Fantasy Football Week 14 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Philip Rivers continues to make his MVP case
Need Fantasy Football lineup advice? Talk to CBS Sports on your Google Assistant to get insights on the best sleepers and to help decide between players. Just start with, “Hey Google, talk to CBS Sports.”
If you’re reading this now, it’s likely that you made it to the Fantasy playoffs. Congratulations.
Or your league could have one more week in the regular season. Or you could just like seeing our start and sit suggestions. Either way, we’re glad you’re here.
One player you might be curious about this week in a crucial scoring period is Aaron Rodgers. That’s because he hasn’t exactly looked like Aaron Rodgers for most of this season.
As you’re probably aware by now, the Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy following Green Bay’s 24-17 home loss against Arizona in Week 13. Rodgers struggled against the Cardinals with 17 Fantasy points, and he’s scored 25 points or less in each of his past six outings, with three games under 20 points over that span.
In a year where quarterbacks are putting up monster numbers — see Patrick Mahomes — Rodgers has underperformed as the No. 11 Fantasy quarterback. While that’s not horrible, it’s not what you expected when you spent an early-round pick on Rodgers this season.
But what’s happened prior to Week 14 is irrelevant if you’re still alive in your Fantasy league. You want to know about Rodgers now and what to expect from him with interim coach Joe Philbin.
The answer is simple — start him in all leagues. The matchup at home against the Falcons (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV) is the perfect cure for all of Rodgers’ woes, and he will reward you in a big way.
Atlanta allows the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season at 25.0 per game. Eight quarterbacks have scored at least 21 Fantasy points against the Falcons, with seven scoring at least 27 points.
I know, we’ve said this before about Rodgers that a big game is coming, including prior to the matchup with the Cardinals. He also scored just 21 Fantasy points against Miami at Lambeau Field in Week 10 in what should have been a plus matchup.
But I’m expecting Rodgers will try to prove something now that McCarthy is gone. I expect him to have a statement game.
I’m sticking with Rodgers this week. And you should, too.
Editor’s Note: Projections are provided by SportsLine.com. Projected points are for PPR leagues.
Start of the Week
Philip Rivers might be the MVP of the NFL this season. He’s playing that well.
Now, he’s clearly behind Mahomes and Drew Brees in that category as of now, but Rivers has put himself in the discussion for the award. And he could win it with a strong finish, especially if the Chargers end up winning the AFC West.
Rivers has been a Fantasy MVP this season, and he comes into Week 14 with at least 21 points in all but two games this year. He also has multiple touchdowns in 13 games in a row going back to last season.
He should stay hot this week against the Bengals at home in a dream matchup. Cincinnati allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks for the season at 25.7 per game, and nine quarterbacks have scored at least 22 Fantasy points against this defense in 2018.
Melvin Gordon (knee) remains out for the Chargers, which should allow Rivers to command even more of the offense, even though Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler are worth starting in all leagues. But this is all about Rivers for the Chargers — and Fantasy owners.
His fantastic campaign in 2018 should continue this week against the Bengals. You can count on him having another MVP performance in Week 14.
- Dak Prescott (vs. PHI): Prescott scored 22 Fantasy points at Philadelphia in Week 10, and four of the past six opposing quarterbacks against the Eagles have scored at least 21 points. He’s now scored at least 21 Fantasy points in four of his past seven games, and he’s worth using in two-quarterback leagues in Week 14.
- Ryan Tannehill (vs. NE): In two games since returning from a five-game absence with a shoulder injury, Tannehill has been good with 21 Fantasy points in both games against the Colts and Bills. He has five passing touchdowns over that span, and he’s worth using in two-quarterback leagues in Week 14 against the Patriots. Now, Tannehill was miserable in Week 4 at New England with no Fantasy points, but he’s averaging 23 Fantasy points in three home games this season. And five of the past eight opposing quarterbacks against the Patriots have scored at least 22 Fantasy points.
- Nick Mullens (vs. DEN): Mullens is only worth using as a deep sleeper in two-quarterback leagues, but he just had 26 Fantasy points at Seattle in Week 13. And this week he gets a Denver defense down standout cornerback Chris Harris (broken leg), which is a huge void in this secondary. Four of the past five opposing quarterbacks against the Broncos have scored at least 21 Fantasy points, and Mullens could get to about 18 points with a similar showing to what he produced in Seattle.
We’re going to stick with the same theme in this spot that we’ve had for the past two weeks with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and that’s be wary of quarterbacks against the Vikings. A big reason why is Minnesota pass rusher Everson Griffen. In the seven games he’s played this season, the Vikings have been dominant against opposing quarterbacks, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Rodgers twice, Brees, Matthew Stafford, Mitchell Trubisky and Brady. Those quarterbacks have averaged just 12.4 Fantasy points against Minnesota, with none scoring more than 17 points. Now, Wilson has been amazing all season and has scored at least 23 Fantasy points in eight games in a row, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores fewer than 20 points this week given the matchup. I have Wilson ranked as a low-end Fantasy starter in Week 14.
