2014 FantasySavvy Football: Week 15 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

By Kevin Lewis

*For Seasonal and Daily Leagues

START

WR Charles Johnson @DET($6600): Johnson has clearly established himself as the Vikings number one WR. Not that it says much with Cordarrelle “yes I am still in the NFL” Patterson and Greg “I was hot a long time ago” Jennings, but that’s not relevant here. Over his last four games, Johnson has turned 30 targets into 15 catches for 283 yards and two scores. There is a strong chance Minnesota will be playing catch up all game and there is really nobody to threaten Johnson’s opportunities. It’s scary relying on him because of a relatively erratic QB but I actually believe  his floor is pretty high this week all things considered.

TE Jimmy Graham @CHI($6900) I know, I know. If you had any exposure to Graham in the last two weeks, you’re sick to your stomach. The simple fact that I have to write him here underscores that. He has just four fantasy points in his last two games. Two games ago he had zero targets, but last week he had 11 and still did nothing so who really knows? If he can’t do it against the Bears, all hope might be lost. I’m being a little dramatic but not really.

QB Mark Sanchez vsDAL($7500): Don’t let last week get you down about Sanchez. I know that he had 96 yards passing and all but over the last three years a healthy Seattle defense has throttled a lot of people. The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the Seattle Seahawks. On Thanksgiving, the Eagles put up 33 points on 464 yards. I think his floor is reasonable in a game that should feature a lot of points.

RB Chris Johnson @TEN: Titans have the worst run defense in football. Chris Johnson has had this game circled on the calendar the minute he signed with the Jets. Hopefully for me and the rest who choose to play him, 1+1=2.

Marquess Wilson $4,500 vs NO:  Minimum priced starting WR with immense talents playing in a game featuring one of the highest over unders of the week. He should be an overqualified WR3 this week.

WR Donte Moncrief vs HOU($5700) If Reggie Wayne sits, Moncrief instantly becomes a potential WR2 against the most generous fantasy defense when it comes to WRs in the NFL.

TE Jordan Cameron vs CIN($5100): I feel Johnny Manziel boosts everyone’s value upon his insertion into the starting lineup. That includes Cameron who is barely above minimum price on Fanduel.

WR Kenny Stills @CHI($6100): I know he came off a disappointing week but the opportunity and matchup is still ideal for Stills. His price point on Fanduel hasn’t moved so that is also fair. Stills makes for a good play everywhere against Chicago’s piss poor secondary.

SIT

QB Colin Kaepernick @SEA($6800)- I have no idea why he’s still on your roster but now is not the time to get fancy. He’s going up against arguably the best defense in football and one that has had his number at that. He scored a whopping ONE point against the Seahawks on Thanksgiving.

QB Ryan Tannehill @NE($8000)- New England in December. He’s throwing the ball against a secondary that just finished shutting down Philip Rivers. He averages 213 yards and 0.5 passing touchdowns in his trips to NE over the last two years. I’d avoid.

RB Ryan Mathews vs DEN($7600)- He hasn’t touched the ball more than 15 times in any of the last three games and the Broncos are one of the better run defenses in football. If you’re going to start him, you’re heavily reliant on the possibility of him scoring more than one touchdown.

RB Lamar Miller @NE($6700)- The Dolphins use him scarcely for whatever reason and the Patriots defense hasn’t allowed a rushing TD since the beginning of November. I’m not sure I’m listing him here to tell you to sit him more than I’m listing him here to tell folks to temper their expectations.

RB Frank Gore @SEA($5300)- This one is pretty simple. San Fran is playing the Seahawks in Seattle, and Gore looks like he’s finished. Add in a struggling San Francisco offensive line and you have a perfect recipe for a guy to avoid.

WR DeAndre Hopkins @IND($7300)- The Colts struggle stopping the run. Vontae Davis is going to play in this game, and he is one of the premiere CBs in the league. Add in that Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t particularly good and Hopkins is a guy you sit if you have a choice or one you start quite nervously.

TE Coby Fleener vs HOU($6300)- Dwayne Allen is back. That means the Fleener party is over. Avoid him.

TE Mychal Rivera @KC($5600)- The Chiefs give up the least yards and receptions per game to tight ends in the league. Rivera is nothing but a Hail Mary play at best.

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Playoff Run Waiver Wire Adds

By Mike Cannici

QB

Tavaris Jackson– With Favre injuring his shoulder on the first play of the game last week, Jackson came in and play very well. He did make two mistakes where he didn’t read the coverage and got intercepted, and his third interception was on a tipped ball by one of his receivers.  TJax did however finish with 187 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Favre and could be of value if Favre doesn’t return this season.

