close
FantasyRankings

Top 50 Flex Rankings: Week 14

Keith Allison (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]

Welcome to FY’s top-50 flex plays for the week. Rankings represent the order I would be most comfortable inserting each player into my lineup; tiers further separate our fantasy assets to help establish the probability of fantasy dominance. Keep player availability in mind as the week progresses. In these ranks you will only find players I feel have a good chance to play this week.


It’s playoff time! In the fantasy world anyway. Week 14 puts us just two weeks away from the fantasy Super Bowl, unless you’re in a league that goes to Week 17, which case, get out. Most owners who are still alive are pretty set on which players they like. But as the end of the season approaches, new challenges creep up that, for the unaware fantasy owner, can be the difference between winning and losing. The biggest issue is the resting of star players to get them fresh for the “real life” playoffs.

That could become an issue for Ezekiel Elliott owners as early as this week. The Cowboys have a playoff spot locked up and their rookie running back, who’s never played more than a 13-game season, already has 291 touches under his belt. One has to wonder if a lighter workload is in store. It may not happen this week, but with a loss ending your season, make sure you take all scenarios into consideration when setting your lineup.

Week 13 was fairly status quo when it came to the leaders. Running backs once again took top honors: David Johnson and Jordan Howard each had 29 points to pace the field, and RBs held seven of the top ten spots. The biggest surprises of the week were at tight end. Two heretofore disappointing TEs, Dwayne Allen and Dennis Pitta, both had monster games. But those were anomalies; don’t expect to see either in the top ten again.

Week 14 should be much of the same. The running back position will continue to be strong, while peaks and valleys make all but the top eight receivers hard to rely on.


Top 50 Flex Players Week 14

TIER 1

Player/Team Position (Rank) Opponent

1. D. Johnson/ARI RB(1) @MIA

2. L. Bell/PIT RB(2) @BUF

3. E. Elliott/DAL RB(3) @GIA

4. M. Gordon/SD RB(4) @CAR

5. D. Murray/TEN RB(5) DEN

6. A. Brown/PIT WR(1) @BUF

David Johnson was my top-ranked player last week and he came through with a winning performance. Not that I went out on a limb: Johnson is the leader in fantasy points for non QBs. Heck, only Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are ahead of him with QBs included. With over 1000 yards rushing and 700 receiving through 12 games, Johnson’s upside reaches the stratosphere. Throw in the fact that the matchup-proof back has a date with Miami’s 25th-ranked defense and we may see Johnson on top of the leaderboard once again.

Melvin Gordon faces the Carolina Panthers, who might be mailing it in at this point. After giving up 75 points in the last two games (sans linebacker Luke Kuechly), the Panthers’ new-found ineptitude on defense is beginning to resemble the team’s offensive struggles. With all the uselessness going on in Carolina, Gordon could be primed for a huge game. (But keep an eye on Kuechly’s status. If he plays, downgrade Gordon’s expectations but not by much.)

Antonio Brown is once again the number one option at receiver. His ability gives him a chance to dominate any given week, no matter the matchup. He doesn’t offer the same high floor as the top-tier running backs, but he offers an edge over all other receivers. This week, he draws the Bills’ eighth-ranked pass defense. With the Steelers needing a win, Big Ben will feed the best receiver in fantasy.

TIER 2

7. M. Evans/TB WR(2) NO

8. J. Jones/ATL WR(3) @LA

9. O. Beckham/NYG WR(4) DAL

10. L. McCoy/BUF RB(6) PIT

11. D. Martin/TB RB(7) NO

12. S. Ware/KC RB(8) OAK

13. T. Rawls/SEA RB(9) @GB

14. J. Howard/CHI RB(10) @DET

15. L. Miller/HOU RB(11) @IND

Mike Evans is a top-five option at receiver every week. Like his counterparts, the low-floor game rears its ugly head from time to time (see his 38 yards in Week 12 versus San Diego). However, Evans ability to dominate in any given match up (see his 104 yards and two TDs in Week 13 versus SEA) has him among the elite at the position. His matchup with the high-scoring (on both sides of the ball) Saints gives him a massive upside.

