“Thursday Night Football” is back to kick off another week of fantasy football. Week 14 brings a potentially profitable conference call between the Steelers and Vikings in Minnesota (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video). As always, you want to make the right decisions to start, sit down, especially with potential playoff spots, whether it’s deploying players who can give you a nice early lead for Sunday or avoiding players who are destined to bust in prime time. .
The Steelers offense is in top form with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Chase Claypool playing through their injuries to support rookie running back Najee Harris, No. 1 wide receiver Diontae Johnson and rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ offense will likely be meager as running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is expected to miss another game and wide receiver Adam Thielen (ankle) didn’t have enough time to recover after getting injured early against the Lions. on Sunday.
MORE TNF: FanDuel Lineup | DraftKings Listing | Cook updates
In the case of the Steelers, they are leaning towards making more passes with Roethlisberger adapting better to Matt Canada’s system. They are also playing with a sense of urgency in what could be Roethlisberger’s final season. For the Vikings, Alexander Mattison should step in again as a strong workhorse for Cook, while a goals committee should help replace Thielen to better complement elite No. 1 Justin Jefferson.
Here’s a breakdown of the entire start ’em sit’ em image for TNF, including some DFS alignment suggestions for FanDuel and DraftKings:
WEEK 14 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Get started, feel them
Steelers: who to start or sit in in fantasy football on Thursday night
Out: QB Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger is only QB30 on the season and much lower than that when you consider his average points per game (14.8). He hasn’t been great on the road, either, but in his last four games overall, he has three with multiple TDs. Looking closer, it’s two top-10 QB finishes in the last three games.
It should have massive volume again, as the Steelers have gotten better up front and have become more confident throwing the ball downfield last week against the Ravens. The Vikings have a good passing run, but their cornerbacks are terrible and Roethlisberger’s wide receivers are made to destroy them.
WEEK 14 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Start: RB Najee Harris
The Vikings’ running defense has also started to sink, making for a strong matchup for the dynamic rookie. It can also be a big part of Big Ben’s success in the passing game. It’s been a while since he had a solid performance from RB1, but in the worst case scenario he will be a strong RB2 again, regardless of whether he finds the end zone.
Start: WR Diontae Johnson
Johnson has matured and grown more durable, blossoming into the No. 1 wide receiver they thought he would be. By fantasy, it had been a consistent WR2 all season until it exploded against the Ravens to finish WR2 overall in Week 13. The Vikings cornerbacks allowed the combination of Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds to look their best. receivers, so Johnson will. have another efficient game with great advantages.
WEEK 14 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo!
Start: WR Chase Claypool
Claypool has struggled to meet as WR3 this season. The main reason why is that after scoring nine TDs as a rookie, he only has one in 2021 despite averaging more yards per catch. You are just not getting enough targets in key situations and your catch rate is low. If there was ever a time for the Canadian giant to flare up again, it would be here, just 300 miles south of the border. He has the speed to smash the corners of the Vikings in case Big Ben gets a good shot in the game action.
Start: TE Pat Freiermuth
Since the Steelers’ Week 7 goodbye, the rookie has been a TE1 in four of six games. His role has expanded with a couple of breaks, injuries first to JuJu Smith-Schuster and then to Eric Ebron. He’s also getting the key red-zone confidence Roethlisberger once had in Heath Miller. The Vikings have been pretty good against the tight end, but TJ Hockenson scored against them last week.
WEEK 14 PPR RANKINGS:
Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Departure: Steelers D / ST
As with the Big Ben recommendation, there are reasons to go against the grain here. The Steelers’ passing run demolished the Ravens last week. The Vikings have been good at pass protection, but they won’t have rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw. Pittsburgh has a league-leading 37 sacks, and their continued pressure will increase the chances of it being carried out.
Start: K Chris Boswell
Boswell has been money all season and is kicking in a controlled environment in a matchup that is good by the numbers. Put it on and forget it.
