Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Fantasy Postseason Matchup Guide
Well folks, it's that time of year.
We've made it through 13 weeks of games, the bye weeks, huge performances and steaming stinkers, and now the regular season has given way to the playoffs in many fantasy football leagues.
There's no margin for error in the playoffs. Every week is a one-and-done scenario, which makes it more crucial than ever that fantasy owners know which matchups benefit their players and which could trip up their stars.
So, with that in mind, here's a position-by-position look at some players that should be set for big things, a few that could struggle and some sleepers for fantasy underdogs that need to pull a rabbit out of their hats.
Eli Manning and the Quarterbacks
After a prolonged slump, New York Giants quarterback Eli manning rebounded with 249 passing yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Green Bay Packers. On Monday Night Football, he put up 280 passing yards along with one touchdown.
In Week 14, Manning faces a New Orleans Saints defense allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, no team in the NFL has allowed fewer fantasy points to the quarterback position than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Given Philip Rivers' struggles this season, the odds of the San Diego Chargers signal-caller bucking that trend in Week 14 aren't good.
One of the marquee games of Week 14 features a battle for home-field advantage in the AFC between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub should be primed for big things in a top-five fantasy matchup with a soft Patriots pass defense.
Michael Turner and the Running Backs
Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner hasn't exactly been chewing up the yardage of late, with only 146 yards over the past three weeks.
However, the nine-year veteran has a touchdown in each of those games and draws a very favorable fantasy matchup with the Carolina Panthers in Week 14.
Stevan Ridley of the New England Patriots has been a top-12 fantasy option at his position this season.
That said, the second-year pro could have a hard time keeping that momentum going Sunday against a Houston Texans club allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs in 2012.
Running back Knowshon Moreno of the Denver Broncos has touched the ball 24 times in each of two starts since taking over for the injured Willis McGahee.
A similar workload should equate to his best game of the year in a top-five fantasy matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
Torrey Smith and the Wide Receivers
For the second time in three weeks, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith was shut down by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, the second-year pro should rebound in Week 14 against a Washington Redskins secondary that has been making opposing wideouts look good all season long.
Danario Alexander of the San Diego Chargers has emerged as a waiver-wire gem at the wide receiver position this season.
Still, Alexander will have his hands full on Sunday against a Pittsburgh Steelers team giving up the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year.
The Tennessee Titans have vowed to get the ball to wide receiver Kenny Britt more.
If the team follows through on that pledge in a very nice matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, then perhaps Britt can salvage something from a lost 2012 campaign.
Brandon Myers and the Tight Ends
After his huge game against the Cleveland Browns, fourth-year pro Brandon Myers has climbed into the top five among fantasy tight ends.
Myers' big 2012 season should continue this week when the Oakland Raiders host a Denver Broncos club allowing the most fantasy points to the position this season.
After being drafted as a top-five tight end this season in many fantasy football leagues, 2012 has been an absolute disaster for Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers.
The 10th-year veteran's struggles are likely to continue in a poor fantasy matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dennis Pitta of the Baltimore Ravens has been a feast-or-famine fantasy option in 2012.
However, the stage is set for the former to be the case in Week 14 against a Washington Redskins team allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Seattle Seahawks and the Team Defenses
The Seattle Seahawks have been a middle-of-the-pack fantasy defense this season, but they should rise to the occasion at home this week.
They face an Arizona Cardinals squad allowing the most fantasy points per game to team defenses in 2012.
The Houston Texans have been a formidable defensive unit this year in both the NFL and fantasy football.
However, the chips are stacked against the Texans this week in a very poor fantasy matchup with the New England Patriots.
Over the past three weeks, the Cleveland Browns defense has ranked well within the top 10 among fantasy defenses.
That hot streak should continue in Week 14 against a Kansas City Chiefs team allowing the third-most fantasy points to defenses this season.