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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fine or Pine: Week 16

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

If you're still playing fantasy football in week 16, congratulations. That means you are more than likely playing for a championship. If you are playing for a championship, that means you still need to set your lineups and obviously this week is the most important week of the 2014 fantasy football season. This week is do or die. There is no next week (unless your championship week is week 17). This is the week you just have to get it right. No margin for error. Every roster decision counts. Best of luck to every owner vying for the championship in their leagues. Here's a little something to help you out should you have roster questions. Consider it an early Christmas present from The Fantasy Sports Brain.

Quarterback

Fine- Tom Brady- New England Patriots- Of course it's "fine" to play Tom Terrific every week because Tom Terrific has been as good as fantasy quarterbacks get this season (after week four that is) but with a terrific matchup on tap for championship week versus a Jets defense allowing almost 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, Brady is a must start yet again. He is averaging 23.3 fantasy points per game and hasn't scored under 20 fantasy points since the debacle in Kansas City back in week four. He also has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game since the week four blowout loss. Let Tom Brady help lead your fantasy team to a championship.

Pine- Philip Rivers- San Diego Chargers- Rivers just hasn't been himself the last two games scoring under 20 fantasy points in both contests. Now with the news of a back injury that may be worse than previously thought, it will be difficult for fantasy owners to trust him heading into the biggest week of the fantasy season. It won't help matters any that Rivers faces a 49ers defense that's ranked seventh versus the quarterback and Rivers is looking like a less attractive option heading into week 16.

Running Back

Fine- C.J. Anderson- Denver Broncos- When the 2014 fantasy football is done and over with, there's a good chance that C.J. Anderson will be one of the fantasy waiver wire MVPs. Since week 10, Anderson has posted just one single digit fantasy points game and is averaging almost 11 fantasy points per game since being named the Broncos starting tailback. This week, C.J faces a Bengals defense that is allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Fantasy owners really couldn't ask for a better matchup heading into their championship game.

Pine- Latavius Murray- Oakland Raiders- After his breakout game versus division rivals Chiefs, Murray has cooled off a bit. Having scored single digit fantasy points the last two weeks may have fantasy owners thinking twice before inserting him into their lineups. Making matters worse is the opponent Murray will be facing this week the Bills, have been one of the toughest defenses this season. Especially the last two weeks. Buffalo is the fifth best fantasy defense versus the run and Murray may have a difficult time finding much room to run.

Wide Receiver

Fine- A.J. Green- Yes I know every fantasy owner knows to play A.J. Green each and every week but seeing how he had a disappointing week 15 may scare some owners away. Well, I'm here to tell you to play Green with he utmost confidence this week. Averaging over 13 fantasy points per week and facing a defense in the Broncos allowing 35 fantasy points to wide receivers is just the thing Green needs to bounce back from his only single digit fantasy points game since week ten (which was his first game coming off of an injury). If the Bengals wideout is on your roster, get him in your lineups and sleep like a baby knowing he will produce.

Pine- Larry Fitzgerald- Arizona Cardinals- Seeing how his last double digit fantasy points game came six weeks ago and the Cardinals are down to their fourth string quarterback and the Seattle Seahawks are the best fantasy defense when it comes to defending against wide receivers, it's best for fantasy owners to look elsewhere when it comes to deciding on what to do with the multiple Pro Bowl wideout for championship week.

Tight End

Fine- Dwayne Allen- Indianapolis Colts- Being one of the more consistent fantasy tight ends this season, fantasy owners can trust the third year tight end for another week when he suits up against the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry's team is the worst when it comes to stopping the tight end and Allen is averaging eight fantasy points per week while finding the end zone four times in his last five games. In a season where the tight end has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners, Dwayne Allen has been as consistent as the position has come.

Pine- Mychal Rivera- Oakland Raiders- Having just one double digit fantasy points game in his last five games, it's safe to say Rivera has cooled off quite a bit. He has not scored more than four fantasy points in a game except for week 14 and the Bills defense is allowing the second least amount of fantasy points to the tight end. All of this is a recipe for disaster if you're planning on starting Mychal Rivera in week 16.

D/ST

Fine- Buffalo Bills- The Bills have to be the best option for a fantasy defense heading into this week. They've faced Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers on consecutive weeks and allowed exactly zero touchdowns. They held Peyton to just 8.5 fantasy points in week 14 and Aaron Rodgers to just 12 fantasy points in week 15.  Fantasy owners must be salivating thinking about what will happen to Derek Carr in week 16. The Buffalo Bills defense is ready to help you capture a fantasy championship this week.

