Week 14, opening round of the playoffs in most leagues and if you weren’t fortunate enough to get a bye we have you covered with some good matchups this week. There are some marquee quarterbacks with tough matchups and if you are not confident in them, there are other options for this week and moving forward. This time of year the weather starts to become worrisome as well, remember to check the forecasts Sunday morning. The intent of this article is to highlight players who I believe will outperform or under-perform their weekly ranking and give you confidence while you’re making tough line-up choices.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs Giants)
Although the Eagles lost to the Dolphins this past week, it was still a solid outing for Wentz and the offense. It was his first 300-yard game since week six and his first three-touchdown game since week one. He’s also thrown at least one touchdown in every game this year and gets a great matchup against a weak Giants secondary this week. The Giants were carved up by Aaron Rodgers last week who threw for 243 yards and four scores. The NFC East is a division that is very much still up for grabs and the Eagles are pretty much in a must-win situation to keep pace. There are a few stud quarterbacks with tough matchups this week, and Wentz makes for a solid pivot who should have a safe floor in this one.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (at Jaguars)
Gordon hasn’t found the end zone in consecutive weeks now but is still receiving a ton of work averaging 18 carries per game the past three weeks. He gets a prime matchup against the Jaguars who’ve given up over 215 rushing yards in three of the last four games. They’ve also surrendered 12 touchdowns to the running back position, good for the third-most in the league. The Jags have been beaten up on the ground all year allowing 113 yards per game, Gordon should be able to take advantage of a great matchup. Even with Ekeler in the mix, there should be more than enough to go around in this one.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (vs Panthers)
The Falcons have been disappointing this season, they have under-performed and are clearly just playing out the string. In his first game back from injury last week, Freeman carried the ball 17 times for 51 yards and still hasn’t scored a touchdown on the year. This week he gets a matchup with the Panthers who are allowing 118 yards per game and have given up a league-high 19 touchdowns on the year. They’ve held opposing running backs to under 100 yards just once in that past four games, which includes giving up 248 yards last week to the Redskins on the ground. This is a great spot for Freeman to potentially get his first score of the year, he has RB1 upside in this one.
D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers (at Falcons)
Moore’s been on a hot streak with double-digit targets in four of five games and touchdowns in back-to-back games. Moore is always a threat to take it to the house anytime he gets his hands on the ball and is becoming a true WR1 on a team that outside of McCaffrey doesn’t have much else. This week he gets a matchup with the Falcons who are the fifth-worst team defending the wide receiver, giving up an average of 181 yards a game and 14 touchdowns on the year. He will be opposed by Isaiah Oliver who is allowing 4.7 catches per game and 12.4 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers; Moore is in a great matchup this week and provides a solid floor.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (at Browns)
With Andy Dalton back at the helm, Boyd is once again in play. He has touchdowns in back-to-back games and saw double-digit targets last week. This week the Bengals will travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns who are giving up an average of 143 yards per game to wide receivers. He will square off with T.J. Carrie who’s giving up 3.4 catches per game along with 8.8 fantasy points while allowing three touchdowns on the year. This is one of the less exciting games on paper but could provide a lot of offense on both sides of the ball. Boyd has a solid matchup in this one and has great flex appeal.
Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cardinals)
McDonald hasn’t had more than 40 receiving yards in any game this year, but it’s the Cardinals — they are the worst team in the league against the tight end. They’ve given up 13 touchdowns on the year which is by far the most of any team and they are averaging a touchdown a game to the position. The next closest team (Oakland Raiders) have given up just eight, it’s becoming too easy for opposing tight ends. There are plenty of teams in need of tight end help, there is nothing sexy about playing McDonald, but there’s a good shot he finds the end zone at some point in this one.
Other Players to Like
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins (at Jets)
Has thrown five touchdowns last two games, a great matchup against a weak Jets secondary.
James White, RB, New England Patriots (vs Chiefs)
The Chiefs have given up 71 catches and five receiving touchdowns to running backs this year.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (vs Redskins)
Good bounce-back game for Jones. Redskins have given up 115 or more yards in the last five games to running backs. Have given up four rushing touchdowns in their last three games.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (vs Seahawks)
Saw 19 targets last week, Seahawks have given up over 215 yards in each of the last three weeks.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (vs Dolphins)
He has had two rough weeks in a row. Gets a plus matchup this week against Dolphins who have allowed a league-high 20 touchdowns to receivers.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts (at Buccaneers)
Coming off his best game of the year, gets a great matchup. The Bucs are the 4th worst team against the tight end.