boston-scott-3-1400.jpg
USATSI

A new spate of injuries brings a new slate of start/sit debates, and we're here to answer them all for every matchup on the slate. There are glaring Week 14 examples of players you should start and sit. There are also examples of sleepers who could provide unexpected production and big names who could flop based on these Week 14 matchups. Every week we'll break down every game on the slate and pinpoint the players you need to know in every matchup.

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Thu, Dec 9 at 8:20 pm ET •
MIN -3, O/U 43.5
Bust Candidate
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN MIN -3 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
31st
PROJ PTS
10.8
WR RNK
24th
YTD Stats
REC
39
TAR
72
REYDS
660
TD
1
FPTS/G
11.7
In the same week Diontae Johnson racked up double-digit targets (again), Claypool had a season-low three. Johnson is Ben Roethlisberger's guy, that much is obvious, but the reality is that Claypool typically sees at least double the number of targets he saw against the Ravens and gets at least two deep throws his way per game. In that regard, Fantasy managers should assume Claypool's targets rebound against a Vikings defense that's been below league average in pass rush pressure over its past four games. But that doesn't promise anything more than around 11.2 PPR points, which is Claypool's season-long average. Since Pat Freiermuth became a staple in the offense in Week 6, Claypool is third in both red-zone targets (eight) and red-zone receptions (three) with exactly zero touchdowns. Freiermuth also has one more end-zone target (four) than Claypool (three). Claypool's been due for a score for several weeks, but it's tough to expect anything to change, especially on a short week.
Sit Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #83
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs PIT MIN -3 O/U 43.5
OPP VS TE
9th
PROJ PTS
10.3
TE RNK
10th
YTD Stats
REC
47
TAR
64
REYDS
469
TD
3
FPTS/G
9.3
Conklin saw eight targets from Kirk Cousins last week following Adam Thielen's ankle injury, second-most on the Vikings. He didn't do anything special with them, but the opportunity to continue seeing work in the passing game makes him interesting for Fantasy. And even though he's done well against zone coverage and the Steelers have played the ninth-most zone coverage this season, the matchup is still a huge strike against him. Mark Andrews, Jared Cook and T.J. Hockenson combined for 78 yards on seven catches against the Steelers over the past three weeks. I have a hard time believing Conklin will crush it. At best he's a low-end streaming tight end who you'll hope for a 5-50-0 stat line from.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
CAR -2.5, O/U 42.5
Bust Candidate
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #8
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR CAR -2.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS TE
11th
PROJ PTS
11.3
TE RNK
8th
YTD Stats
REC
49
TAR
82
REYDS
709
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.5
Last week, double-teams weren't solely to blame: Pitts saw tighter coverage on two of five Matt Ryan red-zone pass attempts, but he was also kind of open on one other pass and as wide open as a human could be on another. Ryan just didn't look in his direction. A thoughtful Twitter follower suggested Ryan has lost faith in Pitts because he's made mistakes on four Ryan interceptions this year, and that's possible. Maybe that's part of the reason why Russell Gage has led the Falcons in targets for three straight weeks. Another reason: teams aren't worried about getting beat by Gage. Either way, Pitts remains tough to trust, even against a Panthers pass defense that not only did a great job limiting him in Week 8 but has also held receivers and tight ends to five total touchdowns and two 100-yard games in four straight (since the first matchup with Atlanta). It's not the scariest matchup in the world, but Pitts' dwindling upside makes him tough to trust.
