Most fantasy teams that are still alive in the playoffs have a solid of roster wide receivers that put them in the final four of their leagues. But what if one of those wideouts’ points has been dwindling lately? Which will be affected by quarterback changes? How serious is that “not serious” knee issue that landed your starter on the injury list?
There is still a lot at stake this week, so making the right start/sit decisions is more important than ever. If you’re not in the fantasy football playoffs anymore, then use the advice below to make an awesome daily fantasy team.
Good Calls for Week 14...
Start Josh Gordon (12.9 fantasy points) – It was the last time I could suggest starting Gordon as he’s a must-start moving forward.
Sit Robby Anderson (2.7 FP) – Anderson was really hot coming into last week’s game, but was basically shut out by the Broncos. And he lost his quarterback. Double ouch.
Bad Calls for Week 14...
Start Cameron Brate (1.1 FP) – A week after scoring two touchdowns, Brate was out-snapped and out-played by O.J. Howard
I warned you against starting Davante Adams (20.4 FP) and I was right until the very end of the game where he went off.
START THESE WRs...
Jordy Nelson, GB (at CAR)
No one will be happier Sunday than Nelson when he sees footballs flying his way from Aaron Rodgers. Nelson fell completely off the fantasy map when Brett Hundley took over. You should expect that situation to rectify itself within minutes of Rodgers’ first snap. Nelson is Rodgers’ go-to receiver and both are skilled enough to beat the matchup with Carolina’s defense.
Marqise Lee, JAC (vs. HOU)
Blake Bortles’ late-season renaissance has been a great thing for Lee owners. Lee is getting less attention due the emergence of rookies Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, which could help his production. The Texans are 26th in the league in yards allowed per game to wide receivers (161.0). Houston also has given up the ninth-most fantasy points to WRs on the year, so Lee should easily finish in the top 20 at his position this week.
Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. GB)
It seems like Funchess has quietly become a dependable WR2, and now that we’ve seen a decent sample size, we can rest easy knowing he’ll be in a sweet matchup against the Packers this week. Funchess has put together a streak of five straight games of more than 17 fantasy points in PPR leagues. If he did that all season, he’d be in the WR1 mix. And don’t forget that Green Bay just gave up 265 passing yards and three touchdowns to DeShone Kizer.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marquise Goodwin, SF (vs. TEN)
Jimmy Garoppolo has found his favorite wide receiver, and it is Goodwin. The 49ers’ quarterback distributed his 32 targets among nine players, but Goodwin was given the lion’s share, seeing 12 of them. He only caught six but those produced 106 yards. Garoppolo will throw touchdowns this week and Goodwin is as likely to benefit from that as anyone.
SIT THESE WRs...
Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. DAL)
Something happened to the Dallas defense. With a few personnel moves and more blitzes, the Cowboys have stifled the Redskins’ receivers and practically shut out Sterling Shepard in back-to-back weeks. Without Amari Cooper to divert attention, Kansas City’s poor pass defense was able to contain Crabtree. Dallas’ new-look defense and the team’s win-or-go-home mentality will mean Crabtree is in for another long day.
Robby Anderson, NYJ (at NO)
Anderson has been quite the waiver wire steal this year. After not doing much for the first five weeks of the season, he exploded, scoring double-digit fantasy points every week, until last week’s dud (5.7 fantasy points). Now with either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg throwing him the ball, Anderson can’t be trusted to produce and isn’t worth the risk.
Mike Evans, TB (vs. ATL, Mon.)
It’s safe to say Evans has been a fantasy bust this year. A first-round pick in many fantasy drafts, the fourth-year pro has caught just four touchdowns all season, and is coming off a disastrous week, which saw him finish with just two catches for a measly 25 yards. And those struggles have caused quarterback Jameis Winston to spread the ball around. Evans was targeted almost a third of the time in 2016 (31 percent) but has seen that number drop significantly (23 percent) this season. Last week, Winston targeted 11 different receivers, which could be more of the norm the rest of the way.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Josh Gordon, CLE (vs. BAL)
He’s had 17 targets in two games and is one of the best stories this year. He’s back, he really is. But the Ravens are one of the best defenses in the league, and everyone comes back down to earth. You’ve made it 12 weeks without Gordon this year, do you really need him for this matchup?
START THESE TEs...
Delanie Walker, TEN (at SF)
Walker is basically the only trustworthy fantasy option on the whole Titans roster. This week against the 49ers, expect Marcus Mariota to look to Walker early and often. While the 49ers’ defense has allowed the eighth-fewest PPR points to tight ends overall, San Francisco has given up a combined five top-10 performances to the position over its last seven games.
Jason Witten, DAL (at OAK)
Witten is slowing down as the season progresses as he has finished managed just 28 yards in his last two games combined. But the veteran has scored in each of those contests to save what might have otherwise been a pair of stinkers. He's a worthwhile streamer this week against the Raiders, who have allowed an average of 5.4 receptions per game (tied for third most) to tight ends.
Jack Doyle, IND (vs. DEN, Thurs.)
Yes, Doyle’s stats (8 targets; 5/20/1) have not been pretty over the last two weeks. In his previous 10 games before Week 13, Doyle was averaging just over 12 PPR points per game, which is close to extraordinary given the scarcity at the TE position this season. Look for him to reach and surpass 12 PPR points against a Broncos defense that has been friendly to opposing TEs (third-most fantasy points allowed) on the season.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. DAL)
Starting Cook usually isn’t a good idea as he is too inconsistent to be counted on to be a reliable fantasy producer. However, if you are in a large league, or stream tight ends and he’s still on the waiver wire, Cook could be your man this week. Why? Well he finally produced last week (18.5 PPR points) and this week he goes up against a Cowboys defense that struggles against the tight end and the Raiders will be without Amari Cooper.
SIT THESE TEs...
Eric Ebron, DET (vs. CHI, Sat.)
Don’t look now, but Ebron might be putting together a solid end to the 2017 season. He put up 10 catches and a season-high 17.4 PPR points last week in a win over the Buccaneers. Sounds great, but that was last week. Don’t be a points chaser. The Bears’ defense that has allowed more than 45 yards to opposing tight ends only three times to date.
O.J. Howard, TB (vs. ATL, Mon.)
Cameron Brate or Howard, Howard or Brate? That is the constant debate if you are thinking about starting a Buccaneers tight end. And if you were playing that game, more often than not, you probably were wrong. Although Howard has put up some decent numbers in recent weeks, scoring a touchdown and 13-plus PPR points in two of his last four games, he just isn’t reliable in a must-win week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at NO)
Seferian-Jenkins hasn’t scored in six straight games, and his value takes even more of a hit with Bryce Petty now at quarterback. Throw in the fact that the Saints are pretty good against tight ends, giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position, and you should probably look elsewhere this week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. GB)
Olsen saw just a single target last week and faces another top-five defense against opposing tight ends in Week 15 in the Packers. Green Bay also has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to the position on the year. Add this all up, and it makes Olsen tough to trust as the playoffs kick into full gear.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.