Week 14 Fantasy Football Projections: Predicting Top Performers at Each Position

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Week 14 Fantasy Football Projections: Predicting Top Performers at Each Position
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

In the course of a week, you scour the waiver wire, read the projections for your players, do your own research and eventually come up with a starting lineup. Then you get nervous, switch a few players around and finally decide to stop tinkering. 

And then Sunday morning comes, and you basically begin the whole process again. I know, it's essentially my weekly routine.

But sometimes, you just want to identify a few players who you should be starting, no questions asked, no fretting and no second-guessing. On this list, you'll find them. If you have the following players in your lineup, save yourself a bit of stress and leave them in that starting spot. 

 

Quarterbacks

Week 14 Quarterback Projections
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Philadelphia Eagles 27
2 Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions 25
3 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Tennessee Titans 23
4 Tom Brady New England Patriots Cleveland Browns 20
5 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears 19

 

Breaking Down Nick Foles

Nick Foles has arrived, folks. He has 19 touchdown passes, no interceptions and is 5-1 as a starter, helping the Philadelphia Eagles become relevant in the playoff picture. He's also been red-hot for fantasy owners savvy enough to add him, averaging 27.7 fantasy points in his past four games.

This week, he faces a Detroit Lions defense that has allowed 16 or more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in seven of the past eight weeks. If you own him, you absolutely should be starting him.

 

Running Backs

Week 14 Running Back Projections
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Washington 25
2 Matt Forte Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys 23
3 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Baltimore Ravens 21
4 DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears 20
5 Knowshon Moreno Denver Broncos Tennessee Titans 17

 

Breaking Down DeMarco Murray

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The issue for Murray isn't how productive he is when healthy. In seven of the nine games he's played this season, he's scored nine or more fantasy points and has reached double-digit tallies seven times. The talent is there, and when the Dallas Cowboys make him a focal point of the game plan, he generally makes fantasy owners very happy.

Injuries will always be a concern for Murray, but he seems to be healthy now and has accumulated 53 fantasy points in the past three games. This week, he faces a Chicago Bears defense that has given up 20 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in seven of the past eight weeks.

Look for Murray to shred this defense and make his fantasy owners very, very happy.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 14 Wide Receiver Projections
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Philadelphia Eagles 24
2 DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions 20
3 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buffalo Bills 19
4 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts 17
5 Andre Johnson Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars 16
6 Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns New England Patriots 16

 

Breaking Down Vincent Jackson

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Owning Vincent Jackson has always been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, as he'll absolutely blow up in certain weeks and disappear in others. In his past six games, he's had point totals of seven, one, two, 22, six and seven. 

Not exactly the picture of consistency.

Still, Jackson has a pretty tasty matchup against the Buffalo Bills this week, a team that just gave up 10 receptions for 143 yards to Roddy White. The Bills have given up 18 or more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers 10 times this season, so V-Jax should have a big afternoon.

 

Tight Ends

Week 14 Tight End Projections
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Cleveland Browns 20
2 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints Carolina Panthers 17
3 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears 16
4 Julius Thomas* Denver Broncos Tennessee Titans 14
5 Jared Cook St. Louis Rams Arizona Cardinals 14

 

Breaking Down Jared Cook

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Cook at No. 5? JARED FREAKING COOK?!

Yes, Jared Cook. I know he's been less boom and more bust this year, but a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals this week is just begging to be exploited.

Arizona has been dreadful against tight ends this year, allowing 14.5 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week, by far the worst mark in the NFL. And remember, Cook torched this defense for seven catches, 141 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. 

He's rarely a safe option. This week, he seems about as safe as it gets at the shaky tight end position.

 

Defense/Special Teams

Week 14 Defense/Special Team Projections
Rank Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Kansas City Chiefs Washington 16
2 San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks 13
3 Seattle Seahawks San Francisco 49ers 13
4 Baltimore Ravens Minnesota Vikings 12
5 Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts 12

 

Breaking Down the Baltimore Ravens

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

I've gone back and forth on this pick. The Ravens have been pretty inconsistent, with seven weeks of seven fantasy points or more, four weeks with double-digit points and five weeks of four points or less. They generally either really help you or really hurt you.

But even with Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings have allowed opposing defenses to score 10 or more points eight times this season. All Day will get his, but expect the Ravens to force turnovers when the Vikings are forced to pass and to really pressure the quarterback, as they have 37 sacks on the season, tied for fourth in the NFL.

 

Kickers

Week 14 Kicker Projections
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots Cleveland Browns 16
2 Matt Prater Denver Broncos Tennessee Titans 15
3 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens Minnesota Vikings 14
4 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears 13
5 Robbie Gould Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys 13

 

Breaking Down Justin Tucker

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Folks, Justin Tucker had 19 fantasy points this week, which put him equal with players like Matt Stafford, Le'Veon Bell and Fred Jackson. Didn't see that one coming, huh?

Well, don't be surprised if he puts up big numbers against a Vikings team that has given up seven or more fantasy points 10 times this season and has given up double-digit points to kickers in five of the last six weeks.

That's right, folks—serious kicker analysis coming at you. Kickers are fickle beasts, but Tucker has been quite good for owners this year (nine weeks with eight or more fantasy points) and has a plus matchup, so keep him in that starting lineup.

 

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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