Fantasy Football Playoffs: Ride or Die Week 14


Here you are fantasy football team owner.  The playoffs. It’s taken you 13 weeks, seven different running backs, five different defenses and two quarterbacks but you’re here.  You are in the playoffs.  Congratulate yourself.  You never know when you’ll be here again.  Don’t take it for granted.

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It was tough waiting for A.J. Green’s foot to be healthy. It was equally tough when you benched Brandon Marshall in week two which seemed to propel you’re 2-2 start. It wasn’t any easier when you faced DeMarco Murray in week four. You made up for it when you picked up Jeremy Hill in week seven and took a chance on C.J. Anderson after week nine.

You struggled mightily thanks to LeSean McCoy this year, but thank goodness you saw the potential in T.Y. Hilton back in August. It was all your moves that has placed you into the position you currently stand. I don’t care if you earned a first round bye or backed your way in as the sixth seed. You, as well as the rest of the playoff teams in your league are 0-0. It’s a new beginning.

You have three weeks until your hard work will come to fruition but no matter what happens the rest of the season you are still a winner.  It is also a sure thing that you will now be the worst team in the league. That much is at least true.  Again, enjoy this week because by Tuesday morning you might be back to the real world.  Until that day my friend, you are a warrior!  So keep fighting because you never know when it is going to end.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Quarterbacks to Ride With:

Drew Brees, vsCar – So, two things. One, this is a divisional match up. One, Brees usually performs pretty well in. He averages 25 FP/G against the Panthers. Two, Carolina has given up the seventh most FP/G to quarterbacks this season. It’s about as much of a sure thing as you can get in this game, so if you’ve been playing him and sitting him at times, then this week you’re going to want to make sure you’re playing him.

Ryan Tannehill, vsBal – I was definitely burned by him last week. I was not alone in thinking he could take his successes from the week earlier in Denver and translate them against one of the worst passing defenses in the league, the New York Jets. Well, we know now that did not happen. It doesn’t mean I am jumping ship on him. Tannehill is a poor man’s Andy Dalton, and against a Baltimore defense that has been struggling in the secondary and just lost Haloti Ngata due to suspension the opportunity for Tannehill to have a stellar game  has improved.

Matthews Stafford, vsTB – Stafford has been the kind of player that will exploit a good match up while vastly under-performing in normal to difficult match ups. He scored 30 points against Chicago last week but could barely manage 15 total points the two weeks prior against Arizona and New England. Good thing is the Buccaneers are a better than good match up. There a little bit of worry from some fantasy football cicles because Tampa Bay is only allowing 17 FP/G over the last five weeks. Not too worry as those weeks were against QB’s like Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and RGIII. None of those guys are having particularly good years. Stafford should be fine.

Shaun Hill, @Was – This purely for the if you’re desperate file. He did get to 25 fantasy points a week ago, and this week he faces the putrid Washington secondary. The team from our nation’s capitol is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. I’ll say this, if I was someone who has been struggling at QB all season but still managed to make the playoffs I would consider Hill highly over some other more established guys. Would I start him over Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck? No. Don’t be ridiculous. Jay Cutler, or Tony Romo however..

Quarterbacks to Die With:

Peyton Manning, vsBuf – Wait! Don’t sit him. You can’t. There is no other QB on your roster anyway. All you need to do is temper your expectations. I am sure after you drafted Manning this year you circled a few dates on his schedule. Week 13 against the lowly Bills was more than lkely circled. Well, what we know now is not what we knew then. The Bills have a pretty good defense.. They have currently allowed the 5th least FP/G thus far in 2014. Only two QB’s have scored more than 25 fantasy points, Jay Cutler in week one and Tom Brady in week two. Yes, Manning is fully capable of having a stud performance. The Bills are also capable of holding him under 20 fantasy points.

Andy Dalton, vsPit – This season Andy Dalton isn’t even a poor man’s Andy Dalton. He has only five games of 20 fantasy points more. He also has five games of less than 15 points. The Bengals have played 12 games.. You do the math. These aren’t numbers I want to rely on my first week in the playoffs. I would have to be absolutely desperate. In case you’re asking.. Yes, I would play Tannehill over him. Let’s make this exciting!

Jay Cutler, vsDal – I am writing this part purely on emotion, so bear with me. You’ve made your fantasy playoffs. If Cutler is on your team I am sure you made the playoffs despite of him, no because of. So, I’ll ask you exactly what one of my buddies asked me. Do I feel like I can win in the first week of playoffs with Cuter as my QB. Yes, you can but -And I mean a really big BUT – is there possibly some more points out there? If your league is less than 14, and is not a two QB league then I say that there is a good chance there is. Shaun Hill anyone?

