We are nearing the 2022 fantasy football playoffs, and with bye weeks returning and injuries still rearing their ugly heads, decisions continue to be difficult. Let’s take a look at our WR start/sit Week 14 plays, which include DJ Chark and Adam Thielen. Be sure to also check out our full Week 14 wide receiver rankings.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (at DET)
One of the most enjoyable parts of writing start/sit columns is flip-flopping players from starts to sits. Last week, Thielen was on the other side. That worked out for fantasy managers as Thielen posted a quite unhelpful 2-27 line.
Thielen has reached 60 receiving yards five times this season. Four of those five games came against teams ranking in the bottom half in pass defense. Care to guess what situation we have this week?
The Lions allow the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, with 71% of their total receiving yards allowed going to WRs.
MORE: Fantasy RB Start ’em Sit ’em Week 14
When these teams met back in Week 3, Thielen caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings and Lions combined for 52 points in that one.
With the Lions’ offense humming right now, this game could feature even more offense. Both teams should be pass-heavy, allowing for the secondary options to thrive. It’s been a fun challenge all season trying to predict when to start Thielen. This week sure looks like a good spot.
DJ Chark, Detroit Lions (vs. MIN)
We’re staying right here with the second start recommendation. You want to start players in this game, and Chark’s role looks to be increasing.
The Lions activated rookie first-rounder Jameson Williams from IR last week, but are wisely easing him into action. Williams played just eight snaps last week. Even if that number increases this week, which it should, Chark has reestablished himself as the WR2 ahead of Josh Reynolds.
Chark played a season-high 84% of the snaps last week and caught five of six targets for 98 yards. His 37 routes run were also a season high.
The same game-flow projection I mentioned in Thielen’s section applies here. Points. Lots of them. Both of these teams rank top seven in pace of play. We should see a fast-paced game with lots of throwing.
Just go back and re-read the final paragraph in the Thielen section and replace his name with Chark’s. I like Chark to push 80 yards and a touchdown this week. And if you don’t want to start Chark in your seasonal fantasy league, at least take his receiving yards higher on Underdog Fantasy.
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (at SEA)
The Panthers are fresh off a bye and have released Baker Mayfield. Sam Darnold starting is definitely good for DJ Moore, but unfortunately, the matchup is not.
The Seahawks allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. While Moore did have four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos prior to the bye, a chunk of that production came on one long reception. He hasn’t seen more than six targets in four straight games.
Darnold should provide a boost for Moore down the stretch, but Moore is far from a reliable fantasy option. Until we see more in the way of volume, and perhaps a better matchup, I’m leaving Moore on the bench.
Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills (vs. NYJ)
Another disappointing player this season has been Gabe Davis. Of course, the difference between Moore and Davis is Moore’s struggles can be blamed on his quarterbacks — Davis’ cannot. Davis’ problem is that he’s just not a particularly talented receiver.
Many fantasy managers expected Davis to be Josh Allen’s clear WR2. Instead, we have a player who’s seen just a 17% target share on the season, which ranks outside the top 50.
Davis is essentially a splash play or bust receiver. He leads all receivers in yards per reception at 19 and is fourth in average depth of target at 15.4. He either catches a long pass…or he’s not useful in fantasy. Last week, Davis found the end zone and still couldn’t get to double-digit fantasy points.
MORE: Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer Week 14
This week, the Bills get a Jets defense that limited Davis to two receptions for 33 yards in their last meeting. New York allows the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Most importantly, they are quite adept at defending the deep ball, allowing just a 33% completion rate on downfield throws.
For Davis to produce, he will need to hit a low-probability outcome. I’m not willing to bank on a below-average talent seeing low volume against a very good pass defense. Sit Davis.