? I’ll almost always sit my running back. If San Francisco plays a running back that can catch the ball out of the backfield, I’ll mull over it. But considering Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush have a combined 6 receptions over the last 3 weeks, I don’t see them going bonkers.
Oakland running backs should take a seat.
I can’t trust DMC yet, and Denver’s defense has played very well against the run this year.
Beanie Wells should take a seat.
He’s not very good at football, and is playing in Seattle against a Seahawks team that ranks sixth against fantasy running backs.
Steve Smith should take a seat.
The last time these teams met, Smith ended with 4.2 fantasy points. Atlanta’s secondary is playing great football, and I’d be surprised if Carolina didn’t try to establish the run to win the game.
Denarius Moore should take a seat.
Not only has he been pitiful as of late – to the point of being benched – but this week he’d supposedly go against Champ Bailey. I’ll pass.
Antonio Gates should take a seat.
His inconsistency should keep him out of your lineup to begin with, but in addition, he’s facing the Steelers defense that has given up one touchdown to opposing tight ends since Week 6.
The Arizona defense should take a seat.
They came through last week against the Jets, but that’s the Jets. The Seahawks are good at home – especially Russell Wilson. They played well Week 1 against Seattle, but don’t expect the same in Week 14.
Other take a seat players: Philip Rivers, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Lindley, Carson Palmer, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory, Ryan Mathews, Malcom Floyd, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Justin Blackmon, Tony Moeaki, Brandon Pettigrew