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Fantasy Football 2012: Week 14 Surprise Performers

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2012 Fantasy Football Surprise Performances Week 14

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Week 14 of the 2012 NFL season featured quite a few surprises. From surprising wins to breakout performances from unlikely sources, this week provided plenty of suspense and intrigue for the fantasy football world.

Perhaps the most surprising victory of the week comes in a battle between the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a returning Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers were unable to stop a solid Chargers pass attack featuring Philip Rivers, Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander. The Dallas Cowboys were also another team to surprisingly come up with a win this week. After the tragic event involving two of their players, they were somehow able to muster a win.

Star players like Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (vs. Atlanta Falcons, 37.08 points), Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (vs. Arizona Cardinals, 30.80 points), and Steelers WR Mike Wallace (vs. Chargers, 23.20 points) had some of the top individual performances of the week. However, these elite fantasy options were obvious starts this week and weren’t necessarily surprises. Here’s a look at some surprising players at each position who had unexpected fantasy performances in Week 14.

* Fantasy points are determined by Yahoo! fantasy football default scoring settings. Players for this list are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues and ownership numbers are up to date as of Sunday, December 9. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game. Players from the Monday night matchup between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans were not considered for this list.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

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QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 381 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 27 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 31.94 points

After weeks of disappointing starts, Foles finally put up an excellent fantasy performance. Completing 32 of his 51 passes for 381 yards, he needed to be the leader of the offense due to Bryce Brown’s ineffectiveness.

Honorable mentions: Tennessee Titans’ Jake Locker (at Indianapolis Colts, 17% owned, 17.58 points), St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford (at Buffalo Bills, 21% owned, 14.66 points), Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Rams, 42% owned, 13.38 points)

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RB David Wilson, New York Giants

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RB David Wilson, New York Giants (vs. New Orleans Saints, 29% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 100 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 return touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 28.00 points

With Ahmad Bradshaw leaving the game with a knee injury, Wilson came in and dominated the Saints defense. From breaking off for some long runs to returning a kickoff 97 yards for one of his three touchdowns, he surpassed all expectations with 327 all-purpose yards. His value could certainly skyrocket depending on Bradshaw’s health situation.

Honorable mentions: Jacksonville Jaguars’ Montell Owens (vs. New York Jets 23% owned, 16.20 points), Jets’ Bilal Powell (at Jaguars, 9% owned, 13.80 points), Seahawks’ Robert Turbin (vs. Cardinals, 3% owned, 10.80 points)

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WR Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams

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WR Brandon Gibson, Rams (at Bills, 13% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 100 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 16.00 points

In the Rams’ comeback victory over the Bills, Gibson made up for his reception-less Week 13 with a big game this week. While he’s one of the Rams’ top receivers, his inconsistency from week to week make him an unreliable starting fantasy option.

Honorable mentions: Titans’ Kenny Britt (at Colts, 49% owned, 14.30 points), Eagles’ Jason Avant (at Buccaneers, 2% owned, 13.30 points), Chicago Bears’ Alshon Jeffery (at Minnesota Vikings, 9% owned, 11.70 points)

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TE Clay Harbor, Philadelphia Eagles

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TE Clay Harbor, Eagles (at Buccaneers, 0% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 52 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 11.20 points

Starting in place of the injured Brent Celek, Harbor made the most of his opportunity and caught all six of his targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. Showing good rapport with the rookie Foles, he could be an asset in deeper leagues given all the injuries on the Eagles offense.

Honorable mentions: Baltimore Ravens’ Dennis Pitta (at Washington Redskins, 25% owned, 10.60 points), Seahawks’ Anthony McCoy (vs. Cardinals, 0% owned, 10.50 points), Denver Broncos’ Joel Dreessen (at Oakland Raiders, 18% owned, 9.00 points)

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K Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

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K Steven Hauschka, Seahawks (vs. Cardinals, 5% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 3-for-3 field goals made (31, 28, 32), 7 extra points made

Fantasy points scored: 16.00 points

Just the number of extra points alone made Hauschka a solid fantasy option. Add his three field goals, all in the 28-32 yard range, and he was the top kicker of the week. This was Hauschka’s first three-field goal game since Week 5.

Honorable mentions: Broncos’ Matt Prater (at Raiders, 49% owned, 15.00 points), Cincinnati Bengals’ Josh Brown (vs. Cowboys, 0% owned, 15.00 points), Redskins’ Kai Forbath (vs. Ravens, 4% owned, 13.00 points), Panthers’ Graham Gano (vs. Falcons, 1% owned, 13.00 points)

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Cleveland Browns team defense

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Cleveland Browns team defense (vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 43% owned)

Week 14 statistics: 7 points allowed, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 return touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 17.00 points

After allowing a big 80-yard touchdown carry by Jamaal Charles, the Browns defense stopped the Chiefs’ scoring for the rest of the game. They allowed only 10 completions by quarterback Brady Quinn and had a solid rest of the game, including a return touchdown by Travis Benjamin.

Honorable mentions: Titans team defense (at Colts, 6% owned, 14.00 points), Rams team defense (at Bills, 24% owned, 13.00 points), Vikings team defense (vs. Bears, 24% owned, 13.00 points)