From Fantasy Focus
Another Thursday night game, so make sure you get those rosters set. For many of you, this is the last regular season game. One game left to make the playoffs. Let’s make sure we all get in.
Each week, Cakes and Danny Rouhier will answer your questions and give you their opinions on what your moves should be. If you have any questions you’d like them to tackle, click here.
I am in a standard league need to start 2rb, 2wr and 1flex rb/wr..Can you help me out? – My backs are Peterson, Murray, Mendenhall, Jacobs, and Gerhart. My WR’s are L. Robinson, Decker, Boldin, and AJ Green. Thanks! Fred, VA Roarin Boxers.
Cakes: I would stay away from both of your Vikings RB’s this weekend; Peterson may play, but would probably be limited, due to the high ankle sprain he suffered on November 20th…Gerhart is a risky start, even though he did find the end zone last weekend. Monitor Peterson’s status over the next few days; if he practices fully tomorrow, you may roll the dice with him. I would definitely start DeMarco Murray against a Cardinals defense that allows over 120 rushing yards per contest. I like Brandon Jacobs this weekend…the Giants will try to control the clock and keep the Packers off the field, and that’s the perfect role for Jacobs. Throw in Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot injury, and Jacobs looks to get the majority of carries against a Packers defense that is allowing 4.9 rushing yards per attempt this season. My WR spots are easy to fill…Laurent Robinson gets the nod, since he’s found the end zone at least once in each of his last 5 games. The next spot goes to AJ Green, who’s leading the Bengals in receptions and touchdowns as a rookie. The matchup for Green won’t be easy, at Pittsburgh, but he’s too good to sit. If it looks like he gets the green light from Leslie Frazier to play, I would start Peterson in the flex spot. Good luck.
Danny, I am looking to start two. What do you think? LaGarreette Blount, Ryan Matthews, Willis McGahee, or Darren Sproles? – Travis- HTTR
Danny: You 100% have to start Blount this week. Top 5 potential for him in a week against Carolina. Tampa is feeding the big man the rock and he’s responded accordingly with back to back 100 yard games vs solid opponents. On paper, it doesn’t get much better than this. I’ve got Sproles in a couple leagues and have been a bit under whelmed the last couple weeks as his receptions/targets have dwindled. Hard to predict how NO will attack Detroit this week with their fearsome front 4 (even minus Suh). It might be a ton of screens and dump-offs which would indicate a nice day for Sproles. It could also be the exact opposite which means he gets a Spaulding (nothing and like it). So, out of that group, I’m sitting him for a safer option. That leaves us Matthews & McGahee. Willis has the better matchup vs a pedestrian Vikings D and you know Denver is going to run the football a lot. Jacksonville has the 4th ranked D in the league and has been pretty good vs the run most weeks. I don’t see Matthews going nuts here but I do think he gets his 100 total yards. So, even though Jorts Tebow will likely vulture a goaline carry, I like McGahee this week by a nose.
Cakes, I just cut Sidney Rice. Who should I replace him with? Nate Burleson, Johnny Knox, Jason Avant or DHB? – Paul- Rosemont Raiders
Cakes: I think this group is pretty evenly matched, but I’m going to give the edge to Nate Burleson. Even though he rarely finds the end zone, he’s got some value, especially in PPR formats. Burleson has grabbed 20 passes in the last 3 games since the Lions came off their bye week, and with their running game in disarray, I would expect Matt Stafford to keep slinging the ball to Megatron and company. But here’s the best part: the marshmallow-soft passing defenses Burleson gets to face during the fantasy football playoffs stretch run – he takes on the Saints (27th), Vikings (29th), Raiders (19th), and Chargers (9th.Grab Burleson off the waiver wire and watch him produce for you.
I’m really not sure who to go with here on Defense. NYJ (@ WAS) or DAL (@ ARI)? I need this win! – Ryan, Milk Men
Danny: Arizona is a gong show right now. If Kolb plays, you can upgrade them to ‘awful’. If he doesn’t it’s more John Skelton. The most important thing in fantasy football is to remember who stinks. And yes… John Skelton stinks. Dallas gets after the QB better than the Jets do and they won’t let Beanie Wells repeat even a glimmer of what he did last week vs STL. I think Dallas gets a lead and then releases the hounds on the QB. Multiple sacks and some turnovers will be yours. The Jets are still a strong overall defensive unit but they haven’t gotten to the QB as much this year as they have in years past. That’s always the best indicator of future turnover performance. Their 20 takeaways is good for 12th in the league but their 22 sacks have them tied for 20th. I don’t see the Redskins moving the ball effectively but there aren’t any points in fantasy football for forcing punts. They’ll get their standard 2 turnovers from Rex but that may be all she wrote. Pick Dallas.
You like Matt Ryan against the Texans or you know who…Tim Tebow? – Rob, Union Razorbacks
Cakes: My dislike of all the Tebow hype won’t prevent me from recommending him to start for your fantasy team this weekend. And this one is all about playing the matchups. Even though Matt Ryan is clearly the more developed NFL QB, he has to face the Texans 2nd-ranked defensive unit, away from the Georgia Dome. We all know Matt Ryan is a different QB away from the dome, and I can’t trust him to put up big numbers against a Texans secondary that is allowing just 175 yards per game. Tebow gets to face the Vikings defense, that allows nearly 260 passing yards per game, and surrenders nearly 27 points per contest. Plus, it’s a homecoming for Tebow’s top WR Eric Decker, who played his college ball at Minnesota. Go with Tebow, and tune in for the inevitable 4th-quarter comeback.
Do I go with Torrey Smith or Antonio Brown? It’s a tough one. – Tracy- Girls Play Hard
Danny: It’s feast or famine with Torrey Smith. He’s shown the explosion but not the week to week consistency we like in our fantasy world. Owners tend to focus on those big days. What if I told you that more than 50% of his season yardage total came in 2 games? In the other 9 games for the Ravens, he’s been nearly non existent. Antonio Brown on the other hand, has really started to emerge in the Steelers passing game. He’s getting the targets and he’s producing. He’s averaged close to 6 catches for 89 yards over his last 5. The TDs will come in the form of explosive downfield plays for the 5’10 Central Michigan product. Not only is Brown a better start this week, he’s a sneaky start for owners down the stretch here coming into fantasy playoff time.