With the shift in the NFL schedule, Week 13 and Week 14 have become a crucial season-ending stretch. Having bye weeks, compounded by injuries and lineup shifts, gives you a lot to navigate. That’s especially true with six teams on a bye this week. You’re likely looking at some tough choices. Such is life in the NFL. While we’re all blissfully rejoicing in the return of the NFL, with it comes the specter of lineup decisions. Who should start? Who should sit? Let this weekly post be your guide as I go on a journey with you these next 18 weeks.
The criteria is simple: I pick one sit and one start from each position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end). This is based on my rankings for each week, which you can find in full at www.campus2canton.com. The standard is Top 12 for quarterbacks and tight ends, and Top 24 for wide receivers and running backs. Each week I’ll begin with a review of how I did the previous week because accountability is a part of this process.
Before we move forward, let’s look at how I did in Week 13.
Starts Week 13
QB: Justin Herbert, QB9 Hit. Herbert didn’t win, but he was still a Top 10 option at the position.
RB: Nick Chubb, RB36 Miss. The Browns’ offense was non-existent despite a win.
WR: Ja’Marr Chase, WR17 Hit. Chase didn’t get TDs, but he was a huge factor in the win.
TE: Dalton Schultz, TE20 Miss. It was Gallup’s big day, leaving Schultz short.
Start Record: 2-2.
Sits Week 13
QB: Tom Brady, QB8 Miss. Brady’s big comeback propelled him into the Top 10.
RB: Cam Akers, RB8 Miss. Akers got two big touchdowns to save his day.
WR: Diontae Johnson, WR38 Hit. Johnson is contributing, but he’s flex-worthy these days.
TE: Austin Hooper, TE21 Hit. Not enough volume and consistency in Tennessee.
Sit Record: 2-2
Now, on to the Week 14 selections!
Start: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
About: It’s been an up-and-down season for Goff. He was near the top of the QB pecking order early, then hit a bit of a valley in the middle. Of late, with his weapons back in place, he’s soaring again. This week, the Lions face a stiff test against the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions are 5-7 and heating up at the right time to remain in the playoff race. They’ll need a big offensive push to have a chance against the 10-2 Lions. With Amon-Ra St. Brown humming, a fleet of weapons that includes D’Andre Swift, Jameson Williams, Josh Reynolds, and D.J. Chark, and six teams on a bye this week, I like Goff as a Top 12 option. I also like the Lions as an upset.
Sit: Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens
About: It seems likely that Lamar Jackson will miss Week 14. That’s a blow for those who roster him, and you might be tempted to throw in Huntley. While he’s performed well when asked to come in for Jackson, this will be a tough test. The Ravens travel to battle the Steelers this week, a rivalry that always creates a lot of hard-hitting, low-scoring games. The Ravens still lack weapons at running back and receiver, which makes the challenge even stiffer for Huntley. In this crucial week, I’m steering clear.
Start: Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: It’s been an up-and-down season for Harris, but since coming back from a bye he’s been going strong. His resurgence mirrors the resurgence for the Steelers’ offense in general. Since Week 11, Harris is RB8. Now, heading into a fierce game against the Ravens, the Steelers will want to lean on Harris and protect rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. There were times in the season when starting Harris was a tough decision. The Steelers’ line still isn’t spectacular, but Harris’ talent is winning out. I’m firing him up.
Sit: Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
About: I was excited when Edwards finally returned from injury. I had hoped he’d bring some stability to the Ravens’ rushing attack. So far, it hasn’t happened that way. Edwards has three touchdowns in four games which have propped up some of his fantasy value, including two in his first game, but he has yet to hit 70 yards in any game, running for 195 yards total in four games. That includes just six carries for 12 yards against a fierce Broncos defense. This week he gets the Steelers. I’m not optimistic.
Start: Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
About: Godwin got off to a slow start recovering from an ACL injury. The Tampa Bay offense has also been up-and-down. Still, Godwin has been a reliable piece of that offense. Since Week 4, he only has had two games with less than ten targets. He’s also caught at least six passes in every game since Week 4. While he’s WR25 overall on the season, Godwin is averaging 14.5 points per game. The Buccaneers need a strong closing stretch to secure their spot in the playoffs, and Godwin is the most dependable piece of the offense. I’m firing him up and rolling him out.
Sit: Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
About: Cooks, for years, has been a reliable option in fantasy despite a number of team changes and uneven quarterback play. Sadly, in 2022, the Texans’ offense has been so woeful, it’s impossible to count on anything. Cooks is WR49 on the season, averaging just over 10 points per game. He also hasn’t seen double-digit targets since Week 2. He’s not a player I’m counting on down the stretch to give me Top 24 production.
Start: Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks
About: Fant is a talented player that’s often been trapped in poor offensive situations. First, it was the low volume of the Broncos’ attack. Then, it was coming to a crowded situation with the Seahawks. But as he’s settled into a groove, Fant has become a reliable piece of what’s turned out to be a good Seahawks’ passing game. Tight end has been a difficult position to forecast again in 2022, but with Ken Walker ailing, the focus is on Geno Smith and the pass offense. That means I’m firing up Fant this week.
Sit: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
About: When Rob Gronkowski retired, the question was who would step up at tight end. The obvious first answer was the veteran Cameron Brate. But it hasn’t played out quite that way. Brate has just 16 receptions for 137 yards and no touchdowns. He’s also been limited to just seven games due to injury. Meanwhile, rookie Cade Otton is getting stronger and getting more involved in the offense, including catching a touchdown pass on Monday night. Tight end isn’t particularly robust for the Buccaneers right now, but if I’m betting on one, it’s Otton and not Brate.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.