Week 14 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
December 8, 2013
Week 14 Rankings
Patrick Daugherty breaks down all the top plays for the first week of the fantasy playoffs

Updated 12/8/3:15 PM ET. Eddie Royal added as the No. 72 receiver. 

Updated 12/8/2013 at 12:45 PM ET. Moved Reggie Bush down after reports indicated he re-injured calf in pre-game warmups. Joique Bell moved up. Delanie Walker removed. 

Updated 12/8/2013 at 12:15 PM ET. Rashad Jennings and Jordan Reed removed. Lots of minor moves at running back. Stevan Ridley ticked slightly upward. 

There are many ways to make the fantasy playoffs. Drafting the best team. Having the most injury fortune. Being smiled upon by the gods of sheer, dumb luck. Calvin Johnson. Typically, it’s a mixture of the first three.

One easy way to get bounced? Getting cute. In many ways, getting cute is understandable. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and the competition couldn’t be better. The margin for error is somewhere between Tim Tebow’s 2013 starts and Trent Richardson’s yards per carry. In the human brain, this creates a desire to out-fox, to out-maneuver. To search for Jesus’ face on the toast. Somewhere, there’s an edge, and it must be found and exploited.

Only most of the time, the answer is staring you straight in the face: Start your studs. It’s one of fantasy’s most oft-repeated clichés, but perhaps also its most ignored. That’s because there’s a certain banality to starting your studs, to trusting the process. Who wants to settle for a double to the gap when there’s a triple to be legged out?

But it’s most certainly the way to go for anyone who’d rather chase a title than a whim. This isn’t always an option, of course. It’s possible many of your studs have long since torn their ACLs. If you’ve waved goodbye to Julio Jones and Reggie Wayne, then by all means, start Cordarrelle Patterson over Jerricho Cotchery. But say you’ve got Patterson in your lineup simply because you “don’t like the way Wes Welker has been looking lately,” or have heard vaguely ominous things about the weather Riley Cooper will be playing through in Philadelphia. Then it’s kind of gamble that will backfire nine times out of 10.

There’s not a lot of glory in playing Frank Gore over Montee Ball when Gore is coming off three straight rough games and Ball is getting goal-line chances and facing one of the league’s softest run defenses. But it’s absolutely the right call, and the kind that usually ensures you will be advancing instead of packing. The safe decision doesn’t always equal a win, but it rarely equals an inexplicable exit. Resist the urge to overthink, and trust common sense instead of your gut.     

Week 14 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Peyton Manning vs. TEN Probable (ankle)
2 Matthew Stafford at PHI -
3 Nick Foles vs. DET -
4 Drew Brees vs. CAR -
5 Tom Brady vs. CLE -
6 Cam Newton at NO -
7 Josh McCown vs. DAL -
8 Tony Romo at CHI -
9 Philip Rivers vs. NYG -
10 Matt Ryan at GB -
11 Russell Wilson at SF -
12 Alex Smith at WAS -
13 Robert Griffin III vs. KC -
14 Ryan Fitzpatrick at DEN -
15 Andrew Luck at CIN -
16 Joe Flacco vs. MIN -
17 Carson Palmer vs. STL Questionable (elbow)
18 Andy Dalton vs. IND -
19 Colin Kaepernick vs. SEA -
20 Ryan Tannehill at PIT Probable (thumb)
21 Ben Roethlisberger vs. MIA -
22 E.J. Manuel at TB -
23 Eli Manning at SD -
24 Mike Glennon vs. BUF -
25 Case Keenum at JAC -
26 Jason Campbell at NE -
27 Matt McGloin at NYJ -
28 Chad Henne vs. HOU -
29 Matt Cassel at BAL -
30 Kellen Clemens at ARZ -
31 Matt Flynn vs. ATL -
32 Geno Smith vs. OAK -

QB Notes: Your weekly “Peyton Manning remains on pace to shatter the game’s most cherished passing records” update: With 75 percent of the season in the books, Manning is on track for 5,500 yards and 55 touchdowns. Aside from being a nice bit of supersymmetry, that’s, you know, categorically insane for a 37-year-old player with a bad neck. The Titans are allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but that’s not going to remain the case after Week 14. … Right behind Manning is Matthew Stafford, who’s on pace for 5,100 yards and 36 touchdowns. Stafford is a veritable lock to clear 4,900 yards for the third consecutive season, while the scores would be 16 more than he posted in his fluky 2012. Stafford has the most sheer arm talent in the league, and is still three months shy of his 26th birthday. Although Stafford thrives on Ford Field’s turf, he actually owns a better TD:INT ratio away from home (14:4 to 13:10), and has posted a higher QB rating (91.5 to 87.9). He’s going to have a fun day picking on Cary Williams and the Eagles’ secondary, which is allowing the most passing yards in the NFL, and the sixth most fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks.

Anyone who’s seen Nick Foles play this season knows that his 19:0 TD:INT ratio comes with a few caveats. Namely, two of his scores against the Packers should have been picks, and that another would-be INT against the Cardinals was overturned by a dubious defensive-holding penalty. Foles is not immune to bad throws. But by almost any metric, his stats are not smoke-and-mirrors. Foles’ 9.14 YPA leads the NFL, as does his 100.07 Pro Football Focus quarterback rating. His 75.6 Total QBR, if you’re into that sort of thing, is third. Yes, Foles has benefitted from some seriously bad competition of late (Oakland, a Rodgers-less Green Bay and Washington), but he more than held his own against Arizona’s fearsome D on Sunday. Nevermind that his 6.97 YPA was nearly six yards lower than the 12.94 mark he averaged in Weeks 9-11. Even if Foles is getting pumped up by bad Ds, he gets another one in the Lions on Sunday, who are allowing the seventh most passing yards per game. Is Foles one of the three, or even 10, best quarterbacks in the league? It’s doubtful. Is he a wave that’s yet to crest and must be ridden for the fantasy playoffs? Absolutely.

Could things have gone any worse for Drew Brees against the Seahawks? His 3.87 yards per attempt was his worst mark since Week 17 2003, when he was still a member of the Chargers. It was the first time in 43 games that Brees failed to eclipse 200 yards. Any way you slice it, it was a nightmare performance against an imposing defense. Now Brees gets another imposing D in the Panthers, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The difference this week, however? Brees is at home, where his stats blow away what he’s accomplished on the road. In six games at the Superdome, Brees has managed a 73.5 completion percentage, 9.00 YPA, 19:3 TD:INT ratio and 357 yards per game. On the road? 61.9, 6.92, 10:5 and 276, respectively. The Panthers are not your run-of-the-mill Pass D, but Brees is not your run-of-the-mill QB on artificial turf. Keep him locked and loaded for Week 14. … Tom Brady over his past four starts, where he’s faced the league’s No. 11 (Pittsburgh), No. 6 (Carolina), No. 29 (Denver) and No. 2 (Houston) pass defenses: 70.1 completion percentage, 8.79 yards per attempt, 361 yards per game and a 10:2 TD:INT ratio. Good luck, Cleveland.

Feasting on shaky secondaries the past two weeks, Josh McCown now gets a Cowboys defense allowing the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Even Matt McGloin dropped 255 yards on Big D on Thanksgiving. McCown is playing over his head under quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman (I just paid Evan Silva royalties), but should continue to do so for at least another week with Jay Cutler (ankle) yet to be cleared. … Is Matt Ryan “back”? No, but with Roddy White finally looking like Roddy White, and the Packers on deck for Week 14, he’s close enough. Despite lacking the services of Julio Jones for the past seven weeks, Ryan is still averaging a respectable 21.3 fantasy points on the year. … Russell Wilson is fantasy’s No. 5 quarterback over the past five weeks, but his journey to San Francisco is a forbidding one. The 49ers are third in both passing yards against (206) and QB fantasy points allowed (15.8). With multiple passing touchdowns in six straight games, Wilson’s Week 14 floor is high, but his ceiling is lower than we’ve grown accustomed to. … Feasting on solid fantasy matchups the past three weeks, Alex Smith has averaged 26.1 points. That should play just fine against a Redskins defense allowing 23.0 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Joe Flacco has posted more than 17.7 fantasy points only once in his past six starts, but will square off with the Vikings on Sunday, who are allowing the most points to enemy QBs. Just the No. 27 quarterback on the season, Flacco is still more two-QB league option than one-QB league streamer, but he’s never going to get a better matchup. … Fantasy’s No. 15 quarterback over the past five weeks, Andrew Luck has only one passing touchdown over his past three games, and zero total scores over his past two. Luck’s lack of weapons, terrible offensive line, nonexistent running game and questionable coaching is looking like too much to overcome for the fantasy playoffs. … Colin Kaepernick is coming off one of his better two-game stretches of the season, but even in the friendly confines of Candlestick Park, the Seahawks are a no-go of a matchup. … Eli Manning has yet another favorable matchup, but favorable matchups haven’t meant a whole lot for a quarterback averaging fewer points than Joe Flacco and Terrelle Pryor, among many others. … Case Keenum is coming off a good start, but on the road on a short week, will likely be in for a long night against a Jaguars defense that rocked his world in Week 12.

