The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 14
Pretty crazy how we were all cutting onions during Wednesday’s 1,000th episode of The Fantasy Footballers. I’m not crying; you’re crying. It was hard to follow up that show, but the Ballers were back at it on Thursday, taking a look at Starts of the Week.
THANK YOU FOR 1000 EPISODES!! #Footballers1000
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) December 9, 2020
The guys touched on their “Taking It Up to 100” players for Week 14 before diving into starts. This week, Andy chose Kareem Hunt, Mike went with Robby Anderson, and Jason selected D.J. Chark. Another surprise is a trophy will be awarded to the person who ends the season with the most wins. Currently, Mike leads with six wins, Andy has five, and Jason sits at four.
Later on in the episode, the Ballers focused on their Starts of the Week. If you missed the episode, you can listen to the podcast here or watch it on Youtube. Subscribe and hit the bell so you stay informed. Also, give JoinTheFoot.com a look as it provides lots of additional resources exclusively for #FootClan members.
QB: Kirk Cousins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Vikings quarterback has been on fire lately, dropping three consecutive three passing touchdown games. Over the last two weeks, Cousins has produced 40+ pass attempts. Minnesota has profited from this, winning five of six games where he continuously delivers the ball to Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Tampa Bay is known for stopping the run, so watch for Cousins to air it out lots as he tries to keep up with Tom Brady. The Buccaneers have given up 2,078 passing yards this season, third-most air yards in the league. Cousins has had four straight top-12 games, and he looks to continue this trend in Week 14 in a favorable contest.
RB: David Montgomery vs. Houston Texans
Andy selected David Mopportunity yet again for his Week 14 running back start due to all the opportunities he has as of late. Even though the Bears have lost six straight games, Montgomery has been everything you could ask for and more. This contest sees Montgomery and company take on a Houston defense that is the second-worst team in the NFL versus the run. Andy noted that we all prefer Mitchell Trubisky under center, a positive in Montgomery’s book as Trubisky gets him the ball regularly. Montgomery has three touchdowns over the previous two games and went for 72 rushing yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in his last game facing the Lions. In that same battle with the Lions, the RB1 of the Bears gained 39 yards on four catches.
WR: Deebo Samuel vs. Washington Football Team
Samuel has proved that he is too important to every play in the 49ers’ offense. In his two contests back from injury, he has seen 13 targets and nine targets. Washington may seem like a bad matchup this year, but they have been one of the better defenses to start a wideout against over the last five weeks. Andy absolutely loves Samuel as a start this week. He also believes Brandon Aiyuk will have a great game. Samuel and Aiyuk were tied in targets when they played on Monday night, both having been thrown at nine times. In that contest, Samuel caught six of those nine targets for 73 yards, a feat he will try to improve upon in this match.
TE: Jordan Akins @ Chicago Bears
Even though “Jorkin” Akins is not the safest play, he was a strong tight end for fantasy purposes last week. He led the Houston tight end group in snaps, earning 70-percent of them. The Texans’ tight end also ran 36 routes in that competition. Now he meets a Chicago organization that has relinquished nine touchdowns to tight ends this year. Chicago has furthermore given up top-12 tight end performances for six straight weeks. To add even more negative stats regarding the Bears versus tight ends to the equation, the defense has allowed 70 receptions to the tight end position, the most in the league. They have additionally conceded 635 yards to tight ends, sixth-most in the NFL. If you are desperate at tight end, look no further than Akins, who more than likely is out there to pick up.
QB: Justin Herbert vs. Atlanta Falcons
The last two weeks have been a letdown in terms of Herbert, but Jason thinks the rookie quarterback will revert back to his QB1 ways in Week 14. The Falcons have been decent as of the last five weeks, but they have been bad against quarterbacks as a whole this year. Seven quarterbacks have gone for 300 or more passing yards against Atlanta, while five quarterbacks have launched three or more touchdowns against them. Jason does not want you to overthink this as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Unter Enry (Hunter Henry), and Austin Ekeler are excellent weapons for the Chargers’ field general. The Falcons defense, Falcons offense, and Chargers defense have nothing on the Chargers offense. Jason is banking on the Chargers’ offense in this matchup.
RB: Wayne Gallman vs. Arizona Cardinals
Bruce Wayne Gallman! Jason selects the Giants’ running back as his start for Week 14 at the running back position, thinking this will be the week we see Batman (I heard the “I love Batman” you dropped, Mike, and I wish someone else would have “I love Michael Keaton” -ed you). Since becoming the starter in Week 7, Gallman has been one of the most consistent runners in the league. He has been RB6 since Week 7, and two out of the last three weeks, the Cardinals have given up big games to running backs. Arizona is conceding the third most yards before contact to opposing running backs while also enabling the fifth-most points per target to the position. This is idyllic for Gallman as he takes on the Cardinals, a team traveling out to the east coast to battle him. Batman will be triumphant for your fantasy teams this week.
