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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 14

Welcome back for the Week 14 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 14 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options for the week. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious concerns, and need to have expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Jets Bills
Quarterback 17th 32nd
Running Back 16th 10th
Wide Receiver 4th 30th
Tight End 27th 28th
Defense/Special Teams 3rd 1st
Vegas Line: Bills -3
Vegas Over/Under: 38
green-light
  • Bills D/ST – Sam Darnold (foot) is expected to resume quarterbacking the Jets this week, and he still leads the NFL with 14 interceptions despite not having played since Week 9.
yellow-light
  • LeSean McCoy – Over the last two week, McCoy has at least 18 touches per game and very little to show for it.
  • Zay Jones – Despite posting a bagel in Week 12, Jones has gone 12-160-3 over his last three games played. The Bills released Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes earlier this week, which essentially locks Jones in as the team’s no. 1 wideout.
  • Isaiah Crowell (toe) – Came alive last Sunday with a 107 total yards on 23 touches against the Titans. The Bills weakness on defense is via the ground, so Crowell should be in for another heavy workload. Update: Crowell has yet to practice this week, leaving his Week 14 status murky. Elijah McGuire would likely draw the start in the event Crowell cannot go.
  • Jets D/ST – It’s a risk given this unit was absolutely thrashed for 41 points by the Bills back in Week 10. However, this contest features the lowest over/under of the week, and the Bills remain the NFL’s second-lowest scoring team with just 14.8 points for per game.
red-light
  • Jets Pass Catchers – At this juncture in the season, no Jets wideout has more than 500 receiving yards. Rookie tight end Chris Herndon has been an acceptable streamer at the position, though this is not the week to use him.
  • Charles Clay – I had completely forgotten he was even on the Bills roster until a dropped touchdown pass last Sunday that would’ve been a buzzer beating game winner jogged my memory.

New York Giants at Washington Redskins

 

