FantasySavvy 2012: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 14 (Playoff Edition)

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Well, we are finally here, Week 14, and for the majority of us that means it’s playoff time. The prepping, the drafting, the pickups, the trades, the agonizing over lineup decisions, the ups, the downs, all have led to this moment. I wish you all the best in your playoff runs and as always if you have any questions hit me up @FantasySavvy on Twitter.

You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.

*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.


Start ‘Em

Andrew Luck vs Tennessee 

This kid continues to impress more and more as the season goes on and is starting to show a true chemistry with T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery not just Reggie Wayne. The Colts will be at home against a weak Titans secondary; Luck needs to be in your lineups.

Josh Freeman vs Philly

The Eagles are suffering devastating loss one after another and it begs the question of how much life this team has left. Their defense has been shredded the last three weeks by Newton,Griffin and Romo and Freeman should join the party this week. Start him with confidence and expect close to 300 yards with at least two TD’s.

Matt Schaub @ New England

Schaub has thrown for over 1,000 yards and has 8 TD’s in his last three games and against New England he should keep the gaudy numbers up. Look for a good amount of points to be scored in this game and for Schaub to be slinging the rock around. Expect around 250 yards with at least two TD’s.

Sit ‘Em

Phillip Rivers @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers will be without their best CB in Ike Taylor, but Rivers still needs to be benched against the Steelers who are allowing the least amount of points to Fantasy QB’s. Rivers has been up and down all year and with just one TD in his last two games he can’t be trusted in this spot.

Russell Wilson vs Arizona

Wilson has been playing better as the season has went on and has really started to connect with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, but this is a tough matchup vs Arizona. The Cards have been pretty stout against QB’s, allowing the third fewest points to the position.

Carson Palmer vs Denver

Palmer is the king of “Garbage Time” as he constantly pads onto his stats late in games. He turns the ball over a good amount and his defense couldn’t stop your Grandma, so he is constantly chucking. Palmer has thrown for over 300 yards in four of his last five games, but he is still hard to trust. He could throw three to four interceptions at any time and throw up a dud game for you. In the Fantasy Playoffs you need trust and against Denver and their D who haven’t allowed a QB to score over 20 points in their last seven games, you can’t trust Palmer.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

Ahmad Bradshaw vs New Orleans

Bradshaw has a great matchup against the Saints who are allowing the most points to Fantasy RB’s and will continue to get a full array of carries with Andre Brown out. The Giants Coaches still aren’t giving the ball to David Wilson despite them saying they would. Look for Bradshaw to get around 20 carries once again, most likely top 100 yards and find the endzone.

Alfred Morris vs Baltimore

The Ravens defense has been banged up with injuries all season and this is just not D we are all used to. The Run D is allowing the 12th most points to Fantasy Backs and this is a matchup that Morris can exploit. He has gone over 100 yards the last two weeks and he should be in for another productive game.

Vick Ballard vs Tennessee 

Ballard isn’t the most talented back, but was talented enough to take the starting gig from Donald Brown. With Brown OUT for Sunday, Ballard will get a good amount of carries and could be in for a nice game against the Titans who are allowing the third most points to Fantasy Backs. Look for around 80-100 total yards with a possible TD, making him a decent flex play.

Sit ‘Em

Ryan Mathews @ Pittsburgh

A lot of Fantasy Experts have been pumping this guy up for years but Mathews just continues to disappoint. It’s pretty simple, he’s not that good of a back and he was always overrated. He hasn’t rushed for 100 yards all season, keep this guy benched and don’t even think about using him against Pittsburgh who are giving up the fewest points to Fantasy Backs.

Beanie Wells @ Seattle

Beanie looked like he was showing some promise with two TD’s against St. Louis in Week 12, but last week against the Jets he reverted back to his old ways rushing for just 22 yards on 15 carries. The Seahawks will not give him much breathing room and he will most likely put on another terrible performance.

