This is it. The last week before the playoffs. Some of you have Week 16 and Week 17 two-week finals, so your playoffs begin this week. That's not a bad format, except that your playoffs begin on a bye week. If everyone agrees to it, then fine.
For the rest, this is make or break. You want to make it into the playoffs. It's an accomplishment. If you are in it, you can win it. Matchups in Week 14 count for everything from a fantasy perspective, but from what we have seen, matters in the NFL can take a dramatic turn.
This is a bye week for two teams, so the equation may require sleepers. Prepare carefully. Do not overthink. Go with your gut and get that playoff spot or higher ranking.
Good luck in Week 14!
Week 13 Starts/Sits and Sleepers disclosure:
1. Best Start: Jake Browning Worst Start: Derek Carr Week: 48%
2. Best Sit: Drake London Worst Sit: James Conner Week: 49%
3. Best Sleeper: Jauan Jennings Worst Sleeper: Cade Otton Week: 57%
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CeeDee Lamb and Kaylee Hartung
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The 2023 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview is next.
Updated: Dec 10 8am ET
Trending: Christian Watson O | Geno Smith Qgtd | Trevor Lawrence Qep/gtd
2023 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview
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The Games this Week
Byes: Cardinals, Commanders
A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.
Early Sunday: Jaguars (8-4) at Browns (7-5)
During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Doug Pederson informed reporters that Lawrence suffered a right high-ankle sprain in Monday night's loss to the Bengals. While Pederson didn't rule out Lawrence for the upcoming game against the Browns on Sunday, he emphasized the importance of ensuring Lawrence's full recovery before returning to the field.
Several other important Jaguars players sustained injuries on Monday night, most notably Christian Kirk. It's rough going for the Jaguars as we rapidly approach the playoff weeks.
The Browns' Side Of Things
Amari Cooper may miss this game because of a concussion. They have started four different quarterbacks this season, and so far, Joe Flacco looks the most effective since Deshaun Watson went down for the season. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, while showing promise, appears too green for the regular starting job. Further info below.
The Browns continue to play strong without Nick Chubb and Deshaun Watson. If they are without Amari Cooper, then Kevin Stefanski will roll with that problem too.
Note: Joe Flacco is expected to start for the Browns
Without Trevor Lawrence and Christian Kirk, this is a different team. No question. The AFC South division race changes if the Jaguars cannot ride out these challenges. Doug Pederson has a lot on his plate. Trevor Lawrence is listed as a game-time decision.
Most consider C.J. Beathard among the low-end backups in the NFL. The small sample on Monday night, with a fumble on his first snap, doesn't fuel much optimism for the Jaguars in this game.
Sadly, you need to temper expectations for all the fantasy Jaguars on the road in the Dog Pound. If Amari Cooper is out, the rest of your Browns are relatively safe in the hands of Joe Flacco, if he continues starting. Whether Flacco himself is fantasy sound is a matter of debate. The starter for the Browns remains up in the air. Check here for notes and updates on that.
Fun Fact: The Jaguars have won five straight visits to Cleveland following a game where the Browns lost on the road.
Vegas Line: Browns -3.0
Vegas OU: 31.0
Start: Jerome Ford, RB, Browns
Sit: Calvin Ridley, WR, Jaguars
Sleeper: Cedric Tillman, WR, Browns
Pick Poll: Jaguars 65%
In the Booth: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Injury Update: Travis Etienne Jr. Qep | Trevor Lawrence Qep/gtd | Amari Cooper Qc | D'Ernest Johnson Q | Noah Brown Q |
Other Early Sunday Games in Blurbs...
Lions (9-3) at Bears (4-8)
The Bears, despite playing well, are essentially spoilers down the stretch. In Week 11, the Lions defeated them, but Justin Fields and D.J. Moore outperformed Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown. David Montgomery dominated the ground game. These rebound matchups can often take unexpected turns. Adverse playing conditions may affect this game. Wind, rain, and even snow are forecast. Temper expectations for your fantasy starters if weather becomes a factor.
Vegas Line: Lions -3.0
Vegas OU: 40.5
Start: Jared Goff, QB, Lions
Sit: David Montgomery, RB, Lions
Sleeper: Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
Pick Poll: Lions 94%
In the Booth: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Injury Update: None
Colts (7-5) at Bengals (6-6)
I don't think anyone expected Jake Browning to throw for 354 yards and a touchdown last Monday, adding a couple of rushing scores. Gardner Minshew also had one of his better games last week against the Titans. They are not harming anything for the fantasy-receiving studs either. To add more spice to this game, these teams are close city rivals. The impetus for winning this game also adds a playoff atmosphere. Start all the fantasy regulars and various select sleepers!
