Soppe’s Week 14 Lineup Ranks: Get Smarter!
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Week 14 Quarterback Ranks
Aaron Rodgers: Opponents are averaging 41.2 pass attempts against the Falcons over their last five games. Project Rodgers’ career 66 percent completion rate with his current four-game zero interception stretch in which he is averaging 14.9 yards per completion and is throwing one touchdown every 6.5 completions and you get a nice 405-yard, four touchdown afternoon.
Drew Brees: He has found a rhythm by completing 77 percent of his passes over the last three weeks, a nice trend to take into a home contest against a divisional opponent that he has gashed for a 70 percent completion rate over the last three meetings.
Andrew Luck: Think the Colts win this game? Luck has tossed 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions in addition to averaging 14.5 yards per completion over Indianapolis’ last five victories.
Peyton Manning: Since the beginning of last season, he has completed less than 60 percent of his passes three times. He has totaled 743 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in the game following the previous two instances.
Tom Brady: Subtract an outlier performance against the Raiders, and the Chargers are allowing 30 points per game since shutting out the Jets in Week 5. Brady is completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 307 yards per game and six touchdowns per interception during an eight game streak of scoring at least 20 points per game. I think New England gets to at least 20 in this one.
Tony Romo: Does any quarterback like leftovers more than Romo? Since 2009, in the week following a Turkey Day game (four games), the much maligned signal caller has tossed 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions (at least 300 yards three times).
Jay Cutler: In the last four years, Cutler has recorded at least 280 passing yards in back-to-back games just twice. That said, the Cowboys have allowed non-mobile road quarterbacks to average 298 passing yards this season. Something has to give, and when you consider that Fantasy passing games have had success over the last six games against an overachieving Dallas defense, Cutler is the slight favorite to break the trend.
Matthew Stafford: For the first time this season, Stafford completed more than 27 passes (he averaged 27.2 completions in 2012) last week. The sheer volume of attempts hasn’t helped him like in years past, not an ideal trend for a Bucs defense that hasn’t allowed an opponent to pass for more than 220 yards or multiple touchdowns in more than a month.
Ben Roethlisberger: Since his historic two-game run, Big Ben has been shut down for the majority of games, only to bail out his Fantasy owners with a massive final three minutes (an 80-yard touchdown in Week 10 and two scores on Sunday in the final moments have accounted for 75 percent of his scores over his last three games). That may not be a safe bet this week against an increasingly stingy Bengals defense that has allowed fewer than 200 passing yards and zero touchdown passes in three of the last four weeks.
Philip Rivers: They say the best way to get a quarterback to force the issue is to get pressure on him. Well, Rivers has completed 79 percent of his passes over the last two weeks against two defenses that have generated more of a pass rush this season than the Patriots.
Ryan Tannehill: He will take a streak of five consecutive games in which he completed at least 70 percent of his pass attempts into this game against the second-worst defense in terms of completion percentage against.
Matt Ryan: His back-to-back multiple touchdown performances match his longest streak in more than a year, a confidence builder to take into a game against a Packers defense that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in six of their last seven games.
Russell Wilson: The Eagles haven’t faced many mobile quarterbacks, but they’ve allowed signal callers to rush for 205 yards on 37 carries and zero touchdowns. That’s a major concern for a quarterback that essentially has the same number of Fantasy points through the air this season as Eli Manning has in his last nine games.
Colin Kaepernick: He threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams in Week 6. Since then, Kaep has thrown just five touchdowns and is averaging a mere 213.3 yards through the air. Mark Sanchez has more yards (in fewer starts) and Ryan Fitzpatrick had more touchdown tosses on Sunday alone!
Cam Newton: In addition to career rushing numbers that are trending in the wrong direction, the October 12th tie against Cincinnati was the last time Newton threw more touchdowns than interceptions (for the record, not one but two New York Jet quarterbacks have done so more recently).
Joe Flacco: His Fantasy stock dipped last season as his yards per attempt dropped to a career low while his touchdown-to-interception ratio was as bad as it had ever been. Well, he’s nearing a career-high in both categories this season and hasn’t thrown an interception in three straight (something he hasn’t done in four seasons).
