Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 11/8/14

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 8: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass against the San Diego Chargers at Giants Stadium on November 8, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Chargers defeated the Giants 21-20. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Welcome to the fantasy playoffs, where the rules aren’t exactly made up, but your regular season record doesn’t matter! For those of you that made the playoffs in your leagues, best of luck and may the fantasy football gods look favorably upon you. Start ‘Em Eli Manning looks to take advantage of the Saints’ poor secondary this week. (Credit: Tim Heitman/US Presswire) Eli Manning, Giants (vs. New Orleans) – Eli has struggled this year, as he’s currently sitting 17th in the quarterback fantasy rankings, and he draws the Saints in the first round of the playoffs. While earlier in the season the Saints were a goldmine of fantasy points for quarterbacks, they have been getting more stout over the last 3 weeks, allowing just 15 points per game. Eli has been much better since the Giants’ bye, throwing 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in those two games. Expect a solid performance this week as well. Tom Brady, New England (vs. Houston) – Brady usually isn’t a guy I put in this section because if you own him, you’re definitely not going to leave him on your bench. But surely you didn’t draft Brady for his playoff schedule, as he has Houston this week and then San Francisco next week. Ouch. Fortunately, both of those teams are stronger against the run than the pass, and Tom Brady is more than capable of throwing this Patriots team on his back. Even with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman out, you know Brady will find a way to get his points. Just temper your expectations. Drew Brees, New Orleans (@ New York Giants) – Eek, what was that last week from Brees (341 yards, 5 picks against Atlanta)? Since Brees has been one of the very best quarterbacks all year, living up to his first or second round draft grade, he deserves a mulligan for that awful performance in Week 13. Going up against the Giants should be business as usual for Brees this week. Cam Newton has been channeling his inner Superman the last two weeks. (Credit: Associated Press/Rainier Ehrhardt) Cam Newton, Carolina (vs. Atlanta) – There could not be a better time for Cam Newton to start heating up. In his last two games, Newton has combined for an insane 9 touchdowns, including 4 on the ground. How convenient, then, that Newton faces the Falcons this week, against whom he racked up 215 passing yards and 2 touchdowns in addition to 86 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Even against a Falcons team that hasn’t given up a passing touchdown since Week 10, I think Newton will be able to find the end zone by air or by ground. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (vs. Philadelphia) – One definition of the word “mess” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition”. That seems to pretty accurately depict the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense of late, which got destroyed in consecutive weeks by Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton, and then let Tony Romo put up 303 yards and 3 scores. Freeman hasn’t been extremely hot lately, and the playoffs are not the time to get cute with your lineup. But in deeper (12+ teams) leagues, Freeman is undoubtedly a starter and will serve your team well in the playoffs. Sit ‘Em Matthew Stafford, Detroit (@ Green Bay) – I’ve been fairly critical of Stafford this season, as he’s been a regular in the Sit ‘Em section. But this really has been a very inconsistent year for a guy who posted over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns last year. Turnovers have been a problem seemingly every week, and in Stafford’s first meeting with the Packers he had 1 touchdown to 3 turnovers and just 266 yards. Out on Lambeau Field in December, I certainly wouldn’t expect Stafford to do better than that. Tony Romo runs into a stiff Bengals pass defense this week. (Credit: Tim Heitman/US Presswire) Tony Romo, Dallas (@ Cincinnati) – Romo has been much improved of late, posting at least 25 standard fantasy points in both of his last 2 games. But Cincinnati’s pass defense is extremely hot, having given up 224 yards passing per game and just 4 touchdowns over the last 5 games. Plus with DeMarco Murray back in the lineup, the Cowboys could try to focus on reestablishing their running game against a Bengals team that is 18th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Follow us on Twitter @DownandDistance Down and Distance Columnist - Joe Ray @jpray_SKThe post In the Shotgun: Top Fantasy Quarterbacks for Week 14 appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.
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