START/BENCH: Week 14
It’s Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season, and that can mean only one thing.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
OK, I didn’t actually mean Christmas. But I know how much everyone just loves being bombarded with holiday music at every turn this year, so I thought I’d help you all out.
No, I mean the fantasy football playoffs.
Yes, Jim – the playoffs.
If you’re worried about your lineup in Week 14, it means one of two things. Either you’re playing for a spot in the postseason, or in even more formats you’re already in.
Either that, or you’re trying to play spoiler one last time. I can respect that. Misery loves company and all that—take as many people down with you as possible.
Good for you.
In any event, we’ve reached the most pressure-packed part of the entire season. There are no more easy wins. No more cakewalks. If you want to advance from here, you’re going to have to earn it – squeeze every possible point from fantasy lineups.
No pressure. It’s not like the next loss ends the season or anything.
Tom Brady, New England (at Miami)
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (at Los Angeles Rams)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (at Jacksonville)
Cam Newton, Carolina (vs. Minnesota)
SPOT START OF THE WEEK
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (at Houston)
Garoppolo’s 49ers debut impressed head coach Kyle Shanahan, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “You know, it was fun to watch,” Shanahan said. “I think seeing it out there live, you could tell he made some impressive throws. There were definitely situations where he got a little confused in and still was able to make plays, which the more he plays and the more he’s around us knowing the scheme and reps, he’ll have less of those. But I think it was still very impressive to the situation he was in for him to just be able to keep his poise and still be able to make some plays when things weren’t perfect.”
It wasn’t an especially impressive statistical outing, as Garoppolo didn’t throw a touchdown pass. However, the fourth-year pro flirted with 300 passing yards against the Chicago Bears, and this week Jimmy G and the Golden Hats travel to the Lone Star State to take on a Texans team that has surrendered the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2017.
ROLL THEM OUT
Derek Carr, Oakland (at Kansas City)
Carr hasn’t been what fantasy owners had hoped this season – he’s 21st in fantasy points at the position through 13 weeks. But his high-water game for the season and then some (417 passing yards, three touchdowns) came in Oakland’s first meeting of the year against the Chiefs.
Dak Prescott, Dallas (at New York Giants)
Prescott didn’t exactly light it up last week (although he did throw two touchdown passes), and he’s had his share pf struggles against the Giants in his career. But the Cowboys still have faint hopes of making the playoffs, and the Giants defense has been hot garbage in 2017.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (at Tampa Bay)
I’m not going to lie – rolling out Stafford with an injured throwing hand against the Buccaneers Sunday toes the line between gutsy and insane. But Stafford’s played hurt (and played well) in the past, and the Lions desperately need this win. Time to earn that fat check, Matty boy.
SIT THEM DOWN
Kirk Cousins, Washington (at Los Angeles Chargers)
After spending much of the season in the top-five among fantasy quarterbacks, Cousins dropped out last week after laying an egg last week in Dallas. He’s on the road Sunday in Los Angeles that ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in 2017.
Every Quarterback on the Studs List Not Named Tom Brady
You aren’t going to sit Carson Wentz or Russell Wilson after they helped get your fantasy team into the postseason. You probably don’t have a better option this week than Cam Newton. But it’s worth pointing out that those players all have bottom-five fantasy matchups for quarterbacks in Week 13.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore)
This matchup could be worse in that the game could also be in Baltimore, but the Ravens are a stout defense and bad fantasy matchup, Antonio Brown is banged up and Juju Smith-Schuster will be out after cheap-shotting Vontaze Burfict and drawing a suspension.