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Fantasy Football: Top Players to Start in N.F.L. Week 14

If there is one N.F.L. team worthy of being compared to an unmitigated trash fire, it’s hard to argue against the Giants.

Their transgressions have been well documented, and if you built your fantasy football team around players who were thought to be key fantasy football contributors heading into the season — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Paul Perkins, to name a few — you know better than most.

No matter how dysfunctional an N.F.L. team is, there’s potential for fantasy value on any team in any given matchup. But when it comes to the Giants, there’s very little there.

Eli Manning is set to return at starting quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys, a development with little fantasy relevance other than making the Giants’ receiving options slightly more attractive (though Geno Smith would disagree).

Sterling Shepard, the last Giants starting receiver standing, still finds himself on this week’s injury report, with a hamstring injury. If he is unable to play Sunday, that leaves only the rookie tight end Evan Engram as a startable fantasy option for Big Blue.

Lamar Miller (HOU vs. 49ers) — His high volume of usage — tied for second among backs in snap count, 53.5 per game, and seventh in total carries — should translate into another solid fantasy performance, with potential for much more against the 49ers. He has averaged nearly 12 fantasy points per game over the last three weeks, and San Francisco has yielded the third most F.P.P.G. (21.3) this season.

Wide Receiver

Marvin Jones (DET at Buccaneers) — The Packers’ offense did something remarkable last Sunday: It failed to exploit the Buccaneers’ pass defense, which is the second worst in the N.F.L. based on passing yards per game (267.3). In fantasyland, it is the absolute worst, at 26.8 F.P.P.G. It’s safe to say that would not have been the case if Aaron Rodgers had been behind center. Assuming Matthew Stafford’s hand is in decent shape, the Lions should have a field day on offense, led by Stafford and Jones, who is second in the N.F.L. in touchdowns (eight) among receivers. Jones has 85 yards receiving or a touchdown, or both, in six of his last seven games.

Michael Crabtree (OAK at Chiefs) — He will be back on the field after serving a one-game suspension. Whether his teammate Amari Cooper will be is very much up in the air, as he is still dealing with an ankle injury after clearing the N.F.L.’s concussion protocol. Regardless, Cooper will not be 100 percent, if he does play, in this crucial division matchup, meaning Crabtree should be the No. 1 target for quarterback Derek Carr. Bolstering the case for Crabtree is the fact that the only Chiefs defensive back worth fearing, Marcus Peters, who shadowed Crabtree in their earlier matchup this season, is suspended for this game. On the whole, the Chiefs allow the second most F.P.P.G. to receivers (26.3).

Also consider: Josh Gordon (CLE vs. Packers)

Tight End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ at Broncos) — He has underwhelmed over the last two games but is in a great spot this weekend against the Broncos, who have been exploited by opposing tight ends for 68.4 yards per game and the second most F.P.P.G. (10.8). In addition, tight ends have found the end zone in eight of 12 games this season