Bring in the Backups: Bench Players You Can Start in Week 14 for Fantasy Football Playoffs

Jason Schandl
Kenyan Drake runs the ball in his Cardinals debut.
Kenyan Drake runs the ball in his Cardinals debut. / Ralph Freso/Getty Images

With the fantasy football playoffs here, it's time for owners to do whatever they can to secure a win. Injuries to key players can leave you scrambling, and that sometimes means you'll have to dig deep to fill out your starting lineup.

That's where these players, started in 50 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues or less, come into play. Here are three bench players to start in fantasy football for Week 14.

1. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals (40% Started)

Kenyan Drake runs the ball against the 49ers.
Kenyan Drake runs the ball against the 49ers. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kenyan Drake has taken a firm grasp of the Arizona Cardinals' No. 1 RB job. Even with David Johnson back in the fold, Drake saw 18 opportunities (13 carries plus five targets) in Week 13, and he's now averaging 13.5 carries and 5.8 targets per game since being traded to the Cards. A matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers is nothing special, but that kind of lead back workload makes Drake worth consideration as an every-week starter, especially in PPR leagues. He checks in at RB24 in our Week 14 rankings.

2. Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts (8% Started)

Zach Pascal runs after a catch against the Titans.
Zach Pascal runs after a catch against the Titans. / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

With T.Y. Hilton unlikely to play and Eric Ebron on IR, Zach Pascal should be in for another big game. With those two both out in Week 13, Pascal saw a season-high 10 targets, scoring 17.9 PPR fantasy points. He brings that potential for big volume into an even better matchup now, taking on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has surrendered the NFL's most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts in both PPR and standard scoring this season.

3. Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (25% Started)

Vance McDonald with the ball against the Browns in Week 13.
Vance McDonald with the ball against the Browns in Week 13. / Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Vance McDonald draws the matchup tight ends dream of this week, taking on the other side of that Cardinals versus Steelers game. No team has allowed more fantasy points per game to the position than Arizona, and it's not remotely close — the Cards are allowing 21.2 per game (PPR), while the next-highest mark is 16.1. McDonald's volume can be inconsistent, but he's seen seven targets three times in the last five games (catching at least three passes in four of the five), and with the Cards' struggles against TEs he should be heavily involved in the Pittsburgh offense this week. McDonald is our sixth-ranked tight end for Week 14, and he's all but a must-start in this matchup.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.