2011 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 14 Start’em Sit’em

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Start ‘em Sit ‘em is our weekly look at favorable and unfavorable match-ups and how they might affect lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Other than a few elite players, no one should be classified as a must start every week, and analyzing match-ups can go a long way to giving your team a weekly edge. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

Running Backs

Rashard Mendenhall PIT vs. CLE | Start’em

I know if you drafted Mendy this year he has been a little bit of a headache with all his ups and downs however, this is a week to certainly start him. (it is just a nice side note that is the first week of the playoffs). The Browns are great statistically speaking against the pass for two reason. First, Joe Haden (by now everyone knows I love him) is just a stud but second and more importantly, the Browns are terrible against the run. These two facts mean that teams don’t need to throw too much since they always have their running game going. I expect a big day for Mendenhall this week so hopefully you get off to a great start week one of the playoffs.

Michael Turner ATL @ CAR | Start’em

If you survived his terrible showing last week and still made the playoffs you will be rewarded this week. Carolina yields the most fantasy points to running backs and have a tough time with bigger backs as they have allowed a ton of red zone touchdowns to backs this year. The Falcons need a win so they will exploit the weaknesses of Carolina aka the run defense so I expect a ton of Turner and a big day out of him.

DeMarco Murray DAL vs. NYG | Start’em

He was disappointing last week and you might see the match-up and think it is time to sit Murray and roll the dice on another back but, not so fast. The Giants are ranked 29th in total defense so teams have been able to move the ball on them. Murray is not an RB1 this week but I would have a tough time sitting him as he has proven himself since taking over the starting job. Also as an added bonus he is getting his starting full back, back, this week. This is the same full back that lead him to his record performance all those weeks ago.

Wide Receivers

Michael Crabtree SF @ ARZ | Start’em Deeper Leagues

I have been high on this guy for weeks in point per reception formats. He is being targeted more than anyone on the team and has been averaging over 5 catches in his last few outings. Not the best deep threat but if you are in a ppr league I think he is a nice option based on the volume of targets and the match-up. (Peterson is a great return guy, not a shut down corner yet…)

Pierre Garcon IND @ BAL | Sit’em

Don’t believe the hype with Garcon, I know last week he blew up for over 150 yards and two touches but that was due to the fact the Patriots (who have a terrible secondary anyway) went into a prevent defense very early on in the second half. If you were thinking of starting Garcon over an established wideout I think you will be very sorry.

Dwayne Bowe KC @ NYJ |Sit’em

Tyler Palko is just terrible and will continue to start and be terrible this week since Orton will be out with a finger injury. Combine the fact that Revis will be on Bowe and I just don’t see how you can start him. I could have just wrote: Palko + Revis = BENCH HIM


Michael Vick Start’em | PHI vs. MIA

Vick has not lived up to the where you drafted him, he is coming off an injury, and the Fins are playing great as late – so why is he a start’em this week? Because unless you have another solid option I cannot see you sitting Vick and his upside for an average quarterback (Ryan, Sanchez, Palmer, etc.). You drafted Vick for the blow-up potential on any given week and this week is no different. At anytime Vick could have a monster day and I believe he will be motivated to do so.

Andy Dalton CIN vs. HOU | Sit’em

This rookie has been unbelievable this season along with fellow rookie AJ Green but this week Green will be matched-up with Jonathan Joseph who I believe is the second best corner behind Revis in the league. This tough match-up for Dalton’s favorite target is almost reason enough not to start him but paired that with the fact the Texans always seem to control the clock with their run game I just don’t like the rookie nearly as much as I normally do.

Philip Rivers SD vs. BUF | Start’em

The Rivers we saw on Monday night is the Rivers that was drafted so high by you in your draft. I wrote about him last week and I will continue to stand by my thoughts on him. If you got him you have to start him as his ceiling is too high and don’t be nervous about the fact the Chargers are basically out of the playoff hunt, Rivers wants to end on a high note.

Tight End

Ed Dickson BAL vs. IND | Pick-up and Play

If you were a Fred Davis owner and looking for a spot start this week I think Dickson is a guy that is available in a ton of leagues that could payoff for you. I expect the Ravens to run the quite a bit but when they throw it they will not take many gambles, which means a bunch over the middle to the Tight Ends. Dickson has shown flashes this season so if you are looking for a guy to pick-up and play you could do worse than Dickson. (side note I do like Celek quite a bit this week – even more than Dickson but his ownership was too high for a pick-up and play, but if he is available and you need a TE he is a nice play too)


Detroit Lions Defense DET vs. MIN | Pick-up and Play Defense

The Lions had a bye, then the Packers, then the Saints, so they were dropped in a ton of leagues. Add in the fact Suh got himself suspended and they were dropped in even more. Well if they are available in your league go ahead a grab them for this week. They will face a banged up AP and it is looking more and more like Ponder will not play so it is all Joe Webb at QB for the Vikings. If you can grab them, they are a great pick-up and play defense this week at home.

If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.