With several high-profile injuries in Week 14, the importance of owning your stud running back's handcuff/backup has never been more important. This is why Matt Forte owners should add Bears teammate Michael Bush.
Forget that Bush ran for 38 yards and scored a touchdown in a Week 14 blowout. Bush should be added as an insurance policy, for the same reason that an Adrian Peterson owner now has to scramble to beat other owners to add Toby Gerhart off the wire.
Bush isn't a Montee Ball-type complement, who will have value on his own. But he is close to being a must-add for the Forte owner, just in case disaster strikes between now and the Fantasy championship.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger enters Week 15 on a tear. He's tossed 11 touchdowns without an interception the past four weeks and has a franchise-record 3,724 passing yards through 13 games.
The Bengals arrive in Pittsburgh after giving up 326 passing yards and four touchdowns to the Colts' Andrew Luck. Still, Cincinnati gives up the 11th-fewest Fantasy points (17.4 per game) to opposing quarterbacks.
Cincy did a nice job against Big Ben in Week 2, holding him to 251 passing yards and a touchdown with an interception. In 19 career meetings, Roethlisberger has averaged 221 passing yards with 26 touchdowns (three rushing) and 21 turnovers.
Those aren't great numbers. But with Roethlisberger playing some of the best football of his 10-year career, start him Week 15 as a low-end QB1.
Victor Cruz ready to break out the salsa dance again?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Do you remember the last time Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz scored a touchdown? If you are having trouble, don't worry. It's been a long time.
In fact, Cruz heads into Week 15 vs. Seattle without doing his famous salsa-dance touchdown celebration since Week 4 against the Chiefs. Will Sunday finally put an end to Cruz's horrendous scoring slump? Fantasy owners can only hope so.
Though, as you can imagine, wide receivers haven't had outstanding numbers against a very good Seattle defense. Wide receivers average just 110.2 receiving yards and 14.7 Fantasy points per week, which is the second-lowest average. Wide receivers have also totaled just eight touchdowns in 13 games and only five wide receivers have tallied at least 10 Fantasy points.
Cruz was playing up to his potential very early in the season, but he's been quite disappointing over the last nine games. Besides failing to score a touchdown, he's surpassed 100 yards just once in that span.
Due to his struggles and tough matchup Week 15, no one would blame you for viewing Cruz as more of a No. 3 Fantasy receiver or flex option.
Bears running back Matt Forte is coming off another impressive performance -- perhaps his best of the season, from a pure yardage standpoint -- having run the ball 20 times for 102 yards and catching seven passes for 73 and a touchdown.
His Week 15 opponent, the Browns, have been about league average against running backs, but are coming off a game in which they allowed 218 rushing yards to Patriots backs, including 153 to Shane Vereen.
No other backs have come close to Vereen's totals, but four have gained at least 40 receiving yards against the Browns this year. So while Forte may not reach 100 rushing yards -- no running back has against the Browns this season -- he's still a good bet to gather plenty of total yards and possibly score.
A top-level talent at the position, Matt Forte should be started in most Fantasy formats.
Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker has two straight 100-yard games, with eight receptions and 12 targets in each. He's scored in both and is just one week removed from a four-touchdown performance.
Decker's Week 15 opponent, the Chargers, held him to 52 yards on three catches in Week 10. The performance came in the middle of a four-game stretch where Decker averaged three receptions and 42.5 yards. Bookended around that four-game run were three 100-yard games.
The Chargers have allowed three touchdowns to wide receivers over their last three games, and six in the last five. In Week 10, Demaryius Thomas scored three times and had a 100-yard performance; with Decker on a roll right now, those stats could easily belong to him, especially with the Broncos having to adjust for a Thursday night game that will likely have them playing without Wes Welker.
Decker isn't a slam dunk -- that four-game string of disappointing performances is still relatively fresh in his owners' minds. But he's been on fire recently, has plenty more good performances than bad, and should be started in most formats.
Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme has been quiet for most of the season, but with Wes Welker possibly out Thursday night against the Chargers, he could see significant action -- as the team's slot receiver.
Tamme stepped into the role after Welker went down in Week 14, eventually catching four passes for 47 yards. And Peyton Manning hasn't been shy about singing the praises of Tamme as a slot receiver in the past.
There's little here to divine from Tamme's season to make an argument for him. If anything, you may want to look at Welker's production for most of that argument. But Tamme showed that he could be successful in the slot over about a half of football last week, and has a long history with Peyton Manning. Stepping into Welker's role could be a huge boost for him, especially with tight end eligibility and plenty of Fantasy teams looking for Rob Gronkowski replacements.
Tamme is a huge Week 15 gamble, but his circumstances make him worth a look for a desperate owner. He can be started in deeper leagues (especially PPR formats) if Welker is out.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who's trying to come back from a broken collarbone, said he felt pain and discomfort when he practiced last Wednesday, reports ESPN.com. "I shouldn't be having pain doing simple movements," he said.
Rodgers will try to practice this Wednesday in hopes of playing Sunday at Dallas. "I don't feel like I need a ton of reps (to play)," he said, per the website. If he can't go, Matt Flynn will get another start.
After putting up a Fantasy bagel against the Colts, the Bengals DST visits Pittsburgh in Week 15 for another difficult matchup. Here's what DSTs have scored against the Steelers the past five weeks: 5, 4, 2, 1, and 8 points.
Ben Roethlisberger has not thrown an interception the past four games. He's taken four sacks in that span.
The Bengals DST has had some monster games, putting up 18 or more Fantasy points five times. But the unit is not matchup-proof. Keep the Bengals DST reserved Week 15 except in the deepest leagues.
Don't be too quick to take Andre Brown out of active lineups
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Giants running back Andre Brown has pretty much been a must-start Fantasy option since his activation from the short-term injured reserve in Week 10. Brown hasn't scored less than seven Fantasy points and is averaging 12.8 Fantasy points through five games.
The Giants' next opponent Week 15 will be the Seahawks, who are one of the best teams in the NFL and have one of the best defenses. Though, Fantasy owners shouldn't immediately consider benching Brown.
It's true running backs are averaging just 13.3 Fantasy points per week, which is the seventh-lowest average, and have totaled just five touchdowns (four rushing) in 13 games against Seattle. However, running backs have been able to move the football against Seattle lately.
In the last six games, running backs are averaging 118.2 rushing yards and 38.7 receiving yards per game. Running backs haven't scored a touchdown in the last six games against Seattle, which is disappointing, but the yards have been there.
Fantasy owners should consider Brown a viable No. 2 Fantasy running back Week 15.
Broncos tight end Julius Thomas -- still feeling the after-effects of a knee injury -- played for the first time in three weeks against Tennessee Sunday, catching five passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. It was Thomas' 11th touchdown of the season.
Week 15 brings a matchup against the Chargers, a team Thomas has already faced once, in Week 10. In that game, Thomas caught three passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. That score began a run of tight ends scoring four touchdowns in the last five games against the Chargers, with Thomas' 96 yards being the most gained against them this season.
Despite being slowed by the knee injury -- and playing on Thursday night, which is a quick turnaround -- Thomas is a top option at tight end and should be started in most formats.