It’s really hard to believe that we’re in Week 14. For many leagues, this is the start of the playoffs. It has been a long journey, but these next few weeks will decide your fate in your league. This means that each decision you make is magnified, whether on the waiver wire or setting your lineup. For this oh-so-important playoff affair, here are this week’s starters:
- Deandre Hopkins – In a standard, non-PPR league, Hopkins ranks 39th in production among wide receivers. For someone you went out to draft in the first round, this is very sad. If you have Hopkins on your team, you’re probably not in the playoffs. But if you found a way to get there, give Hopkins a start this week. He finally reached the endzone last week, and has been coming along a bit stronger in recent weeks. His connection with horrendous quarterback Brock Osweiler is improving, and he faces a great matchup against the terrible Colts defense, one that surrendered a season-high 9 catches to Hopkins in their last meeting.
- Doug Baldwin – Week after week, Baldwin is almost a shoe-in for 6+ catches. This places a very low floor on Baldwin. We have seen his high ceiling, as he scored 3 touchdowns against the Patriots only a few weeks ago. With a great matchup against a struggling Packer defense, look for the floor and ceiling to come together, creating a huge outing.
- Jordan Howard – Since his resurgence in Week 8, Howard has averaged 21.6 carries per game. Last week, he delivered with three touchdowns on a season-high 32 carries,Despite an okay matchup against Detroit, big numbers are in store this week for the rookie.
- Dontelle Inman – This is my weekly longshot. Inman is a boom-or-bust player, but that can play in his favor against the greatly struggling Panther defense. Players have had “boom” days against this defense this year. Inman is coming off of two big weeks with a touchdown in each, so there is a consistency factor in play. He has a chance to excel in this week’s matchup.
Here are this week’s sitters:
- Marcus Mariota – Mariota has been on fire this season, so he is a tough player to sit. However, he is going against the Bronco secondary, which is the best in the league. Mriota’s numbers will be trimmed today, so leave him on the bench.
- Jarvis Landry – Despite holding a huge share of the Dolphin’s targets, Landry bas been ineffective this season. He has a very difficult encounter this week with Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals number one scoring defense. Even in PPR leagues, don’t let Jarvis Landry do you wrong in the playoffs.
- Davante Adams – Rodgers has done a great job spreading the ball this year, leaving discomfort for Adams’ fantasy owners. Adams takes on a tough Houston secondary today, and do not look for the third-year emerging start to fill his potential in today’s game.
- Ravens DST – The Ravens defense has been one of the best in the league this year, both in the world of fantasy and in real life. However, on Monday night, they go into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots, a defense’s nightmare. You can count on the Patriots to rack up a ton of yards and scores, without turning the ball over, leaving the Ravens defense with very limited points.
I wish you the best of luck in the first week of your playoff matchups!