The San Francisco 49ers return home for their penultimate home game of the 2016 NFL season. They host the New York Jets in Week 14, with kickoff scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PST on Sunday. Bye weeks are finished and most fantasy football leagues have started their playoffs. We’re back with some start/sit advice as you set your lineups for fantasy glory.
49ers-Jets: I was completely sold on Colin Kaepernick following his big performance against the Miami Dolphins, only to see him crap the bed in Chicago. And yet, I will double down on Kaepernick this week against an awful Jets defense. He will be in much better weather, which will provide more passing opportunities, and we should see plenty of running as well. On the other side, there’s Bryce Petty. He is making his second career start after replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second half last week. He faces a bad 49ers defense, but there is no track record to work with here. Start: Colin Kaepernick; Maybe start: None; Sit: Bryce Petty
Starts: Jameis Winston gets the Saints at home. He’s playing well, and should be able to do big things against a bad Saints defense ... Eli Manning gets the Cowboys at home. Dallas is the best team in the league right now, but that pass defense is still not particularly good. If the Cowboys win, it will be in a shootout ... Joe Flacco faces a Patriots defense that has been pretty bad against the pass.
Sits: Marcus Mariota was on a roll before the Titans bye, but we faces a tough Broncos defense this week ... Carson Palmer had a big game at home against Washington, but this team has not been the same on the road, and I think the numbers suffer ... Blake Bortles has had some good games here and there, but he has been inconsistent. And now he faces the tough Vikings defense.
49ers-Jets: The Jets have actually been very solid against the run this season, but Carlos Hyde is still a running back you want to be starting. This is a winnable game for the 49ers, and I think we see them control the clock to some extent. Shaun Draughn holds some PPR value, but only in the deepest of leagues. On the other side, Matt Forte is a must-start against the 49ers shaky run defense. The 49ers have been better lately against the run, but they are still a unit that can be handled. The bigger question is whether or not to give backup Bilal Powell an opportunity. I think in deeper leagues he is a decent flex play. Start: Carlos Hyde, Matt Forte; Maybe start: Bilal Powell; Sit: Everybody else
Starts: Jeremy Hill gets to face the awful Browns. Just go with it ... Robert Kelley has had a couple clunkers the last two weeks, but the Eagles run defense has been inconsistent this season ... Theo Riddick has been quiet lately, he gets a bad Bears defense. Expect him to be busy
Sits: LeGarrette Blount will see plenty of work, but expectations need to be lowered considerably against a Ravens defense that is the best in the league by a long shot ... Packers running backs are bad starts. There is no clear starter, and they face a tough Seahawks defense this week ... Rashad Jennings is not going to get enough opportunities in what I expect to be a shootout vs. Dallas.
49ers-Jets: This is not a great game for wide receivers. Neither defense is particularly good, but it is hard to get overly excited about the wide receivers given the inconsistency with the offenses. The past three weeks, Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, and Jeremy Kerley have combined to catch nine passes for 95 yards and one touchdown. How can you possibly start any of them? On the other side, Brandon Marshall had a huge game against the 49ers two years ago, and has been decent but not good or consistent this year. Quincy Enunwa had five receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago, but otherwise has not done much. Start: None; Maybe start: Brandon Marshall; Sit: Everybody else
Starts: Tyrell Williams has scored a touchdown in four straight games, and while one should not count on touchdowns every week, the Panthers have given up the fourth most receiving yards to wide receivers ... The Bengals will likely be running a lot, but rolling the dice with one of Tyler Boyd or Brandon LaFell might not be the worst idea. LaFell is the safer option ... Brandin Cooks had a goose egg two weeks ago, but bounced back with 73 yards. The Bucs have given up 16 touchdowns to wide receivers, and I think Cooks gets back in the end zone.
Sits: The Packers defense has struggled, but I think the Seahawks will focus on the run game and Jimmy Graham this week. Doug Baldwin is not a good play ... Rishard Matthews has been very consistent the last few weeks, with double digit outputs in standard leagues. Look for that to end this week against the Broncos cornerbacks ... DeVante Parker gets Patrick Peterson this week, which is enough reason to lower expectations.
49ers-Jets: While the 49ers wide receivers are inconsistent and often non-existent, Vance McDonald could be the one 49ers pass catcher worth a look. He was held to two receptions for nine yards in Week 13, but had four straight solid weeks prior to that. He is a deep TE1 option, but if you happen to start two tight ends, or are desperate, he’s an option. The best the Jets offer are Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Bostick, so, yea. Start: None; Maybe start: Vance McDonald; Sit: Everybody else
Starts: Dennis Pitta gets a nice matchup against a bad Patriots pass defense, that struggles in particular against tight ends ... Zach Ertz is getting a ton of looks from Carson Wentz, and gets a Washington defense that is No. 28 defending tight ends, per Football Outsiders ... Ladarius Green had a huge game last week, with six reception for 110 yards and a touchdown. He faces a Bills defense that has given up the most yards per catch to tight ends.
Sits: Martellus Bennett will get plenty of work with Rob Gronkowski out, but Bennett was limited at practice this week, and has struggled the last three weeks ... Coby Fleener has been a bust for fantasy owners, and I don’t think we see Drew Brees looking his way extensively in Week 14 ... Hunter Henry had opportunities to take firm control of the tight end position when Antonio Gates was hurt, but he lacks consistency.