Are you ready for some playoff action? Oh yeah! The pleasantries are over with and it is go time baby! Win or go home is the mantra now and there is no tomorrow. Paralysis by overanalysis is the main cause of early exits from the playoffs for many fantasy owners.
Don’t over think the obvious decisions and keep riding the players that got you here. Keep starting your studs as long as the matchup is right and don’t be afraid to sit a cold player regardless of name recognition.
With that in mind here are the Week 14 Start/Bench options…
Joe Flacco, BALTIMORE vs. Minnesota: This is the week that Flacco owners have been waiting for. Hanging on to “Fling it long Joe” will finally payoff against a vulnerable Vikings pass defense. Minnesota has allowed 26 touchdowns through the air and quarterbacks are averaging 24.9 points per week against them in standard scoring formats. It may feel strange inserting Flacco into the starting lineup but it will payoff.
Josh McCown, CHICAGO vs. Dallas: The Cowboys pass defense has allowed a hefty 22 touchdowns through the air. They are allowing an average of 294 passing yards per game and will have no answer for Bears wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. McCown will easily be able to get the ball downfield and amass big fantasy totals.
Nick Foles, PHILADELPHIA vs. Detroit: Foles continues to roll after tossing three more touchdowns last week against a stout Cardinals defense. Despite shutting down the inept Aaron Rodgers-less Packers offense last week the Lions defense is still very shaky against the pass. They have given up 21 touchdown passes and over 260 yards per game. Foles will have a very easy time locating and hitting open receivers all game long.
Carson Palmer, ARIZONA vs. St Louis: Over the past four games, Palmer has been among the top four most productive fantasy quarterbacks in standard scoring formats. He has averaged 319 passing yards while throwing nine touchdowns and three interceptions. In their past three games the Rams are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68% of their passes for 326 yards per game. Palmer is playing his best football of the season and will torch St Louis in the desert this week.
Case Keenum, HOUSTON at Jacksonville: While this looks like a juicy matchup on paper, it also looked great two weeks ago. That was the week Keenum was yanked in the second half for Matt Schaub after completing 18 of 34 attempts for 169 yards and an interception. The kid is too inconsistent and risky to roll out there at fantasy playoff time.
Andrew Luck, INDIANAPOLIS at Cincinnati: The Colts passing game is in a free fall and Luck is struggling mightily. Over the past four games he has scored three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and turned the ball over eight times. Oh yeah, the Bengals have posted 36 sacks on the season and the Colts allowed five last week against the Titans. There should be no ‘Luck’ for fantasy owners in the playoffs.
Eli Manning, NEW YORK GIANTS at San Diego: The Chargers defense has picked off only seven passes on the season and have allowed 19 passing touchdowns. This is a great matchup for Manning, right? Wrong. If Eli has proven one thing this season it’s that there are no ‘great’ matchups for the disjointed Giants’ passing game. Bench him. Unless starting a quarterback that has five more turnovers (20) than touchdowns (15) is something that feels right to you.
Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. Indianapolis: Forget that mid-season run where Dalton looked unstoppable. He’s been stopped. And then stopped again. Since Week 10 he has averaged only 185 yards per game while throwing six touchdowns and six interceptions. The Bengals ran the ball 34 times last week and attempted only 23 passes. That will be the game plan moving forward and that does not bode well for Dalton.