Stevan Ridley vs Houston

Ridley has scored in five consecutive weeks but that could come to an end on Sunday against Houston who have allowed just two Rushing TD’s all season and are giving up the 2nd fewest points to Fantasy RB’s. Ridley most likely will be stifled in this game and could be held under 50 yards rushing. With the way the Pats move the ball he could find the endzone, but Ridley doesn’t offer a lot of upside this week. Don’t be afraid to sit Ridley if you have the luxury of doing so.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

Greg Jennings vs Detroit

Jennings should have most of the rust shaken off by now and with Jordy Nelson expected to be OUT on Sunday there is more opportunity for Jennings to contribute. Most of you have been waiting on him all year and instead seeing him on the field we have been seeing him on those stupid Old Spice commercials. It’s time for Jennings to start paying off on our investment in him and this is a good spot for him to do so. The Lions secondary has been obliterated the last two weeks against the Texans and Colts and there is no reason that Jennings and company can’t do the same.

Donnie Avery & T.Y. Hilton vs Tennessee 

Hilton has been hot for for four straight weeks now and is safer option than Avery, but Donnie boy got his last week with two TD’s to get back into the mix. Both are solid plays against the Titans, but Hilton is the better option of the two because of his consistency.

Danario Alexander @ Pittsburgh

Alexander has bumped Antonio Gates to become Phillip Rivers’ favorite target and is turning into a must-start. Alexander has 29 targets in his last three games and has went over 80 yards in every one, finding the endzone twice. WithIke Taylor OUT for Sunday, Alexander should have another productive game. Look for over 80 yards with a possible score.

Sit ‘Em

Justin Blackmon vs NYJ

Blackmon has risen with the insertion of Chad Henne into the lineup, but reverted to his old ways last week with just one catch for 9 yards in a good matchup at Buffalo. The Jets and Antonio Cromartie have been stingy against WR’s all year allowing the third fewest points so it’s best to keep Blackmon reserved.

Denarius Moore vs Denver

Moore has just five catches for 60 yards in his last three games and in a tough matchup against Champ Bailey and the Broncos he should be  benched.

Dwayne Bowe @ Cleveland

Bowe hasn’t scored or had a 100-yard game since Week 4 and runs into a tough matchup with Cleveland and Joe Haden in Week 14. I especially don’t trust Brady Quinn under center and the Chiefs are finally starting to give the rock to Jamaal Charles which is limiting the passing game even more.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Brandon Myers vs Denver

Palmer’s Go-to-guy

Myers had his best game of the year against the Browns who were best against Tight Ends, so he should succeed against Denver who are one of the worst against Tight Ends and will be without LB Wesley WoodwardPalmer should help Myers (his older brother) rack up some nice “garbage points”.

Heath Miller vs San Diego

All signs are pointing to Big Ben returning this Sunday and that bodes extremely well for Miller who was having a career season before Ben got hurt. As long as Ben is playing, Miller is a very solid option.

Dennis Pitta @ Washington

It’s hard to trust Pitta at this point in this season, but he has picked up his pace a bit with two TD’s in his last four games. Against the Skins who are giving up the most points to Tight Ends, he’s worth taking a shot on if you need a Tight End this week.

Sit ‘Em

Jared Cook @ Indy

Cook has back to back 50-yard games and has been targeted 20 times but Indy has been tough against Tight Ends this season ranked 4th best. Don’t expect much production.

Dustin Keller @ Jacksonville

The Jets have chosen to go back to Mark Sanchez in Week 14 after he was benched last week and Keller will continue to suffer as a result. The Jags have also been fairly tough against Tight Ends this year ranked 10th best.

Antonio Gates @ Pittsburgh

Unless he absolutely goes off in the Fantasy Playoffs, which is highly unlikely, it’s pretty much official that Gates has been a fantasy bust this year. Look for more disappointment from Gates when he squares up against the Steelers who are 2nd best against Tight Ends.


Start ‘Em

D’Qwell Jackson vs Kansas City

The talented Jackson has been a force for the Browns this season and is a good play against a run-heavy Chiefs squad. The Chiefs are allowing the 2nd most points to Fantasy LB’s so Jackson most likely will have a good fantasy day.

London Fletcher vs Baltimore

The aged ‘ol veteran continues to get it done and continues to be the leader of this Washington Defense. The Ravens are allowing the 6th most points to Fantasy LB’s and Fletcher has been a tackle machine all season.

Sit ‘Em

Antoine Winfield vs Chicago

Cutler is prone to interceptions, but Brandon Marshall is just a rough matchup for Winfield. The Bears are also allowing the 9th fewest points to Fantasy CB’s.

Jason Pierre-Paul vs New Orleans

Paul’s sack totals have been down this season with 6.5 and going against Drew Brees who is very crafty in the pocket, you should consider benching Paul this week.


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