The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 14 (Fantasy Football)
Aloha, Footclan! Welcome to Week 14 of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.
The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.
In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.
So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 14:
Did you know that most East Asians — and nearly all Koreans — don’t stink of regular body odor? Scientists say it’s due to a lack of the ABCC11 gene, which is the same gene that determines the type of earwax you have; if it’s wet, you have the gene, and you produce body odor. Do you know whose upcoming matchup is stinkin’ full of wet earwax? Rachaad White, who faces an impenetrable 49ers defense which is the WORST matchup for RBs.
Since their Week 9 bye, San Francisco has allowed just 9.1 fantasy points and averaged -10.3 fantasy points above expectation to opposing backfields, ranking first by far in both categories. There’s a chance White will regain the bell cow role if Leonard Fournette (foot) doesn’t suit up, meaning he should receive enough volume to establish a safe floor, especially with his increased usage in the passing game (17 targets in the last two weeks) AND with DL Nick Bosa (hamstring) potentially out. Nevertheless, it’ll be an uphill battle for him to produce with a hobbled O-line against a stout defensive front in an away game with a low projected total, so he’s only a recommended start if both Fournette and Bosa are inactive.
Meanwhile, James Cook has finally started cooking in the Bills’ backfield and is coming off his best NFL game yet, notching 105 all-purpose yards from 20 touches against a tough Patriots defense. He led all rookie offensive skill players in expected fantasy points thanks to his increased usage in a highly lucrative offense, making him this week’s top priority add and a potential league-winner if he usurps the lead role over Devin Singletary.
It’s possible that the team leaned on their rookie after maintaining a comfortable lead in Gillette Stadium, and Vegas projects a similar game script this week as the Bills are double-digit favorites. And though his upcoming showdown against the Jets isn’t ideal, they did just give up a TD each to Alexander Mattison and Cook’s brother, Dalvin Cook.
|Andy Rank||RB #19||RB #17|
|Mike Rank||RB #20||RB #17|
|Jason Rank||RB #23||RB #16|
It’s tough matchups for both Dameon Pierce and Isiah Pacheco, but I’d rather start the guy on the better offense who should see more goal line opportunities (Pacheco leads the league in almost-scored rushing attempts since Week 10), as opposed to someone on a team that’s clearly tanking and currently boasts the second-lowest (LOL Broncos) number of total offensive touchdowns scored (18).
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 4, 2022
|Andy Rank||QB #11||QB #8|
|Mike Rank||QB #9||QB #8|
|Jason Rank||QB #11||QB #7|
I love Kirk Cousins this week in a salivating matchup against a charitable Lions defense that is the BEST matchup for opposing QBs in both fantasy points allowed (23.9) and schedule-adjusted points above expectation (5.5). We’re all expecting a shootout, and though Detroit is somehow projected as the favorite over the Vikings, Cousins should be able to rack up the scoreboard with elite weapons like Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson (REVENGE GAME!), Dalvin Cook, and maybe Adam Thielen.
But all three Ballers favor Jared Goff this week, and it’s hard to find an argument against him without relying on past biases. It’s not the stickiest argument, but Goff’s home/road splits are ridiculous. Simply put, he’s been outstanding in Ford Field:
|Splits||GP||PTS||CMP||PASS ATT||PASS YDS||TDS||QBR|
With Courtland Sutton likely out, Russell Wilson only has a hobbled Jerry Jeudy and Greg Dulcich left to throw to. These circumstances led him to see eight targets, six receptions, and 85 yards last week against the Ravens. In TE terms, this was practically an eruption game as he finished as the week’s TE5. Gerald Everett potentially faces an inverse scenario with Mike Williams possibly returning to join fellow target hogs Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer, and Austin Ekeler.
Everett hasn’t seen eight or more targets since Week 8, and he hasn’t caught six or more passes since Week 2. If Williams is inactive, Everett is a great option with one of the best matchups available against the Dolphins. Even though it sucks betting on any Broncos’ players, Dulcich is essentially playing as a WR, making him a strong DFS play and a decent start in a desolate TE wasteland.
It’s hard not to want a piece of the DET-MIN offensive bonanza, but it’s even harder to trust DJ Chark, who’s averaging only five targets and 35.3 yards this season. Sure, he’s had two top-24 games (in just six games played) where he either scored or nearly reached 100 yards, but he’s also had just as many games where he completely goose-egged. With the expected emergence of rookie Jameson Williams, it’s difficult to see a path for Chark to make a reasonable contribution in fantasy, although there’s always a chance he benefits from poor coverage and catches a deep bomb as he currently leads the NFL in aDOT (18.1, minimum 30 targets) per PFR.
Speaking of inconsistent, Zay Jones has been anything but reliable. He followed a WR5 showcase in Week 12 with an absolute blunder as the WR77 in Week 13 (funny enough, against Detroit). But he’s the safer option compared to Chark, averaging 7.8 targets per game and having already had five games with nine or more targets, a number Chark has yet to see. Jones should continue to see heavy usage against a pass-funnel Titans defense, making him a sneaky Flex play and an intriguing/inexpensive DFS pick in both DraftKings and FanDuel cash games. Just make sure Trevor Lawrence is playing.
Both of these defenses are nothing to write home about, with Kansas City in the middle of the pack in terms of total points allowed (270; 15th), yards allowed (4,121; 14th), and percentage of drives ending in an offensive score (38.9%; 17th) per PFR. On the other hand, Seattle is worse in all these categories with 304 points allowed (26th), 4,595 yards allowed (28th), and 39.2% of drives ending in an offensive score (21st). However, the Seahawks have the edge in total forced fumbles (17 vs eight) and interceptions (11 vs six), while the Chiefs have a slight edge on total sacks (36 vs 32).
Both D/STs only have two weeks each where they scored more than 10 fantasy points, so the upside is certainly lacking. But in fantasy football, matchups matter, and both teams have amazing matchups against putrid offensives that are as low-scoring as they are turnover-prone. Both these teams are safe plays, but the Chiefs are the unanimous favorite by the Ballers. Plus, they have one of the best remaining schedules, so you could leave them in your starting lineup all the way through playoffs as they get to play Russell Wilson twice with the Texans and Seahawks sandwiched in between.
Kansas City Chiefs.