Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Quarterbacks

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · QB
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
2020 · 6-6-0

The Vikings have played well against quarterbacks over the last month, having allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position. But those quarterbacks have been Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater (who is good) and Mike Glennon (who is not). Brady has been a low-end QB1. A streamer. Which seems unbecoming of the G.O.A.T. But he's coming off a bye week. And let’s remember, he’s had multiple touchdown passes in three consecutive starts (and eight total in those games), this is a pretty good. Brady has struggled against elite defenses like the Saints and Rams. And while the Vikings have played better, I like Brady this week. And in Week 15 against the Falcons.

Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · QB
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
2020 · 1-11-0

Tannehill has been an excellent fantasy quarterback outside of Weeks 9-10 when he fell a little bit. He’s had at least 19-plus fantasy points in his last three games, including 27.56 points in a losing effort against the Cleveland Browns. And don’t let anybody sully the name of garbage-time points, because we love them. The Jaguars have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The team has to be reeling after the blow delivered to them by Derek Carr on Sunday. And yes, I know what I just wrote.

Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans · QB
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
2020 · 5-7-0

A lot of people look back at the 2017 NFL Draft and mock the Bears for passing on Patrick Mahomes. Which they did. But the guy I was high on before the draft was Watson. (Remember, Mahomes was more of a wild card and many mocked the Chiefs for the selection.) Watson claimed earlier this year that the Bears never talked to him, though that was eventually debunked. Not that it matters. The Bears didn’t select Watson and the rest is history. I’m going to give Watson a mild REVENGE GAME here and expect him to go for over 300 total yards on his own in this one. I want to believe in the Bears this week. I really do. But after that collapse against the Lions I’m kind of a broken soul.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · QB
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
2020 · 4-8-0

I had some hubris about starting Herbert, although this has been a thing that Bill Belichick has done to rookie quarterbacks throughout his entire career. And I’m not sure what part of the Chargers coaching staff gave me the confidence to think that Shane Steichen was going to match wits with the G.O.A.T. And I had even picked up Kirk Cousins on Saturday and knew I should have made that switch. Things should be different this week. The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Falcons have been better in the last couple of weeks. But I’m not going to overreact to one game and will continue to roll with Herbert for the next two weeks (he has the Raiders after this). I will tell you that I’m not dropping Cousins this week. I won’t start him (and we will talk about that in a moment). But he’s got a nice matchup in Week 15.

Philip Rivers
Indianapolis Colts · QB
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 7-5-0

I like the idea of old rivals going against each other. Kind of like in wrestling where guys with old histories start tangling with each other. I mean, we just saw that recently in AEW where Don Callis and Kenny Omega just played off their history together and started a huge storyline with AEW and IMPACT Wrestling. (The WWE could learn a lesson, here. For years, wrestlers like KENTA will show up and we’re supposed to pretend we don’t know who he is.) So it’s fun to see Rivers go against the Raiders in a new situation, knowing full well he still hates the Raiders. Although, I don’t think Rivers can hate anything, let’s just say he would enjoy beating the Raiders again. Now Rivers has only one 300-yard game against the Raiders in his last four. But Vegas has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, and just gave up a 20 spot to Sam Darnold. No slight to my guy, Sam. But that coaching situation is brutal. Rivers has had 16-plus points in each of his last four games. Expect him to fall in that range again. 

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · QB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 11-1-0

Earlier this season, you figured he was going to be a must-start quarterback throughout the entire year. It’s like when Chris Pratt made the jump to movies and you were like, “He’s never going to make a bad movie, he’s the greatest actor in the world!" Then he made Passengers and you thought he made a huge mistake and that maybe he should just go back to TV. But then he made Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and you were back on board. Which is where we currently stand with Allen. Especially after the way he rolled through the 49ers defense in what was supposed to be a tough matchup. And Alex Smith was just moving the ball against the Steelers. I’m all-in on Allen for the remainder.

Sit 'em

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · QB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 · 7-5-0

The Bud Light Lime of NFL quarterbacks. It’s cool to enjoy those things at home, but you don’t want to be caught out in public drinking one. And that’s what it’s like for Cousins. He’s averaged more than 23 fantasy points per game at home this year. Just over 11 fantasy points on the road. This isn’t a great matchup, either. You might want to hold on to him just in case you need a starter in Week 15 when he’s at home against the Bears. Because Lord knows what the Bears are going to be up to in Week 15.

Alex Smith
Washington Football Team · QB
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-7-0

I had Alex slugged in here thinking this was going to be a tough matchup, even though it’s an Alex Smith REVENGE GAME. And despite the 49ers defense looking awful on Monday night, that’s a good coaching staff. I can’t imagine for a moment that a team lead by Robert Saleh is going to let this go. And if I’m being honest, I was eliminated from a league with a couple of horrible losses because I needed to stream Alex and it goes back to what I wrote about him a month ago. When you expect great things, he disappears. When you least expect it, he comes through. He’s a boyfriend that forgets your birthday, but overwhelms you with gifts on Flag Day.

Andy Dalton
Dallas Cowboys · QB
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
2020 · 2-9-1

The fantasy gods are really tempting me with some REVENGE GAME heroics this week. And I love it. But this isn’t Week 8 and I’m looking for a bye week replacement. This is the opening round of the playoffs. But then again, if you’re 6-7 and barely getting into the playoffs because you drafted Saquon Barkley and George Kittle with your first two picks, then maybe you can give it a shot. And hell, it would make for a great story to tell the lads over beers in a few years. I’m not playing Dalton in a league of consequence, however.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · QB
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
2020 · 11-1-0

I don’t know if you got that vibe on Sunday night, but the Chiefs seem bored. Like when Rusty Ryan was cold-decking those “Teen Beat cover boys” in the opening scenes of Ocean’s 11. Like the Chiefs are just waiting around for the playoffs. They are interested, because they would like to grab that No. 1 seed. But it seems like they could blow out most teams by 70 points. The defense does make plays when it needs to, which is great. And I like Tua long term. I feel like this is a big ask for the rookie right here. He hasn’t topped 20 points since Week 9 at Arizona. And I look at him as somebody who will hover right between 14-16 points. But his floor is a bit lower, so I’d try to avoid the risk.

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