Fantasy Football Week 14: 20 Start'Em, Sit'Em Locks To Win Your Playoffs

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 14: 20 Start Em Sit Em Locks To Win Your Playoffs

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass in the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Fantasy Football Week 14 is upon us.  And many of you are probably smiling.

    That's because you're now in the first round of fantasy football playoffs.

    Therefore, congratulations are in order.  But you didn't come here to get praise.

    You came here to get advice.  That's exactly what we have here.

    Here are 20 start 'em sit 'em locks to win your playoff matchup this week.

20. Start 'Em: Denver Broncos, DEF

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 14:  Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs fights his way into the endzone on a five yard reception against the defense of Nate Jones #33, Brian Dawkins #20 and DJ Williams #55 of the Denver Bronco in the second quart
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    I'm not going to give you an obvious team to start like the New Orleans Saints; I'm giving you a team that you probably didn't consider starting—The Denver Broncos.

    As you're probably already aware, the Broncos defensive numbers are some of the worst in the league.  But hear me out.

    They're playing against a hapless Cardinals football team that has lost their last eight football game.  Arizona has failed to score an offensive touchdown in their last two games. 

    That makes them a very ideal matchup for even poor defense, including the Broncos. 

    Denver will likely have a renewed sense of purpose with Josh McDaniels leaving the team and a new interim coach in charge. 

    In case you were looking for a defense to pick up off the waiver wire, take a chance on the Broncos.

19. Sit 'Em: Dallas Cowboys, DEF

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Quarterback Shaun Hill #14 of the Detroit Lions scrambles with the ball under pressure by Demarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  The Cowboys beat the Lions 35-19.
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    It's true, the Cowboys look like a much better football team now that Jason Garrett has taken over.  But they still allow a lot of points.

    Dallas has won three of their last four football games, but that may end with the Philadelphia Eagles coming into down.

    Anytime a Michael Vick comes around, that opposing defense he faces is going to be a tough play. 

18. Start 'Em: Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Almost every week, Gates seems to be on the injury lists, but almost everytime he plays, he rewards fantasy owners with touchdowns.

    Don't let his injury problems scare you away, he's still the most consistent threat that the Chargers have.

    Last week, he was reported to be a game-time decision, and people were scared he wouldn't play.  Yet he still tallied 76 receiving yards and a touchdown.

    Not bad for a guy that's been hurt for half of the year.  In fact, Gates has 10 touchdowns in 10 games.  He's as close to an automatic producer as you're going to have.  Don't even think about benching him.

17. Sit 'Em: Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Minnesota Vikings

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    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 28:  Visanthe Shiancoe #81 picks up yards after a catch in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedExField November 28, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Shiancoe looked like he was going to be a stud tight end to start the season, but he's been nothing but a disappointment since.

    He has only grabbed two touchdowns this season, and with the Giants staunch defense matched up against him this week, his value plummets even more.

    Forget about him, find yourself another tight end.

16. Start 'Em: Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Aaron Hernandez #85 of the New England Patriots scores a 1-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    After starting the first half of the season unable to find the end zone, Hernandez seems to have shaken off his fear of finding the end zone.

    The young tight end has four touchdowns in his last five games.   Against the Jets, Hernandez looked outstanding.

    With the Pats passing game clearly on the up-and-up, Hernandez should continue to reap the benefits of a fired up Tom Brady.

15. Sit 'Em: Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

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    SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 28:  Tight end Tony Moeaki #81 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 28, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    T-Moe had a great start to his rookie season with two touchdowns in his first three games, but he's cooled off since.

    Matt Cassel is now having a great connection with Dwayne Bowe and Moeaki's value has dropped a bit.

    This week, the Chiefs battle the Chargers to try and expand their lead in the AFC West.  But it will be a tough game for the Chiefs passing attack since the Chargers boast a top-ranked pass defense.

    Moeaki is a very tough play this week.

14. Start 'Em: Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after catching a pass against the Oakland Raiders during the game on November 21, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Don't get scared away by Ward's 13 receiving yards last week against the Baltimore Ravens.  He is still a trusted target of Ben Roethlisberger.

    He just had a tough matchup in Week 13.  This week, on the other hand, the Bengals visit the Steelers, and what do we know about the Bengals?

    They can't really play defense. 

13. Sit 'Em: Chad Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

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    CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 21:  Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals watches the final minute of the Bengals 49-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Last time the Bengals played the Steelers, Ochocinco was locked down by the Pittsburgh secondary.

    He only managed to pull in one catch for 15 receiving yards.

    That's a warning.  Don't say you weren't informed. 

12. Start 'Em: Santonio Holmes, WR, NY Jets

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Santonio Holmes 10 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bengal 26-10.  (Photo by
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Jets are coming off a lopsided loss to the New England Patriots during Monday Night Football.

    But this team is far from one that will roll over and weep about losing.  They're already hungry to get back on the field.

