Week 14 Start/Sit PLUS: D.J. Moore, Dawson Knox, Kareem Hunt (2021 Fantasy Football)
After last week’s waiver craziness, things have settled down before the final bye week. Whether you’re still fighting for a playoff spot or preparing for postseason matchups, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s get into some Start/Sit plus. We’ll look at six categories described in detail in our Week 1 article. And to ensure total transparency, I’ll also note at the bottom of each section how I did in last week’s article. I’ve logged 46 hits and 22 misses, meaning a 67.7% success rate this season, but you be the judge. If you disagree or have start/sit questions, hit me up on Instagram or Twitter.
Every-week starters, regardless of matchup
Taysom Hill (QB – NO)
I try not to double-up on players in the start category week-to-week, but there are limited QB options, and Hill’s four interceptions and finger injury could scare off potential suitors. He was also last week’s QB4 despite those errors, and now he faces the Jets in Week 14. I’d be wary of starting him against the Buccaneers in Week 15, but he could easily be your best option. Just monitor that finger injury.
Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)
Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN)
You’re starting Williams after Sunday night’s huge breakout. If he’s healthy, and that’s a big if, I’m also starting Flash Gordon. The Lions are very generous to opposing running backs, and even though the rookie impressed when given the reins, I can’t see the Broncos shutting Gordon out entirely.
Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)
With Kenyan Drake’s brutal ankle injury knocking him out for the season, it’s Jacobs SZN in Vegas. Expect the Raiders to use more of Peyton Barber, Jalen Richard (if he’s activated from the COVID list), or a new signing, but it’ll be Jacobs on most snaps.
D.J. Moore (WR – CAR)
I like the impact Cam Newton should have on the Panthers’ WR1. I like the lack of Christian McCaffrey to dominate touches. I like the matchup against Atlanta. I’m starting D.J. Moore.
Elijah Moore (WR – CAR)
With Corey Davis out for the season, Elijah Moore is a comfortable weekly fantasy starter. Although the rookie remains a riskier option, the Jets will trail most games. Expect plenty of garbage-time production.
Dawson Knox (TE – BUF)
Don’t get put off by the unsurprising dud against the Patriots. You can still start Knox, especially this week against Tampa Bay.
Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)
James Robinson (RB – JAC)
Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
Clyde Edwards- Helaire (RB – KC)
DK Metcalf (WR – SEA)
Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)
Tyler Conklin (TE – MIN)
Consider benching if you have a viable alternative
Joe Burrow (QB – CIN)
It’s hard to consider starting Burrow these days with Cincy going run-heavy most weeks. The 49ers are a tough matchup, so there are many directions I’d rather go than a QB with seven TDs and seven turnovers through his last four games.
Tevin Coleman (RB – NYJ)
He’s been solid the last couple of weeks, but Coleman has a brutal matchup this weekend. I’d avoid him at all costs.
Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)
There are a few reasons to beware of Hunt. He’s still getting back to game speed, his role is unclear, and he has a tough matchup against the Ravens. That’s just all a little too scary for me this week.
Sony Michel (RB – LAR)
Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
Michel was fantastic last week, but I have no idea what the Rams will do this week if Henderson returns to the field. Their backfield distribution could go heavily in either direction or be a full-blown committee. That’s not an ideal scenario for your fantasy matchup.
Russell Gage (WR – ATL)
Gage has had a few big weeks, but I don’t want to rely on the Falcons’ passing game — especially in an important fantasy week — against the tough Panthers secondary.
Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)
Don’t get overly excited by a rare good game. Higbee isn’t a viable Week 14 starter in a tough matchup against the Cardinals.
Noah Fant (TE – DEN)
The Broncos love spreading the ball around, and you can run all day on the Lions. Yes, I literally mean you. As a result, I don’t like Fant’s chances of a big game.
Derek Carr (QB – LV)
Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI)
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (WR – TEN)
Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI)
Austin Hooper (TE – CLE)
Hits: Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon, Trevor Lawrence (in superflex), Devin Singletary, Matt Breida, Alex Collins, Jakobi Meyers, Courtland Sutton, Rashod Bateman, Marvin Jones, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Hunter Henry
Players you wouldn’t normally start who should have a good week
Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN)
The awkward Steelers matchup and Adam Thielen’s ankle injury could lead managers to fade Cousins, but I still like him this week. The Vikings quarterback has finished seven out of 12 weeks as a top-nine scoring quarterback with another pair of QB13 finishes. That makes him QB8 this season, and his consistency is most exciting if you have a solid team challenging for the top spot.
