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Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 14

Helping you pick your lineups.

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a “Start” is someone I like more than most, and a “Sit” is the opposite. So if I say to start Jay Ajayi (GD right) and sit Leonard Fournette, that doesn't mean I'd start Jay Train over Leo, it just means I think Ajayi will exceed his expectations while Fournette will underperform his. Cool? Cool. -Seltz

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Quick Post Disclaimer Note: Yoooooooo! It's that magical time of year – the time when regular old nobodies become legends and find eternal glory. That's right, it's fantasy playoffs time! Did I oversell that? Yeah, I probably oversold it. Either way, the fantasy playoffs are important to you if you're in them – so I'm going to try and honor that with more starts and sits, and (hopefully) less of my long-winded blabbering. Is blabbering a word? We're already off to a bad start. Let's get into it before I dig a hole I can't pull myself out of – but in case I forget to say it later (I will), good luck in your playoff matchups, I wish you nothing but W's. Lots and lots of Double U's . Alright, let's hit it.



Russell Wilson (@ JAX) – I get it, I get, the Jags are really good against the pass and have allowed the least fantasy points to quarterbacks and blah blah blah. Russell Wilson isn't a just a quarterback, he's an everything-back. He does everything for Seattle. He's matchup proof. In spite of this, Wilson is the consensus ranked #7 QB this week and outrage. O-U-T-R-A-G-E. I'm way more angry about this than I should be, but this is the freaking fantasy playoffs we're talking about. It's borderline negligent to give that type of advice in Week 14. Russell Wilson is the safest thing going in fantasy right now, no matter who he's playing – as us Eagle fans know all too well. In other words, Russell Wilson >>> Jacksonville Jaguars. Always and forever.

Josh McCown (@ DEN) – Josh McCown is a boss. Yeah, I said it. He's old, marginally talented, and plays for the Jets – but he's a BOSS. Sorry, I keep yelling and I don't know why, I'll try and rein that in. Where was I? Oh yeah, McCown is a BO...boss. More importantly, he's white hot (638 yards and 6 total TD's over last two games) and faces a Denver defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns through the air over the last four weeks, aka they suck. Yup, the Denver defense sucks. That's where we're at. Start McCown against the Denver defense, because it sucks.

Jimmy Garoppolo (@ HOU) – Last week I said this about Garoppolo: “If there were a fantasy league based on handsomeness, he'd be a top pick.” Update: He's still handsome. Handsome as ever in fact. And he looked good (not handsome this time) playing the quarterback position and leading his team to victory over the Bears last week. This week he gets a Texans defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Obviously Jimmy G is more of a long-shot start this week, but he's in a good spot and could surprise, especially in DFS formats. Also, in case I didn't mention it, he's super handsome. So, you know.


Cam Newton (vs. MIN) – Cameron Jerrell Newton. Did you know that's Cam's real full name? Well guess what, it isn't! Got you there, didn't I? Well guess what again, it actually is his real full name! Huzzah! I really got you good. You know who isn't good? Cameron Jerrell Newton, that's who. Just kidding again, he is good, just not this week against a stout Minnesota defense.

Kirk Cousins (@ LAC) – I gotta be honest, Kurt Coupons has impressed me this season. He's not as terrible as I thought. Don't get me wrong, he's not good enough to shed his Kurt Coupons nickname; or to not get ripped (constantly and consistently) for awkwardly yelling repeatable phrases at a camera. But he's...decent. Now that I've “praised” him, let me slam him down. The Chargers have allowed the fourth-least fantasy points to QB's and Coupons is playing behind an offensive line that is pulling people out of the stands to field a full unit. In fact, now that I'm talking about it, I'm legit worried Joey Bosa may claim legal ownership Kurt Coupons' soul on Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger (vs. BAL) – No worries on the soul front for Big Ben, he doesn't have one. Ba dump bump. In all seriousness, Ben is a giant D. But that's neither here nor there, the reason he's here is cause he's facing a giant D this weekend – the Ravens D. Boom. Nailed it. Baltimore's especially good against the pass – second-least points allowed to QB's – and are facing a (soulless) Roethlisberger who, to be honest, has kinda stunk this season. And by kinda, I mean totally and completely. While I'm not ready to say we've seen the last of Home Ben, I'm certainly not expecting to see him this week against the Ravens.



