Hello again fellow fanatics. Welcome to Week 14. In most leagues, this is the first week of the playoffs. If you’re fortunate enough, the playoffs carry a lot of excitement, heart ache, and lots of ups and downs. Here’s hoping there are not many downs and more than enough ups.
Let’s get started on this week’s recommendations.
Joe Flacco is visiting Houston this week. The Texans have allowed 9 QBs to pass for multiple TDs this year. In his past three road games, Flacco has averaged 267 passing yds with 6TDs and 1 interception. This game will be played indoors and the Ravens are catching a favorable matchup against an opponent who is horrible vs. the pass.
Kyle Orton will be in Arizona this weekend and he should rebound from a disastrous game vs. Kansas City last week. A warning here as Denver has a new coach and there could be an intent to lower the amount of passes per game and raise up the running game plays. That said, this is the Cardinals and they are 25th vs. the pass. Orton likes the road this year as he has three 300 yd passing yard games this year.
Jay Cutler is home vs. New England this week. Make sure you have the weather
Ben Roethlisberger is home vs. Cincinnati this weekend and the weather will factor in for this game too. Big Ben has played well at home this year and he’s got a history of good games in December at home too. The Bengals have been falling apart lately and their secondary has been decimated by injury. Ben should be ok although he has that sprained foot and broken nose.
Jon Kitna is home vs. Philadelphia this weekend. Kitna is a sleeper especially if the Eagles secondary remains depleted by injury. Nine QBs have thrown for multiple TDs vs the Eagles this year and Kitna has thrown for over 300 yds three times since taking over for Tony Romo this year. In spite of losing Dez Bryant for the season, Kitna still has a good amount of weapons and Dallas should be in good shape here.
I do not recommend Sam Bradford at new Orleans, Mark Sanchez vs. Miami, Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Cleveland, Carson Palmer at Pittsburgh, Drew Stanton vs. Green Bay or matt Ryan at Carolina.
LeGarrette Blount visits Washington this weekend. Last week, Blount ran the ball 20 times for 102 yds and 1 TD vs. Atlanta. This week, against the much weaker Redskins, Blount should fare much better. Washington has allowed 6 rushing TDs in their last 2 games and they are not the ideal cold weather team for stopping the run. The massive Blount should do very well in this contest.
BenJarvus GreenEllis is at Chicago this week. I’ve decided to keep on recommending BJGE until he has a bad game. All he does is produce yardage and TDs in spite of the matchup. He’s done well vs. Baltimore, San Diego, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and last week vs. the Jets. All have good to great run defenses and BJGE has done quite well vs. all. The Bears have allowed 10 rushing TDs this year and GreenEllis should produce here.
Tashard Choice hosts Philadelphia this weekend. Last week, off the bench, Choice carried 19 times for 100 yds and 1 TD vs. Indianapolis. Felix Jones will still start for Dallas but Choice will be the guy called on for the goal line work. Choice scored vs. Philly last year and the eagles have allowed 14 rushing tds this year.
Anthony Dixon hosting Seattle this week along with Brian Westbrook has a chance to run all over the Seahawks. In 5 weeks, Seattle has allowed 7 TDs to rushers and for the season, they’ve allowed 14 rushing TDs. Dixon works the goal line and has a better chance of scoring then B-West, however, both should do well in this tilt.
Jonathan Stewart hosts Atlanta this week. Since returning from injury, Stewart has had good games vs. Cleveland and Seattle. He has a good history vs. the Falcons with 3 TDs in his past 2 home games. With D’Angelo Williams out, the running backs will be Stewart and Mike Goodson with Stewart taking the lead. Stewart could be a great fantasy playoff play here as Carolina won’t abandon the run even if they fall behind.
I do not recommend Cedric Benson at Pittsburgh, Jahvid best vs. Green Bay, Marshawn Lynch at San Francisco, Ronnie Brown at New York Jets, Thomas Jones at San Diego or Brandon Jacobs at Minnesota.
