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Key start/sit options for Week 14 TNF between Cowboys and Bears

We break down the best and worst fantasy football start/sit options for Week 14 Thursday Night Football.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott talks with wide receiver Amari Cooper during training camp at Marriott Residence Inn at River Ridge. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL kicks off Week 14 on Thursday Night Football with the Dallas Cowboys at the Chicago Bears. The Cowboys are 3-point favorites on DraftKings Sportbook, and the game has been given a total points of 42.5, one of the lower point totals on the Week 14 schedule.

For the Bears, WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and TE Ben Braunecker (concussion) have both been ruled out. For the Cowboys, Amari Cooper injured his knee during Thanksgiving’s game after taking a helmet to the kneecap, but practiced in full all week and carries no injury designation heading into the game. Randall Cobb also missed practice on Monday due to an illness but is not on the Cowboys’ final injury report and is expected to play.

Must-starts from this game include Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott. Here are some other players that fantasy owners can consider starting or sitting in their seasonal leagues.

Start QB Dak Prescott

A road matchup against a Bears team that has been strong at limiting fantasy production to opposing passing games isn’t ideal, especially given the game is not expected to be high-scoring. The Bears have limited opposing QBs to a QB rating of 86.4, ninth lowest and better than the 2019 league average of 91.0. That said, Prescott has been too productive to sit. Prescott’s 24.1 DraftKings fantasy points per game ranks second best on the Week 14 schedule, and he has showcased boosted passing volume recently. Prescott has attempted 40 or more passes in five of his last eight games, which represents five of his nine highest passing volume games in his career. Prescott’s fantasy average may play down this week, but it’ll still likely be good enough to get good production.

Start WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup

As mentioned above with Prescott, this is not a great matchup for the Cowboys’ passing game on the road. The Bears have limited WR to the fifth fewest fantasy points per game and third fewest receiving TDs, and the game flow could lead Dallas to attack more with the run, which the Bears have been more prone to allowing fantasy production against. Despite that, Cooper and Gallup are too talented to sit despite the tough matchup. By expected run after the catch differential, which takes into account factors such as defender distance, Gallup has been Dallas’ best receiver at getting the most out of the run after the catch. Both Cooper and Gallup have been targeted down the field at a higher than average clip by average air yards per target, and both rank in the top 27 in total targets.

Sit QB Mitchell Trubisky

Trubisky is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season, throwing for 338 yards and three TDs on Thanksgiving, but that was in large part due to a soft matchup against a poor Lions defense. The Cowboys have been better than average at limiting fantasy points to QBs, which represents a tougher matchup than last week. Trubisky has primarily been poor this season, posting a QB rating of 84.4, worse than the league average of 91.0.

Start WR Anthony Miller

With Taylor Gabriel (concussion) sidelined, Miller has seen a strong boost in volume recently. Miller is averaging 11 targets per game over the Bears’ last three games, and he is coming off a heavy 13 targets last week. Miller caught nine of those 13 targets for 140 yards and saw 38% of the Bears’ air yards on targets, the highest on the team. Gabriel has been ruled out again, putting Miller in good position to continue expanded target volume in Week 14.

Sit RB David Montgomery unless in a deeper league

The Cowboys have been a tick better than average against the run by yards allowed per carry, and Montgomery enters Thursday with ugly rushing efficiency numbers. Montgomery has rushed for just 3.5 yards per carry, much worse than the league average of 4.4. Montgomery is better off left on the bench unless fantasy owners are in a deeper league and have no better options.