Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is our weekly look at the best and worst matchups from around the NFL and how they might affect lineup decisions for your Fantasy Football team. We are not in the business of stating the obvious, so you won't be reading here why you need to start Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson or any other top-tier players.
The Chiefs don't have a lot to play for this season since they will miss the playoffs, but coach Todd Haley and general manager Scott Pioli are evaluating talent for 2010. They have already found their starting running back
Jamaal Charles has done a fantastic job replacing Larry Johnson, and he should enter next season as the starter. He also should finish this season strong with another good matchup against Buffalo, and he's our Start of the Week.
Charles has scored a touchdown in each of his past four games against Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Denver. He has two games with over 100 total yards, and his only blemish has been two lost fumbles against the Chargers and Broncos.
This week, Charles faces the worst run defense in the NFL. Buffalo is allowing over 172 rushing yards per game, and the Bills have allowed a running back to gain 100 total yards or score a touchdown in every game this year.
Charles is getting plenty of chances to make plays. He's averaging 17 carries in his past four games with 10 catches over that span. Against the Bills, those touches should be enough to make him a starting Fantasy option in all leagues.
And Charles still has games against Cleveland and Denver, so he has the chance to remain a starter throughout the Fantasy playoffs. If he plays as expected, he should be starting for Kansas City in Week 1 of 2010.
Sit of the Week
I made the playoffs in one league with Jay Cutler and Matt Hasselbeck as my starting quarterbacks, but I just dropped Cutler in favor of Vince Young. There's no chance I would start Cutler this week against Green Bay, and neither should you.
Cutler, our Sit of the Week, only had 143 passing yards and a touchdown against the Rams last week, and that was a favorable matchup. It was obvious the Bears didn't want Cutler to take any chances, which is why he was limited to 17 passing attempts, his low for the season.
This week, Cutler faces a Packers team that is among the league leaders with 21 interceptions. Even without the injured Al Harris (knee), the Packers have still been ballhawks with Charles Woodson leading the way.
Cutler knows all about the Green Bay defense since he made his Bears debut in Week 1 against the Packers and had one touchdown and four interceptions. He's up to 20 interceptions now, and you can't trust him at this point in the season. He hasn't thrown for more than 171 yards the past three games with three touchdowns and three interceptions over that span.
I was lucky to make the playoffs despite using Cutler and Hasselbeck. Thankfully, I have Maurice Jones-Drew and great wide receivers in Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne and Chad Ochocinco. And now that I have Young, I finally have a quarterback I can count on since Cutler just wasn't getting the job done.
|Starts that made us look good|
|Player||Stats||Fantasy Points||Week 13 Start %|
|Alex Smith, QB, SF||310 pass yards, 2 TDs||24||28%|
|Santonio Holmes, WR, PIT||149 rec. yards, TD||20||67%|
|Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT*||103 rush yards, TD||16||94%|
|Sits that made us look good|
|Fred Jackson, RB, BUF||31 rush yards, 24 rec. yards||5||43%|
|Terrell Owens, WR, BUF||31 rec. yards||3||60%|
|Tim Hightower, RB, ARI**||50 rush yards, 8 rec. yards, fumble||3||31%|
|Starts that made us look bad|
|Carson Palmer, QB, CIN||220 pass yards, TD, 2 INT, fumble||8||61%|
|LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI||2 rush yards, 24 rec. yards||2||82%|
|Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC||12 rec. yards||1||84%|
|Sits that made us look bad|
|Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG||39 rush yards, TD; 74 rec. yards, TD||22||58%|
|Vince Young, QB, TEN||241 pass yards, 2 TDs, INT||20||20%|
|Roy E. Williams, WR, DAL||60 rec. yards, 2 TDs||18||24%|
|Our favorite Week 13 sleeper pick was ... Jonathan Stewart, who had 120 rushing yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, which was good for 23 Fantasy points.|
| * Week 13 Start of the Week |
** Week 13 Sit of the Week
Donovan McNabb (at NYG): McNabb looked great against the Giants in Week 8 with 240 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he could post similar stats in the rematch. Since that game, the Giants have allowed Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Kyle Orton and Tony Romo to combine for nine touchdown passes and three interceptions. Only Orton failed to pass for multiple touchdowns. McNabb would have had a huge game against Atlanta last week if the Eagles didn't give Michael Vick a couple of feel good touchdowns. And McNabb might be getting DeSean Jackson (concussion) back for this game.
Ben Roethlisberger (at CLE): Weather could be a factor for this matchup, but don't be surprised if the Ohio native still puts up solid stats in a game the Steelers have to win. In Week 6, Roethlisberger had 417 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and the Browns still are among the worst teams in pass defense. They have allowed six quarterbacks to reach at least 19 Fantasy points this year, including two of their past three games against Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers. Roethlisberger also has multiple touchdowns in three of his past five games against Cleveland.
