Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 14
SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Justin Fields, Bears
Fields has an incredible history against the division-rival Lions, including rushing for over 100 yards in each of their last three meetings.
The last time these two clubs squared off in Chicago (Week 10 of 2022), Fields was the QB1 overall for the week with 167 passing yards, 147 rushing yards, and four combined touchdowns.
Detroit is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and we just saw Fields finish as the QB8 when he faced the Lions in Week 11.
Boone's projection: 203 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 102 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Other QBs to start
- Brock Purdy vs. Seahawks
- Russell Wilson at Chargers
De'Von Achane, Dolphins
Any questions about Achane's health were answered when he handled 20 touches in a game the Dolphins controlled from start to finish last week. The result was 103 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns en route to a top-three fantasy finish at his position.
Achane has now ranked as a top-five fantasy back in all four games in which Miami gave him 10-plus touches.
With Titans' star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury, there isn't much stopping the Dolphins from another lopsided win featuring plenty of opportunity for Achane.
Boone's projection: 87 rushing yards, 26 receiving yards, 3 receptions, TD
Other RBs to start
- Rachaad White at Falcons
- Saquon Barkley vs. Packers
- Javonte Williams at Chargers
Brandin Cooks, Cowboys
After a slow start, Cooks is the WR19 in fantasy points per game since the Cowboys' Week 7 bye. His worst performance during that stretch is a one-catch, seven-yard outing versus the Eagles.
Fortunately for Cooks, Dallas will be at home for this matchup in the much more favorable confines of AT&T Stadium - where he's scored a touchdown in four straight games.
Philly's defense is giving up the most fantasy points to the position and allowed a whopping 24 receivers to post over 70 yards and/or a touchdown against them in 12 contests.
Boone's projection: 104 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other WRs to start
- Jaylen Waddle vs. Titans
- Courtland Sutton at Chargers
- Jayden Reed at Giants
Jake Ferguson, Cowboys
Eagles-Cowboys has the highest projected point total on the week at 51.5, so we can expect plenty of opportunity for both offenses.
Ferguson had his best game of the season when these two NFC East rivals battled in Week 9, racking up seven catches, 91 yards, and a touchdown on 10 targets.
Philly is also the eighth-easiest opponent for fantasy tight ends this year.
Boone's projection: 78 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other TEs to start
- Dallas Goedert at Cowboys
- Cole Kmet vs. Lions
Matthew Stafford, Rams
The degree of difficulty keeps getting cranked up higher each week for Stafford.
After delivering a strong performance against a banged-up Browns defense in Week 13, the veteran quarterback will have an even tougher test versus the Ravens, who allow the fewest fantasy points to QBs.
To make matters worse, Cooper Kupp appears to be playing at less than 100%, Tyler Higbee hasn't been practicing due to a neck injury, and the weather is calling for heavy wind and rain.
Boone's projection: 205 passing yards, TD, INT
Other QBs to sit
- Geno Smith at 49ers
- Jameis Winston vs. Panthers
Jerome Ford, Browns
Ford has been limited to 14, 13, and 12 touches over his last three games while sharing the Browns' backfield with Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong Jr.
That caps his fantasy ceiling, especially against a Jaguars defense focused on stopping the run during a potentially rainy and windy afternoon in Cleveland.
Keep an eye on Hunt's groin injury. As long as the veteran back suits up, Ford will be more of an RB3 option this week.
Boone's projection: 42 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards, 3 receptions
Other RBs to sit
- Breece Hall/Dalvin Cook vs. Texans
- Gus Edwards vs. Rams
- Devin Singletary at Jets
Calvin Ridley, Jaguars
It's been an up-and-down season for Ridley. He's gone from producing like a No. 1 wideout to seeming like an afterthought in the Jaguars' passing attack.
You would normally think Christian Kirk being sidelined would open up more targets for Ridley. Oddly enough, his best games have come when the Jags had their full complement of weapons.
With the weather looking problematic for Sunday's contest and cornerback Denzel Ward expected to return for an imposing Browns defense, this isn't the spot to trust Ridley in your lineup.
Boone's projection: 38 receiving yards, 4 receptions
Other WRs to sit
- Adam Thielen at Saints
- Jordan Addison at Raiders
- Tee Higgins vs. Colts
Kyle Pitts, Falcons
Highlighting a tight end to sit each week is by far the least effective part of this column. Injuries and bye weeks force you to play almost any tight end of value, and after a certain point in the rankings, you don't need me to tell you to avoid starting players.
Pitts is always a candidate to come through with a big play, but his useful fantasy performances are few and far between these days. He's been held under 50 yards in nine of his 12 outings this season and has just one touchdown this year.
The Bucs defense has been dealing with injuries, but it's not enough to feel confident about starting Pitts this week.
Boone's projection: 42 receiving yards, 4 receptions
Other TEs to sit
- Evan Engram at Browns
- Cade Otton at Falcons
Past stashes that still qualify: Rico Dowdle, D'Ernest Johnson, Zamir White
DeeJay Dallas, Seahawks
Kenneth Walker (oblique) and Zach Charbonnet (knee) are trying to overcome injuries to play this week.
Both missed practice Wednesday and returned to limited sessions Thursday. We'll have a better idea about their statuses after Friday's practice. In the meantime, fantasy managers should stash Dallas (1% rostered).
If the Seahawks rule out Walker and Charbonnet, Dallas would be the next man up. Just know that the matchup with the 49ers is less than ideal, so Dallas would be a volume-based RB3/flex.
Chase Brown, Bengals
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said ahead of last week's game that he wanted to get Brown (6% rostered) more involved.
Turns out he's a man of his word since Brown played a season-high 15% of the snaps and put up 61 yards on nine carries.
That makes Brown the clear No. 2 back and potential flex option with significant upside if Joe Mixon gets injured.
Quarterback (1QB): Derek Carr
Running back: Rhamondre Stevenson, Khalil Herbert
Wide receiver: Christian Kirk, Tyler Boyd
Tight end: Dalton Schultz, Mark Andrews