Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 14 Rankings

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rankings updated 12/10 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed Zach Ertz and Ameer Abdullah. Added Amari Cooper. Moved Tion Green up. Flipped Doug Martin and Peyton Barber. Ticked Gio Bernard up one final time. 


Rex Burkhead has four touchdowns over his past two games. Dion Lewis has taken the lead on early downs in New England, but it’s been Burkhead getting the call in scoring position. Since the Patriots’ Week 9 bye, Burkhead has six touches inside the five-yard line, tying him for the league lead (thanks, Reebs). Lewis has just one in that timespan.

It’s quite possibly a fluke, but Burkhead producing isn’t. Long acknowledged as one of the most underrated players in the game, Burkhead is taking full advantage of his opportunity to make a mark in the Patriots’ elite offense. He has cleared 15 touches in each of his past two games after doing so just twice in the first 48 appearances of his career. With the Patriots 11-point favorites against the Dolphins’ Swiss-cheese defense, Burkhead is in excellent position for another 15 looks, at least 1-2 of which should come near the goal line. The Patriots’ No. 2 running back has become a legitimate RB2 in fantasy.   

Week 14 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Tom Brady at MIA -
2 Alex Smith vs. OAK -
3 Carson Wentz at LAR -
4 Philip Rivers vs. WAS -
5 Drew Brees at ATL -
6 Matthew Stafford at TB Questionable (hand)
7 Ben Roethlisberger vs. BAL -
8 Matt Ryan vs. NO -
9 Russell Wilson at JAC -
10 Jameis Winston vs. DET -
11 Jared Goff vs. PHI -
12 Cam Newton vs. MIN -
13 Dak Prescott at NYG -
14 Kirk Cousins at LAC -
15 Case Keenum at CAR -
16 Derek Carr at KC -
17 Jimmy Garoppolo at HOU -
18 Josh McCown at DEN -
19 Marcus Mariota at ARZ -
20 Andy Dalton vs. CHI -
21 DeShone Kizer vs. GB -
22 Brett Hundley at CLE -
23 Blaine Gabbert vs. TEN -
24 Jay Cutler vs. NE -
25 Blake Bortles vs. SEA -
26 Eli Manning vs. DAL -
27 Tom Savage vs. SF -
28 Jacoby Brissett at BUF -
29 Trevor Siemian vs. NYJ -
30 Joe Flacco at PIT -
31 Nathan Peterman vs. IND -
32 Mitchell Trubisky at CIN -

QB Notes: Tom Brady had a streak of three straight three-touchdown performances snapped in Week 13. Having allowed 22 passing scores in 12 games, the Dolphins will do their best to get the Golden Boy back on track. Rob Gronkowski will be out, but Chris Hogan (shoulder) is on pace to return. … Alex Smith matched his touchdown output (four) from the previous four weeks combined in Week 13. Maybe it was all the Patrick Mahomes talk. Smith has made a recent habit of playing better when his job seems to be on the line. I still think Smith should be benched — his hard cap has been established time and again, most vividly in the postseason — but the Raiders are a cake Week 14 opponent. Smith ripped Jack Del Rio’s nonexistent defense for 342 yards and three scores in October. It’s hard to know which Smith you’re going to get in any given week. For the fantasy quarterfinals, the conditions are ripe for #NewAlex. … For the first time in eight games, Carson Wentz was held to one touchdown in Week 13. Week 14 foe Los Angeles (Rams) has boasted one of the league’s stingiest pass defenses under Wade Phillips. Wentz’s case rests with a 50.5 over/under, and his metronome-like 2017 consistency.

Philip Rivers has been as hot as you can get over his past two starts, completing 76.3 percent of his passes for 778 yards while posting four touchdowns and a 10.24 YPA. The Redskins are a green light matchup for Week 14. … I initially had Drew Brees — he of the four touchdowns over his past four games — much lower, but the Week 14 conditions are right for a big game on Thursday night. With Mark Ingram battling a toe injury, Brees’ arm will be needed more than usual against a Falcons defense that’s given up a number of big quarterback performances of late. Brees’ rank is also a matter of him having fewer Week 14 question marks than many of the big names behind him. TNF’s over/under of 53.5 is one of the highest of the 2017 season so far. … If Matthew Stafford can play through his swollen throwing hand, it will be against the Bucs’ pillow-soft defense. The Bucs are 31st in both weekly passing yards (267) and yards per attempt (7.9). Stafford seems to be legitimately questionable. Jake Rudock, who threw a pick six on his first series last Sunday, won’t be a streaming option if Stafford sits.  

Editor's Note: Build around these 5 players for your Week 14 lineups. Find out who here!

On paper, “vs. BAL” reads like a stay-away matchup for Ben Roethlisberger, but the Ravens will be adjusting to life without No. 1 CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles’). The Ravens have little depth at corner. Ben has also been sizzling, throwing 12 of his 22 2017 touchdowns over the past four weeks. … With 75 percent of 2017 in the books, 13 quarterbacks have more fantasy points than Matt Ryan. The Saints’ improved pass defense has sprung some substantial leaks over the past few weeks, but appear likely to get Marshon Lattimore (ankle) back on Thursday. Frankly, the only reason Ryan is this high is because of some extremely difficult matchups behind him. … One of those belongs to Russell Wilson, who might finally meet a defense he can’t run circles — literally — around. The Jags’ 45 sacks are five more than anyone else, while their 167 weekly passing yards allowed is easily No. 1. Wilson has been running for his life behind the Seahawks’ shaky offensive line. Wilson has monster upside any time he takes the field, but his Week 14 downside is considerable.

Jameis Winston miserably flopped the eye test in his Week 13 return … and passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t pretty, but Winston took care of fantasy business. Despite having Darius Slay, the Lions are not a shy-away pass D. … Jared Goff has consistently struggled against good defenses. The Eagles are one of the toughest. I’m leaving Goff in the top 12 because of Vegas’ expectations it will be raining points at the Coliseum (O/U of 50.5), as well as faith in coach Sean McVay’s ability to scheme his quarterback scores. Goff has at least two in four of his past five starts. … Cam Newton’s rushing has kept him in the top 12 all season, but the Vikings are a supremely daunting opponent. Not only are they allowing the third fewest quarterback fantasy points, they’ve allowed the fewest quarterback rushing yards (a microscopic 56). Cam has week-winning upside no matter the defense, but requires a bigger hedge than usual for the fantasy quarterfinals. … Dak Prescott is averaging a miniscule 151 passing yards in four games since Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Even in an A+ spot with the Giants, there’s only so high he can be ranked.

Steady for so much of 2017, the injuries around Kirk Cousins seem to finally be taking a toll. Both his weapons and line and have been thinned out. Per The Lord’s Worksheet, Week 14 opponent Los Angeles (Chargers) has allowed just two QB1 performances all year. … Case Keenum is completing 67.5 percent of his passes, including an eye-popping 74 percent over his past four. … Derek Carr has only two multi-touchdown performances over his past nine starts, though one of them came against Week 14 opponent Kansas City. Amari Cooper (ankle) remains highly questionable. … For a longer piece on Jimmy Garoppolo, check out my Monday article. The short of it? I was impressed. The Texans are allowing the second most quarterback fantasy points. … Marcus Mariota was held under 200 yards passing in back-to-back smash spots against the Colts and Texans. The Cardinals are not a smash spot. … DeShone Kizer’s upside is undeniably higher with Josh Gordon in the fold. The through-the-floor downside remains, of course. … Eli Manning is back. For one of the few times since Odell Beckham went down, he will have both Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram at his disposal.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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