Mark Sanchez: He has been responsible for at least two touchdowns in four of his five appearances this season. He ranks 20th in deep ball attempt percentage and four of the last five double-digit point scorers against the Seahawks are currently ranked between 14th and 26th in deep ball attempt percentage.
Andy Dalton: Since last Christmas, The Red Rifle has more games with multiple interceptions than multiple touchdown passes. This season, he has as many zero touchdown pass games as multi-touchdown pass games.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: A repeat performance? Not so much. The Jaguars aren’t a good football team, but they’ve allowed just five touchdown passes in their last six games played in the United States. Add that to the fact that Fitzpatrick has totaled just 307 yards and one touchdown (two interceptions) in the game following a four-plus touchdown pass performance over the last three seasons and you’re truly playing with fire.
Brian Hoyer: The Colts aren’t an opportunistic defense and grade out as a bottom five unit in terms of pass rush. His job is in the line and this isn't the type of game Cleveland can be competitive in with a sub-par performance. You've got four quarters (maybe) Mr . Hoyer.
Josh McCown: The Lions’ defense is among the best in the league, but they have given up multiple touchdown passes in five of their last six games and McCown has not been shy about targeting the physically gifted Mike Evans (26.6 percent of targets).
Shaun Hill: One reasonably productive week could turn to two, as he faces a Redskins’ defense that is allowing the most yards per pass attempt in the NFL and is giving up more than five touchdowns per interception this season (not to mention intangible factors like lacking emotion and effort).
Teddy Bridgewater: The only thing better for a quarterback than facing the Jets is facing the Jets on a short week … at home. In addition to the favorable matchup, Bridgewater has tossed two scores in consecutive weeks after not throwing for more than one in each of his first seven professional starts.
Drew Stanton: He is never going to complete a high percentage of his passes, making it crucial that he connects on the big play. That’s not a safe bet against a Chiefs’ secondary that ranks fourth in coverage and has allowed the fourth-fewest pass plays of at least 20 yards.
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Week 14 FLEX Ranks
Jordy Nelson: The Packers’ number one receiver scored while on Revis Island last week and should be just fine against the Falcons this week. Atlanta has given up 27 catches for 505 yards and three touchdowns to WR1s in their last four games against teams with a healthy WR1.
Julio Jones: No receiver has more yards and targets than Jones over the last four weeks and the Packers have allowed multiple WR scores in three straight games (and five of their last seven).
DeMarco Murray: He leads the league in rushing yards and yards per carry (minimum 185 rushing attempts), so expect him to continue to be productive against a Bears’ defense that not only struggles to stop the ground game, but also versatile running backs who can catch the rock (allowing opposing RBs to catch five balls for 43 yards per week).
Demaryius Thomas: Ignore the impressive defensive numbers this year for the Bills, as they have been unable to stop explosive offenses from going to their primary target. Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, and Tom Brady found their WR1 for a total of 19 completions, 302 yards, and four touchdowns.
Arian Foster: So much for being eased back into action from his nagging groin injury (he played in 72.2 percent of the Texans’ snaps, right in line with his 74.4 percent average). He’s obviously an elite talent (averaging 137.5 yards with 10 touchdowns in his last six games), but his ability to catch the ball is especially appealing this weekend. He is catching one pass every 5.68 rushing attempts over his last two seasons (17 games), a rate that represents a 35.3 percent increase in the number of touches that are receptions from his previous 16 games. That’s noteworthy, as no defense in the league has allowed running backs to catch more passes than the Jaguars.
Calvin Johnson: The Buccaneers have allowed the last three high-end receivers they have faced to yield a positive return on investment, as Julio Jones ripped them for 119 yards while Alshon Jeffery and A.J. Green both found paydirt.
A.J. Green: He has been targeted 51 times in his last three games against the Steelers, not a bad pattern to buy into when you consider that a WR has found the end zone in five straight contests (eight touchdowns totaled during that stretch).
Matt Forte: He has tallied 100 yards or at least five catches in 11 of 12 games this season.
Dez Bryant: As the unquestioned receiving ace in Dallas, Bryant is in a good spot to absorb most of the success in the passing game, a role that has proven fortuitous, as the Bears have allowed WRs to total at least 30 Standard Fantasy points in three of their last four.
Le’Veon Bell: The Bengals haven’t allowed a running back to eclipse 75 rushing yards in three straight weeks, but the fact that opponents are completing 81 percent of passes to RBs is a feather in the cap of Bell, who currently ranks inside the Top 20 in receptions.
[caption id="attachment_86043" align="alignright" width="300"] Is Alshon Jeffery actually better than he was last season? Photo: Jim Larrison[/caption]
Alshon Jeffery: Would you believe me if I told you he was ahead of his 2013 pace? Last year, he caught 38 passes for 621 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of the season before stepping his game up in the second half (51-800-4). This season, he caught 38 passes for 563 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and has once again begun to peak late (current pace for the final eight games: 58-582-8). That would land him at 96-1,145-11 (276.5 PPR points) after an impressive 89-1,421-7 (273.1 PPR points).
Eddie Lacy: Le’Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray are the only two running backs averaging more yards from scrimmage since Week 8 than the Packers’ sophomore.
Marshawn Lynch: The Eagles’ run defense has actually graded out higher than the Seahawks’ ability to run block, but Beast Mode leads the league in Elusive Rating (a metric geared toward determining yardage gained beyond what is blocked) and continues to improve his Breakaway Percentage (percentage of yardage gained as a result of the 15-plus yard rush).
Josh Gordon: Say what you will about Johnny Football, but he knew how to get an elite play-maker the damn ball when he was in college (Mike Evans), so why would this be any different? Manziel may have limited NFL tools, but he knows who can make him look good, and that is Mr. Gordon.
Antonio Brown: OK, so there are no real “bad” games for the most consistent receiver in NFL history, but it is worth noting that he has zero games of 100 yards against the Bengals in seven career games and tallied just 11 catches for 123 yards last year against Cincy (an underwhelming performance for a player who’s single game floor is 5-60).
Jamaal Charles: The next time the Cardinals allow all the running backs from one team total 100-plus yards and a touchdown this season will be the first, not a great omen for a running back in Charles, who has averaged fewer than 4.5 yards per carry in back-to-back 10-plus carry games for the first time in more than a year.
Randall Cobb: The Falcons rank as a Bottom 5 defense in terms of pass rush and coverage, a bad combination when facing this high-flying attack that happens to feature the top pass-blocking offensive line in football. Pencil Cobb in for at least 9.8 PPR points, a plateau he has reached in nine straight.
Emmanuel Sanders: He missed some action with a concussion, yet only Demaryius Thomas saw more passes thrown in his direction than Sanders in November.
Kelvin Benjamin: Since last facing the Panthers, New Orleans is giving up 30 points per contest and allowing opposing WR1s to average six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. But I’ll settle for 15 points from Carolina’s struggling offense. In the last four games in which they’ve totaled at least 15 points, their rookie standout is averaging 5.5 catches for 97.3 yards, scoring at least once in every game.
Golden Tate: Antonio Brown is the only receiver in the league that has more targets and a higher catch rate this season, a level of consistency that bodes well with the Buccaneers matchup, as they have allowed a receiver to score in six of their last seven games.
Mike Evans: Two big receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd have burned the Lions’ secondary for multiple touchdowns over the last three weeks. Evans saw 28 percent of the Buccaneers’ targets in November and is only being used more as the season progresses.
DeAndre Hopkins: The 238-yard performance is nice, but even the most opportunistic of Hopkins’ owners isn’t looking for a repeat. That said, appreciate the elevated floor (at least 80 yards in four of his last five) and a strong matchup (Jacksonville has allowed seven receiver touchdowns in their last five games).
LeSean McCoy: Volume, skill, and matchup. If you have a player with a positive grade in two of those three in a given week, you’re feeling good about where you stand. The matchup with Seattle is obviously less than ideal, but Shady has a league-high 69 carries over the last three weeks and is demonstrating the explosiveness that made him a Top 3 pick (back-to-back weeks with a 30-plus yard play, something he didn’t do once in the first 10 games of 2014).