Tony Romo (vs. SD): The Cowboys could be in danger of missing the playoffs with a loss here since they have games remaining at New Orleans, at Washington and home against the Eagles. If Romo plays like he has the past two games, Dallas will have a strong chance to stay alive this week. Romo has 701 passing yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions the past two weeks against Oakland and the Giants. The Chargers are ranked No. 8 in pass defense, but that's misleading if you look at their opponents. San Diego has struggled against Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning and even Brady Quinn last week, and the Chargers have allowed six quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns. This game could be a shootout, and we like Romo at home.
Vince Young (vs. STL): Young has played well the past two weeks against Arizona and Indianapolis with 628 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. It was his first two games with at least 20 Fantasy points in six starts, and he has a chance to make it three this week. Six quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns against the Rams, and St. Louis just lost another defensive back with O.J. Atogwe (shoulder) out for the season. The Titans could do what the Bears did last week and run all over the Rams, but don't be surprised if Young still has another productive game since he's playing at a high level.
Alex Smith (vs. ARI): Smith has been one of the hottest Fantasy options the past three weeks. He has seven touchdowns and one interception in his past three games while averaging 23 Fantasy points over that span, and he has four games this year with at least 20 Fantasy points. Smith has developed a solid receiving corps with Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore, and Smith is getting plenty of chances to show off his arm with 119 passes the past three games. This week, Smith faces a Cardinals defense that has allowed Vince Young and Brett Favre to reach at least 19 Fantasy points the past two games. He should be considered a starting option in this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Joe Flacco (vs. DET): Flacco has been brutal since the Ravens had a bye in Week 7. He has three touchdowns and six interceptions in the past six games with only two games over 200 passing yards and two games with double digits in Fantasy points. In his defense, he's faced some of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL with Denver, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Green Bay, but he also failed to throw a touchdown against Cleveland. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Lions, who are last in the NFL in pass defense with 28 passing touchdowns allowed. Only two quarterbacks have failed to pass for at least 300 yards or throw multiple touchdowns against Detroit with Marc Bulger in Week 8 and Carson Palmer last week. Flacco should end his string of poor play in this matchup, and he's worth using if you need help at quarterback. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Ryan Fitzpatrick (at KC), David Garrard (vs. MIA), Chad Henne (at JAC) and Jason Campbell (at OAK).
|Top Flex Players for Week 14|
|1. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN||vs STL||21|
|2. Ray Rice, RB, BAL||vs DET||19|
|3. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT||at CLE||19|
|4. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU||vs SEA||17|
|5. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI||at SF||17|
|6. Randy Moss, WR, NE||vs CAR||17|
|7. Sidney Rice, WR, MIN||vs CIN||17|
|8. Steven Jackson, RB, STL||at TEN||16|
|9. Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ||at TB||16|
|10. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC||vs MIA||16|
|11. Anquan Boldin, WR, ARI||at SF||15|
|12. Joseph Addai, RB, IND||vs DEN||15|
|13. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF||at KC||15|
|14. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN||vs CIN||15|
|15. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA||at JAC||15|
|16. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET||at BAL||15|
|17. Miles Austin, WR, DAL||vs SD||15|
|18. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN||at MIN||15|
|19. Jerome Harrison, RB, CLE||vs PIT||14|
|20. Vernon Davis, TE, SF||vs ARI||14|
|21. Marques Colston, WR, NO||at ATL||14|
|22. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN||at IND||14|
|23. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN||at MIN||14|
|24. Roddy White, WR, ATL||vs NO||14|
