I'm calling week 14 the "block party" as three of my four highest grades players are offensive linemen. Eric Fisher finally put a game together worthy of his draft status, and Kyle Long and Travis Frederick both had monster games against each other on Monday night. The only non offensive lineman in the top four this week is Cordarrelle Patterson, who finally made a splash in the passing game and was robbed by Joe Flacco of a game winning touchdown. The updated rankings are below.
1. Sheldon Richardson, DE for the Jets, originally drafted 13th: Not his best week as he had just 2 tackles and was mediocre rushing the passer, but he was impressive again against the run. Regardless of how he plays the last three weeks, his lead is so big in the master formula that he will end the season #1 in the standings.
2. Alec Ogletree, LB of Rams, originally drafted 30th: Out of nowhere he shoots back up three spots all the way to #2. He had 9 tackles, 2 for a loss, a sack, and was one of the only Rams players to show up in this game. He continues to have a monster season posting astronomical tackle numbers for a rookie.
3. Kenny Vaccaro, S of Saints, originally drafted 15th: He's up a spot and keeps getting better and better with each passing week. He's basically a nickel cover guy at this point, and his coverage in the slot continues to be exceptionally good. Cam Newton couldn't do anything against the Saints' pass defense. Playing nickel also allows him to be closer to the line of scrimmage where he can take advantage of his physical nature. He helps immensely both against the pass and run and he's already a huge part of the Saints' defense. This week he had 7 tackles and showed tremendous versatility.
4. Eric Reid, S of 49ers, originally drafted 18th: He drops a spot for the second consecutive week, but he's still having a great season. He had 5 tackles and helped the 9ers' D shut down the Seahawks.
5. Star Lotulelei, DT of Panthers, originally drafted 14th: He drops three spots this week and essentially flipped with Ogletree. Spots 2 through 5 are very contested as they are all extremely close in score. He had 2 tackles and one for a loss. While he was very good against the run as always, he was a non factor rushing up the middle on pass plays. Drew Brees had way too much time to throw and step into a clean pocket against the Panthers.
6. Desmond Trufant, CB of Falcons, originally drafted 22nd: He played fine with 5 tackles, including one for a loss... but man that was another heartbreaking loss for the Falcons. They find ways to do it each and every week, the exact opposite of last season. Trufant remains a fantastic piece for the future, though.
7. Travis Frederick, C of Cowboys, originally drafted 31st: The Bears have given up consecutive 100 yard rushers like it's their job, and while the Cowboys defense is actually even worse than that of the Bears, Frederick took advantage of a favorable matchup to absolutely maul the interior. One of his best games of the season. He's up one spot.
8. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR of Vikings, originally drafted 29th: We knew he was explosive and we knew he could return kicks. In fact, he had another good one go 42 yards. And we knew the Vikings would try to find ways to get him the ball, as he took a reverse 6 yards. But he finally made a big splash in the passing game, suggesting that perhaps the light is starting to come on. He is up one spot thanks to a monster performance of 5 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. His 79 yard score with under a minute left looked to be the game winner until Joe Flacco found a way to drive his team down and score. Another gut wretching defeat for the Vikings, but Patterson was without question the silver lining.
9. Ziggy Ansah, DE/LB of the Lions, originally drafted 5th: He had 3 tackles and one for a loss, but he's down two spots as his pass rushing was a non factor. Given the brutal snow conditions it was very hard to plant and get after the passer. That was without question a major disadvantage to Ansah's strengths as a player.
10. DeAndre Hopkins, WR of Texans, originally drafted 27th: He had 3 catches for 76 yards and seems to be making more plays lately which is a good sign. He was penalized once as well.
11. Barkevious Mingo, LB of Browns, originally drafted 6th: He's up a spot after having one of his better games in a while. He had 4 tackles and a sack.
12. Xavier Rhodes, CB of the Vikings, originally drafted 25th: He's up three spots and his rise continues. After starting the season so poorly, he's clearly been a top 5 1st round draft pick for the last month. This week his defended another 3 passes and had 3 tackles to go with it. His coverage is largely excellent.
13. Tyler Eifert, TE of Bengals, originally drafted 21st: Down two spots, his achilles heel remains his blocking. If he wants to see more time on the field he's going to need to improve that. He did contribute 3 catches for 20 yards.
