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Start Jameis Winston, Sit Marcus Mariota in Week 14

RotoExperts Staff December 8, 2016 9:56AM EDT

QUARTERBACKS

Start ‘Em

Andy Dalton (Bengals) at Browns: Dalton looked very good last week against a solid Philadelphia pass defense, going over 300 yards with two scores. Imagine how much better he’ll be against a terrible Cleveland pass defense that allows 259.4 yards per game with a league-high 28 touchdowns allowed and just eight interceptions.

Philip Rivers (Chargers) at Panthers: The Panthers’ pass defense was gutted in Seattle on Sunday night, and it’s unlikely they’ll have much fight now that the defending NFC champions are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For Week 14, Rivers will meet a Carolina pass defense allowing 276.8 yards per game with 22 touchdowns and 10 pass plays of 40 or more yards allowed.

Jameis Winston is expected to take another step forward in production this season. Photo Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Jameis Winston is a great Fantasy play against the 31st-ranked pass D in the NFL. Photo Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Jameis Winston (Buccaneers) vs. Saints: Winston is going to have an outstanding afternoon against the porous Saints pass defense; you can count on it. The top overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft has really come of age. In September, he completed 60.6 percent of his passes,  and just 56.7 percent in October. But he has completed two-thirds of his attempts in November and December while throwing for nine scores and just three interceptions. The Saints rank 31st in the NFL against the pass, so you can expect the good times to continue to roll for Famous Jameis.

Sit ‘Em

Blake Bortles (Jaguars) vs. Vikings: Bortles will face another top-notch pass defense, limiting his Fantasy usefulness for Week 14. He has been grinding it out through a nagging shoulder injury, which is admirable, but the injury coupled with some tough matchups has made him a Fantasy liability lately. He rushed for a score against Denver last week, but was held under 200 passing yards for the second straight week. Look for the Vikings to continue to limit his production again this week.

Sam Bradford (Vikings) at Jaguars: The Jags have had a lot of problems, but pass defense isn’t one of their trouble spots. Bradford will be facing the league’s No. 2 pass defense, as Jacksonville gives up just 195.8 yards per game with 15 scores against them. Bradford isn’t someone you want to rely upon if you’re embarking on your Fantasy Football playoff run, as it could be a very short ride if you use him.

Marcus Mariota (Titans) vs. Broncos: The bye came at a terrible time for the Titans, as their offense was rolling right along. Mariota has eight straight games with two or more touchdown strikes, but that streak comes to an end Sunday against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. The Broncos have allowed just 192.7 yards per game and 10 touchdowns through 12 games.

RUNNING BACKS

Start ‘Em

Matt Forte (Jets) at 49ers: Forte didn’t have a very good night against Indianapolis Monday, but that’s because Gang Green was forced to abandon the run due to an early deficit. Forte will atone for his mediocre outing by slamming a San Francisco rush defense that is last in the NFL, giving up 169.3 yards per game and 17 touchdowns allowed. The Niners have also been gouged for 15 runs of 20 or more yards.

Jeremy Hill (Bengals) at Browns: Hill will post huge yardage totals in Cleveland Sunday, as the Browns rank last in the AFC with 140.6 yards allowed per game and 13 touchdowns. The Browns are winless through 12 games mainly because of their awful defense, which cannot stop anyone through the air or on the ground.

Mark Ingram (Saints) at Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have yielded 116.1 yards per game and 10 touchdowns this season, so expect Ingram to continue his solid play, as long as he does not suffer a setback with his toe and knee injuries, forcing him to the inactive list.

Sit ‘Em

LeGarrette Blount (Patriots) vs. Ravens: Blount has been a touchdown machine this season, but he is going to have a hard time finding much running room against a Baltimore rush defense that is at the top of the charts through Week 13. The Ravens have yielded just 73.8 yards per game on the ground, along with only four rushing touchdowns and three rushes of 20 or more yards. If Blount reaches 50 yards it would be a feat.

Devontae Booker (Broncos) at Titans: The Titans’ rush defense will be an impenetrable wall in Sunday’s game in Nashville. They have allowed just 92.3 yards per game on the ground, with six scores and nine runs of 20 or more yards allowed. Booker has company, too, as the team signed RB Justin Forsett. They’re planning to use Forsett like they used Kapri Bibbs before his season-ending injury.

Jonathan Stewart (Panthers) vs. Chargers: The Chargers’ rush defense ranks third in the NFL, giving up an average of just 89.1 yards per game. Opportunities are there in the red zone, as the Bolts have allowed 16 rushing scores, but the yardage will be hard to come by. San Diego has given up just six runs of 20 or more yards this season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Start ‘Em

Jamison Crowder (Redskins) at Eagles: Crowder was overlooked at Duke, but emerged as a star in his college days. He was an undrafted free agent, but he has quickly emerged as a vital cog in the Washington offense and a rising Fantasy star. He has found the end zone in four of his last five games, and he has been targeted at least six times in five of his last six outings. He is a solid WR3 or ‘flex’ play in most standard Fantasy leagues, and a legit low-end WR2 in PPR formats.

Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos) at Titans: The Titans have been dinged for 176 receptions, 2,251 yards and 15 touchdowns by opposing wide receivers, as teams understand that the conduit to the end zone when facing Tennessee is outside the hashes. The Tennessee secondary will continue to struggle with Sanders and his partner in crime, WR Demaryius Thomas, who should have several big gainers down the sidelines.

Tyrell Williams (Chargers) at Panthers: Williams entered last week’s game with a shoulder ailment, but he was nonplussed. He ended up finding the end zone for a fourth consecutive week, although he was limited to just two receptions for 47 yards. You can expect a rebound in Carolina against a Panthers secondary that has been shelled this season. Williams will post his fourth 100-yard game of the season while extending his TD streak to five games and counting.

Sit ‘Em

Taylor Gabriel (Falcons) at Rams: Gabriel has been a solid addition to Fantasy teams in recent weeks, as he has been targeted 21 times over the past four games with 15 catches, three of them for a score. He also has a rushing touchdown during the span. However, his 44 yards from scrimmage last week against a very giving Chiefs pass defense was disappointing, and he’ll struggle against a much better Rams pass defense.

DeVante Parker (Dolphins) vs. Cardinals: Parker (back) has so much talent, but he just cannot seem to stay healthy and on the field. His latest ailment is a back injury, suffered last weekend in Baltimore. Parker has found the end zone twice in the past three games, but he is facing a lockdown Cardinals pass defense in Week 14, and health is always a concern.

Allen Robinson (Jaguars) vs. Vikings: Robinson continues to post underwhelming stat lines, as the Jags have faced several daunting pass defenses in recent weeks. The road doesn’t get any easier for Robinson against the Vikings, a team that’s limited opposing wideouts to just 1,447 yards and nine scores.

TIGHT ENDS

Start ‘Em

Tyler Eifert (Bengals) at Browns: The Bengals’ pass attack moved the sticks nicely last weekend against Philadelphia despite the continued absence of WR A.J. Green (hamstring), and Eifert found the end zone for the second time in as many games. He is a deadly red zone threat, and the Bengals will find themselves inside the Cleveland 20 yard line early and often.

Lance Kendricks (Rams) vs. Falcons: If you’re looking for a sleeper streaming option this weekend, Kendricks fits the bill. The Falcons have been punished by opposing tight ends for 69 receptions, 780 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Kendricks might not go for 100 yards, but it’s fair to expect 60-65 yards and a touchdown, as Jared Goff should look his way early and often in Week 14.

Sit ‘Em

Martellus Bennett (Patriots) vs. Ravens: Bennett hit triple digits a few weeks ago with Rob Gronkowski (back) on the field at the same time. Since Gronk went down you would expect more targets and better production from Bennett, right? Well, he has just six receptions for 40 yards on 11 targets, as he has been more of an afterthought in the offense rather than a vital cog. The Ravens have allowed just two scores to opposing tight ends, so don’t look for a Bennett breakout this week.

Dennis Pitta (Ravens) at Patriots: Pitta posted a pair of touchdown grabs against the Dolphins last week, but don’t expect a repeat performance in Week 14 Monday night. The Patriots’ defense has been tough on opposing tight ends; they’ve allowed just 58 receptions, 571 yards and two touchdowns, tied for lowest TD total in the AFC.

KICKERS

Start ‘Em

Josh Lambo (Chargers) at Panthers: The Panthers’ pass defense has been atrocious this season, so you can expect the Bolts to move the ball up and down the field at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. Lambo will rack up double-digit Fantasy points in this one.

Sit ‘Em

Brandon Myers (Jaguars) vs. Vikings: The Jaguars will struggle to score points against a dangerous and opportunistic Vikings defense, so look for Myers to have very few chances to score for his Fantasy owners.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Start ‘Em

Bengals at Browns: The Browns will start QB Robert Griffin III (shoulder) on Sunday against the Bengals, and you have to think there will be considerable rust, because he hasn’t played since suffering a broken bone in his shoulder at Philadelphia in Week 1. Turnovers should be plentiful, and a beaten up offensive line will mean plenty of sacks for the Bengals, too.

Sit ‘Em

Texans at Colts: The Colts’ offense looked sharp in Monday’s game at N.Y. Jets, and they’ll continue to stay hot as they vault into first place in the AFC South on Sunday against the Texans. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense will be good for at least 31 points, so the Texans’ DST is a poor Fantasy play.

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