The Docket: Week 14

A rundown of all the matchups, including notes on all the best players to start, sit and stomach in Week 14. 

Welcome to Week 14 of The Docket, a weekly column that offers strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting and avoiding each week. We bring the energy each week with the positive, neutral and negative charge.

Bengals vs Browns (+5.5 o/u 43)

Bengals

Positive

  • Andy Dalton – Big game last week and always throws for 1 TD, but only has 2 TDs three times this year. We can expect much of the same, around 250 to 300 yards and 2 TDs as the ceiling here.
  • Tyler Eifert – Only two targets last week is a concern, but the Browns don’t have an answer for him and he is THE preferred red zone target for Dalton. Should score again this week and is due for a huge game, this could be it.
  • Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd – They are seeing 6+ targets in every game since Green missed. Best used as WR3’s, but against this weak Browns secondary both guys could get into the end zone. I prefer LaFell who has could easily snag two TDs on the outside, while Boyd’s upside in the slot limited a bit by Eifert. If you are in dire straights, wouldn’t be shocked if intriguing rookie Cody Core caught a few passes here. The Browns top corner Joe Hadden is also iffy to play this week, which helps too. 
  • Jeremy Hill – The presence of Rex Burkhead does cap his PPR upside a bit, but Hill still saw 26 touches last week and through volume alone he’s a solid RB2. Earlier this year he dropped 168/1 on them with just 9 carries.
Neutral
  • Rex Burkhead – Speaking of Burkhead, if you are really hurting and need some RB help, he is involved enough to provide flex production and possible some upside if he can score.

Browns

Positive  

  • Terrelle Pryor – He gets it done every week, so he should be in every owner’s lineup as a WR3 with major upside this week with RG3 back in the saddle who will take shots to him deep.

Neutral

  • Corey Coleman – Nothing but a gut call, but with RG3 back, shots will be fired and Coleman is talented enough to come through if you need a deep reach with upside.

Negative  

  • Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Gary Barnidge – You don’t want to have to rely on any of these guys, even at home in a decent matchup. Maybe if you are being totally contrarian Crowell comes through. As for Barnidge, the good news is that the Bengals are giving up a solid 17 FPG to TEs the last 5 weeks but without McCown, tough to expect much.

Broncos vs Titans (-1 o/u 43.5)

Broncos

Positive  

  • Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas – Hopefully they get Siemian back, since Lynch is not up for the challenge especially on the road. It’s best to use these guys as WR3’s if you can, but the upside is always there for both against a Titan’s secondary giving up the third most YPG to wide receivers on the year and 51.3 FPG to WRs the last 5 weeks.

Neutral 

  • Trevor Siemian – If he plays, not a horrible QB2 start against a Titan’s secondary giving up 27.1 FPG to QBs the last 5 weeks. And it’s not like Booker can run on them, so this is a sneaky game to use him in.

Negative

  • Devontae Booker – He’s averaging less than 3 YPC since taking over and the Titans allowing the 7thfewest rushing yards to opposing RBs on the year. HC Kubiak has already stated that Justin Forsett is going to see carries this week and Booker just might not be a good fit for the teams outside zone run scheme; Forsett is though and knows the offense well.

Titans

Neutral  

  • DeMarco Murray – You’re getting him in your lineup every week. He should be healthier coming off of a bye and is at least playing at home against a Broncos run defense that has given up over 24 FPG over the past five weeks. Don't over think it, play him. 
  • Delanie Walker – The Broncos were giving up good production to TE’s earlier in the season, but only 7.5 FPG over the past five weeks.  That said, they haven’t really played very many good ones during that period and Kelce lit them up two weeks ago for 8/101 two weeks ago. Walker should see similar usage and production this week.

Negative

  • Marcus Mariota, Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, Kendall Wright – I wouldn’t be excited about using any of these guys this week and avoid where you can. The Broncos giving up around 17 FPG over the past five weeks, so you can expect something like that as Mariota’s ceiling.

