FantasySavvy 2012: Week 15 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em (Playoff Edition)

As seen on FP911.com. Make sure to check there for tons of great information to get you prepared for the Fantasy Playoffs. If you are knocked out you can still play in our daily leagues at FP911challenge.com

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.

Quarterbacks

Start ‘Em

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.

Sit ‘Em

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.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

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.

Sit ‘Em

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.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

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.

Sit ‘Em

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.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

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.

Sit ‘Em

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.

IDP’s

Start ‘Em

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.

Sit ‘Em

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.

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FantasySavvy 2012: Week 14 Fantasy Five (Playoff Edition)

By: Alex Schoenfeld

The first round of the playoffs is here. For those who are lucky enough to still have a heartbeat feast your eyes on the fantasy five.

Dallas @ Cincinnati:

Usually, when discussing anything Bengals, we start with AJ Green. Not this week. Here’s a question for you football buffs: What do Corey Dillon and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have in common? Easy right? Both played for the Patriots. What I bet you didn’t know, is that “The Law Firm” has run for 100+ yards in his past 3 games; making him the first Bengals back since (yep, that’s right) Corey Dillon (circa 1999) to put up such numbers. Can he continue this pace against a porous Cowboys run defense? He’s got my vote. My stat prediction: 26 attempts for 106 yards, 1 TD along with 4 catches for 19 yards.

Keeping with our running back theme, DeMarco Murray had a nice game against Philadelphia last week (who hasn’t?) with 23 attempts for 83 yards and a score. So much for Garrett’s plan to ease him back into a normal workload. Murray is angry. Missing the majority of the season with a bum foot has him mad at the world, so expect hard “hit you before you hit me” type runs. Don’t overthink this one; he’s a top 10 RB play. My stat prediction: 18 attempts for 88 yards and 5 catches for 50 yards and a rec TD.

AJ versus Dez. Green is the better option but I like them both to find the endzone. My stat prediction: AJ: 10 receptions for 115 yards and a TD. DB: 6 Receptions for 77 yards and a TD. Offensively, both of these teams are hitting their stride; finding that “oh so difficult” balance between the run and passing game.

I anticipate sporadic quarterback play in this game. Tony Romo should have the better day of the two, but don’t discount Andy Dalton and his ability to find AJ deep. My prediction: Romo: 23-40 270 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Dalton 18-27 230 yards 2 TD’s 1INT.

 

 

Chicago @ Minnesota:

Adrian Peterson. Need I say more? This guy is NOT human. If Fox’s robot “Cleatus” actually played on Sunday’s, his number would be 28, his team the Vikings and the name would be Peterson. With Urlacher already declared out for the game (and possibly the remainder of the regular season) expect AP to gash the normally stout Bears defense. This is a do or die game for the Vikings so expect desperation. Stat prediction: 30 attempts for 154 yards and 1 TD along with 4 catches for 27 yards.

With teams focusing more of their defensive strategies to contain Brandon Marshall, we should see opportunity for Matt Forte. Forte is a perfect example of my “law of averages” theory. He has had a solid season, but truly underwhelmed projections until this point. I predict BIG receiving numbers for Forte from this week out. My stat prediction: 18 rush for 70 yards and 8 receptions for 85 yards and 1 TD.

Fantasy favorite Percy Harvin is on IR. We all know his ability, and in the same breath, we know his propensity for injury.This hurts many fantasy teams, but owners can’t say they weren’t warned. Don’t get cute with Jerome Simpson. If there’s any viable receiving option for Minnesota, it’s Rudolph or Jarius Wright. Of course, these are complete lottery tickets, so owners beware. Rudolph has been hot of late however.

We thought the big and physical secondary play of the Seahawks would limit Brandon Marshall. Mark that under the list of “things that DIDN’T happen” last week. He did everything but find the endzone. We know he’s a PPR freak, but the yards came with it this time (165). He cut up the Vikings secondary two weeks ago for a line of 12 catches for 92 yards. I don’t think he will have 17 targets like he did in the previous match-up, but I do expect him to find pay dirt. Stat prediction: 9 receptions for 95 yards and 2 TD’s.

