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Start/Bench – Week 14

It’s time to start playing “This is it” by Kenny Loggins as the fantasy football playoffs have arrived!! At least in the majority of leagues that is. Should your league’s playoffs happen to have already started and you are still reading this article then congratulations. If you lost last week and are out of the playoffs already and are still reading this then THANK YOU!

As for those of us that still have work to do, it’s the most nerve racking and at the same time exhilarating time of year. Every decision is magnified and mulled over to the point of exhaustion. Or at least it feels that way. That is why we here at Fantasy Sharks do the heavy lifting for you. To ease that stress and offer up all the information you need to keep advancing through the playoffs.

Without further ado…

 

QUARTERBACK

STUDS

Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Cam Newton
Andy Dalton
Carson Palmer
Drew Brees
Blake Bortles
Russell Wilson
Ben Roethlisberger

At the Big Boys Table

Blake Bortles: Bortles has top-five numbers for the season and a favorable schedule throughout the fantasy playoffs. Feel free to ride the kid every week down the stretch.

Russell Wilson: Wilson has begun to run the ball more (nine carries in two of the last three games) and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season last week. In the past three games, he has also thrown 11 touchdowns. We like those studly numbers.

Ben Roethlisberger: When he has been healthy (or even healthy-ish) ‘Big Ben’ has been fantasy gold. In the last two games he is averaging over 400 passing yards and just hung four touchdowns on the Colts. With so many receiving weapons to choose from, Roethlisberger is flying high heading into the fantasy playoffs.

Here’s Your Coat and there is the Door

Eli Manning: Eli is back to his old ‘up and down self’ and hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns in a game since week eight. The Giants have Carolina and Minnesota in Weeks 15 and 16. No thanks.

 

START

Tyrod Taylor, BUFFALO at Philadelphia: Taylor is coming off a four-touchdown performance last week and has a very nice matchup. The Eagles may have beaten the Patriots but they are still giving up huge numbers to quarterbacks to the tune of 14 scores in the last three games.

Jameis Winston, TAMPA BAY vs. New Orleans: Over the last five games the Saints are allowing an average of four touchdowns per game to quarterbacks. Winston has eight total scores and only two interceptions over his past three games. We love this matchup for the rookie.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, NEW YORK JETS vs. Tennessee: I have often given Fitzpatrick some grief here but not any longer. He’s playing very well and faces a Titans defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns to quarterbacks in the last four games. We like “The Amish Rifle” a lot this week.

Brock Osweiler, DENVER vs. Oakland: “Brock Lobster” let us down last week but will bounce back at home. The Raiders have allowed three touchdowns to quarterbacks in consecutive weeks and Osweiler will make it three in a row with a big Week 14.

Marcus Mariota, TENNESSEE at New York Jets: Mariota unleashed his rushing skills on the Jaguars last week with nine carries for 112 yards and a score (an 87-yard scamper to behold). The Jets have allowed six passing touchdowns in the last three games and Mariota has thrown for three scores in consecutive games.

 

BENCH

Philip Rivers, SAN DIEGO at Kansas City: The wheels are officially off the Chargers offense as Rivers lost more receiving options with the injuries to Dontrelle Inman and Stevie Johnson. In Week 11, the Chiefs held Rivers to 178 passing yards with an interception and zero touchdowns.

Derek Carr, OAKLAND at Denver: Not this week. Not against one of the toughest defenses in the league on the road. Not against a defense that sacked Carr four times back in week five and forced him into a pair of turnovers. There are much better options.

Alex Smith, KANSAS CITY vs. San Diego: Smith is playing well and just had a three-touchdown performance against Buffalo. The Chiefs will use the ground game to beat San Diego capping fantasy production for Smith. In Week 11, he put up 253 passing yards without a score while Spencer Ware rolled for 96 yards and two touchdowns against the Bolts.

Sam Bradford, PHILADELPHIA vs. Buffalo: No. Just in case anyone was thinking that the victory over the Patriots would propel Bradford forward as a fantasy option. No. Do not even think about starting him.

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA at Carolina: Ryan and the Falcons are no longer just circling the drain they have gone down. Things are so bad that since week nine Ryan actually ranks outside the top 20 in fantasy scoring for quarterbacks. Drop him.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin