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Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 14
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Quarterbacks (Updated: Thursday, Dec. 6 - 2:54PM CT)
1. Peyton Manning (at Oak, Thursday night) – What can you say about Peyton Manning, except that he’s back. He may be coming off his second-worst passing yardage game of the season last week (242 yards), but he still threw for three touchdowns, so fantasy owners got their money’s worth. Peyton has just one 300-yard game in his last five after reeling off five straight earlier in the season, but Thursday night will be a great opportunity for him to start a new streak with the Raiders defense being one of the weakest in the NFL this season. In their last matchup, Manning put up his high fantasy score of the season by completing 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards and three TDs without an INT. Manning should be licking his chops for this one and is a must-start as always.
2. Drew Brees (at NYG) – So the streak of consecutive games with a TD came to a fitting end for Mr. Brees last week as the division rival Atlanta Falcons not only held him off the scoreboard, but forced him to throw a career-high five interceptions in the process. However, I wouldn’t expect the streak to last even a quarter into the Saints matchup with the Giants this weekend. Last year when these two teams met up, Drew threw for 363 yards, four passing TDs, zero INTs, ran for a TD and ended up with the most fantasy points he’s ever accumulated in one game. There is NO possible way he repeats those kind of numbers, but considering he’s likely to still be a bit peeved about his Week 13 performance, I expect him to do everything he can to make up for it this Sunday.
3. Matt Ryan (at Car) – Matt Ryan had a string of four straight 300-yard games broken last week, though I expect a new one to be started this Sunday at Carolina. In his last two games against the Panthers, Ryan has averaged 344.5 yards, 3.5 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions, so there’s no doubt the trend for a big game is there for the taking. Add to this the fact that Matty Ice has been almost TWICE as good on the road this season (138.4 fantasy points on the road, 79.6 at home; six games each) and you’ll be hard-pressed to find yourself a better play this weekend.
4. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Det, Sunday night) – Losing one of your top wide receivers in Jordy Nelson is certainly a tough hurdle to jump, but Rodgers is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who I’d trust to make the leap. Playing at home, however, doesn’t really make it any easier as his fantasy stats have actually been slightly better on the road this season. That being said, I have a tough time believing the Lions will be able to get past the devastation of that a last-second touchdown Luck threw against them last weekend, so Aaron should be able to find a way into mid-range QB1 territory. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Greg Jennings is back and ready to play a full complement of snaps.
5. Robert Griffin III (vs. Bal) – It wasn’t the greatest fantasy performance of his life, but what a win for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins against the defending Super Bowl champs last Monday night! It was, however, the third time in his last three games that Griffin has put up less than 18 fantasy points in a game, but with Pierre Garcon looking fantastic right now, I’m not too worried about it. This weekend, the injury-laden Baltimore Ravens come to town and will likely be playing without yet another perennial All-Pro, defensive lineman Terrell Suggs. Despite all their injuries, the Ravens have still been pretty good against opposing QBs, but the only guy that remotely resembles Griffin they’ve seen was Michael Vick. I mention this because the Ravens allowed Vick to put up the most fantasy points against them this season by 3.5 points. Basically, Griff will be just fine as a QB1 this Sunday.
6. Tom Brady (vs. Hou, Monday night) – Kind of a lame-duck performance by Mr. Brady this past weekend, wouldn’t you say? Miami was supposed to be easily thrown upon, yet Tommy was only able to manage mediocre fantasy numbers with 238 yards and one TD. On top of that, he also tossed up his first interception since Week 6, so it was actually a pretty sub-par game. I’m not expecting the world from him this Monday night, either, with the Houston Texans and their top-tier defense coming to town. In fact, if CB Johnathan Joseph plays, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Brady outside the top-ten. Yes, Houston CAN be beaten through the air, but without Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman in the lineup, the Texans won’t be guessing as to where Brady will be going for most of the game. That being said, this is still Tom Brady and Bill Belichick here, so it also wouldn’t shock me to see the Stetson Man up in the top-three in Week 14 either.
7. Andrew Luck (vs. Ten) – I’m a little surprised by the insane numbers Luck threw up against the Lions last week simply because his worst performances of the season had all come on the road. However, gaudy numbers are becoming more the norm with the youngster than anything else, so it really wasn’t THAT surprising. This week Luck returns to Indy to take on an improving Titans defense, but not good enough yet to stop Mr. Luck. In six games at home in the dome, Luck has averaged 293 yards while throwing for nine TDs compared to just three INTs. With the Colts secondary receivers (Donnie Avery, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill) getting better and Coby Fleener returning to the lineup, Luck should be a nice QB1 this weekend.
8. Eli Manning (vs. NO) – It’ll be hard to trust Eli Manning after he was only able to muster up 280 yards and one touchdown against the one of the league’s three worst pass defenses this past week (Washington), but he’ll get another chance to silence his critics this Sunday with the New Orleans Saints coming to town. The Saints have allowed seven 300-yard games this season (two of them with 400-yards) and the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so if Eli can’t put up QB1 numbers in this one, I’m waving the white flag on him this year. However, when he faced them in Week 12 last season, he threw for 406 yards and two TDs, so I expect Manning to at least show me a little something here.
9. Josh Freeman (vs. Phi) – Freeman had a big few weeks there in the earlier part of the season, but has put up just middle-of-the-road fantasy stats over his last five games. In fact, if not for the garbage-time points he put up last week against the Broncos, he wouldn’t have even been playable as a QB2! His downward trend aside, Week 14 is a whole different story as the Buccaneers will be facing the league’s worst defense over the last five weeks, the reeling Philadelphia Eagles. If you want to get out of a rut, I’d normally suggest playing the Saints but at this point, Big Josh should be just fine against the apathetic Eagles this Sunday. Get him in there.
10. Cam Newton (vs. Atl) – Who has the most fantasy points in the league over the last five weeks? Yep, it’s Cam Newton. It’s truly amazing how much of a difference it makes in fantasy football when you’re a quarterback who can run the ball. Newton’s overall passing stats are downright dreadful compared to the rest of the league, but those rushing numbers make up for it in spades. This week he’ll take on an inner-division Atlanta Falcons team that he put up over 30 fantasy points against back in Week 4. I don’t think he’ll be able to do quite that well again, but it’s certainly possible with the way he’s been playing lately.
11. Russell Wilson (vs. Ari)
12. Matthew Stafford (at GB, Sunday night)
13. Matt Schaub (at NE, Monday night)
14. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. SD)
15. Joe Flacco (at Was)
16. Colin Kaepernick (vs. Mia)
17. Sam Bradford (at Buf)
18. Andy Dalton (vs. Dal)
19. Tony Romo (at Cin)
20. Jay Cutler (at Min)
21. Brandon Weeden (vs. KC)
22. Jake Locker (at Ind)
23. Carson Palmer (vs. Den, Thursday night)
24. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. StL)
25. Philip Rivers (at Pit)
26. Nick Foles (at TB)
27. Chad Henne (vs. NYJ)
28. Mark Sanchez (at Jax)
29. Christian Ponder (vs. Chi)
30. John Skelton (at Sea)
31. Brady Quinn (at Cle)
32. Ryan Tannehill (at SF)
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