Tony Romo, @Chi – This one probably comes back to bite me in the ass but I don’t think he looks right. He has a big opportunity to perform against Philadelphia on Thanksgiving and he plain didn’t. I don’t have a whole lot of faith in him the rest of the way. Most of that opinion on him is based on his health.

 Running Backs to Ride With:

Isaiah Crowell, vsInd – I admit that is questionable status on Wednesday was still worrisome. Still, if he plays he bodes well for a good if not great performance. The Colts allow the 8th most FP/G in the league this season. Terrance West ball control issues will keep him limited if Crowell is healthy enough to start. If West is needed to start in stead of Crowell I believe it’s still a decent play, maybe not as good as Crowell, but good enough.

Le’Veon Bell, vsCin – This is the guy that got you here, he’s going to be the guy to take you the rest of the way. Steelers HC Mike Tomlin was quoted saying he isnt’ concerned with overworking his back since the departure of a disgruntled LeGarrette Blount. I got to tell you, as a fantasy football team owner I love hearing that. We don’t have the control or suggestive power like a head coach, but owning a player that has a coach that thnks the way I do is a pretty good alternative. Seriously though, either Bell does awesome and I do awesome, or he gets hurt and both mine and the Steelers season is done.

Eddie Lacy, vsAtl – The Falcons are allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. That’s good enough for me to expect a stud type game out of him. I also believe this game will get out of hand early, and with the Packers committing to run more each week this has arecipe for one of those games where he has a huge bulk of points in the first half. Then, the offense puts it in neutral and he walks away with a top five performance this week.

Running Backs to Die With:

C.J. Anderson, vsBuf – It’s not out of the question for him to have a good game here. I’m not feeling it however. The Bills are allowing only the third least amount of fantasy points to opposing backs this year. They have faced some really good rushing teams have barely bent over for them. The other thing, is even though this seems like a stretch, Ronnie Hillman and possibly Montee Ball are healthy enough to return to action. This could be Anderson’s last chance to shine, alone in the Broncos backfield. What it looks like when those other backs return is still to be seen, but it’s possible Anderson presses a little too much this week and ends up with a less than stellar performance.

Vikings Running Backs, vsNYJ – Just because they’re facing the Jets at home doesn’t mean this is a good match up. Between Jerrick McKinnon’s injury and Matt Asiata’s general ineffectiveness there is no real realible guy back there. Ben Tate has been a Viking for less than a month and I’d need to go look up the Vikings depth chart to remember the name of the other guy there..Jose Banyard – That’s him. I don’t see how you wake up Sunday morning and feel good about having anyone wearing purple in any spot on your roster.

Daniel Herron, @Cle – He’s the hottest guy out there right now, and trust me I know how that sounded. It’s true. He’s the guy you where either smart enough to grab or wish you had. Cleveland, although not a terrible match up isn’t a really good one either. They also have a knack for forcing turnovers, and Herron did have a fumble last week. Even though it looks like the Colts should have been going with Herron over Trent Richardson since August I am still reminded that they didn’t.

Wide Receivers to Ride With:

Jordan Matthews, vsSea – Pop quiz hot shot. Where does Philadelphia line Matthews on the field? The left. That means Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles number one receiver is on the right. Seattle lines up Richard Sherman on Maclin’s side of the ball, and neither team will put those players on the other side. Matthews will be on the outside and in the slot, primarily on the left side of the field. Seattle can and will give up plays to receivers. It may not be Maclin, but Matthews who has the best chance at making those plays.

Randall Cobb, vsAtl – Of course I can write in Jordy Nelson as well. Something out there is telling me Cobb is the better of the two this week. Total shot in the dark but I see over 125 receiving yards and two scores from him this week. Atlanta is peculiar enough on defense, but they seem to have a knack of leaving the middle of the field open. Maybe they freak out and want to cover the deep route so badly that they expose the middle.As Jordy runs the sideline you’ll see Cobb running slants and digs over the middle. Plus, this is on a Monday night?  You know I will also love a prime time guy in a prime time game. Also, don’t forget about Davante Adams. Strong play this week as a WR3.

Emmanuel Sanders, vsBuf – I am not so clueless as I believe a good Buffalo defenes thus far in the season means they have to good game in Denver. This is the Broncos last home game until week 17. He hasn’t had a home game under 100 receiving yards since week 7, plus he has only one game under 10 fantasy points in the same time span. Late news on Wednesday night said Demaryius Thomas might have an ankle issue. If that’s true Sander will reap multiple benefits.

