Fantasy Football Week 14: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big Board
You expect injuries to pop up throughout a grueling NFL season, especially late in the year, but multiple suspensions have thrown a wrench into Week 14.
Rob Gronkowski was suspended one game following a late hit against the Buffalo Bills in Week 13. After appealing, the suspension was upheld, so the first week of your playoffs won't include one of the best TEs in the game. This comes in a week when Zach Ertz may not be able to play due to the concussion he suffered in Seattle.
With two of the most reliable players at the position down, having players like Delanie Walker and Hunter Henry in your lineup looks a lot more appealing.
It's easy to overthink lineup decisions when your season is on the line, but barring an injury and/or truly brutal matchup, you should be sticking with the players who brought you this far, like Alvin Kamara and Golden Tate. Even the best fantasy teams may have a lineup spot or two to fill in the playoffs, so continue to work the waiver wire if you need a little boost for your flex spot.
Here's the first look at points-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 14. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday's action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings in both PPR and non-PPR formats.
I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like as a whole this week based on their matchups:
- Minnesota Vikings (at Carolina Panthers)
- Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Washington Redskins)
- New England Patriots (at Miami Dolphins)
Better Than Usual
Alex Smith, KC (vs. OAK)
Smith's cold streak came to an end thanks to a strong performance against the New York Jets in Week 13. Even though the Kansas City Chiefs lost, Smith completed 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and four TDs in addition to one rush for 70 yards. His passing numbers nearly equaled the 368 yards and four TDs he had in Week 1 when he was also the top QB for the week.
The last time Smith threw for 300-plus yards was back in Week 7 when he faced this week's opponent, the Oakland Raiders. In that wild Thursday night game, Smith connected on 25 of 36 attempts for 342 yards and three TDs.
The Raiders have been a middle-of-the-road defense against fantasy QBs over the last month with a propensity to give up big plays. Smith hit on two long TDs to Tyreek Hill last week and should have a chance at another big game Sunday. You can play him with confidence.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. BAL)
The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their winning ways, and Roethlisberger had yet another solid fantasy outing this past Monday night in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
After a slow start, Roethlisberger wound up hitting on 24 of 40 attempts for 290 yards, two TDs and an INT en route to the team's seventh straight victory. That marked the third game in a row Roethlisberger threw for at least 290 yards and two TDs, which has been a nice boost for his fantasy value after a disappointing first half of the season.
Expectations can't be as high in this week's matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Despite the loss of CB Jimmy Smith to a torn Achilles, the Ravens still field one of the best defenses in the league. No team has given up fewer fantasy points per game to QBs over the last month. When these teams met back in Week 4, the Steelers won an ugly 26-9 game with Roethlisberger totaling just 216 yards with a TD and an INT on 18-of-30 passing.
Even though Antonio Brown played well in Week 13, he's not at 100 percent because of a toe injury and won't have as much time to rest on a short week. Plus, JuJu Smith-Schuster is serving a one-game suspension for a hit he delivered against the Bengals. These are not optimal conditions for Roethlisberger to keep up his 290 yards/two TD streak, so he's only a fringe starting option.
Dak Prescott, DAL (at NYG)
The Dallas Cowboys ended their three-game losing streak last Thursday with a 38-14 victory over the Washington Redskins. The team scored more than nine points for the first time since Week 9, yet Prescott had another disappointing outing.
Even though the Cowboys benefitted from multiple Redskins turnovers, Prescott completed just 11 of 22 attempts for 102 yards and a pair of TDs to go along with 28 rushing yards on five attempts. Those were his first TD passes since Week 9, but he has just four TD passes to five INTs over the last six games. While the matchup against the New York Giants isn't bad, Prescott isn't playing well enough to consider this weekend.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (at HOU)
The San Francisco 49ers were patient with Garoppolo, and it paid off with a win in his debut as a starter. He played behind C.J. Beathard for almost all of his first three games on the roster until he came in late in Week 12 when Beathard exited with an injury. Garoppolo completed both of his attempts for 18 yards including a 10-yard TD and was named the starter heading into Week 13.
