We made it. The last week of the fantasy football regular season. Next week should be the start of playoffs for most of you. While some of you already know if you’re in or you’re out, some of you may be fighting for a playoff spot. I’m going to remind you that if you haven’t already, make sure to pick up some backups for your starters. You’re going to want to make sure you have a backup quarterback, tight end, defense, and kicker on your roster, just in case something happens. You never know when an injury might happen and it’s a good idea to plan for that scenario. Make sure to take a look at your defense and kicker and see what kind of matchups they have coming up over your playoff weeks. Make sure that your kicker won’t be playing in any games where wind, rain, or snow could play a factor in the game. Nice, safe dome or warm weather games are preferred for your kicker to have the best chance to make all the kicking attempts he gets.
Also, take a look at your defense to see if they are going to be playing teams that score lots of points, or if they play teams that play sloppy football. While the Denver Broncos are winning a lot of games, Tim Tebow has been getting sacked a lot. Teams like this are the ones that you’re going to want your defense playing against during the playoffs. Also, just because your defense is playing in a bad weather game doesn’t mean they’re going to be getting a lot of turnovers. A pass that is hard to catch for a wide receiver is just as difficult for a safety or cornerback to pick off in bad weather too. Slippery balls are hard for everyone to hold onto, not just offensive players.
Being mindful of these types of factors that could get you a few extra points, when getting the most points you can, really matters. Now on to the calls for the week:
Since Tim Tebow took over the starting role after the Denver Bronco’s Week 6 bye, he has been a fairly solid fantasy quarterback. Not to mention he’s 5-1 as a starter. His passing totals haven’t been that high, but his rushing totals have made up the difference. The minimum he gets you every week is six points from his rushing. Tebow has only one game where he hasn’t thrown a touchdown, and has only two turnovers on the year. This week Tebow goes to Minnesota which ranks dead last against quarterbacks and below average against running backs. Tebow should be able to put up some good numbers for your team going into the fantasy playoffs, and would be a good call this week.
Matt Hasselbeck has been slowing down a bit now that it seems Chris Johnson finally found his grove. In the past three weeks Buffalo has let Tony Romo, Matt Moore, and Mark Sanchez throw for three or more touchdowns a game against them. Hasselbeck should be able to find the holes in this defense and rack up some good numbers for your team this week.
I’m sorry to tell you that Ben Roethlisberger has been slowing down lately and things aren’t going to be turning around any time soon. Big Ben has thrown only one touchdown in his last three games and his next next three games are against Cincinnati who rank 8th against quarterbacks, Cleveland (3rd), and San Francisco (9th). When Roethlisberger played in Cincinnati just three weeks ago, he threw for 245 yards and one touchdown. At home this week, he might add one more touchdown, but if you’re looking for a big game, I’d look in other places. Roethlisberger would be a bad call this week.
Philip Rivers has had one of the easiest schedules for a quarterback and he’s only been putting up mediocre numbers. This week he has to play one of the harder games on his schedule against a tough Jacksonville defense, which ranks 6th against quarterbacks. The last time Rivers played a team in the Top 10 against quarterbacks was in Week 7 against the Jets, and he threw for 179 yards, and just one touchdown. Jacksonville hasn’t allowed a quarterback to throw for more than 225 yards and one touchdown since Week 4. If Rivers is your quarterback in a make or break game this week, your best bet is to sit him if you have better options.
LeGarrette Blount has been lighting it up in his last two games with over 100 yards rushing in each. This week he plays the Carolina Panthers who rank at the bottom of the bucket in points given up to running backs. In the last three weeks the minimum a running back has done against Carolina has been 80 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers are also the team that let Kevin Smith come out of nowhere and run for 140 yards and two touchdowns two weeks ago. Blount should be in line for a big game this week.
BenJarvus Green-Eliis has put up helpful stat-lines the last two weeks and this week he gets the advantage of going against Indianapolis. Bill Belichick does not like the Colts and will not take his foot off the gas pedal to hold back from piling on the points against them. Green-Ellis will benefit from the dislike Belichick has for the Colts and will have another good game this week.
Cedric Benson has had the hot hand the last two weeks and put up a couple of his best games all season. That stops this week with a trip to Pittsburgh. The Steelers held Benson to 57 yards in their earlier meeting this year in Cincinnati. In Pittsburgh it’s going to be even tougher for Benson to get good yardage. There is upside with Benson coming up though. If you’re lucky enough to win next week, his matchup in week 15 against St. Louis looks to be a juicy one, so if you’ve got another running back to get you through this week and next, I’d play that running back and wait for the soft matchup with the Rams.
Steven Jackson hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8, and hasn’t had more than 64 rushing yards in the last two weeks. This week he has to try to run through the No. 1 ranked San Francisco rush defense. The Niners haven’t allowed a single rushing touchdown all year, and typically hold good running backs to around 60 yards. The most anyone has rushed for all season has been 64 yards. Jackson’s outlook to put up good points this week looks bleak, and he would be a bad call this week.