With the fantasy football playoffs upon us, it becomes even more crucial to make the right roster selections. The Fantasy Dudes are here to help, and below we have put together a list of players that we believe will perform well, hence, should be in your starting line-ups:
Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin: The big stage on MNF. Texans give up most fantasy points to QB's, and 3rd most to WR's, hence it bodes well for both Flacco and Boldin partnership. We see both having nice games, and even Ed Dickson (TE) could stand to benefit in the red-zone.
Michael Vick: I know, you're thinking, Michael Vick... der...! However, the stats don't lie. He is facing a Cowboys team that give up third most fantasy points to QB's this season, so he should be started in all formats.
Peyton Hillis: What a find this guy has been... although he has had a couple quiet games over the past few games, he faces one of the worst teams against the run in the Bills (give up 3rd most fantasy points to RB's). He is a must start in all formats.
Fred Jackson: Ok, he faces a reasonable Browns team at stopping the run, but it's going to be a cold day, and we see this being a ground game for both teams (not sold on the Bills passing game). He has had a couple of quiet weeks, but we think he's due for a nice outing.
Matt Forte: He does face a team that just stuffed the LT/Greene and the Jets last week, but we don't see it happening again. The Pats give up the 11th most fantasy points to RB's, and we are in for tough weather conditions (extreme cold is expected), essentially paving the way for the running game. Expect Forte to benefit from short dump-offs from Cutler.
LeGarrette Blount: The Skin's haven't been very good at stopping the QB, RB (give up most yards per carry) or WR this season, hence we like Blount to convert on this point. He has become the focus of the Bucs offence, and is coming off a nice 100 yard game. Give him the green light for your fantasy team.
Michael Turner: Up against the Panthers... allow 5th most fantasy points to RB's. He has 5 TD's in as many games, including 3 100+ yard performances in that time span.
Chris Ivory: Sure, Pierre Thomas is most likely back this week, but if you're the Saints, you have to keep rolling with the hot hand (or feet), and so should fantasy owners. He has 5 TD's over the past 3 games... stats you can't ignore.
Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson: See above re: Vick, but Cowboys also give up most fantasy points to WR's too. Start them both with confidence, then sit back and watch them post decent fantasy points for your team.
Michael Crabtree: Seattle allow second most fantasy points to WR's this season, meaning Crabtree must be looking forward to this match-up, especially with Alex Smith back.
Terrell Owens: Loves the big games, and that was evidenced last time out against Ptt when he scored 2 TD's and posted 140 yards. Whilst it will difficult to replicate, we see him having a nice game again.
Mike Wallace: Like Owens, had a big outing against the Bengals last game. He is Big Ben's go to guy, especially on the deep ball, and with Health Miller out, we expect him to see more looks.
Wes Welker: Had a tough time adjusting to Moss leaving due to the added attention he saw, but on the back of Brady, has been in pretty good form of late, and we see the trend continuing against the Bears. He has 20 catches, and 4 TD's over the past 3 games.
Sidney Rice: Yes, he has only just come back, but he showed he is back on board with a 105 yard performance last week. Favre should play (will most likely receive an injection prior to game) and Harvin is questionable, meaning Rice should be the man again on the weekend, and is certainly a deep ball threat. We like him this week.
Jason Witten: With Dez Bryant going down, Roy Williams steps in. He will do a fine job, but we see Kitna looking for to both Miles and Witten. Philly like to blitz, which allows the opposing TE's to find nice passing pockets. Philly give up 5th most fantasy points to TE's this season.
Vernon Davis: One of the best TE's in the league, he is once again a nice play this week. Alex Smith is back at QB, and Vernon is his boy (esp with no Gore)!!!
Ben Watson: Bills give up 2nd most fantasy points to TE's, and Watson has been putting up some decent stat lines of late, including a 10 catch, 100 yard performance (incl a TD) against the Dolphins last week.