Donald Driver is at Detroit this week. He’s in good health and he owns the Lions. He had 3 catches for 89 yds and 1 TD earlier this year and he has 40 catches, 648 yds and 4 TDs in 6 games vs. the Lions. Detroit, as per usual, is struggling to defend the pass this year. They’ve given up 14 TDs this year. Driver had a spectacular 61 yd TD catch last week against the much stronger 49ers. He should do well here.
Michael Crabtree is hosting Seattle this week. In spite of the loss of Troy Smith, this should work out ok. Alex Smith and Crabtree had formed a good rapport prior to Alex being benched. Seattle is 30th vs. the pass having allowed 15 TDs to wide receivers this year. Crabtree is a bit more motivated since Seattle held him to 2 catches and 12 yds in week 1.
Robert Meachum will host St. Louis this week and the Rams are dealing with injuries to their secondary this year. Brees has been going to Meachum of late with tight coverage on both Colston and Henderson. Last week during the Bengals game, Meachum had 2 catches for 94 yds with a 52 yd TD strike late in the game. Consider Meachum a high end number 3 for this week.
Malcom Floyd will host Kansas City this week. The hammy seems to be fine now and he has not been on the injury report for a few weeks now. He played well last week netting 72 yds on 5 catches. He should be heavily involved vs. the Chiefs as he has had 3 TDs in his past 5 meeting with KC. With Vincent Jackson out, Floyd should see plenty of targets this week.
Earl Bennett plays host to New England this week and he has quietly become Jay Cutler’s favorite target. In his past 2 games, Bennett has had 11 catches for 160 yds and 2 TDs. Not bad production vs. Philly and Detroit. Johnny Knox and Greg Olsen should see the best coverage in this contest and Bennett will take advantage of the weak side secondary. Again, the weather could be a factor so listen to your weather channel prior to finalizing your lineups.
I don’t recommend Steve Johnson vs. Cleveland, Brandon Marshall at new York Jets, Larry Fitzgerald vs. Denver, Chad Ochocinco at Pittsburgh or Dwayne Bowe at San Diego.
Steve Johnson (vs. CLE): Brandon Marshall (at NYJ): Kenny Britt (at IND): Larry Fitzgerald (vs. DEN): Chad Ochocinco (at PIT): Bust alert: Dwayne Bowe
Brandon Pettigrew hosting Green Bay this week has a fairly good history vs. the Packers. In week 4 he had 8 catches for 91 yards. Green bay has struggled vs. tight ends this year and even if Drew Stanton is a work in progress, he could go to Pettigrew as a check down off of more than one play. Pettigrew also plays much better at home than on the road.
Benjamin Watson is at Buffalo this weekend. Buffalo is a place where the weather in December is always a factor. That said, the weather may be a help to Watson and the short yardage catches. Watson is coming off a great game at Miami with 10 catches 100 yds and 1 TD. Watson has a great history vs. Buffalo from his days at New England.
Chris Cooley wqill host Tampa bay this weekend and he has a great history vs. the Buccaneers. In 3 meetings Cooley has 16 catches 219 yds and 3 TDs. He only has 1 TD this year but the targets and yardage make him a good start this weekend.
Ed Dicksonn is at Houston this weekend and the Raven should do quite well filling in for Todd heap. The Texans have struggled against the tight end slot this year and Joe Flacco seems to have good faith in Dickson. Based on this matchup, I suggest Dickson is a quality start.
I do not recommend Dustin Keller vs. Miami, Visanthe Shiancoe vs. New York Giants, Jeremy Shockey vs. St Louis or Joel Dressen vs. Baltimore.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
Atlanta at Carolina
San Diego vs. Kansas City
San Francisco vs. Seattle
Denver at Arizona
I do not recommend Seattle at San Francisco
Matt Prater at Arizona
Garrett Hartley vs. St Louis
Billy Cundiff at Houston
Ryan Longwell vs. new York Giants
I do not recommend Lawrence Tynes at Minnesota
That’s all I have for this week folks. I did not include the Tennessee Indianapolis game this weekend as that game is earlier in the week