This is the final week! The fantasy playoffs start next week in a lot of leagues and in some cases, the fantasy playoffs have started just this week. It’s very important for a lot of fantasy owners to get a win this week to get into the playoffs or also clinch those playoff bye weeks. Well no need to beat around the bush, here are the important starts, sits, and sleepers for this important week 14.
Fantasy Football Week 14 Starts, Sits, And Sleepers
Start – Ryan Tannehill vs. Oakland Raiders
They say sometimes a change of scenery can be good for a player. This is exactly the case for Tannehill since leaving Miami and signing with Tennessee. In his last three games, Tannehill has thrown for two touchdowns and no interceptions, while also having a 74.5% completion percentage average across those same three games. This pretty much means that Tannehill is managing the game well and not putting the Titans in a position to lose through the air. Sure, they may rely more on Derrick Henry to move the ball down the field but Tannehill has now proven himself to get the ball into his receivers hands to score as well.
In this game against the Raiders, Tannehill is presented with a good chance to put up some good numbers again and really cement the Titans as a playoff contender. The Raiders are currently tied for third in allowing the most passing touchdowns in the league. Expect Tennessee and Tannehill to attack more through the air and this could be a good time to add him to your playoff rosters.
Alternate start option to consider: Carson Wentz vs. New York Giants
Sit – Drew Brees vs. San Francisco 49ers
While Brees is sure to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, expect him to have a tough game against the 49ers at home. The 49ers are coming off a tough defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. While San Francisco has trouble with mobile quarterbacks, Brees is not the definition of a mobile quarterback. In their last nine games, the 49ers defense has been able to generate an average of four sacks per game and have only allowed an average of 13.5 points per game. While the Saints offense is trying to keep their hold on the number one seed in the NFC, the 49ers are also trying to jump back into a spot to have a first-round bye in the playoffs. This will be a tough, hard-fought battle between to premier teams in the league and expect both teams to bring their all on defense. This means that both starting quarterbacks will have a tough day getting good fantasy numbers to warrant a start this week.
Alternate sit option to consider: Philip Rivers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
*Sleeper Start* – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. New York Jets
The last time Fitzpatrick played against the Jets, he lit them up for 288 passing yards, three touchdowns, and about 24 fantasy points (depending on the league you play in). The Dolphins are no longer a team you can just walk all over and Fitzpatrick is the reason why. He is displaying true veteran leadership and showing the rest of the league that Miami can hang with any team. While having no run-game to speak of, you would think this would lead to defenses shutting down the Dolphins offense. Instead, Fitzpatrick has continued to prove his value as a starter and also resurrected the career of the highly-talented receiver, DeVante Parker. With another game against the Jets, expect Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins to continue their momentum and have a good showing again this weekend.
Alternate sleeper option to consider: Gardner Minshew vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Start – Kareem Hunt vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This should be a good game for both Nick Chubb and Hunt. The Bengals may have finally won a game this season, but that doesn’t mean that their defense has suddenly become an elite unit. They are still allowing the most total rushing yards and the most rushing yards per game in the league, plus they are allowing the third-most rushing touchdowns. Hunt has slowly but steadily gained more confidence in the Browns offense and that has led to him getting more fantasy points every game. One of the big things that has led to Hunt getting more points as well is that he is finally finding the endzone to garner those larger point totals. In a game that the Browns should control from the first snap, both Chubb and Hunt should be able to pad their stats and this would make Hunt a very valuable addition to your starting roster.
Alternate start option to consider: Joe Mixon vs. Cleveland Browns
Sit – Devin Singletary vs. Baltimore Ravens
In a battle between two of the best teams in the league, the Ravens were able to win their eighth-straight game by kicking a game-winning field goal. In this game, they did allow 49ers running back, Raheem Mostert, to tally 146 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. A pretty good stat line for sure, but the game overall was low-scoring and expect Baltimore’s defense to fix those mistakes and do a better job limiting Singletary from getting into a rhythm. Singletary has also done a good job of catching passes to lead to fantasy points, but the Ravens have been good at limiting running backs from doing damage through the air. All in all, Singletary might not be the worst option in your starting roster but overall you should look elsewhere to fill your starting running back position.
