As most fantasy football leagues’ playoffs start this week, congratulations on qualifying for the big dance. But it is safe to assume you aren’t happy with just qualifying for the playoffs; your goal is to bring home the hardware and win your league’s championship. With that in mind, lets take a look inside the numbers, playoff style, for Week 14 to make sure that you are prepared for round one of the quest for your league’s crown.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
The season Drew Brees owners did not see coming should continue this week. The Falcons have allowed just two quarterbacks this season to toss for more than 264 yards.
Matt Ryan finds what could be a sneaky good spot. The Saints have allowed a 300-yard passer in two of their last three games and a total of seven touchdowns to quarterbacks in that time. Ryan has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of his last four versus the Saints.
In Week 13, Alvin Kamara out-snapped Mark Ingram by one play. The rookie is in play again this week against the Falcons and their 31st-ranked run DVOA.
In 2016, Mark Ingram averaged 119.5 offensive yards and a touchdown in two games against the Falcons.
New Orleans has allowed four touchdowns to running backs in its last two contests, so don’t be afraid to roll out Devonta Freeman. He has scored in six straight games versus the Saints.
Tevin Coleman scored four touchdowns against the Saints in 2016.
Michael Thomas has caught at least seven passes and a touchdown in each of his two career games versus the Falcons.
In two games versus the Falcons last season, Ted Ginn had a total of 43 yards.
Willie Snead had three catches for 82 yards against the Falcons in Week 17 of the 2016 season.
The last time he played the Saints, Julio Jones finished with seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Mohamed Sanu averaged 31.5 yards per game against New Orleans in 2016.
The Saints are ranked fifth in DVOA versus the tight end position, so you will want to avoid Austin Hooper.
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
You don’t want to attack the Buffalo pass defense. In its last six games it has surrendered just five passing touchdowns. Jacoby Brissett should be planted on your fantasy bench. In one game against the Bills, Brissett threw for 205 yards. He also committed two turnovers.
Nate Peterman should fare better this time around — he faces the 29th-ranked pass DVOA.
It appears that the Colts have turned to the future. In Week 13, Frank Gore was on the field for just 31.9 percent of the Colts’ offensive plays.
Marlon Mack is worth a look this week against a Bill defense that is ranked 29th in run DVOA.
LeSean McCoy should thrive this week. The Colts are allowing a league-high 8.2 yards per target to running backs.
T.Y. Hilton has accumulated a combined 89 yards in his last three.
Just once in his last four games has Donte Moncrief finished with more than one reception.
Kelvin Benjamin has not done much since being traded to Buffalo. He has just four receptions and 62 yards since being acquired by the Bills.
The Colts allowed 213 yards and two touchdowns to wide receivers in Week 13. Zay Jones seems to be in a good spot but it is risky given the Bills’ quarterback situation.
Jack Doyle is in the mix this week. The Bills are allowing the second highest success rate to tight ends at 59 percent.
Charles Clay has not had more than four targets in each of his last five games.
Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals
Skip right past Mitch Turbisky this week. Since the start of Week 9, the Bengals are allowing an average of just one passing touchdown per game.
Since Week 5, Chicago has allowed just seven passing touchdowns. Andy Dalton’s ceiling seems low in this one.
In his last four games, Jordan Howard is averaging just 57.8 offensive yards and 0.25 touchdowns per game.
Chicago has allowed over 100 yards rushing to running backs in four of its last five, so you will need to keep an eye on the health of Joe Mixon.
Dontrelle Inman leads the Bears with 16 targets over the last three games.
Just once in the Bears’ last seven games has Kendall Wright finished with more than two receptions.
A.J. Green should feast this week. The Bears are allowing an average of 14 receptions for 185.7 yards and one touchdown to wide receivers over their last three.
Just once this season has Brandon LaFell eclipsed the 55-yard mark.
Adam Shaheen has a total of eight catches on the season.
Tyler Kroft is a guy to look into this week. Over the last three weeks the Bears have allowed the most receptions to tight ends with 19.
Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns
Brett Hundley still has more turnovers (nine) than touchdown passes (five) this season.
If you are feeling risky, play DeShone Kizer. The Packers have allowed 621 passing yards and six passing touchdowns over the last two weeks.
