Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 14 lineups!
Start: Dallas Goedert, Brandin Cooks
The Eagles have been struggling mightily running the ball and will have to throw plenty Sunday night in a matchup with this week’s highest total. Goedert had a full practice Thursday and is set to return after missing the last month. DeVonta Smith struggles against man coverage (67th in yards per route run), so expect a monster game from A.J. Brown and a solid performance from Goedert.
Cooks still isn’t seeing a big target share, but he’s scored in five of the last seven games. Dallas has gone pass-heavy and used far more motion since its bye, and the offense has benefitted greatly as a result. Cooks should be extra busy Sunday against an Eagles defense that’s stout against the run but allows by far the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
Start: James Cook, Rashee Rice
Cook saw his snap share dip before the bye, but he’s also averaged 22 opportunities over his last two games. The Bills get a Chiefs D this week that’s tough against the pass but has been arguably the worst run defense in the league over the last five weeks. In a fast-paced matchup with one of this week’s highest totals, Cook is a borderline top-12 RB.
Rice still isn’t being used as a full-time player, but he’s led Kansas City in targets each of the past two games. The rookie ranks top 15 in the league in target rate and top five in fantasy points per route run thanks to playing with Patrick Mahomes. And Rice is set to become a bigger part of the Chiefs offense down the stretch. Kansas City is at home Sunday with the fourth-highest implied team total on the slate, and Rice could be busy with Isiah Pacheco banged up and Travis Kelce showing his age.
Sit: Geno Smith
Start in DFS: Christian McCaffrey ($42)
Smith is dealing with a groin injury and gets a tough matchup Sunday. The 49ers have limited quarterbacks to the fourth-fewest fantasy points and have been the best pass defense in the league since trading for Chase Young. It’s a difficult setup for Smith, although Seattle’s passing offense came to life in Dallas last week.
McCaffrey saw his fewest touches in a game last week since October and gets a far easier matchup Sunday. CMC leads the NFL with 17 touchdowns, and he faces a Seattle defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs. The Seahawks have been vulnerable to receiving backs and have seen their run defense fall dramatically over the last five weeks. The 49ers have the highest implied team total on the DFS slate, so McCaffrey is a building block.
Sit: Jared Goff
Start in DFS: DJ Moore ($25)
Goff plays outdoors in 40-degree weather this week and will likely be missing center Frank Ragnow. Chicago’s pass defense has played far better over the last five weeks, and Goff has struggled throughout his career against Cover 2; the Bears use that coverage at the league’s second-highest rate. He was lucky he didn’t throw more than three picks when these teams recently played in Detroit, so Goff is a bench candidate.
Moore is coming off a bye and should continue to benefit from the return of Justin Fields. Moore has averaged 119 receiving yards and a touchdown over his last six full games with the QB and has been fantasy’s No. 2 wide receiver with Fields this season. The Bears get a Lions defense completely falling apart that’s allowing the second-most points per drive over their last six games. Assuming weather cooperates, Moore is in a smash spot facing a Detroit secondary yielding the seventh-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers.
Sit: Cooper Kupp
Start: Keaton Mitchell
Kupp hasn’t finished as a top-20 WR since Week 6 and simply doesn’t look like himself. Puka Nacua practiced fully Thursday and has become Los Angeles’ No. 1 receiver. Kupp is no longer seeing designed plays like before, and he gets a Ravens defense yielding the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers during a game with potentially ugly weather.
Mitchell led Baltimore’s backfield in snaps, routes, carries and yards during the Ravens’ last game and could see the rookie bump following the team’s bye. His snap rate has increased every game he’s played throughout the year, while Gus Edwards’ fell to 26% in Week 12. Mitchell has the same number of breakaway runs (four) this season as Josh Jacobs on 191 fewer carries. The diminutive back isn’t going to become a workhorse (and his YPC is sure to regress), and Edwards remains the favorite at the goal line, but Mitchell is an explosive runner who can be a difference-maker given 15 touches or so. The Ravens are touchdown home favorites, so Mitchell’s run as this year’s “fantasy league-winner” starts Sunday.
Start: Joshua Dobbs
Start in DFS: Davante Adams ($23)
Dobbs is something of a risk given Minnesota considered a QB change during its bye, but he also has more upside with Justin Jefferson back. Dobbs has produced five top-10 QB fantasy weeks this season, and Sunday he’ll play with by far the best weapons he’s had. Dobbs has the third-most rushing yards among quarterbacks this season, and he gets a beatable Raiders defense indoors this week.
Adams was shadowed by L’Jarius Sneed before Las Vegas’ bye but should continue to see an outrageous target rate from Aidan O’Connell. Adams’ salary remains moderately priced for a receiver who leads the league in air yards share (46.1%), and he should be busy Sunday facing a pass-funnel Vikings defense. Minnesota shuts down the run but is allowing the sixth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers this season. A potential shadow matchup against Byron Murphy shouldn’t shy you away from using Adams in DFS lineups this week.
Start: Russell Wilson, Austin Ekeler
Wilson is coming off a rough three-interception game but finally sees his schedule ease up after a difficult stretch. He’s relied heavily on throwing to running backs this year (and Courtland Sutton in the red zone), but Wilson also has run 21 times over the last two weeks (including two touchdowns). He’s attempted at least nine rushes in three of his past four games, and the Chargers are allowing the third-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Ekeler is getting a career-low 3.5 YPC and committing drops while playing through a clear ankle injury. There’s now talk of him losing more carries to Joshua Kelley, so fantasy managers have reason to be concerned. But Kelley isn’t likely to be an upgrade, and Ekeler remains the favorite for goal-line work. Moreover, the Broncos are stingy against the pass but allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season. More targets (and a healthy ankle) would be nice but still — keep Ekeler in fantasy lineups this week.