Drew Stanton– Stanton played very well in his second start against a stingy Bears defense. He had a 3 yard touchdown run followed by a teach you how to dougie dance and a 46 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson. Stanton has looked pretty good in his few appearances and Stafford expected to be out for at least two more weeks, you could do worse than Stanton if you’re in dire need.

RB

James Starks– Starks was a guy I was high on a while back to come in and take over as the every down back. He was finally activated Sunday and picked up 18 carries for 73 yards. Starks was only in on rushing plays but the fact that he got 18 carries to Brandon Jacksons 4 is big news. The Packers are saying they want to use a time share so in my opinion, if a time share is 18 touches to 4, I’m all in on Starks. Starks draws the Lions this week followed by the Patriots and the Giants so the opportunity is there for some big games down the stretch. He is a must own in all formats.

Tashard Choice– Choice is another guy that if you missed out on last week, is a must grab now. Choice ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown against the Colts Sunday and gets the Eagles, Redskins and Cardinals the next three week so he must be owned in all formats.

James Davis– Again, Davis was the Skins’ back who got more touches and put up better stats. Davis finished with 9 carries for 40 yards while adding 3 receptions for 41 yards to Williams’ 5 carries for 29 yards and 2 catches for just 2 yards. Davis’ value could falter if he was to get hurt or Torain comes back, but right now it looks like Davis is the guy. This situation is one you should look to avoid all together as you just never know with Mike Shanahan who’s going to be out there, but if you need someone, at least for today its Davis.

Anthony Dixon– If you didn’t grab Dixon last week and he’s still available , pick him up immediately as it seems him and Westbrook are in a legit 50/50 time share with Dixon picking up the goal line work. They both had a tough matchup against the Packers last week where they trailed in the second half but they host the Seahawks this week which is a great matchup for both these guys. Dixon is a must own in all 12 team and deeper leagues.

WR

Earl Bennett– Bennett has been a beast the last two weeks totaling 11 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Cutler really seems to be keying in on him and Bennett is a great pickup especially in PPR leagues for the stretch run. He draws the Patriots and Vikings the next two weeks, both solid matchups.

Roy Williams– With the Cowboys losing Dez Bryant for the year, Roy Williams moves up to their number two and a legit flex receiver going forward. He has some very good matchups coming up and is worthy of a roster spot once again.

Anthony Armstrong-Armstrong has quietly put together a solid season (31-642-2) as the Skins number two receiver. Last week against the Giants he posted his best game grabbing six balls for 97 yards and a touchdown. He draws the Bucs, Cowboys and Jaguars the next three weeks so don’t be surprised if he has similar production during that span.

Mohammed Massaquoi– Massaquoi has been putting up steady numbers since week 9 , having at least four catches or a touchdown in each of those games. Those aren’t eye popping numbers by any means, but in PPR leagues that means he hasn’t had less than 9 points in any game which is not so bad when you think about it. He’s not a must own or start right now , but if your need for help, Massaquoi isn’t a bad option considering its either him or Ben Watson that they have to throw too, so even in a relatively bad passing game, there’s still reward there.

TE

Ben Watson– Had a big game Sunday grabbing 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Watson has been up and down as of late but that can likely be attributed to an ankle injury. He’s a decent TE1 the rest of the way especially with lack of consistency from most of the tight ends around the league so far. If you need help at TE, Watson should be your guy.

Ed Dickson– Todd Heap injured his hamstring during Sunday nights loss to the Steelers. Rookie Ed Dickson stepped in and grabbed 3 balls for 21 yards on seven targets. This kid has a lot of talent and has faces two teams the next two weeks that really struggle against the tight end in Houston and New Orleans. Heap is not going to play this week and could very well miss week 15 as well. He’s a solid grab in most leagues at this point.

Jared Cook– The Titans want this kid to get more opportunities going forward and did finish with a team high four catches for 47 yards Sunday. His blocking skills are what has inhibited him from making a big splash on the offense, but he should see some more looks going forward. He’s a decent stash if you’re looking for someone who may just explode over the next week or two, so keep your eye on him.

Jimmy Graham– As you saw last week, it didn’t seem to matter that Shockey was back in the lineup as Graham still was able to grab 3 balls for 72 yards. The Saints have a ton of options in the passing game, but Graham could immediately be a TE1 if Shockey were to miss any more time due to injury or ineffectiveness. Graham is a solid add purely on his explosive upside, and if you’re in a keeper a dynasty league and he’s still sitting on the wire, now is the time to pounce on him.

