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Week 17 NFL FIX - (Saturday Update) DeAngelo Williams among sneaky plays this week.

Jason Singh

Welcome to the 17th and final edition of the 2013 NFL Fix, this is our Saturday update. Before we start, I'd like to remind everyone of the new analysis and tools at My Fantasy Fix:

Weekly Player Match-up Highlights  - Our weekly look at the players facing favorable or unfavorable match ups this week. These rankings are based on a the traditional fantasy scoring format (non PPR), which also has relevance to the weekly play decisions in DFS formats.

Fantasy Weekly Matchup Grid - The MFF DFS Matchup Matrix rates the quality of the team defenses that our DFS players are starting against. The grids take a look at how each of the opposing defenses have performed against the QB/RB/WR/TE positions over the last 8 weeks of the season, helping you make important spending DFS decisions. (Can be found in the "Access" / "Main Page" area after logging in http://www.myfantasyfix.com/amember/signup/ )

Before we get into this week's recommendations, we have to throw out a little disclaimer. It is important to remind everyone to understand your scoring format and the pricing of the individual players on the site you're playing. These vary from site to site and all daily sites price their players differently, which could make someone a must start on one site but not another. It is also important to double check injury reports as news often breaks after this column is written. If you are new to the daily fantasy scene, there are daily fantasy websites which offer one day or one week contests. These contests are mostly salary cap games where you can take any players you want as long as you stay under the cap and meet the positional requirements and all are points-based (not roto). Please feel free to e-mail me at jsingh@fantistics.com if you have any further questions regarding daily fantasy sports.

Eddie Lacy (GB)
 did not practice Wednesday and Thursday due to re-aggravating his sprained ankle last week against Pittsburgh but did practice on a limited basis Friday.  GB head coach Mike McCarthy noted to the media he was very pleased about Lacy's progress this week and has no concerns regarding him receiving a full load of carries in a do or die game against Chicago (and its league-worst run defense) this Sunday.  The return of Aaron Rodgers will also help reduce the run heavy defensive fronts that Lacy has been seeing ever since Rodgers was injured.

Jerrel Jernigan (NYG) has a great shot at continuing his strong recent play this Sunday against Washington due to the injury woes the G Men are battling.  Victor Cruz was lost for the season two weeks ago and Rueben Randle injured his knee this past Wednesday during practice.  He is listed as questionable but has not practiced since Wednesday.  The smallish, yet explosive Jernigan has caught 13 passes for 147 yards and one TD over his last two games.   

Randall Cobb (GB) practiced with the Green Bay offense this week and looked good as far as running and cutting.  He has a better than 50-50 shot to be activated from the short term IR list and play this Sunday against Chicago but even so, his snaps will be limited.  Cobb could still be that low priced wildcard player that you could use to sneak up on other fantasy players - especially since he would be playing a wretched Bears defense which is ranked 29th overall WITH Aaron Rodgers.

Calvin Johnson (DET)
was recently reported to have a partially torn PCL by deadspin.com which Megatron himself has not responded to.  Johnson sat out the entire week with the knee and ankle injuries that limited his availability last week against the NY Giants.  Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz told reporters Friday that the Lions will make "a group decision" regarding Johnson's availability prior to kickoff.  Even if he does play, how effective can he be?

Tony Romo (DAL) underwent surgery Friday morning on the herniated disc in his back and was placed on IR.  What a sad ending for a guy who was ridiculed beyond belief following Dallas' collapse against Green Bay a few weeks ago, but responded with a come from behind victory against Washington last week.  That victory however came with a heavy price.

Adrian Peterson (MIN) was downgraded to doubtful on the injury report as he continues to deal with groin and foot issues that have plagued him in recent weeks.  Toby Gerhart has been ruled out this Sunday due to his lingering hamstring injury so it looks like Matt Asiata (who scored three TDs in a start against Philly a few weeks ago) will get the start.

Dwayne Bowe (KC) was announced as being out for Sunday's game against San Diego.  KC head coach Andy Reid confirmed that Bowe suffered a concussion last week and will be sitting out a meaningless game for KC as it is already locked into the #5 seed on the AFC side of the playoffs.

