Week 14 fantasy matchups: Everything you need to know

Panthers at Falcons (at 1pm ET)

Must Play: RB Christian McCaffrey

Start: QB Matt Ryan; RB Devonta Freeman; WR Calvin Ridley; WR D.J. Moore

FLEX: WR Curtis Samuel

Injuries to monitor: WR Julio Jones (shoulder); TE Austin Hooper (knee); TE Greg Olsen (concussion)

Key Game Facts

-- Christian McCaffrey has averaged 9.4 receptions per game in five career contests against Atlanta

-- Over the last two years, McCaffrey has posted 149, 178, and 191 yards from scrimmage against the Falcons

-- McCaffrey has also averaged 4.9 yards per carry against Atlanta in his last 3 meetings

When the Panthers have the ball: Even though Kyle Allen and Carolina flopped three weeks ago when these two teams met, Christian McCaffrey still managed to put up a 30-burger in fantasy football without scoring a touchdown. CMC will continue to carry fantasy teams on his shoulder against an Atlanta defense that he has historically owned. With 66 targets (11 per game), 41 receptions (6.8 per game) and 555 yards (92.5 per game) since Carolina's Week 7 bye, D.J. Moore is a strong WR2 play once again this week. Curtis Samuel isn't seeing near the volume that Moore is -- Samuel only has 43 targets since Week 7 -- but he remains a high-end FLEX play against this Falcons secondary that has allowed the eighth-most PPR points to receivers this year. After suffering a concussion in Week 13, Greg Olsen hasn't practiced all week and is unlikely to suit up in Atlanta. Panthers interim HC Perry Fewell indicated that Carolina will roll with a "committee approach" that will apparently include Chris Manhertz and FB Alex Armah along with Ian Thomas, who took over for Olsen as a starter last year. There are far better TE streaming options than Thomas this week like Vance McDonald, Tyler Higbee, Mike Gesicki, and Jacob Hollister.

When the Falcons have the ball: All signs point to Julio Jones returning after a one-game absence, which means Atlanta's offense might be at full-strength for the first time in a month if Austin Hooper also returns on Sunday. Matt Ryan hasn't finished as a QB1 (top-12) in fantasy since Week 6, but I'd be willing to go back to him as a low-end QB1 in Week 14 with all of his weapons back. Devonta Freeman also hasn't logged a top-12 finish since Week 6, but this is a near-perfect spot for him to break that streak. Carolina's run defense has completely unraveled recently, allowing a league-high 5.84 yards per attempt and 1.17 fantasy points per carry over the last month. With Atlanta at home and favored by 3 points, Freeman is an RB2 with RB1 upside and far too cheap on DFS sites in Week 14.

Colts at Buccaneers (at 1pm ET)

Start: QB Jameis Winston; WR Mike Evans; WR Chris Godwin; TE Jack Doyle

Sleeper: WR Zach Pascal; WR Parris Campbell

Sit: RB Ronald Jones

Injuries to monitor: WR T.Y. Hilton (calf); RB Marlon Mack (hand)

Key Game Facts

-- Jack Doyle set season-highs in targets (11) and routes run (40) last week without Eric Ebron (injured-reserve)

-- The Bucs' are allowing the 4th-most yards and 4th-most fantasy points per game to TEs

-- Jonathan Williams did not play a single snap in the second of the Colts Week 13 game against the Titans

When the Colts have the ball: While it seems like the Colts will get Marlon Mack back this week, T.Y. Hilton is set to miss another game and is in danger of being shut down for the season if the Colts fall further from playoff contention this week. Indianapolis desperately needs a lift after an injury-riddled season and Mack's return certainly helps, but I am fading Mack in fantasy lineups this week. Not only does Tampa Bay have the No. 1 ranked run defense in FootballOutsiders' DVOA metrics, Mack has historically underperformed when the Colts lose ball games. Over the last two years, Mack has averaged just 10 PPR points per game in Colts' losses versus 15.5 PPG in their wins. Indianapolis are three-point road underdogs this week. Hilton and Eric Ebron's absence opened up a predictably monster role for Jack Doyle last week and I'd only start Kittle, Ertz, Kelce, and Waller over Doyle among tight ends in Week 14. Hilton's loss also sets up Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell for nice roles against the Bucs' league-worst secondary. In his last two healthy games, Campbell saw 8 targets in Week 4 and 5 targets (along with 3 carries) in Week 9 and he's particularly cheap in DFS this week.