Apparently, the 49ers had plenty of confidence in Garoppolo on the road in Chicago because he attempted 37 passes in a game that was close throughout. Garoppolo completed 26 of those attempts for 293 yards and an INT that wasn't his fault as it was wrestled out of Louis Murphy's hands.
Unlike Murphy, Marquise Goodwin (eight receptions for 99 yards on eight targets) and Travis Taylor (six receptions for 92 yards on six targets) didn't let Garoppolo down, which provides another confidence boost heading into a favorable matchup against the Texans in Houston.
Houston was tied for the seventh-most points allowed to QBs in the last four weeks and second-most all season. If you're worried about Garoppolo on the road in this matchup, remember that Blaine Gabbert got the Texans for 257 yards and three TDs in Houston back in Week 11. With some uncertainty at QB this week, you might think about turning to Garoppolo if you're stuck.
Week 14 Quarterback Rankings
|1||Tom Brady (NE)|
|2||Carson Wentz (PHI)|
|3||Philip Rivers (LAC)|
|4||Drew Brees (NO)|
|5||Alex Smith (KC)|
|6||Matt Ryan (ATL)|
|7||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|8||Kirk Cousins (WAS)|
|9||Matthew Stafford (DET)|
|10||Cam Newton (CAR)|
|11||Case Keenum (MIN)|
|12||Jared Goff (LAR)|
|13||Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)|
|14||Jameis Winston (TB)|
|15||Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)|
|16||Derek Carr (OAK)|
|17||DeShone Kizer (CLE)|
|18||Marcus Mariota (TEN)|
|19||Josh McCown (NYJ)|
|20||Eli Manning (NYG)|
|21||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|22||Tyrod Taylor (BUF)|
|23||Brett Hundley (GB)|
|24||Blake Bortles (JAC)|
|25||Andy Dalton (CIN)|
|26||Blaine Gabbert (ARI)|
|27||Trevor Siemian (DEN)|
|28||Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)|
|29||Jacoby Brissett (IND)|
|30||Jay Cutler (MIA)|
|31||Tom Savage (HOU)|
|32||Joe Flacco (BAL)|
Better Than Usual
Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead, NE (at MIA)
At the risk of jinxing fantasy players heading into the playoffs, the Belitricks in New England's backfield appear to be a thing of the past. Both Lewis and Burkhead have at least 15 touches in each of the last two games. Mike Gillislee has been a healthy scratch for the last four games, so it's been Lewis leading the way on the ground. He's led the team in rushing each of the last seven games, including 15 carries for 92 yards in Week 13.
In that same game, Burkhead caught three of four targets for 25 yards and added 78 yards on 12 carries and two TDs. He now has four TDs in the last two games. Burkhead has solidified himself as the team's best all-around back, as evidenced by his usage. He has at least three targets and three receptions in four of these last five games and at least 10 carries in three of his last four games.
Even though James White saw an uptick in touches with four receptions for 32 yards on six targets and five carries for 18 yards on a team-high 40 percent of the snaps, his presence didn't have much of an effect on Lewis or Burkhead. Both should remain strong RB2s over the final month of the season.
With a trip to Miami set for Week 13, you can look back to just two weeks ago for an idea of what Lewis and Burkhead could produce in the rematch. Back in Week 11, Lewis carried 15 times for a season-high 112 yards along with a single catch for one yard on two targets. Burkhead rushed 13 times for 50 yards and a TD in addition to two receptions for three yards and a TD on two targets. It's another great week to have Lewis and Burkhead in your lineups.
Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. OAK)
As soon as you read Hunt's name, you probably nodded in agreement knowing he's a concern or decided this wasn't harsh enough and that he should be an avoid. The frustration is justified and can be pointed in the direction of the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff.
