By: Nate Leer
Playoffs are here! Week 14 is the start of the playoffs for the majority of leagues so it’s crunch time. If you’re down big after Thursday’s game, shoot for the stars with upside plays such as speed WRs who may or may not hit big plays. If you have a nice lead, look for players with high floors, often starting RBs. Good luck, y’all!
4 Players to start this week:
1. Kenyan Drake – RB – Mia vs NE: Drake will certainly get carries early as the Dolphins attempt to keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. Even if they get behind, expect plenty of dump downs to the multi talented Drake making for a nice floor with upside.
2. Giovani Bernard – RB – Cin vs Chi: The murky Cincy RB situation has now become crystal clear and Gio is the beneficiary. He looked good running the ball last week and we know he can catch. This may be Gio’s last chance to show he has lead back upside before potentially hitting the free agent market as a cap casualty. He could be a difference maker this week.
3. Dez Bryant – WR – Dal @ NYG: Dez has been mediocre at best this year but did catch a TD last week. You drafted him to be a starter, the matchup is elite and he is coming off a better week. Start Dez and watch him get it going!
4. Derek Carr – QB – Oak @ KC: Carr is set to have a big game in an ideal matchup versus a bad D paired with an O that can exploit Oakland’s equally bad D. There should be lots of scoring in this one with tons of action coming from Carr’s strong right arm.
Honorable mention: Alex Smith – QB – KC vs Oak.
3 Players to bench or cut now:
1. Cam Newton – Car vs Min: Cam may have carried you to the playoffs but this is not the week to press your luck. The Vikes D is just too good.
2. Robbie Anderson – WR – NYJ @ Den: The Jets O has been one of the biggest surprises of the season and Anderson has benefitted. However, this is not the matchup you want for him so look at your other options.
3. Doug Baldwin – WR – Sea @ Jac: Baldwin has been an up and down play all season and this shapes up as a down week. There are enough other options at WR or flex this week to avoid Sir Baldwin of Doug.
Honorable mention: Josh McCown – QB – NYJ @ Den, Devin Funchess – WR – Car vs Min.
3 Players to grab and stash or stream:
1. Kerwynn Williams – RB – Ari vs Ten: AP is hurting so K-Dub will get a chance to build on a strong week. If he can do it versus a strong Tennesee run D, he could be a great start the next couple of weeks, assuming AP stays old, I mean hurt.
2. David Njoku – TE – Cle vs GB: Njoku is a must add in deep keeper leagues and could be useful this week if you are Gronked or just need TE help. The kid has too much talent and the presence of WR Josh Gordon may help Njoku find openings.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – SF @ Hou: Garoppolo is a viable streaming option in 2 QB leagues and is worth stashing for evaluation if you might need help next week in a single QB league.
Honorable mention: Mike Davis – RB – Sea @ Jac, Marquise Goodwin – WR – SF @ Hou.