Last week, I said “Shady” McCoy was back and good for 20 touches against the Raiders. He had 24 total touches and 191 total yards, good enough to be the RB6 for the week, even though Mike Gillislee pilfered the touchdowns. Facing the 18th-ranked Steelers run defense, McCoy should have another productive day.

Doug Martin has averaged 20 rush attempts in his four games since returning from injury. Playing four tough defenses has kept him fairly quiet on the stat sheet. That should change this week. Up against the Saints, who surrender 27.9 points per game, Martin will put his touches to good use.

Fresh off a breakout game against Carolina, Thomas Rawls vaults up the ranks this week after coming in as my RB19 last time. Kicking a team while they are down isn’t the most sportsmanlike thing to do. What Rawls did to the Panthers (15-106-2) should have gotten him ejected. His matchup this week has him headed to the frozen tundra of Lambeau to face a Packer team fighting for its playoff life. Tough matchup or not, this i the time of year when run games and defenses come to the fore. Expect Rawls to play a big part in the outcome of this game.

TIER 3

16. T. Hilton/IND WR(5) HOU

17. D. Bryant/DAL WR(6) @GIA

18. J. Nelson/GB WR(7) SEA

19. A. Cooper/OAK WR(8) @KC

20. J. Hill/CIN RB(12) @CLE

21. L. Murray/OAK RB(13) @KC

22. D. Freeman/ATL RB(14) @LA

23. M. Forte/NYJ RB(15) @SF

24. T. Gurley/LA RB(16) ATL

25. J. Ajayi/MIA RB(17) ARI

26. R. Kelley/WAS RB(18) @PHI

27. C. Hyde/SF RB(19) JETS

28. L. Blount/NE RB(20) BAL

29. T. Riddick/DET RB(21) CHI

30. J. Stewart/CAR RB(22) SD

31. F. Gore/IND RB(23) HOU

With Andrew Luck back and showing no ill effects from his recent concussion, the Colts were firing on all cylinders against a hapless Jets squad on Monday. T.Y. Hilton was a busy man, reeling in nine catches for 146 yards. As long as health permits, the small but dynamic Hilton will produce. With the division there for the taking, Luck’s number one target will be a busy man down the stretch. This week’s matchup (Houston) is tough; the Texans have the fifth-ranked pass defense. But Hilton will be out to make some noise after he was quieted in the first meeting way back in Week 4.

Jeremy Hill has faced two solid defenses his last two games and has 54 yards on 35 carries to show for it. He has somewhat bailed himself out for fantasy purposes with a short touchdown in Week 13 and 60 yards receiving in Week 12. His matchup this week should provide a little more return on his usage as he faces the Cleveland Browns, who sport the league’s 31st-ranked run defense. After leaving cleat prints all over these same Browns back in Week 7, going off for 9-168-1, expect more of the same this time around.

Usage keeps the inefficient Todd Gurley relevant in the RB2 discussions each week. Coming off his worst yardage output of the year (47 total), look for Gurley to bounce back this week as the Rams host a terrible Atlanta defense. Whether it’s Travis Kelce owning the middle of the field (8-140 in Week 13) or the unassuming Philadelphia running backs running all over them (34-198-2 combined in Week 10), the Falcons have provided little resistance. If Jeff Fisher wants to win, he will take some pressure off struggling rookie QB Jared Goff and feed Gurley more than the 11 carries he received last week.

LeGarrette Blount was my RB10 in Week 13, but Week 14 sees him fall to RB20. In a brutal matchup against the league’s best run defense (Baltimore), yards will be at a premium. Figures. Just when you started to trust a Bill Belichick backfield, you’ll realize that the wool’s been pulled over your eyes yet again.

TIER 4

32. J. Edelman/NE WR(9) BALT

33. L. Fitzgerald/ARI WR(10) @MIA

34. T. Pryor/CLE WR(11) CIN

35. G. Tate/DET WR(12) CHI

36. J. Crowder/WAS WR(13) @PHI

37. D. Baldwin/SEA WR(14) @GB

38. S. Watkins/BUF WR(15) PIT

39. M. Crabtree/OAK WR(16) @KC

40. M. Ingram/NO RB(24) @TB

At this point in the ranks, finding consistency is not easy. Julian Edelman provides some, posting three straight eight-catch games. Edelman is showing signs of becoming the reliable WR2 he was thought to be. With Rob Gronkowski lost for the year, the Pats have turned to more three-wide sets and it has benefited Edelman and the other receivers. Look for the trend to continue as the Patriots host the the vaunted run defense of the Baltimore Ravens.