Clearly Jamaal Williams is the Packers’ workhorse. He played in 48 of the 55 offensive plays for Green Bay, but he might not be a great play this week. Cleveland is ranked first in run DVOA.
Duke Johnson could be busy in this one. Over the last three weeks, the Packers have allowed a league-high 28 receptions to running backs.
The Packers have held four of their last five opponents under 95 rushing yards, making Isaiah Crowell a less than ideal play.
Davante Adams should bounce back this week. Cleveland is 30th in DVOA versus No. 1 wide receivers.
Randall Cobb on the other hand is in a bad spot. The Browns are ranked fourth in DVOA against No. 2s.
Jordy Nelson has a total of 28 yards in his last two games.
Josh Gordon played in 78 percent of the Browns’ offensive snaps in his first NFL regular season game in over 1,000 days last week. He was targeted 11 times. With those opportunities he gained 210 air yards. The opportunity makes him almost impossible to sit especially against the Packers. Green Bay is allowing 84.9 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Corey Coleman did not catch a single pass in Josh Gordon’s return.
David Njoku has 10 targets in his last two games. With Green Bay allowing three touchdowns to tight ends in its last three, be sure to give him a look.
Richard Rodgers is a Hail Mary play this week. The Browns are allowing a league-high 27 percent target rate to tight ends.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Derek Carr is not in position to toss a bunch of touchdowns. Kansas City has allowed a total of just two passing touchdowns in its last three. But then again, in Week 7, Carr tossed for 417 yards and three touchdowns against the Chiefs.
Against the Raiders earlier this season, Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns. With Oakland’s 32nd-ranked pass DVOA, the Chiefs’ quarterback is in play again this week.
In Week 7, Marshawn Lynch rushed for nine yards on two carries versus the Chiefs.
This is not a Jalen Richard week. The Chiefs are allowing the second lowest success rate on passes to running backs at 33 percent.
Kareem Hunt’s struggles likely won’t end this week. The Raiders have allowed just 31.6 yards per carry over the last three weeks.
Michael Crabtree has never recorded more than 45 yards in a game against the Chiefs. This could be the game. Marcus Peters is suspended and the Chiefs are allowing 99.1 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Amari Cooper thrashed the Chiefs for 210 yards and two touchdowns earlier this season.
Tyreek Hill has recorded three touchdowns in his last two versus the Raiders. His success against them is likely to continue this week — Oakland ranks 32nd in DVOA versus No. 1 wide receivers.
Jared Cook could bounce back this weekend. Kansas City is allowing the second highest yards per attempt to tight ends with 8.6 per target. Cook recorded a 100-yard game in Week 7 versus the Chiefs.
Travis Kelce hit paydirt when these two teams met earlier this season.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
The Giants have allowed just three passing touchdowns in their last three games. In the 2017 season opener, Dak Prescott threw for 268 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. He also rushed for 24 yards.
Eli Manning’s return to the starting lineup could include a few touchdown tosses. The Cowboys have allowed multiple touchdowns via the passing game in five straight.
Alfred Morris is a solid option in Week 14. The Giants are allowing an average of 123 rushing yards per game over the last month.
Orleans Darkwa has not rushed for more than 32 yards in each of his last two.
Just once in his last 11 games versus the Giants has Dez Bryant scored a touchdown.
Cole Beasley caught three passes for 32 yards against New York in Week 1.
Sterling Shepard has to get some consideration this week. Dallas has allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers over the last three weeks.
Jason Witten faces a Giant defense that is allowing a 26 percent target rate to tight ends. Don’t forget that In Week 1, Witten caught seven passes for 59 yards and a touchdown against the New York Giants.
Evan Engram finished with 44 yards when he faced the Cowboys earlier this season.
Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matthew Stafford takes on a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed just four passing touchdowns over the last month.
Detroit has allowed five touchdowns to quarterbacks in the last two games. Take note Jameis Winston owners.
Tampa has allowed four touchdowns to running backs over the last two games. If Ameer Abdullah is out again this week, Theo Riddick is tough to pass on. The running back averages 16 touches per game when Abdullah is out.
Tion Green (who?) led the Lions in carries with 11 in Week 13. He finished with 51 yards and a trip to the end zone.
If you are in a pinch Peyton Barber could be the guy again this weekend. The Lions have allowed 4.66 yards per carry to running backs over the last three weeks, as well as a rushing touchdown in seven straight.
