This whole cutting to the chase thing really worked out last week. Let’s see if I can do it again.
I have to refrain from my usual jab at Mr. Ferris’ fantasy team, since he won this week and it really helped me out. As a thank-you, I’ll give his top-50 flex players of the week two double-jointed thumbs up. (Get it, ’cause they’re flexible?)
In a week where my advice was pretty spot on, here’s where I hit big…
- Jordan Howard – 29.70 points (top fantasy player of the week)
- Doug Martin – 12.80 points (RB14)
- DeAndre Hopkins – 11.80 points (WR14)
- Russell Wilson – 15.98 points (QB11)
- Blake Bortles – 10.14 points (QB23)
- Alex Smith – 12.50 (QB19)
- Matt Barkley – 7.98 (QB24)
- Jeremy Kerley and Torrey Smith – 1.80 points combined
- Kelvin Benjamin – 1.80 points
But I did have a couple busts…
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – 1.54 points (QB32)
- Tyrod Taylor – 12.64 points (QB17)
- Tyler Boyd – 6.60 points (WR40)
If you want to grade my Week 13 advice in full, see here and report back with my A. If you’re only here for Week 14 advice, then please carry on. As always, my advice focuses on fringe players. I refuse to include the obvious ones, so if I haven’t told you to sit a star fantasy player, then start him. The playoffs are upon us, so your lineup becomes all the more important. Any specific questions you may have regarding your lineup can be posted in the comments section.
Good luck to everyone this week, unless your name is Nicholas Ferris.
A Fixed Seven Fantasy Tips for Week 14
1. Start your Bengals
The Bengals have a date with the 0-12 Cleveland Browns this week, which is the matchup just keeps on giving.
The Browns are giving up 19.80 PPG to QBs (second-most), 23.45 PPG to RBs (second-most), 26.03 PPG to WRs (sixth-most), and 11.18 PPG to TEs (third-most). This puts Andy Dalton into the QB1 discussion; Jeremy Hill should be viewed as a top-eight play at RB; both Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd enter the WR2 realm with very high ceilings, and Tyler Eifert becomes a top-five play at TE this week.
If you can get your hands on the Cincinnati defense, the Browns are allowing 10.83 PPG to defenses (most).
2. Thanks to matchups, start…
Carson Palmer – The Dolphins are giving up 18.63 PPG to QBs this season (fifth-most). Looking more recently, they’ve been shredded for 31.14 PPG over their last two (most). Palmer is starting to look closer to his 2015 self and should be viewed as a low-end QB1 this week. If Palmer has wronged you too many times this season, go with Philip Rivers against the Panthers or Russell Wilson against the Packers.
Spencer Ware – The Raiders defense is allowing 21.51 PPG to RBs this season, and has been gashed for a total of 60.7 fantasy points over the last two games (second-most). When these two teams met in Week 6, Ware had his second-best fantasy output of the season (22.30 points). Value Ware as a low-end RB1. Keep rolling with Doug Martin, too.
Malcolm Mitchell – Patriot receivers will have a favorable matchup this week against the Ravens defense. The unit is allowing 25.09 PPG to WRs this season (eighth-most), and Mitchell has become one of Brady’s favorite targets – averaging just over seven targets in his last three. With no Gronk or Amendola to get in the way, Mitchell becomes a WR2 with a high ceiling. Tyler Lockett is a nice sleeper for the week, too.
3. Thanks to matchups, bench…
Blake Bortles – If you didn’t take my advice to bench him last week, I hope you do this week. Matchups don’t get any tougher than the Denver defense, but the Vikings aren’t much easier. Minnesota is allowing 13.27 PPG to QBs (second-fewest) and, even without Harrison Smith, will pick off a few errant Bortles passes. View Bortles in the 16-20 range this week. I would pull Marcus Mariota from my lineup, too. (Consider him in the 14 to 16-point range thanks to his legs.)
Jay Ajayi – This is partly because he has to deal with a Cardinals defense that’s only surrendering 13.73 PPG to RBs this season (second-fewest), but also has to do with the absence of center Mike Pouncey. With Pouncey in the lineup, Ajayi averages an impressive 19.5 PPG, without him, he falls to just 7.43 PPG and has only broke double-digits once in five games. The Dolphins back becomes an RB3 this week. You also need to temper your expectations for LeGarrette Blount. He becomes a touchdown dependent RB2 against a stingy Ravens defense.
Rishard Matthews – The Broncos defense only gives up 13.83 PPG to WRs (fewest), and the still-not-100% Matthews will likely draw Chris Harris all day. Matthews is a big-play receiver and the Broncos have only allowed 13 plays of 25 yards or more through the air this season. Sit him down. I would shy away from Mike Wallace this week, too.
4. Trust Todd Bowles to do the right thing
I understand that the Jets want to get a look at Bryce Petty. This way, fans will be more understanding when they part ways with their 2015 fourth-round pick. But Todd Bowles will want to win this game after having his ass kicked last week, and the team needs to see more from guys other than Petty, too, over these last four games (coach included).
There is one clear way the Jets can win this game: hand the ball to Matt Forte. When the veteran back is given at least 25 carries, the Jets are 3-0 this year. Funny, haven’t they only won three games this year?
The 49ers defense is giving up 169.3 yards per game on the ground (last); they’re allowing 4.9 yards per carry (last); and have surrendered 17 rushing scores (31st). If the Jets will allow it, Forte will run wild against the defense that gives up 27.56 PPG to RBs (most). “But Ty, won’t San Fran just stack the box against the run with Petty at QB?” I hear your concerns. But Jordan Howard was the top fantasy player in Week 13 against this defense, and the Bears were starting Matt Barkley. Forte is fully capable of the same numbers that Howard put up.
Trust in Bowles’ desire to win this game and consider Forte a top-five play at RB.
5. Drop C-Mike
Last week, I said Christine Michael would be worth keeping if he got ten touches in his second game with the Packers. Nine is certainly close to ten. However, Michael was far too ineffective with those touches (19 yards, 2.11 yards per carry). Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery turned his six carries into 40 yards.
At this point, you’re better to drop Michael and take a shot on Adrian Peterson returning next week against a leaky Colts defense.
6. Despite tough matchups, stick with…
Andrew Luck – The Texans defense is only surrendering 14.94 PPG to QBs (eighth-fewest), but it shouldn’t scare you away from starting Luck, who already recorded 23.38 fantasy points against this defense back in Week 6. I’d stick with Brady against the Ravens, as well.
Jordan Howard – The Lions are only giving up 15.59 PPG to RBs this season (seventh-fewest), but have allowed an average of 18.45 over their last two games (12th-most). Howard totaled 132 yards when these teams played in Week 4, and he is averaging just over 23 touches per game over his last five. The Bears’ back remains an RB1 in this one.
T.Y. Hilton – Houston is only allowing 19.94 PPG to WRs this season (fifth-fewest), but they haven’t fared too well as of late. In their last two, the Texans have given up 67.20 combined points to WRs. Making matters worse, they’ll likely be without Johnathan Joseph this week. Don’t expect them to hold Hilton to 49 yards again.
7. Do not be fooled into starting…
Jared Goff – The Falcons may be giving up 20.56 PPG to QBs this season (most), but this is the playoffs, man! Goff has failed to reach 6.5 fantasy points in two of his three starts and should not be trusted even in the most favorable matchup.
A 49ers wide receiver – See last week.