Sneaky Sleeper
Projections powered by Sportsline
CAR Carolina • #1
Age: 32 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ATL CAR -2.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS QB
31st
PROJ PTS
21.1
QB RNK
13th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
289
RUYDS
65
TD
6
INT
2
FPTS/G
16.6
Against Miami, Newton averaged 1.86 seconds to throw, the lowest mark for any offense in any game this season. But the week before against Washington, Newton had 2.7 seconds to throw on average and looked just fine quickly and accurately dispersing the ball. If pressure makes the difference then Newton should be fine against the Falcons, who have held opposing passers to under 2.3 seconds to throw on average just twice this year. Atlanta has also held only three teams to zero passing touchdowns this year. To be fair, one of the games where the Falcons did pressure the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly and not allow any passing touchdowns was versus Sam Darnold's Panthers in Week 8. By then, Darnold was playing poorly and was ultimately benched. With Christian McCaffrey done for the year and a new voice calling plays, expect the Panthers offense to revolve around Newton. He should find one rushing and one passing score.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
CLE -2.5, O/U 42.5
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
BAL Baltimore • #34
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CLE CLE -2.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
10
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
376
REC
23
REYDS
170
TD
5
FPTS/G
9.8
With 15-plus PPR points in three of his past five and at least 11 PPR points in five of his past seven, Freeman is not only entrenched as a quality Fantasy staple but he's also the Ravens' most-utilized running back. There really shouldn't be much debate over whether or not to start Freeman -- unless you're comparing him to other running backs who live in the 15-touch range. To that end, Freeman isn't a slam-dunk. Cleveland's run defense was outstanding in its first game against the Ravens (credit rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramorah for stepping up) and chances are Freeman will see the workload we like but not necessarily be efficient with it. That's why he's still a reliable No. 2 Fantasy running back, but one who shouldn't get the nod ahead of other guys with similar workloads.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
HOU +7.5, O/U 41.5
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #3
Age: 33 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU SEA -7.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS QB
10th
PROJ PTS
21.5
QB RNK
10th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
2042
RUYDS
133
TD
15
INT
4
FPTS/G
19.6
Last week was the best Wilson's looked since coming back from finger surgery. And honestly, it was close to a best-case scenario with the Seahawks throwing 37 times, Wilson completing 81% of his throws and the run game stumbling. So why did he only have 20 Fantasy points? Easy answer: Gerald Everett. Everett had not one but two touchdowns in his grasp from Wilson but batted one pass up in the air for an interception and fumbled a second shovel pass, both from inside the 5-yard line in the second half. While he's an untrustworthy Fantasy tight end (maybe to the benefit of D.K. Metcalf), Wilson clearly did nothing wrong and should still be tasked with leading the offense against a punchless Texans defense. Making matters better is a still-suspect Seahawks run game that won't absolve Wilson from doing work. Besides, Metcalf is due for a big game. Wilson's a must-start.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
KC -9.5, O/U 48
Sit Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
LV Las Vegas • #4
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ KC KC -9.5 O/U 48
OPP VS QB
27th
PROJ PTS
19.5
QB RNK
18th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
3663
RUYDS
97
TD
17
INT
9
FPTS/G
19.7
Carr has 11 or fewer Fantasy points in three of his past five overall and hasn't exceeded 22 Fantasy points since Week 6. The Chiefs pass defense has become one of the best in football, pressuring quarterbacks into mistakes and giving up eight passing touchdowns over its past seven. Carr has a nasty track record at Arrowhead, save for last season when he leaned on two speedsters who are no longer on the team in a mostly empty stadium. You should be able to find a better option than Carr.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
NYJ +5.5, O/U 43
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
NO New Orleans • #7
Age: 31 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYJ NO -5.5 O/U 43
OPP VS QB
22nd
PROJ PTS
21.9
QB RNK
