Week 14: Start 'em
Tannehill is coming off an inexplicably subpar performance against the Jets on Monday night. While he wasn't terrible, his inability to tally a touchdown was a bit perplexing considering how well he had been playing and his opponent. The fact that it was his first game without a TD this season and that it came against the defense had allowed the most TD passes leads you to believe this was just an aberration. Chalk it up to an old rivalry game. Tannehill should bounce back in a major way this week when Baltimore comes to town. The Ravens' secondary has been devastated by injuries and has been spiraling since Week 5. Three of their top four corners are on injured reserve, and Lardarius Webb has been a shell of his former self. Backup safety Anthony Levine is now playing corner, and Matt Elam was benched for being the worst coverage safety in the league. The Ravens have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs and more passing yards (3,518) to that position than any team in the NFL. Tannehill at home against the Ravens is a great start. Look for him to continue utilizing all his weapons in the Dolphins' underrated group of pass-catchers, which is being led by emerging rookie Jarvis Landry. We'll talk about him later.
Last week, Jackson went up against the most restrictive defense for running backs in fantasy and had a very strong showing, carrying the ball 18 times for 101 yards versus Arizona. It was the first time this season that the Cardinals had allowed a team break the 100-yard barrier on the ground, much less a single player. Before that outing, Jackson scored in three of his previous four games and has been putting up fairly solid numbers since Week 8 without much notice. That is not uncharted territory for Jackson. After really struggling for much of last season, in part due to injury, he went on a tear over the final six games of the regular season. He averaged only about 3.5 yards per carry, but he recorded six touchdowns and added 16 receptions during that stretch. This trend is a bit peculiar for a 31-year-old back who has taken 3,186 touches in the NFL and the physical toll that comes with them. Nevertheless, it appears that Jackson is on yet another late-season surge. Through his first seven games, he saw more than 13 carries only once. He's seen at least 13 carries in each of his past five games. This week, Jackson faces the Green Bay Packers' 28th-ranked rush defense. The Packers have allowed 10 rushing TDs, 12th-most in the league. To give themselves a chance to win, the Falcons will have to run the ball and control the clock to keep Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines. This matchup sets up perfectly for the powerful Jackson.
It's fantasy playoff time, and guess whose back in the fold as he so often is at this time of year. It looks like Rex Ryan has decided to not allow Geno Smith to throw the ball unless absolutely necessary. Whether he thinks that strategy gives his team the best chance to win or he's doing it to spite his general manager, it's great for Johnson's fantasy value. Coming off of his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, Johnson has been quietly productive in three of the past four games, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also led the team in carries in two of those games and contributes as a receiver. Assuming the Jets continue to deploy a run-heavy offense as they did Monday night against the Dolphins, Johnson should have a lot of fantasy value moving forward. This week in particular, the Jets will line up against the Vikings' 24th-ranked rush defense. They are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs, and the Jets will surely look to exploit that. It's unlikely the Vikings will be able to score enough to force the Jets to move away from the run. Johnson should continue to see 15-20 carries and a few targets in the passing game - if New York decides to ever let Smith throw. CJ?K is a strong flex play this week in 12-team and even many 10-team leagues.
Here's another WR-QB combo in this article. Bailey has really come on since Hill reclaimed the starting QB gig in St. Louis. In the past two weeks, Bailey has accumulated 12 catches, 189 yards and one touchdown. Each of those numbers surpassed his combined output from all other previous weeks this season. He is clearly the most talented wideout on the Rams, and his role should expand further when he takes on the Redskins this Sunday. The Redskins' 16 touchdowns allowed to opposing WRs are enough to tie them for third-most in the league. Overall, they are permitting the 11th-most fantasy points to the position and have shown no signs of improving. See last week's numerous breakdowns in coverage at Indianapolis as proof. Assuming Bailey continues to see enough targets - and it's safe to expect that he will - he has the skills to make the most of them. He is a bit unproven but still a nice flex option this week.
Landry has emerged as the most productive wide receiver in Miami, but Mike Wallace's name recognition tends to give him a higher slot in most weekly rankings. Landry has been a solid start in PPR leagues for more than a month now. He has seen single-digit targets just once in the past four games and has four touchdowns in the past five. He has 32 receptions during that five-game span and is clearly ahead of Wallace in catches, yards and touchdowns since Week 9. Landry and Tannehill have developed a really nice rapport this season and may be a strong duo for a long time. This week, the dependable rookie slot receiver takes on the Ravens' battered secondary. No team in the league has given up more fantasy points per game to opposing WR corps than the 45 FPPG the Ravens have allowed to them in PPR formats. Landry should continuing seeing double-digit targets in Week 14 and take full advantage of Baltimore. His toughness, quickness and great hands make him a great WR3 start this week and quite possibly for the remainder of the season.
The eye test tells you that Kelce has the talent to be an elite-level tight end. However, that hasn't always shown up on the stat sheet this season. Kelce has been up and down, due largely to Alex Smithand his game-manager approach. Also, Anthony Fasano has cut in to his targets and snaps. In Week 14, the Chiefs will take on the Cardinals, who are known for struggling against TEs. Arizona is allowing 15.2 fantasy points per game to tight ends, which is the sixth-most in the league. Seeing as how Kansas City's wide receivers have yet to catch a touchdown and how Smith relies so heavily on his TEs and RBs in the passing game, this is a terrible matchup for Arizona and perfect one for Kelce. Make sure you get him in to your lineups this week. He's the most dynamic pass-catcher on this team not named Jamaal Charles.