Steve Smith (CAR) sprained his PCL against New Orleans last week and was officially ruled out of this Sunday's potential division clinching victory against Atlanta.

Quarterbacks - Featured Site: DraftStreet
Fantistics Top 5 QB Rankings
1. Peyton Manning
2. Cam Newton
3. Matthew Stafford
4. Nick Foles
5. Drew Brees

Top Play

Peyton Manning (DEN) may end up setting a record that will never be broken when he faces the reeling Oakland Raiders this Sunday.  The 4:25 PM ET game will be meaningful for the Broncos because they will be attempting to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC portion of the playoffs.  New England will be playing Buffalo at the same time and could still clinch the #1 seed with a win and a Denver loss.  This is a great scenario for fantasy players as both Denver and New England will be playing all out for that very valuable seed, which means all skill position players involved will have some type of fantasy value.  Manning broke Tom Brady's single season TD pass record last week against Houston when he hoisted his 51st strike to Julius Thomas.  Manning is priced at $17,920 on DraftStreet which makes sense as he is a strong bet to throw 300+ yards and multiple TDs against an Oakland team that has lost five straight and looks to have checked out the rest of the season.  Also consider that Manning threw for 374 yards and three TDs against Oakland back in Week 3 - when the Raiders were actually playing well.  The Raiders pass defense currently yields 266.7 yards per game which puts them 24th in the league.  Manning is averaging a ridiculous 26.8 points per game (on DraftStreet) which is 4+ more points than the great Drew Brees averages per game.

Value Plays

Tom Brady (NE) - Brady is in the same position as Peyton Manning this week - he needs to win to have a chance at clinching the #1 seed in the AFC portion of the playoffs.  That is great news for those players who are looking for a player who should put up strong production against a Buffalo team that the Patriots have dominated for several years.  Brady is the 9th highest priced QB on DraftStreet at $13,436 which would allow you to beef up your complementary positions a little more than if you drafted a higher priced QB.  Yeah, Brady doesn't have Rob Gronkowski to throw the ball to but the Pats continue to set up the run with their passing game.  Brady has thrown five multiple TD pass games out of his last seven overall and last threw for 288 yards and two TDs against Buffalo way back in the season opener.  Additionally, before last week's game against Baltimore's strong defense, Brady had thrown for 344 or more yards in five of his last six games.

Nick Foles (PHI) - Foles could have put up even more production last Sunday night against Chicago if the Bears didn't collapse so badly.  If Chicago kept the game relatively competitive, Foles would not have handed the ball off most of the second half and would not have been replaced by Michael Vick to close things out.  Be that as it may, he now faces a horrible Dallas defense this Sunday night which will really be playing on its heels given the likely possibility that Tony Romo will not play due to a herniated disc.  Dallas is ranked a treacherous 31st in pass defense as well as 27th against the run.  Foles is priced at $15,715 which puts him third on DraftStreet's list of QBs as he is averaging a very strong 20.2 points per game (also ranked 3rd in DraftStreet computations).  Foles is priced reasonably enough (i.e. below Peyton Manning and Drew Brees) that he can register elite level points but still allow you salary space to boost your other positions.  Also consider this - the general over/under for this game is around 52 which lends credence to the popular thought that a lot of points will be scored in this game.

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) - Roethlisberger has played strong fantasy ball over the second half of the season as he has thrown multiple TD passes in six of his late eight games.  He next faces reeling Cleveland in a must-win game for Pittsburgh to have a chance to make the playoffs.  Big Ben and the Steelers play in the early set of Sunday games so there will be no hesitation from the team to go all out.  The last time Roethlisberger played Cleveland - in week 12 - he threw for 217 yards and two TDs (on the road), and Cleveland is playing a whole lot poorer now.  Do not be fooled by Cleveland's 7th ranking against the pass as the team has been smoked by Tom Brady (understandable), Jay Cutler (understandable) and Geno Smith (not understandable) in recent weeks, as it appears injuries and poor help on offense have ruined the Browns' defensive swagger.  Big Ben is priced at a reasonable $12,887 which is a strong incentive to use him and load up with a LeSean McCoy-type running back.