Quarterback play in this game should be lopsided. I like Jay Cutler to keep his playoff push focus up against a susceptible Viking’s pass D. Stat prediction: 21-30 288 yards and 3 TD’s 2INT.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT even sniff Christian Ponder. Over the past seven weeks, he’s thrown for 76 less yards than AP has ran for over that span. He couldn’t take advantage of Green Bay’s vulnerable defense, what makes you think he can produce against arguably the best? Stat prediction: 14-29 215 yards 2 INT’s.

 

 

Philadelphia @ Tampa Bay

The secret’s out. Bryce Brown will hurt you. Now that opponents know what he’s capable of, can they stop him? If any team in the league can, it would be the Buccaneers. Their stingy run D only allows a mere 82 yards per game. The only two players in the league than broke the century rushing mark against the Bucs run defense are Adrian Peterson and Alfred Morris. But I still like Brown. Stat Prediction: 18 attempts for 70 yards 1 TD along with 5 catches for 61 yards (plus 1 fumble).

Rookie wall? What rookie wall? Doug Martin has been great this year. Owners who took a chance with him are being rewarded greatly for their intuition. Philadelphia has quit on their season. This means that “they aren’t who we thought they were” players in DeMeco Ryans and Nnamdi Asomugha won’t be risking next year’s health on stopping the “Muscle Hamster.” I think this will be an explosive game for all key pieces in each offense. Stat prediction: 28 attempts 120 yards 1 TD along with 6 catches for 63 yards and 1 TD.

With nothing to lose, I think the Eagles will test out rookie Nick Foles. He has the tools to be a successful NFL QB; size, arm strength, presence etc… With DeSean Jackson out, let’s see if that frees up Jeremy Maclin and possibly Jason Avant. Last time Maclin saw the Bucs, he exploded for 142 yards on 6 catches with 2 TD’s. My stat prediction for Foles: 25-43 277 yards 2 TD’s 3 INT. Stat Prediction for Maclin: 5 receptions 94 yards 1 TD. Avant prediction: 7 receptions 72 yards.

Josh Freeman will have a big day at home. If you need a TE, pick up Dallas Clark (if available still). It seems like their receiving core is finally clicking. I start Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. Heck, if you’re desperate, there are worse spot starts than Tiquan Underwood. Nothing like a desperate team facing a demoralized squad at home. Freeman stat prediction: 26-40 311 yards 3 TD’s and 1INT. Clark prediction: 5 receptions 40 yards and 1 TD. Jackson prediction: 11 receptions 122 yards. Mike Williams prediction: 4 receptions 80 yards 1 TD. Underwood prediction: 4 catches 49 yards.

 

 

Baltimore @ Washington:

The Ravens were embarrassed. Check that, humiliated by their bitter divisional foe; who I might add was starting an ancient QB (I see you Charlie Batch). How will they respond?

With a banged up Terrell Suggs, who will match the physicality of Alfred Morris? Who will contain Robert Griffin III? If you’re scratching your head over those propositions, trust me, you’re not alone.

I absolutely love Morris in this spot. Those who did their research before the season are reaping the benefits of Alfred’s domination. At home I think he has one of his best games of the season. The traditional defense style of the Ravens is not conducive to stopping the ‘Skins “Pistol” formations. With RG3 opening up lanes, there will be no telling how damaging Morris will be. Prediction: 24 attempts for 143 yards 2 TD’s along with 3 catches for 19 yards.

RG3 will have a day. Pierre Garcon is back in the mix; expect him to be located early and often. These two have nice chemistry for only playing in about 6 games together. Griffin III Stat prediction: 15-21 210 yards 2 TD’s along with 7 rushes for 50 yards. Garcon stat prediction: 9 receptions 82 yards and 1 TD.

In order for Baltimore to hang with Washington, they will HAVE to score. As I’ve noticed all season, even though Ray Rice is considered the focal point of the offense, Joe Flacco dictates whether they sink or swim.

The Redskins defense will have an emotional letdown after a high intensity Monday night game against the Giants. Flacco will throw the ball deep. With DeAngelo Hall shadowing Torrey Smith for the majority of the game, I like Anquan Boldin to work the middle of the field. I also like Dennis Pitta as a top 10 tight end. Flacco stat prediction: 22-38 327 yards 2 TD’s 1 INT. Rice stat prediction: 25 attempts for 94 yards 1 TD along with 6 receptions for 59 yards. Smith stat prediction: 4 receptions 77 yards. Boldin stat prediction:10 receptions 105 yards 1 TD. Pitta stat prediction: 3 receptions 50 yards 1 TD.

