Start/Sit Week 15
December 15, 2011 | Kevin Hall
Congrats to those reading because it means one of two things: A) You’re in the Super Bowl of your league or B) you’re my mom. And you, mom, deserve a good congratulations every once in a while. Let’s get right into it!
Tim Tebow (vs. NE) – I’m calling it now; this is the week Timmy throws for 300 yards. I’m not kidding. I mean, when Julian Edelman is your best defensive back your secondary has issues. I’m confident starting a guy when the team he’s playing has allowed Vince Young, Dan Orlovsky, and Rex Grossman to throw for a combined 1000 yards over the last three weeks. Speaking of Rex…
Rex Grossman (@NYG) – Odds are if you’re in the super bowl, then Sexy Rexy didn’t lead your team there. However, he could be a good fill-in for Cutler owners that have just been playing matchups or maybe Big Ben owners since he’s questionable this week. The Giants pass defense is only a tiny step up from the Patriots, allowing 12 passing touchdowns over the last three weeks. If you’re just looking for a guaranteed 250 yards and 2 touchdowns out of your quarterback, Rex is your guy!
Felix Jones (@TB) – You know when high school football teams are running onto the field before the game and they have to break through the tissue paper banner with their logo on it? That’s what it’s like to run against the Bucs. Jones got 22 touches last Sunday against the Giants and that number should bump up to 25-30 against the Bucs now that he is literally the only running back they have.
Chris Johnson (@Ind) – Yes, he’s been a disaster this year. Yes, he only scored 4 points last time he played the Colts. Yes, if he just cut his hair off, maybe he’d run faster. I understand all the arguments. However, he’s dominated his past three cake matchups (Car, TB, Buf) and I think he’s starting to trend upwards again. If Locker starts, he’s going to hand the ball off plenty of times until he feels comfortable. Not to mention, the Titans shouldn’t be down in this one so they should never have to abandon the run. Lots of reasons to hate Chris Johnson for the season, but lots of reasons to love him this week.
Shonn Greene (@Phi) – He’s averaging almost 17 points a game when he carries the ball at least 20 times. You beat Philly by keeping Michael Vick off the field, you keep Vick off the field by running the ball 20+ times. Ipso Facto, Bob’s your uncle, start Shonn Greene this week.
James Jones (@KC) – I wonder if James and Felix were both “Jonesin’” to get in the game once the guys ahead of them went down? Huzzah! Seriously though, Jones is going to get a lot of looks this week as Brandon Flowers should be blanketing Jordy Nelson all day.
A.J. Green (@Stl) – He doesn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he’s as consistent as they come. Before last week against Houston (the #1 defense in the league), Green had only scored less than 8 points once and scored double digits in eight out of eleven. This week he plays the lowly Rams, a defense that ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
Tony Gonzalez (vs. Jax) – Another pillar of consistency in the fantasy world, Gonzo has scored less than six points only ONCE this season and now he’s facing a very forgiving jaguars defense that’s given up six touchdowns to tight ends this season.
Jake Ballard (vs. Wsh) – There is going to be a ton of throwing on both sides in this one and Eli always looks Ballard’s way in the redzone. Definitely a top-10 play this week in my opinion.
Seahawks D/ST (@Chi) – Second week in a row this unit is on here and it should be the second week in a row I’m right about them. They’ve been red hot lately. Over their last four, the Seahawks are allowing only 14 points a game and have caused 10 turnovers! They’re next matchup is against the incomparable Caleb Hanie, I say incomparable because I don’t know that we’ve seen someone as bad as him. Here’s Hanie’s stat line since he’s become the starter: 3 games, 502 yards, 0 TDs, and 6 INTs. Yeah…Seattle isn’t scared either.
Titans D/ST (@Ind) – I don’t have to go on about the ineptitude of the Colts offense for you to know that this is a good matchup for an above average defense that is probably available on your waiver wire (only owned in 20% of ESPN leagues). Thanks to some tough matchups for the top-ranked defenses, I think the Seahawks and Titans are easy top-5 plays this week.
Philip Rivers (vs. Bal) – As noted by our rankings expert Greg Smith, The Ravens have yet to allow more than one passing touchdown in a game all season.
Cam Newton (@ Hou) – Of course, you’re probably not sitting Newton, but if you have another top-tier option you might want to consider it. People refuse to view the Texans as an elite defense, but the proof is in the numbers. Houston has held quarterbacks under 200 yards in nine out of thirteen games and also boast the lowest average quarterback rating. I’d be scared of this matchup if I was trusting Cam with my Super Bowl.
Frank Gore (vs. Pit) – Last week was the first time Gore’s found the end zone since week 8 and now he gets the Steelers. Saying Pittsburgh has a good rushing defense isn’t enough. The only two running backs to go over 100 yards against them all season are Ray Rice and Arian Foster. Gore is talented, but he’s not as good as those guys.
Rashard Mendenhall (@SF) – Call me a broken record, but DON’T START RUNNING BACKS AGAINST SAN FRAN!
Brandon Jacobs (vs. Wsh) – I know I know, 4 touchdowns in 3 weeks, but you know what? I don’t care! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled…please don’t leave. Anyways, he only got the work last week because Bradshaw was benched for the first half. Once Bradshaw came back he got eight carries to Jacobs’ six. Coughlin knows Bradshaw is the better back and now that he’s healthy, I think Jacobs getting almost 20 totes a game is long gone.
Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Cle) – Another guy you’re probably not sitting, especially coming off a 20 point performance against a stout 49ers defense, but Joe Haden is quietly having a season reminiscent of Revis in ’09, so temper your expectations.
Steve Smith (@Hou) – Well if I don’t like Cam this week, then I can’t really recommend his #1 receiver now can I?
Dwayne Bowe (vs. GB) – You may scoff at this suggestion and say “Well, that’s obvious!” However, Bowe is still being started in almost 70% of leagues and he has what looks like a plush matchup against a terrible Green Bay secondary. It’s a matchup I think he could’ve taken advantage of with Cassel throwing to him, but Clay Matthews might actually eat Tyler Palko’s head Sunday and Bowe isn’t catching any balls if his quarterback doesn’t have a head…that’s just science.
Jermaine Gresham (@STL) – You want to know what a spectrum looks like? Look at the face of an owner who’s ecstatic to see his tight end is playing the Rams on Tuesday and then look at that same owner’s face after his tight end plays them on Sunday.
Jaguars D/ST (@Atl), Broncos D/ST (vs. NE) – Both defenses have been hot lately (except for the Jags’ performance against the Chargers), but both also have terrible matchups this week. Steer clear, plenty of good options available on waivers.