|25. Terrell Owens, WR, BUF||at KC||14|
|26. Antonio Gates, TE, SD||at DAL||14|
|27. Donald Driver, WR, GB||at CHI||14|
|28. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC||vs BUF||13|
|29. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO||at ATL||13|
|30. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL||vs DET||13|
|31. Ryan Grant, RB, GB||at CHI||13|
|32. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI||at NYG||13|
|33. Frank Gore, RB, SF||vs ARI||13|
|34. Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN||at IND||13|
|35. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND||vs DEN||12|
|36. Robert Meachem, WR, NO||at ATL||12|
|37. Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG||vs PHI||12|
|38. Brent Celek, TE, PHI||at NYG||12|
|39. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD||at DAL||12|
|40. Santana Moss, WR, WAS||at OAK||12|
|41. Greg Olsen, TE, CHI||vs GB||12|
|42. Justin Fargas, RB, OAK||vs WAS||11|
|43. Chris Brown, RB, HOU||vs SEA||11|
|44. Darren Sproles, RB, SD||at DAL||11|
|45. Justin Forsett, RB, SEA||at HOU||11|
|46. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, SEA||at HOU||11|
|47. Braylon Edwards, WR, NYJ||at TB||11|
|48. Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, MIN||vs CIN||11|
|49. Santonio Holmes, WR, PIT||at CLE||11|
|50. Louis Murphy, WR, OAK||vs WAS||11|
|51. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR||at NE||10|
|52. Matt Forte, RB, CHI||vs GB||10|
|53. Laurence Maroney, RB, NE||vs CAR||10|
|54. Brian Hartline, WR, MIA||at JAC||10|
|55. Heath Miller, TE, PIT||at CLE||10|
|56. Kevin Boss, TE, NYG||vs PHI||10|
|57. Bo Scaife, TE, TEN||vs STL||10|
|58. Roy E. Williams, WR, DAL||vs SD||10|
|59. Tim Hightower, RB, ARI||at SF||10|
|60. Pierre Garcon, WR, IND||vs DEN||9|
|61. Wes Welker, WR, NE||vs CAR||9|
|62. Steve Smith, WR, NYG||vs PHI||9|
|63. Austin Collie, WR, IND||vs DEN||9|
|64. James Jones, WR, GB||at CHI||9|
|65. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI||at NYG||9|
|66. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR||at NE||9|
|67. Correll Buckhalter, RB, DEN||at IND||8|
|68. Willis McGahee, RB, BAL||vs DET||8|
|69. Kellen Winslow, TE, TB||vs NYJ||8|
|70. Kevin Smith, RB, DET||at BAL||8|
|71. Reggie Bush, RB, NO||at ATL||8|
|72. Dallas Clark, TE, IND||vs DEN||8|
|73. Jason Witten, TE, DAL||vs SD||8|
|74. Earl Bennett, WR, CHI||vs GB||8|
|75. Quinton Ganther, RB, WAS||at OAK||7|
|76. Benjamin Watson, TE, NE||vs CAR||7|
|77. Kenny Britt, WR, TEN||vs STL||7|
|78. Marion Barber, RB, DAL||vs SD||7|
|79. Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL||vs NO||7|
|80. Davone Bess, WR, MIA||at JAC||7|
|81. Chris Chambers, WR, KC||vs BUF||7|
|82. Tashard Choice, RB, DAL||vs SD||7|
|83. Delanie Walker, TE, SF||vs ARI||7|
|84. Vonta Leach, FB, HOU||vs SEA||7|
|85. Ernest Wilford, TE, JAC||vs MIA||7|
|86. Julius Jones, RB, SEA||at HOU||6|
|87. Ryan Moats, RB, HOU||vs SEA||6|
|88. Donnie Avery, WR, STL||at TEN||6|
|89. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG||vs PHI||6|
|90. Percy Harvin, WR, MIN||vs CIN||6|
|91. Nate Burleson, WR, SEA||at HOU||6|
|92. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD||at DAL||6|
|93. Kevin Walter, WR, HOU||vs SEA||6|
|94. Johnny Knox, WR, CHI||vs GB||6|
|95. Greg Jennings, WR, GB||at CHI||6|
|96. Mario Manningham, WR, NYG||vs PHI||6|
|97. Steve Smith, WR, CAR||at NE||6|
|98. Jason Avant, WR, PHI||at NYG||5|
|99. Lee Evans, WR, BUF||at KC||5|
|100. Jason Snelling, FB, ATL||vs NO||5|
|101. Zach Miller, TE, OAK||vs WAS||5|
|102. Jerricho Cotchery, WR, NYJ||at TB||5|
|103. Michael Crabtree, WR, SF||vs ARI||5|
|104. Chester Taylor, RB, MIN||vs CIN||5|
|105. Mike Thomas, WR, JAC||vs MIA||5|
|106. Torry Holt, WR, JAC||vs MIA||5|
|107. Jerious Norwood, RB, ATL||vs NO||5|
|108. Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN||vs CIN||5|
|109. Devin Thomas, WR, WAS||at OAK||5|
|110. Malcom Floyd, WR, SD||at DAL||5|
|111. Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA||at JAC||5|
|112. Kelley Washington, WR, BAL||vs DET||4|
|113. Leonard Weaver, FB, PHI||at NYG||4|
|114. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK||vs WAS||4|
|115. Jermichael Finley, TE, GB||at CHI||4|
|116. Marcedes Lewis, TE, JAC||vs MIA||4|
|117. Nate Washington, WR, TEN||vs STL||4|
|118. Marshawn Lynch, RB, BUF||at KC||4|
|119. Steve Breaston, WR, ARI||at SF||4|
|120. Brandon Gibson, WR, STL||at TEN||4|
|121. Todd Heap, TE, BAL||vs DET||4|
|122. Felix Jones, RB, DAL||vs SD||4|
|123. Chaz Schilens, WR, OAK||vs WAS||4|
|124. Josh Morgan, WR, SF||vs ARI||4|
|125. Sammy Morris, RB, NE||vs CAR||4|