Justin Forsett: He was on the field for a season-high 49 snaps in which he was not asked to block, an indicator that the Ravens are maximizing his Fantasy potential. He faces a talented ‘Fins defense, but they have allowed 373 rushing yards over the last two weeks.
Marques Colston: I don’t want to say he’s found his form, but he has scored in each of the past two weeks, doubling his touchdown output of the previous 12 games. He also has managed four scores in his last four games against the Panthers.
C.J. Anderson: He leads all running backs in total touches over the last three weeks and is gaining over 6.0 yards per touch. The Bills are a tough matchup, but Peyton Manning manipulates a defense and puts his running back in a great position to succeed.
Brandon Marshall: Why so low? I’m not convinced he is healthy. He only has three games this season with a 20-plus yard reception and the Cowboys rank among the 10 best defenses in limiting the big play.
Mike Wallace: As you can tell from the Tannehill stat, I expect the Dolphins’ aerial attack to be an efficient one this week. Wallace has reached the end zone in seven of the nine games this season in which he has caught at least 50 percent of the passes thrown his way.
Alfred Morris: The last five rushing touchdowns against the Rams have come on the road and teams that have stayed committed to the ground and pound (more than 20 attempts) have had significantly more Fantasy success (Morris ranks seventh in carries over the last three weeks).
Rashad Jennings: While he is a capable pass-catcher, the Giants want him to be a workhorse on the ground, and the Titans’ defense is the perfect unit against which to do just that. No defense in the league has given up a greater percentage of RB Fantasy points via the handoff than Tennessee (85.7 percent). I’ll take my chances on a player who has run the ball at least 18 times in five of his last seven games and ranks second in running back touches over the last three weeks.
Mark Ingram: Averaged a very reasonable 4.0 yards per carry in November to go along with multiple receptions in all four of his games.
T.Y. Hilton: He didn’t catch more than five passes once in November and now has to deal with the top pass coverage team in football, one that ranks in the Top 5 in passing yards allowed, yards per pass attempt, completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, and interceptions.
Tre Mason: For the first time this season, the Redskins have allowed a running back to score in back-to-back weeks. The rookie back touched the ball at least 17 times in every November game, a trend that should continue moving forward, especially in this matchup.
Joique Bell: The Buccaneers have allowed three teams to rush for multiple touchdowns this season, all on the road against a passing game that extends the field. Check and check. Bell has 20-plus touches in two of his first nine games, but has two such games in the last two weeks.
Jordan Matthews: He is on an 82-1,011-11 16-game pace over his last 10 games. That would have been good for a fringe WR1 in 2013 Standard Fantasy leagues.
Odell Beckham Jr.: Only five defenses in the league are allowing quarterbacks to complete a higher percentage of passes for more yards per attempt than the Titans this season. Beckham has caught a pass of at least 29 yards in five straight weeks and has caught 89 percent of his targets over the last two weeks.
Roddy White: Since Week 8, no wide receiver (minimum 26 receptions) is catching a higher percentage of his targets than White; not bad for a veteran seeing 8.5 targets per game over that stretch.
Anquan Boldin: Forget the disappointing performance on Thanksgiving against the Seahawks; that is going to happen, and get ready to start him in Oakland. The next time he fails to catch five passes on the road will be the first this season, and he has tallied 90 yards and a touchdown in four of his last five games against defenses that rank below average in pass coverage.
Julian Edelman: His yards per catch are as low as ever during his career (minimum five receptions), but that isn’t a bad skill set to own in an offense that has Tom Brady’s aDOT on the decline for a second consecutive season.
Jeremy Maclin: The upside isn’t there with Mark Sanchez under center (one touchdown in his last four games after scoring eight times in his first eight games), but that doesn’t mean he is a useless Fantasy option. Only one receiver (Keenan Allen of all people) has more catches and a higher catch percentage over his last three games.