When the Buccaneers have the ball: After getting benched for not picking up a blitz last week, Ronald Jones and this Tampa Bay backfield can't be trusted for lineup decisions in the fantasy quarterfinals. At the very least, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both carry their usual WR1 appeal in Week 14 as the Colts have quietly yielded the 7th-most PPR points per game (25.8) to receivers aligned out wide over the last two months. Godwin moves into the slot when the Bucs' go into their three-receiver sets and his matchup is greatly enhanced there with Colts slot CB Kenny Moore ruled out. It certainly isn't fun to watch at times, but Jameis Winston continues to be a low-end QB1 in fantasy football. Winston has finished as the QB13 or better in weekly output in seven of his last 10 games.

Dolphins at Jets (at 1pm ET)

Start: WR DeVante Parker; RB Le'Veon Bell; WR Jamison Crowder; TE Ryan Griffin

Stream: QB Sam Darnold; QB Ryan Fitzpatrick; TE Mike Gesicki

Sleeper: WR Robby Anderson; RB Patrick Laird

Key Game Facts

-- Patrick Laird's snap rate has increased for four-straight weeks

-- The Jets are allowing the 3rd-most receptions to RBs

When the Dolphins have the ball: I was completely wrong about the Dolphins offense last week and am not repeating the same mistake in Week 14. DeVante Parker has finished as a top-25 fantasy receiver 7 times over the last 10 weeks and should have no issue dusting this Jets secondary that is giving up the 6th-most PPR points per game (26.9) to receivers aligned out wide. On that note, both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mike Gesicki have solid streaming appeal in Week 14. New York will be without both LB C.J. Mosley (groin; IR) and S Jamal Adams (ankle) this week which further enhances the Dolphins outlook on offense. After Kalen Ballage left early in Week 13, Miami made Patrick Laird their featured back and he has desperation FLEX appeal in deep leagues against this banged-up Jets defense. Laird should be Miami's No. 1 back again this week with only Myles Gaskin and Zach Zenner behind him on the depth chart.

When the Jets have the ball: After a miserable 6-point performance against the Bengals last week, the Jets offense should bounce back at home against Miami. The Dolphins have allowed Josh Allen (QB1), Baker Mayfield (QB5), and Carson Wentz (QB5) to finish as top-5 QB options in fantasy over the last three weeks, which puts Sam Darnold squarely at the top of the streaming radar in Week 14. I'd start Darnold over Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan this week. Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and Ryan Griffin all busted as the Jets offense failed to travel last week but all have access to a monster ceiling against the NFL's least talented defense. Just make sure Bell is active on Sunday -- he's missed practice time with an illness this week. If Bell misses, Bilal Powell will immediately be on the low-end RB2 radar. You could even throw Robby Anderson into a fantasy lineup this week, especially since he's come to life with 4/86/1 and 7/101 in the Jets last two games.

49ers at Saints (at 1pm ET)

Must Play: WR Michael Thomas; TE George Kittle

Start: RB Alvin Kamara; TE Jared Cook; WR Deebo Samuel

Beware: RB Raheem Mostert

Sit: QB Drew Brees; QB Jimmy Garoppolo; RB Tevin Coleman; WR Emmanuel Sanders

Injuries to monitor: RB Matt Breida (ankle)

Key Game Facts

-- Tevin Coleman played a season-low 18 percent of 49ers snaps last week

-- Coleman has scored 41.4 PPR points combined in his last 5 games after putting up 37.8 points vs. Carolina in Week 8

-- Latavius Murray has gotten 8 or fewer touches in 8-of-10 games with Alvin Kamara healthy this season

When the 49ers have the ball: Outside of George Kittle, it's hard to find a 49er to love in fantasy this week. Matt Breida has been practicing in full all week and his return makes San Francisco's backfield impossible to predict. Tevin Coleman was demoted in favor of Raheem Mostert last week and Breida is going to command his usual 10-15 touches here. I'm expecting the Saints to use Marshon Lattimore as a shadow on Emmanuel Sanders, which gives Deebo Samuel the far better matchup against Eli Apple and P.J. Williams. Samuel is the WR22 in points per game over the last five weeks and he's the only other 'Niner we can somewhat comfortably start in the quarterfinals. A rib injury has slowed Sanders after his hot start with his new team and his individual matchup with Lattimore is tough, but he'll be back in play as a WR3 option next week against Atlanta.

When the Saints have the ball: New Orleans offense is extremely straight-forward for fantasy decisions this week. Alvin Kamara hasn't scored in seven-straight games but his outlook may be slightly better than originally meets the eye. While San Francisco is very tough against the pass, their run defense has shown signs of cracking -- allowing the 10th-most yards per carry and 8th-highest success rate on the ground over the last two months. While Michael Thomas is an obvious must-start and Jared Cook remains a top-10 option at the position, there are at least 15 better QB options than Drew Brees this week. Per 4for4's metrics that are adjusted for strength-of-schedule, no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to QBs than the 49ers have this season. And, over the last eight weeks, no team has allowed a lower success rate (39 percent) through the air than San Francisco.

Lions at Vikings (at 1pm ET)

Start: QB Kirk Cousins; RB Dalvin Cook; WR Stefon Diggs; TE Kyle Rudolph

Start and pray: WR Kenny Golladay; WR Marvin Jones

Sit: RB Bo Scarbrough

Injuries to monitor: WR Adam Thielen (hamstring)

Key Game Facts

-- Over the last eight weeks, the Vikings have allowed a league-high 33.4 fantasy points per game to receivers that align out wide

-- Kenny Golladay aligns out wide on 85 percent of his routes (Marvin Jones: 65 percent)

When the Lions have the ball: With T.J. Hockenson on IR, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones stand alone as the only start-able Lions in fantasy football. I'd be lying if I said I knew how David Blough would play this week, but we do know that both Golladay and Jones are in amazing matchups against the Vikings struggling starting cornerbacks. Per Next Gen Stats, Xavier Rhodes has allowed the NFL's worst passer rating (131.4) in coverage this season while Trae Waynes ranks 6th-worst (106.1). Both Golladay and Jones are boom-or-bust WR2's with Blough under center. I really wish Matthew Stafford were healthy. Bo Scarbrough has seen 14, 18, and 21 carries in Weeks 11-13, but he hasn't seen a single target in the passing game yet -- making him a touchdown-dependent RB3 in fantasy.

When the Vikings have the ball:Dalvin Cook is insistent that he can continue to battle through a shoulder injury that caused him to miss most of the second-half of MNF last week. Cook is impossible to bench if he does indeed suit up in Week 14, but Alexander Mattison could be much more involved than usual with Cook operating at less than 100 percent -- especially if the Vikings get out to a big lead. Minnesota is currently favored to win by nearly two touchdowns. Adam Thielen seemingly can't get his hamstring right, but Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs have nuclear upside against the Lions. Since their Week 7 bye, Detroit has allowed a top-8 fantasy performance in 5-of-7 games while no team has allowed a higher touchdown rate or more fantasy points per pass attempt in this span. Meanwhile, Kyle Rudolph has averaged 13.7 PPR points per game in Thielen's four missed contests this season and only put up 5.5 points per contest when Thielen plays. Rudolph remains an underrated TE1.

Broncos at Texans (at 1pm ET)

Must Start: QB Deshaun Watson; WR DeAndre Hopkins

Start: RB Phillip Lindsay; WR Courtland Sutton

Beware: WR Will Fuller

Sit: RB Carlos Hyde; RB Duke Johnson; RB Royce Freeman; TE Noah Fant

Key Game Facts

-- Since the Broncos Week 10 bye, Phillip Lindsay has 54 opportunites (attempts plus targets)

-- Royce Freeman has just 22 opportunities in this span

When the Broncos have the ball: With 60 yards and/or a touchdown in 10-of-12 games this year, I'm not sure how you can sit Courtland Sutton during the fantasy quarterfinals. Phillip Lindsay has frustrated with only RB31, RB28, and RB34 fantasy results since Denver's bye, but the Broncos have used him in a clearly featured role over Freeman in this span. As long as he keeps getting this level of volume, the results will follow. It doesn't hurt that the Texans have allowed a top-10 RB fantasy performance in three-straight games. Meanwhile, Noah Fant was held in check in Week 12 against Buffalo (3/14 on 5 targets) and he saw just 2 of Drew Lock's 28 pass attempts last week, catching one for 5 yards. There are plenty of better TE options out there this week.

When the Texans have the ball: After roasting the Patriots for the QB1 fantasy performance last week, but Watson and DeAndre Hopkins must be locked into fantasy lineups. It took him a little bit to get fully going, but Nuk quietly has quietly averaged 20.1 PPR points per game over his last six contests. After ripping the Colts for 7/140 in his return from a hamstring injury in Week 12, Will Fuller predictably crashed back down to earth against the Patriots (1/8). Fuller is a tough WR3 to trust in crunch time against a Broncos secondary that has allowed the 6th-fewest gains of 20+ passing yards this season. Mike Williams' late 52-yard reception last week padded his stat line, but fellow lid-lifters like Fuller have all been held relatively in check against Denver this season (D.J. Chark - 4/44; Tyreek Hill - 3/74/1; T.Y. Hilton - 2/54). Since the Texans Week 10 bye, Carlos Hyde has 36 touches while Duke Johnson has 28 in this span. Neither are particularly inspiring plays this week.

Ravens at Bills (at 1pm ET)

Must Play: QB Lamar Jackson

Start: RB Mark Ingram; TE Mark Andrews; QB Josh Allen; WR John Brown

FLEX: RB Devin Singletary

Sit: WR Marquise Brown; WR Cole Beasley

Key Game Facts

-- Josh Allen has finished worse than QB15 just twice this entire season

-- Bills red-zone (inside-10) carries since Week 7: Gore (6), Allen (4), Singletary (3)

When the Ravens have the ball: Buffalo presents a formidable task on defense, but you know what to do here. Lamar Jackson is the QB1 (like always) while Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews are rock solid plays (like always). Marquise Brown popped up on the injury report on Thursday with the same ankle injury that has limited him all year long. Playing at less than 100 percent and struggling to produce, I have no interest starting Brown against Tre'Davious White.

When the Bills have the ball:Devin Singletary remains frustratingly under-utilized when Buffalo gets into scoring position, but he has 16 or more touches and at least 75 yards from scrimmage in four of his last 5 games. Baltimore's defense is obviously starting to get hot when it matters most, but Josh Allen's scrambling ability will always bail him out in fantasy football. With 45 yards on the ground or a score in six-straight games, Allen is borderline matchup-proof. John Brown has proven not to be matchup-proof after being held in check for his two lowest single-game receiving yardage totals against Denver (39 yards on 4 targets) and Dallas (26 yards on 4 targets). Brown likely won't have a huge ceiling game this week, but he should somewhat bounceback if Baltimore gets out to a lead and forces Josh Allen to the air. Brown also has the revenge game narrative working in his favor, and we all saw the power of the narrative on full display with Cole Beasley (6/110/1) last week. However, Beasley is a Week 14 fade because he'll have to do battle with Ravens stud slot CB Marlon Humphrey.

Bengals at Browns (at 1pm ET)

Start: RB Nick Chubb; WR Odell Beckham; WR Jarvis Landry; RB Joe Mixon; WR Tyler Boyd

PPR FLEX: RB Kareem Hunt

Sit: QB Baker Mayfield; WR Auden Tate; WR John Ross

Injuries to monitor: TE David Njoku (wrist)

Key Game Facts

-- Joe Mixon set season-highs in snaps (80 percent) and routes run (22) last week with Andy Dalton back under center

-- Mixon's four receptions last week marked just the 3rd time all year that he's caught more than 3 balls in a game

-- The Browns are allowing 7.2 yards per target to RBs in the passing game (4th-most)

When the Bengals have the ball: Since Joe Mixon's bell-cow role was quietly restored last week, he's a borderline must-start in season-long lineups and an undervalued RB2 on DFS sites. Not only have they struggled to stop RBs against the pass, the Browns rank a middling 23rd in FootballOutsiders run defense metrics. Tyler Boyd is averaging a monster 10.2 targets per game in Andy Dalton's nine starts this year and even though the Browns pass defense has stiffened up recently, this level of volume makes Boyd one of the best WR2 plays this week. Auden Tate has scored at least 9 PPR points in six of Dalton's 7 starts this year, but John Ross' return off of injured reserve hurts his sleeper status. Ross is a Week 14 fade in his first game action since September and with the Patriots up next, it'll be hard to trust Tate and Ross in Week 15, too.

