Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Position-by-Position Breakdown

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2013

Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 was all about the wide receivers. Eric Decker scored four touchdowns and exceeded 40 fantasy points in the process, while Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery each went for more than 200 receiving yards, caught two touchdown passes and reached 38 and 36 fantasy points, respectively.

So, which position will dominate in Week 13? And more importantly, which players will dominate at each position this week?

On my weekly and early look at the top-10 fantasy rankings for this week, I'll attempt to answer that query. I can't predict 200-yard receiving games, but I can give you an idea of which players have the talent or the matchup to post big numbers this week.

Notes: All point totals for standard-scoring leaguesPoints-against stats via ESPN.



Week 14 Quarterback Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Matt StaffordDetroit LionsPhiladelphia Eagles27
2Nick FolesPhiladelphia EaglesDetroit Lions25
3Peyton ManningDenver BroncosTennessee Titans23
4Tom BradyNew England PatriotsCleveland Browns20
5Tony RomoDallas CowboysChicago Bears19
6Philip RiversSan Diego ChargersNew York Giants17
7Cam NewtonCarolina PanthersNew Orleans Saints17
8Drew BreesNew Orleans SaintsCarolina Panthers16
9Josh McCown/Jay CutlerChicago BearsDallas Cowboys16
10Alex SmithKansas City ChiefsWashington15


Quarterback Notes

A matchup between the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles seems destined to end in a shootout—that will be a recurring theme on these rankings—so both Matt Stafford and Nick Foles should have huge weeks.

Few players have been more consistent than Stafford at the position—his season-low in fantasy points is 14—while Foles has been one of the best players in all of fantasy in the past four weeks, as he's averaged 27.7 points in that time. It looks like the Eagles have found their quarterback.

There aren't too many surprises on the rankings this week, though the final two entries may turn some heads. You should consider starting either Josh McCown or Jay Cutler, depending on who starts, against a Dallas Cowboys defense that has allowed 17 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks seven times.

Meanwhile, Alex Smith has 21 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games and faces a Washington defense that has allowed 18 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks seven times. Smith is a great sleeper option this week, especially if your regular starter has a tough matchup (I'm looking at you, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick).


Running Backs

Week 14 Running Back Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Jamaal CharlesKansas City ChiefsWashington25
2Matt ForteChicago BearsDallas Cowboys23
3Adrian PetersonMinnesota VikingsBaltimore Ravens21
4DeMarco MurrayDallas CowboysChicago Bears20
5Knowshon MorenoDenver BroncosTennessee Titans17
6LeSean McCoyPhiladelphia EaglesDetroit Lions16
7Reggie BushDetroit LionsPhiladelphia Eagles16
8Ben TateHouston TexansJacksonville Jaguars15
9Le'Veon BellPittsburgh SteelersMiami Dolphins14
10C.J. SpillerBuffalo BillsTampa Bay Buccaneers13


Running Back Notes

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 01:  Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans celebrates afte scoring on a 7 yard run in the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Reliant Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The intrigue at the running back position comes further down the rankings, as Ben Tate, Le'Veon Bell and C.J. Spiller round out the top 10.

Tate is an anomaly. A week after rushing seven times for a single, solitary yard against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he exploded for 102 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the New England Patriots. Go figure. Let's assume he plays slightly better against the Jags this time around.

I doubted Bell last week against the Baltimore Ravens and he made me pay, accumulating 136 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He has scored fewer than eight fantasy points just once this season, making him one of the steadiest options at the position, and he now faces a Miami Dolphins defense that has given up 16 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs nine times.

Finally, is Spiller back? One of the biggest busts for fantasy owners this season appeared to be as healthy and explosive as we've seen him after the Week 12 bye, rushing 15 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. If you've been patient with Spiller, I have a feeling you'll be pleased you stuck with him heading into the fantasy playoffs.


Wide Receivers

Week 14 Wide Receiver Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Calvin JohnsonDetroit LionsPhiladelphia Eagles24
2DeSean JacksonPhiladelphia EaglesDetroit Lions20
3Vincent JacksonTampa Bay BuccaneersBuffalo Bills19
4A.J. GreenCincinnati BengalsIndianapolis Colts17
5Andre JohnsonHouston TexansJacksonville Jaguars16
6Josh GordonCleveland BrownsNew England Patriots16
7Demaryius ThomasDenver BroncosTennessee Titans15
8Larry FitzgeraldArizona CardinalsSt. Louis Rams14
9Brandon MarshallChicago BearsDallas Cowboys13
10Dez BryantDallas CowboysChicago Bears13



Wide Receiver Notes

Calvin Johnson isn't human. I mean, seriously, he's not from this world. I think that's all we need to say about that.