 

 

New Orleans @ New York Giants:

Big game at Met-Life Stadium. The Giants need this one to keep their heads above water in the division. The Saints are on life support for a wild card spot, one more loss and their season is over.

After one of his worst performances of his career (5 INT’s no TD’s) last week against the Falcons, Drew Brees is aware of the task ahead. He knows that only his best of the season will allow New Orleans to take down the defending champs in their own house. Stat prediction: 29-51 330 yards 2 TD’s 2 INT’s. Brees fights to the end but can’t seal the deal. I don’t think this is the game where Darren Sproles gets his game back. The Giants have a very deep and athletic defensive line that can contain him. Stat prediction: 3 rushes for 20 yards along with 6 receptions for 44 yards. Jimmy Graham will find the endzone. He is always a matchup disaster and will work the middle of the field and red zone effectively. Stat prediction: 8 Receptions 78 yards 2 TD’s.

Despite the loss in D.C. this past Monday, Eli Manning looks as if he’s regained his early season form. The Saints have one of the worst defenses in the league, and playing outside of their dome, I can see Manning doing damage. Keep in mind N.O.’s d-coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s claim to fame is the SuperBowl title in 2008. With the Giants. There will be a familiarity of schemes; which can serve to help Eli audible at the line, as he does so well.  Stat Prediction: 28-39 318 yards 3 TD’s 1 INT.

Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Reuben Randel, Martellus Bennett. Giants have weapons. Eli can spread the ball around (especially on this Saints sieve-like defense). Out of this group though, I believe Bennett will outperform his mediocre projections. Bennett stat prediction: 7 receptions 90 yards 1 TD. Nicks has been hobbled the majority of the year, but as we’ve seen in the past, the closer to playoff time the more dynamic play of Hakeem. With Cruz whittling away at trust factor with Eli (leading the league in drops), Hakeem gets a bump in targets. Stat projection: 11 receptions 105 Yards 1 TD. Cruz will be efficient, stat projection: 6 receptions 55 yards 1 TD.

I don’t trust any of the running backs in this game. Obviously, if you have Ahmad Bradshaw, you’re starting him. I think he’ll underwhelm against a terrible rush defense but could find the endzone. Stat prediction: 15 attempts 54 yards 1 TD along with 4 catches for 34 yards. If I had to choose one Saints back, it would be Pierre Thomas, based solely on the fact that I think he’ll have goal line carries. Stat prediction: 13 rushes 68 yards 1 TD along with 3 receptions for 35 yards.

FantasySavvy 2012: Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 13

For some of you the playoffs may have started already, but for the majority, this is the last week of the regular season. Thanks for reading all season and make sure to continue to follow us throughout the Fantasy playoffs. If you guys have any questions you can ask me on twitter @FantasySavvy.

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.

Quarterbacks

Start ‘Em

Tony Romo vs Philly

Romo delivered for Fantasy Owners on Thanksgiving and has been turning it on of late after a slow start to the season. There is no doubt he should keep it going against the Eagles who are falling apart at the seams. Expect another nice day.

Colin Kaepernick @ St. Louis

Kaepernick will get another start this week and as long as he continues his solid play he will remain the starter. The Rams don’t pose a threat to Kaep’s potential effectiveness in this one, so keep him rolling in Week 13.

Matt Schaub @ Tennessee

The Titans are allowing the 6th most points to QB’s and Schaub has been picking up the pace in his last couple of games. Look for Schaub to have a very efficient game, something along the lines of 250 yards and two TD’s.

Sit ‘Em

Joe Flacco vs Pittsburgh

Lets face it, Joe Flacco is who we thought he was. The guy just will never be a bigtime QB. He can’t be trusted going against the Steelers who are the best at defending Fantasy QB’s.

Jay Cutler vs Seattle

Seattle CB’s Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will both play in this game because they are appealing their suspensions and that equates to bad news for Jay Cutler. Cutler probably will be limited to just one TD in this game.

Phillip Rivers vs Cincinnati

Rivers has failed to have above 20 fantasy points in five of his last six games and against the Bengals who have been playing great defense of late he needs to be reserved.

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

Bryce Brown @ Dallas

Brown impressed on Monday Night against the Panthers displaying his speed and ability to turn the corner on the defense. He should keep it going against Dallas and their average run D (ranked 13th best) and I expect close to 100 total yards with at least one TD.