- LeSean McCoy (vs. NYJ): McCoy is having that kind of season where he’s able to be considered a sleeper this week. The last time McCoy faced the Jets in Week 10 was his best game of the season with 26 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns, as well as one catch for 5 yards. The Jets have allowed six touchdowns to running backs since Week 8.
- LeGarrette Blount (vs. ARI): We’re not expecting Kerryon Johnson (knee) to return this week, and Blount would get another start if he’s out. He’s had at least 16 carries in each of the past two games against Chicago and the Rams, and he was great against the Bears (22 PPR points), with a mediocre performance against Los Angeles (six PPR points). The difference was a touchdown, and Blount is facing a Cardinals defense this week that allows the most rushing touchdowns to running backs this season with 15.
- Nyheim Hines (at HOU): Hines was back to his PPR ways in Week 13 at Jacksonville with nine catches for 50 yards on nine targets, as well as four carries for 5 yards. He’s playing behind Marlon Mack, but the Colts should continue to use him in a pass-catching role. In Week 4 against Houston, with Mack out due to injury, Hines had nine catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets, as well as four carries for 10 yards. The Texans have allowed 18 catches for 145 yards on 20 targets in the past two games against Tennessee and Cleveland.
- Ty Montgomery (at KC): Gus Edwards is expected to be fine after leaving Week 13 at Atlanta with an undisclosed injury, but Montgomery could still have a prominent role against the Chiefs in Week 14, especially in the passing game if the Ravens are chasing points. In the past two games, Montgomery has eight catches for 55 yards on 10 targets, and he’s become a reliable weapon out of the backfield. He’s someone to use as a flex option in PPR this week.
Ware was serviceable as a Fantasy option in Week 13 at Oakland with 14 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for 5 yards on one target. But the Chiefs need more from him as the Kareem Hunt replacement — as do Fantasy owners. And this week should be tough for him against the Ravens, who allow the fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs. Only six running backs have scored double digits in PPR against Baltimore this season. Ware could also lose some touches this week to Damien Williams and potentially Charcandrick West, who was signed this week. Or maybe we see Kansas City give some touches to undrafted rookie free agent Darrel Williams. I’m fine with Ware as a flex option in Week 14, but he’s not a must-start running back vs. the Ravens.
- Courtland Sutton (at SF): with Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) out, and he’s coming off a strong game in Week 13 with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. The 49ers lead the NFL with 19 touchdowns allowed to receivers, so consider Sutton a borderline starter in most leagues.
- Zay Jones (vs. NYJ): Jones was a star in Week 13 at Miami with four catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. And he had eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets in the first game against the Jets. Matt Barkley started that game, but Josh Allen should do fine in the rematch, especially if Jones continues to play at a high level.
- Dante Pettis (vs. DEN): Marquise Goodwin (personal) is expected to return in Week 14 against Denver, but he shouldn’t impact Pettis. If Pierre Garcon (knee) comes back, however, that could hurt Pettis, but it doesn’t seem like that will happen against the Broncos. Pettis is coming off standout games against Tampa Bay and Seattle in consecutive weeks with at least 17 PPR points in each outing. He has nine catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns on 14 targets over that span, and he appears to have a solid rapport with Nick Mullens. With Chris Harris (leg) out, the Denver secondary isn’t as tough, and Pettis can be a low-end starter in most leagues.
- Antonio Callaway (vs. CAR): Callaway should have had a monster game in Week 13 at Houston, but a penalty and costly fumble ruined his day. He had a 76-yard touchdown called back by a terrible holding call, and then he fumbled at the 6-yard line at the end of a 71-yard reception just two plays later. He finished the game with three catches for 84 yards on six targets. This was after he had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Week 12 at Cincinnati. He has another good matchup in Week 14 against the Panthers, and Callaway should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in most formats.
- Bruce Ellington (at ARI): It would be nice to see Ellington go downfield once in a while, but he’s doing a decent job for Fantasy owners in PPR. He has 19 catches in his past three games on 26 targets, but he only has 115 yards and no touchdowns to show for it. He should continue to see plenty of targets as the No. 2 receiver in Detroit behind Kenny Golladay, and he’s worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy option in PPR in Week 14 at Arizona.
