With the most pivotal part of the 2020 fantasy football season slated to begin on Thursday evening, you are either gearing up for a potential postseason run or weeping from the couch as your counterparts battle it out. Although there are some fantasy football leagues that still have one more week to play until the playoffs begin, Week 14 will be equally important for those folks as well—if not more important as a spot in the postseason with be on the line.
Regardless of the circumstances, Week 14 is a massive week for everyone involved. Because this week will be make or break for everyone involved in fantasy football, it is absolutely essential that owners select the best possible players based on matchups from around the NFL.
Going with the wrong running backs in Week 14 could cost a fantasy football owner their season.
RBs to Start in Week 14
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Although Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry pretty much owns everyone that he lines up against these days, “King Henry” especially enjoys playing against the rival Jacksonville Jaguars so it seems. Whether it be vicious stiff arms or 99-yard touchdown runs, Henry just seems to come to life even more than usual when the lowly Jaguars appear on the Titans’ schedule.
With the Titans already getting the better of the Jaguars earlier this season while turning this rivalry into a pretty lopsided affair as of late, look for Henry to once again dismantle the Jacksonville defense in Week 14. Because Henry and company need a major bounce back effort this time around after the most recent loss, the Jaguars will unfortunately be forced to serve as the victims of this week’s rebound from the 8-4 Titans.
As the Jaguars enter the looming AFC South clash with only one win on the season, the Titans must win this game to keep pace in the divisional standings. Leaning on an angry and motivated Henry against the Jaguars—coming off of a loss, no less—is definitely one way to get back on track.
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook only trails Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in terms of this year’s NFL rushing leaders. With only injuries able to stop Cook at this point in the season, it remains to be seen as to whether the faltering Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be able to do so in Week 14 or not.
With the Tampa Bay defense playing some less than stellar football as of late, the Vikings well-rounded attack that features both Cook and several talented options for quarterback Kirk Cousins in the pass game, the Buccaneers definitely shouldn’t begin looking ahead on the schedule with Week 14 no doubt a crucial matchup for the NFC playoff picture. Because the Buccaneers defense has been getting torched downfield, it will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay handles attempting to not only focus its attention on Cook but also rookie wideout Justin Jefferson, who has been an absolute monster in his first season atop the highest level, and veteran pass-catcher Adam Thielen, who can do no wrong at the present moment.
With the play-action game surely a major part of the Vikings’ gameplan, expect Cook to have a big day earning fantasy football points if the Minnesota offense is truly clicking come Sunday.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
The New York Jets encountered a truly remarkable defeat in Week 13 at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders—even for a winless team. With the Jets now slated to take on a Seattle Seahawks team desperately in need of a win after falling short against the upstart New York Giants this past Sunday, things are still looking pretty bleak for Gang Green.
The Jets’ defense was at the root of last week’s loss to the Raiders, which even led to the firing of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, while encountering a Seahawks team looking to get right is the last thing that head coach Adam Gase needs. With Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson surely ready to cook and revert back to his old ways from earlier in the season, Seattle should be able to lean on its running game and running back Chris Carson. With Carson on the mend for a good portion of the season while working his way back into the mix over the last several weeks, Week 14’s matchup against a dismal Jets team could get him moving in the right direction for the franchise’s stretch run toward a postseason berth.
RBs to Sit in Week 14
David Johnson, Houston Texans
The Chicago Bears suffered a crushing defeat against the rival Detroit Lions in Week 13, though the NFC North franchise might still be trending in a better direction than the short-handed Houston Texans right now. Despite the fact that the Texans managed to string together some wins leading into Week 13, Houston ultimately came up just shy against the rival Indianapolis Colts as the AFC South franchise suffered a crushing loss of its own.
Adding to the misery in Houston, the Texans are down a slew of wide receivers and just can’t seem to slow down any offense. If not for superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson, it would be extremely hard to find even a single bright spot on this team at the moment. With Texans running back David Johnson only one week removed from his return from injured reserve, taking on a stout Bears defense might not be the best recipe for success after missing multiple weeks due to a concussion. Johnson will also lose out on some touches in the passing game to fellow Texans running back Duke Johnson as Houston will need someone to catch the football when Watson drops back in Week 14.
Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
After missing some time due to a lingering knee injury, something that dates back to his time as a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley returned to the field last week against the rival New Orleans Saints. However, Gurley was only used sparingly in a losing effort and barely racked up any fantasy football points despite being used in the red zone.
With the Los Angeles Chargers up next for Gurley and company, a team that is just one week removed from being shutout by the New England Patriots, it is currently anybody’s guess as to how the veteran rusher will be utilized in Week 14. With so much uncertainty surrounding Gurley’s usage and health, it would definitely be in any fantasy football owner’s best interest to just stay away from him altogether against the Chargers. Adding to such a notion, the Chargers and Falcons could very well find themselves in a shootout, which wouldn’t bode well for Gurley and his usage either. Gurley doesn’t catch many passes out of the backfield to begin with while the Falcons being forced into throwing the football would lead to more time for the team’s backup and third-down backs.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills will be taking on the previously undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime in Week 14 as the former is coming off of a huge win over the San Francisco 49ers and the latter suffering its lone defeat of the year against the Washington Football Team. However, the Steelers will be entering this primetime AFC clash with a chip on its shoulder and will be hungrier for a win than ever as Pittsburgh and head coach Mike Tomlin surely aren’t happy with blowing a massive lead at home against Washington.
With the Steelers defense continuing to serve as the most important unit on the field for the heralded AFC North franchise, the Bills offense may encounter a bit more trouble in Week 14 than it did against the hobbled 49ers in Week 13. More specifically, it will definitely be difficult for Buffalo to run the football against the Steelers—especially for rookie running back Zack Moss, who did not play well this past Monday. Moss fumbled and was out-snapped by fellow Bills rusher Devin Singletary as it appears as though head coach Sean McDermott is losing trust in the first-year player down the stretch.
With such a big game on the horizon and so much on the line, don’t expect Moss to see an increased role in Week 14. Singletary should serve as the lead back against the Steelers while once again in line to out-snap his counterpart in Moss. Even without the fumble from Moss in Week 13, Singletary has asserted himself as the go-to rusher for Buffalo heading into Week 14.