Friday Five, Week 14

While most of us who play fantasy are focused on the start of our own playoff runs, for NFL teams we’ve hit crunch time. Everyone has played 12 games, and now there are just four games left for teams to move into position to compete for a Super Bowl. And the stakes for a number of matchups are incredibly high, including Week 14 which starts with a Thursday night game with major playoff implications and ends with the Ravens and Browns squaring off on Monday Night Football. That leaves 14 games on Sunday, with a number of them featuring teams that need wins to stay in the race.

Below are the five games I’ll be watching closest this Sunday.

Sunday Early Games:

Kansas City Chiefs open as road favorites over Miami Dolphins

Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) at Miami Dolphins (8-4)
The Chiefs are in a tie with the Steelers in terms of record in the AFC, but can they pass them to get the elusive top seed? That road doesn’t get any easier as they face the Dolphins in Miami. The Dolphins have had a good season, with Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tua Tagovailoa leading the team to an 8-4 record and putting them in prime position to make the playoffs. But they face a stout test in trying to stop the Chiefs, who’ve been on a tear lately and look to have the NFL’s best offense. This will be a fascinating matchup.

Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
Don’t look now, but after a putrid 1-5 start the Vikings are back to .500, 6-6, and would be in the playoffs if it started today. Meanwhile the Buccaneers are fresh off a bye week, but prior to the bye they were struggling. At 7-5 they’re currently in the playoffs, but don’t have much wiggle room. The defense they face in Minnesota isn’t as imposing as what they’ve been facing, and maybe the bye week gave them the lift they needed to get back on track. Either way this is a battle where both teams need the win.

Arizona Cardinals (6-6) at New York Giants (5-7)
The Cardinals were once 6-3 and tied for first in the NFC West. Now the team is 6-6 and would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs started today. The Giants, meanwhile, are fresh off an improbable win over Seattle in Week 13. Now they get Daniel Jones back, are facing a slumping Cardinals team and currently sit in first place in the NFC East. So, can the Giants win again and move closer to .500? Can the Cardinals get a much-needed win and climb back into the playoffs? Both these teams have a lot to play for here.

Sunday Late Games:

NFL Week 14: Colts vs. Raiders TV, odds, injuries, trends

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-5)
The Colts got a big win last week, but it barely happened against the Texans. With the Titans loss, the team is back in a tie atop the AFC South. The Raiders, meanwhile, barely escaped a meeting with the New York Jets, winning on a last second TD pass that got Jets’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams fired. Both teams need the win in an ultra-competitive AFC, and both need to show that they can get a pressure win. This one has high stakes, and also features Phillip Rivers going up against a familiar AFC West foe.

Sunday Night Game:

WATCH LIVE: Sunday Night Football: Bills vs. Steelers | WWLP

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) at Buffalo Bills (9-3)
A pair of division leaders square off in Orchard Park, New York on Sunday night. The Steelers are still atop the AFC, but a loss against Washington on Monday exposed some weaknesses and sloppy play. The Bills, meanwhile, earned a big win Monday against the 49ers and sit atop the AFC East. The Bills need a win against another top AFC Team to solidify their position as serious contenders for the Super Bowl. This one figures to be close and exciting, featuring two good pass offenses against two good defenses.

And now, on to the Week 14 Picks!

Week 14 Picks

Lindsay got nine right last week while I nailed 10, so I increased the lead to five with four weeks of the regular season left. Will it hold? Let’s find out.

Matt’s Week 14 Picks:
Rams Over Patriots
Bears Over Texans
Cowboys Over Bengals
Broncos Over Panthers
Titans Over Jaguars
Chiefs Over Dolphins
Buccaneers Over Vikings
Giants Over Cardinals
Raiders Over Colts
Seahawks Over Jets
Chargers Over Falcons
Packers Over Lions
Saints Over Eagles
Washington Over 49ers
Bills Over Steelers
Browns Over Ravens

Last Week: 10–5
Season: 119–73

Lindsay’s Week 14 Picks:
Rams Over Patriots
Texans Over Bears
Cowboys Over Bengals
Panthers Over Broncos
Titans Over Jaguars
Chiefs Over Dolphins
Buccaneers Over Vikings
Giants Over Cardinals
Raiders Over Colts
Seahawks Over Jets
Falcons Over Chargers
Packers Over Lions
Saints Over Eagles
Washington Over 49ers
Bills Over Steelers
Browns Over Ravens

Last Week: 9-6
Season: 114-78

Matt’s Picks Against the Spread, Week 14
Patriots +5.5 Over Rams
Bears +1.5 Over Texans
Cowboys -3.5 Over Bengals
Broncos +3.5 Over Panthers
Titans -7.5 Over Jaguars
Dolphins +7.5 Over Chiefs
Vikings +6.5 Over Buccaneers
Giants +2.5 Over Cardinals
Raiders +2.5 Over Colts
Seahawks -13.5 Over Jets
Chargers +2.5 Over Falcons
Packers -7.5 Over Lions
Saints -6.5 Over Eagles
Washington +3.5 Over 49ers
Bills -2.5 Over Steelers
Browns +1.5 Over Ravens

Last Week: 9-6
Season: 88-104

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.