Despite offensive coordinator Matt Nagy taking over the play-calling duties, Hunt received just nine carries, which he turned into 40 yards, while contributing three receptions for 23 yards on five targets. The nine carries tied a season low that's occurred two other times this season, including three games ago in a favorable matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.
That game also marked the beginning of the Chiefs' four-game losing streak that dropped them into a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City's Week 14 opponent, the Oakland Raiders.
When these teams last played in Week 7 in Oakland, Hunt rushed 18 times for 87 yards and had four receptions for 30 yards on four targets. It was the last time Hunt had 100 total yards in a game. The Chiefs put up 31 points last week and still managed to lose to the New York Jets. While you may still hold out hope for Hunt to reclaim his role as the focal point of this offense, it has to happen before you call Hunt anything more than a hopeful RB2.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. MIN)
Other than rushing for 110 yards on 17 carries in Week 10, Stewart's fantasy value is completely tied to his ability to find the end zone. He's done that the last two weeks but combined for just 71 yards on 26 carries and one target, which he didn't catch. That was Stewart's first target since October.
With such a small margin for error, you're better off staying away from Stewart with a tough matchup against the visiting Minnesota Vikings coming up this weekend. Only the Philadelphia Eagles allowed fewer fantasy points per game to RBs in the last four weeks.
Duke Johnson, CLE (vs. GB)
Johnson has been a weekly starter in PPR formats for much of the season, but he's coming off one of his worst games of the year in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Johnson tied a season low with just two receptions for 10 yards on four targets.
He was also terrible on the ground with two yards on seven carries. Following such a disappointing performance, you may need a nudge to get Johnson back into your lineup for the fantasy playoffs.
Even though the Green Bay Packers have done a solid job keeping RBs out of the end zone in the last four weeks (one TD), they still gave up 352 yards on 90 carries. The bigger deal for Johnson is how badly the Packers have struggled against RBs in the passing game. No team has allowed more receptions (33) or receiving yards (271) to RBs in the last four weeks. That's an area Johnson can exploit.
Get him back in your lineup and forget about what happened in Week 12.
Week 14 Running Back PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, DET (at TB)
Using Tate or Jones in Week 13 may have taken a little extra convincing with a tough matchup in Baltimore. Both players likely outperformed expectations, as Tate finished with eight receptions for 69 yards on 10 targets and Jones posted four receptions for 90 yards on eight targets. Tate avoided his third straight game with fewer than 10 fantasy points, while Jones had his third straight game with 13 fantasy points.
Even though the Detroit Lions lost, both Tate and Jones had encouraging performances heading into an ideal matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14. In the last four weeks, the Buccaneers allowed the second-most fantasy points to WRs, thanks to giving up the most receptions (61) and yards (846) in that span. As long as Matthew Stafford can play through his bruised hand without limitations, this is a great week to have high expectations for both Tate and Jones.
Doug Baldwin, SEA (at JAC)
Baldwin had just four receptions for 65 yards and a TD on nine targets in the two games previous to Week 13. He eclipsed those numbers with five receptions for 84 yards on seven targets in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
While Baldwin hasn't been bad, he's been somewhat frustrating to deal with at times if you expect him to perform as a low WR1/high WR2. He has just five games with more than 12 fantasy points. Scoring just four TDs has been part of that frustration.
You'd never consider benching Baldwin in the fantasy playoffs, but you have every right to be concerned with his matchup in Jacksonville on Sunday. The Jaguars allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to WRs over the last four weeks. The toughest team against fantasy WRs is the Eagles, and Baldwin played well against them in Week 12, so that's an encouraging sign.
However, Jacksonville's defense ranks first in fewest total yards allowed and first in fewest passing yards allowed, so this is likely a tougher matchup for Baldwin. Downgrade him into the WR2 tier.
DeVante Parker, MIA (vs. NE)
Parker enters Week 14 with just two receptions for 10 yards on seven targets in the last two games against the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. His streak of poor performances started in Week 11 during a great matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that resulted in just four receptions for 26 yards on nine targets.
