Week 15 Fantasy Football Crystal Ball
December 13, 2011 | Brien Bonneville
We have about a week and a half until we exchange presents and celebrate the birth of our savior, Tim Tebow. Assuming I make it past this week, I hope that on Christmas weekend, my fake football teams give me the presents I really want this year: a league championship victory check worth a lot of jelly beans and the best gift of all, a year’s worth being the 2011 champion and the trash-talking rights that go with that well-deserved title.
To hopefully get you to your championship, win some dough and laugh at your loser friends, take a look at the Week 15 start/sit below:
Also, you’ve really got to be smart in the playoffs. You’ve made it this far, so you’re either stupid and lucky, or you kind of know what you’re doing. Pay attention to injury status updates prior to game time. I’m not an NFL team doctor or a licensed physical therapist, I’m a guy who has a job unrelated to sports who is obsessed with fake football and apparently has no life . Each week, I write about fake football and tell you who to start/sit. My predictions are based on matchups, past performance, my gut feeling and if a guy is actually playing. Blaming me because I told you to start Player X, who inexplicably gets the runs after eating bad taco’s just prior to game time, makes you a moron (although I do enjoy trash talk, so feel free to berate me). Watch the pregame shows, follow people “in the know” on the twitter machine, join our pre-game chats with thefakefootball.com experts or personally befriend all your fantasy studs and get them to text you how they feel during warm-ups.
Week 15 Crystal Ball:
Last week, I wasn’t sure what to make of the Dallas WR situation with Miles Austin returning, Laurent Robinson hurting and Dez Bryant there as usual. This week, I’m still not sure what to think of them other than they’re all good. They all scored and all remain startable. My personal ranking of the three would be Robinson, Austin, Bryant in that order but its very close. To me, it’s all about the recent chemistry.
What he giveth, he taketh away-ith… Dallas RB DeMarco Murray was nice while he lasted. He’s done now, so find someone new. If you had him stashed or rediscovered Felix Jones on your waiver wire, kudo’s to you. He’s the only guy left in Dallas’ backfield and looked pretty good carrying the rock. He will look like an elite RB Vs. the Buccaneers. The Bucs against the run are like the Patriots vs. the pass, just awful. Maurice Jones-Drew scored 4TDs against them last week.
Speaking of the Pats D. Start Tim Tebow. I don’t think they win in dramatic fashion (or at all) like every other week but I also don’t think he will only be productive in the final five minutes either. They will throw a lot more and be somewhat successful against the terrible Pats D. They’ll be throwing but I’m not jumping on the Demaryius Thomas bandwagon (still worth your last Flex spot)– I still think Eric Decker is the better wide receiver and may get a few less targets but he actually catches them.
You know who to start on the Pats: Tom Brady, Single Season TE TD Record-holder Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker. I’d avoid the RBs as usual and Deion Branch/ Aaron Hernandez should only be started in deep leagues or on desperate teams. You should have started the Denver D/ST last week, don’t do it this week.
After a dozen questions, I told all those in our thefakefootball.com Sunday pregame chat to watch the Brandon Saine train and let it go by. Hopefully you listened. The hype was in-Saine considering the best case scenario was if he put up James Starks-like numbers, and that’s nothing to write home about. If you’re a girl, you’ll get this: James Starks is Mr. Right but Ryan Grant is Mr. Right Now. Grant’s not fantastic but until James Starks returns for the playoffs, its his gig (not alone because John Kuhn, a.k.a. the TD vulture is still there). Since they pass a lot more, it’s a small gig but he’s worth a start as a low-end RB2, high-RB3 or Flex – nothing more, nothing less.
Dwayne Bowe somehow had respectable numbers last week against the Jets. He should do even better as KC will have to throw plenty against the Packers. He should see a lot of garbage time yardage and maybe a score.
Carson Palmer and Oakland do not look good. Start the Lion’s D/ST this week and wait for the pick-6.
We knew Chris Johnson wasn’t “back”, but he should have a semi-solid game Vs. Indy. It’s a very favorable matchup but last time he played them, he did nothing. Start him but cross your fingers, pray to whatever god you pray to and hope he crosses the goal line.
Every week, I get questions asking why I didn’t include the Texans in my writeup. Every week, I answer the same thing, “You need to always start Arian Foster, wait on Andre Johnson until he actually gets on the field and wait a week until you seem him do something, Ben Tate will be good against a bad run-D and Owen Daniels will get you single digit points so use your judgment if you have a better option or not.” This week, I say the same thing except that Foster and Tate need to be in your lineup against this week Carolina run D.
I love me some Jets this week. I think Mark Sanchez and Plaxico Burress connect for a score in this one. Shonn Greene has been looking great and will look even better.
Cedric Benson should have a nice game against a Rams run D that gets blown up on a weekly basis.
Beanie Wells did nothing last week but this week he plays Cleveland. I think its time for him to have another big game.
The Washington offense is going to continue to run through the highly productive Roy Helu. I think he gets a score this week too. Start the guy.
With defenses blanketing Calvin Johnson, I think Lions’ TE Brandon Pettigrew has another decent game this week.
Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Lance Moore have a big game this week Vs. the Vikings.
The Bills will continue their fall in reality and fake football. Outside of Stevie Johnson, I don’t like any of the Bills. CJ Spiller will get carries but won’t do much with them. I think Matt Moore, Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush will have real nice games again.
More top guys that I’m sitting this week:
Frank Gore plays a top 10 run defense (Baltimore) and his workload is being cut in anticipation of the playoffs. Don’t think that’s an invitation to start his little brother, Kendall Hunter, its a split.
Yes, DeSean Jackson had a score last week but he’s not back to being the guy you drafted. The Jets will shut him and an injured Jeremy Maclin down like they were Chris Paul trades. I was wrong about Michael Vick – again. You should probably start the other guy you’ve been starting with Vick gone (unless it was Matt Hasselbeck – in that case, start planning your 2012 draft).
Other than Darren Sproles, I’m probably sitting the other Saints RBs. Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, if healthy, will all split the workload.
Sit LeGarrette Blount. Tampa will be down early and throwing the ball. They do not throw to Blount.
Rashard Mendenhall plays the league’s best rush D, and the 49ers haven’t given up a rushing TD all year. Unfortunately, Rashard “moves-slower-than-a-mummy” Mendenhall needs TDs to be relevant since he doesn’t rack up the yards (he’s only topped 80 yards once this year).
I don’t have much faith in the Chargers’ Ryan Mathews this week against a stingy Baltimore D. If he gets near the goal line, I just feel like Mike Tolbert gets the carry.