Steelers vs Bills (+2 o/u 47)

Steelers

Positive

  • LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown – Both of these guys are locked and loaded, as top plays at their position every week even in this tougher matchup on the road. In DFS, on the road, I would be comfortable playing Bell if you want to guarantee yourself some decent points even if he doesn’t hit value, while I would shy away from Brown at his cost.
  • Ladarius Green – The Steelers needed another weapon in the passing game and they have found him in Green who put up a monster 6/110/1 on 11 targets last week still as a part time player as he rounds into form. In another year of instability at the position for fantasy, Green has emerged as a top weekly play against a defense giving up a decent 14 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks.

Neutral

  • Ben Roethlisberger – Always struggles more on the road and this is not an easy matchup in a game that could feature snow and wind. I would still start him as a QB1 in season long leagues, but this game has the makings of a possible let down with Ben throwing for no more than 225 yards and 1 TD.

Bills

Positive

  • LeSean McCoy – The Steelers giving up only 3.5 YPC over the past five weeks and have been playing much better defense lately. That said, McCoy has been a beast this year and is a solid RB1 at home in a game that may feature more running than normal due to weather concerns. His only downside is the emergence of Mike Gillislee as their goal line back.

Neutral  

  • Sammy Watkins – He doesn’t play nearly as well hurt and the weather could be a bit brutal in this one, but at home he should get fed the ball a decent amount against the Steelers weakest CB, Artie Burns. I don’t love him this week, but as your WR3 there is upside.

Negative

  • Tyrod Taylor – I would avoid him if you can, against a Steelers defense playing much better lately and only giving up around 18 FPG to opposing QBs the past five weeks. He will take some shots down the field, but this could be a nasty weather game.

Cardinals vs Dolphins (-1 o/u 43.5)

Cardinals

Positive 

  • David Johnson – You can’t stop unstoppable. The Dolphins giving up 4.8 YPC and over 6 catches a game the past five weeks. He will probably average over 5 YPC and get over 8 catches this game. Unstoppable. He’s literally carrying teams to the championship and the Dolphins will be without starting linebackers Alonso and Jenkins. 
  • Larry Fitzgerald – He’s as dependable a WR2 in PPR leagues as you can find catching 10 of 11 targets last week and playing a Dolphins team that has had trouble covering the slot all year.  If the Dolphins come out playing zone coverage like they did last week, Fitzgerald should tear them apart.

Neutral

  • Carson Palmer – He’s come on a bit lately and while this game has the makings of a trap game, playing on the East Coast at 10am, something they have been bad at all year, the Dolphins have at least been giving up 25 FPG to opposing QBs the last 5 weeks. He’s not a safe start, but when you can just throw it to David Johnson you put up points.
  • Jermaine Gresham – Somehow he’s relevant. With the receivers doing nothing, Gresham has been active and is viable this week against a Dolphins defense giving up an insane 23 FPG to opposing TEs the past five weeks.

Negative

  • John Brown, Michael Floyd, J.J. Nelson – The Dolphins secondary has been up and down. Prior to last week, they had given up the 8th fewest passing yards per game on the year, and then Flacco took them to school. I think the bounce back here, which means stay away from these jokesters.

Dolphins

Neutral 

  • Jay Ajayi – The Cards are giving up the fewest yards in the league to opposing RBs, but at home, with volume and with a healthy offensive line he is a no brainer RB2. Hopefully the Cards come out flat coming across the country too.
  • Jarvis Landry – Had 11 catches on a massive 14 targets last week and the Cards have been ripped by slot CB’s all season, although that was without slot CB Tyvon Branch who is back now healthy. You can expect 6+ catches, but I wouldn’t count on many TDs.

Negative 

  • Ryan Tannehill, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills – The Cards have a great passing defense and will bring some pressure up front. I would avoid these guys if you can even at home against CB Patrick Peterson and company. Could they come through? Sure. But anyone can come through, so benching is the smart move.