Vegas Line: Colts -1.0
Vegas OU: 40.0
Start: Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
Sit: Gardner Minshew, QB, Colts
Sleeper: Alec Pierce, WR, Colts
Pick Poll: Bengals 51%
In the Booth: Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Jay Feely
Injury Update: Tyler Boyd Qep |
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Buccaneers (5-7) at Falcons (6-6)
Surprisingly, the Buccaneers still control their own destiny for the AFC South division. Baker Mayfield didn't reclaim any star distinction with his 21-18 win over the Panthers, but he at least gave Mike Evans his 10th 1000+ yard season. The Buccaneers allow the third-most yards to wide receivers in 2023, and the Falcons the third-least. That said, no fantasy starts in this game are glowing green for either side. The best choices are the running backs, but keep expectations in check.
Vegas Line: Falcons -2.5
Vegas OU: 39.0
Start: Drake London, WR, Falcons
Sit: Baker Mayfield, QB, Buccaneers
Sleeper: Tyler Allgeier, RB, Falcons
Pick Poll: Falcons 65%
In the Booth: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Injury Update: None
Texans (7-5) at Jets (4-8)
Tim Boyle didn't work out as the Jets hoped, and he's gone. Brett Rypien joins the Jets now, but Zach Wilson will return to start. On the other sideline is rookie sensation C.J. Stroud. Stroud won't have one of his favorite targets, Tank Dell (out for the season), who got mangled up in a play where he had no business being in last week. The Jets' defense slow everyone down, so while your Texans are all playable, expect the going to be tough. Of course, no Jets are ever safe, not even Garrett Wilson.
Vegas Line: Texans -5.5
Vegas OU: 33.0
Start: Devin Singletary, RB, Texans
Sit: Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets
Sleeper: Brevin Jordan, TE, Texans
Pick Poll: Texans 90%
In the Booth: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Injury Update: Breece Hall Qep | Tyler Conklin Q | Dalton Schultz O | Zach Wilson StQ |
Rams (6-6) at Ravens (9-3)
It seems that only the Ravens can inject life into aging wide receivers. Odell Beckham Jr. might not be that fantasy-relevant, but in real football, he's performing with presence. A Christmas feast is coming when the Ravens play the Forty-Niners. These games before them are very important, even if they don't have the same verve. The Rams can upset the Ravens. Start all your fantasy majors in this one and give sleeper considerations to various players if you need them.
Vegas Line: Ravens -7.0
Vegas OU: 40.5
Start: Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens
Sit: Kyren Williams, RB, Rams
Sleeper: Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens
Pick Poll: Ravens 94%
In the Booth: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Injury Update: Lamar Jackson Qep | Tyler Higbee Qnep |
Panthers (1-11) at Saints (5-7)
The Panthers didn't get a C.J. Stroud type of rookie in Bryce Young, but it seems he's coming along. With nothing to play for, the Panthers can let loose and try out some downlisters. The Saints aren't out of it yet, so a win puts them back in the running for the division. Without Derek Carr, Jameis Winston will likely show off his arm with reckless abandon. So, this game could get somewhat flighty with these quarterbacks. It's either flood or dud as far as fantasy points are concerned here.
Note: Derek Carr will give it a go and start for the Saints.
Vegas Line: Saints -5.0
Vegas OU: 37.5
Start: Chris Olave, WR, Saints
Sit: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Panthers
Sleeper: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Panthers
Pick Poll: Saints 95%
In the Booth: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Injury Update: Chris Olave Qep | Taysom Hill Qnep | Juwan Johnson Qep | Rashid Shaheed Qnep | Derek Carr Qep/StQ | Stephen Sullivan Q |
Late Sunday: Bills (6-6) at Chiefs (8-4)
Sean McDermott won't likely get fired at the end of this season as coach of the Bills, but he's certainly forging a leash for 2024. The firing of OC Ken Dorsey just before Thanksgiving seems like window dressing at this point for a problem that goes beyond offensive rectifying. The truth is, something about the team culture just doesn't seem right.
