Week 14 Sit-Start Where to Put em

Thursday, Dec 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid for Week 14 of the 2012 season.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Ray Rice. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Put 'em In The Game: Josh Freeman
You'd think that a team with the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha would be shutting down the opponents' passing games, and you'd be wrong. The Eagles are giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers and Freeman has finally come into his own after being hyped the past few years. With VJax, Freeman is a stud (and Philip Rivers is not), and he should post some great numbers this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck has shown some incredible poise in his rookie season stepping into shoes that were impossible to fill. The final minutes of last week's game against Detroit were remarkable and his stats demonstrated that. Luck has played exceptionally well at home and he's facing a Titans team that gives up the 6th-most passing yards per game and the 3rd-most passing scores. Luck should shine again this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Eli Manning
Eli may not be the most consistent fantasy option but you've got to love his matchup against the Saints. Nobody gives up more fantasy points to opposing QB's than New Orleans. Manning has played relatively well the past two weeks, and if there was any game where he should put up big numbers, this is the week.
Put 'em In The Game: DeMarco Murray
With the exception of an early run where he appeared to hobble a bit, DeMarco Murray looked pretty solid in his first game back from a foot injury. What was equally impressive was the workload that the Cowboys gave him in his first game back (23 carries for 83 yards and a score). This is what we wanted to see to feel comfortable plugging him into our lineups. He should do well against the Bengals this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Shonn Greene
Shonn Greene? Seriously? Absolutely. The Jets QB situation and passing game is in shambles, and even though Bilal Powell has seen some additional work, Shonn Greene is still the man in that backfield. With Jacksonville and Tennessee on the schedule the next two weeks, he should make for a solid play as we enter the fantasy playoffs. The Jaguars give up the 3rd-most yards and TD's on the ground making this an attractive matchup.
Put 'em In The Game: C.J. Spiller
Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson should produce well this week against the St Louis Rams who are giving up a score each game and the 9th-most fantasy points to opposing RB's. The Rams defense started out strong but has been on the decline over the past two months. Both Spiller and Jackson should see double-digit fantasy production this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Greg Jennings
If you stashed Greg Jennings on your bench for the past two months, it's OK to dust him off and plug him into your lineup. He had 8 targets last week and didn't aggravate the groin injury that had kept him sidelined. With Jordy Nelson out this week, we're expecting an uptick in targets and production for Jennings as well as fellow WR-stud Randall Cobb. The Lions have been bleeding fantasy points to receivers and QB's over the past month and a half. Rodgers and company will likely continue that trend.
Put 'em In The Game: Pierre Garcon
Pierre Garcon is back and RGIII obviously loves this guy. He targets him often and Garcon looked just as explosive as he did in Week 1 when he put up a monster stat line. The Ravens have a pretty stout secondary but they'll have some difficulty trying to contain RGIII and company. With a solid run game in place with Alfred Morris, the passing game will open up and Griffin will find Garcon.
Put 'em In The Game: Torrey Smith
Standing on the opposite sideline from Garcon will be Torrey Smith. As potent as the Washington offense might be, their defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Redskins give up the 2nd-most fantasy points to opposing WR's making Smith and fellow Raven Anquan Boldin nice plays this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Jermichael Finley
As a Packer fan and someone who has seen him up close on the field, it has given me no pleasure to put Jermichael Finley on the Sit list for most of this season which is why I'm feeling very happy to recommend starting him this week. Detroit gives up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing TE's and scored on them just 3 weeks ago. The matchup is great and Finley should walk away with a solid day.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Myers
You can no longer be forgiven for not knowing who Brandon Myers is. He has quietly entered the Top 5 among all TE's on the season (ppr) and is coming off a monster game last week. He has a legitimate shot at reaching 1,000 yards this year and has been producing for every fantasy owner with the good fortune to have picked him up. Keep playing him.
Put 'em In The Game: Matt Bryant
Kicking for one of the most potent offenses in the NFL has its rewards. Matt Bryant has surpassed Tynes as the fantasy world's most valuable kicker this year. His double-digit production will likely peak this week against the Panthers who give up more fantasy points to kickers than any other team.
Put 'em In The Game: Seattle Seahawks
Let's just face facts here. The Arizona Cardinals can't run the ball and they can't pass the ball. This is a team that has rendered Larry Fitzgerald, one of the most talented and feared receivers in the game, completely impotent. With that much help from the Arizona offense, how can you not like whatever defense they're facing? The Seahawks, even without cornerback Brandon Browner, should have no problem containing this team.
Put 'em On The Bench: Philip Rivers