When the Browns have the ball: After flopping last week, the Browns offense sort of feels a bit underrated at home against one of the league's least talented defenses. Baker Mayfield is practicing in full after banging his hand against Bud Dupree's helmet last week, giving both Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham WR1 upside in this matchup. There are at least 12 better QB plays this week than Mayfield, but I wouldn't be surprised if Landry and Beckham both light up Cincinnati. The Bengals are allowing the 7th-most PPR points per game to slot receivers and they are permitting the league's 4th-highest catch rate to pass catchers aligned on the boundary, per Next Gen Stats. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have surprisingly co-existed over the last month as Chubb is the RB10 (57.6 points) while Hunt is the RB11 (56.30) since he returned from suspension in Week 10. Even though Hunt is taking almost all of the passing down work, Chubb has still gotten at least 16 carries in every game and managed to average 93 yards per game on the ground over the last month.

Redskins at Packers (at 1pm ET)

Must Play: QB Aaron Rodgers; WR Davante Adams

Start: RB Aaron Jones

FLEX: RB Derrius Guice; RB Jamaal Williams

Sit: RB Adrian Peterson; WR Terry McLaurin; TE Jimmy Graham

Key Game Facts

-- Adrian Peterson (36 percent) and Chris Thompson (36 percent) both out-snapped Derrius Guice (30 percent) last week

-- Peterson has 35 touches to Guice's 31 over the last three weeks

When the Redskins have the ball:Derrius Guice still hasn't surpassed Adrian Peterson on the depth chart, but he has to have earned more touches after multiple strong showings -- including last week's 10 carry, 129-yard demolition of the Panthers. Almost half (13 of 27) of Guice's carries have gained 5 or more yards since he returned in Week 11 and he's seen 7 red-zone carries to Adrian Peterson's 3 in this span. Game-script could get out of hand here, but Guice's matchup couldn't get much better against the Packers leaky front-seven. Meanwhile, Terry McLaurin has just 14 receptions for 188 yards over the last month with Dwayne Haskins under center. McLaurin's next three matchups (GB, PHI, NYG) are amazing, but he'll be impossible to trust in the fantasy playoffs.

When the Packers have the ball:Davante Adams has seen at least 30 percent of Aaron Rodgers' targets in every single game since he returned to the lineup in Week 9 and he is this week's No. 1 wide receiver play against Washington's burn-able secondary. Aaron Rodgers isn't too bad of a play, either. Aaron Jones' season has been a roller-coaster ride, but this seems like a near perfect matchup for the Packers to run the ball. Because the Redskins keep getting behind on the scoreboard, they've faced the 2nd-most rush attempts (317) this season. Only the Dolphins (324) have faced more. Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams has seen 13, 16, and 14 touches over the last three weeks and remains on the FLEX radar.

Chargers at Jaguars (at 4:05pm ET)

Must Play: RB Leonard Fournette; RB Melvin Gordon

Start: RB Austin Ekeler; WR Keenan Allen; TE Hunter Henry

Sit: QB Gardner Minshew; WR D.J. Chark; WR Dede Westbrook; QB Philip Rivers; WR Mike Williams

Key Game Facts

-- The Jaguars have given up the 2nd-most yards and fantasy points per carry over the last two months

-- Jacksonville has allowed the 3rd-most explosive gains (10 or more yards) on the ground this year

-- Melvin Gordon has seen 17 or more touches in four-straight games

When the Chargers have the ball: With at least 90 yards from scrimmage in four-straight games, Melvin Gordon has a top-3 ceiling in Week 14 against one of the league's worst run defenses. While Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Hunter Henry are all solid starts in season-long lineups, we should continue to avoid Philip Rivers in Week 14. Rivers has logged QB26, QB24, QB21, QB21, and QB17 results over his last five games.