Pine- Denver Broncos- The Broncos are allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing signal callers and most (if not every) fantasy owner is expecting fire works in this Monday night matchup. While Andy Dalton may not be the scariest quarterback the Broncos have faced all season, he does have A.J. Green to throw to and the Broncos are allowing 35 fantasy points per game to the wide receiver. All the free agent acquisitions on defense the Broncos made during the off season will not be enough to shut down the Bengals and A.J. Green this week.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 16

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

For most owners, this week marks the culmination of the fantasy football season. The fantasy football championship. By now, every owner's roster should be set. Of course there's always an injury that pops up along the way and the waiver wire may just produce one more gem that can help needy fantasy owners take home the gold. For owners heading over to their waiver wire, there may just be a player or two waiting to help you win a championship.

Keepers

Joseph Randle- Running Back- Dallas Cowboys- With the hand surgery to DeMarco Murray looming over every Murray owner just in time for championship week, run to the waiver wire and add Joseph Randle right now. With one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, Randle could be the key to winning a championship. While he's clearly no DeMarco Murray, he is capable of helping Murray owners in need of a running back. The opponent for week 16 is a favorable match up for any running back as the Colts are allowing almost 26 fantasy points per week to opposing backs. In the limited playing time Randle has seen this season, he's rushed for 237 yards and two touchdowns while catching two balls on two targets for 13 yards. While he may not be PPR gold, he sure will get Murray owners out of trouble when they need him most.

Lance Dunbar- Running Back- Dallas Cowboys- For fantasy owners that weren't able to get Joseph Randle off of their waiver wire, go grab the next best thing in Lance Dunbar. While it remains to be seen whether DeMarco Murray plays in week 16 or not, it also remains to be seen which running back gets the call for week 16 as well if Murray can't go. While most fantasy owners believe it will be Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar is the back that has more value in PPR formats. With 20 targets on the season in limited playing time, Dunbar has 16 catches for over 200 yards. As of now, the Cowboys have given no answers to the running back situation for championship week so if you can grab both Randle and Dunbar, even better. If you miss out on one, you can always grab the other. Even if you're not a DeMarco Murray owner.

Robert Griffin III- Quarterback- Washington Redskins- While the third year signal caller has been on waiver wires for most of the season, he may be ready to help fantasy owners win a championship in week 16. After coming in for the injured Colt McCoy last week, Robert Griffin III passed for 236 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 46 yards on five attempts. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes and scored over 20 fantasy points. Of course no fantasy owner had Robert Griffin III in their starting lineup but looking ahead to week 16, there is still value in the Washington quarterback and against a Philadelphia defense that's allowing the second most fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks, he may just help fantasy owners fill a need at the position.

Harry Douglas- Wide Receiver- Atlanta Falcons- If Julio Jones or Roddy White were to miss week 16 for any reason, Harry Douglas can be counted on to fill the void. He was a smart play in week 15 when fantasy owners learned that top wide out Julio Jones would miss the game and Douglas came through for fantasy owners wise enough to pick him up. He scored over 13 fantasy points in week 15 and helped propel fantasy owners to their championship game. He finished with 131 yards and with a week 16 matchup versus a poor Saints defense allowing almost 38 fantasy points to wide receivers, Harry Douglas will once again come through for fantasy owners should either White or Jones miss the game to determine who wins the NFC South.

Sleepers

Doug Martin- Running Back- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Had I wrote about Doug Martin being worth a waiver wire add a few weeks ago, I would have been laughed at. Heading into championship week, Doug Martin just may have some value yet. After just coming up short in week 15 of scoring double digit fantasy points, Martin now has two productive games in the last three weeks with the only dud in those three weeks coming against a top run defense in the Detroit Lions. In week 16, Muscle Hamster faces a Green Bay defense allowing almost 23 fantasy per game to the running back and could help fantasy owners when they need him most, championship  week.

C.J. Spiller- Running Back- Buffalo Bills- While Spiller is eligible to come off of the short term injured reserve this week, it remains to be seen if the Bills will even activate him for the week 16 game. With Fred Jackson, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown all on the roster and running well in the absence of Spiller, fantasy owners may be hesitant to even take a chance on adding him for the biggest game of the fantasy season. Those fantasy owners in desperate need of a running back may just want to make the move of adding Spiller as he is capable of having big games. The week 16 opponent in the Oakland Raiders doesn't hurt his value either. The Raiders are the second worst team when it comes to defending against the run and Spiller hasn't had a better matchup all season.