All quarterbacks prefer to shoulder the blame when a team is going through lows. Josh Allen is no different. But let's face it, the breaks haven't gone the way of the Bills lately. A low-percentage field goal to send a won game into overtime is just a show of contempt by the football gods.
There's something about Buffalo between the Sabres and Bills. These are franchises that just can't catch a break.
Chiefs Also Rattled
A week earlier, the Chiefs took it on the chin against the Eagles too. After a mid-season stretch of six straight wins, the Chiefs began to sputter—for no good reason. The loss against the Packers on Sunday night threw all the playoff projections back into a shuffle for both conferences. It was an important game, but only if the Packers could win it. And the NFL, with all its craziness, allowed the Packers to win it and create curious scenarios everywhere.
Note: Isiah Pacheco is out.
Offense (Almost) Full Steam Ahead
The Bills are suffering from key injuries on defense, so they'll likely try to go into an offensive trench and play for possession. This may mean a good day for Dalton Kincaid and James Cook, plus the rest of the backfield may have upside.
Josh Allen will not hesitate to run for first downs, as usual, but the downfield shots to Stefon Diggs won't be in short supply.
The Chiefs are just as keen to play possession as well. Isiah Pacheco is showing stark prominence of late, so the Chiefs will play him regularly.
Overall, the short game won't hold forever, so we can anticipate Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen locking horns with passing skills. Start your favorite fantasy stars in this game.
Fun Fact: The Bills and Chiefs have alternated wins and losses at Arrowhead since 2009. Should this pattern continue, the Chiefs would be next for a win.
Vegas Line: Chiefs -2.5
Vegas OU: 47.5
Start: Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs
Sit: James Cook, RB, Bills
Sleeper: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Chiefs
Pick Poll: Chiefs 73%
In the Booth: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Injury Update: Isiah Pacheco O |
Other Late Games in Blurbs...
Seahawks (6-6) at Forty-Niners (9-3)
The Forty-Niners clocked the Seahawks the week before defeating the Eagles. They are the current juggernaut in the NFL. We should not expect any difference in the rematch at Levi's Stadium from the first meeting of these teams. It might be closer, but the Forty-Niners remain a tough out. All your fantasy Forty-Niners continue as full starts, but the Seahawks, while potentially good starts, all come in with lower expectations. That Forty-Niner defense is a force.
Vegas Line: Forty-Niners -10.5
Vegas OU: 46.5
Start: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Forty-Niners
Sit: Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks
Sleeper: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
Pick Poll: Forty-Niners 96%
In the Booth: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Injury Update: Geno Smith Qgtd | Zach Charbonnet Qep | Kenneth Walker III Qep | Elijah Mitchell Qnep |
Vikings (6-6) at Raiders (5-7)
Some of the shine came off Josh Dobbs following the droopy loss to the Bears before the bye week. Since then, the Lions took control of the division, the Packers are back in it, and now the Vikings badly need a win. Enter Justin Jefferson to save the day! Expect Jefferson to make his presence known from the first snap. Not to be outdone, Davante Adams will duel. Another game with the backups. Start all the relevants on both sides with sleeper options. A fantasy firestorm alert is in effect.
Vegas Line: Vikings -3.0
Vegas OU: 40.5
Start: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Vikings
Sit: Aidan O'Connell, QB, Raiders
Sleeper: Jakobi Meyers, WR, Raiders
Pick Poll: Vikings 75%
In the Booth: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Injury Update: None
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Broncos (6-6) at Chargers (5-7)
The Broncos lead the teams, which are 6-6 in the AFC, looking from the outside for a wild-card spot. A win would put them solidly in the mix. For the Chargers, this season has been a disaster. The offense managed just two field goals to defeat the Patriots. Brandon Staley's team is just not plugged in. Start the tight ends and running backs for both sides. A mostly rigid game is on tap here for a while. Don't be impatient; this game must open up at some point. It has sound fantasy potential.
Vegas Line: Chargers -2.5
Vegas OU: 44.0
Start: Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
Sit: Jalen Guyton, WR, Chargers
Sleeper: Samaje Perine, RB, Broncos
Pick Poll: Broncos 55%
In the Booth: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Injury Update: Joshua Palmer O | Samaje Perine Qep |
Sunday Night Football: Eagles (10-2) at Cowboys (9-3)
The triumph last Thursday for the Cowboys stands out due to them maintaining composure, despite the Seahawks leading for a significant portion of the second half. This underscores the potency of the Cowboys' offense, even though the defense faced challenges in containment.
