Week 14 Start & Sit

Alright fantasy football fanatics, here we are, the fantasy playoffs. Yes, there are a few leagues that started last week and some that start next week, but for the most part, weeks 14-16 are the standard fantasy playoffs. As usual our weekly start/sit team here at DFF have put our heads together to come up with our individual picks to start & sit this week. We also have JT Maynard’s IDP starts, and if you’ve been following us all season he’s been crushing it since week 1. In addition to the start sit picks, Rick Kerns and myself will be taking a look at the Las Vegas lines for this weeks games and use those projected team and game totals to help you find teams to target and fade in your lineups and for DFS purposes. Fantasy football season seems to go by faster each year, hopefully you’ve had a successful run in 2016.

Now taking a quick look at the Vegas Lines for a few games that standout this week with Rick Kerns @CoachKernzy.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay with an Over under (o/u) of 51.5. The Bucs are hot, they’ll put up points and we all know Brees and company will as well. Look for this one to fly over the total. Winston, Evans, Brate on one side and Brees & Co. on the other fill the stat sheet. This game features the highest total on the board this week and only has a 3 point spread. The sport-books are anticipating a close shootout, and you should too.

The Panthers host the Chargers with Carolina a small 1.5 point favorite with an o/u of 48.5. The San Diego passing game should be able to take advantage of Carolina’s poor pass defense. The norm seems to be Rivers having good fantasy games but not getting a W and I expect the same here. Cam and Olsen may be big in this one and should be able to outscore SD. Both teams are expected to score more than 3 touchdowns.

In an NFC East battle, the Cowboys visit the Giants featuring a total of 47.5. Man, color me surprised at the year Dak is having. I followed him and watched him a lot in college and never would have guessed he’d become an NFL starting QB let alone what he’s done this season. Good for him and the Cowboys. Dak, Dez and Zeke for the win here. Ride these guys in your fantasy playoffs. Of course Manning and Beckham will get theirs too but it won’t be enough.

(Editor note: This was published after Thursday nights game. My apologies to you the reader and my writers)

The weekly Thursday night stinker has the Chiefs hosting the Raiders in a AFC west showdown that is expected to be high scoring with a total of 47. I don’t see it, these Thursday games- especially inter-divisional games seem to be bigger disappointments than can’t miss action. It might be hard to pass up given the Raiders offense and poor defense, but ride the hot hand. If you’re still playing and in the playoffs, play the payers who got you there, but be a little weary of this one.

Another game to look for offense in, that might be a little under the radar is the Bills hosting the Steelers with Pittsburgh being a 2 point favorite with a total of 47. Another close game where both sides are projected to score more than 3 touchdowns, Sammy Watkins & McCoy might be sharp plays this week and the usual guys in yellow and black are in play too.

On the other end of the spectrum, looking for games and teams to avoid, let’s start with the Bears at the Lions with a game total of 43. The Bears aren’t even projected to top 18 points in this one. They’re so beat up and bad, hopefully you don’t have to play any Bears this weekend with the next round of the playoffs on the line.

Cincinnati at Cleveland, another division match-up with a total of 43, and this game might have a lot of trouble getting anywhere close to that. I wouldn’t play anybody on either side if I could avoid it. Lots of experts are calling for Cleveland’s first win of the season here, and I’m always scared of this game each year after I bet the under on this matchup in 2004… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highest_scoring_NFL_games#106_points_.28Cincinnati_Bengals_vs._Cleveland_Browns.2C_2004.29

The game with this week’s lowest o/u is Minnesota at Jacksonville with a total of 39.5. Two decent defensive squads with dumpster fire’s on offense. You’ll be served best by fading everybody in this game, unless you play in a fantasy punter premium league, in which case, go heavy on this one.

Good luck to everyone in their fantasy playoffs. May luck be on your side, the football gods be with you, your lineups be sound and in the end your pockets be fat.

Featured Starts:

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. This guy is money. I wish I had him on more of my fantasy rosters. Many experts disparage him about his stats, accuracy, interceptions, and blah, blah, blahbedy blah. Stafford is among the top-10 QBs in fantasy points this season, and in real football he’s in the top 10 in passing yards and just outside the top-10 in TDs. He’s only thrown five interceptions so far. No Megatron. No big deal. Now Marvin Jones may as well be invisible. So what. Stafford has been a QB1 all season – and while this week is not an ideal match-up on paper against a division rival, the Bears are a little banged up on D. I’m betting on Stafford’s rubber arm this week because that guy sure can throw the football, and then get you some PPR sugar dumping off to Riddick just to ice the cake.  – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running back: Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints. In most leagues playoffs start this week and playoff teams usually have a few studs to choose from that’s why this start is so obvious. Ingram is second in the league in YPC. The Bucs defense has been stout these past couple weeks but if the Saints want to make a last second playoff push they will lean on Ingram heavily this week. – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals. Last week saw Larry Fitz return to double-digit targets for the first time since Week 10. That should continue this week against the Dolphins. I mean, did you see what Dennis Pitta did to them last week? Fitzgerald should be in line for his first TD since October 6th. – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers. If you are looking at a tight end start option at this point in the season you are vying for a championship as the playoffs start. I am targeting a guy I haven’t recommended all year in McDonald as a start option for a couple of reasons. Prior to last week’s horrible performance against the Bears, McDonald was locking up close to double-digit fantasy points in four straight weeks and walks into week 14 against the New York Jets who just gave up 3 touchdowns to Dwayne Allen. – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are coming off of a rough loss last weekend, seeing them trailing late in the game, only to take the lead, then have their 2 point attempt intercepted and returned for a game losing 2 point conversion. Ouch. They are on the road this week, but they’re facing awful Jeff Fisher and his terrible LA Rams with a rookie QB at the helm in his 4th career start. I think the Falcons bounce back big this week and the Rams pay the price. – John DiBari @dibari22

IDP Starts: courtesy of our very own J.T. Maynard @FatAdamSchefter

LB – Nick Kwiatkoski, Chicago Bears. If he is there on your waiver wire, go grab him NOW! He is the only healthy & quality linebacker left on the poor Chicago defense.

