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Fantasy football starts and sits for Week 14

Make sure you have your best lineup set for the start of the playoffs.

Oakland Raiders v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The playoffs are probably here for most leagues, or you are still just a week away. Either way, every decision is crucial for these next few weeks. The best advice I can give is to believe in your studs. It hurts way less when a guy like Patrick Mahomes lets you down than to sit Mahomes for someone who has a good matchup. That being said you’ll still have some difficult decisions to make with your roster. Here are some players you should consider starting and avoiding.

Must Start

Whoever starts at running back for the Chargers: Melvin Gordon is listed as week-to-week with a knee injury. If he is active after being able to practice he has to be in your lineup. The Bengals have allowed the most points to opposing running backs out of any team in the NFL, according to Fantasy Pros. If Gordon can’t go, Austin Ekeler and even Justin Jackson deserve a spot in your lineup as RB2’s or flex options. The Chargers have loved to mix it up with those two when Gordon has been out.

Mike Evans (Buccaneers WR): One of Evans’ best games of the season came in Week 1 when he caught seven passes for 147 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. He gets to face them again with Jameis Winston as his quarterback this time, but you should expect a similar result. Adam Humphries is also a great flex option in PPR leagues.

Favorable matchups

Gus Edwards (Ravens RB): Right now Edwards says he plans to play in Week 14 despite his ankle injury, but it is something for fantasy owners to watch. He has 61 carries in three weeks - that is the kind of volume that you just can’t compete with at this point in the season. The thing that really hurts him is Lamar Jackson also being able to steal red zone looks via the read option. Regardless, the Chiefs are giving up the second most points allowed to opposing running backs, and Baltimore will likely try to grind the clock and limit Kansas City’s opportunities on offense.

Courtland Sutton (Broncos WR): The rookie had a season-high 85 yards and his second touchdown of the season against the Bengals last week. This week he has an easier matchup against the 49ers who are allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Sutton could have a similar line with room to grow as he and Case Keenum continue to build chemistry.

Good but not great

LeGarrette Blount (Lions RB): With Kerryon Johnson likely out this week, Blount will be matched up with the Cardinals defense that allows 25.5 points per game to opposing running backs. He has had at least 16 carries in each game since Johnson has been out, and he had two touchdowns on Thanksgiving. Theo Riddick is also appealing as a PPR flex option, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown in 12 games, which really limits his ceiling.

Calvin Ridley (Falcons WR): Obviously you are starting Julio Jones if you have him, but Ridley is also a nice option against this Packers defense that is allowing 26.7 points to opposing wide receivers. This is one of those games where we could see the score get pretty crazy as neither team plays much defense, and Ridley almost seems due for a bounce back game.

Temper expectations

Spencer Ware (Chiefs RB): Whether you were a Kareem Hunt owner or quick on the draw to grab Ware off the waiver wire, you may want to look elsewhere this week if you can. Baltimore’s defense allows the fewest points to opposing running backs out of any team, and Ware was a touchdown that was almost stopped away from having a dud of a game against the Raiders.

Tyreek Hill (Chiefs WR): Don’t sit Hill unless you have some crazy depth at receiver. Hill had a really bad game last week as he dropped what would have been a touchdown and Mahomes under threw him on another. He now is going up against the Ravens defense that is simply the best in the NFL. Again, you probably can’t afford to sit Hill as even in the worst matchups all it takes is one play for him to be worth the play.

Defense stream

Lions defense against the Cardinals: Josh Allen has been prone to make rookie mistakes in his first season, and overall the Cardinals aren’t a great team. They may be the best streaming option as most bad teams are matched up against good defenses.

Giants defense against Washington: Sure Washington has Adrian Peterson, but outside of that they will likely be starting Mark Sanchez in 2018. Giants have had some issues slowing people down, but this week could be different as Washington is just really really trying to get out of the playoff hunt as quickly as possible.