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Week 14: End of the 2013 Season

Welcome to Week 14, the final week of the regular season and the start of the playoffs for others. Every fantasy season seems to go by so fast, especially if you have been in the playoff hunt down the stretch. For teams that have missed the playoffs, the season can feel like it ended months ago.
If you are out of the playoffs, there are still fantasy options with daily leagues such as Fanduel and fantasy playoff leagues.

This is a crucial week for everyone. For those who need to win this week, such as me, you need to play the best options at all positions. This could be playing Alex Smith over Andrew Luck or Joique Bell over Frank Gore. Always play the best players you have but also look to sit guys like Reggie Bush if he is dealing with an injury or Jordy Nelson who has bad quarterback play.

Even in Week 14, there are still players emerging that can help you win. Players such as Ladarius Green, Andre Holmes and Ace Sanders have emerged as options for teams in need. Don’t forget about players that have been dumped off rosters that have played better recently, such as Steven Jackson and Montee Ball who are both worth considering this week.


The Golden Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.

Eric Decker – 8 receptions, 174 yards, 4 TD. It has been five games since Decker has scored and he took advantage of his opportunity this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. You need to be cautious with the Denver offense as Decker could become a forgotten man in the offense in any given week.

Josh Gordon – 10 receptions, 261 yards, 2 TD. Gordon has put up incredible numbers this season and now has 125 or more yards in 6-of-10 games. He is averaging 38 fantasy points a game over the last three weeks. Had he not had his two-game suspension to start the season, he might have challenged Calvin Johnson’s record of 1,964 receiving yards set last season.

Alshon Jeffery – 12 receptions, 249 yards, 2 TD. Jeffery posted the second 200-plus yard receiving game of Week 12. He caught 12 of his 15 targets and had more yards than he had in the previous three games combined. He has another good matchup this week against the 31st-ranked pass defense of the Dallas Cowboys.


The Urinal Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Eddie Lacy – 10 carries, 16 yards. The Green Bay Packers stunk on Thanksgiving and Lacy was a victim of the way the team played. The Detroit Lions also have a top-3 run defense so give some credit to them. However, Lacy has been a steady producer in fantasy as he had scored in five of the past six games prior to last week’s poor performance. He should have a bounceback game against a bad Atlanta run defense.

Drew Brees – 23/38, 147 yards, TD. Ugly game for Brees as he posted his lowest fantasy total of the season with 10 points. His worst game since he posted 12 points in Week 13 last season against the Atlanta Falcons. Even though he was playing the best pass defense in the league, you still expect him to put up better numbers.

DeSean Jackson – 3 receptions, 36 yards. Jackson was held in check by Patrick Peterson all game and finished with his worst game since Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys. He should bounce back this week against the Detroit poor pass defense.

MATCHUPS


Good quarterback matchups this week

Alex Smith at Washington.
Smith has been the third-highest scoring quarterback over the past three weeks with games of 23, 22 and 23 fantasy points. All have come against great matchups as he faced the Denver Broncos twice and the San Diego Chargers once. This week is another great matchup against Washington, who is 27th in pass defense allowing 265.2 passing yards per game with 23 touchdowns allowed this season. With Washington out of the playoff race, I can see the Chiefs coming in and racking up serious points in this game.

Josh McCown against Dallas. McCown has posted back-to-back 350-plus yards with two touchdowns the past two weeks. That has helped owners win some games and get into the playoffs. This week with Jay Cutler to miss another game, McCown will face the Cowboys, who are 31st in the league allowing 294.9 yards passing per game. They have allowed 22 touchdowns this season. The Cowboys have given up a ton of points the past two weeks to running backs which has skewed the stats of the quarterbacks they have faced. Weather could be a factor (so keep that in mind), but I like McCown for one more week.

Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Matt Ryan at Green Bay. Ryan a sleeper? Yes, if you consider that most teams that drafted him have benched or dropped him in leagues a while ago. Ryan threw for more than 300 yards last week for the first time since Week 8 and having a healthier Roddy White can only help him put up a decent game against the Packers, who are in a freefall since Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 9. Green Bay was eaten up by the Detroit passing game last week, giving up 330 yards and three touchdowns to Matthew Stafford. The Packers defense is allowing 250.5 passing yards per game (22nd) with 22 touchdowns allowed this season. Also, they are second-to-last in the league with just six interceptions this season.


Good running back matchups this week



DeMarco Murray at Chicago.

Dream matchup! You couldn’t have asked for a better Week 14 scenario. The Bears were trucked by Adrian Peterson last week for 211 yards on the ground and have given up 100 or more yards to running backs in five straight games and 8-out-of-12. The 32nd-ranked run defense has allowed 153.6 rushing yards per game with 15 touchdowns allowed this season. This will get you into the playoffs or help you win your first-round matchup.

Andre Brown at San Diego. Brown has been what the New York Giants offense needed and he has played well since coming back, helping the team go 3-1. Last week in a good matchup versus Washington, he totaled only 35 yards rushing but he did get into the end zone twice, which is fine by us. This week, I expect Brown to rush for more than 100 yards as he faces a Chargers defense allowing 117.8 yards rushing per game (21st) with 10 touchdowns given up this season. The Chargers have given up four touchdowns in their past three games to go along with an average of 20.4 fantasy points.

Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Joique Bell at Philadelphia. If you were smart enough to handcuff Reggie Bush with Bell, you have had the opportunity to insert Bell into your lineup when needed. Even if Bush plays this week, I think Bell goes off. The Eagles defense didn’t have to do much last week in terms of run defense but they will have their hands full this week. The Eagles defense is allowing 115.5 rushing yards per game (19th) with seven touchdowns allowed this season.

Bad quarterback matchups this week

Andrew Luck at Cincinnati.
Luck hasn’t killed your fantasy team but he hasn’t done it any favors, either. With 16.2 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks, he has struggled to put up big numbers. The loss of Reggie Wayne has really crippled the passing game. This week Luck faces another tough team in the Bengals, who haven’t allowed a quarterback to score more than 17 fantasy points since Week 7. They are eighth in the league allowing 213.8 yards passing per game with 15 touchdowns allowed and 13 interceptions grabbed this season. Don’t expect Luck to get you into the playoffs this week. Also, a wintery mix is in the forecast.

Jason Campbell at New England. Campbell gets the start but is still limited in practice. As a Josh Gordon owner, you have to be concerned about this. In Week 9 Campbell played well but Gordon didn’t see a ton of production in that game. The Patriots, who will be playing at home, have performed well on defense the past two weeks against Peyton Manning and Case Keenum. They are allowing 224 yards passing per game (10th) with 18 touchdowns allowed this season.

Andy Dalton against Indianapolis. As mentioned with Andrew Luck, the weather will be a factor in Cincinnati so this will effect Dalton as well. Dalton has had two awful games before and after the bye week as he posted 11 fantasy points in each of those games. He did throw three touchdowns in Week 11 but 93 passing yards and two interceptions killed his stats. The Colts defense, which is allowing 238.7 yards passing per game (17th) with 17 touchdowns allowed this season, will welcome the weather to help.


Bad running back matchups this week

Zac Stacy at Arizona. In Week 1, we saw Daryl Richardson as the starter and not Stacy, who we didn’t see much of until Week 5. He ran for 72 yards last week against a good San Francisco defense but will face a Cardinals defense ranked fourth, allowing 83.2 yards rushing per game with just four touchdowns allowed this season. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a running back to score more than 16 fantasy points all season and have held them to an 11.5 average over the past three weeks.

Rashad Jennings at the New York Jets. Jennings isn’t cleared yet to play but with Darren McFadden out, the Oakland Raiders will need him this week. The Jets can be proud of their No. 1 run defense in the league, as they allow just 77 yards rushing per game with six touchdowns allowed this season. Over the past three weeks, running backs have averaged just seven fantasy points. Use Jennings only if you have no other running back on your roster.

Frank Gore against Seattle. Gore is averaging 30 yards per game over the past three games and his worst game of the season was in Week 2 against Seattle. In that game he ran for 16 yards on nine carries. The Seahawks have clamped down on running backs since Mike James lit them up back in Week 9. Since then, they are holding starting running backs to just 7.6 fantasy points on average. They have allowed just four rushing touchdowns this season and none since Week 7.

FanDuel

Week 13 was the best week I have had scoring this season. I played Alshon Jeffery, Josh Gordon, Adrian Peterson and the Carolina defense/special teams in most lineups. My best score was 196.2. Overall, I scored 160 points or more in all but one lineup. That, however, was just for the Sunday games. The Thursday games, however, were a complete train wreck as I played Matt Flynn, Jarrett Boykin and Eddie Lacy in most lineups.

Onto Week 14, I am cautious about playing guys like Eric Decker, Ben Tate and Le’Veon Bell as they could end up stinking this week. I am going to roll with the guys that have been playing great football the past three weeks. Alex Smith this week looks to be a good play as well as Nick Foles at quarterback. I have Andre Brown, DeMarco Murray and Knowshon Moreno at running back. I’ll roll with Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery and Josh Gordon all the time. The tricky plays are at defense where I will play Baltimore, New England and Pittsburgh.

The top lineup in Week 13 would have score 275.42 for a budget of $59,700. The same lineup will cost you $8,200 more cap money for Week 14.

Player

Week 13

Week 14

Difference

Week 13 Points

Peyton Manning

$11,000

$11,300

($300)

33.82

Ben Tate

$6,200

$7,400

($1,200)

28.2

DeMarco Murray

$7,100

$8,000

($900)

24.7

Eric Decker

$5,800

$7,700

($1,900)

45.4

Josh Gordon

$8,400

$9,200

($800)

43.1

Alshon Jeffery

$6,200

$7,800

($1,600)

42.9

Zach Ertz

$4,500

$5,200

($700)

21.3

Adam Vinatieri

$5,000

$5,800

($800)

20

Miami

$5,500

$5,500

$0

16


$59,700

$67,900

($8,200)

275.42


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Week 14: Good luck to those trying to get into the playoffs. I need wins in two leagues as well.

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Cheers!

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