The New Orleans Saints and your Fantasy Football team are heading into Week 14 with both looking for key wins, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of *RotoExperts.com is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Get ready for your Fantasy playoffs, as Jake gives you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives.*
The Saints head to Tampa Bay for a divisional matchup, as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive. Drew Brees is the second highest scoring quarterback on the season and should get back to his games of 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns with this matchup. Brees has eight games of 300-plus passing yards and two-plus touchdowns in all but three. The Buccaneers allow 17.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and let Derek Carr and Matt Ryan throw for four touchdowns each in Weeks 8 and 9. They also started the season allowing nine passing touchdowns in their first four games.
The Buccaneers run defense is also weak, as they have held only one team under 11 Fantasy points. Mark Ingram is in the fringe RB1 conversation with this matchup, and Tim Hightower has deep league flex value, as the Chargers were the seventh team to top 100 rushing yards against the Buccaneers. As mentioned, the Buccaneers struggle against the pass, and this past week was the sixth time they allowed two or more receiver touchdowns. It was also the seventh time opponents have scored over 20 Fantasy points at the receiver position. Brandin Cooks bounced back with 73 yards on nine targets and has at least five targets in every game outside of Week 12. Michael Thomas has at least 42 yards in every game and is extremely consistent, even on the road. Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas are must-starts, and Willie Snead is valuable as a fringe WR3. Lastly, while the Buccaneers limited Antonio Gates last week, it was only the second time in their last five games where the opponent didn't have at least 78 yards or a touchdown at the tight end position. That gives Coby Fleener starter appeal in Week 14.
The Browns come out of their bye to host the Bengals, which means Andy Dalton is a strong consideration this week. Dalton can make it back-to-back weeks with a good game, as the Browns allow the second most FPPG to quarterbacks and Dalton had two touchdowns against them the first time. Carson Palmer threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns last week and faces a Dolphins defense allowing the fifth most FPPG to quarterbacks. He is a good option if your other quarterback has a poor matchup. One such quarterback is Eli Manning, as the Cowboys grind out the clock, which helps them hold quarterbacks to just 13.3 FPPG, third lowest. One other strong option is Philip Rivers, as the Panthers pass defense has struggled this year and allow 18.3 FPPG to quarterbacks.
While Matt Forte had a quiet week, don't take him out of your lineup. The 49ers allow a league high 27.6 FPPG to running backs, which is four points more than any other team. They also let Jordan Howard rush for three scores last week. Jeremy Hill has the Bengals backfield mostly to himself, and with the Browns allowing the second most points to running backs, Hill is in the Top 15 running back conversation. Jonathan Stewart has been boom or bust, but he's in the RB2 conversation this week given the matchup with the Chargers. LeGarrette Blount and the rest of the Patriots backfield could be in for a quiet day, as the Ravens run defense is the toughest matchup by far. They're allowing a mere 12.5 FPPG to backfields with only three rushing touchdowns given up this year.
The 49ers pass defense is one of the most forgiving, which gives Robbie Anderson some upside. Do not start him over star receivers that got you to the playoffs, but for owners looking for a home run play, Bryce Petty targeted Anderson more than any other Jets receiver. Tyler Lockett is finally 100 percent healthy and seeing more snaps. His speed and big-play ability make him an intriguing play against the Packers defense allowing the third most FPPG to receivers. The Titans run defense is strong, but their pass defense is the fourth most forgiving. Don't bench Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders unless you have other WR2 options. On the other side of the ball, Rishard Matthews has been a terrific find, but you may want to look elsewhere at receivers, as the Broncos allow nearly three less points per game to receivers than the second best team. In fact, they've given up just six receiver touchdowns in 12 games.
No team allows more FPPG to tight ends than the Panthers, which makes Antonio Gates a strong play and good bet for a touchdown. The Dolphins have allowed just two less touchdowns to tight ends than the league leaders (Panthers, Lions, Browns) and Jermaine Gresham has been involved quite a bit over the last few weeks. Tight end needy teams can plug in Gresham for his upside. Don't go away from using Jason Witten. The Giants have allowed every decent tight end to have a good game and have the fourth most FPPG allowed to the position over the last four weeks. Martellus Bennett is riskier than most might assume, as he's been better with Rob Gronkowski on the field and the Ravens allow the second fewest FPPG to tight ends.
The Bengals are the obvious play for defenses in Week 14. The Browns allow the most points to opposing defenses at 10.8 per game. The Cardinals-Dolphins game presents the opportunity for both DSTs to have valuable Fantasy scores. You'll want to avoid the Giants DST, as defenses facing the Cowboys average just 2.1 FPPG. Kai Forbath is a strong play at kicker if needed with the Jaguars allowing a league high 10.3 FPPG to kickers.
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