|126. Devery Henderson, WR, NO||at ATL||4|
|127. Fred Davis, TE, WAS||at OAK||4|
|128. Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, CLE||vs PIT||4|
|129. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG||vs PHI||4|
|130. Cadillac Williams, RB, TB||vs NYJ||4|
|131. Antwaan Randle El, WR, WAS||at OAK||4|
|132. Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU||vs SEA||4|
|133. Rock Cartwright, RB, WAS||at OAK||4|
|134. Hines Ward, WR, PIT||at CLE||4|
|135. Jeremy Shockey, TE, NO||at ATL||4|
|136. Josh Cribbs, WR, CLE||vs PIT||4|
|137. Laveranues Coles, WR, CIN||at MIN||4|
|138. Antonio Bryant, WR, TB||vs NYJ||3|
|139. Lex Hilliard, RB, MIA||at JAC||3|
|140. John Carlson, TE, SEA||at HOU||3|
|141. Danny Amendola, WR, STL||at TEN||3|
|142. Beanie Wells, RB, ARI||at SF||3|
|143. Derrick Ward, RB, TB||vs NYJ||3|
|144. Chris Jennings, RB, CLE||vs PIT||3|
|145. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ||at TB||3|
|146. Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI||at NYG||3|
|147. Lance Long, WR, KC||vs BUF||3|
|148. Patrick Crayton, WR, DAL||vs SD||3|
|149. Andre Caldwell, WR, CIN||at MIN||3|
|150. Muhsin Muhammad, WR, CAR||at NE||3|
|151. Malcolm Kelly, WR, WAS||at OAK||3|
|152. Sam Aiken, WR, NE||vs CAR||3|
|153. Tony Scheffler, TE, DEN||at IND||3|
|154. Greg Lewis, WR, MIN||vs CIN||3|
|155. Mike Bell, RB, NO||at ATL||2|
|156. Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC||vs MIA||2|
|157. Eric Weems, WR, ATL||vs NO||2|
|158. Maurice Morris, RB, DET||at BAL||2|
|159. Ted Ginn Jr., WR, MIA||at JAC||2|
|160. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ||at TB||2|
|161. Chad Simpson, RB, IND||vs DEN||2|
|162. Le'Ron McClain, FB, BAL||vs DET||2|
|163. Dante Rosario, TE, CAR||at NE||2|
|164. Brian Leonard, RB, CIN||at MIN||2|
|165. Dennis Northcutt, WR, DET||at BAL||2|
|166. Martellus Bennett, TE, DAL||vs SD||2|
|167. David Anderson, WR, HOU||vs SEA||2|
|168. David Thomas, TE, NO||at ATL||2|
|169. Brandon Stokley, WR, DEN||at IND||2|
|170. Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, OAK||vs WAS||2|
|171. Deion Branch, WR, SEA||at HOU||2|
|172. Maurice Stovall, WR, TB||vs NYJ||2|
|173. Mike Wallace, WR, PIT||at CLE||2|
|174. J.P. Foschi, TE, CIN||at MIN||2|
|175. Greg Camarillo, WR, MIA||at JAC||2|
|176. Brad Cottam, TE, KC||vs BUF||2|
|177. Eddie Royal, WR, DEN||at IND||2|
|178. Evan Moore, TE, CLE||vs PIT||2|
|179. James Casey, TE, HOU||vs SEA||1|
|180. Lynell Hamilton, RB, NO||at ATL||1|
|181. Michael Bush, RB, OAK||vs WAS||1|
|182. LenDale White, RB, TEN||vs STL||1|
|183. Mike Hart, RB, IND||vs DEN||1|
|184. Marcus Mason, RB, WAS||at OAK||1|
|185. Zach Miller, TE, JAC||vs MIA||1|
|186. Early Doucet, WR, ARI||at SF||1|
|187. Peyton Hillis, FB, DEN||at IND||1|
|188. Kevin Faulk, RB, NE||vs CAR||1|
|189. Brandon Manumaleuna, TE, SD||at DAL||1|
|190. Brandon Jackson, RB, GB||at CHI||1|
|191. Bobby Wade, WR, KC||vs BUF||1|
|192. Lousaka Polite, FB, MIA||at JAC||1|
|193. Justin Griffith, FB, SEA||at HOU||1|
|194. Larry Johnson, RB, CIN||at MIN||1|
|195. Nate Hughes, WR, JAC||vs MIA||1|
|196. Leonard Pope, TE, KC||vs BUF||1|
|197. Will Heller, TE, DET||at BAL||1|
|198. Josh Reed, WR, BUF||at KC||1|
|199. Kellen Davis, TE, CHI||vs GB||1|
|200. Mike Tolbert, FB, SD||at DAL||1|
Matt Hasselbeck (at HOU): Hasselbeck, who we had as a sleeper last week against San Francisco, had his first game with more than 20 Fantasy points since Week 8 at Dallas when he passed for 198 yards and two touchdowns with 20 rushing yards and a lost fumble. He does have two 300-yard passing games in his past five outings, but the 49ers game was his first with multiple touchdowns over that span. He also has three interceptions in his past three road games, and the Texans have only allowed Mark Sanchez to pass for more than 250 yards in six home games this season.
Eli Manning (vs. PHI): Manning's final stats looked good last week against Dallas with 241 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but he only completed 11 of 25 passes. He has played well at home recently with seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his past three games against San Diego in Week 9, Atlanta in Week 11 and the Cowboys last week, but he has a bad history against the Eagles, including a poor outing in Week 8 when he only passed for 222 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He only has one game with multiple touchdowns in his past five meetings with Philadelphia with six touchdowns and four interceptions over that span while averaging just 178 passing yards.