Donte Moncrief @Cle – He had a big game last week, and even though I would usually feel that an almost no name comes from almost no where to have an incredible game should result in some natural correction I believe Moncrief is here to stay. He is already out on the field more than Hakeem Nicks and looks to have better athletic ability than incumbent wide out, Reggie Wayne. If he were a stock his arrow would be pointing way up.

Wide Receivers to Die With:

Rueben Randle, @Ten – He seems to be match up proof. Only, it’s the wrong kind of match up proof. Randle can’t seem to do well, even in a decent match up. He has only one game over 100 receiving yards this season and only two touchdowns. Both of those scores came before week six. Hopefully, you aren’t still trotting him out there for your team. The Giants are sort of forced to.

Josh Gordon, vsInd – There are a lot of good receiver match ups this week, so it was actually hard finding guys not to like. Gordon will more than likely face the Colts best corner, Vontae Davis all game. The QB situation is beginning to real it’s ugly head after being dormant through for the most part this season. That could play out poorly for Gordon this week as the Colts are already the seventh best at defending the pass this year.

Jeremy Maclin, vsSea – Need more analysis? I refer you to the above. Go back and read about Jordan Matthews.

Tight Ends to Ride With:

Rob Gronkowski, @SD – He has passed Jimmy Graham and is by him self as the most reliable tight end in the game for fantasy football. So San Diego has been a top five defense versus the tight end this season. Is that enough to scare you? Me neither. Keep on trucking Gronk owners and look down upon the rest of us with pity.

Martellus Bennett, vsDal – The Cowboys have been a good match up all year for opposing tight ends.  Plus, this is the team who drafted Bennett and you know he wants to show them up for letting him go.

Delanie Walker, vsNYG – Speaking of teams who are great match ups for tight ends, the New York Giants are giving up the ninth most all season. The G-Men have allowed nine touchdowns to tight ends all season.

Tight Ends to Die With:

Travis Kelce, @Ari – Honestly, the list for TE’s to die with could potentially be very long. I personally am just tired of thinking Kelce has a good match up and then he has a lower than average game. Who knows, maybe he’ll go off this week on a count of me hating him so much now.

Jordan Cameron, vsInd – If I am being honest you should have dropped him weeks ago. He’ still listen as questionable and that was as of Thursday. I just don’t know why you can’t let go. Sing it aloud now.. LET IT GO!! LET IT GOOOOOO!!!

Jermaine Gresham, vsPit – Someone asked me recently if I thought he would have a good game because the Steelers rank 6th in FP/g allowed to the position. No. No, I don’t.

Defense/ Special Teams to Ride With:

St. Louis, @Was – This might seem like I am jumping on one performance after last weeks shellacking of Oakland. Going back to week nine they have only one week under 10 fantasy points. That was against a healthy Carson Palmer in Arizona. Since that game in week 10 the Rams have posted 13, 15 and 37 fantasy points over the past three weeks. Something tells me Washington doesn’t pose as a large threat to the Rams defensive dominance.

San Francisco, @Oak – They’ve played well on defense in San Francisco of late, but that hasn’t always translated to fantasy points. This week, agaisnt a still rookie quarterback in Derek Carr and needing to secure a win the 49ers defense as real chance to make waves in fantasy this weekend. Only two of there last five weeks were under 10 fantasy points.

New England, @SD – The Chargers offense seems to be clicking lately. That’s prime for Belichicking. Belichicking is when a team is flying high on offense, and then face the Patriots. That’s where they are exposed again and confidence drops. Philip Rivers has been made to look the fool by Belichick before. I think it’s some of the same story.

Defense Special Teams to Die With:

New York Giants, @Ten – Nope. not gonna do it. I’ve seen this movie before. My beloved New York Giants have a blessed looking defensive match up. I might be able to have it all, my favorite team benefiting my fantasy team. Except, they won’t have a good showing despite the favorable match up and I will be left, standing out of the playoffs along with my beloved New York Giants.

Baltimore, @Mia – I get it if you’re desperate. Maybe you’re in a really deep league and this is all you really got at this point. If you’re not in a deep league take a look around. I bet there are some better options than a team with an injured secondary against a team(Dolphins) who will need to throw the ball a lot, and now your defense just lost one of its best guys on the line of scrimmage -Haloti Ngata.

San Diego, vsNE – The Chargers haven’t done much for fantasy points outside of there game against the Rams. As long as there are options out there there should be better ones than this.