Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Making the Call on Fantasy Football Fringe Starters

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 8, 2021

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Making the Call on Fantasy Football Fringe Starters

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    It's always important to make the right lineup decisions in fantasy football, but there could be even greater consequences for making the wrong choices this week.

    Week 14 is the final week of the fantasy regular season for most leagues, before the playoffs take place from Weeks 15-17. If you're a manager on the postseason bubble, you may be facing a must-win matchup that could decide whether you'll be heading to the playoffs or the consolation bracket.

    With that in mind, here are some start/sit choices regarding fringe players that could help with your lineup this week.

Start 'Em: Devonta Freeman, RB, Baltimore Ravens

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    In recent weeks, Devonta Freeman has been getting a consistent workload in the Ravens' backfield committee, even with Latavius Murray back in the mix.

    Freeman has carried the ball at least 13 times in four of Baltimore's past five games.

    The 29-year-old has been involved in the passing game, notching at least five receptions in two of the past three weeks, and he's also scored a pair of touchdowns during that stretch. So, he's emerged as a reliable flex option for fantasy managers, especially in favorable matchups for him to get into the end zone.

    It wouldn't be a surprise if he scored a TD again in Week 14, as the Ravens are going on the road to face the Cleveland Browns, which have struggled while losing five of their past eight games.

    Baltimore should have offensive success, and Freeman is likely to be a sizable part of that.

Sit 'Em: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

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    Brett Duke/Associated Press

    The Cowboys' rushing attack has been underperforming in recent weeks, save for a few big plays from Tony Pollard.

    Last week, the 24-year-old had a 58-yard rushing touchdown in a win over the New Orleans Saints, helping to salvage Dallas' final numbers on the ground.

    This week, though, the Cowboys are on the road to face the surging Washington Football Team, which has been playing better on defense during its four-game winning streak. It has been especially tough on running backs, as it's allowing only 91.3 rushing yards per game, third fewest in the NFL.

    If Dallas is going to have offensive success in this matchup, it will likely need to go through the air. It's tough to sit Ezekiel Elliott in fantasy as the lead back, but Pollard won't get enough touches to put up substantial numbers against a strong run defense.

Start 'Em: Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Jarvis Landry's disappointing 2021 season has had few bright spots, but he had his best showing of the year two weeks ago (prior to the Browns' bye) when he had six catches for 111 yards, both season highs.

    That performance came against the Ravens, which will be the Browns' opponent again in Week 14. And Cleveland needs to start playing better if it hopes to return to the playoffs for the second straight season, so perhaps it will correct some of its offensive issues coming out of the bye.

    Baker Mayfield should be throwing the ball to Landry plenty, because he's now the clear No. 1 wide receiver on the offense.

    The Ravens are allowing the second most passing yards per game in the NFL (272.4), so this should be an opportunity for the 29-year-old to thrive again, making him worthy of a start in fantasy teams.

Sit 'Em: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    Amon-Ra St. Brown had the best showing of his rookie season in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings.

    The 22-year-old had 10 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, which was an 11-yard scoring grab on the final play of the game that lifted the Lions to their first win of the year.

    While St. Brown should continue to be a key part of Detroit's offense, it's hard to imagine he'll put up similar numbers this week. The Lions will be on the road playing the Denver Broncos, which has a secondary that has been performing well of late.

    The USC product may even draw a tough assignment against cornerback and fellow rookie Patrick Surtain II.

    St. Brown should be rostered by fantasy managers ahead of some more favorable matchups down the stretch, but he's unlikely to meet any high expectations on Sunday.