Jeepers

Ryan Lindley- Quarterback- Arizona Cardinals- Let's face facts here. If you're a fantasy owner looking to add a quarterback at this juncture, you probably wouldn't be in this position playing for a championship. And if you're a fantasy owner looking at Ryan Lindley, you're really in trouble. Coming in for an injured Drew Stanton last week, Lindley underwhelmed completing four of his ten passes for a measly 30 yards. The Cardinals and fantasy owners are in trouble if relying on Ryan Lindley for any amount of time.

Shonn Greene- Running Back- Tennessee Titans- At this point, adding any player from the Titans means fantasy owners are desperate and adding Shonn Greene is further proof of that. Starting tailback and rookie Bishop Sankey has been a colossal disappointment this season while Shonn Green has been nothing more than a plodder whose best game for fantasy purposes has been week three where he scored 9.3 fantasy points. If fantasy owners are completely desperate heading into week 16, Greene does have a favorable matchup versus the Jaguars who are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to the running back. Hopefully it doesn't come down to needing Shonn Greene to win a championship.

Andre Holmes- Wide Receiver- Oakland Raiders- Let's be honest, what fantasy owner would want to own any player from the silver and black? Andre Holmes had 12 targets last week and only managed to bring in five of them for 70 yards while scoring seven fantasy points in the process. It's the most fantasy points he's scored since week eight and with Derek Carr attempting 56 passes last week, still can't be trusted heading into the biggest game of the season for them. It also hurts Holmes' value in that he faces a top 12 defense when it comes to shutting down wide receivers in the Buffalo Bills.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week 15

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

With the fantasy championship nearly upon most fantasy leagues, now is the time to make the most of each lineup. There is no margin for error and every single move could be the difference between playing next week or watching your friends (or foes) compete for the title. With that said, I present to you the week 15 edition of Fine or Pine.

Quarterback

Fine- Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers- With a matchup against one of the worst fantasy defenses in 2014, the Steelers signal caller has one of the best match ups for a quarterback this week. Big Ben is already averaging almost 25 fantasy points per game this season and faces an Atlanta defense allowing 18 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks. With both defenses not at the top of their games, fantasy owners should expect plenty of points in this game.

Pine- Colin Kaepernick- San Francisco 49ers- Fantasy owners should have been done with Kaepernick quite some time ago. He hasn't scored more than 20 fantasy points in a game since week six and the Seahawks defense is allowing the least amount of fantasy points to the quarterback. The Seahawks secondary is Krytptonite to the 49ers signal caller as Kaepernick has not scored more than 15.9 fantasy points in a game against the Seahawks since becoming the San Francisco starter back in 2012. It's fantasy playoff time and  Kaepernick  cannot and should not be trusted whatsoever.

Wide Receiver

Fine- Odell Beckham Jr- New York Giants- At this point, fantasy owners lucky enough to have drafted or picked up ODB off of waivers  absolutely has to start him each and every week. He has shown to be match up proof up until this point and has scored double digit fantasy points in all but three games this season. He has also posted double  digit fantasy points in three of his last five games. In the nine total games he's played this season, he has 82 targets and has become the go to receiver for Eli Manning. Facing a Washington defense that's allowing over 37 fantasy points per week to the wide out position should only make the rookie receiver even more appealing in week 15.

Pine- Anquan Boldin- San Francisco 49ers-This is more of an indictment on his quarterback and not the player himself. Kapernick has been a fantasy quarterback barely startable in some leagues and Boldin may be the one who suffers from it. The match up is not in the wideout's favor as Seattle is allowing the least amount of fantasy points per game to wide receivers and Boldin as already been held to single digit fantasy points the last two weeks.

Running Back

Fine- Matt Forte- Chicago Bears- Of course every Matt Forte owner will start him this week and every week but besides Forte averaging over 16 fantasy points per game, the Bears week 15 opponent, the Saints are allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs this season. Add to that, Forte has double digit fantasy points in three of his last four contests and has seen no less than six targets in any game all season long. This game should be another contest where plenty of points will be scored seeing how both defense will probably end up staying home and not showing up.

