|Jacoby Ellsbury Signed with the Yankees: Now What?||A.J. Pierzynski Deal Meant End of Jarrod Saltalamacchia in Boston||Bruins Catching Up On Much-Needed Rest||Winning the Wire and the Playoffs: Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers|
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty in the final weeks of the fantasy regular season. I myself have only three weeks left before the playoffs start and I am searching desperately for whatever edge I can get.
In honor of this important time of the season, I am going to shake things up a bit. I will go through every game one-by-one and see what minimally owned players have the best shot of outperforming your expectations. Whether you need to fill a spot for an injured player, or if you just want a better matchup, then have a look at what I have to say.
All signs are pointing to rookie Matthew Stafford sitting out the Thanksgiving Day game. Culpepper may not have the services of WR Calvin Johnson, but Johnson is more likely to play than Stafford.
In Culpepper’s one home start this season, the team came away with a loss, but Culpepper had a great fantasy day with 282 yds and a TD with 44 rushing yds.
His knee is finally 100% healthy and as a team, Dallas has the 8th best rushing attack in football with over 130 rush yds per contest. The Raiders allow almost 160 rush yds per game and have given up nine rushing TD’s in their last four.
Jones will be splitting carries a usual with Marion Barber, but it is crazy not to think that Jones will be getting you points this Thursday.
Word from New York is that Ahmad Bradshaw is unlikely to play this week due to sore ankles. Third stringer Danny Ware would be the one to step up and take Bradshaw’s share of carries.
Not much is known about Ware, the guy has only carried six times in two seasons, but the matchup is favorable. Denver has given up 170+ rushing yds in three straight games and have allowed 202 pass yds or less in three of their last four. Expect the Giants to run it all day.
Rookie QB Josh Freeman LOVES to look in Winslow’s direction. The tight end has been targeted 24 times over the past two games.
The Falcons allow over 250 pass yds per game and just gave up 2 TD to New York TE Kevin Boss on Sunday.
Michael Turner is still questionable to make his return this week, which would put Snelling back on the field. His ypc could be better (3.2 in two starts), but he is finding the endzone with three TD in his last two games.
The Bucs defense gives up the most rush yds per game (168), and they have let opposing teams rush for 170+ yds in three straight. In fact, Tampa Bay has allowed over 100 rush yds in every game this season except for one.
Marshawn Lynch’s status is still up in the air, but if he can’t go, the Jackson would take the spot that is rightfully his. Remember when Marshawn Lynch was suspended and Jackson was the featured back for the first three games and averaged 141 total yds per game? Don’t you want that back?
IF that happens this week, then Jackson should go back to his old ways of being an effective runner and pass catcher.
Against a vulnerable Jacksonville defense, Fitzpatrick turned in 297 yds and a TD on Sunday. Miami’s defense is also having trouble stopping the pass with 235 pass yds allowed per game. Fitzpatrick and Terrell Owens really clicked in their last game (9 catches, 197 yds, TD), so a decent showing from Fitzpatrick is not out of the question.
Clinton Portis has a concussion and Ladell Betts is done for the season. This means that Cartwright is the cheese…and the cheese stands alone. When Cartwright was called upon last week, he responded with 13 carries for 67 yds and seven catches for 73 yds.
The Eagles have allowed three rushing TD in their last three games with an average of four receptions per game to featured backs in that time.
Starting RB Julius Jones will be limited in practice this week, and is questionable for this Sunday. Forsett would start if Jones can’t go. Forsett had 123 yds and a TD in Week 10 when he took over for Jones. He struggled last week with only nine rush yds against Minnesota, but he did have 80 receiving yds and a score. In fact, Forsett has 5+ catches in three straight games.
If the Rams defense was an iceberg, then they probably would have let the Titanic run right through them without any damage. St. Louis has allowed 150+ rush yds in four of their last five games.
Boller will start for the injured Marc Bulger. Boller has 2 TD and 3 INT on the season in his limited playing time, but the Seahawks’ defense has allowed 249+ pass yds in four of their last five games. Not to mention, Seattle has lost every single road game this season,
Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions in his last two games with a 47% completion percentage. New York has also lost six of their last seven games.
