Stud – Josh Freeman (TB): Since his bye in Week 5 Freeman has thrown for multiple TD passes in seven of eight contests, proving to be one of the most consistent fantasy producers at the position. Now he faces a reeling Eagles’ pass defense that has ceded more fantasy points to QB’s over the last five weeks than any other team. Philly has allowed an average of 251 yards through the air along with 12 TD’s and no interceptions during that span.
Dud – Andy Dalton (CIN): After a three-game tear the Bengals’ signal caller came back to earth a bit in Week 13 versus San Diego. Now he’s set to face a much better Cowboys’ secondary. Dallas has allowed nine passing scores over their last three games, but for the season has fared much better. Dalton still has the potential to post solid numbers in Week 14, but I am opting to look elsewhere.
Sleeper – Matt Schaub (HOU): Schaub has passed for 1,668 yards and 13 touchdowns during Houston's six-game winning streak. He should find some success against a Patriots’ defense that gives up about 280 yards per game through the air. The Texans are going to have to keep pace with Tom Brady and that suggests more attempts than normal for Schaub. More attempts usually leads to bigger numbers.
Stud – Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG): Playing without Andre Brown (put on IR) for the first time, Bradshaw turned in his third 100-yard rushing effort of the season last week in a loss to the Redskins. The touchdown numbers are down, but with Brown out the goal line carries are to come. Rookie David Wilson was used sparingly last week, leaving the majority of the workload for Bradshaw. That bodes well in Week 14’s tilt with the Saints, who’ve allowed more fantasy points to running backs this season than any other team.
Dud – Ryan Mathews (SD): After watching Mathews finish with a season-low nine carries in last week’s loss to the Bengals, frustrated owners should move on from Mathews. There’s never been a doubt about his talent, but it hasn’t translated into fantasy production in 2012. With a matchup with the top-rated Steelers’ rushing defense on tap it’s just too risky to roll with the Chargers running back now the fantasy playoffs have started.
Sleeper – Vick Ballard (IND): With Donald Brown ruled out for Week 14 due to an ankle injury, Ballard appears to be a viable low-end RB2/flex option versus the Titans. He’ll handle the full workload for Indy and is facing a defensive unit that has ceded 22.4 fantasy points (third most in league) to running backs this year.
Stud – Pierre Garcon (WAS): Garcon may still be battling with pain, but the numbers aren’t reflecting it. Over the past two weeks he’s targeted a team-high 17 times by Robert Griffin III while tallying 12 catches for 192 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The matchup vs. the Ravens isn’t the best, but Baltimore is giving up 159.2 yards per game over their last five to wide receivers and has allowed three TD’s during that span. Start Garcon with confidence.
Dud – Jeremy Maclin (PHI): Maclin is the last man standing in Philly’s passing attack and while that has led to opportunities, it has also caused him to draw more attention from opposing defenses. His numbers of late have been steady, but not spectacular. This week’s matchup with the Bucs looks promising as they’ve allowed six TD’s to wideouts over the last four. Still, Maclin is more of a high-risk, high-reward play than a lock. If you have better and more reliable options they should be considered.
Sleeper – Chris Givens (STL): With Danny Amendola hobbled, the Rams’ rookie receiver is beginning to shine. Even if Amendola works his way back look for Givens to stay involved. He has caught 16 balls for 207 yards and a touchdown over the last two games and now gets to face a Buffalo defense that has watched wide receivers cross the goal line 15 times this year, including at least one score in three straight to the position. He has top 25 potential in Week 14, with even higher upside.
Stud – Kyle Rudolph (MIN): Rudolph made his way into the end zone for the third straight week and finished with team-high six catches and 51 yards in the Vikings’ loss at Green Bay. If you throw out his three-week stretch (Week 7-9) in the middle of the season where he disappeared in the team’s offense, Rudolph has registered 43 catches for 395 yards and eight touchdowns over eight games. He should continue to be viewed as low-end TE1 option and will continue to see increased targets with Percy Harvin remains sidelined.
Dud – Vernon Davis (SF): In two games with Colin Kaepernick under center as the 49ers’ starter Davis has totaled just two catches for 15 yards. Twice in the past six games he’s been held without a catch. Miami has only allowed two scores to tight ends all season and unless he’s gets a TD it’s hard to see Davis proving to be useful.
Sleeper – Marcedes Lewis (JAC): The Jets have only allowed tight ends 98 yards total over the last three weeks and have been one of the stingiest defenses to the position all season. However, Lewis is clearly in sync with the Jaguars’ new QB, Chad Henne. With Cecil Shorts’ status in doubt expect him to get plenty of targets in this game. He’s a low-end option, but one that does have a fair amount of upside.