Pine- Frank Gore- San Francisco 49ers- I know it seems like I'm picking on the 49ers here but this is the fantasy playoffs and tough decisions need to be made. The 49ers offense as a whole has been completely erratic to say the least and Frank Gore hasn't done much to help his cause. Gore has not posted a double digit fantasy points game since back in week 11 and the Seattle run defense is allowing 20.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and is starting to come on strong as of late. Gore has become more of a desperation start than a must start.

Tight End

Fine- Delanie Walker- Tennessee Titans- With 22 targets over his last three games and facing a Jets defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Delanie Walker is a must start at a position that hasn't been that reliable this season outside of Rob Gronkowski. The Titans have injuries at pretty much all the starting receivers positions so Jake Locker will have to rely on his tight end in this game.

Pine- Jason Witten- Dallas Cowboys- As efficient as the Cowboys offense has been for most of the season, the offense runs through DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. Witten is averaging 5.7 fantasy points per game this season and has not posted a double digit fantasy points game since week eight which happened to be his one and only. To make matters worse, the opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, are a tough team when it comes to opposing tight ends allowing the second least amount of fantasy points to the position. If points are to be scored in this game, it will more than likely come from the Dallas wideouts and DeMarco Murray.

D/ST

Fine- New England Patriots- The Miami offense has sputtered as of late and the Patriots defense (especially their secondary) has been a dominant force most of the season and is only getting better as the season goes along. Revis and company are allowing just over 17 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks and Tannehill hasn't been the fantasy stud he was earlier in the season.

Pine- Philadelphia Eagles- This game figures to decide the NFC East and plenty of points look to be scored in this game. That makes the Eagles defense, a team allowing the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks a unit better suited to sitting than starting. The Eagles defense is a defense predicated on turnovers and with Romo averaging over 20 fantasy points per game and having thrown eight interceptions (the second least of his career), the Eagles defense isn't looking like a defense ready to help fantasy owners advance to the championship next week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 15

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

With week 15 right around the corner, fantasy owners that have gotten to this point will be looking for a player or two to pluck off of the waiver wire heading into their next playoff matchup. While week 15 probably will not provide much help, there could be players that fantasy owners may want to grab for insurance purposes. It's time once again to comb the waiver wire for last minute help. Good luck to all fantasy owners still alive in their leagues and go grab that last second waiver wire help before another owner in your league does.

Keepers

Marquess Wilson- Wide Receiver- Chicago Bears- Now that Brandon Marshall is officially done for the season, the Bears will need another wide out to step up and take his place. That receiver is none other than Marquess Wilson. Banged up earlier in the season, Wilson is ready to make his 2014 debut and just in the nick of time too. Both the Bears and fantasy owners could use the help. The Bears face the Saints in week 15 and fantasy owners could not ask for a better matchup and neither can Marquess Wilson.  The Saints are allowing almost 40 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers and Cutler will need all the help he can get with Marshall out and Alshon Jefferey a little dinged up as well. Fantasy owners should expect Wilson to get his fair share of targets in this game and that could pay off huge for fantasy owners looking to make it to  their championship game next week.

Eli Manning- Quarterback- New York Giants- Sure Eli can be erratic and down right discouraging at times but with nothing on the line but pride for the GMen the last three weeks of the season, Manning has favorable matchups the rest of the way. Looking ahead to his week 15 tilt versus the Redskins, Eli looks like a quarterback fantasy owners could take a chance on if they are in need of a quarterback. The Washington defense is allowing the third most fantasy points per game to the quarterback and Eli torched the Redskins back in week four for over 37 fantasy points. The most he's had all season. Eli may be coming on for fantasy owners at the right time.

New York Giants D/ST- Averaging 7.5 fantasy points per game, the New York Giants face a Redskins team with more problems than anyone can count right now. With Robert Griffin III possibly slated to get the nod in week 15, the Giants defense becomes a favorable matchup for fantasy owners looking to stream a defense this week. Robert Griffin III is averaging 10.5 fantasy points per week this season in limited playing time but the Giants are only allowing 18.7 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers this year. Fantasy owners looking for a defense off of their waiver wire may want to kick the tires on the second worst team from New York.