Parker's injury woes appear to be behind him, so there's no excuse for this slump. Both Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills continue to perform at a higher level, so you're better off avoiding Parker with your season likely on the line.
Josh Gordon, CLE (vs. GB)
Gordon's return to action came in a tough matchup with Casey Hayward and the Los Angeles Chargers. Head coach Hue Jackson delivered on his declaration of a busy role for Gordon despite Gordon's three-year absence from regular-season action. He led the team in targets (11) and yards (85) and tied David Njoku with a team-high four receptions. Gordon's 76.2 percent snap share trailed only Corey Coleman (81.0).
After passing his first test with flying colors, Gordon should have more of your trust entering his second game in an easier matchup. The Green Bay Packers allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to WRs in the last four weeks even after Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson combined for just four receptions and 57 yards last week.
For the season, the Packers gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to WRs. You shouldn't have any reservations about using Gordon, and he should have a great chance to build on last week's strong outing.
Better Than Usual
Cameron Brate, TB (vs. DET)
Brate popped back on the fantasy radar with a pair of TDs in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers. Those TDs represented his only two receptions for 39 yards on six targets. He had just four receptions for 37 yards in four previous games. That slump came after he had at least 10 fantasy points in six straight games.
Is Brate due for resurgence now that Jameis Winston is back from his injury?
He has a good chance to follow up on last week's bounce-back performance with a beatable matchup against the visiting Detroit Lions in Week 14. In the last four weeks, the Lions yielded the second-most fantasy points per game to TEs. During that span, they gave up four TDs.
Five of Brate's six TDs came in the red zone, and his longest TD was a 28-yard score he had last week, so he's been a reliable target for Winston where it counts the most. The matchup is reason enough to give Brate another shot, and it's not like the TE position is deep, especially this week.
Zach Ertz, PHI (at LAR)
We already know fantasy players will be without the services of Rob Gronkowski (suspension) in Week 14, but Ertz could also be unavailable after suffering a concussion in Week 13. His situation will be one to monitor closely throughout the week heading into a Sunday showdown against the Rams in Los Angeles.
When a hamstring injury kept Ertz out for Week 9, Trey Burton stepped in to catch two of four targets for 41 yards, including a 27-yard TD. That came in a favorable matchup at home with the Denver Broncos, whereas this game is on the road against a defense giving up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to TEs. If Ertz can't go, Burton isn't a slam-dunk replacement for your fantasy lineup.
Tyler Kroft, CIN (vs. CHI)
Kroft was a viable streamer in Week 11 against the Denver Broncos and Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns. Even though he scored in each of those games, he totaled just five receptions for 26 yards on seven targets. He had a tougher battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13 and managed just two receptions for 30 yards without a score on his only two targets.
Kroft has just 10 receptions in his last five games and only two games with at least 50 yards all season. He doesn't get enough volume to consider using in an average matchup with the Chicago Bears.
David Njoku, CLE (vs. GB)
Without Gronkowski and potentially Ertz, you may have to reach deep to fill your TE spot this week, so reach deep we will with Njoku. The rookie hasn't had consistent fantasy value this season despite scoring three times in his first five games. Before Week 12, Njoku didn't have more than three receptions in any game and only did that twice.
He has four receptions in each of the last two games for a total of 121 yards on 10 targets, including a TD in last week's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He'll face more of a beatable defense in the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Over the last four weeks, TEs scored the ninth-most fantasy points per game against Green Bay. If Josh Gordon draws more attention, Njoku could do some damage over the middle of the field, as we saw last week in Los Angeles. He's a deep sleeper in an ugly week for TEs.