Gordon has been doing his best Megatron impression of late. He now has 24 receptions for 498 yards and three touchdowns in the past two weeks, and he has registered double-digit points in seven of the 10 games he's appeared in. 

He's matchup-proof, and he will be one of the first five wide receivers off the board next season in fantasy drafts.

Vincent Jackson has really struggled down the stretch, with seven or fewer fantasy points in five of the last six weeks, but this week he gets a Buffalo Bills defense that just gave up 10 receptions for 143 yards to Roddy White, who has been a bust all season as he's battled with injuries. 

The Bills have given up 18 or more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers 10 times this season, so Jackson should produce in a major way.


Tight Ends

Week 14 Tight End Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Rob GronkowskiNew England PatriotsCleveland Browns20
2Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans SaintsCarolina Panthers17
3Jason WittenDallas CowboysChicago Bears16
4Julius Thomas*Denver BroncosTennessee Titans14
5Jared CookSt. Louis RamsArizona Cardinals14
6Vernon DavisSan Francisco 49ersSeattle Seahawks13
7Tony GonzalezAtlanta FalconsGreen Bay Packers12
8Antonio GatesSan Diego ChargersNew York Giants11
9Martellus BennettChicago BearsDallas Cowboys10
10Delanie WalkerTennessee TitansDenver Broncos10
*If he plays


Tight End Notes

I know Jared Cook has been wildly inconsistent this year, but even he should exploit a favorable matchup against the Arizona Cardinals this week. For as good as the Cardinals have been defensively, they've been dreadful against tight ends, allowing 14.5 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week, easily the worst mark in the NFL.

And remember, Cook torched this defense for seven catches, 141 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. Start him with confidence this week.

The tight end pool continues to be maddeningly shallow this week, and certain players that might slip into the top 10 from time to time—Coby Fleener, Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed, to name a few—have really tough matchups, while Jordan Cameron just hasn't been the same since Brian Hoyer went down to injury.

Thus, you should either trust your studs or take a chance on Cook or a player like Delanie Walker, who has been quite good in bursts this year. 


Defense/Special Teams

Week 14 Defense/Special Teams Rankings
RankTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Kansas City ChiefsWashington16
2San Francisco 49ersSeattle Seahawks13
3Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ers13
4Baltimore RavensMinnesota Vikings12
5Cincinnati BengalsIndianapolis Colts12
6St. Louis RamsArizona Cardinals11
7New Orleans SaintsCarolina Panthers10
8Arizona CardinalsSt. Louis Rams9
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersBuffalo Bills8
10Oakland RaidersNew York Jets8


Defense/Special Teams Notes

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 1: Linebacker Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers gestures after sacking quarterback Kellen Clemens #10 of the St. Louis Rams during the third quarter of their game on December 1, 2013 at Candlestick Park in San Fran
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs have had tough matchups in the past three weeks, but a game against Washington—which has allowed a total of 29 fantasy points in the past three weeks—should return Kansas City to fantasy prominence. 

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks should find themselves locked in a low-scoring, defensive struggle, so starting either unit seems safe. 

Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders made this list. Both have excellent matchups—the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets leak fantasy points to opposing defenses—and both have actually been better than you might think. 

The Bucs have scored eight or more fantasy points six times this season, while the Raiders have scored seven or more points seven times. Neither pick is for the feint of heart, of course, but those willing to roll the dice could be handsomely rewarded.



Week 14 Kicker Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOpponentProj. Points
1Stephen GostkowskiNew England PatriotsCleveland Browns16
2Matt PraterDenver BroncosTennessee Titans15
3Justin TuckerBaltimore RavensMinnesota Vikings14
4Dan BaileyDallas CowboysChicago Bears13
5Robbie GouldChicago BearsDallas Cowboys13
6Alex HeneryPhiladelphia EaglesDetroit Lions12
7David AkersDetroit LionsPhiladelphia Eagles12
8Steven HauschkaSeattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ers11
9Adam VinatieriIndianapolis ColtsCincinnati Bengals10
10Nick NovakSan Diego ChargersNew York Giants9


Kicker Notes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 01:  Adam Vinatieri #4  of the Indianapolis Colts kicks a field goal during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This week, Adam Vinatieri notched 20 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues, tying him with players like Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III and Spiller. Meanwhile, Justin Tucker accumulated 19 points, pulling him even with Stafford, Bell and Fred Jackson. 

The point is, if you hit the lottery with a kicker it can be the difference between a win and a loss. If you don't have a top-10 kicker on your team, you need to address that situation immediately.


Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, tweet random fantasy musings and try to discern if Josh Gordon is on a regimen of Super-Soldier Serum. 

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