Sleepers

Kerwynn Williams- Running Back- Arizona Cardinals- With the running back by committee in full effect in Arizona, Kerwynn Williams could be a sleeper that nobody heard of until last week when he broke out with 100 yards on 19 carries. At this point, he may provide more value in standard formats than in PPR formats seeing how he had no targets in the passing game last week. He scored double digit fantasy points in his first start in week 14 versus a good Chiefs run defense and gets the Rams this week who allow over 20 fantasy points per game to the running back position.

Nate Washington- Wide Receiver- Tennessee Titans- With a beat up receiving corp in Tennessee, Nate Washington may have enough gas left for a few more fantasy worthy games. Washington and the Titans get a New York Jets defense allowing almost 38 fantasy points per game to wide receivers and Nate Washington has two double digit fantasy points games in the last four weeks. He's coming off of a game where he only saw three targets but the previous two games saw him get six targets and nine targets respectively.

Jeepers

Derek Hagan- Wide Receiver- Tennessee Titans- While Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter may not be around for the week 15 matchup versus the Jets, Derek Hagan will be but fantasy owners may find it difficult to trust him. Especially being it's playoff time. Hagan did receive seven targets in week 14 versus the Giants which was a season high for him. While the targets may be there for Derek Hagan, the trust factor probably won't be for fantasy owners.

Jordan Cameron- Tight End- Cleveland Browns- While some fantasy owners may want to give Jordan Cameron another shot with Johnny Manziel under center this week, trusting Cameron in a do or die week will be extremely difficult for fantasy owners to handle. Cameron received five targets in week 14 versus the Colts and gets a Bengals team allowing over 13 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. With the playoffs on the line this week, fantasy owners hopefully have another option other than Jordan Cameron.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week 14

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Here it is fellow fantasy owners. Week 14. Time for the fantasy football playoffs to officially kick off. If your league hasn't started the playoffs yet, you may need this week to make the playoffs. Either way, this is an important week for fantasy owners alike. There is absolutely no margin for error at this point and every move means more than any other week this season. Should you play your studs or use the player that has been hot over the last couple of weeks? We call this Fine or Pine and we have your answers right here.

Quarterback

Fine- Ryan Tannehill- Miami Dolphins- While some fantasy owners may be scared off by Tannehill this week based on his mediocre performance in week 13 versus the Jets, Tannehill faces a Ravens secondary that is allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing signal callers while Tannehill himself is averaging over 21 fantasy points per game. Fantasy owners can bet on Ryan Tannehill looking to redeem himself after the dud of a game last week.

Pine- Drew Stanton- Arizona Cardinals- The Cardinals went from being a juggernaut on offense to barely being able to produce any points. While Drew Stanton filled in admirably earlier in the season while Carson Palmer was out, he just hasn't been getting the job done. While most fantasy owners would be smart enough to not use Stanton, those in two quarterback leagues may not have much of a choice. His match up for week 14 isn't favorable as Kansas City is allowing just over 15 fantasy points per week to the quarterback while Stanton himself has scored less than ten fantasy points in week 12 and less than 20 fantasy points last week.

Running Back

Fine- Eddie Lacy- Green Bay Packers- The former Alabama standout started the season slow but has really picked up his game over the last six weeks scoring double digit fantasy points in each of his last six contests. Lacy is averaging just under 14 fantasy points per week and faces an Atlanta defense that seemingly doesn't defend the running back position allowing almost 30 fantasy points per game to the position.

Pine- Lamar Miller- Miami Dolphins- With a week 14 match up on tap versus the Ravens, the odds aren't in Miller's favor this week. The Ravens are one of the stingiest units when it comes to stopping the run as they are giving up the second least fantasy points to the position. Add to that Lamar Miller only has two double digit fantasy points games in the last five weeks. Even with the suspension of Haloti Ngata, it will be difficult for Miller to get much going this week.

Wide Receiver

Fine- Jarvis Landry- Miami Dolphins- While Baltimore has no trouble shutting down running backs, they do let receivers run wild allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers in fantasy football this season. Landry has become a favorite target for Ryan Tannehill as he's seen 22 targets over his last two games and no less than five targets since week eight where he saw only three. Landry also has scored double digit fantasy points in two of his last three games and has become PPR gold for fantasy owners this year. Fantasy owners can expect another double digit fantasy points game in week 14 for their playoff match up.