Jay Ajayi (@ LAR) – This. Is. The. Week. This is the mother effing week that Jay Ajayi goes OFF. Damn, the yelling is back. My bad. But for reals, this is Ajayi's week. He finally led the Eagles in running back snaps and touches last week, and faces a Rams defense that has allowed the second-most points to opposing RB's. So I'll repeat: THIS. IS. THE. WEEK! What the hell is wrong with me? Let's move on before I burst your eardrums with all this yelling.

Rex Burkhead (@ MIA) – Last week I told you to start both Lewis and Burkhead. What happened? They were both awesome, but Burkhead was the better of the two. Yet this week, he's still lower in the consensus rankings than Lewis (#13 to #16). Regardless, both are starts against an awful Dolphins defense, but if I had to choose one it'd be Burkhead. I guess you could say I'm lurkin' for Burkhead. Nope. I'm jerk...nope. I'm twerkin for Burkhead. Yup, that's the one. Or maybe none of them were the one. Hmmm.

Alfred Morris (@ NYG) – Alf is back! Alfred Morris, that is. Not the tv show about the cat-eating alien from the planet Melmac. Melmac. Hehe. That's a funny word. Anyhoo, Alf...Morris is coming off his best game of the season (127 yards and a tuddy) and is facing a Giants defense that is allowing the most rushing yards per game in the league. Also, the Giants are a dumpster fire. A bigger dumpster fire than the Cowboys (Jerry Jones and Ezekiel Elliott!!!), which is really saying something – and whatever that something is, I can assure you, it's not good. Unless you're an Eagles fan in which case I can assure you, everything is awesome. #SunglassesEmoji

Lamar Miller (vs. SF) – You know what else is a dumpster fire? My attempts at brevity. I swear, on all that is holy, I will try harder to be more efficient with my words. With that in mind, Miller is averaging 19.6 touches over his last three games and is facing a Niners defense that has allowed the most total yards to running backs this 117 yards. Yikes. To put it more succinctly, start Lamar and you'll go far. Again, yikes.

Jamaal Williams (@ CLE) – Speaking of yikes, how about those 0-12 Cleveland Browns! Will they join that one Detroit Lions team that one year as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history? I'm going to say...Yes! They aren't going to win a game. That means, they lose to the Packers and the officially renamed “Better Than I Thought He Was Jamaal Williams” will lead the way. Wait, what's that? Is that Aaron Rodgers' music I hear? On an unrelated note, I'm dripping in sweat and shaking uncontrollably with a fear-induced fever.

Alex Collins (@ PIT) – Speaking of sweat...I got nothing. Let's forget that happened. Alex Collins is good. I told you to start him last week. That worked out ok, no? And yes, I totally snuck that little humblebrag in there on purpose. Sue me. Either way, start him again this week against a Ryan Shazier-less Steelers defense. On that note, thoughts and prayers to Shazier. Watching him go down made me sick to my stomach and I wish him nothing but the speediest of recoveries. Now back to the inane frivolity of fantasy sports.


Leonard Fournette (vs. SEA) – Look, you're obviously starting Fournette if you own him in seasonal leagues. You have to. Don't get cute in the playoffs. Definitely play the matchups, duh, but don't overthink it. In other words, start your studs. Fournette is a stud. I'd just shy away from him in daily formats considering his recent lackluster showings and a tough matchup with Seattle.

Carlos Hyde (@ HOU) – Houston's defense has been terrible against the pass, but has done a terrific job limiting running back success both on the ground and through the air. Which coincidentally is also the slogan for my future package delivery company: “Jimi's Jets – Successful delivery both on the ground and through the air since 2024.” *Heavy sigh* Hyde is meh and I think he disappoints in Houston.

Kenyan Drake (vs. NE) – Kenyan is the best Drake since Drake. The singer, I mean. And before that, Sir Francis Drake. The explorer, I mean. Alright, this is terrible. I actually like Kenyan Drake. He's been great and is getting a high volume of touches – here's my problem, he's the consensus #11 RB despite a tough matchup with a revived Patriots defense. So in the words of the great (maybe?) Sir Francis Drake, “Kenyan Drake es no bueno.”

*Editor's note: Sir Francis Drake was British. So, yeah.*

Kareem Hunt (vs. OAK) – Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me five weeks in a row, shame if I let it be six. Of course, now that I'm finally bailing on Hunt he's going to be good again. Which makes my sit call of him kind of a start. Which means he's going to be bad after all, right? My brain hurts.



Adam Thielen (@ CAR) – I said it before, and before that, but it appears I have to say it again – Adam Thielen is a Top 5 wide receiver every week for the rest of the season. Yet, again, he's the consensus #8 WR this week. Not going to lie, I'm starting to get aggravated. Me and the consensus are going to have some words. This injustice can stand no longer!