Garrett Hartley: The Saints are rolling, so Hartley should continue to see looks. Posted double digit points over past 2 weeks.
Denver DST: This is probably the first time they have appeared here, but with a change of coach, and playing against rookie QB John Skelton (making his first start) points to the Broncos having a nice game. Add them if you are in a bind at the position.
Falcons DST: Up against the Panthers... no need to say anything else.
Other players we like this week include Cutler, Orton, Mendenhall, Moreno, Hightower, Starks, Colston, Branch, Manningham, Moeaki, Gonzales, Cundiff, Graham, Giants DST, Saints DST.
Teams that give up the least fantasy points to QB’s: Chargers, Bears, Saints, Panthers and Ravens
Players up against those teams: Croyle (looks like
Teams that give up the least fantasy points to RB’s: Steelers, Jets, Falcons, Packers and Vikings
Players up against those teams: Benson, Brown/Williams, Stewart/Goodson, Best/Morris, and Bradshaw/Jacobs
Teams that give up the least fantasy points to WR’s: Saints, Chargers, Panthers, Packers and Titans
Players up against those teams: Alexander/Amendola, Bowe/Chambers, White/Jenkins, Johnson/Burleson and Wayne/White/Garcon
Teams that give up the least fantasy points to TE’s: Ravens, 49ers, Giants, Chiefs and Colts
Players up against those teams: Dreessen, Carlson, Shiancoe, Gates and Scaifeno comments
Teams that give up the most fantasy points to QB's: Texans, Broncos, Cowboys, Jags and Pats
Players up against those teams: Flacco, Anderson, Vick, Campbell and Cutler
Teams that give up the most fantasy points to RB's: Cardinals, Broncos, Bills, Panthers and Lions
Players up against those teams: Moreno, Hightower, Hillis, Turner and Jackson/Starks
Teams that give up the most fantasy points to WR's: Cowboys, Seahawks, Falcons, Texans and Bengals
Players up against those teams: Maclin/Jackson, Crabtree, Steve Smith (Panthers), Boldin/Mason and Wallace/Ward
Teams that give up the most fantasy points to TE's: Texans, Bills, Broncos, Panthers and Eagles
Players up against those teams: Heap (or Ed Dickson), Watson, Dray/Patrick (both should be ignored though), Gonzales and Witten
Slim pickings this week, but here are the players we see worth adding if you need help:
Jon Kitna: Yep, he's old and has been around, but he has experience. You'd probably expect more of waiver wires, but if you need a QB, then he is more than serviceable. He has scored double digit fantasy points in 6 of the 7 games played since Romo went down.
Matt Hasselbeck: See above re: Kitna. He is facing a 49ers team this week, and has been in pretty solid form of late, averaging close to 18 fantasy pts per games over his last 4.
Chris Ivory: Owned in only 38% of leagues. 250 yards, 5 TD's over the past 3 games makes him a nice flex option.
Brandon Jacobs: Limited carries, but he has looked good. Close to 200 yards and 2 TD's in as many games.
James Starks: Where did this guy come from? Led the Packers in carries on weekend with 18. Only worth adding in deep leagues given he forms part of a RB committee.
Robert Meachem: Like most of the Saints receivers, he's pretty hot and cold, but when he is on, he can help your fantasy team. Caught 3 passes for 106 yards and a TD on the weekend, and has 3 TD's in as many games. If you need help at WR, then this could be your man.
Kenny Britt: Remember him? He was in a purple patch before he got injured. Should be back in time for Thursday's game, but keep an eye on him if you plan on starting him.
Ben Watson: Coming off a 10 catch, 100 yard performance and faces the Bills in Week 14... ahhh hello, if you need a TE, go grab him.
Joel Dresseen: 19 catches over past 5 games including 2 TD's. He won't set records, but he is a serviceable pick-up if you need a TE.
Falcons: Facing the Panthers this week, so a nice match-up on paper
Broncos: A new coach, and facing the Cardinals... could be a nice sleeper pick.
Shayne Graham: The new kicker for the Patriots, and will be solid down the stretch. Pats have no problem moving the ball right now behind Captain Brady.
Garrett Hartley: Saints on a roll and so is he, having put up 26 fantasy points in last 2 games.
Big billed at one of the games of the season thus far, there is a lot riding on this game. Two 9-2 AFC East teams come face to face in Monday Night Football, when the Patriots play host to the NY Jets. The Pats are a perfect 5-0 at home, whilst amazingly, the Jets are 5-0 away from home…. Both are riding on winning streaks, but something has to come to an end, in what is a mouth-watering clash. The Pats will be looking for revenge after their loss to the Jets in Week 2.
Here are the players worth starting in the big game:
Tom Brady – Has thrown for a TD in every game this season, including an average of just under 4 TD’s over the past 4 games, which have included @ Ptt, @ Clev, Indy and @ Det. He did have one of his lowest fantasy outputs against the Jets in Week 2, but he is money at home (and he knows it... just look at his haircut below).
Deion Branch – With Welker receiving a lot of attention from star defender Revis, expect Brady to look more often to Branch. He has 16 catches over the past 3 games, including a 2 TD performance against the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Rob Gronkowski – With Hernandez in the dog-house due to a number of dropped catches, Gronkowski has made the most of the playing time. The Jets are strong against the run, so look for Brady to pass, including a number of short-yardage plays to his TE. He has 15 catches over his last 4 games.
Mark Sanchez – Facing a Patriots team ranked 32 in the league in pass yards allowed, and they give up an average of 17.8 fantasy pts to QB’s each week. A strong run game should help set-up the pass. He has had mixed results this season away from home, but he is playing well right now.
Shonn Greene – Ok, he doesn’t start the game, but he has been ending it. LT has dropped off from his strong start to the season, whilst Greene has begun to run well over the past few games… he sits only 26 carries behind on the season. A lack of TD’s is an issue (1), but this could be the week for him to get #2.
Dustin Keller – Has a strong game against the Pats last time out… Pettigrew carved them up last week, so I’m sure the Jets have done their homework.
Santonio Holmes – He and Sanchize have been on fire of late, connecting on 4 TD passes over the past 3 games. We expect much of the same this week given the Pats give up the 6th most fantasy points to WR’s.
Shayne Graham – Filling in nicely as Kicker for New England, he has averaged close to 9 fantasy points over the past 3 games, so he makes a nice start this week.
Players we’d sit this week include: LT, Nick Folk, Danny Woodhead, BGE, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Nick Folk.
If we had to pick a DST, we'd give the slight edge to the Patriots this week.
Prediction: You could have probably guessed it from the above, but we see the Patriots taking care of business. Brady has an incredible record at Foxboro, and we expect the trend to continue on the back of some Belichick brilliance.
What an important week on the fantasy schedule... whilst there will be some teams that have wrapped up their playoff seeding, or are out of the mix, a number of teams will still be looking to secure a fantasy playoff position, hence vital decisions will need to be made. The Fantasy Dudes are here to help, and with this week's Tebow Talent Time, we take a look at those players we believe will help your fantasy teams in Week 13 of the NFL:
Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw: The double-headed blue monster have been very productive of late, and whilst it's hard to predict who will outperform the other in a given week, we actually like them both against the Redskins given that they have been dreadful at stopping the run over the past few weeks.
Kevin Boss: Without Nicks and Smith, Eli Manning has struggled, but over the past couple of weeks he has found solace through his boy Boss. With Manningham likely to be tagged all day by DeAngelo Hall, Eli will look for his big TE again this week, especially in the red-zone.
Packers D/ST: Have been playing really well of late and this week they face Troy Smith and the Niners, less their main weapon Frank Gore. Smith looked terrible against the Cardinals of all teams, playing a very safe role. The Packers should do a good job at shutting down the running options of Westbrook and Dixon (we suggest looking elsewhere this week), and in doing so, giving up very little on the scoreboard.
Vernon Davis: See above re: Troy Smith. The Niners need to look somewhere, and Vernon, who has been hampered of late through injuries, will be the likely target. He had a very strong start to the season, and we expect Troy to look his way, and often. Packers give up an average of 6.5 fantasy points to TE's.
Jordy Nelson: We wrote about Jordy as a waiver wire pickup earlier this week. If you are in a deep league and desperate for help, Jordy could be your man. Rogers will have a great time against the Niners, and it looks as if Jordy is forming a nice bond with him, making him a sneaky play for this week.
Kyle Orton: Has been in sensation form all season, and against the Chiefs, a team in which he ripped up just a few weeks ago, the trend shall continue. As to who will receive his passes, that is a good question, but if we had to pick, we like Brandon Lloyd.
Jamaal Charles: Broncos give up 2nd most fantasy points in the league to RB's, so Jamaal should have a field-day.
Dwayne Bowe: This guy has been on an absolute tear, and a touchdown machine. We see no reason for this to stop, and he is a must start in all fantasy leagues, especially against the Denver D.
Matt Forte and Johnny Knox: Forte loves the lions, and absolutely burnt them in week one... he is on a hot streak, so we'd continue to ride it. Cutler has finally found his touch, and showed why the Bears acquired him. We see Knox being the main beneficiary of the Chicago wide-outs.
Bears D/ST: After shutting down Vick and the Eagles, they face Drew Stanton and the Lions... enough said.
Peyton Hillis: An early season fantasy trade in one of my fantasy leagues involved a straight up deal being Cutler for Hillis. Owners questioned why give up Cutler for so little... I wonder who is laughing right now. This guy has been a flat out beast, and this will continue this week against the Dolphins.
Chris Ivory: Need help at the RB? This is your man. He has played quite well of late, and the Bengals give up an average of 17.1 pts to RB's. He has 3 TD's over the past 2 weeks.
Marques Colston: We like Drew Brees this week, and the Bengals give up an average of 23.2 pts to WR's. Colston is due for a big game and this might be the week.
Blair White: Another one of our waiver wire suggestions, Blair should benefit from a Peyton Manning onslaught (terrible game last week) against the Cowboys.
Other players we like this week include: Jay Cutler, MJD, Chargers D/ST, Steven Jackson, Rams D/ST, Peyton Manning, Adam Vinatieri, Michael Turner, Matt Bryant and Rashard Mendenhall.
Thursday night football has the Texans travelling to the Eagles.
Here are the players worth starting and sitting in your fantasy teams this week:
Eagles: Michael Vick (Texans 31st against the pass), Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy (both run and pass) and David Akers.
Texans: Arian Foster (Texans 7th in rushing this season), Andre Johnson (he’ll always get his stats) and Joel Dresseen (has been in great form filling in for Daniels).
Eagles: Eagles D/ST is on a short week, and has not been that impressive fantasy wise of late, averaging only 6.2 pts over the past 5 games (Asante Samuel won’t be 100%).
Texans: Schaub will have an ok game, but the Texans will rely heavily on the run, hence we would look elsewhere this week. Kevin Walter, Neil Rackers and Texans D/ST (will have a hard time containing Vick).
For those of you who missed it, Frank Gore suffered a fractured hip, and is in dount for the rest of the season. What does that mean for fantasy teams? Well, clearly it's not good for Gore owners, but there is still hope to add his replacement, Brian Westbook, off the waivers. He is owned in just 12% of leagues, meaning he should be available to get. He ran for 136 yards and a TD (yes, it was against the Cardinals, but even so), so it still shows he still has gas left in the tank in a run-heavy 49ers team. Westbrook is a must add in all formats, and could be a nice play for up-coming fantasy playoffs. Anthony Dixon may also be worth a look should you not be successful in landing Westbrook.
