Fantasy Football: Start and sit playoffs edition

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston passes against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in San Diego. (Gregory Bull/AP)

Week 14 is upon us, and for many Fantasy Football players that means it is playoff time. No matter if you’re 10-3 and the No. 1 seed is in your league or you squeaked into the playoffs on a Dwayne Allen Monday Night miracle, the mindset is now the same – survive and advance. After last week’s disasters throughout the fantasy landscape, who can you trust with your season on the line?

Start: QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston was up and down at the beginning of his sophomore campaign, but since his Week 6 bye, he has yet to dip below 15 points in ESPN standard scoring. With that kind of consistency and a matchup against the hapless New Orleans Saints defense on the schedule for Week 14, Winston makes for a great start. The Saints have given up 277 yards per game through the air, second worst in the league, while also being ranked in the top half of the league in rushing defense. The Bucs will likely turn to Winston to get a win in an important divisional matchup, and your fantasy team should as well.

Sit: QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

The second pick in last year’s draft, after Winston, is also enjoying a successful year. Mariota quietly ranks as the fourth quarterback in ESPN standard scoring, and his current streak of four consecutive 20-plus point performances may have helped you get into the playoffs. However, Mariota has to go up against a Denver Broncos defense that has held opposing quarterbacks to the lowest point total of any team. Despite a bye week giving the Titans an extra week to prepare, it may be wise to keep Mariota on your bench this week.

Start: RB Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins

Kelley has had two subpar performances since his breakout three touchdown game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. However, Kelley received just 14 touches in each of those two games after getting 21 or more in the three games prior, games where he was very productive for fantasy. Head coach Jay Gruden came out this week and said he would like to get Kelley more touches, so put “Fat Rob” into your lineup this week against an average Eagles defense and don’t be scared away by the last few weeks.

Sit: RB Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

Since Week 7, Jennings has surprisingly scored double digit fantasy points in four of his six games. His involvement in the passing game and an average of 13.5 carries per game over that stretch has made him a valuable contributor to your fantasy team. However, rookie Paul Perkins’ work load has increased lately, leaving Jennings in a committee backfield that he’s overcome for fantasy owners with a few touchdowns in recent games. Also not in Jennings’ favor is a matchup with the Cowboys, who are second in the league in rushing yards allowed. Granted, that number is likely due to Dallas’ 11-1 record and teams playing from behind, but the Giants and Jennings will likely fall victim to that same game script.

Start: WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets

Who?! Yeah, Robby Anderson. An undrafted rookie out of Temple, Anderson burst onto the scene last week on Monday Night Football when he was targeted 12 times resulting in four catches, 61 yards and a touchdown. Most of that production came after backup quarterback Bryce Petty replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in the blowout loss. With Petty starting this week, expect him to keep targeting Anderson, as their chemistry from second-team repetitions in practice has carried over into the starting lineup. The Jets are playing a vulnerable 49ers defense that might be prone to a couple big plays, which is Anderson’s forte. If you’re week at wide receiver or need a high-ceiling flex play to win your matchup, Anderson is a great start.

Sit: WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

After an incredible hot streak in the middle of the season, Adams has come back to earth lately, scoring less than five points in two of his last three games. Now, the consistently great Seattle Seahawks passing defense comes to town. Although Seattle is without Earl Thomas, a crucial member of the Legion of Boom, they still provide a tough matchup for opposing receivers. Jordy Nelson has come on strong of late and has been taking targets away from Adams and fellow receiver Randall Cobb, so leave Adams out of your lineup.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.