Thomas Casale
The Fire Sale - Week 15

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What a day of football we saw on Sunday. We had snow, fantastic finishes, NFL records and a ton of injuries that sent some fantasy owners home from the playoffs. It was a day we’ll truly never forget. Actually, I’ll probably forget about it by Wednesday, but it was still a great day of football.

Well, I have two “Fire Sales” left for this year. In this edition, my “Going Ups” will be recommended starts if you’re still alive in the playoffs and my “Coming Downs” are players I would leave on the bench this week. Then next week I’ll look back to the summer and see which players I hit on and which players I should get punched in the face for recommending. I would just like to say that while I was wrong on
Stedman Bailey , I’ll eventually be proven right. I can’t be held responsible for awful coaching. Why it took the ever more clueless Jeff Fisher this long to get Bailey on the field is beyond me.

I hope you have all had a great season and good luck this week. I still have one team going in a league where I’ve lost
Julio Jones , Reggie Wayne , Justin Blackmon and now Rob Gronkowski . I may have gone as far as I can with that team.

Now on with The Fire Sale …

Going Up


Jordan Todman, RB, Jacksonville – Todman’s value is obviously tied to Maurice Jones-Drew ’s health. Jones-Drew hurt his hamstring late in Thursday night’s game against Houston and said he’ll play Sunday. Still, at this point in the season a team that’s out of the playoff hunt isn’t going to rush a player with a bad hamstring back into the lineup, so Jones-Drew has to be considered highly questionable. If Jones-Drew can’t go, Todman has a great matchup against an awful Buffalo rush defense that allows 125 yards per game on the ground. I’ve followed Todman since he was in high school. He went to the same high school as I guy I worked with when I was with the New England Patriots. Todman actually broke all of his high school rushing records. Todman is a strong RB2 sleeper against Buffalo if he gets the start.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo – Not many players burned fantasy owners more this year than Spiller. However, as poor as Buffalo’s run defense is, Jacksonville’s defense is just as bad. The Jaguars allow teams to run for 127 yards a game against them. If you’ve gone this far with Spiller, he could actually reward you at the most crucial time of the season. Two weeks ago Spiller ripped off 149 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta but then the tough Tampa Bay defense held him to just 22 yards on 11 carries last Sunday. Spiller has killed fantasy owners all season so I can’t blame you for being gun-shy to start him. However, if you can muster up enough strength to put Spiller in your lineup one more time, it could pay off big this week.

Ace Sanders, WR, Jacksonville – I hate to have two Jacksonville players on here but Sanders was one of my sleepers coming out of my college and one of my long shot fantasy sleepers heading into 2013. I liked him more in dynasty formats but thought if the Jaguars got some decent quarterback play he could be a factor. While the decent quarterback play never really transpired, Sanders has stepped up since Justin Blackmon got suspended. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in points per reception leagues four weeks in a row, now. Sanders isn’t going to put up 25 points, but if you’re either in a bind at receiver or play in a deeper points per reception league, he should be a lock for a safe 10-12 points this week against Buffalo. Also, Sanders is a guy to watch for the future. I talked a lot about him this summer and I’ll mention him again next week.

Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore – It didn’t take Pitta long to make an impact in the Baltimore Ravens offense. Despite playing on less than 50 percent of Baltimore’s offensive snaps Sunday, Pitta caught six passes for 48 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Obviously, some
Rob Gronkowski owners (me) will be looking to add another tight end this week. I thought about adding Pitta last week but decided to add LeGarrette Blount instead. You can bet I’m kicking myself for that move now. Advanced Sports Logic’s The Machine has Pitta as their top free agent pickup this week as well. Pitta should be considered a TE1 for this week’s game against Detroit and the rest of the fantasy playoffs. He’s still not 100 percent and won’t play all the snaps but Joe Flacco loves throwing to Pitta. As long as he’s on the field, Pitta will see enough targets to be productive.



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