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Giants Redskins
Quarterback 21st 10th
Running Back 9th 21st
Wide Receiver 24th 5th
Tight End 17th 23rd
Defense/Special Teams 16th 11th
Vegas Line: Giants -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
41
green-light
  • Saquon Barkley – Became just the second running back to go for more than 100 rushing yards against the Bears last Sunday. The Redskins held Barkley to just 38 yards rushing in Week 8, though the rookie still managed to put up 111 scrimmage yards.
  • Odell Beckham – His last 100-yard receiving performance game against the Redskins in Week 7. Over the entire 2018 season, Washington has allowed the third-most receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.
yellow-light
  • Giants D/ST – The Redskins have the third-lowest implied team point total of the week (18.75), though the loss of S Landon Collins (shoulder) is going to sting.
  • Adrian Peterson – The old man showed he’s still got wheels as he rumbled for a 90-yard touchdown scamper last Monday night. Unfortunately, Peterson was given just eight other carries that went for eight yards as the Eagles simply stacked the box against him. Peterson will need to find success early against New York’s sagging run defense in order to pay dividends.
  • Evan Engram (hamstring) – Even if he is able to return after missing the Giants’ last two contests, the Redskins play decent tight end defense.
  • Sterling Shepard – Hasn’t posted more than 40 receiving yards since Week 7, as Eli Manning‘s deficiencies have crippled the production of all Giants skill players outside of Beckham and Barkley.
  • Redskins Pass Catchers – With Mark Sanchez likely to start at quarterback for Washington, it essentially renders Jordan Reed, Josh Doctson, any the rest of the receiving corps unusable. Sanchez was awful last Monday night while filling in for Colt McCoy (leg), completing 13 of 21 passes for just 100 yards and an interception.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Saints Buccaneers
Quarterback 5th 3rd
Running Back 30th 5th
Wide Receiver 1st 3rd
Tight End 31st 4th
Defense/Special Teams 31st 12th
Vegas Line: Saints -9.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
54.5
  • Drew Brees – Ignore Week 13’s 127 yards/one touchdown dud. Brees torched the Bucs defense for 439 yards and three scores back in Week 1, and they’ve only gotten worse since.
  • Michael Thomas – Like Brees, Thomas is coming off back-to-back poor performances that should be locked in a box and tossed out to sea. Expect a return to normalcy for Thomas this week.
  • Alvin Kamara – The Bucs have allowed an opposing running back to amass at least 16 PPR fantasy points nine times this season. One of those nine instances was Kamara’s 41.1 point output back in Week 1 (141 total yards and three touchdown).
  • Jameis Winston – Make it two straight turnover-free performances for Winston, which have in turn led to two straight wins for Tampa Bay. Only the Chiefs have allowed more passing yards than Tampa Bay this season.
  • Mike Evans – After two straight performances of over 100 yards in Weeks 11 and 12, Evan finished with just 48 last Sunday. Expect a rebound against the NFL’s most generous defense to opposing wide receivers from a fantasy points perspective
  • Mark Ingram – If the game script goes according to the Vegas prediction, Ingram could find himself closing the game out in the fourth quarter.
  • Chris Godwin – With DeSean Jackson (thumb) sidelined last Sunday, Godwin played a season-high 80 percent of the Bucs’ offensive snaps, which in turn resulted in a 5-101-1 line for the second-year wideout. So far Jackson appears no closer to a return than last week, so Godwin’s usage should remain the same.
  • Adam Humphries – His touchdown streak currently sits at three, as no other Tampa Bay receiver has been targeted more in the red zone since Week 8.
  • Cameron Brate – He’s caught just six passes for 62 yards as the Bucs’ starting tight end over the past two weeks, and now has to face a Saints defense that is allowing just 37.4 per game to the position (second-fewest in the NFL).
  • Peyton Barber – His three game scoring streak likely ends this week, as the Saints are the NFL’s best team at limiting opposing running backs on the ground.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Patriots Dolphins
Quarterback 9th 14th
Running Back 20th 6th
Wide Receiver 21st 22nd
Tight End 7th 14th
Defense/Special Teams 27th 7th
Vegas Line: New England -8
Vegas Over/Under: 
47
  • Josh Gordon – Initially looking like a red light candidate, Gordon catches a break with Dolphins shutdown CB Xavien Howard (knee) all but certain to sit out.
  • Tom Brady – Still not throwing touchdown passes at his typical rate, however, Miami’s dinged up defense shouldn’t provide much resistance this week.
  • Sony Michel – Playing just 43 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps last week, Michel’s monopoly on early down carries appears to be compromised with Rex Burkhead (23 percent snap share and 9 touches against the Vikings) back in the picture. Fortunately the Dolphins’ run defense is pathetic, so Michel should still be able to thrive in a contest where the Pats are heavily favored.
  • James White – His pass catching prowess may not be needed in a contest the Patriots should dominate. White had 112 total scrimmage yards and two scores when these two teams met back in Week 4.
  • Julian Edelman – Produced his lowest receiving output of the season last Sunday against the Vikings (3-25-0). While Edelman was ineligible to play when the Patriots last squared off with the Dolphins, he’s averaged 105 receiving yards per game with five touchdowns over his prior six games against them.
  • Rob Gronkowski (back) – Popped back up on the injury report, which has been an all too common theme for Gronk this season. The Dolphins have allowed the second-most tight end receiving touchdowns this season (8).
  • Patriots D/ST – Miami has the seventh-lowest implied team point total of the week (19.75). The heavily favored Patriots should be able to generate some turnovers once they force the Dolphins to abandon their generally conservative gameplan.
  • Frank Gore/Kenyan Drake – As they were when the Pats and Dolphins did battle in Week 4, the Phins backfield is in danger of being scripted out of the gameplan. It would make sense to get Drake more involved in the passing game, but he’s caught more than four passes in just two contests all season. Unless Dolphins head coach Adam Gase abandons his timeshare philosophy, Drake’s floor remains non-existent, while Gore won’t see enough volume to provide stand-alone value.
  • Dolphins Pass Catchers – Both Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker caught touchdown passes last week, but were each held to under 45 receiving yards. Danny Amendola (knee) likely returns from a one game absence, which only further muddies the target distribution.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.