Matt Cassel (vs. BUF): The Bills haven't done a lot of things right this season, but their pass defense continues to play at a high level. Part of that is because teams just run all over Buffalo, but the Bills also are among the league leaders with 21 interceptions. They haven't allowed a quarterback to reach 20 Fantasy points since Week 2, which includes games against Drew Brees and Matt Schaub. Cassel is coming off one of his worst games against Denver last week with 84 passing yards and two interceptions. If the Chiefs want to win this game they need to rely on Jamaal Charles and limit their pass attempts. Don't consider Cassel a sleeper this week.
Kyle Orton (at IND): The Broncos are winning games again, but Orton isn't doing much from a Fantasy perspective. He has three touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles despite Denver beating the Giants and Kansas City the past two games. He also has just one game over 200 passing yards in his past four outings. The Colts have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns in the past four games, but they also have an interception in each of the past seven games with 10 interceptions over that span. Look for Orton to be around 13 Fantasy points, which has been his point total the past two games.
Josh Freeman (vs. NYJ): The Jets lead the NFL with only seven passing touchdowns allowed, and only Chad Henne in Week 5 passed for multiple touchdowns against New York, which held Tom Brady to one touchdown pass in two games. Freeman is coming off a miserable game against Carolina with 321 yards passing with no touchdowns and five interceptions. The Jets won't give up much through the air, and Freeman is just too inconsistent as a rookie quarterback to trust at this time of season. He is worth owning in keeper leagues, but don't plan on starting Freeman in this matchup.
Bust alert: Carson Palmer (at MIN): I wouldn't be shocked if Palmer played well this week based on how the Vikings have looked in pass defense. They just allowed Kurt Warner to pass for 285 yards and three touchdowns last week, and five quarterbacks have thrown multiple touchdowns against Minnesota. But you can't trust Palmer these days, not after he's struggled against Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland in consecutive weeks. Palmer only has three games this year with at least 20 Fantasy points, and the Bengals are clearly a running team. Even if Palmer does well in this matchup, let it happen on your bench. He's just not reliable enough to count on during the Fantasy playoffs based on his performance the past three weeks.
Ryan Grant (at CHI): Grant is one of the most underrated running backs this year. He has eight games with double digits in Fantasy points and five rushing touchdowns. This week, he should reach double digits in Fantasy points again. Grant has a touchdown in four consecutive games against the Bears (three rushing and one receiving). He's also rushed for at least 60 yards in each of the past four meetings, and in Week 1 against Chicago he had 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown. The Bears have allowed 10 running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including each of the past four games.
Pierre Thomas (at ATL): Thomas seems to light up when the plays the Falcons. In his past two games against Atlanta he has two touchdowns in each game and two games with more than 100 total yards. In Week 8, Thomas had 14 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 9 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble. He's still losing carries to Mike Bell and Reggie Bush, which is a concern, but Thomas still has six games with double digits in Fantasy points. The Falcons have allowed running backs to score three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in the past four games.
Knowshon Moreno (at IND): Moreno is playing at a high level coming into this game with three touchdowns in his past two games and four games in a row with at least 80 rushing yards. He's still losing carries to Correll Buckhalter but not enough to make an impact since he still had 40 carries in the past two games. And Moreno has scored four of his five rushing touchdowns on the road. The Colts have allowed a running back to gain 100 total yards or score a touchdown in each of the past seven games.
Marion Barber (vs. SD): I'm concerned with Barber's play and the lack of touchdowns, but I would still count on him this week. Prior to the Giants game last week when Barber was held to 15 carries for 36 yards and a lost fumble, he had over 100 total yards in the two previous games against Washington and Oakland. And the Chargers have struggled to stop opposing running backs the past two weeks with Jamaal Charles and Jerome Harrison each reaching at least 18 Fantasy points. San Diego has allowed eight running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year.
Tim Hightower (at SF): We expected Hightower to struggle last week against Minnesota, but he has a much better matchup this week. Hightower had one of his best games of the season in Week 1 against the 49ers with 12 catches for 121 yards and eight carries for 15 yards. He has a touchdown or 100 total yards in eight games this year, including his two previous outings before the Vikings game. The 49ers have allowed a running back to gain 100 total yards or score a touchdown in each of the past five games.
Sleeper alert: Fred Jackson (at KC): The Bills say that Jackson will remain the featured back, which is good enough for us to trust him this week against the Chiefs. He will lose touches to Marshawn Lynch, but Jackson should still do well in this matchup. The Chiefs have allowed 15 running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, with only the Giants in Week 4 failing to have a running back reach that mark. Kansas City is allowing over 143 rushing yards per game. Jackson has reached double digits in Fantasy points in four games this season, including two of his past four outings. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Laurence Maroney (vs. CAR), Chris Brown (vs. SEA) and Quinton Ganther (at OAK).
