Are you a part of the “Mile High Club”? I am not referring to the affiliation of people that use an airline’s tiny, cramped bathroom for mating, but rather a new club. This club’s principles revolve around teamwork and rallying to find a way to win every game. Whether you are a Denver Broncos’ fans or not, the entire nation seems to be rooting for Tim Tebow and his team to beat every foe they encounter. Like every epic blockbuster action movie, the hero struggles and is staring at defeat, but finds hope at the last possible moment to overcome adversity to secure victory. In Week 14, the Broncos narrowly escaped with another win as Marion Barber failed to run out the clock in the fourth quarter, then lost a critical fumble in overtime. Tebow, Matt Prater and Denver’s defense miraculously found a way to defeat the Chicago Bears against the greatest odds and win another game by the narrowest of margins.
Although the Broncos’ win over the Bears was one of the most exciting, nail-biters of the weekend, Week 14 generated another weekend of action including Marshawn Lynch continuing in “Beast Mode,” Maurice Jones-Drew posting four touchdowns for his fantasy owners, Rob Gronkowski exploding yet again, Philip Rivers back on track, and key injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and DeMarco Murray. With quite a few injuries to monitor for Week 15, take a dive with me on some key matchups.
QB Rex Grossman – Do you think I am really going to recommend Grossman to start for your team in the fantasy playoffs? Well, if you are desperate or your quarterback is injured and questionable (see Ben Roethlisberger, Colt McCoy and Matt Moore), then at least add him to your roster. In three of his last four games, Grossman has posted more than 221 passing yards and two touchdowns. He battles the New York Giants, who have allowed an average of more than 31 points and four touchdowns per game. Before you say “but … but … but …,” I realize the Giants played Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Drew Brees. Grossman could not be farther from their level, but should still have a solid outing and was productive in their meeting earlier this season.
Week 15 Projection: 250 passing yards, 2 TD
RB Felix Jones – If you drafted Jones early in your draft thinking, you may have uncovered a sleeper, then you were wrong. After a few disappointing starts and an injury, Jones reaffirmed his role as a secondary back and gave way to DeMarco Murray. After Murray’s injury last week, it appears that Jones may be able to redeem himself at the end of fantasy season. With a trip to Tampa Bay to battle the shipwrecked Buccaneers, Jones will face a defense that just allowed a monster game to Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew with four total touchdowns. In fact, they have allowed more than 100 rushing yards to backs in seven of the last nine games and 13 touchdowns during that timeframe. Start Jones.
Week 15 Projection: 125 total yards, 1 TD
WR Jabar Gaffney – Gaffney has earned consistent numbers this season, but never exploded for fantasy owners. However, his production has increased over the last few games and should continue as he battles the New York Giants this weekend. The Giants have allowed 30 or more points to wide receivers for the last four weeks. Without Fred Davis on the field, Gaffney will be Grossman’s go-to receiver this weekend.
Week 15 Projection: 100 receiving yards, 1 TD
TE Jake Ballard – After becoming a decent second-tier option at tight end and being picked up in every fantasy league, Ballard’s production has slightly tailed off. He has a home matchup against the Washington Redskins, who last week were manhandled by New England tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Ballard will not post Gronkowski-like numbers, but should have a great start.
Week 15 Projection: 60 receiving yards, 1 TD
D/ST Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals’ defense, especially secondary, has not impressed this season. However, they have improved during their current win streak and welcome the struggling Cleveland Browns to town. With Colt McCoy appearing to be a long shot with post-concussion symptoms, Seneca Wallace is in line for his first start of the season. Arizona should be a solid fantasy option this week if you are looking for an attractive matchup.
Week 15 Projection: 12 points
Week 14 RESULTS
QB Joe Flacco
Week 14 Projection: 250 passing yards, 2 TD
Week 14 Results: 227 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (SUCCESS)
RB Marion Barber
Week 14 Projection: 100 total yards, 1 TD
Week 14 Results: 140 total yards, 1 TD, 1 Fumble (SUCCESS)
WR Malcolm Floyd
Week 14 Projection: 75 receiving yards, 1 TD
Week 14 Results: 29 receiving yards (FAIL)
TE Logan Paulsen
Week 14 Projection: 70 receiving yards
Week 14 Results: 0 receiving yards (FAIL)
Week 14 Projection: 13 points
Week 14 Results: 17 points (SUCCESS)
Good luck this week!