When the Jaguars have the ball: The Chargers have allowed one QB1 (top-12) performance in fantasy all season long and that was to Deshaun Watson way back in Week 3. This likely isn't the week for Minshew Mania. On that note, I'm sitting both D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook this week. The Jags' are just riding Leonard Fournette -- he has 56 touches over the last two weeks -- while the Chargers continue to be stingy against the pass. Over the last two months, the Chargers have allowed the 4th-fewest fantasy points to receivers aligned out wide and the 6th-fewest points to slot receivers. Chark is split out on the boundary on over 70 percent of his snaps while Westbrook aligns in the slot over 80 percent of the time. Both Chark and Westbrook will be great plays in Week 15 (vs. OAK) and Week 16 (vs. ATL), though.

Steelers at Cardinals (at 4:25pm ET)

FLEX: RB Benny Snell

Beware: QB Kyler Murray; WR Christian Kirk; WR Larry Fitzgerald

Sit: RB Kenyan Drake

Stream: TE Vance McDonald

Sleeper: WR James Washington

Injuries to monitor: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee); RB James Conner (shoulder)

Key Game Facts

-- Over the last two months, the Steelers defense has the league's 3rd-lowest passer rating and 2nd-lowest passing success rate

-- Pittsburgh has generated pressure on 31 percent of pass plays in this span (6th-highest rate)

When the Steelers have the ball: Once again, the Steelers will be without both JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner in Week 14. Benny Snell has taken over as Pittsburgh's lead back with Conner sidelined these past two weeks, earning 22 touches in Week 12 and another 17 touches last week. Meanwhile, James Washington has been emerging with Smith-Schuster out and has now gone over 90 yards in 3 of his last four games. Both Washington and Devlin Hodges are in play in Week 14 against this Cardinals pass defense that ranks dead last in passer rating, yards per attempt, success rate, and completion rate. In fact, I'm starting James Washington over Marvin Jones and Mike Williams in one of my leagues. Vance McDonald hasn't done much all year, but he's obviously on the streaming radar against the Cardinals league-worst TE defense. I'd start Kyle Rudolph over McDonald but would bench Jared Cook for him.

When the Cardinals have the ball: I want to like Kyler Murray, Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and Kenyan Drake for a bounceback game this week, but all four are under-whelming season-long plays and DFS fades against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have been one of the best pass defenses in the league since they acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick and their talented and aggressive front-seven could wreak havoc on the Cardinals horrendous offensive line. The 49ers and Rams blew up Kyler Murray's protection to the tune of 10 combined sacks in Week 11 and 13 while holding Murray under 165 yards in each game and a measly 4.6 yards per attempt. Pittsburgh's defense is more than talented enough to hold back the Cardinals offense for a third-straight game.

Titans at Raiders (at 4:25pm ET)

Must start: RB Derrick Henry

Start: RB Josh Jacobs; TE Darren Waller

Stream: QB Ryan Tannehill

So you're saying there is a chance: WR Tyrell Williams

Sit: QB Derek Carr; WR A.J. Brown; WR Corey Davis

Key Game Facts

-- The Titans are allowing the 8th-most fantasy points to receivers aligned out wide and the 6th-most points to slot receivers

-- Tennessee has allowed the 6th-most yards per game to wide receivers over the last month

-- Per 4for4's metrics that are adjusted for strength of schedule, the Titans have allowed the 7th-most points per game to TEs this year

When the Titans have the ball: Over the last three weeks, Derrick Henry has 68 carries for 469 yards (that's 7.3 yards per carry) and 5 touchdowns. That is all. While it's impossible to trust a Titans pass catcher on this Henry-centric offense, Ryan Tannehill is this week's top streaming option at QB. Oakland has allowed five top-12 (QB1) performances since their Week 6 bye, with only Philip Rivers and Ryan Finley failing to meet the mark. Aaron Rodgers (QB1), Deshaun Watson (QB3), Matthew Stafford (QB4), and Sam Darnold (QB3) all lit up the Raiders for monster days as Oakland ranks 3rd-worst in passer rating over the last two months.