9th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
320
RUYDS
205
TD
5
INT
5
FPTS/G
7.8
Even if Hill hadn't gotten lucky with the last-minute touchdown catch-and-run last week, I'd still recommend him this week. Sean Payton remembered how effective Hill was on the ground and let him loose in the second half against Dallas for 89 rush yards (75 yards just in the third quarter). He actually looked better in that game than he did during his four-game stint as the starter in 2020. As long as he's a part of the Saints ground attack, he has a good shot at hitting at least 20 Fantasy points, even if he's a less than ideal thrower. The good news is that the Jets are terrible in pass coverage, allowing the second-highest completion rate (70.5%) and the highest QB rating allowed (106.7) with the fewest interceptions (four) this season. I wouldn't expect much from the Saints passing game, but anything Hill does will help swell his Fantasy stats for those who start him.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
TEN -8.5, O/U 43.5
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
TEN Tennessee • #7
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs JAC TEN -8.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
12.7
RB RNK
27th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
193
REC
4
REYDS
66
TD
0
FPTS/G
7
It seemed like Foreman was the Titans' preferred running back following Week 12. While he split snaps evenly with Dontrell Hilliard, he played 7 of 8 from 10 yards or closer to the goal line and even managed to work 8 of 14 snaps on third and fourth downs. He plays the physical style of football that the Titans are used to seeing from Derrick Henry, albeit he's nowhere near as explosive as Henry. We've noticed Jacksonville's run defense as a good unit from earlier in the year but it was trounced by Cordarrelle Patterson in Week 12 and Sony Michel in Week 13. The only teams not to run wild against Jacksonville over the past month are Buffalo in Week 9 and San Francisco, which was down its starting running back, in Week 11. How'd Deebo Samuel do in that game anyway? Point is, this is far from a tough matchup and Foreman should be well-rested and ready to shoulder the better part of the Titans run game.
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
JAC Jacksonville • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN TEN -8.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
4th
PROJ PTS
12
RB RNK
15th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
678
REC
28
REYDS
209
TD
7
FPTS/G
14.1
Thank Trevor Lawrence for this one. Lawrence told the media on Wednesday that Robinson "is one of our best players and he's got to be on the field." The rookie admitted the team talked it over and the past is in the past. If the coaching staff ignores that, then they're gonna look bad (and they already look bad after giving Carlos Hyde a bunch of work). Hyde will stick around, but we've known for months that Robinson gives this team the best chance to stay competitive. I would count on Robinson for at least 15 touches against a Titans unit that's let a running back score on them in four of their past five. Robinson averaged 91.8 total yards per game between Week 3 (when he finally got the workload he deserved) and Week 12. That's still absolutely within range.

mmm

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 1:00 pm ET •
WAS +4, O/U 48
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
DAL Dallas • #19
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS DAL -4 O/U 48
OPP VS WR
29th
PROJ PTS
13.9
WR RNK
21st
The biggest eyebrow-raiser surrounding Cooper wasn't his weak stat line last week, but his limited role. In his first game back since getting over Covid-19, Cooper played just 32% of the snaps and was effectively Dallas' No. 3 receiver. And, to my eye, it didn't look like he knocked the rust off until he had the ball in his hands on a nifty catch-and-run. But he did indeed look better late into the first half and into the second half, getting open against zone coverage with quick agility and flashing occasional deep speed. He even drew his fair share of double-teams. Word out of Dallas is that he'll have a bigger role this week, potentially back to being a near-every-down receiver. Washington's been winning the time-of-possession battle (it is tops in that category over the past four weeks by more than average of 90 seconds). That could lead to more passing from Dallas. Washington has also increased the amount of zone coverage it has played in each of its past nine games, almost suggesting the Team has given up on serious consideration to man coverage. That's a plus for Cooper, who Fantasy managers should consider as at worst a flex receiver.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 4:05 pm ET •
