Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield

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Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 14

Baker Mayfield has a quality matchup, while Jared Goff could have trouble on the horizon.

Jack Thomason
December 06, 2018 - 10:15 am

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit who you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of matchup.


START – Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. Panthers) The Panthers have been destroyed by the pass, and Mayfield has been on a hot streak. He did turn the ball over three times against the Texans last week but also threw for 397 yards and would've had an additional touchdown if not for a fumble on the 1-yard line by Antonio Callaway. The Panthers rank 29th in 4for4's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) and 28th in Football Outsiders' pass DVOA. I like Mayfield to have a solid performance.  

SIT – Jared Goff, Rams (at Bears) Goff's fantasy statistics have been much better at home than on the road this season, and this road matchup will be against the vaunted Bears' defense. Chicago ranks first in pass DVOA and ninth in aFPA to quarterbacks. Goff's home-road splits are stark. He's averaging more than 100 fewer yards per game passing on the road (366.5 vs. 259.2). He has also thrown 18 touchdowns and two interceptions at home against nine touchdowns and five interceptions on the road. While the Rams are three-point favorites with a team total of 27.5 points, I believe Todd Gurley will be the one racking up fantasy points while Goff has a mediocre day. 

Running back

START – Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers (vs. Broncos) Matt Breida injured his ankle in pregame warmups last week, and Wilson went onto rack up 134 total yards on 23 touches, including eight receptions. Breida has been ruled out for this week already, leaving Wilson to carry the load again. Denver ranks 11th in run DVOA and 12th in aFPA, but Wilson's volume and receiving ability should net RB2 fantasy stats. 

SIT – Marlon Mack, Colts (at Texans) The Texans have been on a roll, winning their last nine games. The offense under Deshaun Watson has been fantastic, and the defense is matching the intensity by ranking second in run DVOA and eighth in aFPA to running backs. Mack and the Indianapolis offense was held in check in Jacksonville last Sunday, and it doesn't get easier in traveling to Houston. The Colts have a team total of just 21.5 points and are 4.5-point road underdogs. To make matters worse, Mack figures to struggle catching passes out of the backfield, as Houston ranks No. 1 in pass DVOA to the position. 


START – Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (vs. Saints) There are talks about DeSean Jackson potentially landing on injured reserve with his thumb injury. That will allow Godwin the chance to shine. We saw that last week, when he had 101 receiving yards and scored a touchdown while playing 80 percent of the snaps. Godwin has double-digit PPR fantasy points in six of seven games that he's seen at least six targets. Look for the trend to continue, as the Saints rank dead last in DVOA to No. 2 receivers and 27th in aFPA to the position. 

SIT – Alshon Jeffrey, Eagles (vs. Cowboys) Since Golden Tate arrived in Philadelphia, Jeffery has been a fantasy dud. Jeffery hasn't topped 50 yards or scored a touchdown since Tate's arrival and has seen only one game with more than five targets. He'll also be facing off against one of the top cover cornerbacks in Byron Jones. Dallas ranks fifth in DVOA to No. 1 receivers and second to No. 2 receivers. This will be another tough matchup and without the volume, Jeffery should find his place on your bench. 

Tight end

START – David Njoku, Browns (vs. Panthers) No team has given up more touchdowns to the tight end position than the Panthers. That alone makes Njoku a great play. Add in that the Panthers are 31st in DVOA and 27th in aFPA to the position, and there are few better options this week than Njoku. 

SIT – Austin Hooper, Falcons (at Packers) On the flip side of Njoku's matchup, the Packers have allowed just one touchdown on the season to tight ends, Hooper is up and down to begin with when it comes to fantasy production. The Packers also rank eighth in aFPA to tight ends, and the Falcons' offense has been sputtering, most notably against the Ravens last week. Atlanta has a paltry 20.5-point team total and is a five-point road underdog.

Other starts: Dak Prescott (vs. Eagles), Jaylen Samuels (at raiders), Cortland Sutton (at 49ers) and Vance McDonald (at Raiders).

Other sits: Marcus Mariota (vs. Jaguars), Chris Carson (vs. Vikings), Allen Robinson (vs. Rams) and Kyle Rudolph (at Seahawks).

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​