Week 14: USA TODAY SPORTS’ FantasyScore December 3, 2014  |  Ian Goldsmith


 

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A few quick tips:

–  FantasyScore gives 1 FP for every 20 yards passing instead of the usual 1 per 25
–  There is no bonus for 300 yards passing
–  There is no bonus for 100 yards rushing or receiving
–  Interceptions are penalized by 1
–  There is no penalty for fumbles
–  DSTs get minimal FP for points allowed; focus on sacks/turnovers

 

QUARTERBACK

 

Elite ($8,000+)

Aaron Rodgers: $9,100 – Green Bay vs. Atlanta

Only Rodgers can stop Rodgers in Green Bay. Seriously. The man never makes mistakes there. It may sound like hyperbole, but it’s the truth. He averages 297 yards passing per game at home with a 134.4 passer rating. He has 20 TDs at home to ZERO interceptions. The guy is playing on another level. He’s the only reason that J.J. Watt may not be the league’s MVP this season. Even if he only plays a half, he could still give you 300 yards and 3 TDs. There is no safer play in fantasy at the moment. If you want to pay up for QB, then Rodgers is your safest bet.

 

Mid-Tier ($6,000 – $7,900)

Russell Wilson: $6,000 – Seattle at Philadelphia

While the Eagles held Romo in check last week, they will have a tough go against the most mobile QB in the league in Russell Wilson. $6,000 is a steal for a player whose ability to run helps him reach a floor of 18-20 FP on a weekly basis. He gets to face an Eagles team who, even after only allowing 7.85 FP to Romo, are still giving up well over 20 FP per game. He has the potential for a top 5 QB performance this week.

 

Value ($5,900 and below)           

Alex Smith: $3,900 – Kansas City at Arizona

I simply do not understand FantasyScore’s pricing here. Alex Smith is no Peyton Manning, but he is serviceable. At this price, he doesn’t even need 12 FP to reach value. I mean, come on. At this price, he would have easily hit value in every game except for two on the season. Arizona is stellar against the run, too, which means that Smith will have to throw the ball more often than he normally does. Roll him out and you can upgrade every other position available.

 

RUNNING BACK

 

Elite ($7,000+)

Eddie Lacy: $7,400 – Green Bay vs. Atlanta

Atlanta has seemingly been better against the run since their bye week, but have they really had much of a test? They came off their bye week and faced Tampa and Carolina, two teams whose RB situation is in shambles. Last week Andre Ellington went out early with a hip pointer (and yet they still gave up 18 FP to Cardinal RBs). In between, they allowed Isaiah Crowell to tear them apart for 88 yards and 2 scores. So, the long and the short of it is NO. They are not better against the run. They are terrible against the run. Abysmal against the run. Eddie Lacy could run for 100 yards and a score without trying this week. With the holes that Aaron Rodgers opens up through the passing game, Lacy will have every option to lead all fantasy RBs in scoring. The only thing that could bring him down to Earth is if Green Bay plays like they did against Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

 

Mid-Tier ($5,000- $6,900)

Justin Forsett: $6,900 – Baltimore at Miami

Miami has given up the second fewest passing yards on the season. If the Ravens want to win, they’ll do what the Jets did last week and continue to pound the ball with Forsett, who is in position to extend his streak of 100 yard games to four. For $100 less, Mark Ingram has a fantastic matchup against the Panthers, if you want to go a different way.

 

Value ($4,900 and below)

Jonathan Stewart: $4,900 – Carolina at New Orleans

It looks like DeAngelo Williams may miss this week’s game, which would open up a lot of playing time for Stewart, who ran for 85 yards on 12 carries last week. Newton always finds him for 2 or 3 receptions as well, which is a nice boost to his numbers. New Orleans has struggled to defend the run and has given up 13 rushing TDs on the season. He won’t give you numbers like Tre Mason did last week, but he should be serviceable.

 

WIDE RECEIVER

 

Elite ($7,000+)

Calvin Johnson: $8,000 – Detroit vs. Tampa Bay

After a terrible start to the season, Tampa has actually been one of the better teams against the pass over the past several weeks. Calvin Johnson will change that recent success and make the Buccaneers look like the team that gave up 5 TDs to Joe Flacco in Week 6. With Detroit’s running game in shambles (they run for a paltry 81.7 yards per game), Stafford will continue to chuck the ball into the air at a ridiculous rate and Megatron will be there to benefit.

