Efficient Philip Rivers downs Broncos with two scores
Rivers finished the game with just 166 passing yards, his lowest total of the season. However, he was incredibly efficient, racking up that total on just 19 pass attempts, as he completed 12 of them. He tossed a pair of scores in the second quarter, both of which went Keenan Allen's way, to give the Chargers a lead they could sit on in the second half.
Rivers finished the game without an interception, the eighth time he has done so -- the Chargers are 6-2 in those games. He surpassed 4,000 yards for the fifth time in his career, as he now sits at 4,048 yards on the season with two games remaining.
San Diego's next game is set for Week 16 against the Raiders.
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History not on Brian Hartline's side
Hartline has faced the Patriots eight times in his career, and has scored just two touchdowns, with none coming since September of 2011. He was held to a pedestrian four receptions on 37 yards against New England in an earlier meeting this season, and is averaging 48.6 yards per game in his career against them.
Wide receivers are averaging just 20.5 Fantasy points per game against the Patriots, the 13th-lowest total in the league. Hartline is on a role, but is more of a low-end Fantasy option for Week 15.
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Inconsistent Mike Wallace a risk for Week 15
Wallace was held to just two receptions for 19 yards, after totaling 209 yards and two touchdowns in his previous two games. He will try to turn it around against a solid passing defense that held him to just 41 yards on three receptions in Week 8.
Opposing wide receivers are averaging just 20.5 Fantasy points per game against the Patriots this season, good for 13th in the league. In spite of that, they have had a number of high-profile blowups against No. 1 receivers in recent weeks. Andre Johnson (121 yards), Demaryius Thomas (41 yards, one touchdown) and Josh Gordon (151 yards, one touchdown) have all found success against New England over the last three weeks.
Despite a matchup that might offer some potential, Wallace's inconsistent play makes him a risky Fantasy start in Week 15.
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Jeremy Kerley worth the risk in Week 15?
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Julian Edelman might struggle against tough Dolphins' D
The Dolphins have allowed just 15.6 Fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season, and Edelman couldn't manage any kind of success the last time these two teams faced. He was held to just two receptions for 7 yards in Week 8, his worst game of the season.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been looking Edelman's way a ton recently, targeting him 32 times over the last three games. Edelman is almost certain to top his previous effort against the Dolphins, but this is a team that has held receivers in check all season long. Consider Edelman more of a low-end starting option for Week 15.
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Danny Amendola faces tough matchup in Miami
The Dolphins remain one of the league's best defenses when it comes to slowing down opposing wide receivers, though the Steelers did expose them last week. Opposing wide receivers have accounted for just four touchdowns on the season against Miami, and three of them came last week.
Amendola has not played nearly as big a role as expected this season for the Patriots, but he might have to step up with Rob Gronkowski out. Unfortunately, at this point, Amendola has been such a disappointment, he might not be worth the risk for Fantasy purposes. He managed just three receptions for 15 yards in a previous matchup against the Dolphins, and is more of a low-end starting option for Week 15.
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Daniel Thomas not likely to star again
Thomas has generally received the smaller part of the team's backfield split this season, and Miller seems likely to be at full strength this week. He did manage to rack up 10 Fantasy points in Week 8 against the Patriots even with Miller healthy, however much of his success came as a result of his first receiving touchdown since 2011.
When both have been healthy, the Dolphins haven't shown a particular inclination to feature Thomas; his season-high in touches before last week was just 13. Assuming Miller is healthy enough to play, Thomas should be considered a risky Fantasy option for Week 15.
Given injury, Daniel Thomas' return, Lamar Miller a risky play
Two weeks ago, it looked like Miller might be slated for a starring role for the Dolphins, with Thomas out with an ankle injury. Now, the duo seems likely to go back into the timeshare that limited Miller to few than 15 carries in nine of the first 11 games of the season.
One of Miller's best games of the season did come against this Patriots team in Week 8, as he amassed 89 yards on 18 carries, with 23 yards added on three receptions. Of course, even in that game, Thomas managed to spoil things, ending up with Miami's lone touchdown out of the backfield.
The Patriots allow 17.5 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, a middle-of-the-road number that doesn't exactly scream, "Start me." Our three senior Fantasy football writers have Miller ranked between 33rd and 37th among running backs for Week 15, making him just a low-end option for Sunday's game.
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Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount's roles remain clowdy
Figuring out which
While Vereen's role remains relatively constant given him rare pass-catching abilities, Ridley and Blount are left to fight it out on the ground. Assuming Fantasy owners could know exactly how each player's workload might work out, this looks like a very attractive matchup, against a Dolphins defense that ranks 25th in the league in points per game to opposing running backs.
Ridley carved up the Dolphins for 79 yards and a touchdown in a Week 8 matchup, but he has also seen his role decrease significantly since then due to issues hanging on to the ball. That has opened up a larger role for Blount, who rushed for 46 yards on 11 carries against Miami.
Given the questions about each player's role, it is awfully difficult to start either with confidence. Among our trio of Fantasy experts' rankings for Week 15, Ridley lands inside the top-30 once, and Blount not at all. Both players should be considered risky options even with a solid matchup.
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Shane Vereen faces solid matchup for Sunday
Given his pass-catching skills and the fact that he was the lone back to find the end zone last week, Shane Vereen is looking like the best Fantasy option of the trio. Vereen has appeared in just five games this season, but has already racked up 373 yards on 40 receptions, to go along with 186 yards on the ground on 38 carries.
Despite a recent upward turn, the Dolphins have struggled against running backs this season. Opposing backs up are putting up 19.2 Fantasy points per game against Miami's defense, including 42.0 yards per game through the air, the 12th-highest average in the league.
Vereen could be in position to take advantage of Miami's linebackers, so Fantasy owners will want to keep him in the lineup in all leagues for this pivotal week. He looks like a solid starting matchup for Week 15.
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December 12, 2013
Fantasy Football Today: Start/Sit -- Quarterback (12/12) (9:55)