Fantasy Football Week 14 Q&A: Playoff Edition
Fantasy Football Week 14 Q and A: Playoff Edition
Ladies and gentleman, it is finally here: The fantasy football playoffs! For many of you, it is the beginning of the playoffs; for others, this week is the last week to make any noise in your league before the playoffs begin. For many of you, this is just an article to read for fun because you could not reach the pinnacle of your league this season. No matter why you are reading this, it’s all good! I am here to help.
Heading into Week 14 of the NFL and fantasy football season, all of the questions that were sent to me this week had huge implications on each manager’s season. I know that every week is important, but these are the weeks where everything else you did throughout the season just does not matter.
Most of the questions I received from readers were about who they should start. These questions were about every position from quarterback to team defenses. It is ironic that the further a season goes on, each position has more importance to a manager.
For all of the readers of this weekly blog, next week will be the last normal edition of my Q and A for this fantasy football season. In Week 16, I will have a special edition for fantasy football championship week.
Again, I wanted to thank all of you that take the time to read this blog and submit questions every week via the social media links listed below. Remember, you can always send your questions at any point of the week, and I will answer your questions as quickly as possible.
Without further ado, here are your very important fantasy football questions for Week 14.
Who to start this week: Case Keenum or E.J. Manuel? – Pat
Pat, this may be the first time someone asked me if they should start E.J. Manuel this season. I guess there has to be a first for everything. Going into Week 14, both quarterbacks have a good matchup this week. I can see both guys having a nice week. However, if I had to pick one of these guys, I would pick Case Keenum. I like his matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Houston Texans could score against the New England Patriots, then he should be able to do even better against the Jaguars.
Got a flex play question for you: Garret Graham or Marques Colston? – Pete
Hey Pete, this is an easy one this week! You have to go with Garrett Graham in Week 14. As I mentioned, the Texans take on the Jaguars, who can definitely be scored on. The Jags will be looking to shut down Andre Johnson, and that should leave Graham open for several chances to score. Last week against the Patriots, he got 11 passes from Keenum. Look for more of the same in Week 14. I just can’t tell you to depend on Marques Colston. He plays for a New Orleans Saints team that has Drew Brees, and we all know how much he throws the ball around the field. You've got to stick with the guy that gives you a better chance, and that is Graham in Week 14.
Can the Kansas City Chiefs' defense finally score points for my fantasy team this week? – Clayton
Clayton, if there was ever a week to start the Kansas City Chiefs team defense in fantasy football, it is in their Week 14 matchup against the Washington Redskins. Let’s face it, the Redskins have had a horrible time trying to score points. The Redskins put up 39 points total in the last three weeks. The Denver Broncos do that in one week! The Chiefs have had some very tough matchups in the previous weeks, especially playing the Broncos and the San Diego Chargers. Clayton, I would roll with the Chiefs this week, and I promise you that they will come through!
Need two: Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, or Alshon Jeffery? – Shaun
Shaun, if there is one thing I can count on, it's you giving me some of the toughest lists I receive all week long. I actually like all of these guys in Week 14, but if I could only pick two of them, I would start Demaryius Thomas and Alson Jeffery. Thomas is the no. 1 option for quarterback Peyton Manning, and he always seems to be able to find him no matter what the coverage is on him. Alshon Jeffery had one of the best weeks ever by any receiver in NFL history (and fantasy history for that matter)! The Chicago Bears are playing the Dallas Cowboys. The Boys have not exactly been a shutdown pass defense over the past few weeks. I look for the Cowboys to really focus on shutting down Brandon Marshall. This will leave Jeffery open for many chances to get the ball. I can see him torching the Cowboys' defense in Week 14.
Need two: C. Johnson, Z. Stacy, S. Vereen, or B. Tate? – Shaun
Again Shaun, another tough decision here, but the matchups are what you have to look at here. The one person that I like the best in Week 14 is Ben Tate. Tate will be playing on Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tate had an amazing game, scoring three touchdowns against the Patriots last week. I can see Tate having another nice game against the Jaguars.
If I were to pick one other person for you, it would be between Zac Stacy and Shane Vereen. I would go with Stacy because he is all the St. Louis Rams have on offense. However, this is also the downfall with Stacy. In the past three games, he has not gone past 87 yards in a game. In Week 14, the Rams will take on the Arizona Cardinals in a very tough division game. Shane Vereen is going to be a monster for the Patriots. He is used not only in the running game, but in the passing game as well. If the Patriots sit Stevan Ridley again in Week 14, look for Vereen to have another explosive game. The biggest obstacle for Vereen is the status of Ridley. If I had to pick one, go with Vereen. He has the best chance between him and Stacy to get into the end zone and have a nice total yardage game.
Who do you like better this week: Drew Brees or Cam Newton? – Dan
Dan, this has to be one of the best questions that someone asked all season! I think you should play Cam Newton this week. Drew Brees and Newton are facing off against each other in Week 14, and it will be a great test for the Carolina Panthers to see if they are prepared for the postseason. The biggest reason I would roll with Newton is because the Saints went up against the Seattle Seahawks and just could not stop Russell Wilson. The way Newton has been playing, the Saints’ defense does not look to have much of a chance to stop the Pro Bowl quarterback this week.
Eli Manning has a nice matchup in Week 14, but would you start him over Cam Newton? – Jon
Jon, first off, thanks for the question this week. You are right: Eli Manning has a very nice matchup in Week 14 against the San Diego Chargers. This should be a very high-scoring game. However, Eli’s problem all season long has been consistency. That is why I would go with Cam Newton this week. He has gotten you this far, and you have to ride him the rest of the way! Also, as I stated in the previous question, the Saints could not stop Russell Wilson last week and allowed two touchdown passes to Colin Kaepernick in their Week 11 matchup. Go with Newton. You will be happy you did!
Can I expect Aaron Rodgers back for the playoffs? - Mikey
Mikey, I am shocked that more people did not ask this question. All indications from the Green Bay Packers this week is that Aaron Rodgers probably will not start against the Atlanta Falcons. Rodgers is starting to throw more and completing drills in practice, but he is still not cleared by the team doctors. However, there is still a chance that he could play for you in the fantasy football playoffs. I can see him playing next week against the Dallas Cowboys, especially if the Packers win this weekend. If I were you, I would would have a backup plan in place just in case he is still unable to come back.
Will Michael Crabtree have a productive Week 14? – Me
I posted this question because this is one of the biggest dilemmas I have going into my first playoff matchup of the year. Should I play Michael Crabtree in Week 14 against the tough Seattle Seahawks defense? I think he will be a good play this week. I feel this way not because I am a San Francisco 49ers fan, but because the 49ers are playing must-win games right now and they will be at home against their division rivals. The Seahawks do not play as well on the road as they do at home and after the pounding the 49ers received earlier in the year from the Seahawks, look for them to be ready to go in this game. The Seahawks will be focused on shutting down Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick in the running game. Crabtree will be fresh and already has a week played under his belt. I can see a decent day for Crabtree, with him possibly getting in the end zone for the first time this season.