The Panthers defense has eight picks in their last three games. Carolina should put more defenders in the box to stop Thomas Jones and force Sanchez to throw the ball all day.
Massaquoi and Brady Quinn connected for five catches for 115 yds and a TD against Detroit last Sunday. The rookie WR only has one other 100-yd game on the season, and that was against the Bengals in Week 4 when he had eight catches for 148 yds.
Hey, if you’re a believer in history repeating itself, the take a gamble.
The Colts defense has nine takeaways and eight sacks in their last four games. Houston is 29th in the NFL in rushing, so don’t expect Steve Slaton and company to start turning it on this week.
Houston has beaten Indy only once…EVER. The last time the Texans were victorious over the Colts was December of 2006, and it took a last second field goal to do it.
Cassel is back to his “no mistakes” way of playing with 4 TD and 1 INT in his last three games. The Chiefs have won two in a row, and newly acquired Chris Chambers has been a huge help to Cassel’s game (10 catches, 249 yds, 2 TD).
Cassel had a bad outing in his last game against the Chargers in Week 7 (3 INT), but he has had time to learn from it. The fact that he has chemistry with Chris Chambers, and that Jamaal Charles has given a rushing game to the Chiefs, should make things smoother for the passing game.
Smith is coming off a great game against the Packers where he threw for 227 yds and 3 TD. Now he gets to face one of the worst pass defenses in football.
The Jaguars are eighth in the league with 244 pass yds allowed per game and they are in the bottom-10 in football with 17 passing TD allowed. They just let Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for 297 yds and a TD last Sunday, so their secondary has holes.
Last week when Minnesota was blowing out Seattle, Taylor got extra carries in garbage time. He finished with 11 carries for 73 yds.
Could more garbage time be in the works this Sunday against Chicago? Well, the Bears have lost five of their last six games. They are 1-4 on the road this season, averaging just 14 points per game. Chicago QB Jay Cutler has 6 TD and 15 INT on the road this season and he will have to throw it all day because Matt Forte will be ineffective against Minnesota’s run defense (3rd best in football).
So yeah, I’d say a cheap 12-14 carries for Taylor sounds reasonable.
Britt has been Vince Young’s favorite receiver over the past two games with nine targets and six catches for 97 yds and a TD.
We all know the Titans will run the ball with Chris Johnson, but the Cardinals pass defense is among the worst in football with 247 pass yds allowed per game, including over 300 pass yds in two of their last three.
The Titans have won four in a row, and we know that it is not because Vince Young was putting up monster passing numbers. However, if Tennessee’s running game stalls at any point, Britt will be the beneficiary of the passing game.
Yeah, a kicker! Hey, it was hard trying to find a sleeper in this matchup.
Cundiff, recently signed by Baltimore, made good on his end of the deal with five field goals last Sunday against Indianapolis. The Ravens were able to move the ball effectively against a Colts defense that was without Pro-Bowl safety Bob Sanders.
This week, the Ravens should do the same thing, only this time against a Steelers defense with out All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu. Don’t be surprised if Cundiff gets a fair share of opportunities when the Ravens can’t pound the ball into the endzone against Pittsburgh’s #1 ranked rush defense.
Maroney has scored a TD in five straight games (6 TD total). The Saints have allowed 130+ rushing yds in four of their last five games and four rushing TD in their last four games.
Maroney should find the endzone again in what looks to be an offensive showcase this Monday.
Drew Brees will be utilizing all of his weapons against the Patriots, and Meachem will benefit.
Meachem may not get a lot of yards, but he is the one who is scoring. He has found the endzone in three straight games, with four TD in that time. He won’t be the one moving the ball down the field, but he will be the one getting the looks in the redzone.
Tags: Alex Smith, Chester Taylor, Danny Ware, Daunte Culpepper, Fantasy, Felix Jones, Fred Jackson, Jason Snelling, Justin Forsett, Kellen Winslow, Kenny Britt, Kyle Boller, Laurence Maroney, Matt Cassel, Mohamed Massaquoi, Robert Meachem, Rock Cartwright, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sleepers