Playoff Week 15 Sleepers and Start’ems for 2013!
Playoffs! Playoffs? Can you believe that we’re already in the home stretch? Trade deadlines are passed, teams will be forced to build through waivers which isn’t such a bad thing. The time is upon us to strengthen our benches and prepare for the worst. Nobody can predict the unpredictable and injuries can happen at any second of any game. Solidifying your bench is a must at this point in the game!
We lost a ton of high profile fantasy producers this week such as Vikings RB Adrian Peterson to a mid-foot sprain, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL and MCL, Broncos WR Wes Welker to his 2nd concussion in last 4 weeks and the Redskins announcing that QB Robert Griffin III will be shut down for the rest of the season and QB Kurt Cousins being named starter, but that could be a blessing in disguise.
Week 14 Sleepers/Start’ems RECAP!
DA GOODZ! (Recommended starts that made us look good)
Tom Brady NE vs Cle – 32 of 52 for 418 yards 2TDs 1Int
Mike Glennon TB vs Buf – 9 of 25 for 90 yards 2TDs 2Int
Joe Flacco Balt vs Min – 28 of 50 for 245 yards 3TDs 3Ints
Alex Smith KC @ Wash – 14 of 20 for 137 yards 2TDs
Nick Foles Phi vs Det – 11 of 22 for 179 yards 1TD 1Int and 6 carries 23 yards 1TD
Running Backs (Rec = Reception)
Shane Vereen NE vs Cle – 3 carries 9 yards 1TD and 12rec 153 yards
Andre Brown NYG @ SD – 16 carries 81 yards and 3rec 15 yards
Eddie Lacy GB vs ATL – 20 carries 65 yards 1TD and 3rec 25 yards
Bobby Rainey TB vs Buf – 22 carries 127 yards 1TD
Giovani Bernard Cin vs Indy -12 carries 99 yards and 4rec 49 yards
BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cin vs Indy – 17 carries 48 yards 2TDs
Steven Jackson ATL @ GB – 15 carries 71 yards and 1rec 9 yards
Le’Veon Bell Pit vs Mia – 15 carries 61 yards and 5rec 28 yards
Wide Receivers (Rec = Reception)
Vincent Jackson TB vs Buf – 3rec 70 yards 1TD on 8 Targets
Andre Johnson Hou @ Jac – 13rec 154 yards on 21 Targets
Keenan Allen SD vs NYG – 3rec 59 yards 2TDs on 3 Targets
A.J Green Cin @ Indy – 6rec 72 yards 1TD on 8 Targets
Alshon Jeffery Chi vs Dal – 5rec 84 yards 1TD on 9 Targets
DeSean Jackson Phi vs Det – 4rec 59 yards 1TD on 6 Targets
Jacoby Jones Balt vs Min – 4rec 37 yards on 7 Targets (77 yard KRTD)
Tight Ends (Rec = Reception)
Jason Witten Dal @ Chi – 1rec 10 yards 1TD on 3 Targets
Julius Thomas Den vs Ten – 5rec 35 yards 1TD on 7 Targets
Garrett Graham Hou @ Jac – 8 rec 73 yards 1TD on 14 Targets
NOT so goodz! (Recommended starts that made us look bad)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Ten @ Den – 13 of 24 for 175 yards 1TD 1Int
QB Matthew Stafford Det @ Phi -10 of 25 for 148 yards
QB Cam Newton Car @ NO – 22 of 34 for 160 yards 1TD
QB Carson Palmer Ari vs STL – 27 of 32 for 269 yards 1TD 1Int
RB Ben Tate Hou @ Jac – 14 carries 53 yards and 2rec 3 yards
WR Brandon LaFell Car @ No – 2rec 22 yards on 4Targets
WR Kendall Wright Ten @ Den – 2rec 17 yards on 3Targets
WR Torrey Smith Balt vs Min – 1rec 11 yards on 5 Targets
WR Nate Burleson Det @ Phi – 2rec 18 yards on 5 Targets
TE Coby Fleener Indy @ Cin – 5rec 31 yards on 9 Targets
TE Greg Olsen Car @ NO – 8rec 40 yards on 12 Targets
TE Heath Miller Pit vs Mia – 3rec 56 yards on 4 Targets
TE Martellus Bennett Chi vs Dal – 5rec 43 yards on 6 Targets
TE Rob Gronkowski NE vs Cle – 2rec 32 yards on 5 Targets (Torn ACL,MCL)
WEEK 15 SLEEPERS and START’ems for 2013!
Matt Ryan ATL vs Wash – A struggling Matt Ryan is my MUST START QB of the Week! Playing in the snow, Falcons QB Matt Ryan got off to a quick start Week 14 at Green Bay, throwing touchdown passes on 2 of the team’s first 3 drives. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t throw another touchdown pass on a day in which the Falcons blew a 21-10 halftime lead. Ryan completed 20 of 35 passes for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was the first time in 3 games that he contributed multiple touchdowns. In the past 3 weeks, the Redskins have allowed Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith to throw for multiple touchdowns.
Philip Rivers SD @ Den – The Broncos have been equally unpredictable against the pass lately, allowing quarterbacks to score 25 or more standard Fantasy points in 3 games, while allowing fewer than 15 in another 3, over their last 6 weeks. Only one quarterback (Tom Brady) went over 300 yards in that span, while three failed to hit the 250-yard mark. An up-and-down string of performances from both sides make Rivers less than a sure thing. If you’ve been riding this roller coaster all season, he’s still a risky, high-upside start.
Joe Flacco Balt @ Det – Tight end Dennis Pitta boosts Flacco’s Fantasy value but owners need to remember that Flacco still has more turnovers (19) than touchdowns (18), and he hasn’t thrown for 300 yards since Week 6. In 7 career games against NFC North opponents, Flacco has averaged 248 passing yards with 14 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. He hasn’t faced the Lions since 2009.
Josh McCown Chi @ Cle – McCown completed 27 of 36 throws (75 percent) for 348 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, and he ran for a 7-yard touchdown. McCown posted a 141.9 passer rating and did not commit a turnover. McCown has 9 touchdowns and 2 turnovers in his last 3 starts. Remarkably, the 348 yards were the fewest he’s passed for during that stretch.
Shane Vereen NE @ Mia – Two weeks in a row now, Vereen is my MUST START RB of the Week! Vereen established new career marks with 12 receptions and 153 yards. But it was on the ground, where he had just 3 carries for 9 yards, where he scored a key 6-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter and added a two-point conversion in the 4th. He was targeted a game-high 17 times bringing in 12 of those targets for 153 yards. Vereen, who has 40 receptions for 373 yards in just 5 games this season, looks to increase that output against the Dolphins.
Zac Stacy STL vs NO – Stacy was held in check Week 14 against the Cardinals. Stacy carried the ball 14 times for 25 yards. He averaged just 1.8 yards per carry. Stacy’s day was salvaged by a 1 yard score. After Tavon Austin took an end-around for 56 yards, Stacy punched in the close touchdown. He didn’t play a big role in the passing game, catching 3 receptions for -3 yards. Stacy will look to get back on track Week 15 against the Saints. Prior to Week 14, Stacy had produced 70-plus yards in 6 of 8 games including 2 games with 100-plus yards and 4 touchdowns over that span.
Giovani Bernard Cin @ Pit – Bernard turned 9 touches into 2 touchdowns the first time he played the Steelers. He’s poised for more success when he faces them Week 15 at Pittsburgh. The Steelers just got toasted by Daniel Thomas of all people. Miami’s plodder gained 105 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries last week. Bernard gained a season-high 148 yards from scrimmage last week vs. Indy. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry this year and has 21 receptions over his last 5 games. The Steelers have yielded 13 rushing scores and 4.1 yards per carry.
Toby Gerhart Min vs Phi – With Adrian Peterson out, Gerhart is likely to see a increased role. Though he is also dealing with a tweaked hamstring injury, he could be in line for some solid production. Back in 2011, in 6 games that Peterson missed, Gerhart was able to produce 4 touchdowns, 3 games with 17-plus total touches, 3 games with 90-plus yards rushing and 18 receptions over that span.
Dwayne Bowe KC @ Oak – Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe, skies are blue! He is my MUST START WR of the Week! Though Bowe has yet to go for 70 yards in a game this season, he has gone for at least 50-plus yards in 5 straight and has added 3 touchdowns in his last 4 weeks.
Julian Edelman NE @ Mia – Edelman and the offense were both blanked in the first half. He didn’t connect with QB Tom Brady until snagging an 8-yarder on the first possession of the 3rd quarter. But he contributed a two-point conversion late that quarter, a 2-yard touchdown pass in the 4th quarter and 4 huge receptions for 50 yards on the game-winning drive. He finished with 64 yards on 6 catches. With no more Rob Gronkowski, you can surely expect Edelman to see more targets.
Pierre Garcon Wash @ ATL – Coming off 3 straight games with less than 70 receiving yards, Garcon wasn’t any better Week 14 against the Chiefs. In fact, he finished with a season-low 37 yards on 5 catches, squandering his team-high 12 targets. Despite Garcon’s lack of production in recent weeks, which may simply be a product of the Redskins’ struggles as a whole, he remains the go-to guy in the passing game, getting double-digit targets in 7 straight games.
Riley Cooper Phi @ Min – Cooper did catch 3 passes for 74 yards, including a two-point conversion that gave his team the lead for good 2 minutes into the 4th quarter. But he was targeted a team-high 9 times, indicating that he was out of sync with quarterback Nick Foles. Ofcourse the snow didn’t help the cause.
Anquan Boldin SF @ TB – Despite Revis’ presence in the secondary, wide receivers have fared well against Tampa Bay this season. They are averaging 160.5 receiving yards and 22.9 Fantasy points per week. Wide receivers have also totaled 16 touchdowns in 13 games. As far as No. 1 receivers, however, there haven’t been a ton of great performances. Larry Fitzgerald had 12 standard Fantasy points Week 4, DeSean Jackson had 18 standard Fantasy points Week 6, Harry Douglas had 20 standard Fantasy points Week 7 and Calvin Johnson had 11 standard Fantasy points Week 12, which is pretty much it for top performances from No. 1 receivers.
Other Wide Receivers with nice matchups – Stevie Johnson Buf @ Jac, Keenan Allen SD @ Den, Torrey Smith Balt @ Det, Marlon Brown Balt @ Det, Cecil Shorts Jac vs Buf, Roddy White ATL vs Wash, Harry Douglas ATL vs Wash
Dennis Pitta Balt @ Det – Dennis is my MUST START TE of the Week! Despite playing 42 percent of the snaps in his season debut Week 14, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta tied for the team lead with 11 targets, including 2 in the red zone. He turned those into 6 catches, 48 yards and a touchdown in his season debut. The Lions give up the 3rd-fewest Fantasy points (5.5 per game) to tight ends, but Pitta is too integral to Baltimore’s offense to sit.
Garrett Graham Hou @ Indy – Though his production has been inconsistent, his targets haven’t. He has averaged 11.5 in his last four games, getting no fewer than nine in any of them. That bodes well for his matchup Week 15 at Indianapolis. The Colts rank 18th against the pass, allowing 241.5 points per game. They’ve allowed the 10th-fewest standard Fantasy points to tight ends, but they haven’t faced any notable ones since Week 7 against the Broncos, when Julius Thomas had 5 receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown against them.
Antonio Gates SD @ Den – Denver had allowed touchdowns in 3 consecutive games before Week 14, but the streak was snapped by the Titans on Sunday. However, the Titans were starting Visanthe Shiancoe, who was an emergency replacement for a concussed Delanie Walker. Since Week 8, the Broncos have allowed 75 or more yards in a game to a team’s tight ends 4 times.
Jordan Cameron Cle vs Chi – Cameron’s Week 15 opponent, the Bears, have allowed 2 touchdowns over their last 3 games. They’ve allowed the 3rd-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends, with 69.1 per game, and tend to have some trouble with the more offensive-minded of the group (Jason Witten scored, Kyle Rudolph scored, Jared Cook had 80 receiving yards, Jimmy Graham had 135 receiving yards, Jordan Reed had 134 receiving yards and a touchdown).
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Good luck and enjoy!