Pine- Keenan Allen- San Diego Chargers- Let me start off by saying Keenan Allen should be benched only if there isn't a better option. The only reason I recommend sitting the second year wide out is because of the opponent and not the player himself. The Patriots are allowing the third least fantasy points to opposing wide outs and it is common knowledge at this point that Bill Belichick likes to take away the opposing team's best weapon and right now that's Keenan Allen. Allen has been much better as of late scoring double digit fantasy points the last two weeks. The match up on Revis island just doesn't bode well for Allen this week.

Tight End

Fine- Jordan Reed- Washington Redskins- Quite possibly the only bright spot for the Redskins as of late is the tight end Jordan Reed. Often banged up, Reed returned to action last week and immediately made an impact seeing how new starter Colt McCoy likes to rely heavily on his tight end to bail him out. Reed got 13 targets last week and pulled in nine of them for 123 yards. His week 14 opponent, the Rams aren't too bad versus the tight end allowing 10 fantasy points per week to the position but seeing how Reed gets his fair share of targets, it will be difficult for Reed not to post double digit fantasy points based on receptions alone. Fire Reed up in PPR formats.

Pine- Owen Daniels- Baltimore Ravens- Are there any fantasy owners who are relying on Owen Daniels at this point in the season? The Ravens face the Dolphins this week and the Fins are allowing the least amount of fantasy points to the tight end on a weekly basis. Add to that, Owen Daniels has not posted a double digit fantasy points game since week seven and has not received more than five targets in his last three contests.

Defense/Special Teams

Fine- Minnesota Vikings- Simply put, the Vikings face the Jets in week 14 and Geno Smith has 11 interceptions on the year and is completing just over 57 percent of his passes. While fantasy owners shouldn't expect a repeat performance of what Minnesota did last week with their two blocked punts for scores, they can expect a low scoring effort from the Jets and probably a turnover or two from the second year signal caller.

Pine- Philadelphia Eagles- While the Eagles defense has been dependable most of the season, they rely heavily on turnovers and that's something that Russell Wilson just doesn't do much of. The Seahawks signal caller has only five interceptions on the season and is completing almost 70 percent of his passes. Without turnovers, the Eagles defense will not score many fantasy points this week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 14

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Well, this is what we as fantasy owners have been playing for all season, the playoffs. A shot at winning a fantasy football championship and owning bragging rights over the rest of our leagues for an entire year. At this point, most fantasy rosters should be set with maybe a tweak here and there. The waiver wire will be a ghost town by week 14 but there may still be a player or two that can turn the tide and give that little boost to a fantasy team and take them to the promised land. As always, which players are worth adding and which players are just one week wonders? Bring on week 14 and the fantasy football playoffs.

Keepers

Johnny Manziel- Quarterback- Cleveland Browns. (Note from Dave:  It was just announced that Brian Hoyer will keep the starting job for another week...  This limits the immediate value of Manziel but it is my personal belief that we will see him start in Cleveland before Week 16, so he's a good stash if you have the bench space.  Also, he's a sneaky grab for keeper leagues too.)  While Brian Hoyer sure wasn't the worst quarterback the Browns have had over the years, he just wasn't enough to get the Browns over the hump. That's where Johnny Football comes in. With more fanfare than most rookies entering the 2014 NFL draft, Manziel was expected to be the Browns starter a little earlier than week 14 but better late than never right? After Hoyer was unable to provide any offense for the Browns in their week 13 matchup versus Buffalo, Mike Pettine decided to go with the Texas A&M rookie and Manziel did not disappoint. Most fantasy owners are expecting Manziel to get the starting nod heading into week 14 and if Manziel does get and keep the starting job for the Browns, his match ups  could be somewhat appealing for fantasy owners heading into the playoffs. Over the next four games, the Browns face the Colts in week 14 who allow 18.5 fantasy points to the opposing quarterback, the Bengals in week 15 who allow 15 fantasy points to the quarterback, the Panthers in week 16 who allow over 19 fantasy points to the quarterback, and the Ravens in week 17 who allow almost 20 fantasy points to the opposing signal caller. Those seem like pretty tempting match ups  for fantasy owners who may want to upgrade the quarterback position heading into their fantasy playoffs.

