Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. 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, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. 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 Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
It was nice to see the real Jared Goff last week throwing for 424 yards and two touchdowns. He comes into our rankings at #11 this week facing a Seattle defense that is giving up the third most yards through the air. Goff put up 18 fantasy points against them back in Week 5 and Cousins put up 17 points against them last week. If you need a spot start, Goff could be your guy.
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
If Mitchell Trubisky can put up 24 fantasy points against the Lions last week, Kirk Cousins should be able to put up similar numbers just like he did back in Week 7 when he put up 29 fantasy points. Detroit is giving up the 6th-most fantasy points making Cousins a must-start for your fantasy championship run.
Start 'em Ryan Tannehill (TEN, QB)
Ranked 12th this week on FFN is Ryan Tannehill who has helped spur the Titans into the 2nd-highest scoring offense in the NFL since he took over in Week 7. He should shine in Week 14 against the Raiders who are giving up the 2nd-most fantasy points to QBs on the season.
Start 'em James White (NE, RB)
Nobody gives up more fantasy points to RBs than the Chiefs and they're also giving up the 2nd-most receiving yards per game to them. That's sweet music for James White who has absolutely thrived in the receiving game for the Pats. He's ranked 17th this week on FFN making him a fantastic RB2/FLEX play.
Start 'em Devonta Freeman (ATL, RB)
He may not have made fantasy owners particularly happy this year, nor has he scored a single rushing TD yet, but both of those situations should change this week when Devonta Freeman faces a Panthers' run defense that has surrendered the 2nd-most fantasy points to RBs on the season.
Start 'em Austin Ekeler (LAC, RB)
Even though Austin Ekeler has taken a backseat to Melvin Gordon, he has still been able to put up decent fantasy numbers. He's ranked 15th this week on FFN against a soft Jacksonville defense that is giving up the 7th-most fantasy points to RBs on the season. In a lackluster offense, Ekeler and Gordon are still fantasy relevant.
Start 'em DeVante Parker (MIA, WR)
At this point, how can you *not* start DeVante Parker? He's ranked 13th this week on FFN and has averaged 20+ points over his last five games. The Jets give up the ninth-most fantasy points to the position and the fifth-most touchdowns. He and Fitzpatrick have an obvious rapport, and since Week 6, Parker has led the AFC in receiving yards. Keep him firmly locked into your lineup.
Start 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
What ankle injury? Alshon Jeffery looked like his old self last week going 9-for-137 yards and a score. Wentz leaned on him and it paid off for fantasy owners. A Monday night matchup with the Giants should keep the fantasy points coming as New York is giving up the 2nd-most yards and 3rd-most fantasy points and touchdowns to opposing receivers on the year.
Start 'em D.J. Moore (CAR, WR)
Remember back to August when future HOF wide receiver Steve Smith taunted D.J. Moore when he sought advice from Cam Newton about whether or not he should draft Moore to be on his fantasy team? Hopefully Smith listened to Moore, because the 2nd-year pro has been on fire. He leads the team in targets (5th-most in the NFL) and will be a must-start against Atlanta who is giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to WRs this year.
Start 'em Jack Doyle (IND, TE)
With Eric Ebron on I.R., Jack Doyle has become a TE1 as evidenced by his stats and his #7 ranking on FFN this week. Tampa Bay gives up the 2nd-most fantasy points to this position on the season, and plenty of tight ends have seen double-digit production including Jared Cook, Jacob Hollister, Jonnu Smith, Gerald Everett, Evan Engram, and Greg Olsen. Doyle is a Top 10 play this week.
Start 'em Mike Gesicki (MIA, TE)
Mike Gesicki is on a two-game touchdown streak and has seen at least six targets over his last five games, so even in a tough matchup against Philly, he's worth a gamble as a low-end TE1. Gesicki is ranked 11th this week on FFN.
Start 'em Green Bay Packers (GB, DEF)
Hopefully you grabbed the green and gold off the waiver wire because they're our top-ranked fantasy defense for this week when the Redskins come into Lambeau Field. Washington is giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to DSTs this season and Dwayne Haskins is not exactly a scary matchup.
Start 'em Jake Elliott (PHI, K)
Our top ranked kicker this week is Jake Elliott facing the Giants on Monday night. New York has surrendered the 5th-most fantasy points to kickers on the year, and Elliott is coming off a double-digit performance last week.
