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THE FIRE SALE: Week 14

Fantasy playoffs are finally here! Congratulations to those of you who made your fantasy playoffs this year. It sure wasn’t easy, especially after the horrors of Week 13.

I’ve been writing about fantasy football for more than 20 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a day crazier than last Sunday. The week was so wild that out of the Top 10 fantasy scorers at receiver, seven of them were owned in fewer than 50 percent of leagues. That’s amazing.

Here is a list of some of the players who scored touchdowns on Sunday:

Cody Core, WR, Cincinnati

Taylor Decker, OT, Detroit

Akiem Hicks, DT, Chicago

Adam Shaheen, TE, Chicago

Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona (2)

Jordan Thomas, TE, Houston

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo (2)

Russell Shepard, WR, New York Giants

Jaron Brown, WR, Seattle (2)

James Develin, FB, New England (2)

You mean you didn’t start Cody Core and James Develin with fantasy playoffs on the line? Heck, I don’t even know who Cody Core is. Apparently, he plays for Cincinnati.

Develin scoring twice was a killer, personally. You realize he had two touchdowns in his first 76 games. He had two Sunday. You can’t make this stuff up.

The best ball-buster out of the group though was Decker. Matthew Stafford threw a tackle-eligible screen pass to Decker, who rumbled 11 yards for a touchdown. Eleven yards to an offensive tackle. They didn’t run tackle eligible at the goal line. Detroit threw a pass to a lineman outside the 10-yard line. Atlanta doesn’t even do that with Julio Jones.

That was the biggest kick in the nuts out of all the kicks fantasy owners took on Sunday.

Good luck this week everyone. I have a few start and sit suggests below. Hopefully they help you out a bit. I expect a much more offensive friendly week. Enjoy.

If you like fantasy football, gambling or Chicago sports, follow me on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy. Besides writing “The Fire Sale,” I’m an editor @BetChicago1. I respond to all questions/comments because I’m a remarkable human being.

Now, on with the “The Fire Sale” …

Fantasy Playoff Starts: Week 14

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland

Mayfield is coming off a game against Houston where he threw three interceptions. However, he did post 397 yards and a touchdown, so for fantasy purposes, it was a 20-point week in most scoring systems. Things get easier for Mayfield in Week 14. He faces a struggling Carolina defense that entered last week giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Mayfield has thrown multiple touchdown passes in five of eight games this season. He’s one of my favorite plays for the first week of fantasy playoffs.

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Austin Ekeler got the start at running back Sunday night with Melvin Gordon sidelined but he was outplayed badly by Jackson. Ekeler was held to 21 yards on 13 carries, while Jackson rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Ekeler is a change-of-pace back and he’s actually more productive with fewer touches. There are reports Gordon could return this week but that sounds like wishful thinking. I expect Jackson to be the Chargers’ lead back against a Cincinnati defense allowing the most fantasy points to running backs.

Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay

Why do fantasy owners hate this guy? Humphries is still available in half of fantasy leagues for some reason.

Not only should Humphries be owned in most leagues, he should be started. On Sunday, Humphries caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. He’s caught a touchdown in three straight games. He has five touchdowns in his last five games. Humphries has topped 50 yards receiving in seven of his last eight games. This week Humphries faces a New Orleans defense allowing the most fantasy points to receivers.

Is that enough? It really should be enough. Humphries is a WR3 in points per reception (PPR) leagues.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

If you’re really looking for a flier this week, how about a receiver who hasn’t done a damn thing in over a month. Is that something that interests you?

Williams is a big-play receiver and it just so happens he’s facing Cincinnati this week. Cincinnati’s pass defense gives up a ton of big plays and the 10th-most fantasy points to receivers. When Cincinnati played Tampa Bay, it allowed 247 yards and two touchdowns to Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. I see this being a similar kind of matchup with Williams and Keenan Allen.

Cincinnati ranks dead last in pass defense. I got a hunch Williams is due. Give him a shot if you play in a deeper league.

About Thomas Casale

Thomas began playing fantasy football back when owners had to mail in their starting lineups and work out trades over the phone. He started writing The Fire Sale in 1998. Since then his articles have appeared on numerous web sites sites including Fantasy Sharks, USA Today and SI.com.