Hello again fellow fanatics. Welcome to Week 15. In most leagues, we’re deep into the playoffs and things are getting a bit hairy in the games. It’s not like it had been in the past though. I remember picking up Jim Sorgi (who?) in 07 when I won my championship. Peyton Manning entered the week 17 game, threw a 6 yard completion to Marvin Harrison and they both sat down. They were replaced off of the bench by Reggie Wayne and Manning’s backup, Jim Sorgi. It may as well have been the Super Bowl for Sorgi, 296 yds and 3 TDs which was very welcome in week 17.
Anyway, the playoffs continue so let’s see if there are any surprises as we near everyone’s Superbowl. Mine is next week and I’m still alive in both leagues.
Matt Schaub is at Tennessee this weekend and I recommended him the last time the Texans took on the Titans. He responded very well then and I expect the same type of performance this week. Schaub has put some good games on the board in the last three weeks against Tennessee, Philadelphia and Baltimore. I look for that trend to continue.
Matt Ryan is in Seattle this weekend and there may be a weather concern here as rain is in the forecast. Also, Ryan has been mediocre outdoors this year. That said, consider that the Seahawks have allowed 8 QB’s to throw multiple TDs this year including Alex Smith who threw 3 TDs and passed for 255 yds. Barring any severe weather, Ryan should have a great day.
Jon Kitna will host Washington this weekend and this could be his last start. Tony Romo could be back for week 16 and Arizona. Look for Kitna to continue to put up good numbers for the Cowboys. I like Kitna here vs. the Redskins better than either Jay Cutler or Ben Roethlisberger. I admire what he’s done in Romo’s absence especially during a losing season.
Josh Freeman will play host to Detroit this week who have allowed 7 QBs to score multiple TDs this year. Freeman also has a nice corp of targets in Mike Williams, Kellan Winslow and the rookie Arrelious Benn. Freeman is also averaging 20 rushing yds per game this year. And Tampa Bay is fighting for playoff contention. Look for the Bucs to have a good game here.
Kerry Collins is home vs. Houston this week. Collins has the ability to either carry a fantasy owner forward or stop him in his tracks. I think he does good here. The Texans have given up an awful lot of yardage to QBs this year and Tennessee will need to pass the ball if they intend to keep the game tight. It doesn’t hurt any that Kenny Britt is expected to return for Tennessee.
Carson Palmer is home vs. Cleveland this week and as usual, Palmer is a risky start. He does have a favorable matchup here and he has a good history vs. Cleveland. Palmer last faced Cleveland in week 4 where he threw for 371 yds and 2 TDs. If you’re strapped for a QB, Palmer could be the answer to advance you deeper into the playoffs.
I do not recommend Kyle Orton at Oakland, Mark Sanchez at Pittsburgh, David Garrard at Indianapolis, Ben Roethlisberger vs. New York Jets or Joe Flacco vs. New Orleans.
Brandon Jacobs will host Philadelphia this week and he’s been running pretty well lately. A caution here. The eagles did hold Jacobs to 10 yds on 5 carries and 1 catch for 22 yds in week 11. Since that game, Jacobs has been terrific with 36 carries for 306 yds and 3 TDs. Philly is missing Stewart Bradley this week and that could open things up for both Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to have good games.
Ryan Torain will be in Dallas this weekend and he’s coming off of a career best game in yardage. The Cowboys have given up big yardage to New Orleans, Indianapolis and Philly in their past three games. Torain is healthy and well rested and should have a great game here.
Tim Hightower is at Carolina this weekend and he’s set for a great game. The last three running backs, Hillis, Lynch and Turner have all scored 3 TDs vs. the Panthers. That may not happen for Hightower but he’s coming off a 148 yds 2 TD performance vs. Denver and he should continue to run well against Carolina. Beanie Wells may also be considered here.
LeGarrette Blount will host Detroit this weekend and he should make up for last week vs. Washington. In spite of their good play last week, the Lions run defense has had a bad year. Blount runs well at home especially against weaker run defenses and he should see the rock quite a bit during this tilt.
Cedric Benson hosts Cleveland this weekend. He’s done very well at home this year. In his past 5 home games he’s had 105 carries for 440 yds and 4 TDs. Last week Cleveland struggles with Fred Jackson as he had 29 carries for 112 yds. Benson should do very well here as he is much better at home than on the road.
