Exploit the Dolphins, 49ers and Packers Defenses in Week 14
- Miami Dolphins: Miami always seems to get wrecked playing in prime time. The loss of Rob Gronkowski (suspension) for the Patriots won’t change anything here.
- San Francisco 49ers: Will Fuller (ribs) may return for this game but he shouldn’t return to your Fantasy team.
- Green Bay Packers: Josh Gordon was extremely impressive last week versus perhaps the best CB in the league in Casey Hayward. Even with DeShone Kizer at QB, Gordon should have a much easier time this week and is a must-start. Corey Coleman, however, may not be as Kizer just may not have the skills to make more than one Cleveland WR startable in Fantasy.
- Cleveland Browns: This could be the last start for Brett Hundley and possibly the last game
you won’t start Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. The running game is in flux again as the return of Aaron Jones will lead to some kind of timeshare with Jamaal Williams. I expect Williams to get the majority of the carries but if he struggles, and Jones is playing well, their roles could be reversed.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This game really depends upon the health of Matthew Stafford (hand). If he were to miss the game, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones would fall to nothing more than Flex plays but if healthy, both could have big games. The run game is iffy at best with Ameer Abdullah battling a neck injury and Theo Riddick a perennial disappointment. Tion Green could be a lottery ticket if Abdullah is out.
- New York Giants: If you were worried about whether to start Alfred Morris, worry no more; he starts. Dez Bryant does also, but he’s nothing more than a TD dependent WR2. Dak Prescott falls out of QB1 range until his confidence returns.
- Los Angeles Rams: I can’t start Jay Ajayi. The Eagles just don’t use him as they prefer to go with a running back committee. If Zach Ertz (concussion) were to miss the game, Trey Burton is a solid replacement.
- New Orleans Saints: You’re starting all of the usual suspects here, but the success of Julio Jones could very well depend upon the health of Marshon Lattimore (ankle).
- Chicago Bears: Giovani Bernard is an RB2 for Fantasy owners if Joe Mixon (concussion) misses this game.
- Buffalo Bills: If Tyrod Taylor (knee) were to miss the game, the Colts may actually control the ball on offense a whole bunch. It still wouldn’t change much, though; Y. Hilton and possibly Frank Gore are starts.
- Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Trufant is back for Atlanta which should help keep Michael Thomas in check, but it won’t help stop Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (toe).
- Washington Redskins: I believe the Skins’ secondary will keep in Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen in check somewhat, but Melvin Gordon could return to prominence here.
- Kansas City Chiefs: I can’t start Amari Cooper even if he plays. He has passed concussion protocol, but the ankle is still bothering him. The suspension of CB Marcus Peters does make Michael Crabtree an automatic start, however.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Doctson will get the Casey Hayward treatment this week, so he sits. I’m not going back to the well with Vernon Davis I’m not sure why he’s been so invisible, but it doesn’t matter. It’s time to move on.
- Indianapolis Colts: It’s LeSean McCoy or bust here if Taylor is out. Maybe even if he’s in.
- Arizona Cardinals: You don’t want to start Rishard Matthews (hamstring) even if he does return to the lineup here. As for the running game, nothing really changes. DeMarco Murray will start over Derrick Henry, which means he starts for you also. Murray is TD dependent, so beware.
- Dallas Cowboys: Eli Manning returns for the Giants, but it doesn’t really matter; you’re not starting him. Sterling Shepard could miss the game with a hamstring injury. If he were to play, he has a good matchup, but he may not be at full strength or able to play the entire game. I do like Orleans Darkwa, however, and Evan Engram is a must start.
- Carolina Panthers: Jerick McKinnon may have scored the TD last week but it’s still Latavius Murray that you want to start here. Case Keenum is also at the bottom of the QB1 rankings.
- Denver Broncos: The Denver defense has packed it in also. I’m not afraid to start Josh McCown or Robby Anderson but I wouldn’t expect big things either. Who will stand out at RB is becoming more of a guessing game. In PPR leagues, I would still rank them Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, and Elijah McGuire, but none is more than a low end RB2.
- Detroit Lions: You have to start Mike Evans, but he will see an awful lot of Darius Slay, which will keep his upside in check. The return of Jameis Winston last week also saw the return of Cameron Brate to TE1 status. If Doug Martin (concussion) were to miss another game here, Peyton Barber is a solid RB2. If Martin plays, however, then neither becomes anything more than a flex play.
- Oakland Raiders: The Oakland secondary is likely to play a whole lot of cover two in order to keep Tyreek Hill in check. It doesn’t matter, though, he still starts. I can’t say the same for Kareem Hunt. Whether or not you start him comes down to roster construction.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Yes, Alex Collins is a must-start. No one else on the Baltimore roster is, however.
- Minnesota Vikings: Devin Funchess falls to a flex play this week, as Xavier Rhodes may follow him all over the field, and Cam Newton just isn’t accurate enough to get him the ball on any kind of consistent basis. I’d rather not start Greg Olsen - not until I see him play a full game first.
- Philadelphia Eagles: I still prefer Cooper Kupp over Sammy Watkins as the latter is way too TD dependent.
- Baltimore Ravens: With JuJu Smith-Schuster suspended for this one, Martavis Bryant is back in play, but this is not the best matchup. I’ll pass.
- New York Jets: Hmm, maybe Demaryius Thomas, but that’s it, and that includes Emmanuel Sanders.
- Cincinnati Bengals: You probably have to start Jordan Howard, but he’s no better than a low end RB2.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: You’re always starting Russell Wilson, but this is yet another test for his magician-like abilities. Jimmy Graham is also a start but that may be it for your Hawks here.
- New England Patriots: Kenyan Drake is a must-start as is any RB that has the starting job all to himself. DeVante Parker not only shouldn’t be started, but he probably shouldn’t be on your roster either. Kenny Stills is legit and is no worse than a flex play.
- Tennessee Titans: Hello Larry Fitzgerald. Ricky Seals-Jones could be a low-end replacement for Ertz.
- Seattle Seahawks: The Jags don’t have the QB to take advantage of the Hawks’ weaknesses. Still, Marquise Lee is a must-start here and if you’re desperate, perhaps Dede Westbrook.
- Houston Texans: Start Marquise Goodwin in deeper leagues as the Texans do have a problem stopping the pass and Jimmy Garoppolo does have the arm strength to throw every pass route.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.
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