Friday, December 28, 2012

Did You See That: 2012 Year-End Awards

Last year, to send off 2011, I gave out some unique awards to honor the best... or the worst... of last year. Now since another year has come and gone, time to hand out the 2012 awards. This doesn't have the prestige of the Golden Globes or Grammy's, but these are just as important, but much funnier.

The "Mayans/World Isn't Really Ending" Award: The NHL Lockout

The Mayans "predicted" the world would end on December 21, and since I'm writing this piece now, that clearly didn't happen. The NHL lockout has been on since mid-September, and it's been everything from hilariously asinine, to infuriatingly asinine. But today, right before the awards were given, the NHL might have presented another offer to the players, and it's been rumored that owners won't stand another cancelled season (what a stunner). So yes NHL fans, the world isn't really ending, despite what the internet has told you. Sometimes, your twitter timeline isn't your best friend.

The "Biggest Insult to Journalism Ever" Award: Skip Bayless AND Rob Parker

I could just copy and paste the award from last year for Skippy and no one would be any the wiser. But, Rob Parker deserves inclusion this time around, because he is a cornball brother for suggesting anyone is a cornball brother. I still have no idea what that means, and I really don't want to.

The "What Have you Done for me Lately" Award: Roman Abramovich

Sports are the best example of the award's title in the world today, and one person is the epitome of this, and he won the award, and would win it every year it's awarded. Roberto Di Matteo won Chelsea not only the FA Cup last year, but the UEFA Champions League (biggest club soccer competition in the world), and guess what? He still got axed anyway, because Abramovich has a twitchy trigger finger. How's Rafa Benitez working for you Roman? Probably just making Fernando Torres seem like a worthwhile transfer.

The "#NBCFail" Award: NBC's Olympic Coverage

Hey, the namesake of an award won it! These aren't the Razzies at all... Anyway, NBC must now hate this hashtag because of the twitter outrage this Summer during the 2012 London Olympics. Tape delaying the best events and forcing people to illegally stream all of the goodies does not a good Olympics make. Taking out segments of the opening ceremonies so Ryan Seacrest can blather to Michael Phelps wasn't such a good idea as well. Hopefully they've learned their lesson for their Premier League coverage next season.

The "Rich Kotite Award for Coaching Excellence": Andy Reid

This must be a small consolation prize for when he gets handed his pink slip on December 31. This whole year has been a masterclass of poor coaching decisions after poor coaching decisions, and not only is it fitting that he has only 4 wins to show for it, it's fitting that Reid wins the award named after a former Eagles coach.

The "Stunning Flameout" Award: Manchester City or Chelsea in the Champions League Group Stage

Take your pick.

The "Basketball Reasons" Award: David Stern

Not only does he lock your players out from playing the game they love, Gregg Popovich, but he'll fine your team $250,000 for not playing their best players against the Heat because he loves to see those TV ratings (not realizing the game was going up against an NFL one, but I digress). Oh wait, that happened to you Gregg? Sorry. He apparently had "basketball reasons" for doing so. Ask Mitch Kupchak.

The "Money Can't Buy You Happiness" Award: LA Dodgers and Anaheim Angels

This award deserves to be split between the two teams that have found the money growing trees that everyone else has been searching for, but that money didn't mean the playoffs for both of these teams. So, what do you do when the first time didn't work? Spend more money! Watch this space to see if they get the same award next year because they couldn't make the playoffs despite having a payroll larger than the GDP of Vanuatu.

And finally...

The "We Should have been Soccer Refs" Award: Scab Refs in the GB/SEA MNF game

This award was handed out last year to refs in a Toledo/Syracuse game because they couldn't tell if a kick was made or not. But this is much worse... so why not relive it for yourself?

Those are the 2012 Year-End awards. To the winners, heartfelt "congratulations". And to those who didn't win, you have 365 days next year to put yourself in position to win for the first time (here's hoping you don't try to).

2012 Week 17 Fantasy Advice

People still play fantasy in Week 17? That should be illegal, right? *Checks Internet*... I guess it isn't, so I have to write a column for you this week. Aren't people aware some teams mail it in during Week 17? I'm not going to, but please schedule more championships for Week 16 in 2013.

Who to Start:

QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. WSH: Tony Romo in a championship game? Sounds funny, but the Redskins D did give up 340 passing yards to Nick Foles last week, and Romo has been playing incredibly well in the past 4 games, and the pace should continue in this win-and-in game.