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Week 14 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson at BAL Questionable (groin)
2 Jamaal Charles at WAS -
3 Matt Forte vs. DAL Probable (knee)
4 LeSean McCoy vs. DET -
5 DeMarco Murray at CHI -
6 Marshawn Lynch at SF Probable (knee)
7 Knowshon Moreno vs. TEN Probable (ankle)
8 Andre Brown at SD -
9 Eddie Lacy vs. ATL -
10 Le'Veon Bell vs. MIA Probable (concussion)
11 Alfred Morris vs. KC -
12 Zac Stacy at ARZ -
13 Chris Johnson at DEN -
14 Ben Tate at JAC Probable (ribs)
15 Frank Gore vs. SEA Probable (ankle)
16 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. HOU Questionable (hamstring)
17 C.J. Spiller at TB Probable (ankle)
18 Steven Jackson at GB -
19 Shane Vereen vs. CLE Probable (wrist)
20 Lamar Miller at PIT Probable (pectorals)
21 Giovani Bernard vs. IND -
22 Bobby Rainey vs. BUF -
23 Rashard Mendenhall vs. STL -
24 Ray Rice vs. MIN -
25 Fred Jackson at TB -
26 Donald Brown at CIN -
27 Ryan Mathews vs. NYG Probable (hamstring)
28 Joique Bell at PHI Questionable (foot)
29 Pierre Thomas vs. CAR -
30 Chris Ivory vs. OAK Probable (ankle)
31 Andre Ellington vs. STL Probable (knee)
32 Montee Ball vs. TEN -
33 Danny Woodhead vs. NYG -
34 Darren Sproles vs. CAR -
35 BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. IND -
36 Marcel Reece at NYJ -
37 Reggie Bush at PHI Questionable (calf)
38 DeAngelo Williams at NO Probable (quadriceps)
39 Bilal Powell vs. OAK -
40 Willis McGahee at NE Probable (knee)
41 Chris Ogbonnaya at NE -
42 LeGarrette Blount vs. CLE -
43 Mike Tolbert at NO Probable (knee)
44 Stevan Ridley vs. CLE -
45 Dennis Johnson at JAC -
46 Bernard Pierce vs. MIN -
47 Jonathan Stewart at NO Questionable (ankle)
48 Shonn Greene at DEN -
49 Roy Helu vs. KC -
50 Jacquizz Rodgers at GB Probable (ankle)
51 Fozzy Whittaker at NE -
52 Mark Ingram vs. CAR -
53 Trent Richardson at CIN -
54 Peyton Hillis at SD -
55 Daniel Thomas at PIT -
56 Brandon Bolden vs. CLE Probable (-)
57 Jordan Todman vs. HOU -
58 Brian Leonard vs. BUF -
59 Michael Bush vs. DAL -
60 Robert Turbin at SF -
61 Kendall Hunter vs. SEA -
62 Bryce Brown vs. DET -
63 James Starks vs. ATL -
64 Joseph Randle at CHI -
65 Toby Gerhart at BAL -
66 Mike Gillislee at PIT -
67 Antone Smith at GB -
68 Jonathan Dwyer vs. MIA -
69 Theo Riddick at PHI -
70 Stepfan Taylor vs. STL -
71 Phillip Tanner at CHI -
72 Taiwan Jones at NYJ -
73 Marcus Thigpen at PIT -