Kevin Smith (at BAL): Smith played well last week against a solid Cincinnati defense with 104 total yards and a touchdown. It was his first rushing touchdown since Week 4 and only his second game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past eight games. This week, Smith has another tough test with the Ravens, who have only allowed one rushing touchdown in the past three games and could be getting linebacker Terrell Suggs (knee) back. Daunte Culpepper is also starting for the Lions, so the Ravens will likely focus in on stopping Smith.
Jerome Harrison (vs. PIT): Harrison has the chance to finish the season strong with the final three games against Kansas City, Oakland and Jacksonville. But don't plan on starting Harrison in the majority of leagues against Pittsburgh. The Steelers might be struggling on defense, but they can still stop the run. Pittsburgh hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, and only four running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points -- Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Cedric Benson and Jamaal Charles. In Week 6, the Steelers held Jamal Lewis and Harrison to a combined 16 carries for 47 yards. The Browns are also giving carries to Josh Cribbs in the Wildcat, which will take touches away from Harrison.
Cadillac Williams (vs. NYJ): Williams, who we had listed as a sleeper last week, played well with 17 carries for 92 yards and two catches for 14 yards at Carolina. This week, he has a tougher matchup. The Jets have done a good job in run defense the past two games against Carolina and Buffalo. The Jets run defense isn't as stout with Kris Jenkins (knee) out for the year, but they should be able to contain Williams, who hasn't run for 100 yards this season and only has one rushing touchdown in his past six games.
Reggie Bush (at ATL): Bush returned from his two-game absence from a knee injury last week at Washington and had one carry for no yards and four catches for 28 yards. He's just not a good Fantasy option. He hasn't had 10 touches in a game since Week 3, and he's only reached double digits in Fantasy points once since Week 2 despite scoring five touchdowns over that span. In the first meeting with the Falcons in Week 8 he had two carries for 3 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 11 yards. The Saints are comfortable going with Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell and letting Bush save himself for the playoffs with his nagging knee injury.
Julius Jones (at HOU): Fantasy owners almost treat Jones like an annoying gnat -- they just want him to go away. We've seen what Justin Forsett could do when Jones was out for two games with a bruised lung, and Jones came back last week against San Francisco and finished with 20 carries for 67 yards. Forsett still managed to score a touchdown, and he can continue to be useful in leagues where you get a point per reception. Jones should be kept reserved since he has one rushing touchdown since Week 1, and the Texans have only allowed one 100-yard rusher since Week 3.
Bust alert: Matt Forte (vs. GB): Forte played great last week against the Rams with 24 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble. It was Forte's first rushing touchdown since Week 8, a span of five games. He struggled in his first matchup with the Packers with 25 carries for 55 yards and could be in line for another tough outing. The Packers have only allowed two running backs to score rushing touchdowns against them this year in Adrian Peterson and Willis McGahee, which happened last week. Only five running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Packers, and Forte only has one touchdown in three career games with Green Bay. It's hard to bench Forte at this time of year, especially since he will get plenty of touches and still does well catching the ball. But if you have other options, you might want to consider keeping Forte reserved based on the matchup.
Roddy White (vs. NO): There's no reason to fear starting White. I know, Chris Redman is expected to start again for the injured Matt Ryan (toe), but White and Redman have a great rapport. In 2007, when Redman was the quarterback in Atlanta for the final five games of the season, White had 31 catches for 428 yards and three touchdowns over that span. And in the past two weeks with Redman filling in for Ryan, White has 14 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. White also has a great history against the Saints with a touchdown or 100 yards in each of his past five meetings with four touchdowns over that span. In Week 8, White had four catches for 108 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans, and the Saints have allowed seven wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year.
Derrick Mason (vs. DET): Mason struggled against Charles Woodson last week in Green Bay, but he shouldn't have any problems with the Lions. Mason has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past three outings, with both coming at home against Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. He has reached double digits in Fantasy points in four of his six home games this season. The Lions have allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and 13 wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Detroit. Only three teams (Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis) have failed to have a wide receiver score a touchdown against the Lions.
Greg Jennings (at CHI): Jennings has been one of the biggest busts this season, and he only has three touchdowns and three 100-yard games. But he reached each of those totals against Chicago in Week 1 with six catches for 106 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He has a touchdown in three straight games against the Bears and four of his past five meetings. Chicago has allowed three touchdowns and two 100-yard receiving games to opposing wide receivers in the past three weeks, and Jennings and Donald Driver have the chance to play well in this matchup. Nine wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Bears.
Terrell Owens (at KC): Owens was expected to get shut down last week by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, but that won't happen against the Chiefs. Kansas City is No. 28 in pass defense, and nine wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Chiefs. Owens has done well with favorable matchups recently against Tennessee in Week 10 (three catches for 85 yards), Jacksonville in Week 11 (nine catches for 197 yards and a touchdown) and Miami in Week 12 (five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown). He should have another good outing this week.
Robert Meachem (at ATL): Meachem's fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Redskins continues to be the hot-button topic of the week, but hopefully now we can put the focus back on his recent performance, which has been amazing. He has six touchdowns in his past five games and has become a go-to target for Drew Brees. Meachem struggled in his last game against the Falcons in Week 8 with two catches for 47 yards, but that was the last time he failed to reach double digits in Fantasy points. The Falcons have allowed five wide receivers to gain at least 75 receiving yards in the past four games, and Meachem is too hot not to play him in every league.
Sleeper alert: Kenny Britt (vs. STL): He's been playing at an unreal level the past three games with 14 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns against Houston, Arizona and Indianapolis. There's no reason to think he can't stay hot against the Rams, who have allowed a wide receiver to score a touchdown in three of the past four games. Nine wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against St. Louis, which just lost another defensive back with O.J. Atogwe (shoulder) out for the season. Consider Britt a safe No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week with the chance to see his value rise if he's able to score a touchdown for the fourth game in a row. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Roy E. Williams (vs. SD), Steve Smith (vs. PHI), Mike Wallace (at CLE), Davone Bess (at JAC) and Jerricho Cotchery (at TB).
Antonio Bryant (vs. NYJ): I added Bryant in a couple of leagues for his matchups against Seattle, New Orleans and Atlanta to close the season, but I wouldn't use him this week against the Jets because he will likely be facing cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis continues to do a great job against opposing wide receivers, and last week he shut down Terrell Owens (three catches for 31 yards). Revis has now held Andre Johnson, Marques Colston, Randy Moss, Steve Smith of Carolina and Owens to minimal production, and it's a good idea to put Bryant back on the bench for this matchup. Bryant has played well recently against Carolina and Atlanta, but this is a more daunting task.
Steve Breaston (at SF): Breaston has disappeared the past three games with five catches for 34 yards over that span. The Cardinals have been throwing almost exclusively to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, which has made Breaston a non-factor for Fantasy owners. He didn't play in Week 1 against the 49ers because of a knee injury, but he had 10 catches for 178 yards against San Francisco in two meetings last year. He's capable of a big game since all it takes is one catch on a deep throw from Kurt Warner, but based on his recent production you might want to keep him reserved in the majority of leagues.
Chris Chambers (vs. BUF): We expected Chambers to struggle last week with his matchup against Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, and he was held to two catches for 11 yards. He could be in line for another tough game since Buffalo's secondary has played well this season. Only three wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points this year, and Buffalo has only allowed five wide receivers to score touchdowns. Chambers has one more week as the No. 1 wide receiver in Kansas City with Dwayne Bowe's suspension over after this game.
Mario Manningham (vs. PHI): Manningham has struggled recently with only one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings and no touchdowns over that span. He still remains a viable part of the passing game, but Eli Manning has done well in spreading the ball around to Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Kevin Boss. Manningham was held to one catch for 10 yards last week against Dallas and could struggle again this week. He missed the first game with the Eagles in Week 8, but Philadelphia has been stingy against opposing wide receivers, allowing only five to reach double digits in Fantasy points this season.
Bernard Berrian (vs. CIN): Berrian seems to be the one member of the Vikings receiving corps who has not benefited from the addition of Brett Favre. Berrian has four touchdowns, but he has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points this year, with both coming against the Packers. The Bengals have done a great job against opposing wide receivers with only six touchdowns allowed and seven reaching double digits in Fantasy points. You have to keep Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin active, but Berrian is worth keeping on your bench this week.
Bust alert: Nate Burleson (at HOU): Burleson has been the better Fantasy option of the Seahawks receivers this year, but he's struggled recently. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2 and has only three for the season, and he only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 5. Burleson also hasn't scored a touchdown on the road, and the Texans have only allowed six wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year. Save Burleson for his matchup against Tampa Bay in Week 15 when he should have a better outlook since he will be at home.
Brent Celek (at NYG): Celek had one of his best games against the Giants in Week 8 with four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. He has six touchdowns on the season and four games with double digits in Fantasy points. The Giants have struggled with tight ends all season, allowing five to reach double digits in Fantasy points and seven to score touchdowns. They have allowed a tight end to score a touchdown or gain over 100 yards in four of the past five games. Celek also appears to be fine with his thumb injury after catching a touchdown last week at Atlanta.
Heath Miller (at CLE): Miller played great against the Browns in Week 6 with five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. He has three touchdowns in his past five games against Cleveland, which has struggled with tight ends. The Browns have allowed six tight ends to score touchdowns and four have reached double digits in Fantasy points, including Brandon Pettigrew and Antonio Gates in two of the past three games. Weather could be a factor this week, but Ben Roethlisberger should still be able to find Miller enough to make him a useful Fantasy option.
