- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
Here's a quick-hitting recap of key performances and news from the 14th week of the NFL season, complete with in-depth fantasy analysis.
The very unlikely Viking hero: When it was announced Chester Taylor would miss Sunday's game against the Lions, most fantasy owners expected to see a lot of the promising Ciatrick Fason, who got the start. Mewelde Moore was also thought to be in line for some quality reps. But those RBs totaled only nine carries, while Artose Pinner, a career backup who had been only sporadically used in the past, surprised his former team with a career performance. The ex-Lion rushed for a shocking 125 yards and three TDs in a week when no sane fantasy owner in the land had thought of starting him. Pinner will certainly be a hot free agent addition during the upcoming week, but it will take much more than one surprisingly good performance to consider him as a real quality starter if Taylor misses any more time. The Lions were clearly not prepared to be steamrolled by Pinner, and opposing defenses will now be much more wary of him if he gets more regular work in the near future.
Standing tall: Maurice Jones-Drew is only 5-7, but his powerful lower body makes him the most unlikely goal-line runner in the NFL. In addition, his great speed marks him as a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Jones-Drew has quickly become a fine No. 2 fantasy RB in his rookie season, and his career-best performance on Sunday confirms he is a must-start option for your fantasy playoffs. Jones-Drew rushed for 166 yards and two TDs on only 15 carries. He scored on runs of 48 and 18 yards against the NFL's sorriest run defense, and even added a 93-yard kickoff return for a TD, giving a bonus to those who were brave enough to start the Jaguars' defense/special teams against the Colts. Jones-Drew now has 11 total TDs from scrimmage this season. He can score any time he touches the ball and even if he doesn't quite explode again this season, he will continue to be a regular scoring threat from short range, making him a lock for your lineup every week.
Scott analyzes the Week 14 games from a fantasy perspective.