Whether you’re reading this Week 14 start ’em and sit’ em column in pursuit of the ultimate championship, or just trying to avoid the biggest loser award – Welcome to the fantasy football playoffs! So let’s enjoy another week of fantasy and take a look at the week ahead using our Fantasy Football Consistency Score (CS) and Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC). Using these metrics, we will highlight the best and worst Week 14 matchups to let you know whether you should consider the likes of Justin Herbert and Derek Carr start ’em or sit ’em options.
What is Consistency Score and the Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score?
If you would like more detailed information on how the CS and D-PAC works, please refer to the Introduction to the Fantasy Football Consistency Score. However, the premise is mostly straightforward. The higher the CS, the more consistent a player is scoring high-level fantasy points. In the case of D-PAC, the higher the number, the more consistently that team allows high-level fantasy points to the position.
PSA: I don’t feel the need to tell you, the savvy fantasy G.M., to start a player like Patrick Mahomes every week. I abide by the golden rule: start your studs. However, if there is glaring evidence to sit a bona fide starter, we will discuss that as needed.
Start ’em – Justin Herbert
I get it. Justin Herbert scorned you this past week, posting his worst fantasy day of only 4.36 points. If your leagues’ playoffs started in Week 13, he likely tanked your playoff run. Although, kudos to you for reading a Week 14 fantasy football start ’em sit ’em article even after getting knocked out. But if you do still find yourself in the hunt despite his poor outing against the New England defense, then let this serve as a reassurance to roll with the rookie after that horrendous performance.
Let us not forget, Justin Herbert is a rookie and was facing a Bill Belichick defense. That has historically been a losing proposition. Yet the rookie still had a ridiculous 53 passing attempts and is currently fourth in the entire NFL in attempts. This easily explains why he is fifth overall in our own Expected Fantasy Points (xFP) metric, showing that the Los Angeles Chargers are not afraid to live or die on Herbert’s arm. That performance caused his “floor” game to plummet from a previous 14.7. However, his CS of 9.78 (down from 13.56 due to that dud) still ranks eighth among all signal-callers this late into the season. Justin Herbert has been one of the most consistent fantasy assets all season long.
Moreover, the Chargers host the Atlanta Falcons, who gave up 232 passing yards and two passing touchdowns to Taysom Hill this past week. The Falcons have been making every quarterback look like fantasy gold all season. They have the fifth-highest D-PAC on the season and have been allowing, on average, 23.73 fantasy points per game to the position, the most in the NFL. Put Week 13 in the rearview and keep rolling out Justin Herbert as if nothing happened.
Sit ’em – Derek Carr
Derek Carr, and his favorite target Darren Waller, had themselves quite the Week 13 bonanza. Going into the Monday Night Football doubleheader, Carr and Waller are the top two fantasy performers for the week. The downside is that 31.74 by Carr this past week was easily his best fantasy performance of the year, out-scoring his previous ceiling game from Week 5 by 7.76 points. Overall, Carr is a matchup-based QB2. His CS of 6.54 ranks 18th at the position, he is QB16 in terms of FPD, and he is averaging only 16.82 fantasy points per game.
In Week 14, Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders host the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been one of the most daunting fantasy defenses to go up against for the entire 2020 season. Both their D-PAC score of 4.8 and their 15.16 average points allowed ranks 29th. They have also allowed the joint third-fewest passing touchdowns and have the joint fifth-most interceptions. This past week they held Deshaun Watson in check, allowing him only 341 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. If it were not for Watson scoring a rushing TD, he wouldn’t have sniffed at being a top-12 quarterback. Carr isn’t the runner that Watson is, so he doesn’t have that to fall back on. However, he should be expected to struggle just as much through the air.
Start ’em – David Montgomery
Week 14 is the second week in a row David Montgomery finds himself featured on the positive side of our start ’em sit ’em column, and the second week in a row, he is one of my favorite starts at the position. Everything I have said previously about the Chicago Bears offense still holds true. And true to form, they leaned on Montgomery, especially in the red zone. Montgomery carried the ball 17 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. He tacked on four receptions for 39 yards just for good measure.
The matchup in Week 14 is even juicer for Montgomery, and this Bears running game as they welcome the Houston Texans to Soldier Field this Sunday. The Texans have allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL, are tied for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns allowed, boast the second-highest average points allowed to the position and the highest D-PAC. They are the top fantasy matchup for running backs, and Montgomery should shine again in Week 14.
Sit ’em – Raheem Mostert
It’s exciting when you get a star player back off IR, but Raheem Mostert has come back to a less than ideal situation. The offense is minus their starting quarterback and their top pass-catcher, who is also a good run blocking their tight end.
Mostert ended the Week 13 matchup against the Bills with 42 yards on nine attempts. The numbers on a per-carry basis (4.7) are good, but nine carries is a concern. Trailing 17-7 at the half did not help, but Jeff Wilson seeing seven carries was extremely damaging. Mostert had just nine of the 21 team carries for the 49ers.
The Washington Football Team has been a nightmare for opposing fantasy running backs. They have allowed the 10th-fewest yards per carry in the league (4.1), are tied for the fourth-fewest rushing touchdowns (9), the third-lowest average points allowed to the position, and the second-lowest D-PAC score. This past week they suffocated the Pittsburgh Steelers, allowing 21 total rushing yards on 14 carries (1.5 yards per carry). This defense is legitimate and is one you should be avoiding.
Start ’em – Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin had an incredible 2019 season. He finished as the second-highest scoring fantasy WR and the ninth-best non-QB player in fantasy (half-point PPR scoring). So how can I look myself in the mirror featuring Godwin in my Week 14 start ’em sit ’em column? Because, like so many others, 2020 has not been kind to Godwin. He has slipped to 23rd in terms of fantasy points per game, missed eight games, and is ranked 30th in PFN’s FPD metric.
However, Godwin’s 5.41 CS still ranks in the top 10 at the position. A big reason for that is his high target volume when on the field. Since Week 7, Godwin is averaging eight targets per game, 9.5 over the past two weeks. Tom Brady is peppering Godwin with targets, which could make him a fantasy postseason star.
The last time Godwin made it into the top 10 among receivers was Week 7 against the Raiders. Godwin should return there in Week 14, going up against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are tied for the fourth-most receiving touchdowns allowed, have the second-highest D-PAC score against receivers, and allow the fifth-highest average points to the position. This secondary can be taken advantage of, and Brady and Godwin are going to do just that in Week 14.
Sit ’em – Jarvis Landry
At one time, Jarvis Landry used to be a simple PPR plug and play. Fantasy managers everywhere knew that his floor was one of the safest in the game, especially among receivers. That is not the case in 2020. Landry’s 3.87 CS ranks 30th among receivers and demonstrates just how hot and cold he has been this season. His meager 5% FPD ranks 55th at the position as well. Moreover, Landry ranks 29th at the position with only 78 targets on the season. His floor is no longer a sure thing as the Clevland Browns offense centers around Nick Chubb.
After posting 80 yards and a touchdown in Week 13, the Ravens present a much tougher opponent in Week 14. Against WRs, the Ravens allow the fewest receiving touchdowns (6) and third-fewest receiving yards, 1,652. It’s not much better in terms of fantasy either. They are averaging the sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed to the position, while their D-PAC score of 15.44 ranks 25th. Week 14 is going to be another dip in Landry’s fantasy season that has seen plenty of peaks and even more valleys this year.
Which tight ends should you trust or be cautious of in Week 14?
Start ’em – Hunter Henry
Like his quarterback mentioned above in this fantasy football start ’em sit ’em column, forget about last week, and start Hunter Henry with confidence in Week 14. His measly five receiving yards on one reception versus New England soured many fantasy managers. However, the entire offense struggled in Week 13, and the future is bright.
Entering last week, Henry had been averaging 7.5 targets per game over the past four weeks. He had also scored two touchdowns over that time frame as well. It hasn’t always felt this way during the season, but Henry has been one of the best tight ends for fantasy managers this season. His 2.72 CS ranks ninth at the position, and his 93.2 total fantasy points rank 10th.
In Week 14, Henry and the Chargers take on the Atlanta Falcons at home. The Falcons’ secondary has been a weak point in one facet or another all season and is one of the best defenses for tight ends to go up against. Their 5.12 D-PAC against tight ends ranks sixth, and their 15.77 average points allowed to the position ranks fifth. Don’t pivot from Henry in what is going to be a plus matchup for a good tight end.
Sit ’em – Tyler Higbee
The entire Los Angeles Rams offense has been a tough nut to crack in 2020. Even more so for the tight end Tyler Higbee. On the season, Higbee is 18th in total fantasy points and 21st in fantasy points per game. But he is the TE4 in FPD and has the 11th best CS at the position. Higbee has had good games, some great, but it’s picking the right times to start him that is the true masterstroke. Week 14 isn’t one of those matchups.
The Rams kick off Week 14 by hosting the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. The Patriots are a defense to avoid at all costs for tight end matchups. As noted above, they completely snuffed out Hunter Henry in Week 13 and, on the season, rank 26th in D-PAC and 29th in average points allowed to the position. Higbee ghosting you on Thursday is not how you want to start your fantasy playoffs weekend.
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