I’m taking over this slot from Jeff Krisko. So get ready to be in awe of my laser-accurate predictions! Unless I’m wrong, then let’s blame Jeff.
It is week 14 and hopefully your fantasy playoffs haven’t started. This is because the NFL Overlords decided they really want to shoot holes in week 14 fantasy teams by having a whopping SIX teams on bye. Now that I’m here, there are going to be a lot of big changes going on. So buckle up, buttercups!
Jared Goff vs Minnesota
See, right there: Jeff always used font size 3 for the player titles, whereas I just changed it to header size 4. I am awesome! Speaking of awesome, Minnesota’s pass defense is not. It allows 19.9 average fantasy ppg to opposing quarterbacks, the seventh highest of all NFL teams. Now, Goff has had an up-and-down season that currently sees him 17th among fantasy QBs. But the Detroit Lions are having and up-and-down season that is currently up, up, and away. Goff has scored over 21 in two straight weeks, including a QB4 finish against Jacksonville last week.
Minnesota at Detroit has all the trappings of a classic wild, wild Midwest shootout. The over/under of 52.5 is tops for all games this week. Plus, if the desert is any indication, Detroit is poised to match Minnesota’s ample firepower: Vegas currently has the Lions as the favorite to beat the 10-2 Vikes. So start Jared Goff.
As I’m typing this, I wonder if my brazen decision to change the player title font size to 3 was the right move. Eh, I’ll just forget it, it’s no biggie.
Daniel Jones vs Philadelphia
Jones is the QB8 in the past four games. Now this is probably because the other top QBs have had byes and- OH NO WAIT, I just sorted by “average ppg” and he’s still #8. The narrative for Jones’ to be a fantasy success in his Eagles matchup is that the Giants will probably need to pass to keep up with the high-octane Eagles and that will keep Saquon from vulturing points. That narrative is like bathing a pig: It’s all hogwash.
The one loss for the Eagles came against a Commanders team that held the ball for over 2/3rds of the clock. You know that the Giants, who have one of the best running backs of this generation, are going to try to emulate their NFC East’s rival’s path to victory. Taylor Heinecke is never going to wow anyone in fantasy, still he scored a miserable 6.44 in that game. At the end of the day, you have to step back from all the stats and trends and say, “hey, are the Giants really going to lean on Daniel Jones’ passing to take down the 11-1 Eages?”
That’s a deffo sit Daniel Jones from me. I can’t think of a good argument for him, right now. Also, I can’t really think of a good argument for why I changed the player title font size. I was mad with newfound power, I guess.
D’Onta Foreman @ Seattle
Foreman was a concern for fantasy rosterers early in the week. He did not practice on Wednesday with a foot injury, making his return to the field for Sunday’s game in jeopardy. A counterpoint to consider is STOP PAYING ANY ATTENTION TO THE WEDNESDAY INJURY REPORTS. D’Onta was limited in practice Thursday, but completely cleared Friday with zero injury designation, whatsoever. Don’t read fantasy news on Wednesday (but still keep reading our site daily).
Which is great for those hoping to roll out Foreman against Seattle’s sieve-infested running defense. The Seahawks currently allow the 3rd most average fantasy points to opposing running backs. Their defensive front looks like the finish line at the Boston marathon 3 hours into the race. You are going to get borderline RB1-tier Foreman this week. I mean, what’s Carolina going to do, throw the ball? Who even is the quarterback, there? Sam Darnold, again? Darnold threw a paltry 17 passes last week vs. Denver. It’s going to be a feast for Carolina on the ground.
You know what? I’m just going to try changing the player title font size back. You know, just so I can see it like it used to be:
Rachaad White @ San Francisco
Oh, god, that font size is way better. What was I thinking? I guess I wasn’t thinking, just like Rachaad White rosterers want to mindlessly put him in now that Leonard Fournette seems to be missing practices. But what he isn’t missing is the point: Tampa Bay doesn’t run the ball well. San Francisco stops the run at an all-NFL level, right now. Faced with San Francisco’s dizzying defensive looks, you have to ask: Are the Bucs’ coaches going to continue to pound the rock, or are they going to put the ball in the hands of Tom Brady, one of the smartest game managers of all time?
Now, I understand it’s late in the fantasy season, and you may be down to the dregs at running back. But I would start a backup on a good running team over the “starter” White: Kareem Hunt, Gus Edwards/Kenyan Drake, Jerick McKinnon, Samaje Perine, James Cook. At least those guys have a chance of breaking one off. The 49ers allow an average of 12.9 fantasy points to running backs. That’s not only tops in the league, it’s over 15% better than any other team.