When the Raiders have the ball: Apparently, Josh Jacobs has been soldiering through a fractured shoulder this year and that is what caused him to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Even at less than 100 percent health, Jacobs has handled at least 17 touches and rolled up over 100 scrimmage yards in four of his last 5 games. However, Jacobs did not practice all week and while he doesn't need to have many practice reps to play, he does appear to be legitimately questionable. After ripping the Chiefs for 7/100 on a nine-week high 9 targets last week, Darren Waller is a borderline must-start without Hunter Renfrow around stealing targets. Tyrell Williams has fallen off of the face of the earth with 25 or fewer yards in 3 of his last four contests, but he's an intriguing buy-low in this quietly nice matchup.

Chiefs at Patriots (at 4:25pm ET)

Start: QB Patrick Mahomes; WR Tyreek Hill; WR Travis Kelce; RB James White; WR Julian Edelman

Sit: QB Tom Brady; WR Sammy Watkins; RB Sony Michel; WR Mohamed Sanu

Injuries to monitor: RB Damien Williams (ribs); RB Darrel Williams (hamstring)

Key Game Facts

-- Over his last five games, Tom Brady has completed just 55 percent of his passes for 6.0 yards per attempt

-- The Chiefs have held receivers to a league-low 47 percent catch rate when aligned out wide over the last two months

-- However, Kansas City is allowing a 72 percent catch rate to slot wideouts (7th-highest)

When the Chiefs have the ball: Look, I get it. It's the Patriots. They're on the road. Blah, blah, blah. You have to start Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce this week. The Chiefs haven't beaten the Patriots yet, but Mahomes has ripped into the Patriots for 352 yards and 4 TDs and 295 yards and 3 TDs in two career meetings against Bill Belichick. Mahomes has averaged over 9.5 yards per attempt in both matchups with New England, too. Meanwhile, with Damien Williams (ribs) out, Darrel Williams (hamstring) on IR, and LeSean McCoy's load being managed, Darwin Thompson is in line to see 12-15 touches in Week 14. I'm excited to see if Andy Reid unleashes Thompson in the passing game this week because both Kareem Hunt (5/101/1) and Damien Williams (5/66/2) have exposed the Patriots through the air in their last two meetings.

When the Patriots have the ball: Outside of Julian Edelman and James White, I'm not sure it's possible to have much faith in anyone else in the Patriots offense at this point. Brady saved his day with garbage time last week against Houston, but New England's passing attack outside of Edelman and White has been sluggish for a while now. Sony Michel beat up on the Chiefs for 24/106/2 and 29/113/2 as the Patriots tried to establish the run and keep Mahomes off the field last year, but I have zero confidence that a big game is coming this time around. Michel has been ineffective all season long and has played less than 30 percent of Patriots snaps in 3 of his last four games.

Seahawks at Rams (at 8:20pm ET)

Start: QB Russell Wilson; RB Chris Carson; TE Jacob Hollister; RB Todd Gurley; WR Cooper Kupp; WR Robert Woods

FLEX: WR D.K. Metcalf; RB Rashaad Penny

Sit: WR Tyler Lockett; QB Jared Goff; WR Brandin Cooks

Injuries to monitor: TE Gerald Everett (knee)

Key Game Facts

-- Chris Carson has played just 51 percent of Seahawks snaps over the last two weeks after playing over two-thirds of snaps in 7-straight games

-- Rashaad Penny has played over 45 percent of Seattle's snaps in back-to-back games, handling 14 and 19 touches

When the Seahawks have the ball: The key to this game for Russell Wilson is whether or not Jared Goff and Co. show up on offense. If the Rams move the ball efficiently and keep Seattle's foot on the gas, Russell Wilson should bounce back after two back-to-back sub-par games in fantasy. Tyler Lockett's bounce back proposition is a much tougher bet, though. The Rams have used Jalen Ramsey as an every-down shadow cornerback this year and I'm expecting him to travel into the slot against Lockett. I'd start Alshon Jeffery over Lockett this week and would stare long and hard at options like Jamison Crowder and James Washington, too. If Lockett is somewhat shut-down, D.K. Metcalf should have no issue dusting Troy Hill and Nickell Robey-Coleman on the boundary. With 6 or more targets in three of his last 4 games, Jacob Hollister remains in the TE1 mix as well. Even though Chris Carson's snaps were cut significantly last week, he was still loaded up with 24 touches. It's pretty clear that both Carson and Penny can both co-exist in Seattle's run-heavy attack. I'd trust Carson as an RB2 start this week while Penny is an amazing FLEX play.

