Fantasy Football: Week 14 wide receiver rankings

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:38 AM
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Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The first week of the fantasy football playoffs is finally here in most leagues.

You have made all of your regular season transactions and likely have a core group of players to ride with through the post season.

But you still need to make the right lineup choices, now more than ever before. You should still be aware of great matchups and players trending up in December.

My top wide receiver rankings this week includes familiar names at the top, but some matchups down the list are too good to pass up. Start your studs, regardless of matchup.

Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown is my top option for Week 14. Keenan Allen, A.J. Green, Brandin Cooks and Julio Jones round out my top five options this week at wide receiver.

Read below for brief descriptions of some of my other favorite options.

Here are my Top 50 options at the position this week.

TOP 50 WEEK 14 RANKINGS BELOW

TOP SHELF

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michale Crabtree was suspended for Week 13 for his fight with Aqib Talib, but he's active for Week 14. Crabtree is my No. 9 option, as he suits up against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game, the second-most yards and the second-most receiving scores to opposing wide receivers. While he hasn't eclipsed 100 receiving yards in a game yet this season, I expect Crabtree to score his seventh touchdown of the year against this generous AFC West unit.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has been one of fantasy football's best surprises this season. Thielen leads the Vikings in targets and ranks No. 6 in the league in that category. He also has at least five catches in 11 of 12 starts this season. This week he faces the Carolina Panthers, a unit allowing the sixth-most touchdown receptions and 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Thielen comes in as my No. 13 option, making him a low-end WR1 in larger leagues.

SNEAKY PLAYS

With Eli Manning reportedly coming back into the fold as the New York Giants' starting quarterback, the entire offense gets a slight boost. Sterling Shepard might be the biggest beneficiary of that. I have the Giants wide reciever ranked as my No. 16 option this week against a Dallas Cowboys secondary that has allowed the most receiving scores to opposing wide receivers. The Cowboys are also allowing the third-most fantasy points per game and ninth-most receiving yards to the position. Shepard is a WR2 if Manning plays.

The wait is over and Josh Gordon is officially back on the field. The Cleveland Browns wide receiver is my No. 27 option at the position in Week 14, placing him on the WR2 radar. In his first game back in several years, Gordon piled up 85 yards on just four receptions. In Week 14, he faces a Green Bay Packers secondary allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game, fifth-most receiving scores and fifth-most receiving yards to the position. Gordon is a start here and could be the best late-season pickup.

LONGSHOTS

San Francisco 49ers wide out Marquise Goodwin is already benefitting from Jimmy Garoppolo's presence at quarterback. In Week 13, Goodwin had a season-high eight receptions. He turned those catches into 99 receiving yards. Expect this duo to connect again in Week 14 against a beatable Houston Texans secondary. The Texans are tied for allowing the fifth-most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. They have also allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game and eighth-most receiving yards to the position. Goodwin is my No. 30 wide receiver for the week, making him a WR3.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills is one of those boom-or-bust type of fantasy football plays, but he has been booming lately. The Dolphins' pass catcher went off for 98 yards and a score on five catches in Week 13. In Week 11, Stills had 180 yards and a score on seven catches. This week, he gets the New England Patriots. The Patriots have improved, but are still allowing the fourth-most receiving yards and seventh-most fantasy points per game to the position. Stills comes in as my No. 32 option for Week 14, landing him on the WR3 radar.

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