2012 Fantasy Football Week 14: QB Rankings and Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIDecember 4, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass down field against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half on December 2, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City defeated Carolina 27-21. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

It’s been a tough season for fantasy owners who invested a high pick in Cam Newton. The second-year quarterback has struggled, but based on recent play he appears ready to pull out of his sophomore slump. Over the past two games Newton has 532 yards passing, five touchdown passes and zero interceptions to go with 130 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.

Granted, Newton has faced the Eagles and Chiefs while putting those numbers together. This week promises a tougher matchup as Carolina heads back home to play the Falcons. Then again, perhaps not: one of Newton’s finer performances of the season came at Atlanta, when he posted two touchdown passes and no interceptions with 86 yards rushing and a touchdown run.

What I like about Newton in recent weeks is he appears to be playing with more confidence, much like we saw from him last year. When playing well, Newton can be an elite fantasy football player; let’s keep him in the lineup.


What Did We Learn From Week 13?

One should never be disappointed with a three-touchdown effort from a quarterback, but I was a little down that Peyton Manning only had 242 yards passing in what was a shootout (on paper) against the Buccaneers. After Manning threw his three touchdowns, it was a Von Miller interception return for a touchdown that played a big hand in Manning’s sub-300 game.

With another terrific matchup against the Raiders on Thursday, Manning will remain as a top-five fantasy quarterback this week.

While Colin Kaepernick didn’t throw an interception against the Rams and ran for 84 yards, he failed to find the end zone on the ground or through the air. What Kaepernick did do was make a horrible toss back to Ted Ginn on a pitch play, which resulted in a defensive touchdown. This led to the Rams scoring their only touchdown of the game, and consequently a chance to win in overtime.

Kaepernick will make some big plays, but we have to be a little cautious about using him in the fantasy playoffs at this point. Thankfully he's playing at home against a Dolphins secondary that can be taken advantage of, though they did a respectable job last week against Tom Brady.

Unless you have another reliable option at the quarterback position, Kapernick’s upside is still worthy of placing him in the lineup.


Sean’s Week 14 Watch List

Matt Ryan has struggled to put the football in the end zone over the past month, thus he’s fallen out of the top six quarterbacks on my list for the first time this season. Playing against a suspect defense in Carolina, we should expect Ryan to rebound; then again, Carolina did a good job roughing up Ryan in their first meeting.

Hopefully the extra time off helped Julio Jones; we need to see an effort more like his Week 12 performance against the Buccaneers, rather than his game against the Saints last week.

Protection problems and a banged up receiving core keep Aaron Rodgers out of the top-five quarterbacks going forward. Expect the Packers to continue to lean on the running game and tight end Jermichael Finley in upcoming games. With Jordy Nelson nursing a bad hamstring, Green Bay needs Greg Jennings to return to his Pro Bowl form soon.

1 Tom Brady Texans
2 Peyton Manning @ Raiders
3 Drew Brees @ Giants
4 Robert Griffin III Ravens
5 Cam Newton Falcons
6 Matthew Stafford @ Packers
7 Aaron Rodgers Lions
8 Eli Manning Saints
9 Andrew Luck Titans
10 Matt Ryan @ Panthers
11 Matt Schaub @ Patriots
12 Josh Freeman Eagles
13 Andy Dalton Cowboys
14 Colin Kaepernick Dolphins
15 Carson Palmer Broncos
16 Tony Romo @ Bengals
17 Joe Flacco @ Redskins

Week 14 Standard Rankings –  RB | WR | TE | K | D |