RB Notes: Adrian Peterson needs to average 198 yards over his final four games to become ADB2B2K. With the league’s No. 6 (Baltimore), No. 19 (Philadelphia), No. 8 (Cincinnati) and No. 3 (Detroit) run defenses on tap, it won’t be easy, but if anyone can do it... … Only two backs have more yards from scrimmage than Matt Forte. No team has allowed more fantasy points to running backs than Dallas. Throw in game-time temperatures that are expected to be in the mid-to-low 20s on Monday evening, and you have the recipe for a monster week from fantasy’s No. 4 running back. … The only running back averaging more than 4.9 yards per carry, DeMarco Murray is getting the only run defense allowing more than 5.0 yards per carry. You do the math. … Reggie Bush’s calf injury isn’t believed to be overly serious, but that will change if he remains DNP/limited on Friday. He’s a player you need to keep close tabs on this week. … Marshawn Lynch has created 57 “missed tackles,” which leads the league by Pro Football Focus’ count. Even though Lynch is coming off a mini-slump into a tough matchup, he obviously can’t be benched for the first week of the fantasy playoffs.

Knowshon Moreno owners have undoubtedly arched an eye toward Montee Ball’s 13/117 Week 13, but playing through an ankle issue, Moreno still managed 21 more snaps and eight more touches than his rookie teammate. Fantasy's No. 7 back over the past five weeks, and No. 3 on the year, Moreno remains a legit RB1 against a Titans run defense allowing the fifth most fantasy points to running backs. … Eddie Lacy has struggled since opposing defenses started game-planning for him as the centerpiece of the Packers’ offense, averaging just 57 yards rushing and 3.1 yards per carry. The exception was Week 12, where Lacy stung the Vikings’ swinging gate of a defense for 158 total yards and a touchdown. Now Lacy gets a Falcons D allowing the sixth most fantasy points to rival RBs. With 10 days to rest up from last week’s embarrassment, Lacy will be an RB1 against a soft run unit.

Le’Veon Bell’s Week 13 concussion appeared to be anything but minor, but he’s practicing in full for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. Barring a Jordan Reed-esque last-minute setback, Bell will be good to go against a Miami defense that’s weak on the ground. Quietly leading all running backs in receiving over the past five weeks, Bell’s all-purpose game and goal-line chances keep him in the RB1 conversation on a weekly basis. … Coming off his worst game since returning from I.R./recall, Andre Brown gets a Chargers defense silver plattering 4.9 yards per carry. Brown is an RB2/3 at heart, but continually blessed with RB1 workloads and matchups, he’s a must-start for Week 14. … Alfred Morris is mired in his first real slump of the season, but will have a good shot at busting it against a Chiefs D permitting 4.6 yards per carry. Morris’ 4.8 YPC is behind only DeMarco Murray amongst running backs. That’s something you can rely on for the fantasy playoffs.

Zac Stacy is fantasy's No. 5 running back over the past five weeks despite missing half of Week 12 with a concussion and tangling with San Francisco’s elite run D in Week 13. The Cardinals are an imposing matchup, but Stacy is fluent in fantasy’s universal language for running-back success: Workload to spare, and goal-line chances for miles. … Frank Gore is averaging just 40.3 rushing yards and 2.95 yards per carry over his past three starts. Typically an RB1, he’s a tough sell as more than a mid-range RB2 against Pete Carroll’s defense. … Shane Vereen is averaging an unimpressive 3.6 yards per carry since returning, but is managing a weekly 79 yards from scrimmage thanks to his 29 receptions. He’s the only Pats back who can be trusted against Cleveland. … We’ve been labeling C.J. Spiller “boom or bust” for months. Sunday, he finally boomed, ripping off 77 yards on his second carry, and adding a dizzying 36-yard touchdown en route to a 15/149/1 afternoon. Spiller’s downside remains considerable, but his upside is the kind that can win critical matchups. Say, a fantasy quarterfinal.    

Steven Jackson is coming off his best two games of the season, but didn’t average more than 4.0 yards per carry in either contest. That should tell you all you need to know about the state of S-Jax’s career. Either way, his goal-line duties keep him locked in as an RB2. … Finally the center of the Dolphins’ rushing attack, Lamar Miller had a decent day in Week 13, generally getting what was blocked against the Jets’ penetrating Run D. Locked into 15-20 touches, Miller is an RB2 with room to grow against the Steelers’ middle-of-the-road defense. … Rashad Jennings (concussion) is on track to play, but is on the RB2 borderline against a Jets Run D still allowing just 2.9 yards per carry after its encounter with Miller. Darren McFadden (ankle) isn’t expected to play. … Playing his best football of the season, Rashard Mendenhall is a legit RB2 against the Rams’ No. 15 run defense, particularly with Andre Ellington’s (knee) status up in the air. … Something I regret from Week 13? I had Pierre Thomas way too high. Now I probably have him too low against a Panthers defense allowing the second most receptions to running backs. … Stay off the Panthers’ RB carousel.

Week 14 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Calvin Johnson at PHI Probable (knee)
2 Josh Gordon at NE -
3 Dez Bryant at CHI Probable (back)
4 Brandon Marshall vs. DAL Probable (quadriceps)
5 A.J. Green vs. IND -
6 Demaryius Thomas vs. TEN Probable (shoulder)
7 Alshon Jeffery vs. DAL -
8 DeSean Jackson vs. DET -
9 Andre Johnson at JAC -
10 Antonio Brown vs. MIA -
11 Vincent Jackson vs. BUF Questionable (hamstring)
12 Torrey Smith vs. MIN -
13 Pierre Garcon vs. KC -
14 Keenan Allen vs. NYG -
15 Victor Cruz at SD -
16 Larry Fitzgerald vs. STL -
17 Michael Floyd vs. STL Probable (shoulder)
18 Eric Decker vs. TEN -
19 Kendall Wright at DEN Probable (ankle)
20 Wes Welker vs. TEN -
21 Harry Douglas at GB -
22 Jordy Nelson vs. ATL -
23 Riley Cooper vs. DET Probable (knee)
24 Mike Wallace at PIT -
25 T.Y. Hilton at CIN Probable (shoulder)
26 Roddy White at GB -
27 Julian Edelman vs. CLE -
28 Cecil Shorts vs. HOU Probable (groin)
29 Dwayne Bowe at WAS -
30 Brian Hartline at PIT -
31 Stevie Johnson at TB -
32 Anquan Boldin vs. SEA -
33 Steve Smith at NO Probable (knee)
34 Marques Colston vs. CAR -
35 Golden Tate at SF Probable (hip)
36 Nate Burleson at PHI -
37 Hakeem Nicks at SD -
38 Danny Amendola vs. CLE Probable (groin)
39 Emmanuel Sanders vs. MIA -
40 Greg Jennings at BAL -
41 Doug Baldwin at SF -
42 Rueben Randle at SD -
43 James Jones vs. ATL -
44 Rod Streater at NYJ -
45 Jarrett Boykin vs. ATL -
46 Jacoby Jones vs. MIN -
47 Brandon LaFell at NO -
48 Kris Durham at PHI -
49 Nate Washington at DEN -
50 Michael Crabtree vs. SEA -
51 Dexter McCluster at WAS -
52 DeAndre Hopkins at JAC -
53 Jerricho Cotchery vs. MIA -
54 Andre Holmes at NYJ -
55 Tiquan Underwood vs. BUF -
56 Robert Woods at TB -
57 Cordarrelle Patterson at BAL -
58 Tavon Austin at ARZ -
59 Ace Sanders vs. HOU -
60 Marlon Brown vs. MIN -
61 Andre Roberts vs. STL -
62 Jerome Simpson at BAL -
63 Santonio Holmes vs. OAK -
64 Chris Givens at ARZ -
65 Justin Hunter at DEN -
66 Terrance Williams at CHI -
67 Marvin Jones vs. IND -
68 Rishard Matthews at PIT -
69 Jeremy Kerley vs. OAK -
70 Donnie Avery at WAS Probable (shoulder)
71 LaVon Brazill at CIN Questionable (back)
72 Eddie Royal vs. NYG Questionable (chest)
73 Miles Austin at CHI Probable (hamstring)
74 Ted Ginn at NO -
75 Jason Avant vs. DET -
76 Mohamed Sanu vs. IND -
77 Jermaine Kearse at SF -
78 Kenny Stills vs. CAR -
79 Darrius Heyward-Bey at CIN -
80 Greg Little at NE -
81 Davone Bess at NE -
82 Andrew Hawkins vs. IND Probable (hamstring)
83 David Nelson vs. OAK -
84 Santana Moss vs. KC -
85 Marquise Goodwin at TB Probable (calf)
86 Lance Moore vs. CAR -
87 Da'Rick Rogers at CIN -
88 Josh Boyce vs. CLE -
89 Mike Brown vs. HOU Probable (shoulder)
90 Darius Johnson at GB -
91 Robert Meachem vs. CAR -

