Updated 2017 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Rankings | Sleepers | Projections
As you dig into the Week 14 rankings, the playoffs are on everyone's mind. Every year around this time, I see numerous questions about how to handle owners tanking, dead rosters, playoff setup and more. I'll give you a few quick words of advice so future years are even better for your league(s).
First, you cannot and should never change rules during the season... no matter how frustrating it may be.
If you had no rule in place for a team tanking, you can't decide to set his lineup for him after the fact. Have something in the constitution about rostering a full team and/or how the lineup is decided if an owner tries to sabotage the league.
Second, if you do have the rule in place, you have to enact the rule from Day 1. So, if a team had a dead owner since Week 10, but you didn't fix his lineup every week he was inactive, you cannot decide to start doing it now. It's precedence. Once you let an inactive roster go through a week, you are stuck leaving it the rest of the way. If Week 14 is the first week it's happening, that's okay... again, if you already have a rule in place.
Third, incentivize the non-playoff teams. I've seen leagues award the highest team to not make the playoffs with the first selection of draft slot. That's interesting for those that snake draft. If you have an auction league, a penalty for last place is always fun. If you aren't in a keeper league, you could do the last-place penalty or even a small prize for the winner of the consolation bracket. I've even seen some leagues turning the consolation bracket into a Bizarro Bracket, where you have to submit a full lineup of active players, but the low score advances. Whatever it is, find a way to keep the non-playoff teams interested, and if you still have dead teams or lame duck owners, don't invite them back.
Again, you have to have your rules in place ahead of time though. Think ahead and prepare for the worst, even owners that make the stupidest decision ever by dropping their entire roster, thereby trying to ruin the league.
Get ahead of the game and try to have fun with the non-playoff teams, thereby eliminating the potential for most of these pitfalls. After all, Fantasy Football is supposed to be fun.
TL;DR version – Boyscouts know; be prepared... and have some fun for non-playoff teams
As a reminder, if you missed this week's Waiver Wire piece, click over to find help at every position, including Week 14 quarterback streamers.
Week 14 QB Sleepers
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF @ HOU – Garoppolo had a solid debut as the 49ers quarterback of the future, throwing for 293 yards and an interception on 26 of 37 passing. Garoppolo had quality blocking, which gave him time to connect with Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor on all 14 targets for 191 combined yards. In truth, there were a few more opportunities left on the field, but back on the bright side, this came against a Bears defense that has been solid this year, especially at home. The 49ers head to Houston, and the Texans have the highest FPAD for quarterbacks, also allowing the most receptions of 40-plus yards this year. Garoppolo can build off his solid debut for a top-end QB2 performance.
Week 14 RB Sleepers
Peyton Barber, TB vs. DET – Barber jumped into the RB2 discussion as soon as his starter status was announced, and he came through with 102 rushing yards and another 41 receiving. Doug Martin is uncertain for Week 14, but even if he's back, it appears the Buccaneers are interested in giving Barber a look for the future. The Lions had no answer for Alex Collins (15-for-75 with two touchdowns and another 23 receiving yards), and won't be able to stop Barber either.
UPDATE: Toss this one out. The Buccaneers are going back to Doug Martin, apparently. Martin could and carry the load or get 15 snaps. No one knows. I'd avoid the Bucs backfield now.
Frank Gore, IND @ BUF – Gore just keep chugging along with five straight games of at least 61 yards and 6.1 points. The ceiling is fairly low for Gore, but it's hard to find a more reliable Flex option in either format. Gore also faces the Bills this week, a team allowing the most FPPG to running backs and one that just let Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis to have big games (103 yards, 2 TDs and 92 yards). Gore has the potential to score his fifth double-digit Non-PPR game of the year and provide stability in your lineup.
Jay Ajayi, PHI @ LAR – With carries of 8, 7, 5 and 9, it's impossible to trust Ajayi. After all, the last two weeks of 3.3 and 4.6 points proves that without the big run or touchdown, Ajayi is a lineup killer. The good news is that the Rams have given up the second most rushing touchdowns this year and just let Kerwynn Williams rush for 97 yards on 16 carries. Ajayi needs to do a lot with little, but the matchup is there for that to happen.
Week 14 WR Sleepers
Marquise Goodwin, SF @ HOU – If I'm on board with Garoppolo, Goodwin is coming with me. Again, the Texans can't stop the big play, and Goodwin is averaging 19.3 yards per catch. Back to the Texans, even with facing the Ravens and Titans the past two weeks and both barely putting up any receiver yards, they still rank among the worst in FPPG allowed on top of those big plays. Goodwin could have a career day… not that it should be too difficult with only one game of 100-plus yards and a touchdown to his name.
Josh Gordon, CLE vs. GB – No, he's not a "sleeper" since all anyone wanted to do for the past three weeks is bug me day after day about Gordon's potential.
However, you might be hesitant to use Gordon with your season on the line. Don't be. Corey Coleman went from locked-in WR3 for PPR scoring to nothing… toast… dead for Fantasy Football. DeShone Kizer peppered Gordon with targets, and while many of those were uncatchable because… Kizer… Gordon seeing double-digit targets against the Packers weak secondary is Fantasy goodness.
Sterling Shepard, NYG vs. DAL – Eli Manning is back under center, so get Shepard back in your lineups, especially in PPR leagues. In Weeks 9-10, Shepard had 22 targets, 16 receptions and 212 yards. Even without a touchdown, Shepard scored 12.0 and 25.2 PPR points, and the Cowboys cannot stop slot receivers. While Shepard will see some work outside, he'll be inside enough to take advantage of the matchup and provide Top 25 receiver value.
Week 14 TE Sleepers
Stephen Anderson, HOU vs. SF – The Texans were down Will Fuller already, and then Bruce Ellington, Braxton Miller and C.J. Fiedorowicz all were hurt against the Titans. Bodies everywhere. It was like Michael Bay does Titantic.
If the Texans are without two of those, Anderson could see work as the slot receiver again this week, and he has a great matchup to do more damage. Anderson saw 12 targets last week, second only to DeAndre Hopkins' 14, and would be near the TE1 conversation in this scenario.
Oh, and one last thing if you like me, you really like me... and my ranks... I'm up for some award or something, so vote. It takes five seconds, if that. (My bosses wanted me to mention this... here's THE LINK).
I am still selling the #CheckTheLink t-shirt (just not guaranteed for Christmas delivery now)!
If you want one, the shirts are $25 with shipping included. I wish I could mass produce for less, but hey, that's shipping and handling (and the personal handling is certainly worth more) with the shirt.
Send the money, put what size you want and you name/address in the notes (important!!), to my PayPal (select friends/family) firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, that's an old college email address when I was obviously a bit lame).
Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings | Week 14 Flex Rankings
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