When the Rams have the ball: After ripping the lifeless Cardinals defense for 423 yards and 2 TDs last week, Jared Goff is best left on the bench (or waiver wire) in Week 14. Goff has been one of the most matchup-sensitive QBs in the league this season and even though Seattle's defense isn't elite by any stretch, they are obviously miles better than Arizona. Still, I'm expecting Goff to be solid enough for Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods to hit as WR2's this week. Even though he's somehow been held scoreless this year, Woods has quietly started to heat up with 7/95, 6/97, and 13/172 over his last three games. Tyler Higbee smashed in the flow-chart matchup (play any TE against Arizona) last week and he's back on the low-end TE1 radar this week against a Seahawks secondary that has allowed the 4th-most receptions to TEs this year. Seattle has allowed an RB2 or better (top-24) fantasy performance in 10-of-12 games this year and even though Gurley remains frustratingly not involved in the Rams passing game, he's an obvious high-end RB2 for Week 14.

Giants at Eagles (at 8:15pm ET; on Monday Night Football)

Start: QB Carson Wentz; RB Miles Sanders; WR Alshon Jeffery; TE Zach Ertz; RB Saquon Barkley; WR Sterling Shepard

Beware: TE Dallas Goedert

Injuries to monitor: TE Evan Engram (foot); WR Golden Tate (concussion); RB Jordan Howard (shoulder); WR Nelson Agholor (knee)

Key Game Facts

-- The Eagles have allowed the 4th-most PPR points per game (29.9) to receivers aligned out wide over the last two months

-- Philadelphia is allowing a league-low 9.0 PPG to slot receivers in this span

When the Giants have the ball:Evan Engram is set to return after missing a month... just in time for the return of Eli Manning. Just make sure you have Kaden Smith stashed on your bench as insurance in case Engram doesn't play on MNF. Golden Tate is also practicing in full this week and it appears that he'll return this week, too -- so at least all of New York's weapons will be healthy for Manning in this spot. With Tate and Engram returning, Sterling Shepard and Tate are decent WR3 options for Week 14. The Eagles are far more beat-able on the boundary than in the slot and Tate's return will kick Shepard back out wide this week. Darius Slayton has seen 7 or more targets in three-straight games but the Giants weapons all getting healthy hurts his sleeper status. Saquon Barkley failed to score last week, but he had a much more Barkley-like 115 scrimmage yards on 22 touches. He's in the RB1 mix, like always.

When the Eagles have the ball: After ripping the Dolphins for 310 yards and 3 TDs last week, Carson Wentz remains in the QB1 fold against New York. The Giants have allowed a top-10 fantasy performance to a quarterback in seven of their last 8 games. Alshon Jeffery hung 9/137/1 on Miami after a month-long absence and he's one of the best WR2 plays of quarterfinals week against this Giants secondary that has given up the 2nd-most fantasy points to wideouts this year. Jeffery's return allowed the Eagles to play more three-receiver sets last week and, subsequently, Dallas Goedert's 57 percent snap rate in Week 13 represented a nine-week low. Zach Ertz is in the TE1 fold like always but Goedert's declining usage would make me lean towards streamers like Tyler Higbee and Vance McDonald. Jordan Howard still hasn't been cleared for contact, so we'll get another week of bell-cow usage for Miles Sanders. With Howard out of the lineup over the last three weeks, Sanders has played over 85 percent of Eagles' snaps with 13, 15, and 22 touches in his starts.

  • -- Graham Barfield is a fantasy editor and analyst for NFL.com. Catch him on the NFL Fantasy Football podcast with Marcas Grant and Michael Fabiano, Fantasy LIVE on NFL Network, watch him on Fantasy League One, and follow him on Twitter @GrahamBarfield. *
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