Fantasy football advice, Week 14: Who to start/sit for Buccaneers vs. Lions
Detroit is playing for the playoffs. Tampa Bay is playing for 2015.
The Detroit Lions are battling for an NFC playoff spot. They are currently the first team out of the NFC playoff hunt, so they need every win possible to stay alive. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the rest of the season will be a battle between not being the worst team in the league and keeping their draft pick high. The two teams play one another Sunday, and the preceding sentences should give a pretty strong indication who the favorite is.
The Buccaneers will likely be without running back Bobby Rainey and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins Sunday as both deal with injuries. For the Lions, running back Reggie Bush is expected to make his return from injury for Sunday’s game. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson was also on the week’s injury report, but he’s not a threat to miss the game.
The Lions host Sunday’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the names to consider for fantasy:
Start ‘em: The shine has come off Mike Evans‘ performances, but just a tiny bit. He’s still a WR2 even against a strong defense.
Start ‘em?: The Buccaneers’ defense has been much better of late. It’s not a strong starting option, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Sit ‘em: After a reasonably productive streak of performances, Josh McCown‘s fantasy numbers have dropped two games in a row. Against the strong Detroit defense, he’s far from starting consideration. … Doug Martin has retaken the top role in the Tampa Bay running-back grouping, and he had a respectable game in Week 13, but he has almost no upside. … And Martin’s return to relevance means Charles Sims is completely unusable. … At this point, it’s hard to sit back and wait for those big games from Vincent Jackson. He needs to be benched. … With Austin Seferian-Jenkins sidelined, Brandon Myers should be back in the lead tight-end role, but he’s been fantasy worthless this season. … The matchup means Tampa Bay might not reach scoring territory often enough for Patrick Murray to get many kicking chances.
Start ‘em: We finally saw a strong game from Matthew Stafford in Week 13. Against another bad defense, he ought to be in good shape again. … His positionmates are all back and healthy, but Joique Bell is still likely to do the majority of the work. He’s a fine RB2. … Thanksgiving’s huge numbers show that Calvin Johnson is well and truly back, and he’s right at the top of the WR rankings. … Matt Prater has been very productive since taking over the Detroit kicker role. … The Lions’ defense is one of the league’s best, and against a subpar offense, that’s a strong start.
Start ‘em?: With Johnson back and Bell producing, there are fewer targets going to Golden Tate. He’s a reasonable flex play, but not much more.
Sit ‘em: Let’s see what Reggie Bush can do on the field before we actually use him in fantasy, and his return makes Theo Riddick impossible to trust. … The Detroit tight-end grouping has been disappointing this season, with Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria being completely unhelpful for fantasy.
Start in every league: Mike Evans, Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell, Calvin Johnson, Matt Prater, Detroit defense
Start if you’re desperate: Tampa Bay defense, Golden Tate
Bench: Josh McCown, Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Myers, Patrick Murray, Reggie Bush, Theo Riddick, Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria