Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman
Week 14 (Wildcard Round) Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em
It is Week 14 and boy do I hate saying that. This season has blown by like Todd Gurley v.s. every defender ever. If you missed the playoffs, then better luck next year. If you’re in the playoffs, then kudos to you. And if you’re in the playoffs and you don’t give a s**t about this article because you are so good that you have a bye week (like me), you ought to send over your resume to Matthew Berry. Enough of the jargon, here is this week’s start ‘em sit ‘em.
Phillip Rivers: This one is obvious. He is the #8 QB in fantasy this year and is playing at home against the worst defense against QB’s in fantasy this year (the Bengals). The only way this doesn’t work is if the Chargers are up by so much that they run the ball the entire second half. Start Rivers no matter what.
Baker Mayfield: Sure Baker threw a few INT’s last week, but come on he is a rookie and was on the road against the hottest team in the NFL (Texans). This week Baker is at home against the Panthers who are the #27 ranked defense against fantasy QB’s. In addition to this, the Panthers just fired both their DL coach and DB coach. There’s no question the Panthers are slamming the panic button, and after Baker puts up great numbers this week against them you might just hear a few Panther fans calling for Riverboat Ron’s head.
Matt Ryan: Matt Ryan is the #5 QB in fantasy this season, but the wheels have officially fallen off the Falcon wagon. Not only this, but Matt Ryan is also on the road against the Packers’ defense which is #13 against fantasy QB’s this season. There are also reports that Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are battling injuries this week. Stay away from Matty Ice.
Carson Wentz: Did you see what the Cowboys did last week to Drew Brees? That defense smells blood right now, and this Eagle offense has been nothing short of dysfunctional this season.
Josh Allen: He’s scored 25+ in the last two weeks. Say what you want about his arm, but his legs seem to be the most shocking thing about Josh Allen this season. With his ability to run he has a higher floor than most rookie QB’s. He also gets the Jets at home this week. If you’ve been streamlining QB’s this year, might not be a bad idea to throw Josh Allen in your lineup and see what he can do. He is very tall.
Aaron Jones: The Atlanta defense hasn’t tackled a running back all year, and now that Jones is all but guaranteed to find the end zone every week, he is a solid RB1 option for this week.
Phillip Lindsay: If you aren’t starting Lindsay every week by now, then you’re an idiot. Plus he gets the Niners at home. He should help a lot of owners move on to the Semi-Final round.
Adrian Peterson: That 90 yard run vs the Eagles on Monday was incredible last week, but don’t let it fool you. There isn’t a single player on the Redskins’ team I’d want to start in fantasy the rest of the season. Sure they get the bad Giants run defense this week, but I don’t care. I’m sitting All Day this Sunday.
Marlon Mack: The Texans run D has been great all year, and with Colts star center Ryan Kelly still injured, I’d stay away from Mack this week.
Austin Ekeler: One bad week of yards per carry and everyone wants to jump off the Ekeler ship. Everyone sit back, take a deep breath, and put Ekeler back in your lineup. No, Justin Jackson is NOT the LAC starter this week. Chargers play the worst run D in the NFL. Start Ekeler, dammit.
Michael Thomas: For years Drew Brees and Sean Payton have caused nightmares for fantasy owners of Saints WR’s. Every week they seem to throw out some no-name receiver and have him catch a TD from Brees instead of the stars that you are starting in your lineup. However, after two crappy weeks, MT will get back on track this week against the Buccs horrid secondary. Start him.
Deandre Hopkins: Somehow the Colts are #5 defense against WR’s this season, but I don’t care. Who the hell is going to guard Hopkins this week? Pierre Desir? No thanks.
Brandin Cooks: This is the toughest test the Bears D will face all season, and I expect them to step up. If you have alternatives, I’d stay away from Rams players (except Gurley of course) this week.
Kenny Golladay: The Cardinals pass defense has been very good recently, and with the Lions on the road and Kenny Golladay banged up (Quad), I’m concerned about the production of Golladay this week.
Allen Robinson: Mitch Trubisky is back this week which means that the Bears will be throwing balls more than five yards for the first time since week 11. Couple this with the fact that Marcus Peters allows more deep balls than just about any CB in football, there’s a good chance Allen Robinson has a breakout game this week.
Rob Gronkowski: Normally this would sound like a dumb pick because of how obvious it is, but there has been an enormous amount of Gronk hate this season with his underwhelming stats. Many experts are leaving Gronk out of their top five TE’s this week and the remainder of the season, but to them, I say f**k off. Put Gronk in your lineup and avoid having regrets next week when you’re knocked out of the playoffs because you benched one of the best TE’s of all time.
Jordan Reed: Don’t touch the Redskins.
Ian Thomas: Greg Olsen is hurt (shocker), and Ian Thomas is a talented pass catcher with big-play potential. If you are stumped on who to play at TE this week, take a flyer on Thomas.