 

Mid-Tier ($5,000 – $6,900)

Odell Beckham Jr.: $6,800 – NY Giants at Tennessee

Call it lazy or call it seeing good value, but OBJ is here in my mid-tier rankings once again. While he didn’t score last week, he was still able to put up a nice fantasy day as he caught another 7 passes from Eli Manning. With Rashad Jennings potentially out this week, I expect Eli to be throwing often against a Titans team that just gifted the Offensive Player of the Week award to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Since the bye week, OBJ has at least 6 catches for 90+ yards IN EVERY GAME. Don’t sit him here.

 

Value ($4,900 and below)

Kenny Stills: $4,800 – New Orleans vs. Carolina

I recommended Stills last week in the value spot and, since his price only rose $700, I’m highlighting him in this spot once more. Without Cooks to take away looks, Stills has had the most combined targets for the Saints in the past two weeks combined. At this price, he is a must have for your cash lineups on FantasyScore. He may not have another 27 point effort like he did last week, but 13-15 is very doable.

 

TIGHT END

 

Elite ($7,000+)

Jimmy Graham: $7,900 – New Orleans vs. Carolina

To say that last week’s game from Jimmy Graham was a disappointment is like saying the Pacific Ocean is just a small body of water. Every once in a while, Graham just disappears from a game entirely. Yes, give credit to Pittsburgh for focusing on him (not that it helped; Brees still threw for 5 TDs), but these type of games are the reason I’ll never trust Graham in the same way I do Gronkowski. That being said, he has a nice matchup this week against the Panthers, whom he had 21.3 FP against in Week 9. The Panthers’ defense is a shell of the 2013 version that made opposing OCs crawl into the attic and hide.

 

Mid-Tier ($5,000 – $6,900)

Jordan Reed: $5200 – Washington vs. St. Louis

Why do I like Jordan Reed? Is it because he is a skilled TE with good hands? Sure, that’s part of it. The real reason to like him, however, is because Colt McCoy is at the helm. Laugh at McCoy all you want, but the former Longhorn is completing passes at an incredibly high rate. Part of his success is getting his TEs involved. In the three games McCoy has been QB, Jordan Reed has averaged 7 receptions per game. While the sample size isn’t large by any stretch, it still gives a good indication that Reed is one of his favorite options in the passing attack.

 

Value ($4,900 and below)

Dion Sims: $3,000 – Miami vs. Baltimore

Charles Clay is still questionable for this week, so Sims could very well get the call again as Miami’s starting TE. Without Clay, Sims has put up a productive 4 catches in each of his past two weeks. He is a nice option for Tannehill to use to help take away attention from Landry and Wallace. Miller will have a tough time running the ball on the Ravens this week, so Tannehill will probably be throwing the ball more than usual against a team that has given up nearly 800 yards passing in the past two weeks combined. At only $3,000, using Sims limits your risk and at the same time allows for you to upgrade other positions.

 

DST

 

Cash Play

Houston Texans: $3,500

They are the most expensive option this week, but it’s hard not to look their way as they get to tee off against Jacksonville. They will be highly owned, but don’t let that steer you away from using them. They are, without a doubt, the top option of the week.

 

Tournament Play

Minnesota Vikings: $2,500

Well, don’t expect a repeat of last week’s two punt block returns for TDs! Several turnovers are possible, however, against Geno Smith, who is simply an abomination. The Jets trust him so much that they let him pass a whopping 13 times last week. As long as they can stop Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory, they will be in for a solid day.

 

KICKER

 

Predicting kickers is a fool’s game. If you have the cash left over to spend on Stephen Gostowski, go right ahead. He’s about as consistent a kicker as you will ever see. If you, like me, want to get the most out of the rest of your lineup, then here is what I do. Eliminate the most expensive 16 kickers. This drops your pool in half. From here, look for games that will be relatively high scoring. After narrowing that down to two or three kickers, eliminate any remaining kickers who are playing in high-wind conditions. After that, just pick which one fits best into your lineup. Of course, this is just a kicker. Just choose one already!

Here are two kickers that I like this week.

Adam Vinatieri: $2,900

Cairo Santos: $2,600

 

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