RB C.J Spiller (BUF) vs. NYJ: He's becoming a legit #1 fantasy RB option, and going up against the porous Jets rushing defense on Sunday, that pace could continue. He had a big game in Week 1 against the Jets, and that could happen again.

WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. NO: Cam Newton has resurrected Steve Smith's fantasy value this season, and he's been incredibly hot over the last 4 games for the Panthers. That will likely continue against the Saints, who have one of the worst pass defenses in football.

WR Greg Jennings (GB) vs. MIN: He's scored 7 TD's in his last 6 games against the Vikings, and while the Packers have something to play for, Jennings should see targets and therefore fantasy points.

TE Antonio Gates (SD) vs. OAK: While he has been bad this year for fantasy purposes, he has had 2 decent games in a row, and that's enough to feel comfortable with him starting against the Raiders on Sunday, whose defense is still pretty bad, especially against the TE.

DEF Denver vs. KC: You know what the explanation for this is already.

Who to Sit:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. ATL: Someone might need to call in a rescue service for Freeman's fantasy stature. He's been really bad at times during the Bucs current 5 game losing streak, and despite possibly playing against Falcons backups, I don't trust him, and neither should you.

RB Mikel Leshoure (DET) vs. CHI: He's been finding the endzone very easily of late, but he struggled in the first meeting between the 2 teams, and the Bears have been very good at shutting down running backs this season.

WR Steve Johnson (BUF) vs. NYJ: He has a tough matchup against Antonio Cromartie Sunday in Orchard Park, so that makes him a tough start despite his recent form. The Jets secondary has been pretty good this year sans Revis Island, and I doubt it stops this week.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ) vs. SF: Brian Hoyer? Seriously?

TE Brandon Myers (OAK) vs. SD: Hot doesn't always mean useful or a good start, and since Brandon Myers has been hot, I have to throw up the caution flag. Matt Leinart is also going to start, so that would make even more sense Sunday.

DEF Dallas vs. WSH: This game has the makings of a shootout in FedEx Sunday night, so starting the Dallas defense to win you a fantasy championship is not likely a good idea.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. PHI: His form of late has been bad, but going up against the beleaguered Eagles defense could change that, but he has struggled against bad Eagles teams before in his career, so that's why he's here and not in the start column.

WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs. NYG: Mike Vick is back, so that could mean good things for Maclin's fantasy numbers, and also going up against the Giants secondary that has been torched over the past 2 weeks will also help.

DEF Tennessee vs. JAX: The Jags offense has been close to non-existent at many points this season, and they've been decimated by injuries on that side of the football as well, so the Titans could have a big game on that side of the ball.

Buyer Beware:

Any Players on a Team that has Already Clinched: This seems obvious, and many coaches say they are going all out, but believe it when you see it. When they get pulled, you'll know why, and you and your fantasy team should be prepared.

So ends another year of fantasy advice, the 3rd on this blog, and the 4th overall. It's been great fun, and I hope you've at least taken some of it to heart when setting your lineups. Thanks to Michael Fabiano, who has no idea what this column is, but his column has helped me provide the skeleton for mine, and I have to give him credit for that. And as always,

Good Luck in Week 17, and have a happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Week 16 Fantasy Advice

Happy Championship Week, people! If you're reading this, you're obviously in a championship game, so these picks are the most important ones of the season, and could be making money soon. So, I hope I was of service to you this season, and don't blame me if you lose this week.

Who to Start:

QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. NO: Romo has been playing nearly flawless football of late, and it should be continuing this week against the Saints, because their defense aside from last week has been just terrible against the pass this season.

RB Stevan Ridley (NE) vs. JAX: Whether he loses carries to Danny Woodhead or not, this is a fantastic matchup for Ridley against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in Jacksonville. Tom Brady may have very little to do this weekend at this rate.

WR Eric Decker (DEN) vs. CLE: Cleveland has been up and down defending the pass this season, and when you go up against Peyton Manning, you can assume which one of the two is going to happen. Decker had a huge game last week, has a great matchup this week to do that again.

WR Pierre Garcon (WSH) vs. PHI: Even if RG3 doesn't start and KC1 does, the Eagles secondary has been a sieve of late, and that bodes well for Garcon who has 3 TD's over his last 4 games since coming back from injury.

TE Greg Olsen (CAR) vs. OAK: Olsen has been playing very well during Carolina's 3 game winning streak, and Olsen should continue his run of form against the absolutely wretched Oakland defense which has had major struggles at times defending the Tight End.