Jordan Reed- Tight End- Washington Redskins- In the seven games that Reed has played in this season, he has 40 targets and is averaging five fantasy points per game. Since his return to action in week 11, Reed has a total of 14 targets over that two game span (He missed week 12). Week 13 saw Reed come up with nine catches for 123 yards and score over 12 fantasy points. For fantasy owners looking for a tight end heading into their fantasy playoffs, Reed faces the Rams in week 14 who allow 10 fantasy points per game to the tight end, the Giants in week 15 who allow over 13 fantasy points to the tight end, the Eagles in week 16 who allow under nine fantasy points per game to the tight end and the Cowboys in the final week of the season who allow 17 fantasy points per week to the tight end. The only matchup not in Reed's favor is week 16 versus Philadelphia. This is all dependent on Reed staying healthy for the rest of the season of course.

Sleepers

Marqise Lee- Wide Receiver- Jacksonville Jaguars- Lee saw a team high eight targets in week 13 versus the Giants and finished with six catches for 75 yards and a score. He has 37 targets in the eight games he played and caught 22 of those targets while averaging 4.2 fantasy points per game. Week 13 was also the second most targets Lee has seen since week one where he saw 10 targets. While he may be third on the depth chart as far as receivers go, Lee has a good chance at being more than that for both the Jaguars and fantasy owners for the remainder of the season. His matchup is extremely favorable for fantasy purposes with weeks 14 and 17 getting to face the Texans defense which is giving up the second most fantasy points to opposing wide outs and week 15 versus the Ravens which are allowing the most fantasy points to receivers. Also in there are the Titans who are allowing over 38 fantasy points to opposing wide outs. Marqise Lee has a good chance to help fantasy owners just when he's needed most. In the fantasy playoffs.

Chris Johnson- Running Back- New York Jets- While it may be difficult for any fantasy owner to rely on Chris Johnson at all let alone the fantasy playoffs, it is worth noting that he's averaging 6.4 fantasy points per week and has scored double digit fantasy points in four games this season. Week 13 saw Johnson rush for 105 yards and post his second double digit fantasy points game in four weeks. Looking ahead to match ups  for the fantasy playoffs, Chris Johnson has the Vikings in week 14 which are allowing the ninth most fantasy points to running backs, the Titans in week 15 which are allowing the eighth most fantasy points to running backs, the Patriots in week 16 which are allowing the twelfth most fantasy points to the running backs and finish the season with the Dolphins which are allowing 22.7 fantasy points to the running backs. For fantasy owners looking to bolster their tail back depth, you can do worse than Chris Johnson at this point in the season.

Jeepers

Jonathan Stewart- Running Back- Carolina Panthers- The only reason Jonathan Stewart has any fantasy relevance whatsoever is due to the hand injury DeAngelo Williams suffered. The Panthers offense has been inept at best this season and the running backs are always a headache to decide which will lead the team in touches on a weekly basis. While there is no guarantee that Stewart will even lead the Panthers backfield in touches in the last few weeks of the season even if Williams misses significant time, his matchup isn't the worst but Stewart has shown that even favorable match ups aren't a reason to start him anymore. He faces the Saints, Buccaneers, Browns and Falcons the last four weeks of the regular season and those teams are giving up 27.1, 26.8, 21.6 and 28.9 respectively to running backs on a weekly basis. Fantasy owners that may be desperate for running back help at this point may want to look at Jonathan Stewart but don't expect too much from him.

Corey Harkey- Tight End- St. Louis Rams- While the Rams offense may be streaking a bit over these last few weeks, Corey Harkey came out of nowhere and shouldn't be trusted heading into the fantasy playoffs. He's averaging less than two fantasy points per week and hasn't seen more than two targets this season. Week 13 saw him catch a touchdown and put himself on fantasy radars just when fantasy owners were looking for some depth at the tight end position. His remaining match ups are favorable for tight ends as he faces the Redskins this week who allow 14.4 fantasy points per week to tight ends, the Cardinals in week 15 which allow over 15 fantasy points to tight end per week, the Giants in week 16 which are allowing over 13 fantasy points to tight ends per week and the defending Super Bowl champions Seahawks who allow just over 13 fantasy points per week to the tight end. If fantasy owners are desperate enough for a tight end, Harkey may be worth a look but trusting him for the next few weeks while you're trying to win a fantasy championship may be asking too much.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week 13

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

For most fantasy owners, week 13 marks the final week of the regular season and perhaps the final shot at the playoffs. Every decision is weighed just a little more heavily and every lineup move means a little more. With three games on Thanksgiving, there will be plenty for fantasy owners to be thankful for. While you sit back and eat your turkey and stuffing, get ready to march your team into the fantasy playoffs. And be thankful that The Fantasy Sports Brain has you covered.