14. Tavon Austin, WR of Rams, originally drafted 8th: I mentioned that Olgetree was one of the only Ram players to show up, but I count Austin in there too. He had one big play which was a 56 yard reverse, and he's getting more consistent at making the weekly explosive plays. Otherwise he had a catch for 9 yards and did a decent job returning, but he tweaked his ankle and is listed as "day to day".
15. Matt Elam, S of Ravens, originally drafted 32nd: He's down two spots. He did have 3 tackles and a fumble recovery, but he was bad against the run, poor tackling, and suspect on the back end. Not one of his better games, especially when you consider that Patterson touchdown late.
16. Lane Johnson, T of the Eagles, originally drafted 4th: He played well but gets an assist from the weather conditions. The Lions have a scary pass rush and the snow helped neutralize them. Still, Johnson held his ground.
17. Kyle Long, G of Bears, originally drafted 20th: He's up 3 spots thanks to a dominant Monday Night performance, clearly his best game of the season. Whether it was a pass or a run, Long demolished anyone in his way. A very impressive game to build off of, but we must consider the degree of difficulty as the Cowboys are currently one of the worst defenses I have ever witnessed.
18. Justin Pugh, G/T of the Giants, originally drafted 19th: He played reasonably well this week, no major mistakes.
19. Sharrif Floyd, DT of Vikings, originally drafted 23rd: He struggled overall but had 2 tackles, one for a loss, and did rush the passer a little bit at times. Not a major contribution by any means in the loss. He's down a spot.
20. Dion Jordan, DE of Dolphins, originally drafted 3rd: He remains a huge disappointment. He had 2 tackles and his utter lack of a pass rush continues. He's down a spot.
21. Chance Warmack, G of the Titans, originally drafted 10th: He's up a spot for the second straight week and is climbing the rankings a little bit by stringing together some steady performances. He was a force run blocking in this one, but he was also penalized once.
22. Jarvis Jones, LB of the Steelers, originally drafted 17th: He had 2 tackles and continues to be quiet each week. He's not giving the Steelers' defense much at all this season.
23. D. J. Fluker, T of Chargers, originally drafted 11th: For the second consecutive week his play was a disaster, which again makes me wonder if he's healthy enough to be out there. He's clearly the weak link on the Chargers' o-line right now. He gave up 2 sacks.
24. Eric Fisher, T of Chiefs, originally drafted 1st: He's up three spots thanks to being the highest graded 1st round pick rookie for the week. Finally a game that maybe supports what the Chiefs saw in him! He was dominant in all phases and played a fantatic game top to bottom. Hopefully he's turning a corner.
25. Datone Jones, DE of Packers, originally drafted 26th: Down a spot, frankly I'm surprised he's this high based on how he's played this year. He had 1 tackle and barely played. Clearly he's nothing more than a rotation breather guy right now.
26. Dee Milliner, CB of Jets, CB of Jets, originally drafted 8th: Unfairly down a spot due to Fisher's big week, this was one of Milliner's steadier performances this season. He had 2 tackles and was much improved in coverage.
27. E. J. Manuel, QB of Bills, originally drafted 16th: Disaster game for Manuel, by far his worst. He was 18 for 33 for 184 yards, sacked 7 times, intercepted 4 times and led his offense to just 6 points against the Bucs. He did lead his team in rushing yards with 29, though, so there's that. This game was the kind that seriously makes you question if this kid has any future in the league. Between the poor play and the injuries, it's been a rough season for him. There have been glimpses of potential, though, just none this week.
28. D. J. Hayden, CB of the Raiders, originally drafted 12th: He's holding strong at 28 for now despite being on IR.
29. Bjoern Werner, DE/LB of Colts, originally drafted 24th: He moved up a spot out of the bottom 3 ranks with one of his better games this year. That's not saying much. He had 2 tackles and a defended pass.
30. Sylvester Williams, DT of Broncos, originally drafted: He did nothing. Played sparingly and when he was in it wasn't impressive. Poor pick by the Broncos in my estimation. He's down a spot.
31. Luke Joeckel, T of the Jaguars, originally drafted 2nd: Out for the year with an injury.
32. Jonathan Cooper, T of Cardinals, originally drafted 7th: Due to a season long injury, he will occupy this spot all season.