Fantasy Football Week 14 Projections: Marion Barber and Fill-in Studs to Bank on

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIDecember 11, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04:  Marion Barber #24 of the Chicago Bears hits the hole and runs against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This time of the year, finding a nice replacement is valuable in fantasy leagues. Players are banged up, which makes nice waiver wire claims important. 

None of these guys top their team's depth chart, but it doesn't matter. The backs that hold those honors aren't in action this week. 

As a result, they will bring a lot of fantasy value to owners who are fortunate enough to have them on the team.


Marion Barber III

Barber's always been a nice touchdown vulture to go to. Depending on what side of the matchup they are on, those are either wonderful or annoying. But with Matt Forte out, Barber will have to carry more of the load.

This is especially true given how poorly Caleb Hanie has thrown the ball for the team. The Bears just can't drop back and chuck the ball around with Forte out.

That's why guys like Barber are so valuable in the NFL. His NFL value will translate to fantasy value this week against Denver.

Michael Bush

If the Raiders are going to be close against the Packers, they will need to run the ball. With Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense on the field, Oakland will have no chance.

With Darren McFadden out, Bush is the best rusher on the team. He doesn't have McFadden's big-play burst, but is otherwise a strong all-around back. If you need more proof of that, look at his six touchdowns on the 2011 season. 

Green Bay is undefeated, but their defense is far from a stellar unit. Bush is one of a few Raiders players that will have a nice fantasy day, even if the team loses.

Pierre Thomas

The Saints' Official Injury Report has Mark Ingram out. This is the last game that the Saints will play outdoors this season. Against the Titans, they will have to do some running. 

With Ingram out of action, Thomas is the best rusher on the team. Darren Sproles is a better overall back, but his value is primarily as a pass catcher. The Saints will need to run the ball more than usual in this one. That benefits Thomas. 

Also note that Thomas has had several good games this season. In his time there, he's earned the trust of Drew Brees. That's a valuable thing for a backup back to have when his starter is out of action.