WR: Amari Cooper @ Cincinnati Bengals
When Dak Prescott went down with an injury at the beginning of the season, it felt terrible. Then Andy Dalton went down, and the Cowboys seemed like the perfect team to describe 2020. For two weeks, Dalton was out, being replaced by Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. They would have probably been in a better position if they pulled a Denver Broncos, putting a wide receiver in under center for those two games; I mean, Cedrick Wilson did toss a touchdown this season. After those atrocious outings, Dallas had a bye, giving us time to think over Cooper’s dissent due to bad quarterbacks. Coming back off the bye, Dalton returned as the signal-caller. Cooper has actually been okay with Dalton under center this season, and in five games with him, he has never been outside the top 32 wide receivers. Coop also finished as a top-10 wideout twice in that span. Cincinnati is the ideal situation for Cooper, who looks to recreate the magic he had with Dalton last week, a game where he caught five passes for 43 yards and a score. Don’t forget this is a Dalton revenge game, if you believe in that kind of thing. One thing you should believe is that Cooper will be in Jason’s lineups.
TE: Eric Ebron @ Buffalo Bills
Ebron has had a bit of trouble when it comes to catching passes, a storyline featured in much of his career. He has still been productive this season, even with the drops. If he could hold onto the ball, the Steelers’ big man would be an upper-echelon tight end. Ebron has back to back weeks of 11 targets and seven receptions. Ben Roethlisberger enjoys getting the ball to Ebron around the end zone, and this should continue in Week 14 against the Bills. This sought to be a game where Big Ben has to throw the ball. On the season, Buffalo is the third-best matchup for fantasy points allowed above opponent’s average. The Bills have yielded seven touchdowns to tight ends this season, tied for third-most in the league. Ebron looks to add to the tight end touchdown tally this weekend.
QB: Ryan Tannehill @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike’s signal-caller to start this week is Tannehill, taking on a Jacksonville team that is the third-best matchup for quarterbacks since their bye week. Last week, Kirk Cousins went for 305 yards versus the Jaguars while tossing three touchdowns. Tannehill has put up three straight weeks of solid play. Last week, Tannehill took advantage of a garbage time situation to throw for a season-high of 389 yards while flinging an additional three touchdowns. Overall this season, the Titans’ signal-caller has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game but two. Now his team is getting running back Derrick Henry more involved in the passing game, which has only helped improve Tannehill’s stats.
RB: Jonathan Taylor @ Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are the fourth-best matchup for opposing running backs over the last month. Taylor looks to have an exceptional game against a Raiders’ squad that has allowed a running back to score three games in a row. The running back had over 110 yards and sixteen touches in each contest over the last two weeks. The Raiders are letting running backs gain yardage on catches, conceding an average of just under 43 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. Running backs taking on Las Vegas have also been allowed an average of 5.4 receptions per contest this season. Taylor has been more involved in the passing game, which should continue in Week 14.
WR: Jarvis Landry vs. Baltimore Ravens
Hear Mike out; he does understand the Browns are taking on the Ravens. That being said, he acknowledged that the Ravens have given up top-10 production to wide receivers. In the two games Landry has participated in that did not involve bad weather, he is averaging 37-percent of the team’s targets. In the last two contests, facing the Jaguars and the Titans, Landry recorded 16 catches on 21 targets for 205 yards along with two touchdowns. The Ravens played Dallas on Monday night and let both Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper score. Baker Mayfield will get the ball in the hands of Landry in this meeting.
TE: Hayden Hurst @ Los Angeles Chargers
Hurst’s matchup here is against the Chargers. All teams that have a halfway decent tight end on their roster get usable fantasy days out of them when taking on the Chargers. In the last three weeks, Hurst has had two low games playing New Orleans, which sandwiched a good contest in Week 12 against the Raiders. New Orleans has a formidable defense versus tight ends, making sense as to why Hurst had bad games. This week, the Chargers seem like a more appealing defense to play across from. LA has been soft against tight ends, surrendering one touchdown by a tight end in five of the last seven games. Hurst aims to see lots of work in the Week 14 contest.
And, as always, Jason Moore gave the listeners the segment they have been craving all week — his Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom Boom Kicker of the Week:
“Scholars love the boom boom. They say I’m a glowy guy. So kick your opponents where it hurts with the Panthers’ Joey Slye.”