Fantasy Football Week 14: QBs That Will Post Huge Numbers
Week 14 presents a plethora of intriguing matchups, including some that lend themselves particularly well for some of the game's rising stars at the quarterback position. A certain two-time Super Bowl MVP should also be expected to have a monster fantasy day in the upcoming slate of NFL games.
Here is a look at a threesome of quarterbacks that will shine this coming Sunday thanks to some relatively resistance-free opposition.
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the midst of a massive bounce-back season, Freeman and the upstart Bucs have unfortunately struggled in recent weeks, which has cast a bit of doubt on their playoff aspirations.
Thankfully, their Week 14 matchup will be against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are mired in an eight-game losing streak.
Remember when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha were considered one of the better corner duos in the league? Me neither, because it never really happened.
With top weapons Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams at his disposal on the outside, it should be a total mismatch. RB Doug Martin should also fare better than he has in recent weeks, which will give the offense balance and open up shots downfield for Freeman and his exceptional deep threats.
Look for the fourth-year quarterback to carve up Philly in a game that will make or break his team's playoff hopes. It will be similar to the damage done by Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo this past Sunday night, when he posted a whopping 150.5 passer rating.
Supplemented by a stellar running game thanks to the return of DeMarco Murray and dynamic receiving duo Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, Romo dominated Philly.
Rookie third-rounder Nick Foles is improving for the Eagles. He could easily turn this game into a shootout against one of the league's worst secondaries, which will lend itself to more throwing for Freeman.
In that context, expect Freeman and his explosive supporting cast to thrive at home on Sunday.
Projected Numbers: 35-of-45, 410 yards, 3 TDs; 3 carries, 20 yards
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
He may only be completing 55.5 percent of his passes, and his touchdown to interception ratio may be a very pedestrian 17 to 16. Yet Luck is somehow getting it done for Indianapolis, as a Chuckstrong inspired team that has pushed its way to an 8-4 record.
The No. 1 overall pick's numbers look ugly, but according to ESPN's Total QBR statistic, he is among the best in the NFL, ranking sixth with a 71.6 rating on a scale of 100.
That pretty much means that Luck is counted on to shoulder a heavy load, and he simply gets it done. Luck ranks tied for second in the league with a whopping 503 pass attempts to date, and he has also scampered for 216 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
In facing AFC South foe Tennessee on Sunday, it should be another big fantasy day for Luck, who got his first career road win in a thrilling overtime finish back in October. In the previous matchup, Luck threw for 297 yards and ran for 28 on six carries.
The Colts have the third-worst turnover ratio in the NFL at minus-16, largely due to Luck's aggressiveness. But at some point, the picks have to stop.
Against a relatively soft Titans defense that has difficulty stopping the run and the pass, Luck will be the beneficiary of familiarity with the opponent. Chemistry with fellow rookie WR T.Y. Hilton is improving every week, giving him a key deep threat to count on.
Hilton was targeted 12 times in the dramatic victory in Detroit, catching six passes and posting another 100-yard game.
Combine him with superstar Reggie Wayne and a resurgent Donnie Avery, and Luck should take another step in a must-win situation in Lucas Oil Stadium while posting monster fantasy stats.
Projected Numbers: 28-of-40, 370 yards, 3 TDs; 5 carries, 30 yards
Eli Manning, New York Giants
There is not a more enigmatic team than the defending Super Bowl champions—and no top-tier QB having a more bizarre season than the younger Manning brother.
After looking horrendous for the better part of a month, New York bounced back big time in Week 13 with a blowout win over what was an incredibly hot Green Bay team. Manning threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, but he completed just over 50 percent of his passes.
Yet Manning couldn't fully capitalize on a perceptibly easy matchup against Washington on Monday night, with his team losing 17-16.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has had the Giants QB's number since he began to call the shots for the Redskins. ESPN's telecast reported that Manning entered the evening throwing two TDs and eight INTs in five games.
Although Manning went a respectable 20-of-33 for 280 yards and a touchdown, it wasn't enough. He's not completely at fault, though, and you can bet the perpetually clutch QB will be ready to rally back this week.
With a supporting cast of a now-healthy Hakeem Nicks, superstar Victor Cruz and an emerging rookie in Rueben Randle, it's hard to imagine that Manning will be struggling much more in 2012.
The NFC East race has tightened, and it's about that time where the backs-against-the-wall Giants pull out some magic and begin making their postseason push.
Another inevitable storyline will reemerge when Eli and Co. host the New Orleans Saints, father Archie's longtime team. Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has failed to get a grip on his defensive unit the entire season, and it has resulted in a historically awful defense in New Orleans.
With Drew Brees mired in a bit of a slump as of late, he should perform well with the Saints' paper-thin playoff hopes once again on the line. But Manning will respond with a big game of his own coming off a disappointing loss, much to the delight of fantasy owners.
Projected Numbers: 24-of-32, 340 yards, 3 TDs
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