Lockett has been amazing this season, and he’s only failed to score a touchdown in three games this year. He’s scored at least 12 PPR points in four games in a row, and he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week despite the tough matchup against the Vikings. But it should be a tough outing for him, especially if Xavier Rhodes shadows him in coverage. Minnesota is tied for third in fewest touchdowns allowed to receivers with nine, and Lockett’s stat line could be minimal if he fails to find the end zone.
- Chris Herndon (at BUF): I’m sticking with Herndon even after his dud in Week 13 at Tennessee when he had just two catches for 31 yards. He still had six targets against the Titans and now has 14 targets in his past two games. He also is expected to get Sam Darnold back this week, and in his previous four games with Darnold under center, Herndon had three touchdowns and scored at least 10 PPR points in three of those outings.
- Jonnu Smith (vs. JAC): The Titans have two tight ends involved of late with Smith and Anthony Firkser, and both are in play as Fantasy options in Week 14 against Jacksonville. Smith still has the higher ceiling after scoring at least 10 PPR points in four of his past five games, including three touchdowns over that span. But Firkser has at least three catches in three games in a row and just scored his first touchdown in Week 13 against the Jets. They are facing a Jaguars defense that has allowed either a touchdown or at least 80 receiving yards to a tight end in four of the past five games.
- Dan Arnold (at TB): Arnold is a Hail Mary play this week based on the matchup, but he could be successful against Tampa Bay. He only had two catches for 20 yards on two targets in Week 13 at Dallas, but no one played well for the Saints in that game. Prior to that, Arnold had four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown on six targets in Week 12 against Atlanta, and hopefully he continues to be a prominent part of the offense. The Buccaneers come into this game allowing the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
For the most part, you’re likely still starting Brate in most leagues in Week 14. With Jameis Winston under center, he’s always a threat to score, especially with O.J. Howard (ankle) out. But he showed you what his stat line could look like when he fails to find the end zone, which happened in Week 13 against Carolina when he had just three catches for 36 yards on six targets. And now he gets a tough matchup in Week 14 against the Saints. New Orleans has allowed just one touchdown to a tight end this year, including matchups with Howard, Njoku, Austin Hooper (twice), Jordan Reed, Rudolph and Zach Ertz. The only tight end to score against the Saints was Mark Andrews in Week 7. Hooper in Week 12 had the best PPR game against New Orleans this year with eight points, and Howard has the best yardage game against the Saints with 54. This could be a tough game for Brate in Week 14.
Chargers (vs. CIN) – 11.2 projected points
The Bengals have allowed 10 sacks in their past four games, with four interceptions and three fumbles over that span. They just scored 10 points against Denver at home, and they are dealing with injuries at quarterback, offensive line and receiver. This should be a big week for the Chargers DST, which has scored at least 10 Fantasy points in three of the past five games.
- Titans (vs. JAC): The Jaguars have allowed 12 sacks in the past three games and just scored six points against the Colts in Week 13. They also scored six points against the Titans in Week 3, with three sacks allowed in that matchup.
- Bills (vs. NYJ): The Bills DST had 13 Fantasy points in Week 10 against the Jets with three sacks, two interceptions and just 10 points allowed. The Bills DST is worth using in the rematch this week.
- Giants (at WAS): Washington is a mess, with Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback and more injuries along the offensive line. While the Giants DST has been terrible all season, this is a good week to trust this unit, even on the road.
Ravens (at KC) – 6.3 projected points
The Ravens DST has been awesome of late with at least 15 Fantasy points in consecutive games against Oakland and Atlanta. But going into Kansas City will be brutal. The Chiefs only have two games this season with fewer than 30 points and haven’t scored less than 26. While Mahomes has two games in his past three outings with at least three sacks, he only has four interceptions in five home outings. The Ravens DST will be better in Week 15 against Tampa Bay, but this is a bad week to use this unit.
Maher scored nine Fantasy points at Philadelphia in Week 10, with two field goals on three attempts and three extra points. The Eagles have allowed three kickers in the past five games to score at least 10 Fantasy points, and Philadelphia is No. 7 in Fantasy points allowed to kickers.
- Mike Badgley (vs. CIN): Two of the past four opposing kickers against the Bengals have scored at least 10 Fantasy points, and Badgley has scored at least nine Fantasy points in three of his past four games.
- Sebastian Janikowski (vs. MIN): The Vikings allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers for the season, and Janikowski has scored at least 10 Fantasy points in two of his past three games.
- Matt Bryant (at GB): Three of the past four opposing kickers against the Packers have made multiple field goals, and I’m expecting a lot of points between Green Bay and Atlanta this week.
Gano has scored six Fantasy points or less in four of his past five games, with his high total over that span nine points against Seattle in Week 12. That’s the only game since Week 8 where he’s attempted multiple field goals, and you can’t count on him in Week 14, even against the Browns.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 14? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.