Fire up Marvin Jones this week. The Buccaneers are allowing an average of 86.4 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Golden Tate is a strong play (assuming Stafford’s hand checks out). No one has allowed more receiving yards to wide receivers over the last three weeks than Tampa, which has given up 693.
Kenny Golladay played a career-high 76.2 percent of the snaps in Detroit’s last game.
This is not a great spot for Mike Evans. Detroit is ranked fourth in DVOA versus No. 1 wide receivers.
DeSean Jackson caught five passes for 35 yards against the Lions in Week 7 of last season.
No need to look Eric Ebron’s way. The Buccaneers are allowing a league-low 15 percent target rate to tight ends.
Cameron Brate could be a thing this week. The Lions are allowing a league-high 8.9 yards per target to tight ends. Detroit has surrendered four touchdowns to the position in the last three weeks.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
When he faced the Panthers last season, Case Keenum threw for 296 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Cam Newton should not get much consideration this week. The Vikings have played 12 games this season and allowed a total of 11 touchdown passes. Newton threw three interceptions the last time he faced the Vikings.
Jerick McKinnon averaged just 2.8 yards per carry against the Panthers the last time he faced them. With the Panthers ranked fifth in run DVOA, he could struggle again in this one.
Latavius Murray rushed for a touchdown against Carolina in Week 12 of last season.
Christian McCaffrey finds a difficult matchup this week. The Vikings are allowing just a 32 percent success rate on passes to running backs, the lowest such rate in the NFL.
Jonathan Stewart should not get much consideration. The Vikings have allowed just two rushing touchdowns to running backs all season.
Stefon Diggs caught four passes for 40 yards against the Panthers in 2016.
Adam Thielen had three catches for 29 yards versus Carolina last season.
Devon Funchess has a low ceiling this week. Minnesota is allowing just 49.2 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
This is a less than ideal matchup for Kyle Rudolph. The Panthers are surrendering a 16 percent target rate to tight ends, second lowest in the league. But it is tough to ignore the fact that Rudolph has caught a touchdown in three straight versus the Panthers.
You probably don’t want to risk starting Greg Olsen. The Vikings are allowing just 6.0 yards per target to the position.
San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans
After allowing 1,115 passing yards from Week 8 to Week 10, the Texans have allowed an average of just 182.67 passing yards per game over their last three. Jimmy Garoppolo is probably not worth the risk.
Tom Savage could be a serviceable QB2 in two quarterback formats. The 49ers have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in six of their last seven games and are ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA.
Carlos Hyde’s role as a pass catcher should be minimal this week. Houston is allowing a league-low 16 percent target rate to running backs.
Lamar Miller should be able to pick up a good chuck of receiving yards this week. The 49ers are allowing 7.2 yards per target to the position, second highest in the league.
Marquise Goodwin has recorded at least 68 yards in five of his last six.
Trent Taylor is in play this week. The Texans are ranked 31st in DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers.
DeAndre Hopkins is averaging 12.6 targets, 6.4 catches, and 95.6 yards in the five games that Tom Savage has started this season.
Whoever ends up being the Texans’ No. 2 pass catcher (Miller or Fuller) is in a good spot. The 49ers are ranked 29th in DVOA against the position.
George Kittle could be a low-owned play in Week 14. The Texans have given up three touchdowns to the tight end position in the last three weeks.
Stephen Anderson saw played in a career-high 84 percent of snaps in Week 13. He also saw a career-high 12 targets. With C.J. Fiedorowicz on the IR, look for Anderson to continue to be a part of the offense.
New York Jets at Denver Broncos
Fire up Josh McCown again this week. The “No Fly Zone” is no more. The Broncos have allowed multiple touchdown passes in five straight.
Trevor Siemian has averaged just 188.5 passing yards in his last four games.
The Jets’ crowded backfield is probably worth skipping this week. Denver is ranked second in run DVOA.
It is tough to consider C.J. Anderson for your fantasy lineup this week. The running back has not rushed for more than 67 yards since Week 8.
Robby Anderson has scored a touchdown in five of his last six games. In the game he didn’t hit the mark, Anderson was able to pick up 100 yards.
Jermaine Kearse has recorded 100 yards in each of his last two.