Upside is what one normally lands a player in this tier. Terrelle Pryor certainly provides that. The last we saw of the Browns way back in Week 12, Pryor was torching a solid New York Giant pass defense for 131 yards on six catches. Pryor’s upside is WR1 worthy, but his horrible supporting cast makes him a big risk.

Risky upside has been a theme for Sammy Watkins’ young career. You never feel 100-percent confident starting the always-banged-up wideout, even though his upside is as high as any receiver in the game. In his third game back after from a foot injury, he’ll remind us why he was a top-five pick. The Bills will pound with their top ranked rush attack, but to keep up with the Steelers, Tyrod Taylor will need to find his star receiver.

TIER 5

41. J. Matthews/PHI WR(17) WAS

42. M. Thomas/NO WR(18) @TB

43. B. Cooks/NO WR(19) @TB

44. D. Adams/GB WR(20) SEA

45. D. Inman/SD WR(21) @CAR

46. E. Sanders/DEN WR(22) @TEN

47. D. Thomas/DEN WR(23) @TEN 

48. K. Benjamin/CAR WR(24) SD

49. D. Moncrief/IND WR(25) HOU

50. D. Booker/DEN RB(25) @TEN

A quick quip on each to end it.

Jordan Matthews is the Eagles only legit wide receiver. If healthy, he provides a higher floor than most.

Teammates Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks rank 12th and 16th, respectively, in standard scoring for receivers. Both are volatile but both have big upside in a high-powered Saints offense. Thomas only passes Cooks in my ranks because Cooks is turning into an all or nothing type along the lines of a DeSean Jackson. Great upside but scary reliability.

Davante Adams is hit or miss. With so many capable receivers in Green Bay, it’s tough to predict whose week it will be.

Dontrelle Inman gets the nod over teammate Tyrell Williams only because the latter has a torn labrum. Rivers throws for a ton of yardage so play the healthiest receiver in his offense.

From the beginning of the season, I have not been able to separate Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. With the unstable quarterback play in Denver, it’s hard to trust either player. Both still warrant WR2 consideration as their talent can win out any given week.

There are some wideouts you’d love to see in different situations, say playing with a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. Kelvin Benjamin is one of those players for me. His touchdown upside keeps him ranked even though the Panthers are waving the white flag.

Donte Moncrief has a touchdown in five straight games. Ride the train if you dare, but if he doesn’t find the endzone, his downside is downright scary.

Devontae Booker has looked terrible since taking over for injured starter C.J. Anderson. The only thing keeping him ranked is his lack of competition for carries. Kapri Bibbs was coming on but he’s done for the year so the Broncos went out and signed Justin Forsett. Forsett produced in Kubiak’s offense in their Baltimore days; look for the vet to start taking away carries from the unproductive rookie.

Goodluck in your games, thanks for reading and may the injury bug miss us all!

 

Tags : Amari CooperAntonio BrownBaldwinBrandin CooksCarlos HydeDavante AdamsDavid JohnsonDeMarco MurrayDemaryius ThomasDevonta FreeeDevonta FreemanDevontae BookerDez BryantDonte MoncriefDontrelle InmanDougDoug MartinEmmanuel SandersEzekiel Eliottfantasy footballFlex RanksFrank GoreGolden TateJamison CrowderJay AjayiJeremy HillJonathan StewartJordan Howardjordan matthewsJordy NelsonJulian EdelmanJulio JonesKelvin BenjaminLamar MillerLarry FitzgeraldLatavius MurrayLe'Veon BellLeGarrette BlountLeSean McCoyMark IngramMatt ForteMelvin GordonMichael CrabtreeMichael ThomasMike Evansodell beckhamplayer ranksRobert KelleySammy WatkinsSpencer Waret.y. hiltonTerrelle Pryortheo riddickThomas RawlsTodd Gurleyweek 14
Nicholas Ferris

The author Nicholas Ferris