For most fantasy leagues, Week 14 is the first week of the playoffs. For others, it's the last week of the regular season. Either way, fantasy owners need a win. While, for the most part, the best advice is to stick with the guys that have led your fantasy team to this point, sometimes that's not possible. Whether you've lost someone like Rob Gronkowski or A.J. Green or the players you have just aren't performing (cough, Todd Gurley, cough), you may be looking to see who might be worth adding to your roster. Starting them, however, is another dilemma, especially in the playoffs.
Related: Playoff Schedule Analysis for QB, RB
Please note the five up/five down column is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. Five up/five down is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (Mon.)
The New York Giants are tough, but the news that Jason Pierre-Paul will be out for the rest of the season helps opposing offenses. Prescott was ranked No. 16, but with no Pierre-Paul to worry about now, he should exceed that ranking. This game is in primetime on Sunday night, and while that may be daunting for a rookie, Prescott has proven that he can remain cool regardless of the magnitude of the game. He's thrown a touchdown in every game this season since Week 3. While he didn't throw a touchdown when the Cowboys first faced the Giants in Week 1, he should make up for that in Week 14.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers vs. San Diego Chargers
In standard formats, the Chargers give up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Stewart doesn't usually catch the ball, so this is a good matchup for him. A running back has scored a touchdown in every game this season except for two (Week 2, Week 6). Stewart is the No. 22 running back this week after a 50-yard effort in Week 13. However, with a good matchup and no one to compete with for carries, he should finish in the top 20.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
While the Eagles do play better defense at home than on the road, they also allow plenty of points to opposing wide receivers. They are in the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position, and their weakness appears to be those who that operate in the slot. Crowder has four touchdowns in the past five games and he has carved out a role for himself in the Redskins' offense. He's ranked as the No. 25 wide receiver, but he could crack the top 20.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams
Even though (spoiler alert) Matt Ryan is in the Five Down section, Gabriel should finish ahead of his No. 51 rank. He's the No. 2 wide receiver in Atlanta, behind a banged-up Julio Jones. While Jones will likely play, it is certainly possible he's limited or needs to leave the game. Mohamed Sanu is injured and will likely miss the game. Gabriel is the next man up. He's proven that he can be successful with opportunity. In the past five weeks, he's had either 50 yards or five receptions. It's a risky WR3 play, but one that may pay off.
Lance Kendricks, TE, Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons started the season by allowing five touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the first four games. While the defense has improved since then, they still have a weakness for that position, allowing a touchdown to Jermaine Gresham in Week 12 and 140 yards to Travis Kelce in Week 13. Atlanta is likely going to set out to stop the run and stack the box against Todd Gurley. When Jared Goff is forced to throw, look for him to try to find his tight end on the field. Kendricks is ranked No. 22, but may be a sneaky DFS option to exceed that ranking.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams
The matchup with the Rams is a good one, however, Ryan may be without his No. 1 target, Julio Jones. Jones has been dealing with turf toe and missed some time at the end of the Week 13 game and has missed quite a bit of practice this week. The reports out of Atlanta are that he will play, but there have been plenty of times when a player is active, but not playing at their potential. Ryan does rely on Jones, and without him, his production will go down. He's the 10th-ranked quarterback this week, in a week where a lot of quarterbacks have tough matchups, but he may finish outside the top ten.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens
Throughout the year, Blount has proven that he's touchdown-dependent. With Tom Brady back, he's only had two 100-yard games. He's also had three games in that span with 50 or fewer rushing yards. His fantasy season has been saved by touchdowns; he's scored in all but three games this year. Blount leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 13, but if he doesn't score, he's a low RB2. Ranked No. 19 against the toughest run defense in the league, Blount may struggle this week. Brady should get back on track on Monday night, and often that means Blount is left with a disappointing game for fantasy owners.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars
When healthy, Diggs has been great. When battling injury, he's struggled. It's been his narrative this season, and he's currently dealing with a knee injury. He's practiced in full, so he'll certainly play, but he's clearly not 100 percent. The Jaguars actually allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, and haven't allowed a 100-yard receiving game since Week 6. Diggs is the No. 24 wide receiver this week, but he could easily finish outside the top 30.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals allow the eight-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The weather in Cleveland is supposed to be very cold and snowing. Robert Griffin III is scheduled to start after since breaking a bone in his non-throwing shoulder in the season opener. Corey Coleman is back and stealing targets. All of these factors are the reason Pryor is on the "down" list. He's the 19th-ranked wide receiver, and he certainly may have a decent game. However, the odds are against him as a WR2 this week.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Ranked as a low TE1 (No. 12 overall), Fiedorowicz has disappointed fantasy owners recently. In the last six weeks, he's only had more than 50 receiving yards once. He's heavily targeted, but he hasn't come down with the receptions or the yards that would grant him TE1 status. Ryan Griffin, Houston's other tight end, has been getting more involved as well, which takes away from Fiedorowicz's value. Fiedorowicz also is dealing with a shoulder injury. It's not going to keep him out of the game, but it may hamper his production.
Full Disclosure (Week 13):
Alex Smith, QB, Ranked: 21, Finished: 19
Dion Lewis, RB, Ranked: 31, Finished: 45
Sammy Watkins, WR, Ranked: 25, Finished: outside the top 50
Marquess Wilson, WR, Ranked: 39, Finished: outside the top 50
Vance McDonald, TE, Ranked: 14, Finished: 38
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Ranked: 6, Finished: 12
Jay Ajayi, RB, Ranked: 13, Finished: 21
Rob Kelley, RB, Ranked: 23, Finished: 31
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Ranked: 12, Finished: 33
Cameron Brate, TE, Ranked: 9, Finished: 4
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.