Eli Manning, Quarterback, New York Giants
Fantasy owners who may be on the fence about starting Manning Week 14 because of his favorable matchup in San Diego should reconsider. Manning has been handed his fair share of easier opposition this year, and he still has yet to take advantage of any of those ideal matchups thus far. Look for another blasé’ performance from Manning, whose 18 interceptions outnumber his 15 touchdowns this season. Unless your fantasy team is loaded with studs to compensate for the second-rate numbers Manning has been producing, explore your other options in Week 14.
Projected Statistics: 19/29, 205 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Let’s face the facts when it comes to Kaepernick. His fantasy numbers are horrible when he plays against difficult defenses whether he is home or on the road. This week Kaepernick and the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks, who limited him to less than six fantasy points in Week 2. After watching the Seahawks pulverize Drew Brees, containing him to 147 passing yards and one touchdown, last week, I would highly advise starting another quarterback in Week 14. The Seahawks defense is brutal and Kaepernick is not a reliable choice this week to help your fantasy team advance to playoffs.
Projected Statistics: 12/23, 160 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception
Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Relying on Luck as your fantasy quarterback these past few weeks has been an exhausting experience, and his outlook for Week 14 in Cincinnati against the Bengals, fifth-ranked defense, doesn’t present much upside.
Luck, who has been awful under pressure lately, has not thrown for multiple touchdowns since Week 9 and has tallied up five interceptions during this stretch of time.
Fantasy owners really should not rely on Luck to play any more efficiently against the Bengals who very handily limited Philip Rivers to only one touchdown last week. Once again, Luck should planted on your bench in Week 14.
Projected Statistics: 19/40, 176 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Steve Smith, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
Smith and the Carolina Panthers travel to play the New Orleans Saints in Week 14 in what will be an intense competition between these two 9-3 NFC South divisional teams. The Saints currently limit opposing wide receivers to the fifth fewest fantasy points when they play at home, and coming off of a horrific loss last week they will be on fire to bring down Cam Newton and company this week. Fantasy owners who are debating on starting Smith, who has only scored three touchdowns all season, should avoid starting him in Week 14, as the Saints defense will surely be in top form to shut out the Panthers No. 1 receiver.
Projected Statistics: Four receptions, 68 yards, zero touchdowns.
Hakeem Nicks, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Thinking of starting Nicks in an enticing matchup against the San Diego Chargers, who currently offer opposing wide receivers the third most fantasy points? Well don’t bother with Nicks, who has had a severe case of the drops and a whopping zero touchdown scores to boast for 2013. As your fantasy teams edges closer to advancing into playoffs, Nicks is not someone who should be in in anyone’s starting lineup, regardless of the team he is playing. He’s averaging only 59.5 yards per game which would be much higher if his hands didn’t appear to be greased with butter each game. Nicks offers little value to your fantasy team these days, so steer clear.
Projected Statistics: Four receptions, 62 yards, zero touchdowns.
Michael Crabtree, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers
As stated above regarding starting Kaepernick in Week 14 as the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks, ditto goes for placing Crabtree in your fantasy lineup this week.
People who picked up Crabtree and have been anxiously waiting to debut him on fantasy teams will want to wait one more week.
The Seahawks defense poses a severe threat to wide receivers allowing the second fewest points to this position.
Last year Crabtree faced the Seahawks twice and only managed 96 yards total for both outings. Crabtree makes a risky play to help lead your team to a win in Week 14.
Projected Statistics: Three receptions, 55 yards, zero touchdowns.
Donald Brown, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts
While it might be difficult to sit Brown with his new shiny title of starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts, it is advisable in Week 14 as the Colts play the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown will surely struggle against the stifling Bengals ground defense who just limited both Chargers running backs to a combined 83 rush yards and no scores last week. The Colts will be challenged and could easily find themselves playing catch up on Sunday abandoning the run game and relying on the pass. Brown only passes as a flex option at best in Week 14, so look into other choices.
Projected Statistics: 12 attempts, 53 yards, two receptions, 15 yards, zero touchdowns
Rashad Jennings, Running Back, Oakland Raiders
Jennings status for Week 14 is questionable due to a concussion he sustained in the Thanksgiving game last week.
Providing Jennings, who renders a must-start title most weeks, does play in New Jersey against the New York Jets, fantasy owners should sit him against the defense who allows the least fantasy points to running backs.
About the only thing going for the Jets is their ruthless rush defense who hasn’t allowed a running back to score a rushing touchdown since Week 7.
If you can avoid Jennings in your lineup in Week 14 and find another alternative with more upside, it is a wise move.
Projected Statistics: 16 attempts, 61 yards, one reception, 9 yards, zero touchdowns
Zach Ertz, Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz, who was a strategic play at tight end last week against the Arizona Cardinals defense who gives up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, once again proved the Cardinals ineptness to defend this position. Ertz breezed into the end zone scoring two touchdowns making football look easy. History will not repeat itself this week for Ertz and the Eagles as they host the Detroit Lions in Week 14. Fantasy owners who picked up Ertz last week, should avoid using him as their starting tight end, because the Lions defense surely won't let him get away with such havoc. Other than Ertz’ two scores last week, he has only one week where he has scored and reached double-digit fantasy points.
Projected Statistics: Two receptions, 39 yards, zero touchdowns.
Antonio Gates, Tight End, San Diego Chargers
Gates and the San Diego Chargers welcome the New York Giants in Week 14. While the Giants are not in any way a huge threat to tight ends, Gates, who is dealing with a sore hamstring and showing signs of wear and tear, is not the most optimal choice this week. Philip Rivers has been shifting focus to his younger, newer model, tight end, Ladarius Green the past few weeks, so Gates, who only has three scores this season is declining in fantasy value due to his emerging competition. Green is not going anywhere in Week 14, so depending on your options, Gates is best left out of fantasy rosters this week.
Projected Statistics: Four receptions, 51 yards, zero touchdowns.