After a couple of stressful weeks, we’ve arrived at the fantasy playoffs. Did you make it? If you did, that likely means your lineup decisions have become even more crucial. The bye weeks are gone, but there’s still plenty to navigate. 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 are 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 14.
Week 14 Starts
QB: Jared Goff, QB4 hit. Goff continues to be on fire.
RB: Najee Harris, RB15 Hit. Harris continues to be running strong.
WR: Chris Godwin, WR37 miss. Godwin and Tom Brady didn’t connect well in San Francisco.
TE: Noah Fant, TE43 miss. Fant didn’t get the targets despite a high-scoring game.
Start Record: 2-2
Week 14 Sits
QB: Tyler Huntley, QB26 Hit. Huntley got knocked out but probably still wouldn’t have finished Top 12.
RB: Gus Edwards, RB33 Hit. Edwards split with J.K. Dobbins. He ran well, but still not RB2 level.
WR: Brandin Cooks, NA Hit. Cooks ended up sitting this one out.
TE: Cameron Brate, TE24 Hit. Brate isn’t the focus at tight end for the Buccaneers.
Sit Record: 4-0.
Now, on to the Week 15 picks.
Start: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
About: The Vikings are 10-3 and, with a win, can still lock up the NFC North. Sure, they lost to the Lions last week, but it was hardly Cousins’ fault. He threw for 425 yards in the losing effort. Meanwhile, the Vikings have another winnable matchup in Week 15 against the Colts, who are out of the playoffs. Cousins is QB11 on the season, and while the Colts have a decent pass defense, I suspect he and Justin Jefferson will be just fine.
Sit: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
About: The Titans are in first place in the AFC South, but they’re also still reeling. The team has lost three straight and now heads to face a Chargers team that just shut down Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. The Titans don’t have a robust pass offense, to begin with, so I’m not taking a risk on Tannehill in a must-win contest.
Start: Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
About: While a great deal of the focus for the Bengals is on the passing game, it’s important not to forget about Mixon. He’s missed some time, so his overall RB ranking is a deception. But he’s averaged 17.6 points per game when on the field, good enough to be RB5 on a points-per-game basis. In years past, the Buccaneers have been a tough team to run on. Not so much in 2022, as they sit No. 20 in rushing yards allowed. That bodes well for a Bengals team looking to get a win and boasting one of the league’s most productive running backs.
Sit: Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos
About: Murray may be the lead back for the Broncos and may, in fact, just about be the only running back for the Broncos right now, but that doesn’t mean he’s a great fantasy bet. He’s averaging just 9.6 points per game this season. For the Broncos, he has only two games with more than 60 yards, no 100-yard games, three touchdowns, and six games with less than 50 yards. The matchup with Arizona is appealing, but the Broncos’ offense isn’t reliable.
Start: Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
About: Don’t look now, but the Commanders are in the thick of the playoff race. They are 7-5-1 and on Sunday Night Football. A lot of that is thanks to the effort of Taylor Heinicke, who took over as starting quarterback in Week 7. One of his primary beneficiaries has been McLaurin, who sometimes struggled to find a rhythm with Carson Wentz. That’s not been a problem with Heinicke. Since Week 7, McLaurin is WR12. He’s a great bet to be a part of the attack again on Sunday night.
Sit: Chase Claypool, Chicago Bears
About: Remember when Claypool said he was one of the three best receivers in the league. It feels like a long time ago. A change of scenery to the Chicago Bears mid-season hasn’t much changed that. Despite a hot Justin Fields at quarterback, Claypool hasn’t found a rhythm. He’s WR98 since joining the Bears in Week 9, averaging just 4.3 points per game. You have better options.
Start: Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
About: I get it, Engram exploded in Week 14, and you never want to be chasing points. While his Week 14 output was eye-catching, Engram has been a big part of the Jaguars’ offense the whole season. He’s TE9 on a points-per-game basis, seemingly thriving and healthy in a new location. If the Jaguars, who are still in the playoff race, want to hang with the Dallas Cowboys, they’ll need to score points. That means Engram will be a part of the focus for Trevor Lawrence.
Sit: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
About: Gesicki has been a solid bet at tight end the past few seasons, so much so that he got the Franchise Tag this off-season. And yet, despite a robust passing offense in 2022, Gesicki hasn’t been much of a factor for the Dolphins or fantasy players. Gesicki is TE26, averaging just 5.8 points per game. We’re in the crunch, and Gesicki has boom potential because of the team he’s on, but he’s not a reliable bet.
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.