Week 14 was a rough week for some of the best fantasy players of the year—some results were expected and some came out of nowhere.
For fantasy owners who started some of those players, hopefully you weathered the storm and are still reading this article as a playoff team. For others, you might not want to look at some of the faces in this article.
Whether it was because of a tough matchup or simply because of the conditions that they played in, players at nearly every position struggled for different reasons—unless you're LeSean McCoy, of course. Heck, FOX even had to superimpose field markers for fans at home, as David Scott of WDRB in Louisville, Ky. pointed out:
But some of those fantasy studs that struggled will look to rebound in Week 15, so here are a few start 'em, sit 'em options for this week in the fantasy playoffs.
Start 'Em: Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions
Let's just be honest, Matthew Stafford can't possibly play as poorly as he did against the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the biggest fantasy surprises of the season, Stafford has thrown for multiple touchdowns nine times this season and is a 20-plus-point regular behind center.
For fantasy owners that survived Stafford's atrocious 148-yard, no-touchdown performance against the Eagles, starting the Georgia product this week should lead to more of what they've come to expect.
Against a Baltimore Ravens defense that has given up 21 passing touchdowns on the season, Stafford should show up big in the prime-time matchup.
Expect Stafford and Calvin Johnson both to return to form against Baltimore and help lead their fantasy teams to victory in Week 15.
Prediction: 29 fantasy points
Sit 'Em: Carson Palmer, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer has been better than expected coming down the stretch for fantasy owners, but his run has likely ended. Last week, the former USC quarterback threw for just one touchdown against the St. Louis Rams.
This week, Palmer faces the Tennessee Titans, who have given up just 12 passing touchdowns on the season and just got destroyed by Peyton Manning. The Titans will be looking to save face against Palmer and the Cardinals in Week 15.
Sitting Palmer this week might be the best choice due to the strength of the Titans pass defense and the fact that they still lead the league in fewest passing touchdowns allowed after Manning put up four against them in one game.
Prediction: 13 fantasy points
Start 'Em: Zac Stacy, running back, St. Louis Rams
The low numbers for Stacy against the Arizona Cardinals were pretty easy to predict, seeing as how he was facing the No. 3 rushing defense. But hopefully his garbage-time touchdown set up by Tavon Austin's huge play allowed owners one more week to start Stacy in the playoffs.
This week, Stacy is going up against another formidable rushing defense in the New Orleans Saints, but hardly as lethal a defense as the Cardinals. The Saints are the 17th-ranked rushing defense in the league and have allowed just nine touchdowns this season.
But if the game remains close enough in St. Louis for Stacy to still see a heavy load in the second half, the fantasy sleeper of the year should have yet another big day against the Saints.
Prediction: 17 fantasy points
Sit 'Em: Andre Brown, running back, New York Giants
The Giants tailback came out of the gate on fire after returning from injury, putting up three double-digit performances over the span of four weeks. But Brown returned back to earth against the San Diego Chargers, rushing for just 81 yards with 15 receiving yards and a fumble.
His next matchup? The Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed just four rushing touchdowns all season.
Brown could likely rush for good yardage against the 14th-ranked defense in terms of yards per game, but don't expect him to touch paydirt in this game.
In the fantasy playoffs where every point is crucial, starting Brown might not be the best idea against the Seahawks unless there are no other options coming off the bench.
Prediction: Eight fantasy points
Start 'Em: Anquan Boldin, wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers
Remember talking about how good the Seahawks rush defense is? Well, their passing defense is even better. So the fact that Anquan Boldin ended up with less than 10 points should have been expected.
This week, Boldin and the 49ers are facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rank 17th in passing yards per game and have surrendered 24 touchdowns on the season. If Kaepernick continues to look to Boldin, he should have a solid fantasy week against the Bucs.
With Michael Crabtree returning, it looked like Boldin wouldn't get the targets anymore. But the former Ravens and Cardinals wide receiver has proven he's still reliable for Kaepernick and should put up good numbers this week.
Prediction: 17 fantasy points
Sit 'Em: Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals
After a disappointing Week 14 performance against the St. Louis Rams, don't expect much more for Michael Floyd against the Tennessee Titans. While the Titans were destroyed by Peyton Manning, Tennessee is still a very good pass defense.
For the same reasons that Palmer is not a smart start this week, Floyd has a tough matchup and likely won't see the end zone throughout the game. The Titans have the least amount of points to fantasy wide receivers in the league, even after giving up double-digit points to three different Broncos receivers.
Floyd was likely a waiver wire pickup in most leagues, so his loss won't be too dramatic. But for owners looking to use Floyd as a flex, this might not be the best week for it.
Prediction: Six fantasy points