DEN -8.5, O/U 42
Sneaky Sleepers
Projections powered by Sportsline
DET Detroit • #27
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -10 O/U 42
OPP VS RB
10th
PROJ PTS
10.2
RB RNK
16th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
459
REC
22
REYDS
126
TD
2
FPTS/G
9.3
DET Detroit • #35
Age: 27 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -10 O/U 42
OPP VS RB
10th
PROJ PTS
7.2
RB RNK
NR
YTD Stats
RUYDS
93
REC
5
REYDS
49
TD
1
FPTS/G
1.4
If the Lions hesitated to give Jamaal Williams a heavy workload last week, then I'd be surprised if they didn't do the same this week with Jefferson and Igwebuike. Jefferson profiles best as a running-downs guy with his good agility, patient rushing and good vision. But he's not the burner Igwebuike is. Igwebuike also worked on half of the Lions' third and fourth downs last week, so I'd assume he'd keep that role this week while also adding hurry-up back and change-of-pace guy to his duties. The Broncos run defense hasn't allowed a rushing score to a running back over the last five games, but they're not a staunch shut-down unit. Kansas City's backs totaled over 160 total yards last week and the Eagles' backs went off for over 160 rushing yards in Week 11. Denver's struggled the most with physical, heavy-workload running backs on the ground and have allowed a second-worst 10.1 yards per catch to backs on the season. We can't assume the Lions are going to wilt since they've been in competitive games since their Week 9 bye. There's an opportunity for Jefferson to be a decent flex, especially in non- and half-PPR, while Igwebuike carries some low-end flex appeal as well in PPR.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 4:05 pm ET •
LAC -10, O/U 43
Start Them
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAC L.A. Chargers • #87
Age: 34 • Experience: 13 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG LAC -10 O/U 43
OPP VS TE
16th
PROJ PTS
8.8
TE RNK
18th
YTD Stats
REC
36
TAR
59
REYDS
400
TD
3
FPTS/G
8
I liked Cook more when both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were slated to miss the game, but even if Williams plays, Cook has appeal. At minimum, Cook has a real good shot to fill in as an every-down player with plenty of slot duty. He's already lined up in the slot on 48% of his snaps, more than anyone else on the Chargers besides Allen. And the truth is he's just a really big dude with only solid speed and no real agility, but it's that size that makes him appealing to Justin Herbert, especially near the goal line. On the year, Cook has six end-zone targets, tied with Allen for second-best on the squad. When Allen missed two games late last season, tight ends saw an uptick in targets from Herbert. As tight ends go, Cook has an increased chance to see targets and score, and that should be good enough to make him a low-end starter, even against a good Giants defense.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #10
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG LAC -10 O/U 43
OPP VS QB
12th
PROJ PTS
25.3
QB RNK
11th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
3547
RUYDS
249
TD
29
INT
11
FPTS/G
27
The Chargers are already dealing with a declining offensive line, but losing Allen definitely dings Herbert's upside. The Giants will probably consider taking more chances with their defense, but they still have a pressure issue (they get pressure at the sixth-lowest rate in football) and allow a second-worst 68.4% completion rate and 11 touchdowns when they blitz opposing passers. Against most defenses, Herbert would fall to sit status, but he should still be good enough to find around 22 Fantasy points against the Giants.
Flex Starter
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAC L.A. Chargers • #15
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG LAC -10 O/U 43
OPP VS WR
22nd
PROJ PTS
9.2
WR RNK
37th
YTD Stats
REC
18
TAR
32
REYDS
289
TD
1
FPTS/G
4.7
With Allen out, Guyton should fill in as the Chargers' No. 2 receiver. His blend of size and speed gives him a chance to land some numbers as an outside receiver. As you may expect based on his speed, Guyton has the highest average depth of target on the Chargers at 11.2 yards. But don't mistake him as a one-trick pony; there's plenty of evidence that Guyton is a capable route runner with slants, outs and crossers in his repertoire. The Chargers will really need that versatility in their offense. He's got some flex appeal even with Williams expected to play.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 4:25 pm ET •
CIN +1.5, O/U 48.5
Flex Starter
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CIN SF -1.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS WR
21st
PROJ PTS
12.7
WR RNK
26th
YTD Stats
REC
35
TAR
54
REYDS
487
TD
3
FPTS/G
8.6
