Sit Brady this week

Play­ers to start as fan­tasy play­offs be­gin

The Western Star - - SPORTS - BY BRAN­DON C. WIL­LIAMS For more Week 14 fan­tasy lineup ad­vice and tips, visit Ro­toEx­perts: https://ro­toex­

It’s play­off time in most fan­tasy leagues, so if you’re still con­tend­ing for a ti­tle it prob­a­bly means you had a crafty draft, timely waiver wire moves and a for­tu­nate bounce or two along the way.

Now, the job is shift­ing. Week 14 is also the last week of the reg­u­lar sea­son in a host of leagues. Weather could be a fac­tor this week in some games, but the ob­jec­tive is the same as it was in Septem­ber: win. START: Amari Cooper, WR,

Cow­boys: Per­form­ing at a WR1 level, Cooper has caught 16 of 17 tar­gets in the past two weeks and will have a great op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue his pace against an Ea­gles pass de­fence that is 30th in fan­tasy points al­lowed to op­pos­ing re­ceivers. Cooper was tar­geted 10 times in the Week 10 vic­tory at Philadel­phia and will see a sim­i­lar vol­ume of tar­gets from quar­ter­back Dak Prescott. The Ea­gles have al­lowed 47 com­ple­tions of bet­ter than 20 yards, which plays well for Cooper’s chances. SIT: Tom Brady, QB, Pa­tri­ots: The touch­downs haven’t been there for Brady, who has just four scor­ing tosses in his last five games, in­clud­ing a pair of ze­roes in Weeks 8 and 10. With the emer­gence of rookie run­ning back Sony Michel, the need for Brady to air it out has less­ened. He’s also been less than stel­lar through­out his ca­reer at Mi­ami, who is se­cond in the league with 19 in­ter­cep­tions. Un­less he’s the only avail­able op­tion, look else­where. START: Gus Ed­wards, RB, Ravens: Since be­ing plugged into the lineup, Ed­wards has av­er­aged 105 yards per game. Now he gets a Chiefs de­fence that is 31st in fan­tasy points per game al­lowed to op­pos­ing run­ning backs. Ed­wards has just one touch­down this sea­son, a to­tal that should go up con­sid­er­ing that Kansas City has given up 14 rush­ing scores and a hefty 5.1 yards per carry. He’s a bor­der­line RB1 with po­ten­tial to put up mon­ster num­bers. SIT: Mar­lon Mack, RB, Colts: Out of the fry­ing pan that was the Jaguars’ de­fence and

into the fire of a blis­ter­ing hot Tex­ans D goes Mack, who had just eight car­ries for 27 yards last week against Jack­sonville. His pro­duc­tion could be fur­ther carved if In­di­anapo­lis must go pass-heavy, as rookie Ny­heim Hines will see more touches. Hous­ton is fifth in the league against the run, and only the Bears (four) and Pa­tri­ots (five) have al­lowed fewer rush­ing touch­downs than the Tex­ans with six. Mack is too risky, es­pe­cially in PPR for­mats. START: David Njoku, TE,

Browns: In­con­sis­tent of late, Njoku has just 12 tar­gets in his last three games but will have the op­por­tu­nity to re­ward faith­ful fan­tasy own­ers against a Pan­thers de­fence that is the worst at stop­ping op­pos­ing tight ends. Carolina has al­lowed at least two touch­down passes nine times this sea­son and with Cleve­land look­ing to avoid the Pan­thers’ fifth-ranked run de­fence, it’s easy to see quar­ter­back Baker May­field mak­ing Njoku a fo­cal point of the of­fence, es­pe­cially in the red zone. SIT: Jared Goff, QB, Rams: Yes, Goff has led many a fan­tasy team to post-sea­son glory, but start­ing him against the Bears could lead to a one-and-done sce­nario. Game time temps will be in the up­per 20s and the only

thing colder than the weather are op­pos­ing passers against the Chicago de­fence, which leads the league with 21 in­ter­cep­tions while al­low­ing just five touch­down passes in the last five games. The risk-re­ward that comes with start­ing Goff on Sun­day night leans heav­ily to the risk cat­e­gory. START: Adam Humphries, WR, Buc­ca­neers: He has thrived in the wake of DeSean Jackson’s ab­sence, catch­ing touch­downs in each of his last three games. Humphries will have every op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend his scor­ing streak against a Saints de­fence that is the worst in fan­tasy points per game al­lowed to op­pos­ing re­ceivers, as his sure hands have caught 16 of 20 tar­gets in the past three weeks. With this game a po­ten­tial of­fen­sive free-for-all, add Humphries as a WR3/flex. SIT: Al­shon Jef­frey, WR, Ea­gles: Fan­tasy own­ers would love to know the where­abouts of Jef­frey, who hasn’t scored since Week 7 and has failed to ex­ceed 50 re­ceiv­ing yards in his last five games. There’s lit­tle rea­son to en­vi­sion Jef­fery re­viv­ing his for­tunes against a Cow­boys pass de­fence that is sixth in fewest re­ceiv­ing yards al­lowed and is tied for third with just 16 touch­down passes al­lowed.

START: Aaron Jones, RB, Pack­ers: Af­ter rush­ing for only 36 yards last week against the Car­di­nals, Jones is a strong re­bound can­di­date when he squares up against the Fal­cons, who are 27th against the run and giv­ing up 4.9 yards per carry. He did score last week, mark­ing four straight games with a touch­down. Jones could fi­nally see a more ex­ten­sive work­load un­der in­terim coach Joe Philbin. SIT: Rus­sell Wil­son, QB,

Sea­hawks: It’s tough to bench a quar­ter­back who has thrown mul­ti­ple touch­downs in eight straight games, but Wil­son is fac­ing a Vik­ings pass de­fence that has been in lock­down mode in the past month. Min­nesota is ninth in fewest pass­ing yards al­lowed and has con­tained the likes of Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady over the last five games, sur­ren­der­ing a com­bined four touch­down passes in the same span. Wil­son hasn’t run much this sea­son, but a Vik­ings pass rush that has recorded 36 sacks will force him to be more run-cen­tric.


In this Dec. 2 photo, New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back Tom Brady cel­e­brates a touch­down dur­ing an NFL foot­ball game against the Min­nesota Vik­ings at Gil­lette Sta­dium in Foxbor­ough, Mass.

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