Andrew Luck (IND) - After a cold stretch between Week's 10-13, Luck has slowly made himself fantasy viable again over his last three games, with performances of 326 yards/4 TDs, 180 yards/2 TDs and 241 yards/1 TD respectively.  Indy plays hapless Jacksonville as part of the early games this Sunday, and the team does have incentive to play hard since it can clinch a first round bye with a win combined with losses by New England and Cincinnati.  Luck is priced at a nice total of $13,395 on DraftStreet which would allow your team considerable flexibility.  Do note that Luck threw for 257 yards and two TDs against this same Jacksonville team on the road back in Week 4.  The Jags pass defense is ranked in the bottom half of the league and could very well check out in a game that means little to them.

Philip Rivers (SD) - Rivers torched the Chiefs back in Week 12 when he led the team to an improbable come from behind road victory while throwing for 392 yards and 3 TDs!  The one negative is San Diego could be eliminated from playoff contention before it even takes the field (4:25 PM ET game start) as all that has to happen is a Miami win (over the Jets) or a Baltimore win (over the Bengals).  Both of those games start early and could put a damper on San Diego's performance, however, the team has made it clear that it will play 100% committed to win regardless of what happens earlier in the day.  The Chargers certainly wouldn't want to sleepwalk in front of a home crowd, and it should be noted that KC has announced it will likely rest starters at some point of the game because it is locked into the 5th playoff seed regardless if they win or not.  KC's defense has fallen off a cliff the last several weeks and is currently ranked 27th against the pass which I am sure has Rivers drooling with anticipation.

Matthew Stafford (DET)  faces a favorable match up when the Lions play the Vikings this week. The Vikings have allowed opposing QBs to average 28 fantasy points against them over the last 8 weeks (ranked # 32 in the league). Opponents are averaging 320 passing yards per game against them (ranked # 32). Additionally opposing QBs have a 99.69 pass rating against them (ranked # 29 in the league) and have allowed a completion percentage that ranks 21 in the league.

Additional value plays:  Terrelle Pryor (OAK) is moderately priced at $10,989 which is a nice incentive for some fantasy players to gamble on the youngster in what should be a very high scoring game against Denver.  Both defenses in this game are full of holes while both offenses have a lot of weapons.  You always have to worry that Oakland head coach Dennis Allen may pull Pryor and re-insert Matt McGloin if Pryor struggles mightily but we do not see that happening.  Oakland's coaching staff and players are playing for their jobs this Sunday as most expect a major shakeup following such a strong second half tailspin.  Consider this - the general over/under for this game is around 53.5 points which only strengthens the belief that this game will be very high scoring. Ryan Fitzpatrick faces a favorable match up when the Titans play the Texans this week. The Texans have allowed opposing QBs to average 22 fantasy points against them over the last 8 weeks (ranked # 26 in the league). Opponents are averaging 252 passing yards per game against them (ranked # 19). Additionally opposing QBs have a 97.55 pass rating against them (ranked # 27 in the league) and have allowed a completion percentage that ranks 13 in the league.

According to our Match up matrix, here are the 8 defenses (vs) with the most Fantasy Points allowed to opposing QBs over the last 8 weeks:

Team QB Vs. FP TD Allow Pass Rating Pass Yd Gm Yard Rank
Det Min 27.7 21 100 321 32
Buf NE 24.4 17 91 285 28
Phi Dal 24.1 18 105 272 24
Den Oak 24.1 20 111 271 23
Car Atl 22.1 16 103 261 21
Ind Jac 21.8 14 87 282 27
Ten Hou 21.6 18 98 252 19
Cle Pit 21.6 15 87 274 25

Running Backs - Featured Sites: FanDuel and DraftDay
Fantistics Top 5 Running Back Rankings
1. LeSean McCoy
2. Eddie Lacy
3. Matt Forte
4. Marshawn Lynch
5. Reggie Bush

Top Play

LeSean McCoy (PHI) - McCoy showcased his skills last Sunday night as he absolutely used and abused the pathetic Chicago Bears defense on his way to 133 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 18 carries!  Granted, he was playing a 32nd ranked run defense but this Sunday night against Dallas, he will be facing a 27th ranked run defense which yields 127.9 yards per game.   This game means everything to Philly and Dallas because the winner clinches a playoff spot while the loser is left out in the cold.  McCoy has scored 6 rushing TDs in his last 5 games.  He did play Dallas earlier this year (Week 7) and rushed 18 times for just 55 yards and no TDs but that was when both teams were headed opposite ways.  Nick Foles was knocked out of that game with a concussion which allowed Matt Barkley to come in and throw a few INTs which killed any chance of the Eagles running or even being competitive.  The Eagles offense is in a much better spot at this point of the season and has a great shot knocking out a Dallas team that simply has too many holes.  Interestingly, McCoy is priced at $9,400 on FanDuel even though Jamaal Charles (priced at $10,200) may not even play most of his game against San Diego due to KC already being locked into the #5 seed.

