Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Smart Matchup Plays, Sleepers and More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 8, 2020

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Smart Matchup Plays, Sleepers and More

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Forget about draft decisions, trade offers or waiver-wire maneuvers: Fantasy football managers won't make a more critical call than deciding who to start or sit.

    That's always the question in this realm, especially as the 2020 NFL season barrels into (or through) the fantasy playoffs.

    Props to everyone who made the bold decision to give Week 13 starts to Derek Carr (three passing touchdowns, one rushing score), Baker Mayfield (334 passing yards and four touchdowns) and Logan Thomas (nine receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown).

    Conversely, condolences are in order for those who played Justin Herbert (zero touchdowns, two interceptions), Matt Ryan (QB21) or Miles Sanders (31 rushing yards, no catches).

    But those decisions are done now—minus any pertaining to Tuesday's tilt between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens—so it's time to look ahead at the top play-or-bench recommendations for Week 14.

Start: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    The well was starting to run dry for Ryan Tannehill, but the Tennessee Titans signal-caller feasted on a favorable matchup in Week 13.

    Against the Cleveland Browns, who allow the 10th-most fantasy points to the position, per Yahoo, he threw for a season-high 389 yards and had his first three-score game since mid-October.

    That was good to see for a litany of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that his rushing work has all but dried up. At certain points, he offered a small safety net with modest work in the ground game, but those opportunities have evaporated. He's delivered single-digit rushing yardage in four of his last five contests and didn't record a carry on Sunday.

    But if he's airing it out like this, no one will complain. And with the Jacksonville Jaguars awaiting him—a defense that allows the third-most fantasy points to passers—he should absolutely be airing it out.

Sit: Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

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    Noah K. Murray/Associated Press

    Fantasy football managers should always be wary of falling in love with a one-week breakout. Just because you hit big with Derek Carr in Week 13, that doesn't mean you have to run it back in Week 14.

    Actually, we'd advise just the opposite.

    Then, he was feasting on the New York Jets—a team allergic to all things winning (playing competent defense among them). Now, he's getting an Indianapolis Colts defense that's as ferocious as they come.

    The Colts, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to the position, are tied for the third-fewest passing touchdowns surrendered and the fifth-most interceptions.

Start: David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. Houston Texans)

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Don't look now, but David Montgomery is on the verge of becoming—wait for it—efficient.

    For much of this season, the second-year running back had been extremely volume-dependent. Even then, his fantasy offerings were a mixed bag. He had five different outings with double-digit carries and fewer than 50 rushing yards.

    But Montgomery has cleared 70 rushing yards in three of his past four outings and scored three of his five touchdowns in this stretch.

    The good times should keep rolling against the Houston Texans, who allow the second-most fantasy production to running backs and have yielded the most rushing yards of any defense.

Sit: Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New Orleans Saints)

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    After laying an egg in Week 12 (22 scrimmage yards), Miles Sanders seemingly received a gift from the scheduling gods in Week 13.

    A date with the Green Bay Packers, who allow the third-most fantasy points to running backs, was sure to get the sophomore rusher back on track.

    Or not.

    Sanders once again failed to move the needle, mustering just 31 yards on 10 carries and failing to haul in his lone target.

    The 23-year-old's rough patch is almost guaranteed to continue with the New Orleans Saints on deck. They've been the stingiest unit against fantasy rushers, and they rank second in rushing yards allowed and first in rushing scores surrendered.

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