Fantasy football Week 14 preview

Whether you have one week left in the regular season or you’re starting the first round of playoffs this weekend, Week 14 is a very big one. For all intents and purposes, it’s playoff time, fantasy owners.

Here are the guys you should start or sit to stay alive for your league championship:

Start

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — Even without A.J. Green and Gio Bernard, Dalton had a great game against the Eagles last week. He faces the Browns this week, so he should have a solid outing. The last time he faced them he had 308 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers — Things look good for Winston as he gets to face the Saints twice in the next three weeks. New Orleans has surrendered 19 touchdowns through the air and gives up 277 yards per game.

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers — Just in case you were scared off due to his performance last week, you have to factor in that he was at Seattle. This week he will take on the Chargers at home.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — He wasn’t as bad as he seemed last week against the Colts. He totaled 79 yards against a bad defense. This week he should find the end zone as he takes on the worst team in points allowed to running backs, 49ers.

Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals — Hill’s the main man in Cincinnati and should roll against the Browns. He had 168 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins — Despite the Cardinals doing well against most running backs, Ajayi is a high-volume player and the Dophins should be able to keep the game close unlike last week.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks — Facing Green Bay has turned into a nice treat for fantasy football players. Baldwin’s had two tough games in a row, but he has two nice matchups in the next two weeks.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The Ravens have given up 21 touchdown passes, which is in the bottom half of the league. Edelman has had at least seven targets in eight straight games and is coming off his first 100-yard outing.

Broncos receivers — If Trevor Siemian is good to go, I think both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are good starts against the Titans. Tennessee is 31st in points allowed to wideouts.

Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers — He has four touchdowns in his last six games and could find the end zone against the Saints.

Bengals defense — They face the Browns and a rusty Robert Griffin III.

Sit

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens — Don’t go chasing last week’s production. New England will be a much tougher matchup than the Dolphins were last week.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s had a fantasy season to remember, but you can’t start him against the Broncos in the first week of your playoffs.

Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — His yards-per-carry average hasn’t been good since taking over for the injured C.J. Anderson. The Broncos signed Justin Forsett, who knows the offense well. Be wary of Booker this week against the Titans, who rank sixth in points allowed to running backs.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants — The Cowboys have only given up five rushing touchdowns all year and are second best in rushing yards allowed per game. They’re fourth best in points allowed to running backs.

Ravens running backs — Neither Terrance West nor Kenneth Dixon should fare well against the Patriots. They’ll likely trail the host team for most of the game, forcing them to abandon the run.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers — He’s only been good every other week over the last month and he faces the Seahawks defense. Expect Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to make the most hay.

Steve Smith, WR, Ravens — He’s been targeted at least five times in each of his last five games, but his production has been on and off. The Patriots are sixth best in points allowed to receivers.

Dolphins receivers — DeVante Parker is ailing and Jarvis Landry has had just two solid games in the last five weeks. The Cardinals are 10th-best in limiting wideouts’ fantasy points.

Fantasy football Week 7 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — When looking for a quarterback to stream in any given week, first ask yourself, “Is he playing the Browns?” Dalton is playing the Browns this week. He’s performing well this season, but lacks the number of touchdown passes you want out of a starter.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — Cousins hasn’t been bad this year for fantasy, and he gets to face Detroit, a team that gives up the most points to quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s coming off two monster games so he should be able to produce against the Colts defense, which is 26th in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers — Doug Martin suffered a setback and is out for this week, and Rodgers gets to face the 49ers rushing defense that allows more than 170 yards per game.

Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Robert McClain #27 of the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs — Not to say Jamaal Charles will have a bad game, but Ware will have ample opportunity to put up big numbers against the Saints defense as well. They are last in points allowed to running backs.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Bills — This comes with a major caveat. If LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to go, you won’t want Gillislee starting. If McCoy’s hamstring keeps him out, however, Gillislee is coming off his most productive performance.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars — You were hoping he would be at least a top-10 performing receiver when you drafted him, but he’s been disappointing so far. Start him against the Raiders since they allow the second-most points to wideouts.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs — Consider him a decent start, but he really should do well against the Saints defense. If he doesn’t get it done against them, only use him as a bye week replacement afterward.

Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals — Again, you have to make sure he’s playing, but if he gets the nod, he should be a solid play against the Browns, who are last in points allowed to tight ends.

Sits

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals — He was a start last week but performed poorly. The Cardinals are in the midst of changing identities, possibly riding the success of running back David Johnson for the rest of the season. Not to mention they face the Seahawks.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — In Week 2 he had 30 carries and 3 touchdowns. It’s the last time he scored and his numbers have gotten steadily worse. The Ravens are second-best at limiting running backs in scoring.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — He’s had no more than 11 carries in each of his past four games and he faces a great Minnesota defense that has had two weeks to prepare.

Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by defensive end Trent Murphy #93 of the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on October 16, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals — Three touchdowns in his past five games have inflated his production a bit. He probably won’t fare well against the Seahawks.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans — He didn’t play against the Colts last week and he faces the Broncos this week. This matchup is too tough for you to expect positive results.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The targets and opportunities are there, but the production hasn’t been. Facing the Steelers, who are ninth best in points allowed to receivers, won’t help. His past four games have been stinkers.