Jeremy Shockey (at ATL): Shockey's last good game was Week 8 against the Falcons when he had five catches for 72 yards. Since then he hasn't topped 50 yards in a game, and he hasn't scored since Week 6. But Shockey has a good history against Atlanta with three games over 60 yards receiving in his past four meetings. The Falcons have struggled against tight ends all season, and Kevin Boss (five catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns), Kellen Winslow (seven catches for 81 yards) and Brent Celek (two catches for 16 yards and a touchdown) have all done well against Atlanta in the past three games.
Sleeper alert: Kevin Boss (vs. PHI): This is a great matchup for Boss, who had a solid game against the Eagles in Week 8 with three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Boss has two touchdowns in his past three games against the Eagles, who come into this game as the worst team against tight ends. Five tight ends have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Philadelphia and seven have scored touchdowns. Boss has done well with favorable matchups this year with good outings against the Eagles in Week 8, San Diego in Week 9 and Atlanta in Week 10. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Bo Scaife (vs. STL), Todd Heap (vs. DET) and Jermichael Finley (at CHI).
Zach Miller (vs. WAS): Miller has played great since Bruce Gradkowski has taken over for JaMarcus Russell. He has 14 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown the past three games. But the Redskins have done well against opposing tight ends. The Redskins have only allowed two tight ends to score this year, and only Tony Gonzalez reached double digits in Fantasy points against Washington in Week 9. The Redskins have limited Brent Celek twice, Kellen Winslow, Jason Witten and Jeremy Shockey to four Fantasy points or less in each matchup. Washington is No. 5 in pass defense, and Miller should not be considered a starting Fantasy option this week.
Tony Scheffler (at IND): The Colts are the No. 1 team against tight ends this year. They have allowed two tight ends to score touchdowns, including Bo Scaife last week, but he's the only tight end to reach double digits in Fantasy points against Indianapolis. Scheffler hasn't scored since Week 6 at San Diego, and he only has two touchdowns this season. He also has only two games with more than one reception in his past six outings and has only one game over 50 yards receiving in that span.
Fred Davis (at OAK): The Raiders are the only team not to allow a tight end to score a touchdown this year. And only one tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points against Oakland, which was Jason Witten in Week 12. Davis has scored a touchdown in each of his past two games and has started to look like a quality replacement for the injured Chris Cooley, who is out for the season. But this is a tough matchup for Davis. Keep him reserved this week but look for him to play well in Week 15 against the Giants.
Bust alert: Kellen Winslow (vs. NYJ): Winslow has done well in his first season with Tampa Bay. He has five touchdowns, two games with at least 100 yards and four games with double digits in Fantasy points. But Winslow, who hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 9, has a tough matchup this week. The Jets, who are No. 1 in pass defense, have done well against opposing tight ends. No tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Jets, and only two have scored touchdowns in Anthony Fasano in Week 5 and Joey Haynos in Week 8. They have limited Owen Daniels, Jeremy Shockey and Zach Miller to four Fantasy points or less in each matchup. It's hard to bench Winslow, but don't be surprised if he struggles in this matchup.
Titans (vs. STL): The Titans DST has struggled for the most part this season with only five games with double digits in Fantasy points, including 11 interceptions, 26 sacks, five fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns. But this is a matchup where the Titans could play well, and I've added them in a couple of Fantasy leagues for this playoff week. The Rams offense is Steven Jackson and little else. Kyle Boller has started four games this year in place of Marc Bulger (leg) and has one touchdown, five interceptions and two fumbles. Look for the Titans DST to finish as a No. 1 option this week.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Bills (at KC), Patriots (vs. CAR) and the Jets (at TB)
Bengals (at MIN): Don't look at what Brett Favre did last week at Arizona with two interceptions and think he's falling apart. Far from it. Favre only has one interception at home, where the Vikings are averaging more than 30 points per game and should still do well even in this tough matchup. Adrian Peterson has been fumble prone, but that's not enough to keep the Bengals DST active. They have been a tremendous unit for Fantasy owners, but losing run-stuffer Domata Peko (knee) for this game will hurt. If you can afford to sit the Bengals DST then that might be a safe move to make this week.
Garrett Hartley (at ATL): Saints coach Sean Payton said Hartley will remain the kicker for this game against the Falcons, so that means get him active if he's on the waiver wire. Hartley was a sought-after kicker in all Fantasy leagues before the season started because he did well for the Saints last year and was going to get plenty of chances to score for this high-powered offense. Then he was suspended for the first four games and lost his job to John Carney. He got the job back last week at Washington and made four field goals and three extra points. Even though he missed a kick, you can't overlook his potential in this offense.
Robbie Gould (vs. GB): The Packers have been the best team against opposing kickers this year. They have allowed the fewest made field goals with nine and are tied with St. Louis for the fewest field goal attempts at 13. Gould made two of those field goals and one extra point in Week 1 at Green Bay, and he's made two field goals four of the past five meetings with the Packers. But Gould has only made one field goal in each of his past two games and has nine Fantasy points combined over that span against Minnesota and St. Louis. He has nine games this year with fewer than 10 Fantasy points, with three of them coming at home.
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