    Miami better watch out, the Jets want to bounce right back. 

    Santonio Holmes has been the top receiver in this offense of late, and he'll be the guy that will be hauling in plenty of passes this week.

11. Sit 'Em: Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

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    SEATTLE - DECEMBER 05:  Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on December 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won, 31-14. (Photo by Otto Greule
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    There was once a time that Steve Smith was an elite receiver in this league and an automatic must-play for fantasy owners.

    That time is now over.  With the Panthers only winning one game this season, this entire team has been a disappointment.

    Keep Smith away from the starting lineup, even if they're playing the Cleveland Browns.

10. Start 'Em: Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore Ravens

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    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Wide receiver Anquan Boldin #81 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a pass to score a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of the game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.
    Larry French/Getty Images

    There's something to be said about great matchups, and Boldin's got an awesome one on Monday Night.

    He faces the Houston Texans, who simply cannot stop passing games.   Houston has given up a league-high 27 passing touchdowns.

    That means, make sure Boldin plays this week.

9. Sit 'Em: Brandon Marshall, WR, Miami Dolphins

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 4: Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins runs with a catch against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Field on October 4, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Here's another receiver with a sad story.  You see B-Marsh here just can't seem to haul in touchdown passes.

    Marshall is expected to return from injury this week, but it would be wise to keep avoiding him.

    The Dolphins passing game is downright horrible with Chad Henne making poor decisions in the pocket.

    Bench Marshall, even if he's healthy.

8. Start 'Em: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 05:  Courtney Greene #36 of the Jacksonville Jaguars tackles Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 5, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jaguars won 17-6. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    The Titans are in  a bad, bad losing streak. 

    But that's no reason to lose faith in Chris Johnson.  He only has a combined 55 rushing yards in two games and no touchdowns in his last three games.

    But that should all change this week.

    The Colts haven't been able to defend running backs all year long.  Expect Johnson to break out of his funk against them.

7. Sit 'Em: Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 05: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills on the sideline against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Anyone in love with Bills players for being consistent fantasy producers?

    Well, this might be the week to end that love affair. 

    Johnson has a tough matchup this week against the Browns.  No, really. 

    Cleveland may give up well over a hundred rushing yards to their opponents.  But they also lock them out of the end zone.

    All season long, the Browns have only given up four rushing touchdowns. 

    Don't forget that and bench Jackson while you're at it.

6. Start 'Em: Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns

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    CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Running back Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball by linebacker Jon Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    So let me guess, you're having second thoughts about Peyton Hillis because he didn't find the end zone last week against the Dolphins, and his numbers could be on the decline.

    Well, let me knock some sense into you and remind you that you're out of your mind if you want to bench this guy.

    Peyton probably got you into the playoffs.  There's no reason to sit him.

    He's going up against the Bills, also known as the team with a matador defense.

5. Sit 'Em: Chris Benson, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25:  Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bengals 26-10.  (Photo by Ch
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Hey, look at how that Cedric Benson came back to life last weekend against the tough Saints defense.

    Does that mean he's a must play this week?  No way.  Don't do it.  

    He's so inconsistent he's not worth playing.  Especially not against the best run defense in the league. 

4. Start 'Em: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots runs off the field after the Patriots won 45-3 against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    If there's anyone that should be an automatic lock for this week's football games it should be Tom Brady.

    The guy has been on fire the last two games with eight combined touchdowns.  Now, the Bears are much tougher defensive team than the Jets and the Lions.  But Brady is Brady.

    And he'll surely still give you production at the quarterback position.  His veteran receivers have come back to life, and the Pats passing attack is looking better and better.

    Trust in Brady this week.

3. Sit 'Em: Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington Redskins

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins looks to throw a pass against the New York Giants on December 5, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Redskins 31-7.  (
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Ladies and gentleman, meet Mr. "I Only Throw One TD Per Game" McNabb.

    For that reason, I'd stay away from this aging quarterback. 

    The Bucs have a solid secondary, and the Redskins have no big receiving threats.  You're better off finding other options. 

2. Start 'Em: Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos

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    SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 22:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos in action against San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 22, 2010 in San Diego, California.  Chargers defeated the broncos, 35-14.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Ima
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    There's a new interim coach in Denver, but as far as I know, Kyle Orton is still the starting quarterback.

    And he only knows how to do one thing well—throw the football.

    The Broncos have a terrific matchup this week against the struggling Cardinals.  If you want to see great numbers from your starting quarterback, start them against the Cardinals.

    That's exactly who Orton will play.

1. Sit 'Em: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

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    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams walks off the field following the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Rams defeated the C
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Ah yes, we're down to our last guy to sit this week.

    It's rising star Sam Bradford.  Why?

    Because the New Orleans Saints are big bad and scary.  That's why.

    New Orleans only allowed eight passing touchdowns this year.  Eight!

    That's not a good sign for Bradford.  Bench him.