By Mike Cannici
Sam Bradford vs. SF- He’s got a great matchup and last week became just the fourth rookie in NFL history to throw for 3,000 yards. Only the Cowboys have allowed more fantasy points to Quarterbacks over the past four weeks and at home, in a game that could decide the division, Bradford will step up and have a big game to guide his Rams to the playoffs.
Matt Schaub @ DEN – The Broncos have been solid over the past few weeks against the pass, but overall have allowed the 3rd most points to opposing quarterbacks and haven’t faced a passing attack like the Texans over this recent good stretch. Schaub and Andre Johnson should hook up at least for two scores in this game so start both with confidence in your Super Bowl, you won’t be disappointed.
Josh Freeman vs. SEA- Freeman hasn’t been great but he’s been solid throughout the season and faces the 7th worst defense against QB’s and has allowed at least 20 points to QB’s in seven of the last eight weeks. He’s got big Mike Williams to throw too as well as fellow rookie Arrelious Benn who is starting to come into his own. This is going to be a nice offense to watch develop over the next few years with this young talent. He’s not a bad option to replace Big Ben for your championship week, trust me.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. BUF- BJGE has been great throughout most of this season and especially of late against some pretty good defenses. He has posted double digit points in 5 of his last 6 as well as scoring six touchdowns in that same span. The Bills allow the sixth most points to fantasy backs and BenJarvus is a solid RB2 this week.
LaGarette Blount vs. SEA- Blount had a solid game last week totaling 110 yards on 15 touches and a touchdown. This week he gets an equally bad rush defense as he did last week and who has also allowed at least 20 fantasy points in five of their last six games. Blount is a rock solid RB2 against the Seahawks.
Anthony Dixon/Brian Westbrook @ STL- Neither has been great since Frank Gore went down but both have solid matchups this week and are pretty good flex options. The Rams have allowed 80 fantasy points over the last three weeks to running backs and I can definitely see these two going for double digit points each. You could do worse at your flex spot than these two. I like Dixon a little better in TD heavy leagues and Westbrook in PPR leagues.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. DAL- Fitzgerald is a legit option as a high end WR2 this week and has had at least 60 yards receiving in 7 of the last eight games. Nobody has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers over the last three weeks, and that my friend’s has vaulted them to the WORST fantasy defense against wideouts over the Texans who have held that title for the previous 15 weeks, Congrats Cowboys. Start Fitz with confidence this week.
Dwayne Bowe vs. TEN- Bowe has struggled recently but the Titans have allowed 50 + points to receivers over the last two weeks and the Chiefs get this defense at home where Bowe and Cassel should thrive in a big game for them. Bowe is a solid WR2 who very easily could post WR1 numbers.
Brandon Lloyd vs. HOU- Lloyd had been quiet in weeks 13 and 14 but came back to life against the Raiders in week 15 with rookie Tim Tebow under center. Lloyd finished with 4 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. He was the only receiver who held his value with the change at QB and Lloyd looks to be a solid WR2 at home against the league’s second worst pass defense. He’s a must start in your championship.
Carson Palmer vs. SD- The Chargers are the best fantasy defense against opposing QB’s and Palmer will be without T.O. and OchoCinco reportedly will only play about half the snaps Sunday, so with all that stacked against him, Palmer is a guy you want nowhere near your starting lineup.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. CAR- The Panthers are just 2-12 on the season but their pass defense has been surprisingly good. They allow the 3rd lowest points to opposing QB’s and have allowed just 33 total over the past three weeks. Big Ben won’t have a horrific game, I just think that you can probably do a little better for your championship week as he hasn’t been great as of late anyway.
Brandon Jackson vs. NYG- The Giants have been stout against the run over the first 15 weeks but just amazing over the past three. The last three weeks against LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart and Keiland Wiliams/James Davis have allowed just 40 points combined to running backs. The Vikes and Skins’ aren’t the most prolific offenses but it does tell you something, plus with Aaron Rodgers coming back, I imagine the Pack will get back to being a pass first team.
LaDainian Tomlinson/Shonn Greene @ CHI- These guys got a little bit going on the ground last week against the league’s best run defense, but by basically splitting touches, they almost completely destroy each other’s value. The Bears are also very good against the run, especially at home so if your roster allows it, keep these guys on your bench.
OchoCinco vs. SD- Not only are they facing the league’s best pass defense, but Ocho will also be limited to about 50% of snaps because of bone spurs in his ankle. So with all those issues, he’s a must sit for your fantasy super bowl.
Anquan Boldin @ CLE- Another guy who throughout his career was a must start week in and out, is now a must sit especially going against a Browns defense who allows the eight fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Boldin has also done little to nothing through most of the season and will likely be lined up against Rookie Joe Haden who is becoming a superstar before our eyes.
Miles Austin @ ARI- Austin is another guy who hasn’t done too much lately, especially for those of us in PPR league’s where early in the season as well as last, were basking in the glory that was Mr. Austin. He’s got just 12 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown over the last four weeks and the Cards surprisingly have allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers over the last three weeks and he is likely to be blanketed by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who has really stepped his game up as of late.