WR Notes: There’s not much left to be said about Josh Gordon’s historic two-week run, except that his reward might be his fourth starting quarterback of the season, one whose best play with the Bears was “three-step fetal position.” Gordon would remain a cinch WR1 even were Caleb Hanie to start over Jason Campbell (concussion), but he’d be in the 8-10 range instead of the 2-4 range. … For whatever reason, the Cowboys haven’t been able to will Dez Bryant to a 100-yard performance in any of his past five games, where he’s drawn a total of just 44 targets. Scheming its best player open must remain a priority for Big D as it looks to fend off Philadelphia for the NFC East. … A Bash Brothers for a new generation, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have been pillaging the NFL’s village over the past month, rampaging into fantasy’s top-five receivers as a duo even as they compete for targets from a backup quarterback. Who is tasked with stopping them for Week 14? A Cowboys defense allowing 295 passing yards per game. Good night and good luck.

A.J. Green has six 80-yard performances in his past seven games, but will have his hands full with Vontae Davis, who’s emerged as a legitimate top-10 cornerback. … Demaryius Thomas YAC update: Still leading the league. With just seven catches for 147 yards over his past two games, expect Thomas to get the “Decker treatment” against the Titans’ stingy secondary. … Coming off one of his slower three-game stretches of the season (11-198-1), DeSean Jackson gets a Lions secondary that specializes in allowing big plays. The league’s most efficient deep-ball receiver, D-Jax will have ample opportunity to corral his eighth touchdown. … In theory, Andre Johnson’s matchup with the Jaguars’ leaky pass defense is good, but this is the same Jags D that completely torpedoed Houston’s passing attack less than two weeks ago. Now the sides are squaring off in Jacksonville on a short week. … Matchups haven’t mattered for NFL receptions leader Antonio Brown, but he’s got another rough one in the Dolphins, who are permitting the second fewest fantasy points to receivers. 5-60 is still a good bet, but Brown will have to work for the 7/92 he’s been averaging.   

Vincent Jackson is the veritable definition of “boom or bust,” but will do battle with a Bills secondary that’s made a habit of watching rival receivers go “boom.” Just last week, Buffalo worked hard to ensure Roddy White’s 2013 would not be in vain. Fire up V-Jax as a high-end WR2. … Only three teams are allowing more fantasy points to wideouts than the Vikings. Torrey Smith, who has scored in three of his past four games, is in line for a nice afternoon. … Pierre Garcon had a nightmarishly bad Week 13, committing two drops while letting another pass get ripped out of his hands for a game-sealing fumble. Either way, he still managed to haul in nine passes for 61 yards. No. 2 in the league in catches, Garcon has the floor of a mid-range WR2, and the ceiling of a high-end WR1. … Larry Fitzgerald has cleared 80 yards just twice in 12 games, but is on a touchdown-scoring bender, notching four in three weeks. One reason Fitz has risen back to prominence in the red zone? His vise-like hands. Fitz has dropped just one of 56 catchable balls this season, giving him a league-leading drop rate of 1.79 in Pro Football Focus’ ratings.

Fantasy’s No. 3 receiver over the past three weeks, Michael Floyd has gone at least 5-99 every game in the process. Each of his past 20 receptions has created a first down. He’s going to have little trouble probing a banged-up Rams secondary that has to account for both Floyd and Fitz. … According to Pro Football Focus, Kendall Wright is the league’s fourth most efficient receiver from the slot. It’s one of the main reasons Wright has caught at least five passes in 10-of-12 games, getting held below six just three times. On pace for a 95/1,120/3 line, only Wright’s sluggish touchdown rate is keeping him from every-week WR2 status. … If Roddy White wasn’t “back” last week, he was as close as you could get without actually being there. Breezing to a season-high 10 catches for 143 yards, White gained consistent separation, won contested passes, did work along the sideline and even got away with some of his trademark offensive pass interference. White looked more than ready to take advantage of a reeling Packers defense in Week 14. … Although he’s been held to just three catches in three straight games, Riley Cooper is an excellent WR3 against a Lions secondary with a propensity for getting burned.