Darren Sproles @ Atlanta

Good Spot to use Sproles tonight in what should be a high scoring game in Atlanta. The Falcons are giving up the 9th most points to Fantasy Backs so get Darren in your lineups.

Mikel Leshoure vs Indy

Leshoure keeps producing for Fantasy Owners finding the endzone in five of his last six games. He also was the first back to score against the Houston Texans this season. The Lions should be in the redzone often against the Colts, so look for Leshoure to find the endzone at least once making him a nice start once again.

Sit ‘Em

Shonn Greene vs Arizona

The Jets are just a complete mess right now and NO JET can be trusted. Arizona is 8th best against Fantasy Backs and Greene usually duds in tough matchups.

Steven Jackson vs 49ers

Jackson has been running hard all year, it just hasn’t equated to much production as he has just two TD’s. Against the 49ers you need to find other options.

Matt Forte vs Seattle

Forte has been burning fantasy owners of late constantly failing to find the endzone. Michael Bush took two TD’s away from him last week. With the ankle sprain and the Seahawks coming to town, consider benching Forte.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

Hakeem Nicks @ Washington

Nicks appears to be finally healthy now and has a wonderful matchup on Monday Night against the Skins. DeAngelo Hall can not cover Nicks and Eli should find him often. Expect a 6-7 catch, 80-100 yard performance with a possible TD.

Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts @ Buffalo

Shorts has been solid pretty much all season and Blackmon has emerged ever since Chad Henne has taken over at QB with three TD’s in his past two games. The duo should keep up the production against Buffalo who are allowing the 10th most points to Fantasy WR’s.

Pierre Garcon vs New York Giants

Garcon is back and healthy and along with Santana Moss will be RG3′s favorite target. The catch he made against the Cowboys where he caught it behind his body and took it the house, shows that he can be trusted and against the Giants who are allowing the 2nd most points to WR’s, he needs to be in lineups.

Sit ‘Em

Brandon Lloyd @ Miami

This is a good matchup for Lloyd, but he is just not getting the job done and has been brutal the past three weeks. Brady prefers WelkerHernandez and now Edelman over Lloyd. He is becoming the 4th option in the passing game. Until he shows more of a rapport and a connection with Brady he needs to be benched.

Donnie Avery @ Detroit

Avery gets a lot of targets but does very little with them. He hasn’t scored since week one and only has one game with more than 70 yards receiving in his last nine.

James Jones vs Minnesota

Jones wasn’t even targeted last week and now with Greg Jennings set to return he is the Packers WR who will suffer the most as a result. Keep him away from your lineups.

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Aaron Hernandez @ Miami

Don’t worry about his game last week against the Jets where he had just 30 yards, Hernandez is going to get it going eventually and it should begin to happen against the Dolphins. Look for around 60-70 yards with a possible score.

Vernon Davis @ St. Louis 

Davis is a very frustrating player to own. He arguably is the most talented Tight End in the league, he just doesn’t put up the numbers to back that up. I think the biggest problem was Alex Smith, now with Kaepernick, Davis should start to flourish. He did absolutely nothing last week, but be patient with him.

Dallas Clark @ Denver

The Freeman, Clark connection has been improving the last few weeks and against Denver who are giving up the most points to Fantasy Tight Ends, he’s not a bad option. I expect him to go over 50 yards.

Sit ‘Em

Brent Celek @ Dallas

Celek has just one TD all year and without Vick he can’t be relied upon. Dallas also has been 10th best against Fantasy Tight Ends this year.

Dustin Keller vs Arizona

The only team that Keller has really produced against was the Pats, besides that he has done very little. Arizona boasts the 2nd best ranking against Tight Ends, so keep Keller benched.

Dennis Pitta vs Pittsburgh

Pitta has scored in two of his last three games and appears to have picked up the pace again, but I am steering clear of him against the Steelers who have allowed the 7th fewest points to Tight Ends.

IDP’s

Start ‘Em

Aldon Smith @ St. Louis

Smith had a bad matchup against the Saints last week and still produced. He needs to be in your lineups the rest of the way, the guy is a straight beast. Smith should put Bradford on his behind at least twice.

DeMarcus Ware vs Philly

Ware has been very quiet the past three weeks, but expect that to change against Philly who are allowing a ton of sacks and the most points to Fantasy DE’s.

Sit ‘Em

John Abraham vs New Orleans

The veteran is having another solid season with nine sacks, but Drew Brees doesn’t get sacked often and the Saints are allowing the 2nd fewest points to DE’s.

Cameron Wake vs New England

Don’t trust Wake against the Pats and Brady who are allowing the 4th fewest amount points to DE’s.

Late Game Breakdowns + Sunday and Monday Night (Video Breakdown)

                            Part 1

 

 

                            Part 2

 

 

 

1 O’clock Breakdowns

By: Al Squatrito

 

Bills vs. Browns
The 5-7 Browns will go on their second road game in a row and try to beat the 2-10 Buffalo Bills in the cold . The Bills have been one of those teams that have been playing as hard as they can to show the world they are better than your average college football team but are 2-10 for a reason, or several. They have the worst rushing defense in the NFL and the only two teams that have a chance of being worse are the Cardinals and the Broncos. The Bills can play you tough at home and are coming off of a brutal loss to the Vikings in week 13. I picture Peyton Hillis and Fred Jackson putting their teams on their shoulders and having the most value for fantasy owners come Sunday. I think the Bills get their third win at home because Jake Delhomme is starting the Browns and the Browns are playing on the road for consecutive weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a very risky start this weekend especially since it is supposed to rain and snow in Buffalo. I like the Bills to win this one 19-16.
Panthers vs. Falcons
The 1-11 Carolina Panthers host the 10-2 Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium this Sunday. This is probably the worst game to watch this weekend unless you are an Atlanta Falcons fan. The Falcons have only allowed 6 rushing touchdowns against them this season while the Panthers only hopes of scoring is on the ground. Luckily they are home, but they rank 27th against the run and are 8th against the pass. That doesn’t mean Matt Ryan isn’t going to throw on them; he just might not throw all day on them and why should he? The Falcons are a run first team anyway and that’s all they have to do in this game. Michael Turner is the best start on the team fantasy wise while Jonathan Stewart is the only player worth starting for the Panthers. I don’t see Matt Ryan throwing more than a touchdown pass in this game and can be slightly risky if you need a lot of points from him. I picture the Falcons taking it easy but winning in this one. I like the Falcons to win 20-13.

Lions vs. Packers
The 2-10 Detroit Lions will host the 8-4 Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on Sunday. The Lions haven’t been getting any calls thrown their way and last week they got another unfortunate bogus call against them when the called Ndamukong Suh for a penalty for unnecessary roughness on Jay Cutler for throwing a forearm to his head while rushing for a first down. Ed Hochuli made a huge mistake giving the Bears a first down as they scored on the next play to make it 24-20 which was the final. This is twice in a row now that the Bears beat the Lions on two bogus game ending calls. Jay Cutler becomes a rusher when you pass the line of scrimmage which means unless you slide, anything goes. Also, looking back on the instant replay you will notice that no forearm blow was given out to Jay Cutler by Ndamukong, it just looked that way in regular time. Ndamukong Suh got fined 15,000 dollars for a penalty he did not even commit! What a shame. Ed Hochuli may be a good ref, but when it comes down to it he can make some pretty poor decisions. Regardless, the week must go on and the Lions will have their hands full once again as they will try to keep the game close with Drew Stanton to start for his second game this season. Running back James Starks ran tough last week and got the bulk of carries last week vs the 49ers. It will be interesting to see if the Packers will have some sort of running game going into the playoffs, with Starks I believe they will. Starks may be their savior and is the best waiver wire pickup in fantasy leagues this week. This is a nice matchup for Starks. Calvin and Javid Best seem to be noteworthy starts this weekend while Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, and James Starks are your noteworthy fantasy players you may want to plug-in your fantasy lineups this week. James Starks will get the bulk of carries for the Packers. I see the Packers beating the Lions on the road, 31-24.