Ameer Abdullah (RB – CAR)
This is a deep recommendation only to consider if you’re desperate, but Abdullah seems to be easing Carolina’s backfield role away from Chuba Hubbard. It’s hard to know what will happen without McCaffrey this week, and Hubbard is still an option in deep leagues, but this may be Abdullah’s game.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB)
The Bears have struggled against the pass this season, making MVS a high-risk/high–reward option. It’s one of the better WR3 matchups, though, so I’d rather take the chance of him over other wideouts you may find on waivers in this range.
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE – WAS) or John Bates (TE – WAS)
With Logan Thomas sadly out, it’ll be either RSJ or, if he’s out too, Bates. Washington’s starting tight end has proven solid for fantasy this season due to a high snap share and routes run, so I’d take whichever one starts.
Cam Newton (QB – CAR)
Adrian Peterson (RB – SEA)
Julio Jones (WR – TEN)
Tre’Quan Smith (WR – NO) – In deep leagues
Laquon Treadwell (WR – JAC) – In very deep leagues
Foster Moreau (TE – LV) – If Waller is out
Greg Joseph (K – MIN)
Chris Boswell (K – PIT)
New Orleans Saints (DST – NO)
Green Bay Packers (DST – GB)
OK: Boston Scott (INJ)
Pick up and bench this week
Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)
I ordinarily loathe stashing quarterbacks, but there are some valid reasons to do so late in the season. Tagovailoa has a great playoff schedule, starting with the Jets in Week 15. He’s also impressed recently, so I’d stash him if you want a playoff streamer or a strong backup.
Backup Running Backs
For the first week in a while, the were no major running back injury last weekend. Here’s my updated list of backups to roster, outside of the obvious players already starting. In order, I’d stash: Tony Pollard, AJ Dillon, Mark Ingram, Devontae Booker, Rhamondre Stevenson, Darrel Williams, Khalil Herbert, Peyton Barber, Jeff Wilson, Nyheim Hines, Ronald Jones, Samaje Perine, and Latavius Murray.
JaMycal Hasty (RB – SF)
The 49ers’ running back room resembles a hospital ward at the moment, with Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson question marks for the weekend and Trey Sermon on the IR. That leaves Hasty as the only healthy guy. They’re trying out other options, but I don’t see anybody that will threaten Hasty.
K.J. Osborn (WR – MIN)
Osborn will be the WR2 until Thielen returns from a high-ankle sprain. I don’t love Thursday night’s matchup against the Steelers, but I’d certainly stash Osborn to see how he performs.
Cole Kmet (TE – CHI)
Kmet gets a difficult Week 14 matchup at Green Bay, but he could be a real value down the stretch. The Bears are starting to pass a little more effectively and get the second-year tight end more targets.
Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG)
Hits: Backup Running Backs, Adrian Peterson
Move now for a better player before they likely lose value
Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
The Ravens’ stud has had an awkward few weeks, and things won’t get easier any time soon. If your trade window hasn’t closed, sell Jackson before it’s too late.
Aging QBs in Dynasty
Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR) and Sony Michel (RB – LAR)
This is just a reminder that Cam Akers returns next year, and this whole backfield looks like it will be a total mess. I’d try to sell my shares fast, especially in dynasty leagues.
Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
Allen is on the COVID list, making him iffy for this weekend. He’s also got awkward matchups three of the next four weeks and received just eight targets — his fewest since Week 6 — last Sunday. Make him someone else’s problem.
Josh Allen (QB – BUF)
David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI)
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – ATL)
Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)
Chris Godwin (WR – TB)
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – DET)
Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA)
TJ Hockenson (TE – DET)
Drop, assuming a viable alternative is available
Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN)
If you’re still holding onto Tannehill, I doubt you’re in the playoffs. But if you somehow carried him here, you can cut ties now. He’s been awful all season and has some tough playoff matchups, including the Steelers in Week 15 and 49ers in Week 16.
Matt Breida (RB – BUF)
Buffalo’s entire backfield is a mess. I want no part of it, especially not this part.
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
Remember when Anderson got four receptions and a touchdown, and everyone got excited? LOL. He’s not back; he should be off your roster.
Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)
Baltimore’s passing game has faltered mightily of late, and Bateman is in a weird WR committee with Devin Duvernay and Sammy Watkins behind Marquise Brown. There’s just no time for the rookie to emerge into a reliable starter this season.
Gerald Everett (TE – SEA)
While I still like Everett in this offense, he’s way too inconsistent to trust. Maybe he’ll emerge next season, but it’s too late for 2021.
Justin Fields (QB – CHI)
Jeremy McNichols (RB – TEN)
Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
Logan Thomas (TE – WAS)
Tyler Bass (K – BUF)
Daniel Carlson (K – LV)
Chicago Bears (DST – CHI)
Pittsburgh Steelers (DST – PIT)
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