Still in hunt? Good luckWhether it was the 41 points put up by the Seattle Seahawks defense, or Tom Brady’s four touchdown Monday Night massacre of the Texans, the majority of us have been bounced from the playoffs.
By: Jessy Sandhu Fantasy Football Writer, The Jamestown Sun
Whether it was the 41 points put up by the Seattle Seahawks defense, or Tom Brady’s four touchdown Monday Night massacre of the Texans, the majority of us have been bounced from the playoffs.
For those that are still in the hunt, good luck.
This week poses many questions for quarterbacks. Will Eli be able to continue his play from last week in Atlanta? How will Peyton fare against the Ravens in Baltimore?
How about the struggling Aaron Rodgers heading into Chicago? If you think being a fantasy manager is stressful, how do you think the players and coaching staff in Chicago feel having won just one of their last five games?
Will the Bears defense stand tall against the Packers, or will it continue to crumble? Maybe you’ve got RG3 and another quarterback on the bench worthy of starting. Are you willing to risk RG3’s injured hand this late in the season?
Despite the challenges these quarterbacks face, it’s too difficult to bench these studs. It’s the other positions where you’ll have to make the tough decisions.
At wide receiver, Miles Austin could be a great start. The Cowboys should be in a tough matchup against the Steelers. Both teams are battling for a playoff spot and if Dez Bryant is out, more passes should be coming Austin’s way. Monitor this situation before committing to Austin.
Sticking with the Steelers and Cowboys game, Jonathon Dwyer of the Steelers had a dismal performance against the Chargers. Previous to last week, Dwyer had put up decent fantasy numbers and Mendenhall’s benching made it look like Dwyer is in for another solid start.
I would go with Dwyer this week as the Cowboys give up 118 yards per game on the ground. With another week to get healthy, Big Ben and the Steelers pass game should garner a little more attention than it has been the past few weeks and this should open up some room for Dwyer.
There was finally a Mike Wallace sighting last week. He was found in the end zone. Twice. If you’ve had him on your bench the past few weeks, it’s time to start him. You probably drafted him as a starting wide receiver, and now it’s time to make your draft day decision count.
Darren McFadden made his return to the Raiders last week and made his way into the end zone. This week the Raiders face the Chiefs. Kansas City has given up the 8th most fantasy points to running backs and McFadden’s role in the pass game only increases his potential for another strong outing.
In that same game, Jamaal Charles will start at running back despite being banged up last week. He’s had three straight 100-yard games and the lack of a passing attack for the Chiefs combined with the Raiders soft run defense should allow Charles to go off for a couple of big runs.
For those that have been disappointed by Vernon Davis this season, I’m going to say start him as he is a sleeper this week against the Patriots. The 49ers are battling for first place in the NFC and it’s time for the big names in San Francisco to come up big like they did late last year.
For those that have been benefiting from Steven Ridley’s fantasy numbers late in games because of the Patriots lopsided victories, it’s time to bench him. Ridley will struggle against the 49ers defense and the Patriots will not roll over the 49ers like they did the Texans.
Another back that should be sitting out this week is Knowshon Moreno. Last week in Oakland was the best game of Moreno’s young career, but historically Moreno has not produced big stats in back-to-back games. Moreno will not put up a lot of stats during garbage time this week. Look for the Ravens and Broncos to be the game of the week. Easy yards, or touchdowns, will not be offered by either team.
Jeremy Maclin is another player who should be riding the pine this week. He had a great game last week, but that was against Tampa Bay, which has one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Don’t get too excited and start him if he’s on your bench.
The Eagles are up against the Bengals tonight and it won’t be an easy matchup. The Bengals have an underrated pass defense and their offense should be able to keep Nick Foles and Maclin off of the field.
With the Buccaneers hosting the Saints, look for Lance Moore and Marques Colston to put up big yards. Despite the Saints’ issues this past season, New Orleans players have continued to have big games.
The San Diego Chargers host the Carolina Panthers this week in what will be one of Norv Turner’s last games in San Diego. The Panthers defense will force the Chargers to have more of a balanced attack and Ryan Matthews owners should look to him as a sleeper this week, as this matchup provides him with the potential to have a strong game.
Golden Tate of the Seahawks is another sleeper this week as Seattle travels to Buffalo.
In most cases, Seattle on the road is a recipe for benching Seahawk players, but the Bills defense and Russell Wilson’s mistake free play as of late is promising for Tate.
Tate is tied with teammate Sidney Rice with seven receiving touchdowns and has had some big games the past few weeks. If he’s buried on your bench somewhere and there are some questions about your other receivers, don’t hesitate to make a gutsy call.
For Hakeem Nicks owners, I’d stay away from him this week. Hopefully you have a capable backup. Nicks is coming on as of late, but the Falcons matchup is not in his favor.
Lined up on the other side of the field, however, is Victor Cruz, and Cruz owners should get good production from him, especially when he is lined up in the slot position. It’s a must win for you and the Giants, and Cruz owners should see good production from him this week.
With Fred Jackson injured once again, C.J. Spiller is a good flex start.
The Seahawks don’t provide a great opportunity for Spiller, but he should take advantage of his receptions when Fitzpatrick checks the ball down to his back.
Good luck this week, and since most leagues don’t allow trades this late in the league, our trade mediators are free and here to assist you with whom to start or sit.
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