Sit: Derrick Henry
Start: De’Von Achane
Henry looks good to go after leaving last week, but he’s a bench consideration Monday night. Henry has four touchdowns over the last two weeks, so it probably feels wrong to even consider sitting the Big Dog. But Henry has scored seven of his eight touchdowns this year at home, and he’s averaged just 43.8 rushing yards on the road. Moreover, Henry has averaged just 3.5 PPR fantasy points during games Tennessee has lost by multiple scores, and the Titans are 13-point underdogs Monday night.
Achane might have the widest range of outcomes in the league any given week, as the oft-injured back is averaging the second-most RB fantasy points despite leaving two games immediately (totaling 2.4 points). He’s averaging 9.2 (!) yards per touch, which would be even higher if 13% (!) of them didn’t stop in the end zone. Raheem Mostert will continue to split carries, but plenty should be available Monday night with Miami big favorites and sporting the slate’s highest implied team total. Achane saw four touches in the first half of last week’s game, yet I’m still ranking him as a top-five RB this week.
Start: Jordan Love, Saquon Barkley
Love has turned the corner, posting an 8:0 TD:INT ratio over his last three games. He has 13 passing touchdowns over six road games this year and gets a beatable Giants defense in New York on Monday night. He’s a top-10 fantasy QB this week.
Jayden Reed is also a strong fantasy start with Christian Watson likely out and facing a New York defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to the slot over the last month.
Barkley has gotten 5.2 YPC over his last four games further removed from his ankle injury, and he should be fully healthy coming out of New York’s bye. Barkley is due for touchdown regression and should benefit from an improving Giants offense. Start Barkley against a Packers defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Start: Baker Mayfield, Drake London
Mayfield was a top-12 QB when these teams met earlier this season and should benefit again from facing a pass-funnel Falcons defense. Atlanta is stout against the run but allows the ninth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks. Mayfield has a 12:3 TD:INT ratio on the road this year compared to 6:5 in Tampa Bay, and he gets to play indoors Sunday. Atlanta’s starting corners A.J. Terrell and Jeff Okudah are both injured and questionable, so Mayfield is a sneaky fantasy start this week.
London is averaging more than twice as many receiving yards at home than on the road this season, where Desmond Ridder performs much better. Tampa Bay has been tougher against the run than the pass this season, allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. The Falcons are extremely run-heavy, but London can be started this week.
Start in DFS: Zack Moss ($25), Joe Mixon ($21)
Moss was a DFS bust last week against a tough Titans run defense but saw encouraging usage without Jonathan Taylor. Moss played 94% of the snaps and got every Colts running back carry, including seven inside the 10-yard line. He was No. 2 among running backs in fantasy usage and was unlucky being stopped at the one-yard line. Moss will remain Indy’s workhorse with Taylor still out this week in a much better matchup. The Bengals’ run defense has been one of the worst in the league over the last five weeks, so turn back to Moss in DFS this week.
Last week, Mixon saw his second-most opportunities (26) in a game this season, and Jake Browning’s emergence is big news for his fantasy value. Chase Brown will continue to take carries, but Mixon still gets all the passing-down and goal-line work. The Colts have a soft run defense and are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Sit: C.J. Stroud, Dalvin Cook
Stroud is in the middle of the best rookie QB season ever and is already a star, but he’s a fade this week. He’s gotten 9.2 YPA at home but 7.4 on the road, and the Jets are allowing the second-fewest YPA (6.2) and the fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks. Remarkably, just one QB (Josh Allen) has reached 10 fantasy points against New York since Week 6, and that includes facing Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Tommy DeVito. Think of Stroud as more of a top-15 QB this week.
With Breece Hall questionable dealing with an ankle injury, fantasy managers may be tempted to start Cook this week. But Cook ranks 71st in rush yards over expectation, 51st in yards per touch and has two more lost fumbles than he does runs for 15 yards. Playing behind a bad offensive line against a tough Houston run defense (the Texans are allowing just 73.6 RB rushing yards per game), Cook is a shaky fantasy start even if Hall sits.
Sit: Evan Engram
Start: Elijah Moore
C.J. Beathard or a banged-up Trevor Lawrence playing one week after suffering a high-ankle sprain will be starting at QB for Jacksonville. Engram could see added work with Christian Kirk out, but he gets the toughest matchup possible. The Browns are ceding by far the fewest yards per play (3.4) at home this season (nearly a full yard fewer than the next best defense) and allowing easily the fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Cleveland has allowed a TE to reach 7.5 fantasy points just once all season.
Moore’s only 100-yard receiving game in his career came with Joe Flacco, who once again showed good rapport with the WR last week. Moore saw a 27% target share and the most air yards in any game this season, finishing with the second-most WR expected fantasy points. It helped that Amari Cooper left early with a concussion, but Flacco was a major difference at quarterback.
Cooper looks unlikely to play after missing practice Thursday, while Flacco is set to start again Sunday. The Jaguars are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and slot corner Tre Herndon (concussion) is likely to miss the game.
Start: Chuba Hubbard, Saints D/ST
Hubbard took over Carolina’s backfield during the team’s first game without Frank Reich last week, seeing 64% of the snaps and 25 of 35 RB opportunities. Carolina’s offense limits his upside, but Hubbard can be started if needed this week. New Orleans’ run defense has struggled lately.
Bryce Young has produced nine touchdowns with 13 turnovers over 11 games as a rookie. He’s averaged just 5.4 YPA and 186.8 passing yards while taking 44 sacks. The Saints are yielding the sixth-fewest YPA in the league, and the Panthers have a lowly 16-point implied team total.