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Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Latest Position-by-Position Rundown

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2015

Miami Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry is a top play for Week 14.
Miami Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry is a top play for Week 14.Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Late-season fantasy football games hinge more than ever on the minute details.

Thursday, in a showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, running back David Johnson did right by owners with 12 points as a viable flex play. So, too, did receiver Mike Wallace with 10 points. 

Flex plays might be the most important, if not most difficult factor to judge in fantasy playoffs. Given the breadth of options, it's possible to find a gem such as Johnson who explodes, but it's even easier to fall into a single-digit hole as a player struggles.

Below, let's look at flex rankings at each position based on scoring in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, where the decisions ride on the small details even more.

Running Backs

RankPlayer
1Doug Martin
2Matt Forte
3LeSean McCoy
4Thomas Rawls
5Devonta Freeman
6Todd Gurley
7Shaun Draughn
8Lamar Miller
9Jonathan Stewart
10DeAngelo Williams
11Charcandrick West
12C.J. Anderson*
13DeMarco Murray
14Chris Ivory
15Darren McFadden
16Frank Gore
17Javorius Allen
18T.J. Yeldon
19LeGarrette Blount
20Eddie Lacy
21Jeremy Hill
22Jeremy Langford
23Latavius Murray
24Spencer Ware
25Ronnie Hillman
26Giovani Bernard
27Duke Johnson Jr.
28Alfred Morris
29James White
30Isaiah Crowell
Author's projections. *If he plays

Owners who have some of the top names on the list have it quite easy. 

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What about a guy like Shaun Draughn, though? The San Francisco 49ers lead back has 12 or more carries in each of his past four outings, with one rushing touchdown in that span.

What makes Draughn an especially potent play this weekend is his every-down usage. Over that four-game span, the North Carolina product has at least four catches in each outing, making him an incredible value in the format.

Shaun Draughn continues to surprise in all facets.
Shaun Draughn continues to surprise in all facets.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Next for Draughn? A Cleveland Browns defense allowing 136.3 rushing yards per game on average and almost 30 points. Given his usage, he's one of the top plays.

So too is fellow surprise Thomas Rawls of the Seattle Seahawks. Rawls isn't as impressive in the passing game, though he does tout three catches in two of his past three outings.

What Rawls does better is rush the football, as he has a touchdown in three consecutive games with at least 81 rushing yards in each, the high mark being a 209-yard explosion.

Rawls has it a little more difficult this week against a Baltimore Ravens defense, but Seattle's willingness to run it without hesitation and his clear ability to contribute through the air make him a top option.

Wide Receivers

RankPlayer
1Antonio Brown
2DeAndre Hopkins
3Odell Beckham Jr.
4Sammy Watkins
5A.J. Green
6Allen Robinson
7Calvin Johnson
8Julio Jones
9Michael Crabtree
10Brandon Marshall
11Doug Baldwin
12Alshon Jeffery
13Jarvis Landry
14Eric Decker
15Martavis Bryant
16T.Y. Hilton
17Mike Evans
18DeSean Jackson
19Demaryius Thomas
20Danny Amendola
21Dez Bryant
22Stevie Johnson*
23Brandon LaFell
24Amari Cooper
25Kamar Aiken
26Jeremy Maclin
27Randall Cobb
28Brandin Cooks
29Allen Hurns
30Golden Tate
31Michael Floyd*
32Travis Benjamin
33Vincent Jackson
34DeVante Parker
35Marvin Jones
Author's projections. *If he plays

Volatile names pepper the wideout list in terms of PPR scoring. 

Look at Oakland Raiders wideout Michael Crabtree. Every now and then he posted four grabs for 55 yards like he did in Week 10. Most times out, though, owners can expect reliable usage.

In fact, Crabtree wasn't the biggest deal in fantasy drafts before the season. Now? He's an incredible flex play each week considering he has a whopping 115 targets on the season. He's caught no less than four passes in each of his last seven games, four of those with six or more.

Oakland continues to favor the pass, which makes Crabtree a reliable start each week out given his usage numbers.

Michael Crabtree's target=hog ways continue to make him a viable play each week.
Michael Crabtree's target=hog ways continue to make him a viable play each week.Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Perhaps more volatile but necessary this time of year is Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins.

Last week, Landry bumbled his way to a pair of catches for five yards and a goose egg in the scoring department. But the week before? Try 13 catches for 165 yards and a score, good for 22 points.

Believe it or not, Landry has 99 targets on the season as the top option in the Miami passing attack. Making him all the more viable regardless of matchup is his punt and rushing touchdowns this year.

Not convinced? Landry next gets to take on the New York Giants, a team that just last week let up 22 catches to wideouts against a run-first New York Jets team. All but two teams have had their wideouts record double-digit reception numbers against the unit.

Landry might just do it on his own.

Tight Ends

RankPlayer
1Greg Olsen
2Tyler Eifert*
3Austin Seferian-Jenkins
4Jordan Reed
5Delanie Walker
6Travis Kelce
7Julius Thomas
8Gary Barnidge*
9Scott Chandler
10Coby Fleener
11Richard Rodgers
12Benjamin Watson
Author's projections. *If he plays

While on the topic of target numbers and transitioning to tight ends, it's impossible to pass up mentioning Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans.

Walker boasts 86 targets this year as the safety valve for rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. He's only scored four times, but he has eight occurrences of six or more catches, giving him one of the best possible floors around at the position.

In fact, such usage has Walker as a matchup-proof option each time out. Few players at the position can get away with such a floor and minimal touchdowns, but heavy volume of chances does the trick for Walker.

Delaine Walker continues to produce with a rookie looking his way.
Delaine Walker continues to produce with a rookie looking his way.James Kenney/Associated Press

While owners don't have a season-long output to work with when it comes to Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas, the same rules might apply.

Stuck in a deep passing attack, Thomas still has 45 targets on the year despite spotty playing time. He's really come on in recent weeks, catching five or more passes in two of his last three games and posting a touchdown in all three.

It's clear, Thomas continues to carve out serious usage for himself in the offense just in time for a date with the Indianapolis Colts, who have allowed five touchdowns to the position this year.

As far as under-the-radar flex plays go, Thomas stands as one of the top names.

All scoring info courtesy of ESPN standard leagues, as is points-against info and ownership stats as of December 11.

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