The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 14
For many of you, Week 14 is the final week before the playoffs begin. That puts each fantasy player in specific places on the spectrum of fantasy life. Those who are eliminated, fighting for the playoffs, and those firmly planted on playoff soil, waiting to get the next phase started. Regardless of where you are, there is no reason to stop trying to win. The point of this amazingly frustratingly fun game we all play is to win as many games as possible, so don’t give up. These final weeks are full of critical decisions, and the Fantasy Footballers are here to help you navigate these tricky waters. That started Thursday as Andy, Mike, and Jason brought you their Starts of the Week. You can see the full episode on Youtube below.
To read the breakdown of each selection, you can keep scrolling down. If you want to connect with the community or find new fantasy football opportunities, please go to jointhefoot.com and join the #FootClan. Now, onto the Starts of the Week for Week 14.
Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB- Trevor Lawrence vs. TEN
The Titans love to let their opponents throw the ball against them. The Titans are 31st in passing yards allowed and in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks. Lawrence has been a QB1 seven times this year, including five of the last seven games. He has good weapons in Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram that he can lean on to help his week. It is a good week to play Trevor Lawrence.
RB- Samaje Perine/Joe Mixon vs. CLE
Mixon is coming back against a terrible rush defense. PFF ranks them 30th in rush defense grade. Football Outsiders has them dead last in rush defense and 30th in adjusted line yards. The Ballers rank them dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the running back. Perine has looked great the last few weeks, and if the Bengals are up big, they could both see significant work.
WR- DeVonta Smith vs. NYG
It is easy to look at the massive game of AJ Brown last week and forget that for the previous few weeks, he struggled. Smith is not that far behind Brown as a weapon in the offense. Target share-wise, Brown has 28.5% while Smith has 25.6%. While AJ went crazy last week, DeVonta still had five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Hurts can supply both WRs with plenty of fantasy points against the Giants. Since Week 7, the Giants rank 25th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. If a team focuses on trying and stopping a receiver for the Eagles, it will probably be AJ Brown, which could mean DeVonta Smith has a big game.
TE- Chig Okonkwo vs. JAX
Okonkwo is a deeper play for those looking to escape the Goose Crew. He is one of the NFL’s most dynamic young tight ends and a freak athlete. He came out of Maryland and ran a 4.52 40-time, which is 96th percentile of all TEs, but didn’t have a ton of production. Tennessee took him in the fourth round. He has slowly gotten more and more snaps, clocking in 58% of the snaps last week. He has seen five targets over the previous two games. He went four catches for 68 yards last week. With Treylon Burks injured, there is an opportunity for Okonkwo to really step up his game. Since Week 6, the Jaguars rank dead last in expected points allowed per pass attempt and 31st in pass yards per game. Okonkwo is a big-play tight end with tons of athleticism. Recent production says he should do better than zero, and if things go right, he could help win you a week.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB- Geno Smith vs. CAR
Who is the starting running back for the Seahawks? Who cares! It is going to be a backup or a third-string guy. So instead, Seattle should just throw the ball. This team trusts Geno to pass the ball. He has the most completions per game on first down in the NFL. He is completing a fantastic average of 78.6% passes on first down. The Seahawks’ offense has been an efficient machine. They are third in 15+ yard pass plays and sixth in expected points per pass attempt. With weapons like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who can go bananas any week, it helps. He is the QB7 on the year. This week should be another top-10 finish for Geno.
RB- Ezekiel Elliott vs. HOU
Over the last three weeks, Zeke has finished RB8, RB13, and RB8. This week should be a massive week for Elliott. There is a chance there are two top-five running backs in this game, both from Dallas. The Cowboys are 16.5-point home favorites. Over the last decade, teams that are favored 15 points or more average 31 rushing attempts per game. That is a lot of carries to go around for Zeke and Pollard. The Texans are historically bad at stopping the run, allowing 169 rushing yards per game. Since 2010, looking at the total of 416 seasons by NFL teams, the Texans have ranked 415th in rushing yards allowed per game. There is a chance the Cowboys will make them rank dead last after Sunday.
WR- Tyler Lockett vs. CAR
He is getting a nice stack in his starts; Jason wants Lockett and Geno both this week. They talked about this on Wednesday’s show, but the Panthers have been unable to stop the slot position this year. Lockett has been in the slot 41% of his snaps. He has been unstoppable. Lockett is the WR11 on the season, and since Week 5, Lockett has been the WR7. He has a touchdown in five straight games. If you are pro-Geno, you must be pro-Lockett this week.
TE- Gerald Everett vs. MIA
Last week Everett was very involved. He had six targets that turned into five catches for 80 yards. This game is a decent matchup with a high over/under point projection. Since Week 7, the Dolphins rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to the tight end. So, keep starting Everett with confidence. He was heavily involved all year, and nothing says that should change any time soon.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB- Jared Goff vs. MIN
When Jared Goff is at home and in a plus matchup, you need to play him. At home, he has 17 passing touchdowns in just seven games. Minnesota allows the most passing yards and the highest yards per attempt in the NFL. Since Week 5, Minnesota ranks 29th in fantasy points allowed to the QB position. Mike is starting him this week as he tries to clinch his spot in the playoffs, so this isn’t just talking. He is right there with you in this decision. He trusts Goff enough to play him, and you should too.
RB- Raheem Mostert vs. LAC
There has been a lot of conversation on who you go with, Jeff Wilson or Raheem Mostert. The Ballers landed on Wilson earlier in the week, but Mike also wants to give you confidence in Mostert. He was the clear lead back last week with 61% of the snaps. The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. They are 29th in rushing yards allowed per game, 29th in expected points per rush attempt, and 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the running back since Week 2. This game has a 51.5 point over/under, the second highest on the week, meaning you should be able to fire up both running backs for the Dolphins this week.
WR- Christian Kirk vs. TEN
He is a WR1 this year. It has been a little streaky, but Kirk has a 24.5% target share. That comes with the fifth most red zone targets in the NFL. The Titans are terrible against the pass. Read Andy’s QB for more stats, but know the Titans’ defense is thrown against at the highest rate by teams in the NFL. That is because they allow the most passing yards and rank 32nd against fantasy wide receivers.
TE- Hunter Henry vs. AZ
You have to wait till Monday night, but it will be worth it. You always play your tight ends against the Cardinals. Henry caught a touchdown two weeks ago and could be set up again for success. It might be a bit of a steel underpants play but follow the breadcrumbs. Henry is creating 2.9 yards of separation when targeted. That is the highest among all tight ends. The Cardinals are 32nd versus fantasy tight ends since Week 5. It has worked for you this long, so run it back against Arizona.