Start/Sit Week 14
December 8, 2011 | Kevin Hall
It’s playoff time people! Since you’re reading this, I can assume that you have indeed made to this hallowed time of year and are looking for some last minute advice/assurance for the decisions you’re going to be sweating over the rest of the week. Congratulations on making it to the playoffs, now let’s get started!
Philip Rivers (vs. Buf) – He’s been a frustrating player to own this year for sure, but if you’ve trusted him down this recent stretch, he’s probably helped you make a playoff push. He’s thrown for at least 270 yards and 2 touchdowns in four of his last five games and hasn’t turned the ball over (the main reason for his slide this year) in his past two. Now he’s at home against a Buffalo team that gave up four touchdowns to Mark Sanchez and three to Matt Moore. This just in…Rivers is better than them.
Matthew Stafford (vs. Min) – Threw for a very quiet 408 yards against New Orleans on Sunday night. After two straight beatdowns, he gets to pick on the most fantasy quarterback friendly team in all of football! Against Minny, Matty is a top-5 play for me.
Matt Hasselbeck (vs. NO) – The Saints have given up an ungodly average of 361 passing yards a game in their last four and the Titans are going to be down early so Hasselbeck should be chucking the ball for most of it.
Michael Turner (@Car) – Boy oh boy does Turner love playing the Panthers. Since he’s become a Falcon in ’08, he’s played Carolina seven times. In those seven matchups, he’s racked up 707 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s an average of 101 yards and 1.5 TDs a game! Don’t be worried about his consecutive single digit performances. The Vikings and Texans have solid rushing defenses. The Panthers? Not so much.
Reggie Bush (vs. Phi) – The Eagles are bad at football, especially the part where you’re supposed to tackle the guy that gets the football handed to him.
Shonn Greene (vs. KC) – It’s not the 3 touchdowns I noticed about last week, that’s obviously an anomaly. What I noticed was how Greene got 22 carries, his highest total of the season. I don’t see him breaking 20 points again anytime soon, but against the 25th ranked rushing defense of the Chiefs? I can easily see 70 yards and a touchdown.
Dez Bryant (vs. NYG) – Miles Austin is back, which means the Laurent Robinson show may be closing its curtains soon. Dez is going to take his rightful place as the #2 and will therefore see more single coverage. Not to mention, the Giants are to Bryant what Carolina is to Turner. Bryant’s two best games of his rookie season came against the G-men when he went for 54 yards and 2 TDs in week 6 and 104 yards and a touchdown in week 9.
Michael Crabtree (@Ari) – He certainly isn’t the most consistent fantasy wideout, but you know who is consistent? Every terrible player in Arizona’s terrible secondary.
Kellen Winslow (@Jac) – After an impressive 132 yard performance against Green Bay in week 11, this soldier came back down in rank with back to back single digit games. I have a feeling that changes against a Jacksonville team that has the third softest defense for fantasy tight ends.
Seahawks D/ST (vs. STL) – Tom Brandstater. No, he’s not the new anchor for your local news station; he’s the Rams quarterback starting on the road in Seattle.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Cle) – Whether it’s because they have the most underrated secondary in the league or because you can literally hand the ball off every time and still win by 20, the Browns just don’t allow fantasy points to quarterbacks. In fact, they’ve only given up 3 passing touchdowns in their last eight games! It’s certainly not as plush a matchup as it looks for Big Ben.
Mark Sanchez (vs. KC) – After allowing eight passing touchdowns in their first two games, the Chiefs have really settled down into a decent passing defense. Their currently 12th in the league and held the aforementioned Ben Roethlisberger under 200 yards a couple of week ago.
Lesean McCoy (@Mia) – What’s this? Kevin Hall is telling you to bench the #1 fantasy running back in the league on the first week of playoffs?! No, I’m not, and don’t be an idiot. All I’m saying is, temper your expectations. I said it last week about Michael Bush (3 points. *brushing dirt off shoulders*) and I’ll say it again, the Dolphins are stout against the run. Since their week 5 bye, running backs have only scored double digits against this team twice!
Marion Barber (@Den) – Marion Barber is not Matt Forte, Caleb Hanie is terrible and Von Miller should be back. Don’t be silly.
Beanie Wells (vs. SF) – Look, I was wrong about him last week (12 points. *putting dirt back on shoulders*), but this week is different. He’s on the road against the 49ers, a team that is putting up historical numbers against the run this year. Trust me, I have him on one of my playoff teams and I am ONLY starting him because I lost Forte.
Pierre Garcon (@Bal) – Another “don’t be silly” here. I have a feeling that a lot of players are going to plug him in after his explosion with Orlovsky against the Pats. But this week, he’s playing Baltimore and the difference between the Ravens and the Patriots is 11. As in, the Pats allow an average of ELEVEN more points a game to wide receivers than Baltimore.
Dwayne Bowe (@NYJ) – Seven straight single digit weeks, on the road, Tyler Palko and Darrelle Revis. Sometimes creative writing is just unnecessary.
Marques Colston (@Ten) – Hard for me to trust any Saints receiver other than Graham in the playoffs. This week, Colston faces the Titans and its 6th toughest defense for fantasy wideouts. Looks like a stayaway for me.
Greg Olsen (vs. Atl) – Since the bye, Olsen has scored just two points in four straight games. Now he faces the Falcons, who have only given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends all year.
Follow Kevin Hall on Twitter to ask him questions before week 14 and inevitably make fun of his terrible choices in this column after week 14: @Kevin__Hall