Sit 'em Gardner Minshew (JAC, QB)
It's no stretch of the imagination to say that Nick Foles has been an expensive experiment in Jacksonville having left fantasy owners with negative points last week. Gardner Minshew is back, but he's ranked 23rd this week on FFN. Even though he’ll be at home Minshew will be facing a Chargers defense that is the fourth-best against the pass.
Sit 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
If you haven't completely given up on Philip Rivers yet, then you're in the same camp as the Chargers who floated the idea of benching him last week. He put up a respectable 265 yards, 2 scores, and a pick in their loss to the Broncos. He'll face a Jaguars team that kept Jameis Winston to 10 fantasy points last week. Rivers is a roll of the dice.
Sit 'em Drew Brees (NO, QB)
With the NFC South locked up and fresh off a disappointing Thanksgiving Day fantasy performance, Drew Brees draws a tough matchup against the 49ers who have given up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to QBs this season. If you have Brees, you're still starting him, but keep in mind that nobody gives up fewer yards through the air than the Niners dropping Brees into that QB2 territory.
Sit 'em Peyton Barber (TB, RB)
Who will it be in this week's edition of RB Roulette? Peyton Barber rushed 17 times for 44 yards and two touchdowns last week after ceding work to Ronald Jones for the previous weeks. It will be difficult to predict which back will get the carries, but we wouldn't start either of them this week against the Colts and their fifth-ranked defense.
Sit 'em LeSean McCoy (KC, RB)
First round of the playoffs and you're banking on Shady McCoy? Ouch. With both of the Williams' injured, it's McCoy's show once again, but even volume might not be enough here as nobody gives up fewer fantasy points or touchdowns to running backs than the Patriots.
Sit 'em Tevin Coleman (SF, RB)
Ranked 39th this week on FFN is the fading star from San Francisco Tevin Coleman. Coleman managed just six yards on five carries last week while watching Raheem Mostert finish the day with 19 carries for 146 yards and a score. In a crowded backfield (Breida has a chance to return this week), volume will be a question mark. Add that to the fact that the Saints give up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to RBs and this is a situation to avoid.
Sit 'em Brandin Cooks (LAR, WR)
It's time to give up on Brandin Cooks for this year. There's no other conclusion to draw after last week's miserable performance. While the rest of the receiving corp saw target after target, Cooks saw just 2. He's a talented receiver who always has the ability to put up big numbers, but against Seattle on Sunday night, he's more than likely going to be a Hail Mary for fantasy owners.
Sit 'em JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT, WR)
You probably spent a first or second round pick on JuJu Smith-Schuster only to be supremely disappointed. Without Big Ben, JuJu just hasn't been able to deliver, and while he has a shot at playing this week in what would be a prime matchup against Arizona, there's no guarantee that we see him on the field. Add to that an awful QB situation and JuJu is simply not worth starting. Leave him on your bench.
Sit 'em Terry McLaurin (WAS, WR)
Ranked 40th this week on FFN is Terry 'F1' McLaurin who has been dealing with a condition known as Haskinitis which has slowly deteriorated his fantasy relevance. After a hot start, McLaurin has failed to haul in 6 or more catches since Week 3 and hasn't seen the endzone since Week 6. The Packers are giving up the 13th-fewest fantasy points to receivers this year making F1 a real gamble for the fantasy playoffs.
Sit 'em Jimmy Graham (GB, TE)
For Jimmy Graham to be fantasy relevant, he needs to find the endzone which he hasn't done since Week 7. Since then, he's averaged just 2 receptions for 23 yards and no scores. He's ranked 25th this week on FFN - well outside startability. A banged-up Graham is simply not what fantasy owners need heading into their playoffs.
Sit 'em Noah Fant (DEN, TE)
A popular pickup earlier this year, Noah Fant has been a nice find in a depleted fantasy position, yet we wouldn't consider stating him this week. Ranked 16th this week, Fant faces a Houston defense that has kept all but two TEs to single digits (Mark Andrews and Austin Hooper). The Texans are giving up an average of just 5 fantasy points on the year.
Sit 'em Buffalo Bills (BUF, DEF)
The Bills have been a Top 10 fantasy defense this season, but a matchup with the Ravens and their high-powered offense is going to be hard to ignore -- just ask the Patriots and their #1 ranked fantasy defense. Baltimore is giving up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points this year, so stream another option for Week 14.
Sit 'em Zane Gonzalez (ARI, K)
Zane Gonzalez has been a Top 5 fantasy kicker this season but he finds himself ranked all the way down to #23 this week on FFN. The Steelers give up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to kickers and have only allowed two to reach double-digits.