After last week, I don't blame Fantasy managers for being nervous about starting Aiyuk. As talented and speedy as he is, the 49ers have called runs on 58.5% of their plays since Week 10, most in football. If they're not throwing a lot, Aiyuk would have to be fantastically efficient (like he was against Jacksonville). We took the chance on him last week against a good Seattle defense and he was pretty disappointing on six targets. Cincinnati's pass defense is definitely a better matchup for him this week -- they could be down top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and they've ceded a score to a wideout in four of their past six games. They've also allowed a dozen receivers to achieve at least 80 yards. If we could ticket Garoppolo for even 30 pass attempts, Aiyuk would be a no-brainer. But because there's a chance George Kittle hogs targets again, not to mention the 49ers play with a lead, Fantasy managers should minimize their risk with Aiyuk and call him no better than a flex.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 4:25 pm ET •
TB -3.5, O/U 53.5
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TB TB -3.5 O/U 53.5
OPP VS TE
24th
PROJ PTS
9.1
TE RNK
6th
YTD Stats
REC
33
TAR
47
REYDS
429
TD
7
FPTS/G
12
Last week, the Bills played in a wind storm and shouldn't count against Knox. In the two games prior Knox was very involved, be it as a touchdown magnet against the Saints or as a high-volume target behemoth versus the Colts. Tampa Bay's run defense makes it hard to run the ball, and the Bills can't run the ball effectively anyway, so it's fair to assume Josh Allen will throw a bunch. The Buccaneers have been great containing tight ends over their last seven games, holding six to eight or fewer points in half-PPR. The only notable guys they've stunted are Kyle Pitts (who is a more explosive version of Knox), Mike Gesicki (also like Knox) and Cole Kmet. Recently they let Jack Doyle torch them for his best game of the season. Moreover, they play the fourth-most zone coverage on the year and Knox has a much, much higher catch rate against zone (82%) than man (50%). Combine that with the Bills being forced to move the ball through the air because they can't/won't run it, and Knox has a shot at compiling a nice stat line.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Dec 12 at 8:20 pm ET •
GB -12.5, O/U 43
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ GB GB -12.5 O/U 43
OPP VS WR
13th
PROJ PTS
11.7
WR RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
REC
51
TAR
90
REYDS
721
TD
4
FPTS/G
12.5
We've enjoyed Andy Dalton's little stretch of mega-targeting Mooney since before Thanksgiving. We're hoping Justin Fields picks up where he leaves off. Watching Mooney run is a delight -- he's got excellent speed and instant acceleration to make him a problem for defenses. Pair that with Fields' penchant for throwing downfield and there's plenty of optimism for Mooney to have a good game against anyone. Yes, that includes the Packers, who were among the league's toughest defenses until the Vikings and Rams in consecutive games knocked them around for six passing touchdowns, including three from outside of the red zone. Allen Robinson's return shouldn't be a factor either since Mooney had at least 12 PPR points in three of four whilst sharing the field with him and catching passes from Fields. He remains worthy of starting as a No. 2 receiver.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Dec 13 at 8:15 pm ET •
ARI -2.5, O/U 51.5
Start Him
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #12
Age: 25 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI ARI -2.5 O/U 51.5
OPP VS WR
10th
PROJ PTS
11
WR RNK
20th
YTD Stats
REC
39
TAR
70
REYDS
621
TD
5
FPTS/G
10.9
Flex Starter
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #3
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI ARI -2.5 O/U 51.5
OPP VS WR
10th
PROJ PTS
10.9
WR RNK
28th
YTD Stats
REC
26
TAR
52
REYDS
359
TD
2
FPTS/G
8.4
Arizona's done a fantastic job taking away opposing teams' No. 1 receivers. We saw it last week with Darnell Mooney in Chicago, and in Week 4 when Cooper Kupp turned 13 targets into only 11 PPR points. It's those non-No. 1 wideouts who the Cardinals have had issues with, including Robert Woods and Van Jefferson each posting at least 10 non-PPR/14 PPR points back in Week 4. In fact, you'd have to go back six games to find the last time any rival receiver did not post at least 13 PPR points on the Cardinals. You can bank on the Rams being open to sacrificing one wideout, even if it's Kupp, if it means scoring with others. Jefferson has been the more reliable Fantasy option compared to Beckham, but both are in play as at minimum flex options with Jefferson having some promise to finish as a low-end No. 2 receiver.