Fantasy Football Week 14: Who to Start and Who to Sit

Korey Beckett@@KoreyBeckettBRContributor IIIDecember 5, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 02:  Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for a first down in overtime against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-17 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome to the first of the final four editions of the "Who to Start and Who to Sit." If you've made it to the playoffs, congratulations. If not, then bless your heart for seeking advice in the consolation ladder.

Normally, the column comes out on a Friday or Saturday. However, Thursday night's game is absolutely crucial for your fantasy matchups and I wanted to get this in early.

Fantasy football is the only reason the NFL doesn't get hate mail for allowing the Raiders to play on national television, after all.

See, I am always available for readers, except last week, when my computer would not load most of your comments. I am truly sorry for that.

Hopefully, the bugs have been worked out and I can try to get to all of your questions.

Also, major side note: I will be establishing the "WtSx2 (Who to Start, Who to Sit for the new readers) Awards" in the next edition. Vote for your favorites in the column below!

Now, on to the playoff matchups. Well, playoffs for you. Real football still has another month left.

It's important to establish a big base lead in the first week of your two week matchup. I'll give you the guys that should be able to do that.

Yes, this includes Bryce Brown, who I hope that you played last week if you have him.





Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay)

Philadelphia has surpassed the Redskins as the NFC East team that you must play an opposing quarterback against.

Since Week 6, Freeman has only gone under 16 fantasy points just once.

He still got 10 that game.

The Eagles have surrendered 32, 37 and 25 points over the last three games to opposing quarterbacks in fantasy. Freeman should have a field day against the Eagles, and the No. 11-ranked QB becomes a must-play in Week 14.

Unless of course you have Rodgers, Brees, Brady or RGIII. I feel the need to remind people of that every week.


Eli Manning (New York Giants)

After three stinkers, Eli has followed it up with 23- and 15-point performances against the Packers and Redskins.

This week, the Giants play host to the porous Saints defense, which should make for a great game from Peyton's little brother.

If you had him ranked as your No. 18 fantasy quarterback heading in to Week 14, then you are a liar.

If you aren't a liar and you are just crazy, you somehow became right.

Yes, it's true. Eli is ranked right behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco and...

Russell Wilson (Seattle)

Yep. Russell Wilson.

The rookie who wasn't expected to even start for Seattle when drafted is No. 15 in the QB department and who has been red hot.

Since Week 8, Wilson has not dipped below 16 points and is coming off a 26-point bonanza against the league's best defense in Chicago.

The only concern is that somehow, some way, Arizona is ranked No. 3 against fantasy quarterbacks. That's misleading though as Matt Ryan is the only talented quarterback it has shut down (besides Wilson in Week 1) all season.

That was a different Cardinals team in Week 1, though.

Wilson has proved himself to be better than Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The last two besides Ryan to struggle against the Cards. Ride the hot hand over the opportunistic defense.


Running Backs

Bryce Brown (Philadelphia), Alfred Morris (Washington) and Ahmad Bradshaw (New York Giants)

Welcome to the NFC East edition of running backs you should start this week.

As long as LeSean McCoy is out for Philly, it is an absolute must that you play Brown. Who else can lose three fumbles and still combine for 54 points in two games?

I said it last week and I will say it this week, play Brown. It's like having a free LeSean McCoy on the waiver wire.

As for Morris, he continue to get workmanlike numbers on a weekly basis. The Ravens have given up an average of 18.9 points per game and Morris averages 12.2. Let's meet in the middle and say he will get 15 or 16.

In Bradshaw news, the Giants play the Saints. You know the drill.


Wide Receivers


Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville)

Just kidding, he isn't likely to play this week with a concussion. I just want people to not rag on me for excluding him. Thanks for helping me get into the playoffs last week, Cecil.


Sidney Rice (Seattle)

Five out of the last seven weeks of having at least 11 fantasy points? With a red-hot QB? At home? Against the Cardinals?

Yes. Yes please.

Love the quarterback, love the matchup, love the location. He is a solid flex or WR2 spot this week.


Torrey Smith (Baltimore)

The Steelers have been able to shut down Torrey Smith over the past five weeks, but no one else has.

With the amount of big gainers the Redskins give up, I doubt they will shut down Smith either. He may not find the end zone, but he should have no problem racking up a lot of yards.

He's not a popular pick in PPR leagues this week, but he's still a valuable play in standard scoring.


James Jones (Green Bay)

It's risky, but against the Lions at home he should have a great game.

Jordy Nelson isn't likely to go on Sunday, so Jones should see a huge increase in playing time and targets. That's never a bad thing with Aaron Rodgers tossing him the Pumpkin.


Tight Ends

Heath Miller (Pittsburgh)

I thought he would continue to struggle with Charlie Batch at quarterback. I will admit, I was wrong.


Brandon Myers (Oakland)

I've made my peace with Cecil Shorts, now it's on to Myers.

As the Cecil Shorts of tight ends, I can no longer rag on him. He's productive enough to be in any fantasy lineup.





Cam Newton (Carolina)

Before you start throwing flowers at Cam's feet and claiming that he is "back" since he has worked his way to No. 6 in the QB rankings, slow down, chief.

His last five games have been against Washington, Denver, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Kansas City.

Count them. One good defense.

The Falcons defense has given up 13 fantasy points to quarterbacks in the last three weeks.

And that's not each, that's combined.


Tony Romo (Dallas)

What you may not realize is that the Bengals are almost as hot against opposing QBs as the Falcons.

They have not allowed a double-digit scorer at the QB position since Peyton Manning in Week 9. That's impressive.

In the past four weeks, they have given up a total of just 24 points. That's a decent week for a guy like Rodgers, Brady or RGIII.


Philip Rivers (San Diego)

Just...don't. Don't do it. Get rid of him, already.

Running Backs

Stevan Ridley (New England), Shonn Greene (New York Jets) and Reggie Bush (Miami)

In the "Start" section, we looked at all NFC East running backs. Now for the "Sits," it's an AFC East party.

I don't trust Ridley at all this week. He's due to have a bad game after getting five touchdowns in a row. If the Patriots get down to the Texans, I doubt he will ever see the ball. Call it a gut feeling on Ridley.

I don't need a gut feeling to tell you that Reggie Bush is inconsistent and struggling to break a big game. He's also going against the No. 1-ranked San Francisco defense. Sit him all day.

Also, poor Shonn Greene has lost his goal-line carries to some guy named Bilal Powell. He may have a decent game against the Jags, but don't expect magic.


Wide Receivers

Roddy White (Atlanta)

No touchdowns since Week 6? How is that possible?

I don't expect a blowup game either against the Panthers, who have been surprisingly good against wide receivers.

White will still get his targets and a decent amount of yards, but the struggles over the past two weeks have me worried. Play him, but with caution.

Miles Austin (Dallas)

I've already said that I don't expect Dallas to do well through the air.

That means someone is going to struggle, and I don't see it being the white-hot Dez Bryant. Austin isn't likely to see double digits this week against a good Bengals defense.


Malcolm Floyd (San Diego)

Just another Charger to not play. Especially against the Steelers.

Floyd's mediocrity in fantasy has been matched only by his teammate Ryan Mathews.


Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)

He's been good the last three weeks, but against a Bears team that is going to be playing angry in addition to a lingering injury, I would just be cautious with playing him.


Antonio Gates (San Diego)

I thought we could end on a good laugh.


Another one in the books. Savor it now, players, there isn't much left. As always, you can contact me. I'm not hard to find. If you all start following me on Facebook, I'll be sure to keep you entertained. You can find it here: and even on what the the cool kids use (The Tweeter) thanks for reading!


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