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If your team(s) have made it this far, they are most likely stacked with talent so some tough decisions will have to be made. As always I try to leave the obvious selections out and focus on those tough decisions. Feel free to hit me up @FantasySavvy on twitter with any questions you may have. Congratulations on a terrific season thus far and I hope all of you finish the season off strong.
You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.
*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.
Colin Kaepernick @ New England
Kaepernick hasn’t thrown a TD the last two weeks, but he’s rushed for 130 yards including a TD. While the rushing stats should be expected once again, the passing numbers should increase as well. There is no doubt the 49ers will be passing more than usual as they line up against the Patriots, trying to keep pace with their offense and looking to exploit their pass defense. I expect Kaep to deliver for Fantasy Owners and finish with over 300 total yards with at least 2 TD’s.
Josh Freeman @ New Orleans
Freeman has cooled off after his mid-season surge and really hasn’t played all that well, but the matchup this week is too good to pass up. The Saints are still allowing the most points to QB’s and Freeman still has Vincent Jackson. Look for Freeman to put up close to 300 yards passing with at least two TD’s.
Carson Palmer vs Kansas City
If Palmer can throw for 273 and 2 TD’s against Denver, then he can do the same if not better vs Kansas City. Palmer can hurt you by throwing terrible interceptions, but he still seems to get the numbers every week. Brandon Myers, Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey should all get into the mix and Palmer will finish with a fairly solid day.
Nick Foles vs Cincinnati
Foles played pretty well last week, leading the Eagles to a come behind victory against Tampa, but the matchup is extremely rough this week. The Bengals defensive line vs the Eagles offensive line? The Bengals haven’t allowed a Fantasy QB to score over 20 points for five straight weeks now, so leave Foles out of consideration.
Joe Flacco vs Denver
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is now gone, but this is still the same Joe Flacco. The only thing that might change now is that Ray Rice will get the ball more often. Yes, Flacco did throw for 3 TD’s last week, but that was against the Skins and their horrid secondary. Flacco hasn’t been over 200 yards passing the last two weeks however and most definitely can not be trusted against Denver and Champ Bailey.
Tony Romo vs Pittsburgh
Romo gets another tough matchup against the Steelers and might have to face them without Dez Bryant. The jury is still out on whether or not Bryant will play, but regardless you have to think about benching Romo this week. Romo is not going to pass for over 300 yards and will have a hard time getting multiple TD’s.
C.J. Spiller vs Seattle
To me Spiller is one of the five most talented backs in the league, so it’s really a shame how much Chan Gailey has under utilized him this season. But now with Fred Jackson OUT for the rest of the season, it will be all Spiller. Gailey has already stated that Spiller will get a lot of work. Don’t let the Seattle Defense scare you, Spiller easily has the talent to overcome any defense. He is a must-start for the remainder of the Fantasy Playoffs.
Reggie Bush vs Jacksonville
Miami Head Coach Joe Philbin stated that he would start to get Reggie more involved in the passing game and did so against the 49ers as Reggie caught five passes for 38 yards. He also rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries and ran hard against San Fran. Bush has been playing well the last few weeks and now with him getting more involved into the passing game he can be trusted again. Look for Bush to have over 100 total yards with four to five catches and a possible score.
Montell Owens @ Miami
This two-time Special Teams Pro-Bowler played fairly well last week in his first start at RB rushing for 91 yards and a TD against the Jets. With Rashad Jennings and MJD OUT once again it will be all Owens. He’s going to get at least 15-20 touches and should approach close to 100 total yards.
Ryan Mathews vs Carolina
I don’t care how good the matchup is, Mathews can’t be trusted. He hasn’t rushed for 100 yards all season and has one rushing TD. Why does this guy continue to be started?
Mikel Leshoure @ Arizona
Leshoure is not very explosive and doesn’t do anything to really impress. With Joique Bell starting to take a lot of time away from him now, Leshoure needs to be on your benches.
Ahmad Bradshaw @ Atlanta
Bradshaw plays every week, but he is never fully healthy and after last weeks performance by David Wilson, Bradshaw is going to lose time to the Rookie. Bradshaw could even miss this weeks game with a sprained knee. It’s time to start thinking about other options.
Danario Alexander vs Carolina
Alexander has always been talented, he just has never been healthy. He is really making Phillip Rivers look good and has 5 TD’s in his last five games. He is Rivers go-to-guy and his best red zone threat. Carolina’s secondary is nothing special providing Alexander a great chance to find the endzone again this week.
Michael Crabtree @ New England
Crabtree is easily Kaepernick’s favorite target with 22 targets and over 200 yards receiving in his last two games. Keep him going against the Pats.
Josh Gordon vs Washington
Gordon has been on fire of late, and should be able to burn DeAngelo Hall and the Washington Redskins porous secondary. Expect close to 100 yards receiving.
Donnie Avery @ Houston
The Houston secondary has been getting torched of late, but Avery has just been way too inconsistent to be relied upon. He had a great matchup last week and disappointed. Luck also isn’t great on the road and prefers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton over Avery.
Kenny Britt vs NYJ
Britt broke out from the doldrums last week with 8 catches and 143 yards, but has to face Antonio Cromartie this week who has been excellent against No.1 WR’s all season. Tough matchup for Britt, look for other options if possible.
Torrey Smith vs Denver
Smith has a pending matchup with Champ Bailey, but has failed in lesser matchups. In his last four games Smith has been held under 40 yards receiving three times. Stay away.
Greg Olsen @ San Diego
Cam Newton has finally started to play at a high level again and Greg Olsen has been benefiting as a result with 4 TD’s in his last five games including scoring in back to back weeks.
Vernon Davis @ New England
How can I recommend a guy who has a combined 19 yards in his last three games? Yes it’s very hard for me to do so, but you have to throw him out there in this matchup against the Pats. New England is second worst against Tight Ends. I hope Vernon does nothing once again because I am facing him this week, but with all the passing the 49ers will be doing, Davis has to get involved. If he doesn’t go over 50 yards receiving this week, I will be very surprised, but maybe I shouldn’t be.
Martellus Bennett @ Atlanta
Eli has been picking up the pace as the Giants go on another one of their late season runs and Bennett will continue to be targeted in the redzone. Bennett has seen 15 targets and scored twice the last two weeks so get him in your lineups.
Tony Scheffler @ Arizona
There is a good chance Brandon Pettigrew will not play in this game and Scheffler will get the starting nod. Scheffler has been playing well, but the Cards are the best when it comes to covering the Tight End, allowing the fewest fantasy points.
Jermichael Finley @ Chicago
Finley has been just a pure disappointment all year and he can not be trusted in the Fantasy Playoffs, despite his “talent” and the QB tossing him the rock. Steer clear.
Kyle Rudolph @ St. Louis
Rudolph had scored in three straight games but killed Fantasy Owners last week by doing absolutely nothing, literally. I don’t know about you, but after a player scores zero points for my team, they become very hard to trust.
Jarod Mayo vs San Francisco
Mayo has had a fine season with 74 tackles and now faces a run-heavy 49ers team that is giving up the 7th most points to Fantasy Linebackers.
Cliff Avril @ Arizona
We saw what the Seahawks defense did to the Arizona offense last week, and Avril who has 9.5 sacks this year will have plenty of opportunities to wreak havoc on Ryan Lindley.
Michael Bennett @ New Orleans
Not a good matchup for Bennett facing the Saints and Drew Brees who rarely gets sacked.
Jarius Byrd vs Seattle
I’ll keep it simple. The Seahawks are giving up the fewest points to Safeties this year.