Week 13 is over and done with, and with it is most everyone’s fantasy football seasons. If you are still playing this week, or have a first-round bye and play next week, congratulations on making your league’s playoff round!
Week 14 is also the end of byes in the NFL, so everyone in the NFL is playing finally. However, just like not every fantasy player is playing this week, not all of our bloggers will be writing this week either. A-Mac will be driving this blog solo for the next few weeks, guiding you through playoff pickups and guys you should avoid. Here are A-Mac’s start ’em and sit ’em’s for Week 14!
A-Mac’s Week 14 Sit Ems’
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN 61.3% owned): After throwing for 332 yards and two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dalton surged into the top-12 of fantasy quarterbacks in ESPN standard scoring leagues. While the Bengals are on the road, they visit Cleveland and their hapless secondary that has allowed a league-leading 28 passing touchdowns. Dalton is a great play if you are uncomfortable with any quarterback matchup for the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, New England Patriots (ESPN 43.5% owned): Mitchell has come on strong in the last three weeks, putting up eight fantasy points last week while being targeted ten times. With the Patriots receiving corp suffering another blow with the injury to Danny Amendola, Mitchell can only benefit with even more targets. The Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, who have allowed at least 12 receptions to wide receivers in four of their last five games.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN 61.0% owned): After scoring four touchdowns in his last six games, Brate has turned himself into a starting tight end in fantasy leagues everywhere. With the Buccaneers receiving corp devastated by injuries, Brate is the only guy Jameis Winston can target outside of stud wideout Mike Evans. The Bucs host the Saints that are consistently mediocre against tight ends, allowing at least four receptions to the position in every game since Week 8.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST (ESPN 31.9% owned): The Falcons are not exactly the best defense in the NFL, allowing at least 24 points to offenses in six of the last seven weeks. However, the Falcons play Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams who have scored just ten points or less in five of their last six games while turning the ball over five times in three weeks. If you need a defense with a great matchup Sunday, go get the Falcons.
A-Mac’s Week 14 Sit Ems’
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans (ESPN 82.5% owned): Mariota has been tremendous the last two months, scoring 20 or more fantasy points in six of his last eight games. Mariota owners were hurt in Week 13 with the Titans on bye and likely will feel it this week when Tennessee plays the number one ranked passing defense of the Denver Broncos. I would not start Mariota in my fantasy playoffs this week and hold out on using him until his Week 16 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
LeGarette Blount, RB, New England Patriots (ESPN 97.9% owned): Blount has carried fantasy teams to the playoffs as becoming a surprise top-ten running back, rushing for either a 100-yards or a touchdown in seven of his last eight outings. Blount and the Patriots go up against the Ravens run defense that has not allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 7.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens (ESPN 48.9% owned): Pitta’s nine-catch, 90 yards, and two touchdown performance propelled the Raven tight end back into fantasy relevance for the first time in three seasons. Pitta’s success will likely be short-lived as the Ravens play New England who has allowed double-digit fantasy points to the position just once in the last ten games.
Seattle Seahawks D/ST (ESPN 96.9% owned): The Seahawks suffered a massive blow to their defense with safety Earl Thomas severely breaking his league, ending his season. Seattle doesn’t have a great match up either when they visit Green Bay and a Packer offense that has turned it around. Aaron Rodgers has not thrown an interception in his last two games, and with the Seahawks shorthanded, look for Rodgers and the Packer offense to remain efficient against what used to be a tough defense.