The weekly IDP games offered here at Fantasy Throwdown are great fun for fantasy football enthusiasts, whether it’s September or December. However, at this time of year weekly play offers another benefit to fantasy owners.
In many “standard” leagues, Week 14 brings with it the beginning of the fantasy playoffs. That’s great for the teams who advanced to the postseason, but fantasy owners who struggled through a disappointing 2014 campaign are left out in the cold.
Weekly fantasy football leagues offer those fantasy freaks one final fix before the long, dark offseason sets in. It doesn’t matter that Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict couldn’t stay on the field this season, or that Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen was a massive disappointment in his first year in the Windy City.
In weekly leagues, each new week brings with it chances for redemption and/or glory (not to mention the possibility of making a few bucks).
So, whether you’re looking to shake off the funk from a season gone awry or add another “trophy” to an imaginary mantle already brimming with them, here’s a look at both the top 10 IDP plays at each position in Week 14 and some matchup plays who could afford great value late in your Fantasy Throwdown drafts.
- J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (at JAX)
- DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (vs. BUF)
- Robert Quinn – DE, STL (at WAS)
- Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. NYJ)
- Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (at TEN)
- Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (vs. BAL)
- Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (vs. KC)
- Mario Williams – DE, BUF (at DEN)
- Carlos Dunlap – DE, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Cameron Jordan – DE, NO (vs. CAR)
Desmond Bryant – DE, CLE (vs. IND)
As Matthew Florjancic of WKYC-TV reports, to hear Bryant tell it he’s been slacking of late. “I can’t speak for everybody,” Bryant said, “but our mentality, for me, I’ve come out kind of flat in the beginning of games and kind of picked it up later in the games. (I’ve) got to build that fire all week.” Bryant’s self-criticism aside, the reality is that over the past month the sixth-year veteran has quietly posted 25 total tackles, three sacks, and top-10 fantasy numbers in Fantasy Throwdown scoring.
Damontre Moore – DE, NYG (at TEN)
With defensive ends Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers both landing on injured reserve, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin conceded to Steve Serby of The New York Post that Moore will see additional playing time moving forward. “Guys who come along,” Coughlin said, “who have a chance at this point of the season to perform, to play, and they go into games and have an opportunity to participate at this level when, perhaps they had no snaps coming in before. Now they’re gonna get snaps, and they have a chance to prove their ability.” That opportunity to prove himself this week comes against a banged up Titans’ offensive line that’s had all sorts of problems protecting rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger of late.
- Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (at NO)
- DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (vs. TB)
- Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (vs. SEA)
- Chris Borland – ILB, SF (at OAK)
- Jelani Jenkins – OLB, MIA (vs. BAL)
- Lavonte David – OLB, TB (at DET)
- Paul Worrilow – iLB, ATL (at GB)
- Chad Greenway – OLB, MIN (vs. NYJ)
- Sio Moore – OLB, OAK (vs. SF)
- Bobby Wagner – MLB, SEA (at PHI)
Vincent Rey – OLB, CIN (vs. PIT)
Although the Cincinnati Bengals continue to insist that Burfict is “day-to-day,” they’ve been saying that for a month now, and Burfict now hasn’t practiced (much less played in a game) since hurting his knee in October. There are now grumblings from the Queen City that the second-year pro may not play again this year, at least in the regular season. That means that for the foreseeable future Vincent Rey is locked into an every-down role, including this Sunday against a Pittsburgh Steelers team allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to linebackers in 2014.
Avery Williamson – ILB, TEN (vs. NYG)
IDP owners who rolled Williamson out last week against the Houston Texans were left holding the bag, as despite playing every defensive snap in a favorable fantasy matchup the rookie managed only an assist and a pass defensed. It was a disappointing outing to be sure, but Week 14 sets up well as a shot at redemption for Williamson. The Titans host the New York Giants Sunday, and to this point in the 2014 season no team has allowed more fantasy points to linebackers than Big Blue.
- Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (vs. ATL)
- Charles Woodson – SS, OAK (vs. SF)
- Eric Weddle – FS, SD (vs. NE)
- Barry Church – SS, DAL (at CHI)
- Harrison Smith – FS, MIN (vs. NYJ)
- Jonathan Cyprien – SS, JAX (vs. HOU)
- Reshad Jones – SS, MIA (vs. BAL)
- James Ihedigbo – SS, DET (vs. TB)
- Kam Chancellor – SS, SEA (at PHI)
- Antrel Rolle – SS, NYG (at TEN)
Ryan Mundy – SS, CHI (vs. DAL)
Mundy is having a very similar season to the one turned in by his predecessor (Major Wright) a year ago. Much like Wright last year, Mundy has struggled from an NFL perspective, ranking 57th among safeties according to Pro Football Focus. However, much like Wright, Mundy has been solid from an IDP standpoint, ranking eighth among defensive backs in fantasy points. Mundy has thrown up big stat lines in three of the last four games, and there’s a good chance the 29-year-old makes it four weeks in five in a top-five IDP matchup with the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night.
Richard Sherman – CB, SEA (at PHI)
Sherman is the poster boy for the disconnect between “NFL good” and “IDP good” at the cornerback position. He’s a phenomenal football player, but the fact is that’s it hard to rack up fantasy points if opponents won’t throw in your direction. With that said, Sherman is coming off a two-interception effort against the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving, and no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to defensive backs in Fantasy Throwdown scoring this season than the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Gary Davenport is a Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst at Bleacher Report, a Contributing Author and Associate Editor at Football Diehards and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America. Gary’s work has been featured in a number of national print publications and on both satellite and terrestrial radio, and he was a finalist for the FSWA Web Article of the Year in 2013.