Another argument I’ve heard is how much Tampa Bay targets its RBs makes White a safe floor in PPR. Rachaad White does have 15 receptions in his last two games, total. But that’s not enough to sway me against a 49ers team that didn’t give up a catch to a Dolphins RB last week and held Alvin Kamara to 37 receiving yards the week before. White’s value as a receiver is something, but it’s a something surrounded by a whole bucket of nothing, so sit Rachaad White.
Mike Evans @ San Francisco
Oh, wow, Jeff’s original font size creates a nice layered effect under the larger position title. Wow, I really screwed the pooch on this one, I’m so sorry. Speaking of screwing the pooch, Mike Evans has been doing the screwing to fantasy football managers’ bottom lines, lately. Mike Evans has not only not finished as a WR2 in the past 5 weeks, he hasn’t even cracked the top 30. Now they are facing a lights-out San Francisco defense after flying coast-to-coast. Coast-to-coast also describes the distance Evans has fallen from Don’t Sit Your Studs territory.
Now, San Francisco does allow 28.7 PPG to fantasy WRs, eleventh-highest in the league. But when we peel back this onion, it’s not looking pretty for Mike Evans. Chris Godwin is clearly the WR1 in this offense. When we want to predict how well a WR2 does, we don’t have to look far: Jaylen Waddle had one catch for nine yards against the 49ers just last week. This isn’t a high risk vs. high reward situation. It’s a “maybe I’ll get a top 24 performance vs maybe I’ll get less than 2 fantasy points” sitch. There has to be a better option on your bench so you can sit Mike Evans.
Jerry Jeudy vs Kansas City
Yes, the Chiefs are in the current argument for “best team in the NFL.” But their pass defense isn’t the best: 31.4 average points given up to fantasy WRs, the fifth highest in the league. Yes, Russell Wilson is the quarterback equivalent of the smoking, irradiated crater at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from Fallout 3. But the Broncos aren’t going to be able to pull the whole “run it on 3rd and 5” nonsense like they did last week when Patrick Mahomes jumps out to a 21-0 lead.
Also, Jeudy practiced in full and seems to have shed his midseason injury status, at least for this Sunday. Meanwhile, Courtland Sutton has been ruled out. Now, I’m not saying Jerry Jeudy is going to put up week-winning fantasy points, that’s really hard to do on an offense that scores like 10 points a game. But Jeudy should have a strong WR2 finish in a byenado week.
At this point, I feel it’s appropriate for me to formally apologize for what the mainstream media has branded Font-Gate. I take this site quite seriously, but my frivolous font change brought ridiculousness to the name “Football Absurdity.”
Hunter Henry at Arizona
Start whatever tight end is playing the Cardinals. Just do it, don’t think about it. Arizona has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. In fact, the only argument against starting Hunter Henry Hippos is Gerald Everett’s 4-18-0 line against the Cards last week. But that’s recency bias: The previous three weeks saw tight ends as the leading receiving yard getter against Arizona. These leaders included the not-so-illustrious Noah Fant and Tyler Higbee.
Henry had a quiet week last week against the Bills, who are top 5 at stopping tight ends from scoring fantasy points. The week before, he faced the top-ten worst Minnesota Vikings and went 3-63-1. Bill Belichick has made a career out of taking opponents’ biggest weaknesses and pounding foot-long-nails straight into it. For Arizona, that biggest weakness is stopping tight end, so start Hunter Henry.
Dawson Knox vs New York Jets
I rallied against recency bias in my last start recommendation. But you know what will confirm recency bias for me? Zero flipping points. That’s how many the Bills’ tight end scored last week against New England. It should be noted that the Patriots defense allows the tenth most fantasy points to tight ends. The week before Knox posted 2-17-0 against Detroit, who allows the sixth most points to tight ends. The other teams he’s faced who are really bad at stopping tight ends are the Vikings and the Dolphins, and he barely topped 12 fantasy points total for those two games.
The fact is, Buffalo doesn’t need to rely on Knox when they are beating teams through the air. Also, there’s not a good chance of even a touchdown saving your fantasy day: The Jets haven’t allowed a single tight end to score against them all year. I would start basically anyone from the tight end blob over Knox this week. Seriously, anyone: I’m looking down the tight end rankings and it’s not until Trey McBride at TE23 that I start wondering if Knox would be a better start. Sit Dawson Knox.
At this point in time, I would like to apologize to Jeff Krisko for sullying the great Start or Sit column empire he has spent years building. With one dastardly click of a drop-down menu, I collapsed a monumental testament towards projective fortitude. I’m truly sorry, and regret ever making a change.
But I have an idea for something new next week that I’m sure will work.