Welcome to the Week 14 starts and sits. I have some recommendations for both seasonal leagues and for DraftKings. As always, if you are looking for recommendations on players not listed in this space, consult my free lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They will be fully updated by Saturday night, after final injury reports come out, and they are comprehensive.
I hope you all join Jim Hackett and me for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be live at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, and you can listen on WEEI.com if you are a late riser. It’s usually posted on the home page by mid-morning. I’ll also tweet a link to the show once it is up.
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Jameis Winston, Buccaneers vs. Saints, $6,700
I like Winston as a starter in just about any situation this week. He’s a nice value on DraftKings and gives you a potent 1-2 punch if you stack him with Mike Evans. To have a big game, Winston will have to use his tight end and running backs, and I think he will. Three hundred passing yards and multiple scores is very doable in this matchup — one of the best Winston has had in 2016. It’s also worth noting that the Saints typically play uptempo and generally have good game scripts for fantasy purposes. They defend the run better than they defend the pass.
Kirk Cousins, Washington at Eagles, $6,300
There’s always the risk of an ugly game when divisional rivals meet, but I like Cousins in this spot. He held his own against a tougher opponent last week and I think he can excel against this more familiar opponent. He’s clicking with a lot of his receivers right now, so the big plays can come from a lot of different places, and we may even see the return of Jordan Reed. The Eagles corners have been struggling in recent weeks, giving up 300-yard performances to Aaron Rodgers and Andy Dalton. In Week 11 they gave up plenty of production to Russell Wilson and also a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. They are more vulnerable than the season stats indicate.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Browns, $6,100
I’m starting him this week in a big playoff tilt, so if I am wrong, you can take some comfort that I suffered for my blunder. Really, though, Dalton is in a good spot here. Cleveland obviously is a good matchup and Dalton is playing rather well right now. I don’t think he has enough upside to have big exposure in my DraftKings lineups this week, but I like his floor enough to use him in seasonal leagues if I don’t have a better option. I’m using him on a team where he’s my No. 2 guy behind Marcus Mariota. With the Titans playing Denver, I am hesitant to use Mariota.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers vs. Jets, $5,800
This is a complex recommendation. I would use Kaepernick in a limited number of daily tournaments because he’s playing a team that looked beaten last week. The issue is Kaepernick struggled mightily in Week 13 and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert. I am loathe to use Kaepernick in a playoff game with my season on the line unless he is clearly my best option. Imagine your QB getting pulled in garbage time. That’s bad action. It’s also worth noting that 49ers left tackle Joe Staley suffered a midweek hamstring injury and conceivably could miss this game.
Jordan Howard, Bears at Lions, $6,400
He’s been playing very well and scoring touchdowns in bunches. It’s also important to note that he’s playing the lion’s share of the snaps these days. He’s getting used in some passing situations as well and he’s the goal-line back. Howard is a value on DraftKings this week and a no-brainer in seasonal league lineups.
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks at Packers, $5,700
Green Bay plays the run well, but Rawls will get plenty of carries and he should be able to feed off of Russell Wilson and company. In short, the Seahawks will move the ball through the air and should be able to get Rawls plenty of opportunities against light fronts. He’s a good value at his price on DraftKings and he makes a very nice RB2 in seasonal leagues.
Rob Kelley, Washington at Eagles, $4,200
He’s a potential steal on DraftKings because I think Washington will be able to throw and that will open things up for Kelley, who is a guy who always runs hard. I think the game flow works for him this week, and he was able to run effectively last week against Arizona. He makes a solid RB2 in seasonal leagues and should return value for his price on DraftKings. He doesn’t have a ton of upside, so I would limit exposure in tournaments somewhat.
Devontae Booker, Broncos at Titans, $4,800
I don’t trust Gary Kubiak. Yeah, he’s a good coach, but he’s really jerked his backs around the last few years. Now he has Justin Forsett in town to challenge Booker, and it would not surprise me if Kubiak gave Forsett an extended look this week. Now consider that the matchup is bad because the Titans play the run well. Booker is more of an RB3 this week in 12-team leagues. He’s playable, but he’s very risky for a few reasons.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers at Panthers, $6,100
The Panthers are struggling, though it does appear they will get Luke Keuchly back. That won’t help them cover Tyrell Williams, who has been making big plays with regularity this season. He’s not a huge value on DraftKings, but he is a strong play as a WR3 this week and I actually have him ranked as a WR2 in Rotobahn’s rankings.
Davante Adams, Packers vs. Seahawks, $5,500
Seattle can be a tough matchup, but Adams should avoid Richard Sherman for most of the day and should be matched up with DeShawn Shead. That should allow him to make some plays. It’s also likely that Seattle will score plenty of points against the Packers defense. That should lead to a positive game flow for Adams. He’s a good value on DraftKings and a good WR2 in seasonal leagues.
DeSean Jackson, Washington at Eagles, $5,200
He should see a lot of Leodis McKelvin this week, and that should lead to a few big plays and a solid fantasy day. If you like a good narrative, you don’t need to look very hard here. Jackson is going back to his old stomping grounds and he’s playing a team that is rumored to be interested in his services for 2017. One would think that Jackson will be pumped up for this game. He’s worth a look at 5,200 units on DraftKings and he’s a solid WR3 play in all fantasy leagues. He makes a very nice Week 14 stack with Cousins on DraftKings.
Marvin Jones, Lions vs. Bears, $4,900
I know he’s a name, but he’s also banged up and hasn’t done anything for a while. He probably will return and play this week after missing Week 13 with a sore quad, but Jones has two 100-yard games this season and they both came in the first three games. Half of his four touchdowns came in that span as well. He’s a desperation play this week.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks at Packers, $5,500
Graham is on a roll and he is the one elite play out there this week now that Travis Kelce is off the board. Tyler Eifert probably qualifies, too, but you will pay $500 more to play him, and I’d rather go with Graham. He’s an obvious start in all seasonal leagues and he can really help you on DraftKings in both tournaments and cash games.
Ladarius Green, Steelers at Bills, $3,900
There may be some risk here because of the limited snaps he plays or has played to this point, but Green is making big plays, plain and simple. He’s a strong TE1 option in seasonal leagues and he’s a potential steal on DraftKings at 3,900 units. I’ll be playing him in plenty of GPPs this week.
Cameron Brate, Saints at Buccaneers, $4,100
This game projects to be high scoring, and Brate should be the second option in the passing game behind Mike Evans. Brate has a good chance at a touchdown and should post about five grabs for about 75 yards. He should return value on DraftKings at 4,100 units and he has enough upside to use in GPPs as well as in cash games.
Gary Barnidge, Browns vs. Bengals, $3,300
The switch to Robert Griffin at quarterback is an issue for Barnidge, who tends to have his best games when Josh McCown is under center. Barnidge is a player to avoid in most situations this week. If the Browns make big plays, it’s more likely to come from the outside weapons and not from Barnidge.