Week 14 in the NFL is here and there are some big matchups that could sway your positioning in the playoffs, whether the playoffs have started in your league, or, if they’re still a week away. Which quarterbacks should you start and sit? Let’s run through some of the big questions.
Think of fantasy player matchups as precious metals, and me as a jeweler. Like a good salesman, I’ll give you a tour of my shop, starting with the most alluring matchups and work my way down, presenting my case for each.
Platinum: can’t-miss investment, must-start
Gold: very good investment
Silver: solid investment
Potential gold mine: could be great, but, could also turn out to be nothing
Copper: least desirable of the precious metals, not a good start
Plastic: not even real gold, put on your bench
Fool’s Gold: shiny and enticing, but not a wise investment
Platinum - Jameis Winston, TB (vs New Orleans) - Winston has been lighting it up in recent weeks as the Buccaneers are suddenly in position to make the playoffs. This week, he'll be going up against a poor New Orleans defense and if you have Winston on your roster ,you should be playing him. Winston has the 13th most fantasy points among all players this season, in NFL.com standard scoring. You should be able to rely on him this week.
Gold - Andy Dalton, CIN (at Cleveland Browns) - Dalton is coming off his best performance of the season, despite the absence of A.J. Green. Now he faces the second most generous defense to opposing quarterbacks in all of fantasy football. Dalton has adjusted nicely to his new targets, spreading the ball around to rookie wide receivers (Tyler Boyd and Cody Core) and a third string running back (Rex Burkhead). Expect the Bengals' pass offense to continue to roll in Cleveland.
Gold - Matt Ryan, ATL (at Los Angeles Rams) - Ryan has the third most fantasy points of all quarterbacks, but is only starting in 52.3% of leagues. This week he goes up against a solid Rams pass defense, but Los Angeles has actually allowed almost 24 fantasy points per game over their last four games. I expect the Falcons' offense to bounce back from last week's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a good 30 points or so, and for Ryan to lead the charge.
Silver - Eli Manning, NYG (vs Dallas Cowboys) - The 11-1 Dallas Cowboys look like the best team in the NFC. But that's not because of their pass defense, which is allowing over 18 fantasy points per game (according to NFL.com), about the amount of points Manning put up in Dallas in Week 1, the Cowboys' only loss of the season.
Copper - Dak Prescott, DAL (at New York Giants) - The Cowboys could very well win this crucial game, but I don't expect Prescott to light up New York's secondary, especially since the Giants have only allowed 13.60 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in their last four contests.