Week 14 Fantasy Football Projections: Sleeper QBs Who Will Come Up Big on Sunday

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If you don't have someone like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers or any other elite quarterback, deciding who to slot in as your fantasy starter can be tough every week.

Beyond the obvious, many quarterbacks run together. Many times it depends on the matchup, and even that can be tricky at times.

Week 14 will give a few sleeper quarterbacks a chance to rise to the occasion, and they will. Understanding when to start a normal reserve, or an injured player, can be key, especially with playoffs on the horizon.

Let's take a look at three sleepers who will come up big in Week 14.


Brandon Weeden

Weeden has been extremely inconsistent as a rookie, but he has shown flashes of competence with the Cleveland Browns.

That doesn't mean you should start him every week, but his matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs is more than ideal. Kansas City's defense has struggled mightily this season, and Weeden will have a field day against them.

For fantasy owners who might be searching for a backup quarterback as the playoffs approach, Weeden isn't a bad option. There's no possibility that he will be benched, and he's going to continue throwing the ball a lot.

Weeden will follow up on last week's 300-plus yard performance with another solid day through the air on Sunday. He's still learning the Browns' offense, but he's had a few nice games here and there.

Week 14 will be one of those big games.


Colin Kaepernick

The Miami Dolphins shut down Tom Brady in Week 13, but Kaepernick's running ability will make things more difficult in Week 14.

This isn't saying that Kaepernick is Brady by any stretch of the imagination, but he has the skills to hurt this team.

Miami is going to try its best to shut down the run game. It possesses a top-10 run defense, but it's different when you must account for a running quarterback as well. He's not going to make things easy on them, and he's going to bounce back well from a disappointing performance versus the St. Louis Rams last week.

Kaepernick is exciting, but inconsistent. He's nowhere near a No. 1 fantasy quarterback yet, but starting him against the Dolphins' subpar pass defense is a wise idea on Sunday.

It's hard to take chances with fantasy playoffs just starting or right around the corner, but he could be worth it.


Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger is only a sleeper because of his injury, but, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette, it appears that he will play on Sunday versus the San Diego Chargers:

Interpreting Tomlin, it appears Ben Roethlisberger will start Sunday for #Steelers.

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 5, 2012

Assuming Roethlisberger plays, he's a must-start. Don't hold back. If this was anyone else I'd probably say otherwise, but we are talking about the NFL's biggest warrior here.

San Diego's pass defense is bad, and the team is even worse. Pittsburgh is riding high off an emotional victory over Baltimore last week, and it will be happy to have its quarterback back under center.

Roethlisberger doesn't like to sit. He's going to be ready to go, and he's one of the few players who is capable of playing well even if he is in pain.

Look for Big Ben to turn in a courageous performance in his return on Sunday. He's probably your No. 1 quarterback if he's on your roster, and starting him should be an easy choice.