Julian Edelman is coming off the best two-game stretch of his career, but objects in the Patriots’ fantasy mirror are often further away than they appear. What is the game plan one week can be the opposite the next. Edelman is playing extremely good football right now — he’s running crisp routes and getting open almost at will — but he’s not someone you follow down the WR2 rabbit hole. WR3 is a much safer bet. … Speaking of two-game stretches, Mike Wallace is coming off his best of the season. Now he gets his former team, a club that’s been getting rubbished by opposing No. 1s of late. The blood is going to run hot on both sides, but Wallace is a strong bet for at least a WR3 afternoon. … Stevie Johnson was seemingly the only receiver to have Darrelle Revis’ number during Revis’ time in New York. However, Revis held Johnson in check last Week 1, while Johnson is coming off a quiet game where he committed a game-changing fumble. Johnson has proven he can occasionally escape from Revis Island, but he’s still just a mid-range WR3. … Nate Burleson played 60-of-83 snaps last week. His zero-catch day was likely a fluke. … If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t return, trust James Jones and Jarrett Boykin at your own peril. … Andre Holmes will be worth a WR4 jump ball if Denarius Moore (shoulder) sits, as expected.  

Week 14 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski vs. CLE Questionable (back)
2 Jimmy Graham vs. CAR -
3 Vernon Davis vs. SEA -
4 Julius Thomas vs. TEN Probable (knee)
5 Jason Witten at CHI -
6 Greg Olsen at NO -
7 Tony Gonzalez at GB Questionable (toe)
8 Coby Fleener at CIN -
9 Garrett Graham at JAC Probable (thigh)
10 Jared Cook at ARZ -
11 Jordan Cameron at NE -
12 Antonio Gates vs. NYG Probable (hamstring)
13 Charles Clay at PIT -
14 Heath Miller vs. MIA -
15 Ladarius Green vs. NYG -
16 Martellus Bennett vs. DAL -
17 Tim Wright vs. BUF -
18 Zach Miller at SF -
19 John Carlson at BAL -
20 Scott Chandler at TB -
21 Brandon Myers at SD Probable (groin)
22 Zach Ertz vs. DET Probable (shoulder)
23 Dennis Pitta vs. MIN -
24 Lance Kendricks at ARZ Probable (finger)
25 Brandon Pettigrew at PHI Probable (knee)
26 Rob Housler vs. STL Questionable (hip)
27 Jermaine Gresham vs. IND -
28 Mychal Rivera at NYJ -
29 Marcedes Lewis vs. HOU Probable (calf)
30 Kellen Winslow vs. OAK Probable (knee)
31 Tyler Eifert vs. IND Probable (knee)
32 Brent Celek vs. DET Probable (hip)
33 Sean McGrath at WAS Probable (knee)
34 Ed Dickson vs. MIN -
35 Joseph Fauria at PHI -
36 Clay Harbor vs. HOU -
37 Jeff Cumberland vs. OAK -
38 Andrew Quarless vs. ATL -
39 Ben Watson vs. CAR -
40 Taylor Thompson at DEN -
41 Logan Paulsen vs. KC -
42 Jim Dray vs. STL -
43 Levine Toilolo at GB -
44 Brandon Bostick vs. ATL Questionable (concussion)
45 Craig Stevens at DEN Questionable (concussion)

TE Notes: Rob Gronkowski is 10th in yards amongst tight ends. Rob Gronkowski has played six games and it’s Week 14. Gronk is averaging 4.5 more fantasy points per game than Jimmy Graham over the past five weeks. Gronk is alone at the top. … Vernon Davis has found the end zone in three straight games, and four of five. His 10 scores are tied with Julius Thomas for the second most amongst tight ends. The Seahawks allow the 11th fewest fantasy points to tight ends, but are not a benchable matchup. … As for Julius Thomas (knee), his status remains up in the air. Thomas is practicing in a limited fashion, but also did so last week before sitting out his second consecutive game. Thomas has been productive enough as to be unbenchable when he plays, but owners have to have a contingency plan ready. Broncos/Titans doesn’t kick off until 4:05 ET, so it’s possible Thomas’ status will remain murky when you’re setting your lineup around the AM inactives.  