Jaguars vs. Raiders
The Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) will host the Oakland Raiders (6-6) this Sunday at home while the Raiders are coming off an astonishing win last weekend against the Chargers. These are two run first teams that know how to pound the rock. Maurice Jones-Drew has 100 yards rushing in his last five outings while Darren McFadden (Run DMC) is averaging 4.9 yards a carry and is leading his team to victories along with backfield partner Michael Bush. This should be a great battle between the two teams who are both in the playoff hunt. The Jags have the slightly better passing game while Garrard’s quarterback rating is 92.6 and Jason Campbell’s is only 78. However this game is going to be won and lost inside the trenches and I picture Garrard keeping some drives alive running for first downs throughout the game. Jacoby Ford, Darren McFadden, and Michael Bush seem to be the only fantasy players you could start for the Raiders while Maurice Jones-Drew is a must start and Garrard, Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas are possible options for the Jaguars. Sims-Walker will probably be lined up against Nhamdi Asomugha so you may want to look elsewhere.  I like the Jaguars because they are home this weekend and they better beat the Raiders if they want to stay in first place in the AFC South. I think the Jaguars win this game 24-20.
Vikings vs. Giants
The 8-4 Giants will travel to Minnesota to take on the 5-7 Vikings. Ever since Leslie Frazier has taken over they have been on a roll winning two straight games, maybe they can make it three as the Vikings have matched up well against the Giants in the past with Eli under center. This is an interesting matchup for Eli Manning and the Giants run game as the Vikings are fourth against the rush while the Giants run game is at its best right now with a legit two-headed monster. I still think the Giants are going to be able to run the ball on the Vikings because the Giants can pass against anyone, opening up the run. The Vikings aren’t a team to naturally score a lot of points early in a game against a great opponent so the Giants run game should fare well.  I like Sidney Rice, Adrian Peterson, and former Giant Visanthe Shaincoe to do some damage against the Giants at home while Eli Manning seems like a shaky start considering his record against the Vikings (from previous games). However,  the Vikings pass defense is where they remain vulnerable on defense and one would assume Eli should have a decent day against them with Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith both returning for this matchup. I think Eli, Hakeem, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Smith, and Ahmad are all number two starts this week in fantasy while Adrian, Shiancoe, and Rice have more upside. I like the Vikings in this game to upset the Giants at home because their defense is playing well and they have nothing to lose. Vikings  23-21.

Steelers vs. Bengals
The 9-3 Steelers take on the 2-10 Bengals but their records are definitely misleading as they matchup very well with one another and the Bengals should not be counted out. The Bengals have lost 9 games in a row! Holy smokes! Still, the Bengals just played the former Super Bowl champs at home last weekend and will be on top of their game this weekend against the Steelers, you better believe it. The Steelers played a huge game last weekend to be on top of their division and are a little beat up post the Ravens matchup. This is going to be a slug match for four quarters but I think the Bengals are going to slip away with the win in the end through a turnover or special teams play that decides the game. Mike Wallace, and Rashard Mendenhall seem to be the only fantasy players you can have faith in this weekend for the Steelers. I think Rashard has the most upside while Wallace is a step behind him. Carson Palmer can’t play any worse and the Bengals have nothing to lose, but you still can’t rely on him. I can’t picture the Bengals losing ten straight even though it is possible. Terrell Owens is the only fantasy option you should feel confident about this weekend. OchoCinco played better last week and isn’t a terrible flex this weekend. I like the Bengals to win this game 17-14.

Redskins vs. Buccaneers
The 5-7 Redskins will host the 7-5 Buccaneers home at Fed Ex Field on Sunday and it may be another ugly loss for the Skins. The Redskins have been falling apart ever since the Lions beat them and Donovan McNabb was pulled for the two-minute drill in the fourth quarter. Their offensive line isn’t playing well and deserves a lot of the blame. Albert Haynesworth should change his nickname to Big Baby while he will be suspended for the rest of the season. This Skins team is in turmoil and Mike Shanahan may have lost the locker room. Ryan Torain is expected to be back and provide a spark for the Redskins zone running scheme but who really knows as James Davis and Keiland Williams are still expected to see touches. Don’t put too much faith in Torain in his first game back and still sharing carries.

The Buccaneers on the other hand have a young team that are rallying around each other and will bring their A game to Washington this week as they are in the playoff race. I like Mike Williams who is a contender to be the rookie of the year this season. LeGarrette Blount should have a huge fantasy day in this matchup against the skins terrible Run D ranked 28th. The Redskins are also brutal against the pass ranked 29th so Mike Williams and Josh Freeman both should be successful. I like the Buccaneers in this game because they have everything going for them while the Redskins have everything going against them. The Buccaneers will win this game 21-20.