The Eagles' loss in Week 13 has injected renewed intensity into the battles for the NFC East title. The top seed is now in that battle. This is it, right here, on Sunday Night Football. The timing could not be more seemingly profound.
Eagles Needed The Rout?
Nothing helps a team readjust more than a trip to the woodshed. If we look at the Broncos in Week 3 against the Dolphins, that 70-20 loss changed things. The Eagles had good fortune against the Chiefs and Bills, but that didn't work against the Forty-Niners. On Monday morning, the Eagles woke up and realized that fortune won't always bail them out.
The Eagles are going to play this game hard for every snap. The Cowboys are facing a very angry team, an embarrassed team, and a determined team. It might have been better if the Cowboys faced them last week instead of the Niners.
Intangibles Are One Thing...
The reality is that the Cowboys have the ability to also destroy the defense of the Eagles, despite the Eagles gaining intangible positives from their loss last week. The Eagles need Darius Slay and Fletcher Cox healthy and ready for this game to keep the Cowboys at bay.
The Cowboys look strong on both sides of the ball, but last week they allowed the Seahawks a chance to steal the game. There is much to discuss about the chances that both teams have in the current matchup for getting an upper hand. The bottom line is that this game is definitely Dak Prescott versus Jalen Hurts.
A Game With Texture
Keep the seatbelts ready to snap in. There is no need to press the point that all relevant fantasy players and their dogs are full starts for this game. The Eagles allow the second-most yardage to wide receivers and most touchdowns. Examine the Cowboys depth chart for sleeper options you might like.
This game will have physicality and penalties as a result. Expect deep shots early and then a slight tightening up, but not for long. It will loosen up, mostly in the second and fourth quarters. A high-fantasy storm warning is in effect.
Fun Fact: The Cowboys, following a win at home, have defeated the visiting Eagles five straight times since 1994. They have also beaten the point spread five straight times in that scenario.
Vegas Line: Cowboys -3.5
Vegas OU: 52.0
Start: Brandin Cooks, WR, Cowboys
Sit: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
Sleeper: Dallas Goedart, TE, Eagles
Pick Poll: Eagles 53%
In the Booth: Mike Tirico, Chris Collinsworth
Injury Update: Rico Dowdle Q | Julio Jones Q | Dallas Goedert A |
Monday Night Football
Titans (4-8) at Dolphins (9-3)
Tyreek Hill needs 519 more yards to reach a 2000-yard receiving season. That means he needs 130 yards per game. The Titans allow the sixth most receiving yards, and with the luxury of cheering fans, Tyreek can add a chunk to his goal this week. Derrick Henry averages only eight half-ppr fantasy points on the road this season, compared with nearly 20 at home. Start all your regular Dolphins with depth, but be very selective about starting any fantasy Titans and reduce expectations.
Vegas Line: Dolphins -13.5
Vegas OU: 46.5
Start: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
Sit: Will Levis, QB, Titans
Sleeper: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Titans
Pick Poll: Dolphins 99%
In the Booth: Chris Fowler, Louis Riddick, Dan Orlovsky
Injury Update: Tyreek Hill Qep | Raheem Mostert Qep | Durham Smythe Q |
Packers (6-6) at Giants (4-8)
The Packers had a bigger win against the Chiefs than you might think last Sunday night. It shook up the playoff race around the entire league. The Packers are now favorites for a wild card. To maintain that, every game down the stretch becomes important. The Giants are a dangerous spoiler team. They are capable of coming out of their hole and biting an unwary opponent. Your fantasy Giants are absolutely playable, and this game could get crazy.
Vegas Line: Packers -6.5
Vegas OU: 36.5
Start: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Giants
Sit: Jayden Reed, WR, Packers
Sleeper: Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
Pick Poll: Packers 90%
In the Booth: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Injury Update: AJ Dillon Q | Jayden Reed Qep | Christian Watson O | Aaron Jones Q |
In the Booth on Sunday
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James Lofton and Jay Glazer
Jaguars at Browns: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Texans at Jets: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Buccaneers at Falcons: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Colts at Bengals: Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Jay Feely
Rams at Ravens: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Lions at Bears: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Panthers at Saints: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Bills at Chiefs: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Broncos at Chargers: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Seahawks at 49ers: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Vikings at Raiders: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
© 2023 Richard Savill
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