Week 14 Tight End PPR Rankings
|1||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|2||Jimmy Graham (SEA)|
|3||Zach Ertz (PHI)|
|4||Delanie Walker (TEN)|
|5||Hunter Henry (LAC)|
|6||Evan Engram (NYG)|
|7||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)|
|8||Jack Doyle (IND)|
|9||Vernon Davis (WAS)|
|10||Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ)|
|11||Cameron Brate (TB)|
|12||Jason Witten (DAL)|
|13||Jared Cook (OAK)|
|14||Charles Clay (BUF)|
|15||Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI)|
|16||Austin Hooper (ATL)|
|17||Julius Thomas (MIA)|
|18||Greg Olsen (CAR)|
|19||Benjamin Watson (BAL)|
|20||O.J. Howard (TB)|
|21||David Njoku (CLE)|
|22||Tyler Kroft (CIN)|
|23||Jesse James (PIT)|
|24||Eric Ebron (DET)|
|25||Marcedes Lewis (JAC)|
|26||Garrett Celek (SF)|
|27||George Kittle (SF)|
|28||Stephen Anderson (HOU)|
|29||Jermaine Gresham (ARI)|
|30||Antonio Gates (LAC)|
|31||Gerald Everett (LAR)|
|32||Ed Dickson (CAR)|
|33||Richard Rodgers (GB)|
|34||Seth DeValve (CLE)|
|35||Lance Kendricks (GB)|
|36||Adam Shaheen (CHI)|
Best Streaming Option
New York Jets (at DEN)
If you reached a little deeper to use the Miami Dolphins defense against the Denver Broncos, it paid off in a big way with three sacks, three INTs, a TD, two safeties and just three points allowed to finish as the top fantasy defense with 26 fantasy points.
Regardless of the QB in Denver, the team is still one to target when looking for a fantasy defense. The Broncos have allowed the third-most fantasy points in the last four weeks and the second-most fantasy points all season. The Jets should be the latest unit to take advantage of such a prime fantasy matchup.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 2.9; Yahoo – 5.0
Week 14 Defense Rankings
|1||New England Patriots (NE)|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC)|
|3||Seattle Seahawks (SEA)|
|4||Minnesota Vikings (MIN)|
|5||Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT)|
|6||Los Angeles Chargers (LAC)|
|7||New York Jets (NYJ)|
|8||Green Bay Packers (GB)|
|9||Denver Broncos (DEN)|
|10||Houston Texans (HOU)|
|11||Arizona Cardinals (ARI)|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals (CIN)|
|13||Kansas City Chiefs (KC)|
|14||Baltimore Ravens (BAL)|
|15||Indianapolis Colts (IND)|
|16||Carolina Panthers (CAR)|
|17||Los Angeles Rams (LAR)|
|18||Philadelphia Eagles (PHI)|
|19||Detroit Lions (DET)|
|20||New York Giants (NYG)|
Best Streaming Option
Robbie Gould, SF (at HOU)
The debut of Jimmy Garoppolo was a successful one for the San Francisco 49ers thanks in large part to a perfect performance by Gould. He connected on all five of his field-goal attempts en route to a 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Gould missed just two of his 28 FG attempts this season, with his last miss coming in Week 8. The 49ers have a favorable matchup with the fading Houston Texans this week, which means Gould could have another productive outing.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 13.3; Yahoo – 6.0
Week 14 Kicker Rankings
|1||Stephen Gostkowski (NE)|
|2||Matt Bryant (ATL)|
|3||Wil Lutz (NO)|
|4||Dan Bailey (DAL)|
|5||Matt Prater (DET)|
|6||Ryan Succop (TEN)|
|7||Travis Coons (LAC)|
|8||Justin Tucker (BAL)|
|9||Harrison Butker (KC)|
|10||Greg Zuerlein (LAR)|
|11||Jake Elliott (PHI)|
|12||Robbie Gould (SF)|
|13||Adam Vinatieri (IND)|
|14||Mason Crosby (GB)|
|15||Chris Boswell (PIT)|
|16||Kai Forbath (MIN)|
|17||Graham Gano (CAR)|
|18||Steven Hauschka (BUF)|
|19||Patrick Murray (TB)|
|20||Blair Walsh (SEA)|