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QB vs Pass Rush Matchups To Watch - Week 14


Week 14 is here, and the fantasy playoffs are rolling. Some people are on byes for the week which can help if you've got key players in bad matchups, but others are scrapping to keep their season alive. Real teams start at quarterback, and they're pretty important for fantasy as well.

Quarterbacks have changed the game for fantasy football this year with guys like Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen taking full advantage of their running ability to stress defenses. It gives you more viable options on a week-to-week basis.

Right now, these are the weeks that we've spent months preparing and competing for. There's no room for an error, and it's not time to get cute. We have to set our best lineups to win because we aren't coming back next week if we don't.

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Look Away Before It Gets Ugly

Kyler Murray vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Among rookie quarterbacks, Arizona Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray has been arguably the most consistent in the NFL. He brings you running upside every week, and he has the arm to make just about any throw that you ask of him. His offensive line has let him down frequently with the 42 sacks they've allowed this year, and they keep him from reaching his full potential far too often. Week 14 looks to have more of a similar outcome.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming to town, and their defense has been hot over the last two months since acquiring defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Their pass rush has been stout and aggressive en route to their 43 sacks that rank third in the NFL. They have the athletes on the edge to keep Murray contained, and their defensive backs should make life difficult on the wideouts. Murray's stock is down for this week.

 

Jimmy Garoppolo @ New Orleans Saints

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line has been good this year, especially in run blocking. In Week 14, they'll be facing a formidable front in the New Orleans Saints, and it's not likely to be pretty. The Saints got to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for nine sacks last week, and Jimmy Garoppolo isn't the most mobile guy back there. He's only been sacked 24 times this year, but he has an offensive line that's dealing with a few different injuries.

The Saints are tied for fourth in the NFL with 40 sacks, and they're just starting to get their legs back under them after struggling for about a month after quarterback Drew Brees got injured. Garoppolo has been a relatively safe streaming option for much of the year, but this team wants to lean on the run, especially against good teams. If the running backs get going early, Jimmy will have a very quiet day.

 

Eli Manning @ Philadelphia Eagles

Straight up, this is going to be ugly. The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of a bad loss where their defense got pushed around by the Miami Dolphins, but they still see a divisional title within their grasp. The pass rush has shown life after early-season silence, and they've gotten up to 34 sacks on the season with this aggressive group. In Week 14, they're viewing it as must-win territory, and the defense will be looking to make a statement.

For Eli Manning of the New York Giants, he's coming off of two and a half months of rest against an angry divisional opponent on the road. The offensive line has allowed 35 sacks this year, and it's unlikely that he has a ton of chemistry with the players on the field. You're likely only starting him if you were relying on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but we salute those of you that are out there.

 

That's More Like It

Baker Mayfield vs Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been a major letdown this season after the hype that he entered the year with. However, over the last month, he has been relatively solid. His offensive line has improved of late, and they're trending in the right direction as he had been sacked just six times total in the previous four games before the five he took last week. This team has too many weapons, especially with tight end David Njoku returning, for Mayfield to not bounce back.

The Cincinnati Bengals Defense has been largely a paper tiger for much of the season. They aren't able to stop the run at all, and they're unable to rush the passer with any consistency. They've got just 20 sacks on the year, and four of those came last week against Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. The way you harass Baker is by pressuring him, and the Bengals don't have the horses to do that for 60 minutes.

 

Kirk Cousins vs Detroit Lions

It took him until garbage time Monday night, but Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to have a solid evening. In Week 14, his assignment is going to be a lot easier. The Detroit Lions have been gutted by injuries on both sides of the ball, and their secondary has just one consistent playmaker in cornerback Darius Slay. The Vikings have a couple of really good running backs with an offensive line that has only allowed 22 sacks, and they're playing for the playoffs right now.

The Lions' defense has just 24 sacks on the season, and they don't exactly inspire a ton of confidence that they're going to get a lot more. None of their defensive linemen are true sack artists, but they do well to hold lane integrity. The Vikings may struggle in the running game, although that's not overly likely, which would cause Cousins to throw more.

 

Aaron Rodgers vs Washington Redskins

The two-time MVP has steadily silenced doubters with signature games all season long. When he has an off week, he'll carry his team to victory as he did in Week 13 when the running game couldn't get rolling. His offensive line keeps him upright and gives him time to let plays develop, and his chemistry is developing with his receivers. The more time they get, especially in this home game that helps them in the battle for the playoffs, will result in more big plays.

The Redskins Defense has done a good job of getting after the quarterback this season with 36 sacks, but they're still not an elite group. They focus more on team rushes and blitzes, and Rodgers is among the NFL's best in recognition and escaping or getting rid of the ball when the pressure is closing in. He's not going to give them the chance to get home this week, and he will pick apart their questionable secondary in the process.

 

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