Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 14: Dolphins vs. Steelers

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

One team started 3-0, and has gone 3-6 since. The other started 0-4, and has gone 5-3 since. Basically, the Dolphins and Steelers have met in the middle this season.

In a middling AFC playoff race, both the 6-6 Miami Dolphins and the 5-7 Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves with at least a glimmer of a chance entering Week 14. Their matchup Sunday is likely a loser-leaves-town game, as neither team can well afford anything but wins from here on out. The game will be played at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in Pittsburgh, and it's a more interesting real matchup than a fantasy one, as there are not a lot of intriguing fantasy players on either side:


Start in every league: Mike Wallace

Start if you're desperate: Ryan Tannehill, Charles Clay, Caleb Sturgis, Defense/special teams

Bench: Lamar Miller, Brian Hartline, Rishard Matthews

After being average-to-below for most of the season, Wallace has finally produced, with 12 catches for 209 yards, two scores and 32 fantasy points in the last two weeks. The Steelers have allowed 20-plus points to wide receivers four times in five games, with 34 or more in three of those. And, if it counts at all, this is a first-game-against-your-former-team scenario for him.

There have still been few fantasy quarterbacks more reliable than Tannehill; his 21 points in Week 13 was a season high, with all his earlier 11 games falling between nine and 17 points. He's unlikely to ever carry a fantasy team to victory, but those who have been struggling along without, for example, Aaron Rodgers can at least count on a certain level of production. ... Clay has only scored double-digit fantasy points once since Week 5, though he does have 80-plus yards in two of his last three. He's a low-end TE1/high-end TE2. ... He's only 15th among fantasy kickers, but Sturgis has converted three field goals and scored double-digit fantasy points in each of his last two games. ... The Dolphins' defense has been in the top 10 in fantasy scoring this season and is coming off of a 17-point game. On the flip side, the Steelers haven't allowed more than six points to an opposing defense since Week 8, and have given up negative-three total in the last three weeks.

It was nice to see Miller offer some production in Week 13, but in the fantasy playoffs, you don't want the wild-card unpredictability of his performance. ... Hartline was good against the Jets last week, but otherwise hasn't had even a remotely big game since Week 3. ... After what looked like a breakout game in Week 10, Matthews hasn't done anything.


Start in every league: Antonio Brown

Start if you're desperate: Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Shaun Suisham, Defense/special teams

Bench: Jonathan Dwyer, Felix Jones, Jerricho Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller

The stat has been everywhere of late, that the Dolphins have only allowed one touchdown to a wide receiver all year. While that is technically true, they, for example, allowed two to Jimmy Graham in Week 4, and he's the wide-receiveriest tight end ever, so that "stat" is mostly semantics. The team is good against wide receivers; it isn't otherworldly. Regardless, Brown has made himself a bona fide No. 1 wide receiver, and he doesn't get benched against anyone.

At this point, Roethlisberger has nearly played himself into every-week, no-doubt starter ranking. He hasn't scored in the single digits since Week 1. But he has had enough mediocre games, and the Dolphins are so good against opposing quarterbacks, that he's just below must-start status. You're probably using him, but there might be an alternative. ... Bell's injury on Thanksgiving was terrifying, but at this point he looks like he'll play without restrictions Sunday. He's scored at least eight fantasy points in seven straight games. You're probably using him Sunday, especially against a middling Dolphins run defense. The injury concerns make him less than a guarantee, but still, he barely falls into this category. ... Suisham has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four, and has only missed two field goals on the season. Still, he's only 12th among kickers. ... The Steelers' defense stunk early in the season, but has been intermittently productive since the bye. It's not an awful streaming option.

If Bell had been forced to miss Sunday's game, Jones and/or Dwyer might have been able to stumble into running back value. With the rookie active, though, they don't have any. ... In a super-desperate situation, maybe Sanders or Cotchery could be justified, but in general they're not worth counting on in the fantasy playoffs. ... Miller is still looking for his first double-digit fantasy day of the season.

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