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Changing the Call: Quarterback Start/Sits Week 14

Is Mike White for real? Is Justin Herbert’s resurgence reliable? @Spydes78 answers these questions & more in the Week 14 installment of Changing the Call, a start/sit guide to QBs. Check it out!

Huddle up, Nerds! You’ve looked to your favorite dynasty site to guide you through the spring and summer months, but a strong offseason alone will not win you a championship. No matter how talented your roster is, you’ll need to make the right lineup decisions to wrestle glory from your league mates.  

But have no fear! Your Dynasty Nerds writers are here to shepherd you through the minefield of starts and sits. Our staff will make recommendations each week to aid in your lineup decision-making. Look for the position-specific columns below to guide you to dynasty grandeur. 

Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you! 

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

About Last Week…

Previous Week Record: 3-1

Season Long Record: 36-16

Week 13 Starts

Trevor Lawrence proved to be the only fly in the ointment for Changing the Call’s Week 13 slate. Expected to feast on Detroit’s notoriously weak pass defense, the second-year starter was hobbled by a foot injury and never fully looked comfortable. His 16.4 fantasy points, though respectable, were not enough to warrant his start recommendation.

However, I more than redeemed myself with my other start of the week, Jalen Hurts. For the second consecutive week, I pegged the top overall fantasy scorer at the QB position as the Eagles captain relentlessly took it to the Titans. Connecting with A.J. Brown on two of his four touchdowns, Hurts helmed a drubbing so lopsided it may have cost Jon Robinson his job as general manager in Tennessee.

Week 13 Sits

Things played out exactly as expected on the sit side of the ledger in Week 13. Russell Wilson’s well-documented struggles continued against the Ravens. Despite an early exit from Lamar Jackson, the Broncos still came out on the wrong side of a defensive struggle. A sub-200-yard day without any endzone visits left Wilson with just 9.7 fantasy points on the week.

The Kyle Allen experiment failed to materialize any discernible improvement over the vanquished Davis Mills in Houston. Allen struggled with ball security, turning it over on three separate occasions against the Browns. His 8.1 fantasy point effort left him ranked 28th on the week and was so poor that it earned him a ticket back to the Texans’ bench.

WEEK 14 STARTS

Kirk Cousins, MIN (FantasyPros Wk14 ECR: 10)

You like that?!  

After facing tenacious Cowboy, Patriot, and Jet pass defenses over the last three weeks, you can bet that Kirk Cousins likes seeing Detroit on the schedule. Even after a relatively strong effort against Trevor Lawrence last week, the Lions still rank dead last against quarterbacks, surrendering a massive 23.2 fantasy points per game. Dan Campbell’s unit is also 32nd in yards allowed per game (402.2) and points allowed per game (27.0). They’re not exactly the ’85 Bears.

https://twitter.com/SKORNorth/status/1600859010911141889

Meanwhile, the 10-2 Vikings are enjoying one of their most successful seasons in recent memory. Their pass game ranks as a Top 10 unit, securing 234.1 yards per game through the air. Star wideout Justin Jefferson has been a major contributor to those stats and always seems to shine against the Lions. Jefferson has averaged more than 100 yards per game in five career games versus Detroit, and there seems little to suggest that the Cousins-Jefferson connection may be slowed this weekend.

The upstart Lions did make some headlines by being instilled as a 2.5 favorite in this matchup. However, it would be best if you dug a bit deeper into the gambling forecast to mine the true fantasy gold. Indeed, the game’s 52.5 point over/under is the largest of the NFL’s Week 14 slate, and it portends a real shootout in Detroit.

Get Cousins inserted into your lineup this week, or better yet, stack him with Justin Jefferson. Then, sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Justin Herbert, LAC (FantasyPros Wk14 ECR: 5)

Saddled by injuries, 2022 has sometimes been a bit of an unanticipated struggle for Herbert and the Chargers. However, in recent weeks, signs of the season that we all expected out of L.A.’s quarterback phenom have begun to surface. Over the last three weeks, Herbert’s average of 22.5 fantasy points per game has outpaced both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

https://twitter.com/PFF/status/1599554429258444802

The Chargers rank sixth in the league, amassing 266.5 passing yards per game, and Herbert comes fresh off a 335-yard effort versus the Raiders. Los Angeles will need every bit of offensive vigor they can muster when they square off against the visiting Dolphins in Week 14. Miami has been an offensive juggernaut in its own right, trailing only the Chiefs in passing proficiency.

The dirty little secret is that the Dolphins have been forced to put up points in bunches to stay ahead of their abysmal pass defense. Miami’s defense is a bottom ten unit in both points allowed (24.1/gm) and average QBR (95.7). As such, they’ve allowed an average of 20.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, which ranks 28th in the league.

With Herbert trending up and setting off with a weak opponent in primetime, the matchup is truly ideal. Look no further than the 52 points over/under in this game for confirmation of that suspicion. Expect the scoring to be abundant in this Sunday night contest, and take advantage by having Justin Herbert at the top of your Week 14 lineup.

WEEK 14 SITS

Mike White, NYJ (FantasyPros Wk14 ECR: 17)

In the two weeks since being installed as Jets starter, White has shined brightly. Only Geno Smith (695 yards) has thrown for more passing yards than White (684 yards) in that interim. He had given the contending Jets the type of lift they sought when they made the quarterback change.

So why is White making a dubious appearance on the sit list for Week 14? Well, that has far more to do with the situation. This week, the upstart Jets will make the cross-state trek to Orchard Park, New York, to faceoff with the divisional rival Bills.  

Buffalo in mid-December can be accommodating, and the forecast for this game does not disappoint. Meteorologists are calling for temperatures in the 30s and a combination of rain and snow at game time. Not ideal passing conditions.

And, should clearer skies unexpectedly prevail, they would simply better illuminate a stalwart Bills defense. Buffalo ranks as a Top 10 defense in total yards (320.2/game), points (17.4/game), and average QBR (82.4). They have routinely harassed quarterbacks, allowing a meager 13.5 fantasy points per game. 

https://twitter.com/MattParrino/status/1599946393397112832

White’s player prop for passing yardage in this game has been set at 247.5, nearly 30% less than his established two-week average. The Bills are heavily favored, and the low over/under of 44 points suggests that scoring will be at a premium.  

Though White’s Cinderella story has been fun, the trends suggest that midnight is on the horizon for the Jets’ signal caller. Find a better option this weekend.

Deshaun Watson (FantasyPros Wk14 ECR: 14)

After a protracted absence filled with troubling allegations and legal wrangling, Watson made a controversial return to the NFL on Sunday. Returning to Houston, the roots of his professional football career, Watson showed the rust that is to be expected from a player out of the league for nearly two years. With 131 yards, no scores, and an interception, the Browns quarterback had a largely forgettable day in his well-publicized return to action.

https://twitter.com/statmuse/status/1599512939656249344

In Week 14, Watson’s Browns will continue their road streak, this time visiting their in-state rivals, Cincinnati. The Bengals are not likely to help make Watson’s reacclimation smooth. They are fresh off an impressive performance against Patrick Mahomes. They held the all-world quarterback to a modest 223 yards while twice sacking him. On the season, Cincinnati has held opposing quarterbacks to just 13.3 fantasy points per game, making them the sixth-stingiest defense.

From a betting standpoint, the trends seem to align with a tough day for Watson. The home Bengals are currently favored by six, with a modest over/under of 47 points. Watson has a player prop of 225.5 passing yards, which is not plentiful.

Look for the Browns to lean heavily into Nick Chubb and their strong ground game in an effort to neutralize a potent Bengals’ pass attack. This game script would further condemn Watson to a light day on the stat sheet.

There are too many reasons to lack confidence here. Avoid Watson in a critical Week 14, and instead, hope that he can demonstrate enough potential to give you confidence in starting him going forward.

In Closing…

I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this piece, and would love to continue the conversation on quarterback start/sits. Please feel free to comment below or contact me @Spydes78 on Twitter. And also, stay tuned to @DynastyNerds for a steady pipeline of content from our eminently qualified staff to carry you through your season. If you like what you read, please consider subscribing to any of the elite tools that Dynasty Nerds offers. Use the promo code “SPYDES” to receive a 15% discount. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the grind!

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