Welcome to week 14 which for a lot of you is the start of the fantasy playoffs. Now is not the time to get cute, play the guys who brought you this far. Good luck and let’s go win some championships!
This is not intended to be a start/sit or a rankings sheet. Use it when you have a tough decision regarding 2 wide receivers at similar levels. I’m just presenting the data here to help you make more informed decisions so you can win more often. From best to worst the matchups will be listed as (Great, Good, Average, Bad, Terrible). Good luck!
Denver @ Tennessee
Emmanuel Sanders/Demaryius Thomas, DEN
Sanders and Thomas generally move all over the field and the Tennessee corners generally stay on their side. Because of that both are likely to see a mix of Jason McCourty (ranked 48th), Antwone Blake (ranked 49th) and Brice McCain (ranked 57th) in the slot. Tennessee has given up the 6th most points to WR’s and both Sanders and Thomas make good plays in week 14.
Rishard Matthews/Tajae Sharpe, TEN
Denver is death for WR’s. The Broncos have Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr (both ranked 1st) and even Bradley Roby has been playing well lately. The Broncos rank 1st in points against to WR’s at just 13 points per game! On top of that they have only given up 6 touchdowns to WR’s on the season. If you’re pinning your playoff hopes on one of these guys good luck.
San Diego @ Carolina
Tyrell Williams/Travis Benjamin, SD
Both Williams and Benjamin play all over though Williams spends more time outside while Benjamin will move into the slot a little more. The San Diego corners don’t move so they will see a mix of James Bradberry (ranked 18th) and Daryl Worley (ranked 80th). Williams will see slightly more of Worley and makes the much better play as he is making a case for being a weekly WR1. Since coming back from injury Benjamin has only seen 6 total targets making him a tough start. Either way the matchup is good as the Panthers have given up the 7th most points to WR’s.
Dontrelle Inman, SD
Inman has the best matchup of the week out of the slot against Leonard Johnson (ranked 117th). Since the teams bye Inman has seen 6 and 5 targets and has caught 2 TDs. He could make for a sneaky start this week for teams who are thin at WR.
Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
Benjamin is likely to be shadowed by Casey Hayward (ranked 5th) and that is bad news. Last week Hayward shadowed Mike Evans and held him to a 3-38-0 line. On top of that over the last 3 weeks Benjamin has seen 4, 6, and 9 targets. Benjamin makes for a tough start in week 14.
Tedd Ginn, CAR
With Benjamin likely being shadowed Tedd Ginn should see a lot of Trevor Williams (ranked 93rd). Ginn has been seeing enough targets lately to make him flex worthy and that is the case again this week in a plus matchup.
Houston @ Indianapolis
DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller, HOU
While Hopkins plays slightly more on the left and Fuller slightly more on the right, both play on either side over 30% of the time. Hopkins has the slightly better matchup as he’ll see more of Vontae Davis (ranked 106th) while Fuller will see more of Darius Butler (ranked 21st). Still both should get enough opportunity in this game against weak corners. As always the question is Brock Osweiler and his ability to get either the ball.
T.Y. Hilton, IND
Hilton plays over half his snaps from the slot and that means plenty of Kareem Jackson (ranked 81st). Houston has been stingy against WRs ranking 4th in points allowed but Hilton is a weekly WR1 and seeing plenty of snaps against Jackson should put him in line for a good game.
Donte Moncreif, IND
Moncreif plays almost half his snaps from the left and that means stud corner A.J. Bouye (ranked 3rd). He’ll get chances against the weaker Texans corners too but he’s yet to catch over 55 yards since returning from his shoulder injury and is touchdown dependent.
Cincinnati @ Cleveland
Tyler Boyd, CIN
Boyd plays almost 90% of his snaps from the slot and that means he will line up against Tramon Williams (ranked 110th). Boyd has been somewhat disappointing since A.J. Green has gone down with injury but he could be in line for a good week in a good matchup. Still he is nothing more than a WR3.
Brandon LaFell, CIN
LaFell will likely be shadowed by Joe Haden (ranked 97th) but even if he isn’t the Browns other corner Briean Boddy-Colhoun (ranked 55th) shouldn’t pose much of a threat. Still LaFell isn’t much more than a WR3 for those thin at the WR position.
Terrelle Pryor/Corey Coleman, CLE
Pryor lines up equally on either side which means he’ll see both Dre Kirkpatrick (ranked 45th) and Adam Jones (ranked 62nd). Coleman spends most of his snaps on the left which means he will see a lot of Jones. The big question mark here is the return of RG3. In week 1 with RG3, Pryor had 7 targets for a 3-68-0 line and Coleman had 5 targets for a 2-69-0 line. Pryor is a tough sit but if you have a better option you may want to bench him this week and see how he looks with RG3. Coleman can most likely be sat.
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo
Antonio Brown, PIT
Brown lines up equally on either side so he’ll see a mix of Stephon Gilmore (ranked 72nd) and Ronald Darby (ranked 68th). Regardless of the matchup Brown is a weekly must start.
Sammy Watkins, BUF
Watkins lines up on both sides of the field and will see an equal amount of Ross Cockrell (ranked 26th) and Artie Bruns (ranked 46th). The Steelers rank 4th against WRs in points allowed and have given up just 7 touch downs to the position. Last week Watkins saw 9 targets but only turned it into 3 receptions for just 38 yards. Always a deep threat he makes for a boom/bust WR3 in a tough matchup.
Arizona @ Miami
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
Playing the majority of his snaps out of the slot Fitzgerald will line up against Bobby McClain (ranked 71st). Fitzgerald is already a weekly must start and this matchup should do nothing to change that.
DeVante Parker, MIA
Parker is likely to see a lot of Patrick Peterson (ranked 13th). Peterson is a shut down corner who held Julio Jones to a 4-35-0 line in week 12 and has matched up against some of the best receivers in the game. Parker makes for a tough start in week 14.
Jarvis Landry, MIA
With Tyrann Mathieu out another week Landry will face Tavon Branch (ranked 32nd) out of the slot. Branch did a good job last week against Crowder and should make things tough on Landry this week who saw double digit targets for the first time since week 4 last week. Landry is a WR3 in PPR and tough to start in standard leagues.
Chicago @ Detroit
Cameron Meredith/Marquess Wilson/Josh Bellamy, CHI
It would be tough to start any Chicago wide receiver against a Detroit defense that ranks 7 against WRs. On top of that trying to predict who Barkley will throw to week to week is a total crapshoot. Stay away.
Golden Tate/Marvin Jones, DET
Tate tends to play more from the right while Jones plays more from the left. Tate will see a lot of Bryce Callahan (ranked 63rd) while Jones (if healthy) will see a lot of Tracy Porter (ranked 76th).With Jones back in the lineup Tate will take a small hit to his targets. Still, Jones was already a tough start before his injury and will be a tough start again in week 14.
Anquan Boldin, DET
Boldin has a good matchup against slot corner Cre’von LeBlanc (ranked 73rd) but remains a touchdown dependent WR3 option.
Minnesota @ Jacksonville
Stefon Diggs, MIN
Diggs is likely to be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey this week. Ramsey ranks just 77th but has played well lately and could make life difficult for Diggs. Still, Diggs should win his share of battles and is in line for a fair number of catches. The problem is the yards may not be there as the Vikings can’t throw deep. Diggs is a good PPR play but is a low end WR3 in standard.
Adam Theilen, MIN
Thielen will likely be shadowed by Prince Amukamara (ranked 37th). Thielen has been playing well as of late but in a tough matchup he is hard to trust.
Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns/Marquise Lee, JAC
Only Denver has 3 corners better than Minnesota as Xavier Rhodes (ranked 22nd), Terrence Newman (ranked 9th) and Captain Munnerlyn (ranked 40) have made life miserable on opposing WRs. Ranking 2nd in points allowed none of the Jaguars receivers make for appealing starts this week.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
Brandin Cooks/Michael Thomas, NO
Cooks plays all over the field and will only find a tough matchup when lined up on the right against Brent Grimes (ranked 19th). Cooks only lines up on the right 38% of the time so he should see plenty of plus matchups in this one. Thomas is battling a foot injury but if he’s able to play will have a good matchup with Alterraun Verner (ranked 42nd) over half the time. Obviously if Thomas can’t play Cooks will get a boost in value.
Willie Snead, NO
Snead gets the best matchup for the second consecutive week as he’ll see Vernon Hargreaves III (ranked 94th) out of the slot. Snead hasn’t seen double digit targets since week 7 and in a plus matchup last week posted just 2-38-0. Still he seems like a solid WR3 in a good matchup.
Mike Evans, TB
Evans will likely be shadowed by Delvin Breaux (ranked 114th) and his owners should hope he is. Breau is a big corner but he has given up long gains and touchdowns in each of the 2 games he has shadowed receivers. Evans looks due for a big bounce back in week 14.
Washington @ Philadelphia
DeSean Jackson, WAS
Philadelphia’s pass defense has fallen apart lately most recently allowing Cincinnati to torch them for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jackson plays all over though he spends the highest percent (43) on the right. That means he will see more of Leodis McKelvin (ranked 78th). McKelvin has allowed the most passes of 30 and 40 yards this season while Jackson leads the league in percentage of plays over 30 yards. A prototypical boom/bust play Jackson could boom for those needing a home run.
Pierre Garcon, WAS
Garcon plays over half his snaps on the left which means he’ll mainly draw Nolan Carroll (ranked 104th). Even in a good matchup Garcon is a tough start as he’s just not a reliable option.
Jamison Crowder, WAS
Crowder draws the toughest matchup this week as he’ll see slot corner Malcolm Jenkins (ranked 39th). Still Crowder just keeps making plays and has been the Redskins most consistent receiver. He has posted at least 85 yards or a touchdown in 7 straight games and posted a 3-52-1 line the last time these teams played.
Jordan Matthews, PHI
Matthews draws a good matchup in week 14 against slot corner Kendall Fuller (ranked 95th). Matthews posted a 3-75-0 line when these teams met in week 6 and makes for a solid WR2 this week.
NY Jets @ San Francisco
Brandon Marshall, NYJ
Regardless of where Marshall lines up he will have a plus matchup against a shoddy San Francisco secondary. The real problem is Bryce Petty will be making the start in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Marshall was already struggling with Fitzpatrick and that doesn’t seem likely to change with Petty. Marshall is a WR3 in week 14.
Robby Anderson, NYJ
Anderson makes a great dart throw for those who are thin at WR and need a home run to beat a stronger opponent. Normally a forgotten man Bryce Petty seems to have quite the rapport with him as he targeted him 11 times after replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick in week 13. If Petty keeps forcing the ball to Anderson he’ll have a good game from sheer volume alone. Don’t start him if you have better options but if you’re desperate he could make a good play.
San Francisco Wide Receivers:
No San Francisco receiver is fantasy relevant at this point and none should be started.
Seattle @ Green Bay
Doug Baldwin, SEA
Baldwin will see Micah Hyde (ranked 100th) out of the slot. Baldwin has been solid yet underwhelming the last two weeks but that could change against a Green Bay secondary allowing the 3rd most points to wide receivers. Baldwin is a must start this week.
Tyler Lockett, SEA
Lockett lines up all over the field and could be in for another big game. Now finally healthy combined with Russell Wilson finally being healthy, Lockett has begun to emerge as the breakout receiver many hoped he would be. Don’t expect another 75 yard touchdown run but he makes a solid WR3 with upside in week 14.
Jordy Nelson, GB
I don’t expect Richard Sherman (ranked 33rd) to shadow Nelson but he will still see plenty of him. Sherman has actually played better this season when he hasn’t shadowed and just stayed to one side. Regardless Nelson is a locked in WR1 and should be started everywhere.
Davante Adams, GB
Adams plays over half his snaps on the left and will see a lot of DeShawn Shead (ranked 34th). Already a boom/bust WR3 Adams makes for a tough start in a difficult matchup.
Randall Cobb, GB
Cobb has the best matchup against slot corner Jeremy Lane (ranked 66th) but Cobb has become touchdown dependent as the targets haven’t been there to sustain consistency. He is a risky start in week 14.
Atlanta @ Los Angeles
Julio Jones, ATL
This would be the one week I would not want to own Julio. Normally a must start he is surrounded with question marks as he deals with turf toe that kept him out of practice all week. If he plays he will likely be shadowed by Trumaine Johnson (ranked 31st). The Rams have proven they can take away a receiver when they want as they did with Brandin Cooks in week 12. Normally I would say this is a matchup Julio can win but with his health in question he carries a lot of risk in week 14.
Tyler Gabriel, ATL
With Sanu already ruled out for week 14 Gabriel should be in line for more targets. It’s tough to say how the Rams will defend him if Julio also sits but he makes for a decent fill in for owners who have Julio. Regardless of Julio’s status Gabriel looks like a high upside WR3.
Kenny Britt, LA
Britt has quietly emerged as a good fantasy start each week in a Rams offense that has few weapons. The matchup in week 14 is good as he should see Robert Alford (ranked 67th) on more than half his snaps. Against a Falcons defense allowing the 9th most points to wide receivers Britt makes for a low end WR2.
Dallas @ NY Giants
Dez Bryant, DAL
Dez will likely be shadowed by Janoris Jenkins (ranked 15th). Dez and Dak Prescott really seem to be on the same page now and regardless of matchup Dez is a must start every week.
Cole Beasly, DAL
Beasly will see Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ranked 12th) out of the slot. A high volume, low yard, PPR play Beasly makes for a tough start in all formats this week.
Odell Beckham, Jr, NYG
Beckham lines up all over the field and the Giants have been doing a good job of getting him matched up against the other teams worst corner. That means we should see him getting plenty of work against Anthony Brown (ranked 69th). Regardless of where he lines up OBJ is a locked in WR1 and a must start.
Sterling Shephard, NYG
Shephard will see plenty of Orlando Scandrick (ranked 22nd) out of the slot. Despite the high ranking Scandrick is dealing with multiple injuries and has not looked good as of late. Despite the favorable matchup Shephard just has not been doing enough lately to warrant a start in anything but the deepest leagues.
Baltimore @ New England
Steve Smith, Sr., BAL
Smith lines up all over the field and should see plenty of targets against a Patriots defense that is good, but not great, against opposing wide receivers. He makes for a solid WR3 in week 14.
Mike Wallace, BAL
Wallace will likely see plenty of Maclom Butler (ranked 4th). In a tough matchup Wallace can’t be considered anything more than a WR3.
Julian Edelman, NE
Edelman will draw Jerraud Powers (ranked 60th) out of the slot. With 40 targets over the last 3 games and no Rob Gronkowski, Edelman is a weekly must start WR1, especially in PPR leagues.
Malcom Mitchell, NE
Mitchell saw over 80% of the teams snaps in week 2 and is now clearly the Patriots number 2 option behind Edelman. He will see a lot of Jimmy Smith (ranked 59th) this week but should be in line for enough targets to make him a WR2.
Chris Hogan, NE
Hogan lines up all over the field and while the matchup is generally good, Hogan’s consistency is not. He is a WR4 and is likely only startable for those in deep leagues who are very thin at WR.
Questions about the matchups? Anyone I missed? Let me know in the comments below.