First off, we'd like to thank everyone who made the inaugural week of our FanDuel fantasy football league a success. Congratulations to 'thdarragh', who hung on to win the week and pocketed a cool $200.
Want the opportunity to do the same? Click here to join the league and pick your best roster on a $60,000 budget.
The first-place winner will receive $100. Second place gets $30, and third receives $15. The entry fee is $5.
You'll be competing against us and other readers. We've listed our picks below to help give you an edge. In addition, we will be posting a recap each Tuesday that will include an announcement of the weekly winners and a scoreboard with reader rankings.
It's a $60K salary cap league, in which all players are available to every team. And you make picks on a weekly basis. Thursday night players are not included, so all of you salivating over Peyton Manning's matchup against the Titans will have to look elsewhere.
Again, just click here to get started.
Fresh off his four-touchdown dissection of the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady goes up against the actual best defense in the NFL - the Chicago Bears. No one expected his performance last week, but can he do it again? We wouldn't bet against it. One thing we know is Brady is not sweating Brian Urlacher and Co. With the Patriots' offense running at full efficiency, the only thing he apparently has to worry about is a little balding.
Here's the full list of our bargains and busts for Week 14:
Week 14 Bargains
QB - Joe Flacco (BAL@HOU) - $7,000
Flacco put up 14.14 points against a tough Steelers defense last week. The Texans, on the other hand, were thrashed by Michael Vick and the Eagles. Flacco isn't generally a safe play in this league, and usually a backup in most standard leagues. But against a Houston secondary that is allowing the most pass yards in the league, he should at least be worth the $7,000 you'll have to shell out for his services, and he has a real chance to light up the scoreboard.
RB - James Starks (GB@DET) - $5,300
Starks made his NFL debut last week for the Packers and it was a good one. The rookie halfback rushed for 73 yards in Green Bay's 34-16 win over the 49ers. After a solid performance, it looks like Starks will see more carries, and against a Lions defense that is ranked 25th against the run, he could break out for a big game. Couple that with the fact that the Packers could jump out to a quick lead, giving Starks more carries as the they try to burn the clock, and the sixth-round pick out of Buffalo should be worth all $5,300 dollars he'll cost you.
WR - Hines Ward (CIN@PIT) - $5,300
The Bengals' defense has allowed some receivers to have big games recently (see Stevie Johnson and his 3 TDs in Week 11) and Ward, who is having a quiet season, could be due. Ben Roethlisberger targeted Ward six times when these two AFC North teams played in Week 9, but they only connected three times for 10 yards. Look for Ward to have a better game this week, especially if Big Ben continues to target him.
TE - Brent Celek (PHI@DAL) - $5,200
Celek and Vick have begun to find a rhythm, and the increase in production for Celek is proof that he has found his niche in the Birds' revamped offense. Celek could find himself being targeted more and more as defensive coordinators continue to drop the safeties back to prevent Vick from going deep. Against a Cowboys team that ranks 28th in the league in pass defense, look for Celek to get his this weekend.
K - Shayne Graham (NE@CHI) - $5,000
Against a pesky Bears defense, the Patriots could find themselves struggling to get in the end zone. While field goals may not necessarily win the game for New England, it could be the difference between winning $100 dollars, or nothing at all. His low price will allow for you to spend a little extra on higher scoring positions.
D - San Diego Chargers (KC@SD) - $6,200
The big question here is Matt Cassel. The Chiefs quarterback underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday, and although the team believes he is 50-50, I highly doubt he will play. Patients who get this type of surgery are told not to participate in any physical activity for three-to-five days. Playing quarterback in the NFL is not normal physical activity, and even in the best-case scenario, I can't see him being ready. If he doesn't play, Brodie Croyle will start for the Chiefs, and the Chargers' defense could be in line for a big game.
Week 14 Busts
QB - Matt Schaub (BAL@HOU) - $7,800
Schaub has taken a backseat to Arian Foster in the Houston offense, and as a result isn't putting up the eye-popping numbers of last year. Still, he's been an effective fantasy quarterback, just not an effective real-life quarterback. This week, Schaub faces a Baltimore defense that broke and bloodied Roethlisberger last week, only to allow the game to slip away late. Expect Ray Lewis and the gang to take their disappointment out on Schaub.
RB - Steven Jackson (STL@NO) - $8,000
This pick is pretty much guaranteeing Jackson will run for over 100 yards at the very least. Michael Turner and Maurice Jones-Drew, our picks at running back the last two weeks, did just that. We'll get it right eventually, though - starting with Jackson this week against New Orleans.
WR - Dwayne Bowe (KC@SD) - $8,900
Red flags surround the most expensive receiver of the week. First, it was a no-catch performance against the Broncos last week. Now, it is the news that Cassel could miss Sunday's game. Do you really want to take the chance that Croyle will be throwing ducks Bowe's way?
TE - Marcedes Lewis (OAK@JAC) - $5,700
Lewis is still one of fantasy's most productive tight ends, but at what cost? This week he is the sixth most expensive player at his position, while averaging only a few points more than those below him. At tight end, it's better to go with the sure thing or save a few bucks. In Lewis' case, save the money.
K - Dan Carpenter (MIA@NYJ) - $6,800
Why is this guy still one of the priciest kickers? Carpenter has a couple factors going against him, and they don't have much to do with his ability. The Dolphins' offense isn't very good, Carpenter often has to kick from long distances, and he doesn't get the opportunity to kick PATs often. Spend your kicker money elsewhere.
DEF - Minnesota Vikings (NYG@MIN) - $6,500
The Vikings forced five turnovers in their win over the Bills, allowing only a garbage-time touchdown. This week, however, they face Eli Manning and the Giants' offense. Running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are coming off a four-combined touchdown week, having run for over 200 yards against the Redskins. The Vikings will have their hands full with this duo.
Our Week 14 Roster
Like we said earlier, this week is all about the matchups. We took that to heart in selecting our team, taking the opportunity to snag both Greg Jennings (at Detroit) and Roddy White (at Carolina) and hoping to hit on Joe Flacco (at Houston) as a lower-priced quarterback.
Peyton Hillis didn't help us a whole lot last week, but it's really the only game this season in which he's been quiet. Adrian Peterson ran all over Buffalo last week, and we're betting on Hillis to do the same.
QB - Joe Flacco (BAL@HOU) - $7,000
RB - Peyton Hillis (CLE@BUF) - $8,500
RB - LeSean McCoy (PHI@DAL) - $7,800
WR - Greg Jennings (GB@DET) - $8,800
WR - Roddy White (ATL@CAR) - $7,600
WR - Jacoby Ford (OAK@JAC) - $4,300
TE - Tony Moeaki (KC@SD) - $4,900
K - Ryan Longwell (NYG@MIN) - $4,900
D - San Diego Chargers (KC@SD) - $6,200
Salary cap remaining: $0
Don't forget to sign up and join our league by clicking here. Rosters must be submitted before 1 p.m. on Sunday. Good luck.
Andrew O'Brien works on the sports desk at philly.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.