By Josh Johnson and Ken LeBlanc
The sparkle of those that score often leave a breathy aftertaste on our box score/stat absorbing minds. The Fantasy playoffs are now a reality and you are scrambling more than Michael Vick ever did as you try to set the perfect lineup. During breakfast your mind is racing; while brushing your teeth you find yourself pacing. You are not alone, you savvy Fantasy Ninja you. You have arrived and the only way this party becomes epic is if you keep winning. So pour that black coffee down your desperate throat and read our Start ’em, Sit ’em picks for Week 14.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions vs TB: Tampa’s run defense looked solid last weekend against the Bengals and with the return of Reggie Bush this match-up looks bad for Bell on paper. Don’t be fooled. Tampa will be outmatched in Week 14 and that should lead to plenty of opportunities for Bell to get in the end zone as he did on Turkey Day (see video below). Bush may play, but he won’t be fully healthy and Bell is still the workhorse for Detroit.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins vs. BAL: Baltimore has one of the worst pass defenses this season and Tannehill will be asked to throw a lot. He’s been a top 12 quarterback this season and we expect him to be top 10 after this week.
Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants @ TEN: Rashad Jennings is hurt again and that means another start for Williams. Tennessee is ranked last against the run and despite a good effort against Arian Foster in Week 13, it will struggle to contain Williams. Eli Manning won’t be throwing six touchdowns like Ryan Fitzpatrick did against his former team; the Giants will be running the ball this weekend and Williams will benefit from that game plan.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills @ DEN: Jackson seems to be fully healthy and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Denver’s run defense has been great so he may struggle on the ground, but his receiving ability makes him a must start for PPR leagues in Week 14. While Buffalo struggles to run the ball, it will be forced to pass often and Jackson should be the top targeted player. We wouldn’t be shocked to see him put up double digit receptions and a touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steerlers @ CIN: Roethlisberger has perhaps the most lethal weapon in the league (Antonio Brown). And, Brown might have a good game, but in this bloodbath of a divisional game, Big Ben will running for his life. Roethlisberger started the season as a fringe starter, then he threw 12 TDs passes in two weeks. However, in the three games since then, he has four TDs and five INTs. So if you haven’t peeled back yet on Roethlisberger, now is time. The many Cincy ballhawks will make it a lot of long day for the veteran QB.
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams @ WAS: So you had Mason on you bench in Week 14? Trust us when we say we have been there. Now you feel as if you must immediately insert him your into lineup, right? Remember that Mason’s three-TD performance from last weekend — while inspiring — may never happen again. Plus he played the Raiders at home. Now Mason travels to Washington, which has had some good success stopping the run. He might be worth the risk if you are thin at RB, but Jeremy Hill, and even Shane Vereen are safer plays.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns vs. IND: How dare we suggest sitting Gordon when winning is the only option, it’s the playoffs? On top of it all this will be his first home game. Well here it is. As Jonas Gray clearly established (before he fell off the face of the earth), you must run the ball to beat the Colts. Gordon is also beholden to an extremely odd and awkward QB situation in Cleveland. Too many sketchy factors do not instill confidence.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT: Whether Sanu is catching, running or throwing the ball, he is not a good start in Week 14. The Bengals use Sanu as their x-factor player but we don’t see any of his cute/effective plays coming on Sunday. Sanu had a bigger role when A.J. Green was hurt, but he has clearly taken a back seat for now. If you are desperate you could do worse, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Sanu is basically the fourth option at best in this offense. Better options include Donte Moncrief, Anquan Boldin or Jarvis Landry.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who you are starting and who you are sitting.
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