I do not recommend LaDainian Tomlinson at Pittsburgh, Chris Ivory at Baltimore, Marshawn Lynch vs. Atlanta, Thomas Jones at St. Louis or Freed Jackson at Miami.
Deion Branch is hosting Green Bay this week and Branch has become a favorite target for Tom Brady. He’s been targeted at least 7 times in the past 4 games. He’s transformed into the solid receiver that he was when he and the Patriots parted ways. Brady made a pitch to get Branch back and it happened. They are now back on the same page and the game this week should be fulfilling for both QB and WR.
Hakeen Nicks is home vs. Philadelphia this weekend. He looked great in week 14 vs. Minnesota after a 2 game absence. He had 7 catches for 96 yds and with Steve Smith done for the year and Mario Manningham hurting in the hip, the Giants will be depending on Nicks to have a good game. This year. In Philly, Nicks was held to 6 catches for 65 yds however, last year at home vs. Philly, Nicks had 4 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD. In the past 5 games, the Eagles have allowed 5 TDs to the WR position.
Kenny Britt is home vs. Houston this Sunday. Last week Britt returned from a hamstring and had 4 catches for 39 yds. He looked heathly and hs become a favorite target for Kerry Collins. This week, vs. the Texans, he should be in line for a great game as they have allowed 18 TDs to the WR spot this year. Britt missed the first game in Houston this year but he should make up things in this contest.
Brandon Marshall will host Buffalo this Sunday and although he’s difficult to trust he is facing the Bills and he is home. Brian Hartline is on IR Buffalo has allowed 14 TDs to the WR postion and because of all of this, I thinks it’s safe to start Marshall as your number 3 WR this week
Mike Williams will host Detroit Sunday and although he was not a factor last week vs. Washington, he should rebound nicely here. Although there are quite a few WR targets in Tampa Bay, look for Williams to free up and have a good game at home vs. the Lions, who have allowed 14 TDs to WR’s this year.
Mike Williams is hosting Atlanta this week. This is the Williams that plays for the Seattle Seahawks. Williams sat out last week against San Francisco and he’s also been dealing with a foot injury. The Falcons are among the league leaders in TDs to WR and Williams should do well here. A caution, check the injury reports and active inactives for this game.
I do not recommend Steve Johnson at Miami, Brandon Lloyd at Oakland, Donald Driver at New England, Sidney Rice vs. Chicago or Mike Wallace vs. New York Jets
Owen Daniels is in Tennessee this week and he looked great in his first game back after missing the previous 5 games. He’s coming off a 5 catch 91 yd game vs. Baltimore and he could carry that over vs. the Titans. Health is always an issue for Daniels but based on his performance last week, you should feel confident in using him in this spot.
Zach Miller hosts Denver this week. He’s had a nagging foot injury all year but last week vs. Jacksonville, he looked healthy having 4 catches for 65 yds and 1 TD. Denver allows 7 TDs to the TE position this year and Miller, it seems, is healthy now. Use him with confidence in this game.
Kevin Boss will host Philadelphia on Sunday. He’s had 4 TDs in his last 6 games. In the earlier game this year, the Eagles held Boss to 2 catches and 22 yds but typically, Philly struggles with TEs having allowed 9 TDs to that position this year. Historically, Boss has 3 TDs vs. Philly in his past 5 games. He should be starting this week.
Bo Schaife is in Houston on Sunday. He’s coming off a great game against the Colts where he had 4 catches for 20 yds and 2 TDs. He should do well against the Texans who have not done well vs. opposing tight ends . Even though he may not be trusted by a lot of owners, those of you with Antonio gates (did not play on Thursday) could do worse on getting a replacement into your lineup.
I do not recommend Dustin Keller at Pittsburgh, Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Chicago, Jimmy Graham at Baltimore or Benjamin Watson at Cincinnati.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
Miami vs. Buffalo
St. Louis vs. Kansas City
Oakland vs. Denver
New England vs. Green Bay
I do not recommend:
Green Bay at New England
Jay Feely at Carolina
Rob Brianios vs. Houston
Josh Scobee at Indianapolis
I do not recommend:
Olindo Mare vs. Atlanta
Those are all my recommendations for this week 15 folks. I did not include the San Diego / San Francisco game last night. I did pick up and start the San Diego Defense and one of my opponents in one of my leagues had Vincent Jackson….ON HIS BENCH hey, I told you there was heartache involved here.
Get out there and get your holiday gift shopping done. And be good; Santa is watching you! Yes you!.
Good luck this week!