Larry Fitzgerald (vs. TEN) – Fitz is ageless, man. It's amazing how this dude keeps trucking along, with a parade of dogshit quarterbacks no less, and never complains while consistently putting up numbers. This week's crap QB du jour is Blaine Gabbert. But Fitz has put up double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four weeks (with Gabbert) and Tennessee's secondary is trash.

Michael Crabtree (@ KC) – Crabtree isn't suspended this week, so that's a good start. Amari Cooper is likely out, also good, and he faces a Chiefs defense that has allowed the second-most points to wide receivers, which is good too. That's a lot of good, which is good enough for me.

Josh Gordon (vs. GB) – I was nervous about starting Gordon last week. Call me crazy for thinking someone couldn't leave the NFL game for over 1,000 days and come back and look exactly the same. I was wrong. Josh Gordon isn't the same species as you and me. Gordon got targeted 11 times last week (4 catches, 85 yards) and faces a dreadful Packers pass defense.

Robby Anderson (@ DEN) – #TempleMade


Mike Evans (vs. DET) – What's the opposite of a spirit animal? For me, it's Mike Evans and the five straight weeks of crappy fantasy performances. He's disappointed me more than my child will someday when they tell me they hate me for the first time. At least, I'm guessing that will happen. Having said that, I don't even have children so WTF do I know. Alls I'm saying is Mike Evans broke my heart and I'll never forgive him.

Alshon Jeffery (@ LAR) – Look, I hope I'm wrong here, but the Rams are much better defending the pass than the run. I think the Eagles take advantage of that. Alshon could certainly find his way into the end zone, especially if Ertz can't go, but don't expect him to have a big, high-volume day.

Devin Funchess (vs. MIN) – Two words: Xavier Rhodes.

Dez Bryant (@ NYG) – Dez is averaging 53 yards per game and has only scored 5 touchdowns in 12 games. Translation: He stinks. Yup, I went there. Come @ me. Dez is washed up. Plus the Giants defend the pass better than the run, and Dak has a banged up throwing hand.



Evan Engram (vs. DAL) – Explain something to me, the Giants have literally one weapon – this guy – one stinking weapon, and yet that weapon puts up numbers (practically) every week. How does that work? I'll tell you how, it works because Engram is legit. Also, Dallas' defense is not legit. I told you to start him last week and that worked out, let's do it again.

Jason Witten (@ NYG) – No other team in the NFL has allowed more touchdowns or fantasy points to tight ends than the New York Giants. This week, Witten is the lucky recipient of the Giants tight end point palooza. Even a banged up Dak can't screw this up for Witten. Uhhhh, forget I said that. He totally could. Crap. Let's move on.

Hunter Henry (vs. WAS) – Henry is finally a part of the Chargers offense! Well, I think he is. He's had back-to-back strong fantasy outings and received a season-high nine targets last week. Did I mention Washington is horrendous at defending tight ends?

Cameron Brate (vs. DET) – Brate's back from the dead. Not the literal dead, obviously, but the metaphorical “Ryan Fitzpatrick dead.” For some reason the Harvard connection never became a thing. In fact, Brate outright disappeared with Fitzy at the helm. But now that Jameis is back, so too is Brate (2 TD's last week). I wouldn't be shocked if he found the end zone again, against a tight end friendly Lions defense.

Sit:Kyle Rudolph (@ CAR) – Alright, let's finish this bitch out. I'm guessing you're pretty sick of me by now, and same goes for me being sick of me, so let's power through. The Panthers have allowed less passing yards to tight ends than any other team in the league. Rudolph is the consensus #9 tight end. I have him well outside my top 10.

Vernon Davis (@ LAC) – The Chargers have allowed the fifth-least fantasy points to tight ends and Davis has 15 yards receiving over the last two weeks.

Greg Olsen (vs. MIN) – Injury worries and Minnesota's defense. Boom.

Rob Gronkowski (@ MIA) – I'd like to speak for every Gronk fantasy owner on the planet who's heading into a playoff matchup this weekend: EFF YOU GRONK. That is all. Thank you for your time.



New York Jets (@ DEN) – The Jets are the consensus #11 defense. I get it, they're nothing special. You could even say they're horrifically bad. Sure, I'm with you. But Trevor Siemian. #MicDrop


Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. SEA) – They are the consensus #2 defense. They're not shutting down Russell Wilson. They're just not. So they won't be (close to) the #2 defense. Done and done.



Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.


Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for “Start.”

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