DEF Indianapolis vs. KC: The Chiefs couldn't score a point against the Raiders last week, or muster a first down until the 3rd quarter. The Colts defense should be in for a fantasy field day.

Who to Sit:

QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. NYJ: In the matchup of two underachieving former AFC superpowers, Rivers could be in for some major struggles against the side of the ball for the Jets that gets no credit for being solid all season.

RB Beanie Wells (ARZ) vs. CHI: He had a big game last week against the Lions, but this week the Bears come calling, and they've only allowed 4 rushing TD's all season. Beanie should be wearing one on your fantasy bench this week.

WR Steve Johnson (BUF) vs. MIA: This matchup normally might be decent, but Johnson has been very poor in past games against the Dolphins, as he's never had more than 85 yards in any game against them and has never scored a TD against them either.

WR Denarius Moore (OAK) vs. CAR: The Panthers secondary is young, but underrated and under-heralded, and they should be able to shut down Moore and company this Sunday.

TE Vernon Davis (SF) vs. SEA: He has had a very poor fantasy season this year, and going up against the Seahawks defense won't help matters, considering they've allowed the fewest fantasy points to this position this season.

DEF Baltimore vs. NYG: Look at how far the mighty have fallen. In their current 3 game losing streak, the Ravens defense has been pretty terrible, and the Giants offense comes into this game off being shut out, looking for some penance. This doesn't bode well for Baltimore.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Sam Bradford (STL) vs. TB: He's been quietly putting up big numbers for the Rams over the past couple of weeks, and he goes up against a Bucs defense that has been shredded during their current 4 game losing streak. Bradford is a nice sleeper option.

RB Mikel Leshoure (DET) vs. ATL SAT: The Falcons have struggled to stop the run all season, and Leshoure has been really improving as a runner this season for the Lions. This matchup bodes well if you need a flex option this weekend.

DEF Washington vs. PHI: I know the Redskins defense has been iffy at points this season, but after the recent performances for the Eagles, you can see why the Redskins D is a good fantasy sleeper option this week.

Buyer Beware:

QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. BAL: I know I recommended to bench the Ravens D in fantasy this week, but that doesn't mean Eli will guaranteed have a big game. He can either be perfectly on point on the road, or perfectly off point, and there's no telling what will happen this week. Start with caution if you must.

Good Luck in Week 16, and have a Merry Christmas if you're celebrating!

Did You See That: NFL Christmas Wishes

The Christmas shopping season is close to ending, and some NFL teams have a long and lengthy wishlist for Santa. They didn't go to their local shopping mall to sit on Santa's knee, but the fans have, and Santa has a lot to comb through in order to fulfill all of the wishes. So, I'm going to help him out by making a short, concise list for him. Getting in the Christmas spirit is fun...

Philadelphia Eagles: "There are donuts in the endzone, Andy!" will no longer be a useful catchphrase to say at Eagles games. Eagles fans want a QB that doesn't turn it over every possession (Matt's suggestion: Mark Sanchez), a defense that can stop a fly, and maybe another player like Vince Papale... that's how far they've fallen people.

San Diego Chargers: The good news for Chargers fans is that most fans have not seen any of the terrible home games because they were all blacked out. The bad news is they still have to see the road games. Is it finally the end for Norv and AJ? Chargers fans certainly hope so, and they'd also like a QB that doesn't turn the ball over every other play (Mike Vick?). Most of all, the Chargers want to go back to the glory days of Stan Humphries and Bobby Ross... Just wow.

Buffalo Bills: Will it ever go right for this team? Santa has no answer, but I say you should blame Robo-Sack. They spend all of the money in the off-season on the defensive side of the ball, unfortunately that money was about as well spent as Skip Bayless' ESPN paycheck (#FreeDisney). The Bills would like a QB who plays like he's Harvard educated at some times, or a young clone of Jim Kelly. Either works.

Jacksonville Jaguars: When it's worse than the expansion year, you know it's bad. Jaguars fans ask Santa for a GM that wants to try to hit for a home run every now and again, instead of grounding out to first trying to hit singles, a QB that makes them think of Mark Brunell every now and again and not Steve Beurlein, and finally can the AJHG calm down and let the Jags play at least one season without entire team on IR? #BecauseJaguars

Kansas City Chiefs: Would Chiefs fans like their team to be completely irrelevant and terrible, or pretty good and always find new ways to choke in the playoffs? Being snakebit is fun, isn't it? Santa tells me their fans want everything to change for this team, and it seems that nothing has ever gone right for this team. They want to be somewhat decent next year, but Santa can't help the fans out and Scott Pioli out at the same time, sadly.

Oakland Raiders: The black hole has become the black hole of football since a 2002 Super Bowl run, and this year hasn't helped matters. "Just win, baby" has been replaced with "Just win, maybe?". The Raiders want to play the Chiefs more often, and they want a defense that can stop something. Santa needs some help here.

That's all I could get out of Santa, so have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate, and hope that your Christmas shopping is easier than his work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Week 15 Fantasy Advice

We're almost to the end of the season, which is much needed for some people (me), and pushed off by others. Fantasy playoffs are now in full swing, so every single start you make is important. No one is resting anybody this week, so fantasy disaster is not likely. It's still the NFL though.

Who to Start:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. NO: In the first meeting between the 2 NFC South rivals, Freeman threw for 420 yards against the Saints porous secondary. Based on last week, there is no reason to think that Freeman can't do that again.

RB Reggie Bush (MIA) vs. JAX: While he's not been consistent on the stat sheet this season, he's going up against one of the worst rush defenses in the league in Jacksonville, who has just been ripped by the Bills and Jets in consecutive weeks.

WR Marques Colston (NO) vs. TB: This game at the Superdome is going to be a shootout, isn't it? Colston should have a monster game against the Bucs secondary that had trouble defending Nick Foles last week.

WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. SD: Lost in Carolina's 4-9 season has been the success of long time Panther Steve Smith. He's been hot of late, and he's going up against a Chargers secondary that has allowed a league high 18 TD passes this season.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) vs. IND: I think Houston smells redemption in the water after being blown out in Foxborough, and the Colts struggle to defend the Tight End. Owen Daniels is going to benefit big time from these facts.

DEF Detroit vs. ARZ: The Cardinals have scored 6 points in their last 2 games and have cycled between 2 horrible QB's during the same time. The Lions D is poor, but they'll have a huge game against the Cardinals here.

Who to Sit:

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) vs. SEA in TOR: Fitz has been playing better of late, but he's going up against one of the best secondaries in football when he takes the Rogers Centre field on Sunday afternoon. It doesn't look good for the Harvard grad.

RB Michael Turner (ATL) vs. NYG: He's not the same running back as he was in the past, and he might have some major struggles against the Giants rush defense, which has been very stout on the road recently.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ) vs. DET: You have to sit the poor guy now, based on the way his QB's have been playing. Even though the matchup isn't good or bad, I can't trust him to put up big numbers with the QB production he's had to deal with.

WR Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. DEN: Smith can either have huge fantasy games, or very mediocre ones. The past few games have leaned towards the mediocre category, and the with the Broncos underrated secondary coming in, it's hard to imagine Smith having a big game.

TE Jermichael Finley (GB) vs. CHI: He was held to 26 yards only last time against Chicago in Week 2, and even though his fantasy value shot up after Week 11, it's not going to go well for Finley in Chicago.

DEF San Diego vs. CAR: Cam Newton is on fire right now, and even though the Chargers defense is not the problem area for this team, it's hard to recommend them for a starting role on Sunday.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. NE: He's been a very decent fantasy option, but regardless of that, he has a decent matchup against the Pats secondary this weekend. Even though they've been playing better, I'm not so sure it will go well for them this time round.

RB Shonn Greene (NYJ) vs. TEN MON: Greene has been splitting carries with Bilal Powell of late, but he had a good game in Jacksonville last weekend, and he should have another one against the possibly porous Titans rush D.

DEF Miami vs. JAX: That Chad Henne scoreboard lighting up in Houston feels like a distant memory now doesn't it? Their offensive line is a shambles, and that could prove to be huge for the Dolphins D.

Buyer Beware:

QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. ATL: He's had big games of late, but the Falcons D has been stout at home this season, including picking off Peyton 3 times back in Week 2. Eli could be in trouble on the stat sheet this week.

Good Luck in Week 15!

How Early is too Early?

Sports are getting younger. This is news to a small amount of those reading this, but sports are getting younger than ever before. The proof is in the hype coming out of Canada for 2 young hockey players, that have sent scouts wild. Connor McDavid, a center who plays for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, has drawn comparisons to players like Sidney Crosby and... (deep breath)... Wayne Gretzky. Reebok clearly buys those comparisons, as they have now sponsored McDavid, who is only 15. Over in Michigan, defenseman Sean Day plays minor midget at age 14, and scouts have raved about him being one of the best young defenseman they have ever seen. Canada has gone crazy over their new hockey phenoms. This hype brings up questions for me, and the biggest one is: How early is too early to start going gaga over a young player in any sport?

McDavid and Day are 15 and 14 respectively, meaning they are in 9th and 8th grade. I don't know how many of my readers had the hype machine churning at full tilt about them at such a young age, and I doubt that if you did, you'd really know how to deal with it. These kids are more apt to deal with the hype than at any other point in sports history, but at 15, you have to wonder if these adults have anything else better to do. Not to say that McDavid and Day won't be amazing players in Junior, or even the NHL when they get drafted in a few years time, but it seems way too early to start gushing over players who are 2-3 years away from NHL draft eligibility. And Reebok sponsoring McDavid at just 15? That opens up a brand new can of worms that is very, very scary to think about. Even if the players can deal with the hype, if the people around them can't, then it is going to end badly.

Hockey in Canada is not the only sport that churns the hype machine to extreme levels. Every single sports media outlet did that with Lebron back in 2002, and he was only 16. He lived up to the hype, but there are many others that could have had the hype, but fail to live up to it. And don't even start with soccer, when sometimes players have the scouts, and the papers, eyes zeroed in on them at incredibly young ages. There's even a Barcelona player in the "La Masia" academy that has been nicknamed "The Japanese Messi" at age 11. Usually, the hype machine waits until a player is 16 or 17 to start really churning up, but soccer sometimes picks their new goldenboys at much too young ages. So, it's not just hockey, but it's indicative of a problem.

Even if these kids can deal with all the hype that surrounds their talents, they are still just teenagers, and there is no way of knowing if they can handle it for the long amounts of time that the spotlight will be on them. The younger the "stars" are, the more hype they get, and the longer they have to deal with the inflated expectations and the spotlight. Older players have crumbled underneath the bright lights before, and while that might have been a different time in sports history, those players were at least in their young 20's, or even 18. They were not freshman in High School. I don't want to see the hype get to these players, and their play suffers because of it, but sometimes it's hard to get the media to back off when the future star bells are ringing. It's not fair, but it's the truth.

On current trends, younger and younger athletes will get the same hype as today's Connor McDavid's or Alen Halilovic's. That's why the hype machine needs to cool off on today's 14, 15, and 16 year old stars in any sport, because if they can deal with it, the media will then assume even younger players can deal with the limelight. And I'm not quite sure that they can, and maybe when one of them sadly flames out will the media learn to back off. Until then, we just get to hear the exploits of McDavid in Erie or hear about the Japanese Messi in training all the time, until they finally hit the big time. They might deserve the accolades, but they don't deserve the spotlight on them all the time. They have lives to lead, and I wonder when the media will ever let them have one.

How early is too early? Based on today's hype, 14 isn't. What will be?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Did You See That: How to Stay Occupied During the Heisman Ceremony

The Heisman trophy is one of the most coveted and beloved awards in all of sports. The pose is iconic, just as the legacy of the winners is. The ceremony... not so much. Everyone knows not to tune into the ceremony until the last 5 minutes, because the winner is only announced in the last 5 minutes. But if you're a member of the audience, how do you stay occupied before, during, and after the 1 hour of gushing over the finalists, and listening to Joe Tessitore try to sound like John King? Here are a few suggestions.

1.) Live Tweet the Ceremony from the Theater Floor: Just make sure that you do that when the cameras are not facing you. That would be pretty awkward.

2.) Play Heisman Buzzword Bingo: We've all seen this before, so why not add the Heisman Ceremony to the mix? The mentioning of Archie Griffin is a free space, by the way.

3.) See how many former Heisman Winners You Can Name: Sure, it's easy to name guys like Bradford, Griffin, Leinart, etc. But try remembering Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Rashaan Salaam off the top of your head (those first two were not a slight against Nebraska, by the way).

4.) Play the Heisman Ceremony Drinking Game: On second thought, better leave that one to the college football bloggers on twitter.

5.) Chat up the media covering the event: They can't even cover the ceremony from the inside, and have to watch it on TV, so they're likely to be just as bored as you are, and will be happy to talk to someone about something other than the vote.

6.) Photobomb: Seems childish and stupid, but wouldn't you love to tell your buddies back home you did that? You'd also be written about on Deadspin, although that might not be such a good thing.

7.) Gloat to your friends: This also seems childish, but you're in the audience during the Heisman Ceremony and they aren't. As an aside, isn't gloating fun? Texting is the easy way to do this, but be low key about it.

8.) Remind yourself that at some point, you'd be sick about being gushed over 24/7: The Heisman finalists are thankful for getting proverbial media lap dances for the week leading up to the vote on the surface, but at a point, they have to get sick of it... right?

9.) Remind yourself you are probably more successful than some Heisman Winners: Chris Weinke, Jason White, Danny Wuerffel, etc. were all pretty big NFL flops, so at least you're not a flop like them.

Try these things out if you are lucky enough to be invited to sit in on the ceremony next year... Actually, it's more fun to watch it at home since you don't have to suffer through the first 55 minutes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Week 14 Fantasy Advice

We're already here, and the NFL season should not go by this fast (me being a Jaguars fan excluded). It's now truly fantasy playoff time, so every pick is crucial. That's why you're reading this... I hope.

Who to Start:

QB Andrew Luck (IND) vs. TEN: He was on fire against the Lions last Sunday, and his matchup Sunday against the Titans is also very favorable. Their pass defense has been atrocious this season, and Luck has been very good at home as well.

RB Shonn Greene (NYJ) vs. JAX: He's a bit of a risk to start, but going up against the Jags rush D that got shredded last Sunday in Buffalo, he should at least put up some sort of decent stat line.

WR Marques Colston (NO) vs. NYG: The Giants secondary has been up and down this season, and the downs have happened mainly at home. That bodes well for Colston, who is due for a good game after a 10 day layoff.

WR Hakeem Nicks (NYG) vs. NO: On the other side, Hakeem Nicks is going up against a Saints secondary that has been pretty terrible this season as well, and Eli is due for a good game after a less-than-stellar effort on Monday Night.

TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs. CHI: Even though the matchup on paper is poor, Rudolph has scored a TD in 3 straight games for the Vikings. Since Percy Harvin is now on IR, there is a good chance Rudolph will continue his pace.

DEF Seattle vs. ARZ: Despite losing Brandon Browner to suspension, these are the Cardinals, and the 'Hawks are at home.

Who to Sit:

QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. PIT: Since the Chargers haven't beaten a team not named Kansas City since September, it's hard to trust Rivers at this point, especially against the Steelers D which is now on a roll.

RB Beanie Wells (ARZ) vs. SEA: Wells was poor last week against an iffy Jets rush D, and now he goes up against a rush D in Seattle that has been stout against everyone not named Adrian Peterson. I'd bench Beanie.

WR Miles Austin (DAL) vs. CIN: The Bengals have an underrated secondary, and they've won 4 in a row now. Austin's fantasy numbers can either be fantastic or non-existent, and against the Bengals, they're more likely to be non-existent.

WR Justin Blackmon (JAX) vs. NYJ: There are two reasons why you should bench Blackmon. One, he'll likely be matched up against Antonio Cromartie, and two, everyone saw last week why Chad Henne isn't the answer for the Jags at QB, while Blackmon had a bad case of the dropsies.

TE Brandon Pettigrew (DET) vs. GB: He's been very good in his last couple of games, but the Packers have shut him down big time in the 4 times he's played the Pack. Also, Green Bay has been very good at defending the Tight End this season.

DEF Houston vs. NE MON: Do I really have to explain this one?

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. MIA: I know he was bad last Sunday, but the Fins don't have a very good pass defense, as evidenced by the last couple of weeks. Kaepernick is also due for a good game on home turf.

WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs. TB: This is the definition of a super-sleeper. While the Eagles offense has been mediocre under Nick Foles, the Bucs secondary is easily torched by opposing QB's. Maclin has a chance on Sunday to put up big numbers.

TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) vs. WSH: I know Joe Flacco struggles on the road, but the Redskins defense is still pretty bad, and they have major issues defending the Tight End, in fact they are the worst fantasy wise against the position at home.

Buyer Beware:

WR Mike Wallace (PIT) vs. SD: He's hard to bench, but he's really struggled since Big Ben was shelved. Even if he does come back, I'd expect Pittsburgh to run more than pass on Sunday, meaning Wallace once again could be limited.

Good Luck in Week 14!