Alternate sit option to consider: Todd Gurley vs. Seattle Seahawks
*Sleeper Start* – Patrick Laird vs. New York Jets
Next man up for the Miami Dolphins running back group. Laird is the next guy to take the starting role and let’s see what he can do with it. Coming into this game against the Jets, it may be tough to establish the run as they possess one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL. They currently are allowing the least amount of rushing yards per game and the least amount of total rushing yards. The thing that can get Laird a good amount of points though, is that the Jets allow the ninth-most receptions in the league. Laird had 10 rushes for only five yards last week, but he did score one rushing touchdown and hauled in four receptions for 43 yards. This could be a game where the Dolphins will utilize the passing game from the backfield more and sort of make that their running game. Laird should garner a good amount of targets and this could lead to a big day in all PPR leagues.
Alternate sleeper option to consider: Derrius Guice vs. Green Bay Packers
Start – Zach Pascal vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pascal saw a season-high 10 targets in his last game against the Tennessee Titans. With the injuries to Chester Rogers and Eric Ebron, putting them on the IR, Pascal has become one of the main weapons for the Colts passing offense. Also, couple that with the fact that T.Y. Hilton may not come back this season and Pascal’s stock sky-rockets for the fantasy playoffs.
First, he has a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have trouble stopping any passing offense. While the Colts run more than they pass, the times they do pass become very effective due to the fact they want to establish the run. This means that seeing Pascal getting 10 targets last week is a good sign that Jacoby Brissett trusts him and will look his way more often. Pick up Pascal in case he is still on the waiver wire and if you already have him, simply put: start him!
Alternate start option to consider: Stefon Diggs vs. Detroit Lions
Sit – Tyreek Hill vs. New England Patriots
So the Chiefs absolutely trampled the Raiders last week, 40 to 9. In that game, you would think that Hill was a big part of that slaughter, right? Instead, Hill put up a stat line of five receptions for 55 yards and no touchdowns resulting in roughly 10 fantasy points. While these are not bad numbers, a guy of Hill’s caliber has set the bar high and these types of numbers would lead me to believe that he will have a bad game against the Patriots top-tier defense. The Chiefs offense overall has been slowed down and expect the New England defense to be ready to stop Patrick Mahomes and this passing offense from even starting to build momentum. This means that while Hill is a great fantasy receiver in most situations, he should be left on your bench if you want to make that final leap into the playoffs.
Alternate sit option to consider: Dede Westbrook vs. Los Angeles Chargers
*Sleeper Start* – A.J. Brown vs. Oakland Raiders
Since Tannehill has been inserted as the starter for the Titans, Brown has seen his number of targets increase in that seven-game span. He leads the team with 31 targets since then and the next closest is Corey Davis with 23. Brown is clearly getting more looks from Tannehill compared to Marcus Mariota and this is a good sign heading into a great match-up against the Raiders. Two extremely bad showings by the Raiders defense leads to a game where the Titans can possibly be the third team in a row to blow them out of the water.
Leading the charge will be Henry on the ground but Brown should have a highly-productive day as well. Davis might have a bit of a rebound game after a lot of duds, but Brown has clearly become the receiver to own in the Titans offense. Insert him into your starting roster or pick him off the waiver wire, in case he is still there. He could be a wise addition to your playoff roster.
Alternate sleeper option to consider: Emmanuel Sanders vs. New Orleans Saints
Start – Mike Gesicki vs. New York Jets
Similar to the rise of Fitzpatrick over the last few games, Gesicki has enjoyed a revival of his season as well. Drafted out of Penn State, Gesicki was heralded as one of the top tight end prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. His rookie season was pretty much a dud, but coming into his second year he has really started to figure out the game at the pro level. Plus, it also helps that injuries in the receiving corps have helped him become more of a focal point in the offense. Regardless of that fact, he has been performing when being tasked with leading the attack through the air with Parker on the outside.