The Jets have allowed a 100-yard receiver in two straight. Give some love to Emmanuel Sanders this week.
Demaryius Thomas has recorded a total of just 45 yards over his last two.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be in for an increase in production. The Broncos are allowing 68.4 yards per game to tight ends.
Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals
This is not a get-right spot for Marcus Mariota. The Cardinals are allowing an average of 212 passing yards per game over the last month.
Blaine Gabbert is not in the worst of spots. The Titans have allowed a 300-yard passer or multiple touchdown passes in four of their last five.
Despite the lack of production, DeMarco Murray continues to dominate snap counts for the Titans. He was on the field for eight more plays than Derrick Henry in Week 13. But you don’t want play him this week. Arizona is ranked fourth in run DVOA.
In 2016 Adrian Peterson rushed for 31 yards on 19 carries against the Titans.
With Adrian Peterson missing last week’s action, Kerwynn Williams paced the Cardinals’ backfield with 26 snaps.
Rishard Matthews is not a strong play. Arizona is allowing just 46.2 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Since doing it in Week 1, Corey Davis has not broken the 50-yard mark in a game.
Just once this season has Eric Decker finished a game with more than four catches.
In the three games with Blaine Gabbert as his quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald has averaged 9.33 targets per game while catching 7.33 for 67 yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game.
Delanie Walker has scored in each of the games Rishard Matthews has missed this season. Keep an eye on the injury report.
Ricky Seals-Jones could be a thing again this week. The Titans have allowed 14 receptions and 189 yards to tight ends over their last two.
Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers
This should be a tough one for Kirk Cousins. The Chargers have given up just five passing touchdowns in their last five contests.
Pencil Philip Rivers in for two touchdowns. The Redskins have allowed multiple touchdown passes in four of their last five.
Samaje Perine has at least 15 touches in each of his last three contests.
Washington has allowed a 100-yard rusher in two of the last three. The Redskins’ 53 percent success rate on throws to running backs gives Melvin Gordon’s fantasy value a bump.
Jamison Crowder is averaging almost 10 targets over his last five.
Clearly the Redskins want Josh Doctson to be a thing. He has played 100 percent of Washington’s offensive snaps in each of the last two weeks. But this is not likely going to be a productive game for him. The Chargers are fifth in DVOA versus No. 2 wide receivers.
Keenan Allen has notched a 100-yard game or a touchdown in each of the last three. He will have to get after it this week to reach that standard. Washington is ranked fifth in DVOA versus No. 1 wide receivers.
Neither Vernon Davis nor Jordan Reed are particularly appealing against the Chargers. San Diego has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Hunter Henry is in a great spot. The Redskins are allowing 8.6 yards per target to tight ends.
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
Over their last eight games the Rams have allowed an average of 226.9 passing yards per game. Carson Wentz owners can’t be happy.
Jared Goff probably should not be in your lineup this week. The Eagles have allowed an average of 178.8 passing yards over their last five.
LeGarrette Blount is in line for a big game. The Rams are allowing 5.51 yards per carry over their last three. Blount rushed for 88 yards and a score against the Rams in Week 13 of the 2016 season.
Todd Gurley will have his hands full on Sunday. The Eagles are allowing just 3.07 yards per carry over their last three and are ranked third in run DVOA.
Alshon Jeffery has scored five touchdowns in his last five games.
The Rams are ranked third in DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers, so expect less from Nelson Agholor in this one.
Torrey Smith had two catches for 13 yards in his last game versus the Rams.
Sammy Watkins has scored in four of his last five.
The Eagles are first in DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers, making this a difficult matchup for Cooper Kupp.
If Zach Ertz is able to play, this is not a great spot. The Rams are allowing a league low 42 percent success rate to tight ends.
Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars
It is tough to sit Russell Wilson but you have to consider it this week. Jacksonville has allowed only 10 passing touchdowns this season and has allowed just one opponent to throw for more than 241 passing yards.
Don’t be fooled by Blake Bortles’ 300-yard game last week. Seattle is allowing just 256.4 passing yards and one touchdown per game over the last five.
Mike Davis is the Seahawks’ workhorse. The running back played on 45 of the Seahawks’ 62 offensive plays in Week 13.
Don’t expect much from Leonard Fournette in the passing game. Seattle is allowing an 18 percent target rate, second lowest in the league, to running backs.