With week 12 in the books, we look ahead to the potential players to pick-up off the waiver wire for Week 13, and with key injuries over the weekend, competition should be intense. Here are the players you should be looking to pick-up this week:
Sam Bradford - This guy may be a rookie, but he is putting together some very nice stats, and in doing so, has his Rams sitting on top of their division. This week he faces the terrible cardinals, who were just plain awful against the 49ers, so imagine what he'll do (much better than Smith).
Brian Westbook - This should be the first guy taken off waivers this week. Unfortunately for fantasy owners of Frank Gore (me), it may be a season ending hip injury, meaning Westbrook, who filled in nicely for him by running over 100 yards, will slide right in... a great pick-up for a run-heavy team. A must add in all formats, and could be a nice play for up-coming fantasy playoffs.
Maurice Morris - With health issues to number one back Best, it is Morris who stands to benefit... he led the team in carries against the Pats, and is worth adding if you need help at RB.
Toby Gerhart - Yes, he received an injury himself, but he should be able to play this week. With yet another injured running back in AP, he could be in-line to start this week, making him an excellent short-term add.
Johnny Knox - Culter finally showing some life, and if it continues, so will Knox. Has a great match-up against Detroit in week 13.
Blair White - With injuries to a number of receivers in the Colts team, White has been given the opportunity to shine, and has done so reeling in 3 TD's over the past 2 weeks. Having Peyton throwing him the ball is a major bonus.
Jordy Nelson - Has formed a nice bond with Aaron Rogers of late, including a nice game against the Falcons. This is more of a watch this space, but he could be a nice possession receiver for the Packers - think Wes Welker.
Jacoby Ford - Standing out for the Raiders, including a nice 108 yard performance on the weekend. He also returns kicks, so may be a nice add should you be needing help at WR.
Joel Dresseen - Filling in nicely for the injured Owen Daniels. In 4 games he has 14 catches for over 200 yards, incluing two TD's in as many games. A handy pickup at the TE position.
Rams - Facing the Cardinals who were terrible at stopping the 49ers at home... why should that change this week. Jackson will have a nice game on the ground.
Seahawks - Up against the Panthers, hence a nice play this week.
Shayne Graham - Filling in well for the Patriots, and has averaged 8.5 fantasy pts a game over past 3 weeks. Playing against Jets this week in a grudge match, so he may see his opportunities increase.
Two 3-7 teams face off on Monday Night Football when the Cardinals play host to the 49ers in an intriguing NFC West battle. Whilst the Cardinals experienced the loss of Kurt Warner, they had hoped that Matt Leinhart would fill the void… unfortunately he proved otherwise. The 49ers on the other hand were instilled as clear leader of their division, but their season has been filled with disappointment. Both teams will be looking to turn their seasons around, as remarkably, they are still in the play-off hunt, courtesy of a weak division (Rams/Seattle)… a loss would be disastrous.
The Cardinals have been terrible on both sides of the ball: 28th in passing yards, 30th in rushing yards, 27th in opposition passing yards and 28th in opposition rushing yards… no wonder they are 3-7, including 5 straight losses. Its hard to get excited about anyone on this team from a fantasy perspective, but if anyone, we’d go with Beanie Wells and Larry Fitzgerald. Beanie has shown some flashes of brilliance this season (limited carries), but has been held back by a knee injury. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald, whilst not spectacular, has scored double digit fantasy points in four straight games, so why wouldn’t we expect
The 49ers on the other hand have been about middle of the pack in terms of their rankings. They had a rough start, but have since put together 3 wins from 5 games. Frank gore has been the man for them, as he has rushed for over 800 yards… the only thing is that he has been shy on the TD’s, but we believe this will be a nice matchup to change that trend (Cardinals give up 135 rushing yards per game). Troy Smith is in a QB, who has a tough game against
If we had to pick as DST this week, it would be the Niners.
Prediction: 49ers should win this one, led by a strong running game from Frank Gore. They have a tough run home, so they will want this one bad. The 49ers took both games last year.