You don’t need a fantasy football expert to help you on whether to start Aaron Rodgers or Calvin Johnson in the fantasy playoffs. Rodgers and Johnson, along with many other fantasy studs like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster and A.J. Green, are some of the most obvious starts. However, we must make decisions on filling the remaining slots on our roster. Generally speaking, the deeper the league, the more difficult these decisions can often be.
Even though many brand new names, completely off the radar early in the season, now sit on our rosters, it can be a difficult and stressful task starting these players with such limited track records. Names like Bryce Brown, Knowshon Moreno, Colin Kaepernick, Cecil Shorts and Danario Alexander will have an effect on whether you advance in the playoffs.
Let’s take a dive at several names that may not be top of mind for you, but will impact Week 14.
QB Josh Freeman – After a fantastic rookie year and a disappointing sophomore season, Freeman returned to glory in 2012. With 23 touchdowns and a 92.1 quarterback rating, Freeman was drafted as a backup in most leagues, but ranks 11th among quarterbacks. Freeman has thrown at least two touchdowns in eight of his last nine games. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fighting for a playoff berth, Freeman will be primed for a matchup against the fluttering Philadelphia Eagles, who have allowed the second-most points to opposing quarterbacks, and seem to be getting worse. Start Freeman with confidence!
Week 14 forecast: 250 yards, 2 TD
RB Vick Ballard – Donald Brown and Delone Carter may have started the season higher on the Indianapolis Colts’ running back depth chart, but Ballard has been the most effective and durable Colts’ runner this year. With Brown declared inactive this week, Ballard will receive a heavy workload in Week 14 against Tennessee, which allows the fifth-most points to opposing running backs. Ballard averaged 4.6 yards per carry with a receiving touchdown in the first meeting, and will receive more work this week.
Week 14 forecast: 100 total yards, TD
WR T.Y. Hilton – Another blooming Indianapolis Colts’ star is T.Y. Hilton, who recorded 100 receiving yards and a touchdown from 12 targets in Week 13. In fact, Hilton has had 100 yards or more four times this season. Tennessee struggles guarding wide receivers and will have its hands full with Hilton, Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery spreading the field for Andrew Luck this weekend.
Week 14 forecast: 100 yards, TD
TE Jermichael Finley – After a strong 2011 campaign, many expected Finley to explode into a top tier tight end this season, especially with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. Instead, Finley has struggled mightily all season. Although he has not enjoyed a breakout game, Finley has averaged more than 50 yards over the last three games. With Green Bay welcoming Detroit this weekend, Finley will shine with a solid game. Finley enjoyed his best game of the season with 66 receiving yards and a score during their last meeting, and has more scores against the Lions than another team.
Week 14 forecast: 75 yards, TD
D/ST Jacksonville Jaguars – It is time to pick on the New York Jets again. They barely knocked off Arizona with their third-string quarterback, and now are set to battle the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Mark Sanchez announced as the starter, Jacksonville’s defense will be prepped to pressure Sanchez and force him to turn over the ball as usual.
Week 14 forecast: 12 points
Week 13 Results
QB Brandon Weeden
Week 13 Forecast: 200 yards, 2 TD
Week 13 Results: 364 yards, TD, 2 INT (good call)
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Week 13 Forecast: 100 total yards, TD
Week 13 Results: 39 total yards (bad call)
WR Ryan Broyles
Week 13 Forecast: 100 yards, TD
Week 13 Results: 3 receiving yards; season-ending injury (bad call)
TE Dwayne Allen
Week 13 Forecast: 60 yards, TD
Week 13 Results: 50 yards (OK call)
D/ST Cleveland Browns
Week 13 Forecast: 12 points
Week 13 Results: 4 points (bad call)