Value Plays

Le'Veon Bell (PIT) - Bell faces a reeling Cleveland defense this week at home and is nicely priced at $7,900 on FanDuel.  His season-best performance against Green Bay last week showed his production is still moving upward and that there is no sign of him hitting the proverbial rookie wall.  At this point of the season, Bell has fresh legs because he missed so much of the early part of the season due to injury.  He did play Cleveland on the road back in Week 12 and did very well - rushing 23 times for 80 yards.  Cleveland's defense at that time was playing very well but has essentially collapsed since - giving up huge games the last three weeks to Chris Ivory, Matt Forte and Shane Vereen.  The Browns were at one point ranked in the Top 5 against the run but are now ranked 16th as they yield 110.7 yards per game.  Bell will be fed the ball continuously in a game that has slim playoff implications for Pitt and should be played in ice cold conditions - which he thrived in last week in Lambeau Field and in college at Michigan State.

Knowshon Moreno (DEN) - Moreno's stats have certainly declined since he hit his peak in the middle part of this season, but any time a starting running back plays on an offense led by Peyton Manning, and both faces a team that has lost five straight in Oakland and the over/under is projected at around 53.5, how can you not consider playing Moreno?  I would have liked to see him priced slightly lower on FanDuel ($7,500) but his PPR skills are always a factor.  He did struggle against Oakland way back in Week 3 when the Raiders were playing well as he racked up only 39 rushing yards.  It should be noted that at that time, he was sharing carries with both Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball.  When Hillman and Ball displayed their penchant for fumbling, Moreno reestablished himself as the lead dog.  He now shares carries with just Ball, but is the preferred back in key situations and consistently supplements his rushing numbers with receptions, and is a threat for big numbers at any time due to being in such a high-octane offense.

Ryan Mathews (SD) - Mathews looked like he was headed to another injury riddled and poor year but something strange happened - he has remained healthy the last quarter of the season and been fed the ball consistently to great results.  He has scored in three straight games and rushed for 103, 127 and 99 yards respectively.  He has scored all six of his rushing TDs in his last nine games.  He next faces a Kansas City defense he rushed for 55 yards and one TD against back in Week 12.  Sunday's game means absolutely nothing for Kansas City, so even if San Diego is eliminated from the playoffs before it steps onto the field, it will play hard to appease a home crowd that would like nothing more than a victory to end a year that has exceeded all expectations.  KC's run defense is ranked 21st against the run which no doubt has not gone unnoticed by SD's coaching staff.  Mathews is priced at $7,400 on FanDuel which is reasonable based on how his last few games have gone but do note he has a sore ankle that the team has publicly said it isn't worried about.

DeMarco Murray (DAL) - You think Dallas fed the ball enough to Murray last week (25 total touches)?  Wait until this Sunday night in a do-or-die game against Philly.  Consider this, last Sunday's game against Washington was the first time he notched 20+ carries since a Week 3 game against St Louis!  With the likely possibility of not having Tony Romo at QB, look for Dallas to lean on Murray more than ever.  Murray missed the first matchup between both teams earlier this season due to injury so the Eagles have not faced him since last December when he rushed 23 times for 83 yards and one TD while catching four passes for 19 yards.  Murray is the fourth highest priced RB on DraftDay at $17,550 which actually may be a bargain if this game lives up to the over/under projection laid out by Las Vegas in the range of 53!  Murray has scored five rushing TDs in his last four games and has registered two 100-yard rushing efforts in his last three outings.