Week 12 Waiver Adds

By Mike Cannici

 

QB

Jon Kitna– Kitna has now put together two straight solid starts, totaling 7 touchdowns including one rushing. He seemed to just need a few games to adjust after not playing in two years and has now found a groove, plus the new team “attitude” with Wade Phillips gone. He’s a solid backup add and must add in 2QB leagues.

Sam Bradford– Bradford has been pretty solid throughout most of the year, averaging a little less than 16 points per week. He has a favorable schedule the rest of the way with the Saints being his only tough matchup going forward. The rest of the pass defenses he faces are all ranked outside the top 15 in the league. The next few weeks are all on the road but two of them are very favorable at Denver and at Arizona. If you’re in need jump on board, especially in deeper leagues and keeper leagues. This kid is going to be a good one.

RB

Mike Goodson– Goodson has compiled two straight hundred yard efforts in games where the Panthers were getting trampled. With DeAngelo Williams done for the year and the ineffectiveness and now concussion suffered by Jonathan Stewart, this could be Goodson’s job the rest of the way. He’s a must add in all formats at this point.

Keiland Williams– This is a guy from preseason I said by midseason would be the Redskins starter the rest of the way. Goshdarnit, now he is. Portis reaggravated his groin tear during his return Sunday and Ryan Torain who knows when he’ll be back at this point. If Williams is still somehow available in your league, he must be a top priority, especially in PPR leagues.

Maurice Morris– With Kevin Smith placed on IR and Jahvid Best still hurting from his turf toe, Morris is likely to handle the bulk of carries Sunday against the Patriots. Morris had 10 carries in Sunday’s loss vs. the Cowboys along with four receptions. The Patriots are a decent matchup for him especially at home in the dome so if you need some help in your backfield, grab this guy as he does have some talent.

WR

Vincent Jackson– I hope for your sake, your league mates have still left him on the waiver wire, as VJax will return this week for San Diego. I’d expect him to make an immediate impact as he has been practicing with the team and should be very well rested. The way that Rivers flings the ball through the air, Jackson could immediately become a legit WR1.

Sidney Rice– Rice returned to the lineup last week and hauled in three passes for 56 yards. He’s being worked back in slowly, and with the firing of Brad Childress, the reemergence of the Vikings offense might have the same effect as the Cowboys offense did after they fired their coach. Rice probably isn’t available if you’re in any type of competitive league, but if he is grab him ASAP.

Blair White– With Austin Collie potentially missing this week’s game, White is a solid pick up after finishing with 5 catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Manning loves his slot receivers and that’s exactly where White fits in. If you’re starving at receiver, especially in PPR leagues, White is your man.

Brandon Gibson– The Rams receiver was targeted and caught 5 of them for 42 yards and a touchdown. Gibson has had at least 5 catches and 40 yards in three straight and seems to be Bradford’s second option just after Amendola. Gibson is a solid add especially in PPR formats.

Ben Obomanu– With the foot injury suffered by Mike Williams now potentially being serious, Obomanu seems to be the new number one target for Hasselback. Sunday, Obomanu finished with 5 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Obomanu stepped into the starting lineup for the first time last week and definitely didn’t disappoint. He’s a must add in all 12 team or deeper leagues, and worth a look in shallower leagues.

Derek Hagan– Hagan was a cast away after training camp for the Giants, but after the Steve Smith injury, was brought back in last week. He caught three balls for just 10 yards, but did get into the end zone Sunday against the Eagles. The guy knows the offense like the back of his hand, and with Hakeem Nicks expected to miss the next 3 weeks, Hagan will be forced to step into the starting lineup. The Giants like to pass the ball and Hagan is a better red zone threat than Mario Manningham. In deep leagues he’s definitely worth a look on an offense that is 7th in the league in passing yards.

TE

Joel Dreessen– He’s a guy I’ve liked for a while now, and with Owen Daniels status week to week being totally up in the air, Dreessen is a worthy pick up. Dreessen picked up four catches for 104 yards and a touchdown during Sunday’s loss to the Jets. He hasn’t been a complete model of consistency, but with all the injuries to tight ends this year, he’s not a bad replacement, if the Marcedes Lewis’s and Todd Heaps of the world are rostered.

Jimmy Graham– Graham is a big rookie tight end out of The U. of Miami(6’6 260lbs) who has struggled to get playing time as his blocking abilities having quite caught up to his receiving abilities. He got his chance Sunday with Jeremy Shockey out with a rib injury. Although his size might fool you, he is very quick and has great hands and he showed it Sunday with 5 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. He’s the future at tight end for the Saints, and the future might just start now. If you’re in deep or keeper league’s he’s a very solid prospect with tons of upside. Watching some highlights of him from Sunday, he reminds me a bit of a young Antonio Gates.