Sit/Start 2023 Week 14: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

The QB List Sit/Start Team offers their Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season.

Game Info

Kickoff: Sunday, December 10th, 4:05 PM ET

Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara California

Betting Odds: SF -10.5, 46.5 total via Odds Shark

Network: FOX

Writer: Justin Mello (@JustinMelloNE on Twitter)


Seattle Seahawks



Geno Smith (Sit)

After piecing together an impressive and unexpected comeback story last season, Geno Smith has been somewhat disappointing in 2023. Things seem like they may be trending in the right direction though as Smith padded the stat sheet with a spectacular outing against the otherwise elite Dallas defense last week. It’ll take another great performance against another elite defense to continue his recent success though. The 49ers defense is ranked third in pass coverage and first in pass rush by PFF. Just two weeks ago when these teams last met, San Francisco held Smith to 180 scoreless passing yards while also intercepting him once. It’s possible that the offense finally found its rhythm and will hold its own on Sunday, but I’m not willing to take that risk against such a tough defense. I’d go in another direction unless you’re in a pinch.


Running Backs

Kenneth Walker III (Start, Flex), Zach Charbonnet (Sit)

After starting the year off with a bang, Kenneth Walker III has been less than spectacular of late. This has largely been due to injury in all fairness, but the oblique injury is still a concern nonetheless. If Walker is indeed able to suit up on Sunday, he will likely be playing at less than 100% and sharing the backfield with Zach Charbonnet if he is also able to play (more on that shortly). To make matters worse, the 49ers are PFF’s fifth-highest-rated run defense and are ranked third in tackling. To sum it up, Walker will be playing with an injured oblique while potentially sharing the backfield with another talented running back while playing against one of the league’s best run defenses. That’s tough, to say the least. Walker feels too talented to sit if he’s indeed active, but he should only be considered a low-end flex if Charbonnet is active as well. If Charbonnet can’t go, then Walker is a low-end RB2.

As for Charbonnet and his knee injury, it doesn’t appear to be severe. I’m more confident that he will be able to play than Walker, but it is certainly a situation to monitor. If Walker is active, Charbonnet should probably be benched anyway while playing second fiddle against an elite defense. If Walker is ruled out again though, Charbonnet is on the fringe of RB2 and flex territory. If neither can play, DeeJay Dallas is a low-end flex play.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

D.K. Metcalf (Start, WR3), Tyler Lockett (Start, Flex), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Sit), Noah Fant (Start, TE2)

It was a glorious breakout game for D.K Metcalf last week, at least for those who started him. I’m personally still weeping over what he did against my beloved fantasy team on Thursday Night Football. It was nice to be reminded of just how freakishly athletic and talented Metcalf is, but that doesn’t mean he’ll repeat it this week. I wouldn’t count on a big day from any of the Seattle wide receivers including Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba as well. Just look at Week 12 when the 49ers held all three of them to under four catches and 45 yards a piece. It’s no wonder that PFF ranks none of their matchups this week as favorable as they battle with impressive San Francisco cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas, and particularly Charvarius Ward. Coming off such an incredible performance, Metcalf deserves to be at least a WR3. Lockett can still be considered a risky flex play given he leads the receiver room in snaps played. Smith-Njigba can be safely benched for other options. It’s not that you can’t start any of these receivers, but I’d temper your expectations.

As for their tight end, Noah Fant hasn’t done all that much this season to make you excited about starting him. The 49ers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to the position this season, so I wouldn’t bet on this being a breakout week for the former Iowa Hawkeye and Denver Bronco.


San Francisco 49ers



Brock Purdy (Start, QB1)

He may have fallen off for a couple of weeks, but it sure looks like Brock Purdy has his mojo back. He has thrown for over 295 yards and has had at least three touchdowns in three of his last four games. The one game where he didn’t reach those benchmarks was against Seattle, which is slightly concerning, but it’s not as scary with some added context. The 49ers took a huge lead early and capped off drive after drive with rushing touchdowns, and they didn’t need to rely on the passing game very much as their lead grew. In other words, I wouldn’t read too much into Purdy’s underwhelming Week 12 stat line. The Seahawks’ defense is ranked toward the middle of the pack in most major defensive metrics, so the matchup isn’t anything to sweat for the most part. As crazy as it sounds to start last year’s Mr. Irrelevant with full confidence, this offense is too high-powered to not trust the quarterback at the helm. Purdy can be considered a low-end QB1.


Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey (Start, RB1)

Let’s not waste too much time with this one. Christian McCaffrey is only rivaled by Tyreek Hill when it comes to the most overpowered fantasy asset. He is obviously somebody who needs to be started. For what it’s worth, the Seahawks have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and McCaffrey hung 139 yards and two touchdowns on them just two weeks ago. He could put up absolutely crazy numbers this week.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Deebo Samuel (Start, WR2), Brandon Aiyuk (Start, WR2),  Jauan Jennings (Sit), George Kittle (Start, TE1)

It feels like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk have been alternating boom weeks all season. Even when one of them erupts with fantasy points, the other seems to put together a solid outing as well. It’s tough to determine which is the better start going forward. Aiyuk has the higher target share (22% versus 17%) and leads the team in most major receiving stats. Samuel gets additional work in the run game and sees plenty of manufactured touches though which increases his upside. If I had to pick between the two of them, I’d take Samuel this week given he’s scored four touchdowns in his last two games and caught seven passes against this very defense in Week 12. Both are still high-end WR2s though against a Seattle secondary which has allowed the ninth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Jauan Jennings simply doesn’t get enough usage to be fantasy-relevant while playing behind so many other phenomenal weapons.

Speaking of phenomenal weapons, George Kittle is a must-start. Few tight ends are matchup-independent and demand to be started every week, but Kittle is one of them. He’s had a few dud games this year, but his explosive boom weeks can win you your matchup and few tight ends possess that potential. PFF ranks Kittle’s matchup advantage as the third-best among all tight ends in Week 14. We could certainly see one of those explosive boom weeks on Sunday.


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