No surprise here. With the fantasy playoffs underway for most of us, now is simply not the time to put your trust into Philip Rivers. His matchup is brutal. The Steelers give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to opposing QB's and have held guys like Manning and Dalton in check. There's no reason to believe that Rivers will be anything but mediocre this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Chad Henne
Chad Henne was a nice surprise in Week 11 against Houston and has been somewhat serviceable the past two weeks. Assuming that Cecil Shorts is out this week, Henne will likely struggle against a Jets defense that still ranks in the Top 10 against the pass even without superstud Darrelle Revis. Just about every QB has struggled against New York this year and there's no reason to believe that Henne would be able to buck that trend.
Put 'em On The Bench: Reggie Bush
Darren Sproles was actually a bit of a surprise against the 49ers...as a receiving option, not in a rushing capacity. Reggie Bush used to be that guy but is a shell of his former pass-catching self. As a rusher, our expectations for him against San Fran is nil. The 49ers give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points and the fewest rushing TD's than any other team. With Daniel Thomas's role becoming more pronounced, Bush's value is on the decline. Leave him on your bench where he can't do any harm.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ryan Mathews
OK, we give up. The Ryan Mathews roller coaster has finally made us sick. Every favorable matchup has resulted in lackluster production. His offensive line stinks and he's not hitting the holes with any sort of explosive speed. His yards after contact is negligible. If his production is this bad during favorable matchups, what should we expect with a tough matchup like the Steelers who give up the 2nd-fewest yards and the 10th-fewest fantasy points? Get me off this ride.
Put 'em On The Bench: Larry Fitzgerald
If Larry Fitzgerald were a car, he'd likely be a Ferrari. If the Cardinals were a car part, they'd be the governor on the Ferrari's engine. Fantasy owners expect Fitz to perform at high speeds, but sadly the governor won't let him get over 25 mph. For a guy who was drafted as a WR1, it's a major disappointment to see him as the 33rd-ranked WR on the season (ppr). It doesn't help that Seattle is giving up the 5th-fewest fantasy points to opposing WR's either. We just can't recommend a start for Fitz this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Denarius Moore
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. What else can we say about Denarius Moore's production over the past few weeks? Expectations were so much higher for this kid earlier this year. Carson Palmer was and continues to throw a lot but Moore is simply not on the receiving end of those efforts. It's simple math really. If he can't catch the ball, he can't score points and Moore has had a difficult time catching lately. Facing Champ Bailey is not exactly what a receiver (or a fantasy owner) wants to do. Tough matchup.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dwayne Bowe
Unless your name is Jamaal Charles, there aren't any Kansas City Chiefs worth starting this week which is tough to say considering that the Browns have been pretty forgiving with fantasy points in Joe Haden's absence. Dwayne Bowe, normally PPR gold and a man we dubbed "Mr. Consistency" just two years ago has basically fallen off the fantasy radar this year. He's outside the Top 30 among WR's this year and when we combine the fact that Haden will be all over him and Brady Quinn will be under center, in what universe could we possibly recommend a start?
Put 'em On The Bench: Vernon Davis
How do we spell frustration? V-E-R-N-O-N It has become virtually impossible to predict what kind of production we're likely to see from Vernon Davis. Some weeks he's a dynamic part of that offense...others he's a ghost. He'll face the Dolphins this week who give up the 3rd-most yards but also the fewest scores of any other team (0.17/game). Davis has overwhelming produced single digits this year while the Miami D has held TE's to single digits for most of the year. It's tough to recommend a gamble like Davis when most of us are in the playoffs. Way too risky.
Put 'em On The Bench: Antonio Gates
Like Vernon Davis above, Antonio Gates has exceptional brand value in fantasy football. We all long for the days when these guys were fantasy studs. Those days are gone and they're not likely to return this week. Gates and company will face the Steelers in Pittsburgh - a team and place that has been brutal to TE's. At this point in the season, we're looking for a win. If your matchup is tough and you have to swing for the fences, guys like Gates can be played purely for their upside, but when they're facing a defense that gives up the 4th-fewest fantasy points, we'd rather not have to play that game.
Put 'em On The Bench: Alex Henery
The Tampa Bay defense gives up the fewest fantasy points to kickers. The Eagles are a team in disarray. There's nothing exciting about playing the matchup this week with Alex Henery. The Buccaneers have held kickers to roughly 6 points all year and only allow an average of 1.25 FG's per game. If you are looking for some extra points out of your kicker, you may want to look elsewhere.
Put 'em On The Bench: Houston Texans
Before you completely call us crazy, let us explain why we think the Houston Texans defense should be sat this week. As dominating as this defense is, the New England Patriots have virtually trivialized every defense they've faced. Brady gives up the fewest interceptions and opposing defenses collectively have scored the fewest fantasy points. To see an opposing defense produce 1 or 2 fantasy points (or even go negative!!) is fairly common. It's the fantasy playoffs and this is not the week to start taking chances.

Join the Discussion

bonehedz11 CommentedDec 7, 2012 11:00 am

Should I start M.Schaub or C. Kapershnick?

Nerd CommentedDec 7, 2012 11:00 am

Kaepernick might be the hot hand right now, but I wouldn't sit Schaub in favor of him this week.

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