Garrett Graham has proven prone to disappointment, but the matchup is right in a Jaguars defense allowing the second most fantasy points to tight ends. Of course, the very same defense held Graham to five catches for 32 yards in Week 12. Graham is a TE1, but one with an exceedingly-low ceiling. … Jordan Reed (concussion) was held out of Wednesday’s practice after suffering a setback on Sunday. At this point, he appears unlikely to suit up against the Chiefs. Reed is too good to be benched if he plays, even against Kansas City’s stingy defense. But the odds are high you will have to look elsewhere for the first week of the fantasy playoffs. … Underachievement fits Coby Fleener like a glove, but with tight end as thin as ever, you have to keep trotting him out there as a TE1. The Colts desperately need Fleener to step up. They’re going to keep forcing the issue with their second-year pro.   

Jared Cook has won the Week 14 lottery: He gets an Arizona defense allowing far and away the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. This is the same Cardinals D Cook smoked for 7/141/2 in Week 1, leading many to believe his offseason hype was earned. It wasn’t, but Cook is an excellent streaming option for the first week of the fantasy playoffs. … Jordan Cameron has done the best he can to keep his TE1 head above water amidst the Browns’ chaos at quarterback, but he’s just a borderline option. Cameron should be back with a vengeance in 2014. … If Delanie Walker (concussion) can get cleared, he has a juicy matchup in a Broncos defense allowing the third most fantasy points to tight ends. … Fantasy’s No. 23 tight end over the past five weeks, Antonio Gates is losing targets to Ladarius Green. Even in a solid matchup, he’s a borderline TE1. Green, meanwhile, is stealing looks, but not enough of them to be considered a legitimate starting option.

Week 14 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski vs. CLE -
2 Justin Tucker vs. MIN -
3 Steven Hauschka at SF -
4 Mason Crosby vs. ATL -
5 Matt Prater vs. TEN -
6 Garrett Hartley vs. CAR -
7 Blair Walsh at BAL Probable (hamstring)
8 Nick Novak vs. NYG -
9 Adam Vinatieri at CIN -
10 Dan Bailey at CHI -
11 Shaun Suisham vs. MIA Probable (hamstring)
12 Ryan Succop at WAS -
13 Jay Feely vs. STL -
14 Robbie Gould vs. DAL -
15 Dan Carpenter at TB -
16 Caleb Sturgis at PIT -
17 Alex Henery vs. DET -
18 Kai Forbath vs. KC -
19 Nick Folk vs. OAK -
20 Phil Dawson vs. SEA -
21 Graham Gano at NO -
22 Greg Zuerlein at ARZ -
23 Mike Nugent vs. IND -
24 Rob Bironas at DEN -
25 David Akers at PHI -
26 Matt Bryant at GB -
27 Sebastian Janikowski at NYJ -
28 Randy Bullock at JAC -
29 Josh Brown at SD -
30 Rian Lindell vs. BUF -
31 Billy Cundiff at NE Probable (quadriceps)
32 Josh Scobee vs. HOU -

Week 14 Defense/Special Teams  

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Patriots Def/Spec Team vs. CLE -
2 Raiders Def/Spec Team at NYJ -
3 Chiefs Def/Spec Team at WAS -
4 Seahawks Def/Spec Team at SF -
5 Cardinals Def/Spec Team vs. STL -
6 Ravens Def/Spec Team vs. MIN -
7 Bengals Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
8 Bills Def/Spec Team at TB -
9 Rams Def/Spec Team at ARZ -
10 Panthers Def/Spec Team at NO -
11 Texans Def/Spec Team at JAC -
12 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. SEA -
13 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. CAR -
14 Jaguars Def/Spec Team vs. HOU -
15 Broncos Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
16 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. BUF -
17 Jets Def/Spec Team vs. OAK -
18 Packers Def/Spec Team vs. ATL -
19 Dolphins Def/Spec Team at PIT -
20 Steelers Def/Spec Team vs. MIA -
21 Bears Def/Spec Team vs. DAL -
22 Colts Def/Spec Team at CIN -
23 Falcons Def/Spec Team at GB -
24 Cowboys Def/Spec Team at CHI -
25 Eagles Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
26 Vikings Def/Spec Team at BAL -
27 Giants Def/Spec Team at SD -
28 Browns Def/Spec Team at NE -
29 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. NYG -
30 Lions Def/Spec Team at PHI -
31 Redskins Def/Spec Team vs. KC -
32 Titans Def/Spec Team at DEN -