MORE WEEK 14 DFS: Better Stacks | Best values | Lineup Creator
Vikings: who to start or sit in in fantasy football on Thursday night
Sit: QB Kirk Cousins
Cousins has been a fairly stable QB1 with just five finishes out of the top 12 and nine multiple TD games. Overall, he is QB8 on the season. This week it falls further into the limit category. This feels like the 49ers game, which looked great on paper but was disappointing in terms of the final total. It has a solid floor, as usual, but if you need a real roof, go elsewhere.
Start: RB Alexander Mattison
His name is Alexander Mattison and there are a million things he hasn’t done, but wait … he’ll do it out of fantasy again replacing Dalvin Cook (shoulder). He looks like a better runner this season. The Steelers’ running defense continues to falter, which is why Mattison will feed (eralist) often to protect defense in a game where Minnesota’s passing attack won’t get the same feeling without Thielen.
Start: WR Justin Jefferson
Jefferson has been incredible over the past month, establishing himself among the truly elite wide receivers in the league. Forget the second-year slump, JJ has crushed it, moving forward with his route, speed and hands, now right behind Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel and ahead of Tyreek Hill in fantasy scoring. Jefferson is making a case to be the No. 1 WR drafted in fantasy in 2021. So yeah, start the guy.
Start: WR KJ Osborn
Just in time for the release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” comes a misleading promo for the return of Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn. As far as we know, KJ is not related to him or Harry. The K represents Kendrick, while he replaces Adam Thielen (ankle) as Minnesota’s second wide receiver. The Purple Goblin was a sneaky WR2 with a TD last week and it can at least be a free WR3 this week.
Sit: TE Tyler Conklin
The idea of Conklin, the understudy for Irv Smith Jr., has been better than the execution. He finished in the top 12 against the Lions and has been a top-five option in two other games. There is a chance he will continue to see key goals with Thielen on the shelf, or the Vikings could expand the field further with wide receivers. By the numbers, the Steelers are also strong against tight end.
Sit: Vikings D / ST
The Vikings D / ST has finished inside the top 12 five times this year, but that production has been an unpredictable rollercoaster. They passed, for example, against the 49ers in week 12, but in a much “easier” matchup against the lions in week 13, they didn’t. They’re just not good at running or passing, and there’s no compelling reason to play them when there are so many great streamers this week.
Start: K Greg Joseph
Joseph has been money all season and is kicking in a controlled environment in a matchup that is good by the numbers. Put it on and forget it.
Steelers vs. Vikings: FanDuel Single Game Lineup
- MVP (1.5X): WR Justin Jefferson $ 13,500
- AnyFLEX: QB Ben Roethlisberger $ 15,000
- AnyFLEX: WR Diontae Johnson $ 13,000
- AnyFLEX: WR Chase Claypool $ 10,000
- AnyFLEX: WR KJ Osborn $ 8,000
It’s hard not to bring Jefferson to prominence as he should dominate the goals without Thielen. Adding the cheapness of Osborn replacing Thielen helps balance things out. In the middle is the real meat of our lineup, where we are confident that the Steelers passing offense will go with Big Ben and his great receivers.
Steelers vs. Vikings: DraftKings Showdown lineup
- Captain (1.5X): WR Chase Claypool $ 11,100
- FLEX: WR Diontae Johnson $ 10,200
- FLEX: RB Alexander Mattison $ 9,800
- FLEX: QB Ben Roethlisberger $ 9,000
- FLEX: WR KJ Osborn $ 5,600
- FLEX: D / ST Steelers $ 4,200
The Steelers passing game has a great downfield showdown against the Vikings cornerbacks. Johnson has been on fire and Claypool is delayed by one of his explosions on the field with touchdowns involved. The Vikings think they will stick with Mattison for as long as possible, while Osborn should pick most of Thielen’s targets over Jefferson. The Steelers D is really an investment in TJ Watt.