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Week 14 Risers & Fallers Analysis for Fantasy Football

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are reading this article, it likely means that you have clinched a spot in your fantasy football playoffs. Congratulations! If for some reason you are reading this and you have been eliminated from your league's contention, you must really enjoy reading about fantasy football. But hey, more power to you!

Now that you are in playoff mode, it's do-or-die time for your fantasy team. It doesn't matter where you drafted a player or if he gave you an awesome four-week run in the middle of the season. None of that stuff matters now. You can only look at Week 14 and put your best lineup forward to win for this week. Don't worry about weeks 15 and 16-- you won't get there if you don't win now.

With that said, here are your Week 14 risers and fallers. Good luck with your fantasy football lineup and playoff matchups in Week 14, RotoBallers!


Fantasy Football Risers -- Stock Up

Latavius Murray, RB -- Oakland Raiders

Murray broke out on Thursday Night Football against the Chiefs two weeks ago, scoring twice, including a 90-yard TD run. But after he left the game early with a concussion, everyone kind of forgot about him last week, especially since he was ruled out for Sunday's game at St. Louis. Well, the Raiders went on to lose 52-0 to the Rams, and Murray has already been cleared to play Sunday against Bay Area rival San Francisco. The Niners have allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances, so I like Murray to pick up where he left off two Thursdays ago (minus the concussion).


Marion Grice, RB -- Arizona Cardinals

If Andre Ellington didn't cost you a playoff spot with his awful performance in Week 13, then you must look to add Marion Grice immediately, if not sooner. Ellington seems very questionable to play this week with a hip pointer. News has already come out that he won't practice at all and will be a game-time decision for Sunday. The fact that they are already ruling out practice this early in the week does not bode well for Ellington's chances to play, in my mind. Grice would likely be next up for significant carries for the Cardinals. He had a good preseason with San Diego and can catch the ball out of the backfield (three catches on Sunday vs. Atlanta).


Kenny Stills, WR -- New Orleans Saints

I wrote about Stills back in Week 12 as a good guy to add, and I hope you listened, as he sure hasn't disappointed the past two weeks. He has 13 catches for 260 yards and a score over that span, and is a must-add if he is still available on your waiver wire. The Saints have a juicy home matchup against a soft Carolina secondary that's 23rd in the league in fantasy points allowed to WR.


Jarvis Landry, WR -- Miami Dolphins

Landry has quietly been very solid in this, his rookie season. In fact, I might prefer him to Mike Wallace in PPR leagues at this point in the year (probably not in standard leagues). Since Miami's Week 5 bye, Landry has failed to catch four passes in a game just one time (when he caught three) and has more touchdowns since the bye than Wallace does.  Both guys are very good plays in Week 14, as they get to face the Ravens' 31st ranked pass defense that just allowed 140 receiving yards and two scores to Keenan Allen (who I also recommended last week as a must start against the same Ravens'defense).


 Antonio Gates, TE -- San Diego Chargers

After a three game slump where Gates didn't eclipse more than 32 yards receiving or find the endzone, Philip Rivers connected with him seven times for 83 yards in the Chargers' comeback win in Baltimore. San Diego now goes home to face New England, who is 25th in the league in defending the TE position, and for what should be a fairly high-scoring game against the Patriots. Gates has definitely lost a step, but he's still one of the better TE options in the league, especially when the Chargers offense is rolling like it was on Sunday.


Fantasy Football Fallers -- Stock Down

Alfred Blue, RB -- Houston Texans

With Arian Foster back and seemingly healthy, Blue saw just seven carries and totaled six yards on Sunday. After a several-week stretch where Blue was a good play at the RB2/FLEX spot, it's clear he should be safely relegated to your bench, though I wouldn't drop him because there's always a chance of a Foster re-injury, in which case Blue would become very valuable if you should advance further in your playoffs.


Ronnie Hillman, RB -- Denver Broncos  

After Montee Ball's injury at the beginning of the season, Hillman ran very well and supplanted Ball as the starter in the Denver backfield. Now, the merry-go-round continues, as it appears that CJ Anderson has displaced Hillman as the starter moving forward. Anderson has run extremely effectively the past three weeks, and I imagine it would be difficult for the Broncos to go away from Anderson when Hillman comes back. He should still see some carries, but don't expect Weeks 6-10 type of stats.


Steve Smith, WR -- Baltimore Ravens

All of the production Steve Smith was seeing the first six weeks of the season has now shifted over to the other pass-catching Smith (Torrey). With just one touchdown since Week 6 and coming off a one-catch, two-yard performance against San Diego, it's hard to trust Smith, Sr. right now. The Ravens also have a tough match against a good Miami defense this Sunday that is 11th-best in the league in defending the WR position.


Vincent Jackson, WR -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jackson has always been a hit-or-miss fantasy option, but this season it's been much more miss than hit. He's simply too risky of an option with your fantasy life at stake. Of course, it's not all his fault. The Tampa Bay QB situation has been disastrous most of the year, and Mike Evans has emerged to be a legit option which has taken away targets for Jackson. But if you play V-Jax, you would be hoping he scores a touchdown and, since he hasn't found the endzone since Week 4, I'll stay away, especially considering the very tough matchup against Detroit.


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