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Welcome back for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season. The San Francisco 49ers are on the road facing the Cleveland Browns. The 49ers will be without tight end Vance McDonald, due to a concussion, and Carlos Hyde remains sidelined with his stress fracture. Blake Bell will get the start in McDonald's place. Bell has upside and could be an intriguing tight end down the road, but if you are in your fantasy playoffs this week, Bell is not a guy you are relying on.
The Browns defense has been abysmal this year, due to a combination of scheme, execution, and injury issues. The offense has not been much better, and the return of Johnny Manziel creates more questions than answers. It could bode well for Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge, but who really knows. If you're relying on players in this weekend's 49ers-Browns matchup, you either are stacked elsewhere, or you're hoping for a first round playoff miracle.
Start 'em: RB Shaun Draughn - I suppose I should clarify this. You should start Draughn in PPR leagues. You know he will get a lot of touches, and he has shown consistency as a receiving threat out of the backfield. He might only average three yards per rushing attempt, but he will make up for it in the passing game. In standard leagues, he is a flex or emergency RB2 option, but lower on the priority scale.
Maybe start 'em: QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Anquan Boldin, K Phil Dawson, 49ers D/ST - The Browns defense has been pretty awful this year. It does not guaranteed strong performances from the 49ers, but it opens the door for some options. Draughn is the best option, but Boldin is a nice PPR option. Since returning from his hamstring injury, he has five, eight, and five receptions the last three weeks, and seven, 11 and 13 targets in that span. He will get looks ... Gabbert is an emergency option at best, but if you have nothing at QB, his legs add value. Again, he is one of the lower QB options, but he is not a completely horrible option
Sit 'em: Everybody else - Torrey Smith is tempting after last week's big catch, but he is still barely targeted in this offense. He is the ultimate boom or bust receiver, so tread carefully when considering him as an option.
Start 'em: Nobody
Maybe start 'em: RB Duke Johnson, RB Isaiah Crowell, TE Gary Barnidge, WR Travis Benjamin, QB Johnny Manziel - There are no really great options, but there are some decent options if you find yourself in a bind. I suggest both running backs because the 49ers road run defense has not been particularly good. Johnson and Crowell are not good running backs, but they could be worth a flex or injury replacement option. And Johnson is particularly valuable in PPR leagues ... Barnidge is having a very solid year, and was just rewarded with a contract extension. After two meh games to start the year, he has had one sub-five point game in the ten games since, and only one other below nine points. There's value there ... Benjamin has been a big play threat, but is coming off an injury and is a name to watch with pre-game inactives. If he is active, he is worth a flex or maybe WR2 option ... If I can list Gabbert as a "maybe" start, I have to list Johnny Football. Manziel has been all over the place this season, but at the very least has been good for some garbage yards. And his legs add an important fantasy element. I would probably start Gabbert over Manziel if I had to make the choice between those two, but it would obviously not be an ideal ideal situation.
Sit 'em: Everybody else - I