I hope you are reading this because you made the playoffs. I hope you are in the playoffs because I was able to help you set optimum lineups in week 13. Speaking of, I achieved a 54% hit rate in week 13. I believe that is a greater than 50% hit rate in 10 of 13 weeks this season.
Now we are in week 14. Unless you are in a league full of psychopaths, this is the first week of the playoffs. This is where this article matters most. You have one chance to win and move on. Lose and you are done. Let’s get into it. Let’s get you a win in week 14!
Baker Mayfield vs. Carolina Panthers
Mayfield’s streak of games with two or more touchdowns in week 13 against the Houston Texans. Ultimately, Mayfield finished with 24 fantasy points despite throwing three interceptions thanks to playing from behind and throwing for 397 yards. Since becoming the starter for the Browns, Mayfield has eclipsed 20 fantasy points in 7-of-9 games, including four straight. That streak should continue into week 14.
Mayfield faces a Panthers defense that has been poor against the pass. Against the pass, the Panthers rank 28th in DVOA. In terms of fantasy, the Panthers have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season. Over the last five weeks, they have given up the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. That includes over 25 fantasy point games in 4-of-5 and two games over 30 fantasy points.
Mayfield seems to be more comfortable as a starter and in a better offense under offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. Against a bad Panthers pass defense, he is a hard start.
Josh Allen vs. New York Jets
I can just hear the “WHAT THE HELL?!” reactions from here. I know, the quarterback that was critically panned before the season made my start list. I get it. But there is a good reason why. In the past two games, Allen has produced 27.9 and 33.1 fantasy points. This is thanks in large part to his 234 yards rushing. Allen has not done horrible passing the ball either, with 391 yards across both games as well as three touchdowns to two interceptions.
The Jets are actually OK against the pass. They rank 12th in DVOA and have allowed the 15th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. This has more to do with Allen’s rushing floor than anything. If Allen is able to continue to run the ball, he is a solid option in week 14.
Lamar Jackson @ Kansas City Chiefs
The argument I used for Allen is the same for Jackson. Though Jackson has yet to throw for over 200 yards in the three games he has started this season, he has still averaged over 21 fantasy points per game. This is due to Jackson accumulating 263 yards over those three games as well as two rushing touchdowns.
Unlike Allen, Jackson faces a bad pass defense in week 14. The Chiefs have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, including the most passing yards. They have allowed nine quarterbacks to score over 20 fantasy points in a game. They have also allowed four games of over 30 points and two of over 40.
Like Allen, Jackson’s rushing floor makes him a safe option in week 14 with the bonus passing upside against a bad Chiefs pass defense.
Matthew Stafford @ Arizona Cardinals
Stafford’s disappointing season continued in week 13. Against the Los Angeles Rams, in what should have been a great matchup, Stafford only managed 16.5 fantasy points and only one touchdown. On the season, Stafford ranks as the QB18 in fantasy. He has not been able to eclipse 20 fantasy points in each of his past three games and four of his last five.
The disappointment likely continues in week 14. The Cardinals strength has been its pass defense. They rank ninth in DVOA against the pass. On the season, the Cardinals have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have only allowed five games of over 20 fantasy points and only one game of over 30.
Stafford’s pass-catching options have dwindled over the course of the season. With minimal pass-catching options versus a difficult pass defense, Stafford is a sit.
Derek Carr vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
As bad of a season as Carr as had, he still ranks as the QB17. Still, Carr scored below 20 fantasy points in four straight before week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs (which should tell you how bad the Chiefs defense is *cough* Lamar Jackson *cough*). In fact, Carr has under 20 fantasy points in eight of the Oakland Raiders 11 games this season.
The Steelers defense had been decent this season after a bad start. In the first four games of the season, the Steelers allowed over 25 fantasy points to quarterbacks in every game. Since, they have only allowed one game over 20 fantasy points, last week to Philip Rivers. Over the last five weeks, the Steelers have allowed fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
The Raiders are in full tank mode and Carr is getting the brunt of it. Sit him in week 14.
Jeff Driskel @ Los Angeles Chargers, Sam Darnold/Josh McCown @ Buffalo Bills, Cody Kessler @ Tennessee Titans, Marcus Mariota vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Nick Mullens vs. Denver Broncos
I think you get the points here. All of the above streaming options have bad matchups in week 14. The Chargers rank 10th in DVOA against the pass, the Bills third, the Titans actually rank 23rd but have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, the Jaguars rank sixth in DVOA against the pass, and the Broncos rank second.
Hopefully, you do not have to rely on any of these quarterbacks in the playoffs. There are better options on the waiver wire, like Josh Allen, for example.
Justin Jackson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This might be an overreaction week 13’s Sunday night game. Many (not me) expected Austin Ekeler to take over for Melvin Gordon. However, Jackson looked like the far more effective running back against the Steelers. Jackson had 63 yards on eight carries and a touchdown on his way to 15.2 fantasy points. In week 12, Jackson had 57 yards on seven carries after Melvin Gordon went down with an injury.
Jackson faces a reeling Bengals team in week 14. The Bengals defense ranks 28th in DVOA against the run. They are coming off of a performance in which they allowed Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay to gain 157 yards and two touchdowns on 19 touches. The Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. They have allowed the most rushing yards as well.
This may be a bit risky, but Jackson has proven himself over the last couple of games and has a fantastic matchup in week 14.
Ty Montgomery @ Kansas City Chiefs
Yet another risky start here. Over the last two weeks, Montgomery has taken over the pass-catching role for the Baltimore Ravens, playing in 40% and 33% of the offensive snaps in weeks 12 and 13 respectively. In those two games, Montgomery has 19.9 total fantasy points, including 10.5 in week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Montgomery faces another defense that is susceptible to pass-catching running backs in week 14. The Chiefs rank last in DVOA against the run. They rank 24th against running backs in coverage. They have allowed the third-most receptions and the most receiving yards to running backs. In terms of fantasy, they have allowed the second-most fantasy point to running backs.
Again, Montgomery is a risky start. But facing a Chiefs defense that gives up receptions to running backs, Montgomery is a worthy flex start.
Dalvin Cook @ Seattle Seahawks
Many expected Cook to step into stardom in 2018. Things did not quite go to plan. Cook has battled injuries all season, likely due to recovering from a torn ACL in 2017. This has limited him to only seven games this season. Over the last two, however, Cook has shown glimpses of that stardom. He has 113 yards on 19 carries and 11 receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. He has scored 16.6 and 18.6 fantasy points in weeks 12 and 13 respectively. Cook’s receiving abilities will serve him well in week 14.
The Seahawks have allowed 11th most fantasy points to running backs on the season. In the last five weeks, they have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points. They have been particularly susceptible to pass-catching backs. In the past five weeks, the Seahawks have allowed the most receptions and receiving yard to running backs.
Cook looks to be healthy and his numbers are trending upward. Expect him to do well in week 14.
Spencer Ware vs. Baltimore Ravens
Despite all of the hype entering Sunday, Ware was relatively disappointing. Many thought Ware would step into Kareem Hunt’s workload right away. That was not the case. Ware only gained 47 yards on 14 carries. He did score a touchdown. Meanwhile, Damien Williams had five carries for 38 yards and caught two targets. It seems that the Chiefs will rely more on quarterback Patrick Mahomes arm with the loss of Kareem Hunt.
The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league. They rank fifth in DVOA against both the pass and the run. The Ravens have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. They have allowed the second-fewest yards on the ground to running backs and the fewest receiving yards.
Ware likely will not see near the workload Hunt did. He is facing a great defense as well. Sit Ware in week 14.
Jeff Wilson vs. Denver Broncos
Who? Wilson was the San Francisco 49ers lead back in week 13 with Matt Breida going down with yet another injury. Wilson accounted for 134 yards from scrimmage and 8 receptions on his way to a 21.4 point fantasy day. Breida has been ruled out for week 14, so it is Wilson’s show.
However, Wilson has a tough task in week 14. The Broncos rank 11th in DVOA against the run. Since allowing back-to-back 200-yard games and three straight of over 100 yards, the Broncos have not allowed a 100-yard game. Over the last five weeks, the Broncos have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs.
The Broncos defense has improved of late. The 49ers offense and Wilson, in particular, are in for a long game in week 14.
Josh Adams @ Dallas Cowboys
Adams has firmly taken over the Philadelphia Eagles backfield over the last two weeks. In those weeks, Adams accumulated 169 yards and one touchdown. In weeks 11 and 12 he produced double-digit fantasy days. Weeks 12 and 13 he was given 20 or more carries. This is Adams’ backfield.
Unfortunately, Adams faces a stingy Cowboys defense in week 14. The Cowboys rank sixth in DVOA against the run. They have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed the fifth-fewest points per game. This includes Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram.
