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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 14
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Cam Newton, David Johnson, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Newton’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because David Johnson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Quarterbacks and wide receivers are having a field day against the Chiefs. Get Carr in your lineup.

Grab a Helmet

Derek Carr @ KC (Thu): I have no idea what Kansas City is paying Andy Reid these days but it probably isnít enough. Despite sporting the 23rd ranked offense and the 29th ranked defense, the Chiefs are a Thursday night win over their hated rivals away from making the AFC West battle really interesting. How are they doing it? Think lots of smoke, a couple mirrors, and the leagueís very best turnover differential. Of course, KC wouldnít be doing the chasing if Oakland hadnít snatched victory from the jaws of defeat three weeks running. Thatís a credit to their fortitude, however, and I like their chances of making this one a primetime classic. Even if they come up short (and I think they will), I especially like Carrís chances of posting big numbers against a secondary thatís yielded 1,000 yards and five TD passes the past three games. Start Carr.

Jameis Winston v. NO: Speaking of playoff contenders, the Bucs are suddenly in the hunt after four straight Ws, two against legit playoff-caliber squads (KC and Seattle) and one against a tough Chargers squad (on the road, no less). Three of their final four games are against division rivals (New Orleans twice and Carolina) and the last is against Dallas, so it wonít be a fluke if Tampa runs off with the NFC South title. They very well could, despite a decimated receiving corps, because their division mates are currently ranked 30th, 31st, and 32nd against the pass (Carolina, New Orleans, and Atlanta, respectively). Oh, and youíll never guess whoís ranked 29th. Yup, itís the Cowboys, so if youíre looking for a possible surprise fantasy playoff MVP, Winstonís your guy. Get him in your lineup if youíve made it this far and keep him there. The matchups are that favorable.

Brock Osweiler @ IND: You probably DIDNíT make it this far with Osweiler under center, but maybe heís languishing on your bench in case something happens to your main guy? If so, he makes for an intriguing possibility this Sunday. No, he isnít good at football and certainly isnít worth the 72 large Houston tossed his way this past off-season. He is, however, capable of posting 20-point fantasy days and has actually done that five times this season. One of those times was against the Colts in Week 6 as the big guy led his Texans teammates to a shocking come-from-behind win on the strength of 269 yards and a couple scores. Now that Indyís offense appears to be firing on all cylinders, a Lucas Oil shootout doesnít seem all that far-fetched. Iíd start Osweiler over any of the following QBs, for what itís worth, and thatís saying something becauseÖ

Grab a Clipboard

Marcus Mariota v. DEN: ÖI love this guy. Way back in August, I tagged him, Carr, Winston, and Ryan Tannehill as likely Top 10 risers. Hey, three outta four ainít bad, right? Despite all the Carr-for-MVP chatter, Mariotaís been the best of the bunch for our purposes (4th overall at the position) and is one of the primary reasons Iíve earned a Week 14 bye in our work league. Itís a good thing, too, because this will easily be his least favorable matchup of the season. Denver is allowing only 16.9 points/game to opposing QBs and has faced a whoís who so far (Newton, Luck, Ryan, Rivers, Carr, and Brees). Iíll give it to Coach Mularkey: This ďexotic smashmouthĒ thing has worked out pretty well. Iím expecting a whole lot more of the latter than the former this Sunday, however, and that means modest digits for Mariota. Sit him down.

Ryan Tannehill v. ARI: Iím participating in a Bad QB League this season based loosely on Bill Simmonsí 2011 Grantland prototype (Google it) and though I didnít expect much, itís been a helluva lotta fun. How many interceptions can Fitzy toss this week? How many times can Carson Palmer get sacked? How many terrible things can Blake Bortles do in a single game? It doesnít hurt that Iím sitting in the catbird seat through 13 weeks and have somehow managed to save Tannehill and Jared Goff (you can only use each QB once). Needless to say, thereís no way Iím letting them go unused with only four weeks left to play. The Ryan Tannehill Reclamation Project hasnít gone according to plan in South Florida and this week he draws the leagueís second-best defense (3rd against the pass). If you thought he and the Fish looked bad last week, just wait.

Blake Bortles v. MIN: Despite his often unsightly play (4th lowest passer rating of 32 qualified QBs), the aforementioned Bortles is frequently one of the better under-center options for fantasy GMs. In fact, he’s a legit Top 10 option with four games to go. I’m guessing the only people who know that already own him and would, accordingly, be the most inclined to start him. I wouldn’t. The Vikes are likely out of the playoff mix despite a white-hot start to the season, but are still stifling opposing QBs. They’ve faced Matt Stafford (twice), Kirk Cousins, Carson Palmer, and Dak Prescott during this late-season swoon and have only yielded an average of 18.4 fantasy points/game. That’s three full points below the league average for that same five-game stretch and the league average doesn’t account for quality of opponent. Those four guys are, inarguably, of higher quality than Bortles. Sit him.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers