Must start quarterbacks and sleepers along with our Week 14 Quarterback rankings.
Two rookies and a super sophomore led Week 13 in scoring for fantasy quarterbacks. Surprisingly, neither of the rookies were named Robert Griffin III. Andrew Luck had another great week, and has proved that selecting him first overall in the NFL Draft was a very wise decision. Luck threw for 391 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions this week. He had to carry the Indianapolis Colts to a come-from-behind victory, but you won't hear us complaining. The turnovers are a real concern, but it wasn't a big deal this week as the rest of his statistics covered over those flaws. Although he has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns over his last three games, the good times should keep on rolling when Luck faces the Tennessee Titans this week.
The real surprise was Russell Wilson torching a very strong Chicago Bears defense and leading the Seattle Seahawks to an important playoff race victory. Wilson passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns with 71 rushing yards. He made good use of all of his receivers and has now passed for multiple touchdowns in five straight games. Wilson has also been very careful to avoid turnovers. He has not been picked off in four straight games.
The real Cam Newton has finally shown up in back-to-back games, perhaps a little late for those of us who gave up on him earlier in the season. Newton threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns with 78 yards rushing. His last two opponents have not been world beaters, but nonetheless, Newton is looking like his 2011 self. This was the first time this season that Newton threw three touchdowns in a game. I wouldn't be afraid to start him against the Atlanta Falcons this week. He scored his second highest total for points in a game this season against Atlanta in Week 4.
With the playoffs starting in many leagues this week, here are your top five fantasy quarterback must-starts:
1. Peyton Manning at Oakland - Manning torched the Raiders for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in their first matchup. I can see him doing more of the same this week. The Raiders defense have been Swiss cheese for many passing attacks this season. With this being a Thursday night game, it will be a great way to start your first fantasy playoff game.
2. Tom Brady vs. Houston - This game means a lot in regards to AFC playoff seeds. New England can make up some ground with a win. Brady didn't have a good game against the Miami Dolphins last week, but I expect him to bounce back. Houston gave up over 300 yards passing to the Titans, so why couldn't Brady easily do the same?
3. Aaron Rodgers vs. Detroit - Rodgers hasn't been scoring a lot of fantasy points as of late, but that could change now that the Green Bay Packers have the NFC North lead. Green Bay will want to play at least one playoff game at home. Hopefully for fantasy owners, this game will turn into a shootout between Matthew Stafford and Rodgers.
4. Drew Brees at New York Giants - Brees will try to start a new passing touchdown streak this week. He and the New Orleans Saints have had extra time to rest and prepare for this game, while the Giants will have a short week after playing on Monday night. Brees will have to play big to keep the Saints' slim playoff hopes alive.
5. Matt Ryan at Carolina - The Falcons want home field advantage and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. To achieve that they must keep winning. Ryan has also had a few extra days of rest and preparation, so expect a fresh passing offense to face the Carolina Panthers.
My predictions for sleeper quarterbacks for Week 14:
Russell Wilson, Seahawks - Wilson first NFL start came on the road in a Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He has come a long way since then, and should be able to build off his highest scoring game of the year last week. Remember, Wilson has had five straight multiple passing touchdown games.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers- The 49ers are sticking with Kaepernick at quarterback, and that's good news. His rushing ability increases his value as a fantasy quarterback, and his matchup this week against Miami is a positive.
Chad Henne, Jaguars- Jacksonville's running backs keep getting injured, which puts more of the offensive load on Henne and the passing game. His stats were not very good last week because of the weather. Look for a rebound against the lackluster New York Jets.
Robert Griffin III