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Fantasy Football: Week 14 Kicker and Defense Rankings

By
Alex Butler
Detroit Lions strong safety Tavon Wilson (32) intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for New Orleans Saints receiver Willie Snead (83) as Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson (24) looks on in the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans December 4, 2016. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Detroit Lions strong safety Tavon Wilson (32) intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for New Orleans Saints receiver Willie Snead (83) as Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson (24) looks on in the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans December 4, 2016. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A huge week from your kicker and defense could make the difference between advancing in the playoffs or getting knocked out before you can even start your run.

Fantasy football's forgotten positions at the bottom of your lineup often give teams an edge. By selecting the right defense/special teams unit and kicker, you can find those points from an unlikely source, sometimes even with a last minute pickup in free agency. One of the most important tips at this time of year for kickers is to make sure that weather conditions don't hamper their production. Oftentimes an average player kicking in a dome is a better option than a stud kicking in a blizzard.

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To help you figure out who to sit or start at the position, take a look at my top 20 defense/special teams units and top 15 kickers for Week 14. You can also view my add/drops for the week and more positional rankings in the links below.

TOP SHELF

The Minnesota Vikings travel south to face the Jacksonville Jaguars and are my top defense/special teams unit this weekend. After holding the prolific Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions defenses to fewer than 17 points in consecutive weeks, this defense is primed for another stingy showing.

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Matt Bryant is my top kicker for Week 14. The Atlanta Falcons veteran knocked through three field goals last week and has 10 successful attempts in his last four games. He can be booked for double-digit fantasy points against the Los Angeles Rams.

SNEAKY PLAYS

The Detroit Lions battle Matt Barkley and the Chicago Bears Sunday. Any defense facing Barkley is a decent option, but the Lions have not allowed more than 19 points since Week 8. The Lions have also been getting turnovers, with seven in its last three games and have scored twice in that timeframe.

Stephen Hauschka should stay busy as the Seattle Seahawks battle the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Hauschka had a huge Week 13 against the Carolina Panthers, knocking through four successful field goal attempts and four extra points. He has 11 successful field goal attempts in his last four games. I expect plenty of scoring in this Sunday matchup.

RANK NAME TEAM OPPONENT
1 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles
2 Cairo Santos Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland
3 Stephen Hauschka Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay
4 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
5 Matt Prater Detroit Lions vs. Chicago
6 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens at New England
7 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots vs. Baltimore
8 Brandon McManus Denver Broncos at Tennessee
9 Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders at Kansas City
10 Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston
11 Dustin Hopkins Washington Redskins at Philadelphia
12 Will Lutz New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay
13 Josh Lambo San Diego Chargers at Carolina
14 Caleb Sturgis Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
15 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle

LONGSHOTS

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The Kansas City Chiefs are an interesting defensive option this weekend. This exciting unit shutdown Derek Carr in its last matchup against the Oakland Raiders. This time the game is at Arrowhead Stadium. In Week 6, the Raiders managed just 10 points at home against the Chiefs. With the importance of this contest, as far as playoff implications, I expect a strong showing from the Chiefs' stellar secondary.

Matt Prater has been scorching the uprights lately. The Detroit Lions kicker has made multiple field goal attempts in six consecutive contests. He has 10 successful attempts in the last three games and hasn't missed an attempt since Week 8. Prater, who plays indoors, won't be worried by weather and should see plenty of action against the Chicago Bears this week.

RANK TEAM OPPONENT
1 Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville
2 Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland
3 Detroit Lions at Chicago
4 Denver Broncos at Tennessee
5 Arizona Cardinals at Miami
6 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland
7 Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay
8 New England Patriots vs. Baltimore
9 San Diego Chargers at Carolina
10 Miami Dolphins vs. Arizona
11 Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh
12 Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo
13 Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle
14 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
15 Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
16 Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston
17 Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles
18 New York Giants vs. Dallas
19 Houston Texans at Indianapolis
20 San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Jets
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