Steven Jackson: With last week’s throwback effort, SJax now has 100 rushing yards or a touchdown in four of his last five games. He gets an extra day of rest before taking on the Packers’ 30th ranked run stuffing defensive line.
Isaiah Crowell: Even after a brutal Week 13, in which the stingy Bills defense held him to just 29 rushing yards on 17 carries, Crowell has more carries than Andre Ellington and is averaging more yards per carry than Matt Forte over his last four games.
Frank Gore: The NFC West is a physical division that involves four teams that play a similar brand of football: a brand that is decimating the overmatched Raiders. In two games against the West, the Raiders have allowed the opposing RB1 to total 307 yards and five touchdowns on just 43 touches. Even better news for Gore owners; the two opponents in those games are averaging 28.5 running players per game this season and the Niners are running the ball 28.9 times per contest.
Vincent Jackson: He has failed to reach paydirt for eight consecutive games, twice as long as his next longest drought over the last five seasons.
Jeremy Hill: Whether it is because the pass defense is porous or the run defense is stout, the Steelers are allowing just 72.6 rushing yards per game over their last five. I think the Bengals can have some success (sixth-best run blocking offensive line), but divide minimal success by two and you’re relying on a touchdown.
Keenan Allen: The production is finally coming around, but during his three week hot streak he has burned three defenses that rank below average in pass coverage. Revis Island is 180 degrees in the opposite direction and keys a Patriots secondary that ranks fifth in team coverage.
Andre Johnson: He is averaging fewer yards per reception than he has in nearly a decade and has found the end zone in four of his last 30 games. Yea, he caught one of Fitzpatrick’s six, but that doesn’t make him a touchdown savant.
Sammy Watkins: Think the hip/groin injuries are having an effect? In Weeks 7-8, the rookie totaled 12 catches for 279 yards and three scores. In the four weeks since, he’s managed just 13 catches for 105 yards and zero touchdowns.
Daniel Herron: After three straight games in which they held opponents to less than 100 rushing yards, the Browns have given up 373 over the last three weeks. Combine that with the fact that Herron is averaging 7.1 yards per touch since the Ahmad Bradshaw injury and you’ve got a nice upside option.
Shane Vereen: He continues to lead the Patriots backfield in snaps played, so I’ll gamble on the struggling Chargers’ defense that has allowed the fifth-most targets and third-most receiving touchdowns to running backs this season, instead of focusing on an underwhelming Week 13.
Jarvis Landry: Ryan Tannehill has completed at least 70 percent of his passes in five straight, thanks in no small part to the LSU rookie, who has hauled in 83 percent of his targets since Week 3. That’s an enticing tandem to trot out there this week, as the Ravens have allowed opponents to complete the second-highest percentage of passes this season.
Ryan Mathews: The Patriots offense can limit the opponent’s commitment to the run, but if San Diego sticks to the plan, it is worth noting that a running back has found the end zone in every game against the Patriots this season when they’ve run the ball at least 23 times.
Kenny Stills: Half of his career 90-plus receiving yard games have come in the last two weeks.
Lamar Miller: Four straight games against stout run defenses will suppress a back’s Fantasy value, but don’t forget that he was averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scored five times in the six games before that brutal stretch.
Pierre Garcon: Colt McCoy isn’t a downfield passer and DeSean Jackson might miss some time. I’d love to throw positive Redskin stats at you, but there just aren’t any. McCoy is going to try to make a name as an efficient chain-mover and my stubborn self thinks he uses a possession receiver to do it.
Kendall Wright: Much like this season, it wasn’t until his final November game in his breakout 2013 that he recorded a triple-digit yardage. If the targets are in fact back, look out, as his aDOT has been trending upward during his three year career and is currently 18.4 percent higher than last season.
Denard Robinson: His workload has stabilized a bit and the first week of October was the last time he averaged fewer than 4.0 yards per touch in a contest. He’s not loaded with upside, but if he is WR eligible in your league, I’m having a hard time benching him.
