It’s Week 14 and most likely your fantasy playoffs begin now. It’s do or die time and every point matters, so you might need to make some moves you didn’t expect to make. Research is key in fantasy football and analyzing match-ups is important.
*Statistics provided are using 0.5 PPR settings.
Lamar Miller, Houston (WR): Miller has yet to reach 75 rushing yards in a game this season and only has three touchdowns on the season, so you’re probably thinking, “huh?” That’s fair, because Miller has had a very strange year running the ball, averaging a pretty terrible 3.7 YPC, but has quietly produced all year with the Texans getting him more involved in the passing game. His stats are by no means sexy, but his match-up against the league’s worst fantasy running back defense, the 49ers who allow almost 29 fantasy points per game, makes Miller a must start.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta (RB): Although Devonta Freeman is back into the mix after missing a few games due to a concussion, Coleman has been a consistent force all year even while splitting carries. The Saints are fairly middle-of-the-pack against opposing fantasy RBs, allowing 23 ppg, but they haven’t faced a running back duo nearly as good as the Falcons backfield who can keep fresh legs by swapping out while still tiring down the defense. This game will play a huge role in the NFC South playoff picture and Coleman will surely be a part of the game plan to take down the division leaders.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle (WR): Typing this pains me since Baldwin is one of my favorite players in all of football, but just like Larry Fitzgerald from my last column, this match-up is a disaster. Against Jacksonville’s defense, I’m not sure anyone on the planet can be effective. The Jags have two unreal shut down corners in AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, and although Baldwin typically lines up in the slot, there’s little reason to believe one of them won’t be shadowing him all game long. This Jaguars defense might truly be Baldwin’s kryptonite.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (QB): Remember Week 5 against the Jaguars when Roethlisberger threw five interceptions and scored just 2.6 fantasy points? I’m not saying that will happen again, but he is playing against the only pass defense that belongs in the same conversation as Jacksonville: the Baltimore Ravens. To put things into perspective, Jacksonville has allowed just 8.3 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, holding them to nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Baltimore has allowed just 8.9 fantasy points with 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. The next closest? The Chargers who have allowed 12.7 points. You don’t hear about them a lot, but the Ravens defense has been feasting week in and week out. Combine that with their knowledge of how their division rival plays, and Sunday night could be ugly for Roethlisberger.
Eric Rose is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at ER827957@wcupa.edu.