Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
One of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league, Philip Rivers comes into this week's rankings at #5 facing a Bengals defense that gives up 23.5 fantasy points and 279.8 yards (2nd-most) through the air. This is a fantastic matchup for Rivers.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
This game is the highest projected scoring game of the week. Perhaps that's why Jameis Winston is ranked 4th this week against the Saints. He hasn't done a lot against them in last 2, averaging 17.8 FPG and they give up a stingy 19.9 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks, but he's at home and should have to throw it a ton.
Start 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
After a strong stretch that was aided by soft opponents, Mayfield played like a rookie Sunday. His passing yardage was a season-high, but the bulk of those yards were garbage in the second half. The Browns trailed 23-0 at the half with Mayfield completing just 5-of-13 passes with three interceptions prior to the break, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Mayfield will look to get back on track at home against a reeling Panthers team in Week 14.
Start 'em Jaylen Samuels (PIT, RB)
Jaylen Samuels will be the Steelers' starting running back Week 14 against the Raiders. We expect Stevan Ridley to get the second series, and the two backs will rotate throughout the game. That may be the plan for now, but it can change Sunday depending on how Samuels and Ridley look. We still like Samuels as an upside RB2 play.
Start 'em Jeff Wilson (SF, RB)
With Matt Breida out this week, Jeff Wilson should be able to help you advance in the fantasy playoffs. He rushed 15 times for 61 yards and hauled in 8-of-9 targets for 73 yards in the 49ers' Week 13 loss to the Seahawks. In Week 14, he'll face a Denver defense that has given up the 10th most yards on the ground per game this season.
Start 'em James White (NE, RB)
Even with Sony Michel back in the mix and with the bulk of the carries, James White still has relevance in the Patriots backfield. He's averaged a solid 14.6 FPG against the Dolphins in last 3, and came through last week catching 7 of 9 targets.
Start 'em Amari Cooper (DAL, WR)
Caught all 8 targets last week and has averaged 14.6 FPG against the Eagles in last 2 games, so pretty much a must-start.
Start 'em Kenny Golladay (DET, WR)
Only 3 catches for 50 yards on 8 targets last week, but he did put up 22.9 fantasy points against them with 2 TDs last year and the Cardinals give up a decent 38.8 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks. Plus he shouldn't see Peterson exclusively.
Start 'em Adam Humphries (TB, WR)
Adam Humphries continues to get it done with another TD last week and averaging 14.7 FPG in last 4, so keep using him if needed, and his matchup in slot is beatable.
Start 'em George Kittle (SF, TE)
Caught 6 of 9 targets last week and they give up 17.5 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Jared Cook (OAK, TE)
Shockingly caught 7 of 8 targets for 100/1 but a much tougher matchup here as the Steelers give up 7.1 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Buffalo Bills (BUF, DEF)
Not going off and not much in this matchup history in last 3, and the Jets give up just 5 FPG to DSTs the last 4 weeks, but it is still Darnold who is shaky.
Start 'em Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU, K)
Keep fantasy football's best kicker in your lineups. Ka'imi Fairbairn remains a solid force on a productive team.
Sit 'em Russell Wilson (SEA, QB)
Not a good matchup at all by the numbers as they give up 16.8 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks, but he continues to roll despite throwing just 26 times per game, he's averaging 27 FPG.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
Stafford is averaging a pathetic 16.6 fantasy points in his last 4 games, so while he put up 292 yards and 4 scores against the Cardinals last year, he's a risky option as Arizona has given up just 20.9 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks.
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (PHI, QB)
Averaging a decent 264/2 against them in last 2, but matchup is tougher as they give up a fairly stingy 20 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks and playing well on defense.
Sit 'em Frank Gore (MIA, RB)
Frank Gore rushed eight times for 21 yards and hauled in his only target for 10 yards in the Dolphins' Week 13 win over the Bills. It was an uneventful game from Gore. Without a rushing touchdown this season, Gore will be just a low-upside FLEX this week against the Patriots.
Sit 'em Ty Montgomery (BAL, RB)
Ty Montgomery caught 5-of-7 targets for 42 yards in the Ravens' Week 13 win over the Falcons, adding three carries for 13 additional yards. His 55 yards from scrimmage was a new Ravens high after he gained 54 in Week 12. Kenneth Dixon mixed in for nine touches in his return, making Montgomery further volatile as a potential PPR FLEX option going forward.
Sit 'em Duke Johnson (CLE, RB)
Duke Johnson caught 2-of-3 targets for 12 yards in Sunday's Week 13 loss to the Texans. Even with the Browns trailing by 23 points, Johnson wasn't used at all, managing just two touches. Johnson now has just 12 touches over the past three games and is an afterthought in the weekly game planning for the Browns.
Sit 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
Alshon Jeffery looks like the Eagles' 3rd best WR at this point, as he had another poor game last week with only 5 targets and will be slowed by the solid Cowboy CBs, as he was a few weeks ago.
Sit 'em Randall Cobb (GB, WR)
Cobb saw a decent 5 targets last week and played 76% of the snaps coming off a multi-week absence. While he put up 6 for 60 yards against the Falcons earlier this year, this is a different team and Cobb is nothing more than a desperation play.
Sit 'em Sterling Shepard (NYG, WR)
Redskins just put starting CB Dunbar on IR which helps, but he did nothing against them last time and has been quiet as Eli has struggled and the Offense goes through Barkley.
Sit 'em Kyle Rudolph (MIN, TE)
Rudolph came up short last week with 3/38 but he caught all targets, yet Seattle gives up just 10.7 FPG to TEs the last 4 weeks and can be tough to TEs.
Sit 'em Evan Engram (NYG, TE)
Evan Engram returned to a limited practice this week. It's the first time he's practiced since injuring his hamstring in warmups prior to Week 12. Even if Engram is available for Week 14, he won't be more than a fringe TE starter against Washington. Injuries have limited the sophomore tight end to just seven games this season.
Sit 'em Houston Texans (HOU, DEF)
Luck/Colts give up just 4 fantasy points to DEFs the last 4 weeks but some cracks in the armor last week so not a horrible option if needed.
Sit 'em Steven Hauschka (BUF, K)
What can you say here? Hauschka has been a solid fantasy kicker in the past, but the Bills just aren't moving the ball like they used to. Only hope is that Josh Allen can provide a spark to this team and get them into FG range.