In his last five games, Gesicki has seen at least six targets come his way and he has scored touchdowns in his last two games. As the season dwindles down and fantasy players are getting ready for the playoffs, Gesicki is one of those diamonds in the rough that can really help in a wasteland of a fantasy position. Grab Gesicki before the rest of your league realizes how helpful he can be for a chance at snagging a fantasy football title.
Alternate start option to consider: Jack Doyle vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sit – Jared Cook vs. San Francisco 49ers
Looking at the past few weeks, Cook has been one of the best tight ends in fantasy football. He has had double-digit points in every game since coming off the bye week and has really become a valuable target for Brees in the red zone. Although that’s great to hear, look a little bit deeper into his performance in his last four games. Yes, he is putting up good numbers but that comes at the expense of playing against inferior teams like Atlanta, Carolina, and Tampa Bay. This game against San Francisco is going to give Cook a harder time of doing some damage and it may be wiser to leave him on the bench. The 49ers have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL right now and they are especially stingy against tight ends. They have only allowed a total of 44 receptions for 321 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends all year. While Cook may see a fair amount of targets in this crucial NFC game, don’t expect him to do much with them.
Alternate sit option to consider: Hunter Henry vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
*Sleeper Start* – Jacob Hollister vs. Los Angeles Rams
If you were to combine the number of targets that Seattle Seahawk tight ends get during the 2019 season, they would be fifth among all tight ends. This means that while Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf may warrant more attention by defenses, Russell Wilson is also finding ways to get the ball to his tight end whoever it is in a given week. Will Dissly was on his way to a great fantasy year before having his season cut short due to a torn Achilles. Insert Hollister into the starting position and he has done a great job providing the Seahawks with an extra weapon to convert downs and score red zone touchdowns.
Looking at his last four games, Hollister has racked up 20 receptions for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Not super impressive numbers but if you need a tight end to find the endzone, then this is your guy. The tight end position in fantasy football is a roller coaster of players being up one week and then down another. As of right now, Hollister is ascending and you should jump on before his ride ends too quickly.
Alternate sleeper option to consider: Noah Fant vs. Houston Texans
Start – Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
The Eagles were the victims of a monumental collapse against the Miami Dolphins last week. A much-needed victory and they could have vaulted themselves into first place in the NFC East. It didn’t happen, but with the Cowboys losing to the Bears this week, they are once again presented with the same opportunity. Playing against the Giants for the first time this season, Philadelphia should be poised and ready on both sides of the ball to get this important win. With the exception of the Dolphins game, the Eagles defense has been playing well in a stretch of four weeks against tough opponents. They were able to score an average of 9.25 fantasy points per game against the Bills, Bears, Patriots, and Seahawks. They’ve also been getting to the quarterback as well generating 17 sacks over the last five games. The Eagles need to win this game and expect the defense to step up and help secure the victory.
Alternate start option to consider: Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Sit – Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have been rolling through defenses as of late. Their game last week was a bit tougher as they only put up 20 against the 49ers, but before that, they were averaging almost 36 points per game during this current winning streak they are on. The Bills come into the season as one of the hotter teams as well, but they should be in for a rude awakening facing a formidable offense like the Ravens. Jackson has been every bit the MVP front-runner and he should be able to give the Bills fits when they try to wrap him up. This could be a low-scoring game and the Bills may be able to slow down the Ravens to an extent, but you can’t really bank your fantasy season on that hope. This week, you should look to another defense to insert into your starting roster.
Alternate sit option to consider: Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
*Sleeper Start* – Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Playing against Jameis Winston, the Colts’ defense should be able to take advantage of his tendency to throw interceptions. Over the last four games, Winston is averaging two interceptions per game and had one game two weeks ago throwing four. The Colts are also one of the best passing defenses, currently tenth in the league in passing yards allowed. The Colts are still in the playoff chase and are still in the division race as well. This game is very crucial for Indianapolis to win and the defense should be able to keep the Buccaneers in check.
Alternate sleeper option to consider: Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers