Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2015 Week 14 Fantasy Advice

      Did you have a lucky Week 13? Fantasy playoffs are either starting already, or about to, so even though this intro is basically the same from last week's column, but the importance of the commentary remains. There is (probably) money at stake here, and reputations to go with it!

Who to Start:

QB Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs. PHI: Despite what Tom Brady's performance might otherwise indicate, the Eagles secondary is still pretty abysmal. That Patriots game feels like the exception rather than the rule, and Tyrod Taylor should feast on that. Now that he has his full complement of weapons back, Taylor should have another big day at the office (other starts: Carson Palmer (THU), Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston)

RB Lamar Miller (MIA) vs. NYG MON: With the way Ryan Tannehill has struggled recently, common sense would dictate that the Dolphins try to run the ball more. They really should against the Giants, who have one of the worst rush defenses in the league (other starts: Thomas Rawls, Jonathan Stewart, Shaun Draughn)

WR Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs. WSH: Even though he hasn't hit the endzone since Week 8, keep the faith folks. This matchup against Washington is pretty favorable, and even more so since this game is in Chicago and not Landover. 

WR Eric Decker (NYJ) vs. TEN: Decker has been consistent if not entirely that flashy this season, and that form should continue against the Titans at home this week. The Titans have been torn asunder by almost everyone they have played through the air recently, including allowing the Jaguars to set numerous franchise records in the process last week (other starts: Martavis Bryant, Mike Evans, Doug Baldwin)

TE Travis Kelce (KC) vs. SD: Thin position in fantasy terms means those who haven't been consistent or have iffy matchups often get favor. Kelce has the former of those two vices, and since the matchup against the Chargers is favorable considering the injuries on San Diego's defense, it's hard to say no to Kelce on Sunday (other starts: Delanie Walker, Jordan Reed, Eric Ebron)

DEF Detroit vs. STL: The Lions haven't been a great fantasy defense this season, but they're going up against Case Keenum and the Rams this week, which means that the Lions after being a poor option all year now has a little hope on its side (other starts: GB, CAR, DEN)

Who to Sit:

QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. CAR: His wildly inconsistent performances have been reason enough to bench the former BC Eagle, but this week he goes up against a team he's had next to no success against: Carolina. Sure the Panthers D was knocked down a peg in New Orleans, but this is still the best defense in the league for a reason (other sits: Matthew Stafford, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr)

RB Eddie Lacy (GB) vs. DAL: We're reaching a point in fantasy circles where the Packers backfield is becoming the same sort of fantasy minefield that the Patriots backfield once was. Figuring out who is going to get the bulk of the carries feels like solving the mystery of the universe. Therefore, even with a decent matchup, avoid Lacy if you can (other sits: Javorius Allen, Latavius Murray, LeGarrette Blount)

WR Amari Cooper (OAK) vs. DEN: He's had a great season no doubt, and should be in the offensive rookie of the year conversation. But with Derek Carr's form dropping off a cliff of late, and Coop being matched up against Aqib Talib on Sunday, this is a risky play. Cooper had only 47 yards in the first meeting between these two in October.

WR Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs. ARZ THU: I hate putting Stef here because I bleed the Maryland flag, but the Vikings pass offense is so inconsistent and usually punchless, and Stef will be shadowed by a certain honey badger on Thursday night. Honey Badgers are a little bit more potent than Diamondback Terrapins, at least in this instance (other sits: Julio Jones, DeSean Jackson, Randall Cobb)

TE Jason Witten (DAL) vs. GB: Do you trust Matt Cassel? I don't (other sits: Benjamin Watson, Zach Ertz, Charles Clay)

DEF Houston vs. NE: Their dominant streak has come to an end, and they suddenly look more vulnerable than they have at any point since early on in the season. The Patriots might be dinged up on offense, but they are bad matchup no matter what (other sits: MIN, PHI, MIA)

Three Super Sleepers:

QB Matt Hasslebeck (IND) vs. JAX: He says he's healthy, but even if he was 85% effective he'd still likely throw for 300+ yards against the sieve that is the Jaguars secondary of late. They can't rush the passer, so Hasslebeck will likely come out with few grass stains on his jersey and a big day at the office too.

RB David Johnson (ARZ) vs. MIN THU: With all of the injuries in the Cardinals backfield, and on the Vikings defense, David Johnson could be staring down the barrel at another solid performance when fantasy owners need it most. 

TE Scott Chandler (NE) vs. HOU: The matchup isn't amazing on paper, but his rapport with Tom Brady has to be improving. He'll see his fair share of targets for sure, and he should start turning those into yards and fantasy points.

Buyer Beware:

RB Jeremy Hill (CIN) vs. PIT: He's been great the last three weeks, so why would he be here? He hasn't been that great against the Steelers in his career; 69 yards per game in three games without a touchdown. Even though Pittsburgh's defense hasn't been great this season, buyer beware.

Good Luck in Week 14!  

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