Quarterback

Fine- Tony Romo- Dallas Cowboys- A Thanksgiving tradition every year, the Cowboys host the Eagles this year and this game promises to be a treat for fantasy owners. With Tony Romo averaging almost 22 fantasy points per game and the Eagles defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers, Romo is a must start in week 13. Romo has been one of the more consistent fantasy quarterbacks all season and has failed to score double digit fantasy points only three times this season.

Pine- Colin Kapernick- San Francisco 49ers- Fantasy owners need to be fed up with the 49ers signal caller at this point. Going on two seasons now, the 49ers offense has become far too conservative for Kaepernick to thrive for fantasy football purposes. Add to that, the 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks who happen to allow the least amount of fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks at 14.1. It also doesn't help Kaepernick's cause that the Seahawks have had his number since he was named the starter mid way through the 2012 season. Looking back to two years ago, Kaepernick has not scored 20 fantasy points versus the defending champions and was even held to negative fantasy points in week seven of the 2012 season. Fast forward to 2014, and Kaepernick has not posted a 20 point fantasy points game since week six versus the Rams. He's become too volatile of a fantasy player to trust on a weekly basis.

Wide Receiver

Fine- Justin Hunter- Tennessee Titans- Now that Zach Mettenberger has taken over the reigns in Tennessee, the offense moves a little bit better and Justin Hunter is back on fantasy radars. Hunter is coming off of a 12.4 fantasy points game in week 12 versus the Eagles and now gets a defense in the Texans that is allowing the most fantasy points per week to opposing wide outs. With his chemistry with Mettenberger growing and a bad Texans pass defense, fantasy owners can expect a good game from Justin Hunter this week.

Pine- DeSean Jackson- Washington Redskins- Maybe the quarterback change in Washington will get D-Jax rolling again but for now, it's difficult to trust him in your lineups. The last two weeks have not been kind to DeSean or his owners while he's scored 3.7 and 3.9 fantasy points respectively. With the playoffs a week away for some fantasy owners, there's no place for that kind of output from a receiver who was dominating the beginning of the season.

Running Back

Fine- Andre Ellington- Arizona Cardinals- While Ellington hasn't exactly been lighting up the fantasy world as of late, he has a very favorable matchup this week in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are allowing over 30 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs and if Ellington can't get the job done this week, when can he get the job done? After a disappointing two weeks of 6.6 fantasy points and 6.3 fantasy points, owners can look for Ellington to get back on track versus a poor Falcons run defense in week 13.

Pine- Bishop Sankey- Tennessee Titans- With the Ravens allowing the second least amount of fantasy points to running backs, and Sankey averaging six fantasy points per game, this week doesn't look like a good week to start the rookie tailback. Sankey has only two double digit fantasy points games so far this season and facing a stingy Ravens run defense isn't going to help any.

Tight End

Fine- Jason Witten- Dallas Cowboys- Last time Witten faced the Eagles was week 17 of last season and he torched the defense for 12 catches for 135 yards while scoring over 13 fantasy points along the way. He's also scored nine or more fantasy points the last two weeks and figures to be involved in a Thanksgiving day shootout this time around. The Eagles also allow 9.5 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends so start Witten with confidence if you have him this week.

Pine- Tim Wright- New England Patriots- I'm not benching Tim Wright because he's a bad player. I'm benching him because this is Gronk's world and we're all just living in it. Wright had his chance to shine last week versus Detroit and he took the opportunity and ran with it. With a healthy Gronk in the mix, it's hard to count on Wright making much noise two games in a row. Week 12 saw Wright receive the second most targets he's seen all season with six and with the Packers allowing over 12 fantasy points per game to the tight end, fantasy owners can expect Gronk to get back on track for week 13.

D/ST

Fine- Indianapolis Colts- Facing the Redskins these days is a reason to start the opposing defense each and every week. The Redskins are a mess regardless of who's under center and the Colts defend against the quarterback pretty well allowing under 18 fantasy points per game.

Pine- Dallas Cowboys- While the Cowboys defense has been a top ten defensive unit all season, they do face a team in the Eagles who happen to score the third most points in the NFL this season at 31.1 points per game.  Most fantasy owners are expecting a shootout and plenty of points to be scored in this game. While both defenses have been more than useful for fantasy owners up until this point, it will be wise to sit both defenses this week and let the offenses do their things.