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Deck the halls, hang the mistletoe, and pour me some egg nog…it’s fantasy playoff time! If your league’s playoffs don’t start this week, they’ll likely start next week, so hopefully you’re still in “fantasy football addiction mode” and not in “wait til next year” mode.
Last week, I got right down to business with a short intro here, and oh what a week I put up. So I’m going to roll with what’s workin’ for me. Let’s look at my prognostication prowess from last week, followed by five studs and five stinkers for the upcoming pivotal Week 14. Ho, ho, ho…
Phillip Rivers: 18 of 25 passing for 373 yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs (Look out for the Chargers in the playoffs…yeah, I’m talking to you, Colts.)
Alex Smith: 27 of 45 through the air for 310 yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs (The Niners aren’t out of it yet. With a win on Monday night against the Cards, San Fran could turn some heads.)
Knowshon Moreno: 21 carries for 86 yds., including 2 TDs (If you’ve got him in a keeper league, hold on tight to him…I don’t see a Matt Forte-like sophomore slump in his future next year.)
Jeremy Maclin: 4 grabs for 83 yds., no TDs (Solid stats, just no end zone trips.)
San Francisco Defense: Just 292 yds. against, 20 points, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles w/ 1 recovery (A turnover or two would have been nice, but otherwise I’d take that stat line.)
Matthew Stafford: Just 11 completions on 26 attempts, 143 yds., 1 TD, 2 INTs (Not what you want from a starting fantasy QB.)
Ryan Grant: 18 carries for just 41 yds., no TDs (He should bounce back to have a nice game week this week.)
Beanie Wells: 13 rushes for a lowly 28 yds., no TDs (He may also come back to have a nice game this week in prime time on Monday night.)
Kenny Britt: Just 3 catches for 46 yds., but did have 1 TD (3 weeks in a row with a TD, he’s hot and should stay hot.)
Mike Wallace: 2 catches for 19 yds., no TDs (He has totally fallen off the map…definitely not startable, and maybe not even roster-worthy in fantasy land.)
Rodgers made three trips to the end zone Monday night against Baltimore and should have similar success this week against a weak Chicago pass defense. He did struggle a bit in their earlier matchup with the Bears, throwing for just 1 TD and 184 yards, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t blow by those numbers this time around.
He may not have a 100-yard game to his credit this season, but Addai does lead his team with 12 TDs, including two end zone trips last week. This week, Addai and the Colts try to stay perfect against the Broncos, who have just an average rush defense. Addai should see some success against the Orange Crush of Denver…use him now, before the Colts start resting their starters down the stretch.
Boldin posted his first multi-touchdown game in over a year last week, catching two balls for scores last week against the Vikings, and seven receptions in all. In three of the last four games, Boldin has at least seven grabs and at least 98 receiving yards…not too shabby for a guy who shares catches with all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
It’d be tough not to notice what Meachem is doing lately. The Saints receiver has 7 TDs in his last five games, including two last week in the stunning overtime win over the ‘Skins. This week, Brees and the Saints get an early Christmas gift, getting to throw all over the 29th-ranked Atlanta pass defense. Meachem’s productive streak should continue.
It’s been strange, but Johnson hasn’t been a “must-start” guy every week this year. I personally have a team in a league that starts just two WRs, where Megatron has rode the bench more often than not, in favor of starting Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker instead. But this week, facing possibly an Ed Reed-less Baltimore secondary, look for Johnson to build on last week’s 6-for-123 yard and a TD performance against Cincy.
What can I say, I make a living on trashing the Manning family any chance I get. Lil’ brother Eli has thrown picks in three straight games, he’s battling a nagging foot injury, and this week he’ll likely battle Mother Nature, not to mention the talented Philly secondary. Should be a good one Sunday night, but it also should be a cold, windy, and possibly wet one too.
More Alex Smith has equaled less Frank Gore lately for the San Fran offense, as Mike Singletary leans more towards spreading the ball around. Gore, who had just 25 yards on nine carries last week and just 30 yards on 22 rushes in the opening week loss to the Cards, has seen his fantasy production drop off each of the last six weeks. Meanwhile, Arizona’s defense has stepped it up as of late, most recently holding Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson to just 65 yards on the ground. Look for Gore to struggle this week…hopefully you’re not relying on him for fantasy greatness.
The Patriots haven’t done much right lately, but one thing they actually do well at is stuffing opposing running backs at Gillette. They’ve only let up 2 TDs at home to opposing backs this season, and with fellow backfield mate DeAngelo Williams likely back in the fold for the Panthers, Stewart’s touches will likely be limited, especially as he has been in and out of practice this week nursing an Achilles injury.
Bryant has posted two big games in a row…finally. With 91 yards and a TD in Week 12 vs. ATL, followed by last week’s 116-yard total vs. CAR, you’d think Bryant has finally hit his stride, right? Well, all that likely stops this week. Antonio, meet the league’s best corner, the Jets’ Darrelle Revis. You may as well not even show up, AB.
Let’s face it…take away his 2 TD performance in Week 1’s win over Buffalo, and Watson has been a complete disappointment this season, in a contract year for the 6th year tight end. He hasn’t seen the end zone since Week 7 in jolly old England, hasn’t had a catch at all in two of the last three games, and has just three total catches for 50 yards in the last four games combined. On top of all that, he’s been battling a knee injury. But hey, at least he gets to practice on time, right?