Additional RB notes:  LeGarrette Blount (NE) may be a gamble worth taking for a lot of you as he is cheaply priced on DraftDay at $5,000 despite gathering momentum over the last four weeks.  In his last four games he has rushed for 44, 42, 47 and 76 yards while also collecting 3 rushing TDs.  NE has a chance to grab the #1 seed in the AFC portion of the playoffs so the whole team will be motivated to blast a suspect Buffalo defense.  Blount appears to be locked in as the unquestioned "hammer" near the goal line which will only boost his value so a gamble like this would allow you to really splurge at other positions. DeAngelo Williams (CAR) - Williams had a big day last week, and another very favorable match up awaits. The Falcons have allowed opposing team RBs to average 140 rushing (ranked #29) and 7 receiving yards over the last 8 weeks. On average they have allowed opposing RBs to average 5.01 Yards Per Carry (rank # 3 in the league).  Rashad Jennings faces a favorable match up when the Raiders play the Broncos this week. The Broncos have allowed opposing team RBs to average 112 rushing (ranked #25) and 11 receiving yards over the last 8 weeks. On average they have allowed opposing RBs to average 4.24 Yards Per Carry (rank # 20 in the league).

According to our Match up matrix, here are the 8 defenses (Vs) with the most Fantasy Points allowed to opposing RBs over the last 8 weeks:

Team RB Vs. FP TDs Rush/G YPC Yd Rk Rec Yards Recept
Phi Dal 30.6 18 145 5.3 30 333 46
GB Chi 28.5 11 180 6.5 32 179 31
Den Oak 26.1 18 107 4.2 20 442 42
SD KC 25.1 13 119 4.3 27 323 31
Hou Ten 25.0 13 103 4.0 19 465 52
Chi GB 24.5 7 149 5.2 31 336 38
Car Atl 24.4 12 140 5.0 29 241 38
Sea StL 22.7 10 72 3.2 2 534 57

Wide Receivers - Featured Sites: StarFantasyLeagues and StarStreet

Fantistics Top 10 WR Rankings
1. Josh Gordon
2. DeMaryius Thomas
3. Eric Decker
4. Brandon Marshall
5. Dez Bryant
6. AJ Green
7. Antonio Brown
8. Calvin Johnson

9. TY Hilton

10. Brandon LaFell

Value Plays

Roddy White (ATL) - White had a game this past Monday that was reminiscent of games he had in 2012 before he became riddled with injuries - as he caught a season-high 12 passes for 141 yards and one TD in a thrilling game against San Francisco.  In his last five games, he caught 35 passes for 411 yards!  As he has gotten healthier, along with Steven Jackson, Atlanta's offensive production has moved back up to respectable levels.  He is priced under the elite receivers on StarStreet at $10,800 which is a good spot for him coming into Sunday's divisional matchup against Carolina.  Now, the game doesn't mean anything as far as playoff implications for the long since eliminated Falcons, but they can play spoiler to the Panthers' potential run to the NFC South title.  Last Monday's game against San Francisco showed that Atlanta has not quit on the season and would like nothing more than not to be embarrassed by Carolina in the Georgia Dome.  Carolina has a playmaking defense but its Achilles heel is its pass defense that is prone to lapses against offenses that have firepower.  I do expect a closely contested game that will be heavily run oriented, but also believe White will break out for at least three or four big plays.  Please note that White did not play against Carolina back in Week 9 due to injury so this will be the first time he faces them since December of last year when he caught nine passes for 117 yards and one TD.

Antonio Brown (PIT) - Brown has had just a phenomenal year and it should continue despite Pittsburgh having a slim chance to make the playoffs.  Be that as it may, Pittsburgh will hold nothing back against Cleveland because it is set to play in the first set of games this Sunday.  Brown and Pierre Garcon are the only two players this year that have caught at least five passes in every game.  Additionally, the last time Brown played against the Browns (Week 12), he caught six passes for 92 yards and one TD - and that was against a Cleveland team that was still playing well.  The Browns have hit rock bottom the last six games (all losses) so there is a strong chance they will be run out of Heinz Field.  Brown is understandably priced on StarStreet at $12,500 due to his production but you will have trouble finding someone more consistent (i.e. safe).

Julian Edelman (NE) - Edelman has been on a tear the last few weeks and might be one of the premier WR picks in all daily leagues this coming Sunday.  He is priced at $11,700 on StarStreet which is on the higher end, but you would be getting a guy that is averaging 8.8 catches for 98.2 yards per game (along with 4 total TDs) over his last five outings.  Buffalo is ranked 7th against the pass (yielding 236.3 yards per game) but after watching every single NE game this year, Edelman cannot be stopped as long as Tom Brady targets him.  His routes are almost indefensible and without Rob Gronkowski, Brady looks at Edelman #1 on most routes to keep the chains moving, and for the big play.  Edelman looked a little rough in this high pressure position earlier this season, but has grown exponentially during the second half of the season - making Danny Amendola look almost lost in the offense.

Pierre Garcon (WAS) - Despite the Skins long being eliminated from the playoffs, Garcon has had a monster two weeks even though his team tanked both games as he caught 18 passes for 273 yards and two TDs against both Atlanta and Dallas.  As noted earlier, Garcon and Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown are the only two NFL players to have caught at least five passes in every game this year but Garcon actually has caught at least six in all but two games.  Brown is the better scorer but Garcon is more of a scoring threat now with Kirk Cousins playing. Give a lot of credit to Washington for not folding up its tent in the midst of the RG3 fiasco and continuing to play hard.  Garcon does play a decent pass defense (New York Giants) this week that is ranked 12th in the league (the G-Men yield 241.2 passing yards per game which is still somewhat high and shows how much of a passing league the NFL has become), but with all the bubble screens and other impossible to defend pass routes that he runs, he will easily continue his productive season and hope to end the season leading the league in receptions. He has 107 on the year - four more than Andre Johnson and six more than Brown.

Keenan Allen (SD) - Even with a bum shoulder, Allen is scoring at a ridiculous pace despite catching less passes than he did in the middle part of the season when he peaked.  Over his last three games, he has caught just eight passes, but five of those were TD receptions!  He is the undisputed king of the red zone in San Diego - registering a team-high 18 red zone targets so far this year.  Now, it should be noted that the Chargers may be eliminated from playoff contention before they even take the field this Sunday against Kansas City.  While I wouldn't worry about SD putting forth a 100% effort to win, I do worry about SD pulling Allen in a meaningless game due to his shoulder which may need offseason surgery.  Is it worth the risk?  It could be because this game is meaningless for KC and Andy Reid has all but admitted he will pull starters which could mean a SD blowout if it plays as well as it is capable of.

Cheap Plays

Brandon LaFell (CAR) - With the PCL injury to Steve Smith, it is most probable that he will not play this Sunday against Atlanta in a pivotal game that could mean the NFC South division title if the Panthers win.  As such, tremendous pressure will be placed upon LaFell and Ted Ginn to pick up the slack against a vulnerable Atlanta pass defense that is ranked 22nd in the league.  LaFell hasn't really lived up to expectations in Carolina as Smith's main complement but he does have the ability to have that big game.  He has five TDs on the year and caught six passes for 74 yards against Atlanta back in Week 9.  Ginn would also be a good idea for a cheap play but I think Atlanta would be more concerned with stopping his big play ability than LaFell who can get away with doing a lot of dirty work this Sunday.

Andre Holmes (OAK) - Holmes made somewhat of a name for himself when he dazzled surprised fantasy players with a seven catch, 136 yard performance against Dallas on Thanksgiving.  He has only caught one TD (Week 15) but has continued to register catches and yardage.  The rangy 6'4" receiver has put together games of 136, 63, 58 and 71 yards in his last four outings while averaging slightly under five catches during this small stretch.  Holmes is playing for a 2014 roster spot this Sunday in what will assuredly be a high scoring game against Denver.  I would like his prospects more if Matt McGloin was starting, but Terrelle Pryor will have to throw A LOT of passes to keep pace with Peyton Manning, and that can only mean more targets for Holmes.

Tight Ends - Featured Site: FanThrowDown

According to our Match up matrix, here are the 8 defenses with the most Fantasy Points allowed to opposing WR over the last 8 weeks:

Team WR Vs. FP TD Allow Recp/G Rec YD / G Yard Rank
Det Min 30.2 12 15 211 32
Chi GB 27.3 12 13 178 24
SD KC 27.0 7 14 207 31
Min Det 26.6 9 13 192 29
Buf NE 26.5 9 12 181 26
Cle Pit 26.1 10 13 185 28
Ind Jac 25.2 8 12 182 27
Pit Cle 25.1 13 13 142 10

Fantistics Top 5 TE Rankings
1. Jimmy Graham
2. Julius Thomas
3. Jordan Cameron
4. Vernon Davis
5. Martellus Bennett

Top Play

Jimmy Graham (NO) - Graham is the highest priced TE on FanThrowDown at $11,600 which makes sense given that NO is in a must win situation this coming Sunday against Tampa Bay to make the playoffs.  The ridiculously productive Graham has caught five TDs in his last five games and last torched Tampa Bay like you wouldn't believe back in Week Two.  In that game, he caught 10 passes for 179 yards and one TD in a strong Saints victory.  Tampa Bay must be given credit for not folding its tent after a dismal start to the season, as it continues to play hard and is currently ranked 15th against the pass.  Unfortunately for the Bucs, Drew Brees is unstoppable in the Superdome and no matter how much effort a visiting team puts forth, Brees just has a way of putting down the hammer.  How's this for a stat?  Brees has thrown for 300+ yards in every home game this year - which includes games against such defenses as Arizona, San Francisco and Carolina.

Value Plays

Tony Gonzalez (ATL) - Gonzalez is riding out his last season in the NFL with a bang as he has scored in his last four games!  Injuries decimated Atlanta's season this year which was too bad because since Gonzalez, Roddy White and Steven Jackson have healed up, the Falcons offense actually looks potent.  In his last game which happens to be at home against a Carolina team that is trying to lock up a division title, he will assuredly go out with the same style he came into the league with so many years ago.  Gonzalez is priced at $9,000 at FanThrowDown which is slightly less than I thought he would be.  That speaks to the respect Carolina's defense has but do consider that he caught six passes for 81 yards and one TD the last time he played the Panthers in Week 9.

Tim Wright (TB) - Wright has had a very nice yet understated rookie season - catching 49 passes for 513 yards and four TDs with one game left against New Orleans.  Wright has had to learn the old-fashioned way - by throwing himself in there and taking his lumps with a rookie QB and a team that was in disarray when the Josh Freeman controversy was going down.  Wright has disappeared at times but will find himself in a good spot this Sunday in a game that should see a lot of points scored.  As previously noted, Drew Brees tends to go pass crazy in the Superdome (to great results) and it will be on Mike Glennon to try and keep pace.  He likes looking Wright's way and will probably have to look his way a whole bunch to keep the game competitive.  Wright is priced at $7,500 on FanThrowDown which surprised me as I thought it was a bit high but it also shows a lot of people think Wright will be in the position of garnering a lot of points (garbage or otherwise).  Please note that he has caught two TDs in his last three games.

Mychal Rivera (OAK) - Rivera is priced at $6,500 on FanThrowDown which makes him a potential steal with a game against high-scoring Denver coming this Sunday.  As noted earlier in this piece, Raider players and coaches will be working for their jobs this Sunday so do not consider the "lack of a playoff spot at stake" as an excuse for Oakland tanking it.  Oakland will not tank it and will try its hardest to keep pace with an unstoppable offense.  Now, Rivera has played well in recent weeks as he caught two TDs in his last three games.  He will most likely get several targets in this game that has a projected over/under in the area of 53.5!

Delanie Walker (TEN) faces a favorable match up when the Titans play the Texans this week. The Texans have allowed opposing team TEs to average 62 receiving yards in total, against them over the last 8 weeks (rank 28). On average they have allowed opposing team TEs a total of 5 total TDs (rank # 29in the league). Additionally the Texans have allowed 35 receptions (rank # 19).

According to our Match up matrix, here are the 8 defenses with the most Fantasy Points allowed to opposing WR over the last 8 weeks:

Team TE Vs. FP TD Allow Recp/G Rec YD / G Yard Rank
SF Ari 13.1 8 6 62 26
Det Min 11.8 7 6 65 29
Ten Hou 10.1 5 4 62 28
Cle Pit 10.0 5 5 62 25
Buf NE 10.0 4 6 67 31
Ind Jac 9.9 3 6 72 32
Atl Car 9.8 6 5 53 18
NYG Was 9.2 4 5 62 27

Defenses - Featured Site: FantasyFeud

Top Play

Seattle - Despite losing to Arizona in shocking fashion last Sunday, the Hawks forced Carson Palmer to serve up the rare golden sombrero (4 INTs) and sacked him twice while holding the Cards to 17 points.  Seattle's D did the best it could but the offense simply didn't do its part.  Now, division rival St. Louis comes up to the Pacific Northwest next and the last time these two teams fought, a lot of defense was played.  Seattle won the game when it produced a goal-line stand as time ran out to preserve a hard fought 14-9 victory.  The game featured three sacks and two INTs from Seattle while the Rams registered seven sacks!  While Kellen Clemens looks a lot better at QB now than he did back in Week 8, he is severely limited as a passer so expect the Legion of Boom to intercept a few balls.  St. Louis RB Zac Stacy had a great game (rushed for 134 yards) but was a relative unknown at the time so expect Seattle to be much more prepared for the rookie this time around.  Things could get ugly for the Rams in a game that Seattle has to win to ensure itself of a #1 seed (if San Francisco beats Arizona and St. Louis shocks the world by beating Seattle, SF would end up with the NFC West title and a first week playoff bye) so the fans will be louder than ever.  Please note that Seattle yields only 14.8 points per game and leads the league in take-away/give-away ratio at +18.

Best Value Play

Indianapolis - The Colts will face a Jacksonville team that had been playing well before getting whacked by Buffalo and Tennessee in consecutive weeks, and now must travel up to Indianapolis in a game that means nothing to the Jags but could mean a first round playoff bye for Indy.  Jacksonville is ranked last in so many offensive categories it isn't even funny, well except for Colts fans.  The last time these teams faced (Week Four), Indy dominated with three INTs including one pick six, four sacks and holding Jacksonville to three points.  To be fair, Blaine Gabbert is long gone as starting quarterback and the Jags D plays much harder now, but the Colts have established some momentum in recent weeks and want to close out the season with a bang.  They are cheaply priced in most fantasy dailies which is good incentive to pick them up on a card or two just based on what could be a potential repeat of the Week Four debacle.

Other options:  Miami - the Dolphins need to win against the NY Jets to have a chance at making the playoffs so they will rebound from their embarrassing shutout loss to Buffalo like no other.  The Fins dominated the Jets the last time they played (Week 13), even forcing the Jets to bench Geno Smith for poor play.  Miami also garnered two INTs, one lost fumble and four sacks on its way to holding Gang Green to three points.  Can you imagine how inspired Miami will be in front of the home crowd after the Incognito/Martin fiasco almost crippled the team?  Add the fact that Miami leads the entire league in sacks with 58 and the Jets are playing for nothing. New England - The Pats have been doing it on defense with smoke and mirrors given all the injuries they have endured but man, did they ever put together a performance on the road in Baltimore last week.  Buffalo's offense is the pits - ranked 23rd in the league in total offense, ranked 2nd in the AFC with 12 lost fumbles, and when you combine these stats with a potential #1 seed at stake, the Patriots D could very well stomp Buffalo dry.

Kickers - Featured Site: DraftKings

Top 5 Fantistics Projected K's 1) Matt Prater 2) Mason Crosby 3) David Akers 4) Robbie Gould 5) Nick Novak

Note:  Kickers should always be the lowest priority for any fantasy player.  You can always chart the best kickers over the season but in a daily/weekly-type set up, more luck is involved than with any other position.  With that being said, Matt Prater (DEN) against Oakland in what will be a very high scoring game is an easy choice if you are looking for guaranteed points.  He will be one of the higher priced kickers but for good reason.  Shayne Graham (NO) will find himself in a game that should see a lot of points scored as it is being played in the Brees-Dome against Tampa Bay.  As noted earlier, Brees has thrown for 300+ yards in every home game this year and that trend will not stop here.  Graham did well in his NO debut last week in the driving rain of Carolina, so he will really like the indoor aspect of the dome.  Over his career, Graham has been close to automatic under 40 yards but not so good otherwise.  Regardless, the Dome will help his confidence and he makes for a steal this week in any fantasy daily.

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