Week 14 Start 'em or Sit 'em: 2012 NFL Fantasy Football Lineup Strategy

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 5, 2012

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) bumps fists with quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you have Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers as your normal starter, fantasy owners should feel good about the way the schedule breaks out for your starter. This week should be one of the better passing weeks through the entire season as many top quarterbacks will either be playing against weak secondaries or in matchups that present a high-scoring back-and-forth situation.


Start 'em


RB: Knowshon Moreno @ Raiders

 Moreno continues to see the lion's share of the Broncos' snaps in the backfield and has a terrific match against the Raiders this week. Don’t expect Moreno to top 20 fantasy points often, but this week should be his top performance of the season.

WR: Pierre Garcon vs. Ravens

 I’m sure the Redskins' coaching staff would love us to still believe that they don’t know what to expect from Garcon when the game starts, but the fact is, the veteran is back. Garcon has produced like a WR1 in recent weeks and was dominant against the Giants on Monday night.

When Robert Griffin III needed a big play in the passing game, Garcon was the receiver he targeted, and that will continue down the stretch. Consider Garcon a must start WR2 going forward.

WR: Mike Williams vs. Eagles

 Williams stepped up for six receptions for 93 yards and a score against the Broncos last week. While it was nice to see Williams produce, fantasy owners are likely hesitant to use him after he racked up no more than 29 yards per game in his last two games.

Give Williams a shot this week against a suspect Eagles secondary. Big plays down the field will be there for Josh Freeman to take advantage of, and with defenses selling out to stop the running game, Williams will have one-on-one matchups down the field.


TE: Kyle Rudolph vs. Bears

 With Percy Harvin out of the lineup over the past three weeks, Christian Ponder’s top target has been Kyle Rudolph. With 26 targets over the past three weeks, Rudolph has over 50 yards receiving in all of those games as a touchdown in each game.

According to Rotoworld.com, Harvin is now lost for the season; expect Rudolph to continue seeing eight or more targets a week. Rudolph is also helped by defenses selling out to slow down Adrian Peterson, opening up passing lanes for the big tight end, especially in the red zone.


TE: Vernon Davis vs. Dolphins

 Early in the week, I had Davis ranked as the 15th tight end on my Week 14 tight end rankings. It’s hard to trust Davis in fantasy lineups but I have a feeling the 49ers will explode for a big passing game this week. Playing at home, the Dolphins should play well against the run, and it’s time to get back to basics with a big game for Davis.

If you feel like rolling the dice this week at tight end, Davis has top-five upside at his position this week and next week against the Patriots.


Sit 'em


RB: Reggie Bush @ 49ers

 Look to other options this week as Bush travels out to San Francisco to face the 49ers' stout run defense. San Fransisco will make quick work of Bush in between the tackles, and they have the speed and discipline to not allow big plays on the edge.


RB: Beanie Wells @ Seahawks

 While Wells had a couple of touchdowns against the Rams, he’s rushed for under three yards per carry over the past two weeks. Wells should be helped by John Skelton returning to the starting lineup as defenses have to respect him a little more than Ryan Lindley, and he should help the Cardinals sustain drives.

This week will be a tough matchup for Wells, but next week he should be a solid flex play start against the Lions.


WR: Justin Blackmon vs. Jets

 With Cecil Shorts working his way back from a concussion, Justin Blackmon figures to see Antonio Cromartie this week if Shorts can’t play. Because quarterback Chad Henne played with the Dolphins for several years, New York is familiar with his skill set and should have an easy time slowing the Jaguars' passing game down.


WR: Antonio Brown vs. Chargers

 Ben Roethlisberger should have a shot at playing this week, as he continues to work his way back from injury, which ups Antonio Brown’s value this week. Problem is, Brown struggles to find the end zone, which caps his value to a matchup play in standard scoring leagues. Keep him on the bench this week, but he might be worth using in the coming weeks against the Cowboys and Bengals.


TE: Antonio Gates @ Steelers

 It’s been a disappointing season for fantasy owners with Gates. Struggles on the offensive line, lack of production in the running game and the absence of Vincent Jackson on the outside have hurt Gates’ odds of production.

Expect defenses to continue to bracket Gates through the remainder of the season and Philip Rivers looking to other options in the passing game. Danario Alexander is really the only player worth starting in the Chargers' passing attack.


Week 14 Standard Rankings:  QB | RB | WR | TE | Waivers