Adams is the lead back for the Eagles but is facing a very good Cowboys run defense. Sit him.
Chris Godwin vs. New Orleans Saints
Godwin has enjoyed a breakout season in his second season in the league. He currently ranks WR27 on the season. Godwin has seven double-digit fantasy days this season. Against the Carolina in week 13, Godwin led the Buccaneers with 101 yards receiving and a touchdown. In their previous game in week 1, Godwin caught 3-of-4 targets for 41 yards and one touchdown.
The Saints have been one of the worst past defenses in the league. They rank 22nd in DVOA against the pass. Against WR2s, like Godwin, they rank last in DVOA in pass coverage. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points this season to wide receivers.
The over/under for this game is 55.5. This will be another high scoring affair between two poor defenses. Start Godwin in week 14.
Jarvis Landry vs. Carolina Panthers
Landry had a series of disappointing games before week 13. Landry has had a relatively disappointing season. He is currently the WR32 on the season in fantasy points per game. However, in week 13, Landry caught six receptions for 103 yards.
As was stated above under Baker Mayfield, the Panthers are not good against the pass. They have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season. In the past five weeks, the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers.
The Panthers pass defense is bad. Start Landry.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Detroit Lions
Fitzgerald’s final season started off as a disappointment. After former offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy was fired, Fitzgerald’s season turned on its head. Fitzgerald put five-straight double-digit fantasy days together before week 13. Rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk broke his foot and is out for the season, now the targets will be even more funneled towards Fitzgerald.
The Lions rank 30th in DVOA against the pass. They rank 25th, 30th, and 31st in DVOA against WR1s, WR2s, and other WRs respectively. The Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last five weeks. They have been relatively poor against slot receivers as well, giving up big days to Robert Woods, Curtis Samuel, Anthony Miller, Adam Thielen, Marque Valdes-Scantling, Danny Amendola, and Quincy Enunwa.
Fitzgerald should see more targets against a Lions defense that does not do well against slot receivers. Start him.
Alshon Jeffery @ Dallas Cowboys
After coming back from injury, Jeffery produced fantasy games of over 20 points in three of his first four. He has not produced a double-digit fantasy day since. This is largely due to his inability to get in the end zone over the last five games.
Jeffery’s road does not get any easier in week 14. The Cowboys have been one of the best defenses all around in 2018. They rank 10th in DVOA against the pass as well as 6th on against the run. Against WR1s and WR2s they rank fifth and second in DVOA in coverage. On the season, the Cowboys have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. They have only allowed three fantasy games over 20 points on the season. They are also tied for the third-fewest receiving touchdowns to wide receivers allowed.
The last time the Eagles and Cowboys played, the Cowboys only gave up for receptions for 48 yards to Jeffery. Expect more of the same in week 14.
Doug Baldwin vs. Minnesota Vikings
Baldwin is yet another guy with a disappointing 2018 season. Many thought he would be one of the most highly targeted receivers. That has not come to pass. Baldwin fought a knee injury in the preseason and then a different injury during week 1. Regardless, when he has played, Baldwin has felt like a forgotten man at times. Baldwin only has four double-digit fantasy games this season. The Seahawks have also gone away from the pass, ranking 26th in passing yards per game.
Baldwin also has a tough matchup working against him in week 14. The Vikings rank 11th in DVOA against the pass. They rank third, 15th, and 14th against WR1s, WR2s, and other WRs respectively. The Vikings have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the season. They have been good against wide receivers in the slot as well, only giving up one big game to Cooper Kupp in week 4.
The Vikings defense is good and the Seahawks do not pass a lot. Avoid Baldwin in week 14.
Corey Davis vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Davis has been able to show flashes of his tremendous talent this season. He has seven double-digit fantasy games on the season, including in four of his last five.. He also has three games of over 20 fantasy points. All despite being held back by his quarterback and passing offense. The Titans have thrown for the fourth-fewest passing yards on the season. One reason not to trust Davis this week.
The other is his matchup. The Jaguars rank sixth in DVOA against the pass. They rank eighth against WR1s. They have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
Bad offense. Good defense. Pretty simple.
Vance McDonald @ Oakland Raiders
McDonald has been a TE1 this season, despite competing for targets with fellow tight end Jesse James. He has double-digit fantasy points in five games this season. In the current tight end landscape, that is good. McDonald continues to see consistent targets as well, with four or more in each of the last five games. That is really all you can ask for in fantasy football.
