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Key Matchups in the AFC for Week 14

AFC interdivisional games and the fantasy matchups associated with these games in this week’s Audibles.

AFC East

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

The Dolphins allowed 31 points the last time that these two teams met. The Jets are coming off their worst loss of the year at the hands of the New England Patriots. Expect a very tough and focused week of practice from both teams. The defenses will both play well enough to keep the score down around 20 points each. This doesn’t leave enough meat on the bone for you as a fantasy owner. Steer clear of this game as it will be filled with three-yard carries by LaDanian Tomlinson and pretty pedestrian passing yards. Field goals will be the choice scoring with Dan Carpenter getting the better of the points.

Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes both play well enough to merit a start. I like them much better as WR3 plays.

It is very likely that Davone Bess is the best play in this contest as the Dolphins have lost a load of talent lately at wide receiver. Brian Hartline is done for the year, and Brandon Marshall is ailing. He might play, but as of now he is questionable. If not, Marlon Moore has earned some playing time. Moore is blessed with great speed and looked comfortable reeling in a 57-yard touchdown two weeks ago.

For the Jets,  Brad Smith is playing extremely well on special teams, which equals zero fantasy points unless your league rewards for returns.
Jets 23, Dolphins 20

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

I fully expect the Bengals to throw early and often. Cedric Benson will have some tough sledding in this one. I think he is a very marginal play as an RB2.
Terrell Owens has been the most targeted of all of Bengals’ wideouts and I expect that to continue. Jermaine Gresham is a nice safety valve target as is Jordan Shipley.

The Steelers will control the tempo of this game with the ground game. Expect tight end
Matt Spaeth to fill in for Heath Miller. Just don’t get too excited as the Bengals cover the tight end position very well. Expect Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall to have huge games.  The Pittsburgh defense also plays well in this one. Ben Roethlisberger will play well provided he can stay on the field with that foot injury. Don’t be surprised if Mewelde Moore gets some work in garbage time.
Steelers 24, Bengals 23  

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have been a team that has not shown up every week. Either they have horrible practices or they just fail to execute on game day. Blame it on whoever you want, including Norv Turner, who is a much better coordinator than a head coach. The defense is suspect after poor tackling last week against the Oakland Raiders. I expect that they will be burned for a few big plays from the Chiefs’ big play stable of horses. Jamaal Charles is running as well as anyone in football. Thomas Jones is the ultimate professional. Together they are big play craftsmen. However ,they have just nine touchdowns between them. This is five less than Dwayne Bowe, who has been an absolute monster until last week when he didn’t record a catch on three lousy targets. I expect that he will have another tough game as the Chargers’ pass defense gives up an average of 6.83 fantasy points to wideouts. I recommend tempering your expectations.

The Chargers’ defense has been unpredictable. They bounce back this week. Philip Rivers will have a nice afternoon as will tight end  Antonio Gates and wide receiver Malcom Floyd. Now that everyone realizes that Ryan Mathews isn’t to be relied on, Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles will play a part in the backfield. Tolbert is still the one to own because he gets the goal line work.

Give up on the idea that holdout Vincent Jackson is going to make an impact. The reality is that he will put just enough effort in to show that he can still play. Ultimately, he will wait for payday at the end of the year with another club. He will not risk a major injury for a couple of bucks. The Chargers’ front office created this game and Jackson is merely protecting his interest until he can get paid. He will have a ton of interest in the offseason. Jackson should only be kept on rosters in keeper leagues. 
Chargers 27, Chiefs 24

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher has indicated that he will choose between Kenny Britt and Randy Moss for the starting spot opposite Nate Washington. While it may come down to the health of Britt, the sound of this statement is mind boggling. Are we talking about the same Moss who has 153 career receiving touchdowns? The same Moss who is 115 yards shy of  Marvin Harrison for fifth on the NFL all-time list? I am speechless. I think that you need to get him involved. Britt has a bright future, but seriously? You have to make that decision? I start Moss without reservation and get him the ball. It may be just enough of a distraction to get Chris Johnson loose. How do you spell yardage?

Kerry Collins will have pressure on him all day. Washington will have a nice day. I expect to see Peyton Manning manage the game, but he will see some looks from the Titans defense that will give him trouble. I like Reggie Wayne, Jacob Tamme, Pierre Garcon and Blair White in that order.

Javarris James is starting to surface as a legitimate goal line threat. The Colts just signed Dominic Rhodes to provide depth as Joseph Addai and Mike Hart are
on the shelf. He will be used sparingly as Donald Brown will get the most work. James has the most upside as the goal line vulture but it is a high risk and high reward play.
Colts 30, Titans 23

Thanks for the read folks. I enjoyed looking at these exciting AFC games with
you. I hope you did as well. Remember that my crystal ball is in the shop right now, so I guessed the scores by using the psychic friends network hot line. It only cost me $1.99 per minute.

Questions, comments and concerns to

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