It’s that time of year where the fantasy playoffs are closing in. Congratulations if you’re still reading this article as that generally means you’re still in the race in your respective league. There’s lots of offense to be found this week to push your team over the top and into the playoffs as the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs all do their part to extend your fantasy season.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Oakland
Kyle Orton, Denver at Kansas City
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. San Francisco
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Dallas
Drew Brees, New Orleans at Cincinnati
Tom Brady, New England vs. N.Y. Jets
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington
Michael Vick, Philadelphia vs. Houston
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets at New England: The last time Sanchez faced the Patriots way back in Week 2, he completed 70 percent of his passes while throwing for 220 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. While this week’s game will be played in New England as opposed to the Meadowlands, Sanchez should perform better against a Patriots’ pass defense that ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed which includes opposing quarterbacks throwing for more than 300 yards five times this season. Look for Sanchez to air it out as the Jets have Santonio Holmes in the lineup this time around and Sanchez will use him early and often.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh: In Flacco’s first game against Pittsburgh this season he threw for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception. While Pittsburgh can stop the run, they have struggled in containing the passing game, ranking 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed. Flacco has thrown for more than 260 yards in four of the past six games and during that span he’s thrown 13 touchdowns to only two interceptions. Look for Flacco to exceed the stats he posted against Pittsburgh the first time around as the Ravens and the passing attack thrive at home.
Donovan McNabb, Washington at N.Y. Giants: McNabb has thrown 11 touchdowns to 13 interceptions on the season and has only surpassed 215 yards passing twice in the past five games. Facing a Giants’ defense this week that has allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL is bad news for McNabb and the Redskins’ offense. It’s going to be an ugly game for Washington fans this week.
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. New Orleans: As expected, Palmer had a pretty lousy game against the Jets last week, throwing for only 135 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Palmer won’t have much success this week either against a Saints defense that has allowed the third-fewest passing yards in the league and the fewest passing touchdowns (seven). With seven interceptions in the past three games, Palmer is not someone you want to rely on during a critical fantasy week.
Arian Foster, Houston at Philadelphia
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland at Miami
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia vs. Houston
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. Buffalo
*Questionable for Week 13 – ankle*
Chris Johnson, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City vs. Denver
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at Tennessee
Matt Forte, Chicago at Detroit
Darren McFadden, Oakland at San Diego
Ray Rice, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
Ahmad Bradshaw, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington
Michael Turner, Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Arizona
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina at Seattle: Stewart returned from a concussion last week to rush for 98 yards on just 12 carries against the Browns. This week he faces a Seahawks’ run defense that allows an average of 120.4 rushing yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. Look for Carolina to keep the ball on the ground and Stewart to post big numbers in Seattle.
Ronnie Brown, Miami vs. Cleveland: Brown had his finest game of the season rushing last week as he totaled 85 yards rushing against the Raiders. That just goes to show how poorly his season has gone when he doesn’t even crack 100 yards rushing and it’s big news. Look for Brown to continue his success this week at home against the Browns, who have allowed an average of 148 yards rushing over the past two games.
Felix Jones, Dallas at Indianapolis: While Jones didn’t gain much in the way of rushing yards last week against the Saints (13 carries for 44 yards), his seven catches for 69 yards salvaged what was an otherwise bad day at the office. This week, Jones faces the Colts, who allow an average of 136 rushing yards per game. Combine that with the fact that Marion Barber is unlikely to play and you’ve got yourself a starter.
Maurice Morris, Detroit vs. Chicago: If I was a Jahvid Best owner, I’d give serious thought to scooping up Morris off the waiver wire if he’s still available after his solid performance on Thanksgiving against the Patriots. While I’d be happy to stash him away on my bench, I wouldn’t go as far as recommending he start this week against the Bears, who have allowed the second fewest rushing yards this season.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta: Even though Blount was the starter last week against the Ravens, Cadillac Williams played on the majority of passing downs turning this duo into the dreaded running back by committee. With Tampa Bay likely to need to pass often to keep pace with the Atlanta offense this week, Blount’s chances will once again be minimized which should keep him on your bench.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis vs. Dallas: Even with Joseph Addai still on the sidelines and Mike Hart’s status in question, Brown hasn’t shown anything to be excited about. Brown rushed for just 24 yards on 11 carries against the Chargers last week, and even though he caught five passes for 47 yards his involvement in the Colts’ offense just isn’t substantial enough at this stage of the season to risk starting him.