Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings Review


Greg Olsen, Emmanuel Sanders and A.J. Green are all big names that are now done for the season. These impact players were officially ruled out within the past couple of days alone. That list doesn’t include Colt McCoy or Malcolm Brown, who were announced a few days prior.

Before the season, many fantasy owners forget that fantasy football is mostly a game of attrition. In many cases, it’s possible to lose before the season even starts, especially if you drafted Derrius Guice or Jerick McKinnon. A grim reality check occurs when a star player goes down, both in real life and in fantasy. Just as any NFL team has a hard time replacing a feature back, a fantasy roster does as well.

But with the fantasy playoffs underway, it’s time to muster together whatever remains of your roster, even if that means starting Nick Mullens. It’s also time to pick up the overlooked, such as kicker Aldrick Rosas. Even if you don’t plan on using a player, remember that’s one less weapon your opponent can use against you. With that said, let’s look at who may help get you to your championship final this week in the rankings review.

2018 Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings Review

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Too High

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Will Ben continue to make poor throws when he anticipates a hit? Does Oakland’s recent signing of C.J. Anderson impact Sunday’s game at all? Can rookie Jaylen Samuels RB/TE designation by Yahoo help the Steelers in any way?

These are a few of the many questions fantasy owners have heading into the weekend. While the last two questions are arbitrary, it’s safe to assume that without James Conner, Big Ben will be forced to throw a lot more. Thankfully, ‘Road Ben’ isn’t too much of a thing this year. He throws for at least 250 yards in every game. There have been a couple of bumps and bruises but his consistency is night and day compared to last year.

What may concern fantasy owners is the Steelers’ remarkable ability to play down to their competition. In Week 11, Jacksonville intercepted Ben three times. James Conner rushed for a total of 25 yards and the Steelers barely left Florida with a victory. The following week, Ben threw for 462 yards but still had two interceptions and just one touchdown against Denver. Both teams are below average this season, as Jacksonville is currently 4-8 and Denver is 6-6 on the year.

If Ben and the Steelers want to remain playoff contenders, they’ll have to make a statement at Oakland this weekend. With a poor track record against bad teams, the odds aren’t in favor of that happening.

Rank Below: Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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For all of the highs and lows that Tampa Bay has had this season, the worst has to be their quarterback situation. At least it’s the most exciting aspect, as many people thought Ryan Fitzpatrick would remain the starter for the rest of the season at one point. Fortunately for the Bucs, Winston has returned to his former average form, as he beat a sinking Carolina team 24-17 last week.

It’s the second victory in a row for the veteran, although that doesn’t say much after a four-game losing skid. Tampa Bay’s defense hasn’t helped their offense at all this season, allowing the second most touchdown passes in the league (28). And while they’ve been able to put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks, their secondary only has seven interceptions on the season. To make matters worse, the Tampa Bay defense faces a motivated Saints’ offense this week, who will be doing everything in their power to return to form after their unusual loss last week.

Winston won’t have much help from his offensive line either, as they’ve allowed the fifth-most hits to the quarterback in the league (83). With what looks to be the perfect storm on the horizon for Tampa Bay, expect Winston to slide in the rankings.

Rank Below: Aaron Rodgers, DeShaun Watson

Too Low

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

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It’s been a chaotic season for the Eagles. Starting their season without Wentz made things difficult, then with injuries to Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and several other key defensive players, the 2018 campaign seemed all but lost. But with two straight victories against NFC East rivals New York and Washington, the Eagles still have a fighting chance with Wentz under center.

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There are a few other elements for Eagle fans to be optimistic about. The Eagles’ offensive line didn’t allow a sack last week against the Redskins, which led to Wentz finally clicking with recent addition Golden Tate. Josh Adams led a strong ground attack yet again, this time totaling 85 yards on 20 carries. The Eagles’ old friend Jordan Matthews even contributed something, creating a touchdown out of his lone catch on the day.

ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Eagles less than a 20% chance of making the playoffs. It’s a frightening predication for Wentz, especially as they head to Dallas this week. The Cowboys’ defense is scary, led by emerging rookie Leighton Vander Esch. They shut down a juggernaut offense led by Drew Brees, allowing on three third-down conversions out of eleven attempts. New Orleans ultimately failed to score on five consecutive possessions.

It’s a stat that Wentz will have to overlook this week, but with his diverse group of playmakers, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Rank Above: Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield

Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins

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Butt fumble to butt recovery, Mark Sanchez could’ve done worse as Colt McCoy’s replacement. Going 13 of 21 for 100 yards, Sanchez did what he needed to by handing the ball off as much as possible.

Thankfully, Peterson did what he does best by setting another record. In the second quarter, Peterson hit the gas and broke out for a 90 yard touchdown, making him the oldest player in NFL history (33) to score a touchdown of that length. Peterson didn’t do much after that, but he certainly wasn’t aided by his teammates, as Chris Thompson dropped a couple of easy screen passes that could’ve moved the sticks.

Though the Redskins went on to lose, all is not lost for Peterson owners. He’s RB12 in standard scoring through twelve weeks with seven touchdowns. With Colt McCoy out of the picture, Peterson will be forced to be a bell cow for an offense without a passer. The return of Chris Thompson as a change of pace back should keep Peterson fresh throughout games as well, something that’s been sorely missed by the Redskins.

The Redskins aren’t favorites to win this weekend’s matchup against the Giants. But even if they lose and lose badly, Peterson will have multiple opportunities to contribute in a must-win game for the Redskins.

Rank Above: Austin Ekeler, James White

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Lockett is the leading the Seahawks receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns this season. If you told that to drafters back in late August, you would’ve been completely ignored or laughed at.

Lockett’s emergence as the Seahawks’ top playmaker is due in part to Russell Wilson, who has decided to come alive at the right time for Seattle. Throwing for four touchdowns last week against San Francisco, Wilson added to his three-game win streak. As long as Seattle helps protect Wilson again this week against Minnesota, the veteran quarterback should have enough time to target Lockett deep.

On the other side of the ball, the Seattle defense has come together thanks to Bobby Wagner, who snagged an interception for a 98-yard touchdown return. He also forced a fumble and went for twelve tackles. Wagner is exactly what Seattle needs right now, as Minnesota’s offense will certainly prove challenging for the Seahawks.

Assuming all things click for Seattle, Lockett should have a monster game on Monday night. Expect the wide receiver to rise in the rankings.

Rank Above: Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon

Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Ryan Turner

Ryan is a longtime fantasy football enthusiast and writer for several fantasy sports sites. A fan of playing the matchup, Ryan’s articles often focus on game scripts and how a player fits into their coach’s scheme. You can follow him on Twitter @turnercryan

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