The Raiders are poor against tight ends. They rank last in the league in DVOA against tight ends in coverage. They have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends on the season. The Raiders are coming off of a game where they allowed 53.7 total points to the Chiefs tight ends in week 13.
McDonald is a TE1 and he faces a bad Raiders defense. Start him.
Ian Thomas @ Cleveland Browns
Yet another risky start. But Thomas has as good of a shot as any to finish top-12 this week. Greg Olsen is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury on the same foot he broke last season and reaggravated earlier this season. Thomas stepped in valiantly in Olsen’s place. Thomas finished as the TE12 in week 13, catching all five of his targets for 46 yards. He should have a chance to make an impact again in week 14.
The Browns defense has been relatively porous this season, specifically against tight ends. The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends on the season. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. They have allowed over 20 fantasy points three times this season, including twice since week 9.
Olsen was one of quarterback Cam Newton’s favorite targets. Now Thomas steps into that role. Going against a Browns defense that has allowed tight ends to beat them as of late, he has a good chance to be top-12 in week 14.
Mark Andrews @ Kansas City Chiefs
And one more risky start for you. The Baltimore Ravens tight end situation is a tough nut to crack. Andrews seems to be the one getting the most targets, though all four have received significant targets in one game or another this season. In five of his last six games, Andrews has over seven fantasy points. While this is not prolific by any means, it is still consistent and productive in a volatile tight end landscape. He has been the Ravens best pass-catcher with Lamar Jackson starting at quarterback.
I have already discussed how poor the Chiefs defense has been this season above. That extends to tight ends as well. The Chiefs rank 27th in DVOA against tight ends in coverage. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Over their last three games, the Chiefs have allowed four tight ends to reach double-digit point games. They have also allowed the most receiving yards to tight ends this season.
Andrews has been one of the Ravens most consistent producers through the air in the last three weeks. Against the Chiefs, he should be able to continue producing.
Chris Herndon @ Buffalo Bills
Herndon has been one of my favorite tight ends this season. He seems to have gone under the radar though he has been consistently good. Herndon is currently the TE15 on the season. He has four double-digit fantasy games this season. In his last four games and five of the last six, Herndon has received four or more targets and 31 or more yards. He has been one of the Jets most consistent offensive players this season.
However, he faces a Bills defense that has arguably been one of the best this season. As was mentioned above, the Bills rank third in DVOA against the pass. Against tight ends, they rank second in DVOA. The Bills have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. In the last five weeks, they have allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends. They have allowed 55 receiving yards or fewer in every game this season and only have allowed four touchdowns total.
This is going to be an ugly game. The over/under is 38.5, the second lowest in week 14. Herndon is probably not a good start this week.
Cameron Brate vs. New Orleans Saints
With OJ Howard down for the season with an ankle and foot injury and with quarterback Jameis Winston at the helm, many thought Brate to be a lock top-12 tight end to end the season. While Brate did produce a double-digit game in week 12, week 13 was disappointing in a good matchup. With all of the pass-catching options that Winston has at his disposal, there is a doubt that Brate can be a reliable tight end to end the season.
Brate likely will not be top-12 in week 14. The Saints have two strengths on defense: against the run and against tight ends. The Saints rank fourth in DVOA against tight ends. They have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season. They have yet to allow a double-digit fantasy game to any tight end the season. The most receiving yards the Saints have allowed to tight ends was 54 in week 1. They have allowed one touchdown on the season.
Brate is the fourth pass-catching option on the Buccaneers. The Saints are vulnerable against wide receivers and not tight ends. Sit Brate in week 14.
CJ Uzomah @ Los Angeles Chargers
After the loss of Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft, many felt Uzomah would be a great tight end in the 2018 season. Unfortunately, he has not been. Uzomah has one double-digit fantasy game this season. While he has received 20 targets in the last two games, he only has 72 total yards. Now with an iffy quarterback situation with Andy Dalton placed on IR with a thumb issue, Uzomah is likely a bad start for the rest of the season.
This is especially true in week 14. The Chargers rank first overall in DVOA against tight ends. They have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season. While the Chargers have given up some big games to tight ends, they were to arguably three top-five tight ends in George Kittle Travis Kelce, and Jared Cook. Uzomah is not a top-five tight end.
With a questionable offense against a good defense, Uzomah is a sit in week 14.
As always, I hope you found this article helpful. This is it. This is where the wins count. Optimize your lineups and just win baby!
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