Cleveland (92.3 The Fan) -
Joe Flacco (@ Den) Denvers pass def is very good, and with Flacco’s inconsistencies, I don’t trust him this week. With Baltimore firing Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, I expect the Ravens to lean heavily on Ray Rice and the running game.
Josh Freeman (@ NO) – Freeman has cooled off a bit in the past couple of weeks, but he has a real chance to heat back up against the Saints, who have one of the worst all around Defenses in the league.
Vick Ballard (@ Hou) – The Texans got embarrassed by the Patriots in front of the nation last Monday Night. They will be Hell Bent on not letting that happen this week. If Indy has a shot at winning in Houston, it’ll have to come off the arm of Andrew Luck. Ballard owners should look for another option.
Darren McFadden (vs KC) – After an alleged tweak of his ankle last Thurs, fantasy owners of McFadden are a bit uneasy even against a very favorable matchup vs. the Chiefs. McFadden practiced in full all week and looks to be in line to start again. In his last game against the Chiefs he had 137 all purpose yards, his best performance of the season. If you have him, you need to start him.
Kenny Britt (vs NYJ) – Britt finally had a productive game last week, but he seems to be allergic to consistency. When you add a very tough pass defense in the Jets, Britt can’t be trusted and should be left on your bench.
Danario Alexander (vs Min) – Everything, everyone expected from Vincent Brown this year has manifested itself in Alexander. He has developed tremendous chemistry with Philip Rivers and I expect him to continue produce at a high level even against a tough pass def for the Panthers.
Scott Chandler (vs Sea) – Chandler shows flashes of being a viable fantasy option but I don’t see it this week. Seattle’s pass def is ranked 4th best in the league and with Ryan Fitzpatrick consistently being mediocre, I can’t expect much from Chandler.
Dallas Clark (@ NO) – Dallas Clark has been almost invisible the past few weeks but I expect that to change this week in New Orleans. In most scoring systems the Saints give up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing Tight Ends. I expect a good day from all offensive players for Tampa including Clark.
San Francisco Def (@ NE) – this is one of those rare occasions where I would sit San Fran’s Def. Tom Brady & the Patriots completely dismantled the Texans last week and I expect them to continue their onslaught against the 49ers.
Mia. (vs. Jax) The Jaguars running game is in shambles. Cecil Shorts looks to be probable and possibly a game time decision, Plus Chad Henne is Chad Henne. Everything points to Miami’s Def. having a very good game.
Game Previews (Fillar):
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
I can’t get over the frustration that Brandon Marshall can be so consistent, and Jay Cutler cannot. Alshon Jeffrey is a nice little flex start if you’re in a pinch. With the report that Jermichael Finley is on the outs with his team, I can finally stop putting his name down as a hate. Okay, just one more time: I hate him.
New York Giants @ Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta offense is obviously phasing out Michael Turner’s touches lately. That said, I’m not thrilled about Jacquizz Rodgers, either. Big Blue clamps down here in the home stretch and have only given up 6 rushing touchdowns in the first 14 weeks. If the Falcons strike, it’ll be through the air.
David Wilson is who I’m more intrigued by today. This is where solid moves can win your week. Wilson finally getting another chance, with Ahmad Bradshaw out, to make up for his last start where he fumbled away his opportunity. The birds are coming off a game where they gave up 195 yards on the ground to the Panthers, and surrendered 6 yards per carry to Pierre Thomas the one before it. Love young running backs getting a starting opportunity against bad rush D’s.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans
A battle of two very bad teams against the pass. The Bucs were roasted last week by Nick Foles, and obviously he ain’t no Drew Brees. I’ll leave Saints running backs on the bench and start the entire air force of Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson, Brees, Lance Moore, Marquis Colston and the towel boy, if he’s able to line up in the slot.
Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams
Adrian Peterson’s ridiculous comeback season continues. Even if the Rams stack the box, there’s no way to contain All Day when he’s running well. But I still don’t trust other Vikings. Sam Bradford, Chris Givens and Stephen Jackson are my starts for the Rams.
Washington Redskins @ Cleveland Browns
Hello, fantasy nightmare. All-star stud Robert Griffin III won’t be playing during a playoff week. Ouch. I simply don’t like the situation for Kurt Cousins, and believe there are other, more viable, options that are likely available, including one in this game.
Brandon Weeden is coasting on double digit points in four straight weeks, and will throw against the 2nd worst pass defense in yardage, and absolute worst in touchdowns given up. Josh Gordon will probably enjoy the best day, the likeliest candidate to shake the corners and sneak behind the safeties as other teams have done for all of 2012.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins
With the Jaguars back to being awful and on their 5th running back or so, the Dolphins Defense is a decent play, as they actually have something to play for. Even though he’s been very disappointing, Reggie Bush has a chance to play really well here. And despite the Jags may be totally lying down, I don’t hate Montell Owens, who produced some last week during his reps. Cecil Shorts is your Jax WR, if you must, not Justin Blackmon.
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens
As good as the Denver defense has been, they’re surprisingly bad at preventing tight ends from producing. Nobody has given up more TDs against the position, and Dennis Pitta has sporadically been useful over the past five weeks. Other than Torrey Smith, who will be getting the Champ Bailey treatment, I’m not afraid to start anybody else in this game. Look for Knowshon Moreno to continue his success.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
I’ve written before about the ability of teams to pass against Houston, even before the ridiculous blowout at the hands of Tom Brady. Andrew Luck, TY Hilton, and Reggie Wayne are solid here. Vick Ballard, not so much. Andre Johnson has gotten his double digit targets back, and I’m not expecting two straight weeks of Owen Daniels struggling, even if the Colts aren’t a great match up for the position.
Carolina Panthers @ San Diego Chargers
There may have been 3 completely random touchdowns thrown by Phillip Rivers against the Steelers D on the road last week, but this is the exception to the norm. Rivers only had 200 yards to go along with them, and this Carolina team did shut down the Atlanta Falcons for an entire half in week 14. Denario Alexander remains a good deep threat and red zone target, and it’s still wise to leave Antonio Gates on the bench with his low probability of actually doing something for once.
Seattle Seahawks @ Buffalo Bills
That massive, and embarrassing, blowout win against the Cardinals was fun to watch, and I believe the Seahawks still have plenty more to offer. Madman Carroll’s team does play better at home than on the road, but Marshawn Lynch against the Bills rush defense is golden in the fantasy postseason.
I’m not sure exactly what we’ll see here, but the normally consistent Stevie Johnson has a tough one here against arguably the best pass defense in the NFL. CJ Spillers lacking game last week is also not a great sign going into this one.
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals
If I were a Lions defensive lineman or linebacker, first I’d take a good long look in the mirror and reduce the anger-levels a tad. Then, I’d be licking my chops to face Ryan Lindley, who has 7 turnovers and no touchdowns during his time on the field. The Cardinals are hilariously awful, and I don’t care who they’re facing after that 58-point drumming at the hands of Seattle.
Even the venom in the Detroit locker room can’t prevent a good game against Arizona, whose stud corner Patrick Peterson apparently wants to face Calvin Johnson, a possible TWO THOUSAND yard receiver, one-one-one. Uh, yeah, about that.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Dallas Cowboys
Indications appear to be that the Cowboys defense is going to give problems to the Steelers, but with Ben Roethlisberger back in their lineup, it’s top-notch again. After a slow start, the tall, lumbering grunt still managed to put up nearly 300 yards and 3 scores to keep Pittsburgh in the game. Mike Wallace is the receiver you want in this one.
I’d much rather have Demarco Murray than others for Dallas. Even if Dez Bryant plays, QB’s have struggled against the Steeler defense this season (even with the anomaly that was Phillip Rivers huge game last week). Tony Romo really hasn’t lit up any quality D’s in the second half of this year.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Facing the Raiders defense is normally a great match up, but there isn’t a lot left for the Chiefs offense now that Dwayne Bowe is out of commission. Jamaal Charles obviously will see the majority of touches, but Tony Moeaki could have a solid day, too. We’ve seen that great days can be had against KC, but if they get too far ahead early, it’ll be more Darren McFadden than Carson Palmer for half the game. Darrius Heyward-Bay has been a consistent deep threat producer lately, but I’ll take Rod Streater first.
Sunday Night Game
San Francisco 49ers @ New England Patriots
Another tough week for Patriots running backs, it’s just too difficult to predict a score. So Stephen Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead are all flex plays at the most here. Offense trumps defense in Foxboro, so I’m fairly low on the San Francisco Defense. Love Collin Kaepernick, though, who can use a duel threat against the Pats, and that 50+ yarder was a great indication of his threat to score from anywhere. Tom Brady is obvious, but I like Wes Welker more than Brandon Lloyd.
Monday Night Game
New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans
Good lord, what a crapfest. Can I just look away? The Jets defense or Shonn Greene may be the only things even halfway worth a start.