Last Week: Korey Toomer S.D. 18 points (Solid!)

DB – Sean Davis, Pittsburgh Steelers. I loved this kid coming out of Maryland because of his versatility. I think he plays a bigger role then he has. Start him.

Last Week: Eric Weddle Bal. 16 points (Solid)

DL – Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears. He is playing a team that doesn’t run the ball. Mr. Hicks needs to play like the stud he is (not like Dante Hicks from the movie “Clerks”)… a whipped loser!

Last Week: Cameron Jordan N.O. 16 points (Solid)

Wildcard – DT Sheldon Rankins, New Orleans Saints. I knew once this kid got over his injury bug he would be a factor. For all you in leagues that have to start a DT, here ya go. Enjoy!!!!

Last Week: Nick Bellore S.F. 20 points (Solid!)

*My MFL IDP league records: 9-4, 9-4, 7-6, 7-6. Well, the regular season is history and for the ones still reading this, then that means you are in the playoffs! I made the playoffs in ALL of my leagues. I limped into two of them, but I made it! (Even survived a full blown mutiny in one of the leagues I commish!! BAHAHAH!) If you know me you know I can get loud and say some controversial words but, it only comes out that way because I am so passionate and super competitive, and I’m DAMN PROUD OF THAT! (Thanks Dad!) So, this is the week to find that diamond in the IDP rough….These must starts I think dig deep so I hope this article gave you that edge! GOOD LUCK!

JT will be on Twitter before the 1pm est. Sunday games if you have any questions about your IDP lineups, hit him up @FatAdamSchefter

Featured Sits:

Quarterback: Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans. Look, if you are in the fantasy playoffs and starting Osweiler as your only QB, you’re probably not going to win the Superbowl in your league. Yes, he’s playing in a dome this week. Sure, it’s a pretty sweet match-up with the Colts secondary. And he may get some garbage time points for you as they try to keep up with the Colts. But can you really count on this guy based on a few weeks of decent fantasy points? Answer: No. Have you ever watched him play? He needs more practice. He’s thrown one INT for every TD. Really. Well, just about: 14 TDs and 13INTs. Yikes. He’s on my bench. – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running back: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers. The Panthers look like they are crumbling. Chargers are hit and miss on defense but one thing that has been consistent is their Defensive Line. Jonathan Stewart is averaging only 3.7 YPC but has 7 TDs this year. If Stewart isn’t able to find the end zone he’s likely a bust this week.   – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts. The Texans have been a tough opponent for WRs all year. I expect the Colts to still be able to move the ball, but to look elsewhere once in the redzone (Moncrief/Allen). Hilton has a history of big games against the Texans, but the past three times they’ve played each other (the 2 games in 2015 and 1 game this season so far) Hilton has been limited to lines of 5/88/0, 3/29/0, and 3/49/0. I expect something similar this week. – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens. Pitta had concerns coming into the season due to a hip issue, however he’s been able to overcome those and put together a solid season including his performance against Miami in week thirteen. Prior to Sunday he hadn’t scored a touchdown since week 14 of the 2013 season. I wouldn’t look for him to carry that success into this week as he faces New England. – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: Carolina Panthers. Did anybody see the Panthers play last week? Woof! They’ve packed it in already. They are uninterested and injured and are playing for nothing at this point. Their secondary has been bad since week 1 and Philip River’s is still pretty good, so I look for him to really pick apart this lackadaisical bunch come game day. – John Di Bari @dibari22

Staff Starts:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Wide Receiver: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots

Tight End: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Team Defense: Cincinnati Bengals

Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wide Receiver: Golden Tate, Detroit Lions

Tight End: CJ Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans

Team Defense: Arizona Cardinals

Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Running Back: Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs

Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Team Defense: Atlanta Falcons

Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Running Back: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

Wide Receiver: Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers

Team Defense: Cincinnati Bengals

John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans

Running Back: Matt Forte, New York Jets

Wide Receiver: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

Tight End: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Staff Sits:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: TJ Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars

Wide Receiver: Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Tight End: Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers

Team Defense: Chicago Bears

Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Wide Receiver:  Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

Tight End: Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots

Team Defense: Philadelphia Eagles

Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Ryan Tennehill, Miami Dolphins

Running Back: Terrence West, Baltimore Ravens

Tight End: Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers

Team Defense: Seattle Seahawks

Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Marcus Mariota

Running Back: Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks

Wide Receiver:  Donte Moncreif, Indianapolis Colts

Team Defense: New York Giants

John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Running Back: LaGarrette Blount, New England Patriots

Wide Receiver: Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns

Tight End: Dwayne Allen, indianapolis Colts

Last week’s record:

We went a combined 31-19 last week, pretty good work if I say so myself, especially considering that 2 of us went 4-6 (including myself). Hopefully this trend continues throughout the fantasy playoffs and we can help some folks win fantasy championships and maybe some money.


I say this every week, but seriously, good luck in week 14. If you’re still playing, you’re probably in the playoffs, it win or go home time and we hope all the readers out there are winning at this time of year. Hopefully these start-sit suggestions have been a helpful tool for you this season. Thank you for reading each week, we know you have a lot of other options out there. Go get ’em this week (unless you’re playing me this weekend) and come on back next week for our round 2 playoff picks! And as always, thank you to the DFF weekly team, Jeremy, Lawrence, Eric, Shaun, Rick & JT who make this all possible each and every week.



Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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