Trent Richardson: A running back in Indianapolis is going to have value each week, but who exactly is a tough question to answer. Richardson got the start in Week 13 after Dan Herron took the first snap in Week 12, but he once again struggled to produce, presumably because he simply isn’t good at football. That said, Herron did cough up another fumble, an act that is a level lower than lacking talent.
Davante Adams: Some may be quick to declare his strong Week 13 performance (six catches and 121 yards on 11 targets) a flash in the pan, but with a snap count on the rise for a third straight week (coincidence that the Packers have won each one of those games?), you better get used to the pride of Frenso State possessing Fantasy upside. Listen, it is a crowded corps of pass-catchers in Green Bay and no one is going to argue that Adams’ ceiling is only so high when Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are healthy, but do you think New England is going to be the only team to put their top corner on Nelson and double Cobb? Aaron Rodgers seems to trust the rookie (2013 top performer in the vertical leap) and his ability to make plays in single coverage.
Reggie Wayne: As good as Andrew Luck has been this season, Wayne ranks 47th out of 52 qualified receivers in WR Rating (the QB Rating on passes directed toward him).
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Week 14 Tight End Ranks
Rob Gronkowski: The yardage total has increased in back-to-back weeks, always a positive sign for a player who has scored in 16 of his last 24 games.
Jimmy Graham: All he has done is catch at least five passes and find the end zone in six straight games against the Panthers … and this version of Carolina’s defense is considerably worse than the unit he torched last season.
Martellus Bennett: It’s Johnny Week, shouldn’t every former Aggie get a boost in value? If that’s not enough for you, maybe the fact that the Cowboys have allowed a league-high 73 completions to tight ends will be.
Antonio Gates: The Patriots have struggled against the tight end, but Gates has gone four straight without a touchdown, averaging just 39.3 yards in those games. With Revis lurking and a shallow receiving corps, that could very well change this weekend.
Coby Fleener: Two touchdowns last week and a third 30-plus yard reception in four weeks? He has realistically become the Colts’ second option in the passing game and should be considered a starter as long as Dwayne Allen is banged up.
Greg Olsen: The Saints have been among the best against tight ends this season, but they were victimized for a season-high in catches, targets, and yards last week by a gritty Greg Olsen-type in Heath Miller.
Kyle Rudolph: He scored last week and with Jerick McKinnon (back) still ailing, he figures to be option one and two when the Vikes get inside the 20.
Denver TE: Julius Thomas is getting closer to a return, but even an active/rusty Thomas isn’t going to change this rank. I expect the Bills to limit the run game, thus making the short passing game more involved than weeks past.
Larry Donnell: He broke a string of four weeks without at least five catches last week and the Titans have allowed a tight end to score in back-to-back weeks, breaking a four week shutout streak.
Delanie Walker: In four weeks, the Giants have allowed opposing tight ends to haul in a total of 10 passes, bad news for a player who has failed to eclipse 37 yards in four of his last five.
Brent Celek: He played a season-high 80.5 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps on Thanksgiving and faces a Seattle defense that is allowing the third-highest percentage of tight end receptions to result in six points.
Travis Kelce: Obscene gesture or not, there is upside against the Cardinals (they’ve allowed a tight end to reach paydirt in three of the last four) because the Chiefs refuse to target receivers when they can smell the endzone.
Jason Witten: The Bears have allowed tight ends to catch at least five passes in the majority of games this season and Witten has been more of a red zone option of late (all of his touchdowns this season have come in the last seven games).
Scott Chandler: The last four teams that faced Denver with a viable Fantasy tight end saw that tight end find the endzone. Chandler isn’t an elite talent by any means, but Buffalo looks his way on third down (more receptions than any other down) and may need him as a supplement to a run game that I expect to be next to nonexistent.
Heath Miller: The Steelers have been unable to find a consistent third option in the passing game behind Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, making the veteran chain-mover a natural check down option. The upside is limited, but Pittsburgh is going to throw the ball, and Miller’s 14 Week 13 targets is an encouraging sign for those streaming the position.
Owen Daniels: His snap percentage is impressive (90-plus for a third consecutive game), but he faces a ’Fins defense that is the best unit in limiting tight ends (76 total yards allowed in the last six weeks).
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