Doug Baldwin faces an uphill challenge this week. The Jaguars are allowing just 38.4 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Jacksonville is allowing just 32.3 yards per game to No. 2 wide receivers. Take Paul Richardson out of your player pool for Week 14.
Dede Westbrook has seen 19 targets in his last two games.
Marqise Lee has registered at least five catches in four of his last five games.
Jimmy Graham has scored nine touchdowns in his last eight games.
There is no need to give much consideration, if any, to Marcedes Lewis. The Seahawks are allowing just a 44 percent success rate to tight ends, second lowest in the league.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Flacco has not thrown for more than one touchdown in each of his last three against the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger faces a stiff opponent in this one. The Ravens have intercepted seven passes while allowing just one touchdown in the last three. Back in Week 4, the Baltimore Ravens held Roethlisberger to just 216 passing yards.
Alex Collins rushed for 82 yards on nine carries and added 50 receiving yards on two receptions against the Steelers earlier this season.
Buck Allen has caught at least five passes in each of his last two games versus the Steelers.
Le’Veon Bell has dominated the Ravens of late. He has rushed for 100 yards in two straight including a 144-yard, two-touchdown showing in Week 4.
Jeremy Maclin finished with just 21 yards when these two teams let earlier in 2017. The Steelers are allowing just 49.1 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers, so another subpar performance seems likely.
When these two teams last met, Mike Wallace caught a touchdown pass.
Antonio Brown has 25 touchdowns in 21 games played in prime time. All eyes will be on him in this Sunday night showdown.
When Ju Ju Smith-Schuster missed Week 12 due to injury, Martavis Bryant saw six targets. But the biggest beneficiaries of Smith-Schuster being out were Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, who combined for 26 targets in that game.
Earlier this season Martavis Bryant caught three passes for 48 yards against Baltimore. The Ravens are second in DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers.
You can probably do better than Ben Watson. Pittsburgh is allowing just a 46 percent success rate to tight ends.
Jesse James had three catches for 40 yards versus Baltimore earlier in the season.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Of course you start Tom Brady, but look for him to be especially good this week. The Dolphins have allowed 10 passing touchdowns in their last four contests. Just a few weeks ago, Brady thrashed the Dolphins for four passing touchdowns.
Jay Cutler is not a guy to trust. The Patriots have allowed just five passing touchdowns in their last six games.
In Week 13, the Patriots’ backfield was well split once again. James White led the running backs in snap count with 28. Dion Lewis (26) and Rex Burkhead (22) also got in on the action.
If you are trying to handicap the backfield, it is a two-man race. Over the last month Burkhead has 256 offensive yards and five touchdowns, while Lewis has accumulated 348 yards and two scores.
Dion Lewis rushed for 112 yards against the Dolphins in Week 12.
A few weeks ago, Rex Burkhead rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown against Miami. He also added a receiving touchdown.
Kenyan Drake should be active in the passing attack. The Patriots are allowing a league-high 54 percent success rate on passes to running backs. Drake was held to just 2.2 yards per carry against the Patriots in Week 12 but was able to corral a receiving touchdown.
The last time he faced the Dolphins, Chris Hogan produced just 27 yards on four catches.
Brandin Cooks finished with 94 offensive yards and a touchdown when these two teams met in Week 12. He should come close to those numbers again this week. The wide receiver had 85 yards receiving in his only game without Gronkowski in the huddle with him.
Just a few weeks ago, Danny Amendola caught one pass for 15 yards against Miami. Look for those numbers to increase in a big way. Amendola finished with eight catches for 77 yards earlier this season when Gronkowski didn’t play.
Jarvis Landry has recorded at least eight catches for 70 yards in each of his last three versus the Patriots.
Over the last three games Kenny Stills has 325 yards and two touchdowns.
When Miami and New England played in Week 12, DeVante Parker was a non-factor. He finished with just five yards.
Julius Thomas had five receptions for 52 yards when these two teams met a few weeks ago.
Dwayne Allen has five catches on the season and did not record a single reception the last time Rob Gronkowksi missed a game.
Statistical Credits: FootballOutsiders.com, Rotoviz.com, NFL.com, Pro-football-reference.com, Scout.com, ProFootballFocus.com, sharpfootballstats.com