If you don't care about Week 14 of fantasy, you either had your heart stomped out in the last few weeks, or you're strutting around like Travis Kelce because you've earned the all-important bye. As I said to a co-worker on Tuesday, anyone who downplays the bye week is crazy. Let's face it, there's a tremendous amount of luck involved in fantasy playoffs. Yes, you've toiled on the waiver wire and berated your league-mates for trades for three months to build the best team possible. But now that the playoffs are upon us, luck, and mainly focusing on BAD luck, can derail your fantasy dreams. Bottom line, you can't lose on an in-game injury or a horrible overturned TD call if you're on a bye. Bye equals GOLD.
The majority of us do care about Week 14, which makes Start/Sit decisions that much more crucial. The wrong start decision in the fantasy playoffs will haunt you until next season's training camp starts, or in our world, mock drafts. It's actually the reason that my goal before the trade deadline is to improve my starting lineup as best possible by trading away all of my depth. This can obviously backfire with injuries, but there's nothing worse than having three decent flex choices with good matchups in a do-or-die fantasy week. Sure, you have a 1/3 chance of being your own super fan. But in the words of C.D. Carter, you have a 66 percent of a long off-season shower cry.
I'm going to skip the obvious here. If you need an idiot like me to tell you to start Rodgers and Le'veon, you're probably not playing in week 14. I'm going to tackle the flex types-the borderline RB2s and WR3s. And for those of you who like to stream QBs, I will throw in a few match-up-based plays that I like. And if you disagree with my picks, just use the George Costanza rule, and do the exact opposite.
Dan Herron, RB, Colts
The former Buckeye will surely be glued to the TV on Saturday hoping their 5th string QB can impress the championship committee, but on Sunday, "Boom" Herron will eatin' in the Dawg Pound. Cleveland's defense has been playing better of late, but I see two scenarios playing out: Luck torches them early and often and there's a great amount of clean up duties for Herron. OR, the Browns play dime/prevent in hopes of slowing Luck down, and Herron has huge running lanes to exploit. Either way, I think he has a great chance of 90+ YFS and a TD. Too bad Ray Rice took the nickname "snow suit" last year, because that's really better suited for Richardson. I'm clearly not worried about TRich, even against his old team.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
Once upon a time, JStew was a BEAST. He was the perfect combination of beef, quickness, and long speed. But too many injuries and the NFL's most overpriced RBBC later, he's been quite the disappointment. He has been running well of late, and the Saints offer a soft rush defense, allowing more than 200 YFS to Bell last week. Stewart is by no means in Bell's zip code, but with De'Angelo Williams already ruled out, I like Stewart to finish the week as a mid-low RB2.
Kenny Stills, WR, Saints
This one feels a little like chasing due to his last two week explosion, but I see it continuing vs. the Panthers lowly secondary. At home on the fast track, while sporting maybe the best Mohawk in the NFL, I see Stills stamping his mark as an every week WR2 through the fantasy playoffs. What I really love is how high is floor has become. Even with Brees spreading the wealth, I think you can bank on 5+ targets and 70 yards and/or a TD. Not bad considering you added him last week off waivers.
Charles Johnson, WR, Vikings
Who? The new CJ was a preseason favorite of many a roto expert that I follow, so naturally the Browns cut him. He has emerged as the starting X receiver in Norv Turner's offense, replacing the wildly athletic and even more disappointing Cordarelle Patterson. The Vikings rushing attack, especially vs. the Jets strong front seven, will struggle to get anything going on the ground. That leaves Teddy Bridgewater to pepper his favorite target against the Jets junior varsity cornerbacks. Yes, please.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
Game flow should actually help the Bills passing game, as I see them trailing early and BIG vs. Denver, but Watkins inconsistency makes the gamble too great in FF playoffs. He obviously could get loose for a big garbage time score, but I'm not banking my season on that. Pass.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
This one scares me, as Allen has been on fire since the Chargers' bye week. But my feeling is that Bellichick doesn't fear Gates and company, and will throw the kitchen sink at Allen to ensure he doesn't roast them. Revis, Browner, Arrington ... the Patriots can shut down ONE player if they want to, and my hunch is they will.
Andre Williams, RB, Giants
And here come the flying tomatoes!!! I'm sorry, but AWill has had multiple auditions as the RB1 for Big Blue this year, and has failed them all. When he gets a big hole and five yards to build steam? Looks like Earl Campbell. But he really struggles to create, and the Giants O-line hasn't done him any favors. Even with Jennings looking doubtful for Tennessee, I wouldn't role the dice on Williams.
-- Sign up for the private Big Blue View contest on FanDuel this week. It's only $5 to enter and the top 10 finishers earn cash prizes, with first place netting $50. Hurry, before all the spots are gone!