Nov 25, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Citak: Week 14 Fantasy Football Sweet & Sour Lineup Advice

Matt Citak
December 06, 2018 - 1:13 pm
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If you are still alive in your fantasy football league, then congratulations are in order. It isn't easy making the playoffs, and that alone is a nice accomplishment.

Now that you've made it to the postseason, only three wins separate you from your league's championship. Let's get you to the 'ship.

While you shouldn't hesitate to ride with the players that got you this far, sometimes a lineup change is necessary. That's why I'm here...

Sweet & Sour is back for Week 14 to offer up some start/sit recommendations, along with a few sleeper picks at each position. 

Players who look poised for a big week will fall under the "Sweet" category, while guys who might be in for a tough matchup will fall in the "Sour" section. In addition, I'll add a couple of sleeper picks at each position for those in need of a streaming option.

Let me preface this article by saying I won't be telling you the obvious. You don't need me to tell you to start Todd Gurley or Antonio Brown each week. And a player falling in the "Sour" section doesn't necessarily mean you should bench him; it means you should lower your expectations for that player given the circumstances that week (matchup, injuries, etc.). While I want these recommendations to help you make lineup decisions, at the end of the day, you have to go with your gut.

Best of luck in the opening round of the fantasy postseason!

Quarterbacks

Sweet

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Winston has been great since being renamed the Buccaneers' starting quarterback two weeks ago. The fourth-year quarterback has had over 22.5 points in each of his past two games, including 76 rushing yards over that stretch. Tampa Bay's Week 14 matchup against the Saints could end up being a shootout between the two offenses, which should easily put Winston in the QB1 discussion for the first week of the fantasy playoffs. 

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers - Roethlisberger has been on a tear recently, throwing for at least 270 yards in each of his last five games, with multiple touchdowns in four of the five (he threw for 462 yards in the one game without multiple TDs over that span). With James Conner set to miss this Week 14 battle against Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders, the Steelers' offense will likely lean heavily on their veteran quarterback. Oakland has been awful against opposing QBs this season, which gives Roethlisberger a great chance of finishing as a top 5 play this week. 

Sour

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles - Wentz was great against the Cowboys in Week 10, throwing for 360 yards and two touchdowns. However, things are unlikely to go as smoothly for the third-year QB in Week 14. Dallas' defense has been on fire over the last three weeks, shutting down Matt Ryan, Colt McCoy and Drew Brees. In fact, they held Brees to just seven fantasy points last Thursday. Wentz looks to be regaining his old form, which is a great sign for the Eagles, but he is not a recommended play against Dallas in Week 14.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks - Similar to Wentz, Wilson has played a lot better of late. Over the last four weeks, the Seattle quarterback has tossed 11 touchdowns with zero interceptions, raising his season ratio to an impressive 29 TD - 4 INT. However going up against the Vikings defense on Monday night, Wilson deserves to be no where near your starting lineup. Minnesota has held seven straight opposing quarterbacks under 15 fantasy points, including limiting three QBs to under eight fantasy points. Despite his great recent play, Wilson needs to be on the bench this week. 

Sleepers

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns - Between Mayfield's play since the firing of Hue Jackson and the performance of the Panthers' defense over the last two months, Mayfield shouldn't have a problem finishing as a low-end QB1 this week. 

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys - Prescott has been very boom or bust this season, but going up against Philadelphia's depleted secondary, the young QB has a great chance to put up another strong outing in Week 14. 

Running Backs

Sweet

Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears - Cohen was amazing in Week 13. The speedy back caught 12 passes for 156 yards, in addition to running for 30 yards and passing for a touchdown against the Giants. The Bears welcome the Rams to Chicago Sunday night, and while Mitch Trubisky is expected to return, Matt Nagy's squad will likely be chasing points in this one. That bodes well for Cohen, who was surpassed Jordan Howard as the most valuable back in the Bears' backfield. Cohen appears set for a big game on Sunday Night Football. 

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers - With James Conner going down with an ankle sprain, Samuels steps up as the Steelers' lead back. In the two games Conner was forced to leave early this season, the rookie back was able to find his way into the end zone. With a matchup against the Raiders on deck, Samuels should have no issue scoring yet again, as the rookie is likely to handle the team's goal line carries as well as passing downs. Samuels makes a solid RB2 in Week 14.

Oct 28, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels (38) and Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Trevon Coley (93) in action during the game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Sour

Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles - For the second consecutive week, Adams reached 20 rush attempts in an Eagles' victory. The rookie back gained 85 yards on his 20 carries, and looked like the featured RB the team was hoping he would develop into it. His rookie campaign has been a success, but Adams is going to have a tough game in Week 14 when the Eagles travel to Dallas. The Cowboys allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing backs, and only one has run for more than 62 yards against them since Week 3 (Adrian Peterson). This is shaping up to be a long day for the rookie out of Notre Dame. 

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks - Carson is expected to play despite suffering a finger injury in Week 13. But even if he is active, Carson should not be in your starting lineup for the first round of the fantasy postseason... The Seahawks will welcome the Vikings to Seattle on Monday night. The Vikings enter this matchup having allowed only two running backs to gain more than 65 yards on the ground this season (Todd Gurley and Aaron Jones), while surrendering just five rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. Carson is an easy fade. 

Sleepers

Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers - With Matt Breida ruled out, Wilson will lead the 49ers' backfield against the Broncos, who have allowed an opposing running back to gain at least 95 total yards against them in three straight weeks. 

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers - Melvin Gordon didn't practice Wednesday, which means the star RB might be forced to sit out another game with an MCL sprain. While Austin Ekeler lead the Chargers' backfield last week, Jackson outplayed him by a significant margin. I'm rolling the dice on the rookie RB this week. 

Wide Receivers

Sweet

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys' offense looks rejuvenated since the acquisition of Cooper prior to the trade deadline. The receiver has garnered at least eight targets in four of his five games since the trade, and is averaging nearly 20 PPR points per game over that stretch. The Eagles' secondary has been unable to stop opposing receivers this season, and the unit's recent injuries certainly won't help with that. Cooper could explode against Philly's depleted defense in Week 14. 

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots - It's looking like the Dolphins may have to play this AFC East matchup against the Patriots without top corner Xavien Howard, which would immediately boost the value of both Edelman and Josh Gordon. Despite Tom Brady and the Patriots' past struggles playing in Miami in December, New England will be able to buck that trend this week. I'm expecting Brady to lead a Patriots' blowout in Week 14, with plenty of help from Edelman. 

Sour

Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles - While the Eagles' recent play has gotten them back into the race in the NFC East, it has not been due to the play of Jeffery. The veteran receiver has now gone five consecutive games without scoring a touchdown or reaching 50 receiving yards. Jeffery has disappeared since the team traded for Golden Tate, and things are not going to get any better this week against Dallas. The Cowboys allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year. Jeffery will disappoint in this divisional showdown. 

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans - It's been an up and down season for Davis, who has managed to find the end zone in three of his last four games. However, take out those three scores and the second-year WR has just one other touchdown on the season. While the Jaguars may be struggling as a team, the defense looked amazing last week, pitching a shutout against Andrew Luck and the Colts. With the big receiver likely seeing shadow coverage from Jalen Ramsey on Thursday, Davis should be no where near your lineup. 

Sleepers

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DeSean Jackson hasn't practiced yet this week, and when subbing in for Jackson last week, Godwin went off for five catches, 101 yards and a touchdown on six targets. In a likely shootout against the Saints, Godwin makes for a sneaky good play.

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos - Emmanuel Sanders is the latest fantasy star to suffer a devastating, season-ending injury, which opens the door for Sutton to take over as the number one receiver to Case Keenum in Denver.

Tight Ends

Sweet

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders - While it's been impossible to trust anyone in the Raiders offense, Cook has quietly been the most consistent player on Jon Gruden's squad. The veteran ranks fifth among tight ends in fantasy points, and with Martavis Bryant being placed on IR this week, Derek Carr should target his trusty tight end even more. The Steelers have allowed six different tight ends to have top 12 finishes this year, and Cook should be able to make it seven with ease this week.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns - Njoku is another young player that has been incredibly hit or miss this season. While starting him may be a bit of a gamble in the fantasy postseason, the matchup is just too sweet to ignore. No team has allowed more touchdowns to opposing tight ends to the Panthers, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position on the season. Look for Mayfield to target Njoku often in this one. 

Sour

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings - Similar to the rest of the tight end position, Rudolph has not played well this year. The big tight end has reached double digit fantasy points just once since Week 4, and has only found the end zone twice all year. The Seahawks are giving up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year, and with this Monday Night Football matchup shaping up to be a defensive battle, I'm avoiding Rudolph at all costs in Week 14. 

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons - Despite scoring a touchdown in two of Atlanta's last four games, Hooper is not a good play this week. The Packers defense may not be shutting opposing offenses down completely, but one area they do excel in is limiting tight ends. Green Bay is third in the NFL in fewest fantasy points allowed to the tight end position, having allowed only one touchdown all season. Hooper will struggle to produce against the Packers' D.

Sleepers

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans - Smith has been a pleasant surprise lately, scoring touchdowns in three of his last five games. The Jaguars defense will slow the Titans down, but Smith should still be able to get open for a few receptions on Thursday. 

Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers - Thomas caught five passes for 46 yards once Olsen left last week's game, and with the veteran TE now on IR, it is Thomas' show in Carolina. 

Matt Citak is a Web producer for WFAN Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewCitak.