Week 15 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
Darren McFadden has been a major bummer in 2012, but it's never too late to assist those owners still playing for something. Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his take on Week 15 in his Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.
Darren McFadden has been one of the most frustrating Fantasy options this season. At times he has looked like a No. 1 running back, and other times he was someone you wanted to cut. He also, as usual, missed time due to an injury.
|SportsLine Projection: 11.6 car., 56 rush yards, 0.22 TDs, 1.7 rec., 11 rec. yards|
He sat out four games prior to Week 14 against Denver with an ankle sprain, but he returned with 11 carries for 52 yards and two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. He appeared to tweak his ankle late in the game against the Broncos, but he's ready to go for Week 15 against the Chiefs. We expect him to play well.
|Chris Johnson||vs. NYJ|
|David Wilson||at ATL|
|Stevan Ridley||vs. SF|
|Darren Sproles||vs. TB|
|Michael Turner||vs. NYG|
McFadden already faced the Chiefs in Week 8 and had 29 carries for 114 yards and four catches 23 yards. It would be a shock to see him get that many touches, but the Raiders will still give him plenty of work. And if he gets to 15 carries he should be a solid Fantasy option.
There have been eight running backs to get at least 15 carries against Kansas City this year, and seven reached double digits in Fantasy points, including Trent Richardson, Knowshon Moreno and BenJarvus Green-Ellis the past three games. In total, nine running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Chiefs with nine total touchdowns allowed.
Since we're in the Fantasy playoffs, there is obvious risk in trusting McFadden based on his track record and propensity to get hurt. But in a matchup at home against a Chiefs defense that has been susceptible to big games, we would give him the nod as a starting option. After all, you drafted him with an early-round selection, and this should be a game where he rewards you with a quality stat line.
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Start %||Pos. rank|
|Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos||9||21||58||5|
|Vick Ballard, RB, Colts||9||10||36||22|
|Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers||10||4||43||40|
|Eli Manning, QB, Giants||27||30||71||4|
|Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens||10||10||19||4|
|Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys||18||14||62||19|
|Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers||6||3||54||20|
|Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals||6||0||50||98|
|Matt Schaub, QB, Texans||20||7||45||29|
|Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens||14||2||79||74|
|Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles||12||0||86||67|
|Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers||14||26||21||6|
|Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers||6||23||41||1|
|DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers||7||16||23||9|
Andy Dalton (at PHI): Dalton has struggled the past two games against San Diego and Dallas, which coincides with Mohamed Sanu (foot) being out, but there's no concern here with his matchup against the Eagles. The last seven quarterbacks to face the Eagles have 22 total touchdowns and no interceptions with at least 19 Fantasy points in each outing. Dalton also has at least 25 Fantasy points in four of six road games this season.
Josh Freeman (at NO): The last time Freeman faced the Saints in Week 7 he had 35 Fantasy points, and he is one of five quarterbacks to reach 30 points against the Saints this year. In total, 10 quarterbacks have at least 20 Fantasy points against New Orleans, and Freeman has a good history in this matchup. In his past five meetings with the Saints, Freeman is averaging 296 passing yards a game with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.
Carson Palmer (vs. KC): The Raiders might not be winning many games, but Palmer has actually done a nice job for Fantasy owners this year, especially at home. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in 10 games with six games of 20 or more points. At home, Palmer has at least 18 Fantasy points in all seven outings, and he should finish his home schedule with another solid performance. He had 209 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Week 8 at Kansas City, and the Chiefs have allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to reach at least 21 Fantasy points. There have also been 10 quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns against Kansas City this year.
Matt Schaub (vs. IND): Schaub and the Texans are coming off the Week 14 embarrassment at New England, and he will be happy to return home. He has at least 20 Fantasy points in four of six home games, with at least 22 points in the past three against Jacksonville, Buffalo and Baltimore. The Colts have done a nice job in pass defense statistically, but every time they have faced a legit passer they have struggled with matchups against Aaron Rodgers (30 points), Tom Brady (31 points) and Matthew Stafford (22 points). We expect a rebound game from Schaub, and he should produce like he normally does at home.
Ben Roethlisberger (at DAL): Roethlisberger showed his injured shoulder and ribs are not a problem with his performance in Week 14 against San Diego with 22 of 42 passing for 285 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. With the Steelers running game sputtering, we expect Roethlisberger to carry the offensive load again, and he has at least 19 Fantasy points in three of five road games this season. The Cowboys have also allowed at least 18 Fantasy points in three of their past five games, and Roethlisberger has the chance to be a low-end No. 1 option this week now that he's back from his three-game absence.
|Colin Kaepernick||(at NE)||This year's Tim Tebow finds a way to produce without big passing stats.|
|Russell Wilson||(at BUF)||Has 53 Fantasy points in his past two road games at MIA and CHI.|
|Brandon Weeden||(vs. WAS)||Nine quarterbacks have scored at least 21 Fantasy points vs. WAS this year.|
Joe Flacco (vs. DEN): All eyes will be on the Ravens offense this week, especially Flacco, after coordinator Cam Cameron was fired. It's not a great matchup to start experimenting against because the Broncos have been lights out against opposing quarterbacks. They have held the past eight quarterbacks they have faced to 19 Fantasy points or less, including Drew Brees, Dalton, Cam Newton, Freeman and Palmer. Flacco also has 15 Fantasy points or less in two of his past three home games against Dallas and Pittsburgh.
Nick Foles (vs. CIN): Don't fall into the trap of thinking Foles is ready to be a decent Fantasy option, even in two-quarterback leagues, based on his performance last week at Tampa Bay. He had 35 Fantasy points against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, and he will struggle in this matchup Thursday night. The Bengals have held their past five opposing quarterbacks to single digits in Fantasy points, including matchups with Eli Manning, Palmer, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo. And only Peyton Manning has been above 20 Fantasy points against the Bengals since Week 3. Foles is in for a long night, and you should just view last week's game as a solid performance against a bad opponent.
Tony Romo (vs. PIT): The Steelers got lit up at home in Week 14 by Rivers of all quarterbacks, and Romo has played well at home of late with 64 Fantasy points in his past two games against Washington and Philadelphia, but we'd be a little skeptical of starting him. Pittsburgh should rebound in a crucial game on the road, and Romo could be without Dez Bryant (finger) or he will be limited. We understand it's hard to bench Romo in most formats, especially after seeing what Rivers just did to the Steelers without Ike Taylor (ankle). But Romo is going to face a fierce pass rush, and he has struggled in games where he's been sacked three or more times, which has happened five times this year. When Romo is under pressure he tends to falter.
Jay Cutler (vs. GB): Cutler is going to play against the Packers despite a neck injury sustained in Week 14 at the Vikings. He is not expected to play well. He had four Fantasy points at Green Bay in Week 2, and he has a terrible history against the Packers with an average of 205 passing yards in his past five meetings with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Green Bay could be getting Clay Matthews (hamstring) back for this matchup, and Cutler should only be started as a low-end option in two-quarterback leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. SEA): The Bills will make their annual trip to Toronto this week, and the Seahawks might have standout cornerback Richard Sherman active while his pending four-game suspension remains on hold. That would make a bad situation even worse for Fitzpatrick, who has just one game with more than 13 Fantasy points in his past four outings. The Seahawks also have been dominant in pass defense with Cutler the only quarterback to have more than 17 Fantasy points in their past five games. Like Cutler, we would only consider Fitzpatrick a low-end option in two-quarterback leagues. This game should feature a lot of C.J. Spiller for the Bills.
Bust alert: Eli Manning (at ATL): In full disclosure, I'm starting Manning this week in one league, but I'm nervous about it. He has struggled on the road this year with only one game with more than 17 Fantasy points. In his past four road games at San Francisco, Dallas, Cincinnati and Washington he has combined for 37 Fantasy points with only two touchdowns in those outings. The Falcons have also been excellent against opposing quarterbacks as only Newton and Brees have been above 18 Fantasy points against them, including matchups with Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, Palmer, Michael Vick, Romo and Freeman. We hope that Eli Manning will have a healthy Hakeem Nicks (knee), but he's banged up again. And Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) could be out or limited. It adds up to Manning being a risky starting option in the majority of leagues.
Mikel Leshoure/Joique Bell (at ARI): Bell is coming on of late, but both running backs should do well in this matchup. We like Leshoure better in standard leagues since he has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past six games with six touchdowns over that span. He faces a Cardinals defense that has allowed double digits in Fantasy points to a running back in each of the past four games with five touchdowns over that span. Bell also could exploit the Arizona defense, but he is more of a flex. His value is higher in PPR formats since he has eight catches the past two weeks, which coincides with the Lions losing receivers Ryan Broyles and Titus Young to knee injuries. Bell has at least eight Fantasy points in the past three games.
Shonn Greene (at TEN): Greene has looked solid the past two games with 44 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown against Arizona and Jacksonville. He has 23 Fantasy points over that span and this week he faces a Titans defense that has allowed a running back to score in each of the past three games. He also might get a boost with Bilal Powell (toe) banged up. If Powell is out or limited then Greene could really be a star because he has split carries with Powell during the past four games. Greene's value is on the rise to close the season.
DeMarco Murray (vs. PIT): Murray might not be all the way back from the foot injury that kept him out for six weeks, but the Cowboys are using him like he's 100 percent. He has at least 21 carries in the past two games against the Eagles and Bengals and has double digits in Fantasy points in each outing. It's a pretty simple formula for Dallas -- when Murray gets carries, he succeeds. There have been 10 times the past two years where Murray has at least 14 carries, and every time he has at least nine Fantasy points. The Steelers have also allowed a running back to score in four of their past six games.
Knowshon Moreno (at BAL): The negatives for Moreno are the potential return of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (arm) and a letdown after last week's heavy workload of 36 touches (32 carries and four catches) at Oakland. But that game was on Thursday, and Moreno has been waiting for this opportunity after being inactive for eight games. He has at least 20 carries the past three weeks, and his worst game was seven Fantasy points against Tampa Bay. Lewis will help the Baltimore defense, but Moreno should still do well. For the season, Baltimore has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing running backs and nine to reach double digits in Fantasy points.
Steven Jackson (vs. MIN): If Jackson's tenure in St. Louis is over after this season then he's going out with a bang. The impending free agent has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games and looks like a workhorse running back again with at least 19 carries in four games over that span. The Vikings have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in seven of their past eight games with 10 touchdowns over that span. This is the last home game for the Rams this season, so look for Jackson to get a rousing ovation. This also might be his last big performance with games remaining at Tampa Bay and at Seattle, which are brutal matchups.
|Ryan Mathews||(vs. CAR)||Could have breakout game at home since CAR has allowed 11 TDs to running backs.|
|Jonathan Dwyer||(at DAL)||Five running backs have double digits in Fantasy points vs. DAL in past six games.|
|Mike Tolbert||(at SD)||Worth a flier in deep leagues in return trip to SD with Jonathan Stewart (ankle) still out.|
|David Wilson||(at ATL)||Could be a star if Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) is out and coming off big game vs. NO.|
|Reggie Bush||(vs. JAC)||Five running backs have double digits in Fantasy points vs. JAC in past three games.|
Alex Green (at CHI): Green may be considered the starter for the Packers, but he's not a good Fantasy option. He hasn't topped seven Fantasy points in a game yet despite getting double digits in carries in eight of the past nine outings. He continues to share touches with DuJuan Harris and John Kuhn, and Green's upside is extremely limited. The Bears won't have Brian Urlacher (hamstring) this week, but that shouldn't be an issue for Green. We'd be hesitant to even use him as a flex option in the majority of leagues.
Beanie Wells (vs. DET): Since Wells scored twice in Week 12 against St. Louis he has combined for 21 carries for 40 yards the past two games at the Jets and Seahawks. The Lions have allowed a running back to score in four of their past five games, but it's clear Wells will struggle if he doesn't find the end zone. And with the way the Cardinals are playing right now they might not give Wells many chances to score. He is not a recommended flex play in the majority of leagues.
Michael Turner (vs. NYG): It's a risk to sit Turner in standard leagues because he is a touchdown machine, scoring in four consecutive games and five of his past six. But he has just one game with more than 46 rushing yards since Week 9, and despite the scoring streak he has two games in his past three with single digits in Fantasy points. The Giants have only allowed one rushing touchdown in their past four games, and only one running back has scored at home against the Giants in six outings. Turner's workload has dwindled with 15 carries or less in his past five games, and the Falcons appear content to use a tandem with Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, which limits Turner's chances for a big performance.
Montell Owens (at MIA): The Dolphins run defense has fallen apart of late with only Marshawn Lynch failing to score or gain 100 total yards in the past five weeks, including matchups with Chris Johnson, Spiller, Stevan Ridley and Frank Gore. Now, that's a who's who of Fantasy running backs, and Owens isn't close to that group even after his solid outing last week against the Jets. Owens had 14 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, but we don't expect him to have much success against the Dolphins. He should only be considered a flex option at best as the Dolphins should be able to limit his production.
DeAngelo Williams (at SD): Williams did a nice job last week against Atlanta with 16 Fantasy points, but his performance was fluky. He only had 17 carries for 56 yards, but he scored on a 53-yard reception. The last time Williams scored on a reception was Oct. 19, 2008. He should remain the primary rusher with Jonathan Stewart (ankle) still banged up, but he's too risky to trust as anything more than a flex option. The Chargers haven't allowed a running back to score in the past five games, including matchups with Doug Martin, Ray Rice and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It's doubtful Williams will accomplish what those other talented rushers failed to do.
Bust alert: Vick Ballard (at HOU): Ballard will be the only show in town with Delone Carter (ankle) now out since the Colts placed Donald Brown (ankle) on injured reserve. That will help Ballard, who can still be considered a flex option. But just be careful using him against the Texans, who should be plenty motivated following last week's debacle at New England. Houston has allowed three touchdowns to running backs in the past three games, but the Texans have only let one running back rush for more than 80 yards, which was Chris Johnson in Week 4. Ballard has just two touchdowns on the season -- one rushing -- and we can definitely see the Texans coming out with a big defensive outing after being embarrassed on national TV. Ballard needs to have more chances in the red zone for his Fantasy value to rise.
Steve Smith (at SD): Smith has a great matchup this week against the Chargers since San Diego is tied with New Orleans for the most passing touchdowns allowed to receivers at 18. There have been 10 receivers who have reached double digits in Fantasy points against San Diego this season, and Smith is hoping to make it 11. He has played well the past two games against Kansas City and Atlanta with 12 catches for 229 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets, and we expect him to play well to close out the season.
Josh Gordon (at WAS): Gordon has picked up his play the past two weeks against the Raiders and Chiefs with 14 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets. He should have another solid outing against the Redskins. There have been nine of 13 No. 1 receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points against Washington this year. And the Redskins have allowed 15 touchdowns total to opposing receivers, including four in the past three games. It's safe to keep Gordon active as a No. 2 Fantasy option this week.
Mike Wallace (at DAL): All Wallace needed was his quarterback to return. In Week 14, Wallace got Roethlisberger back, and he had his best game of the season with seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. He should finish the season strong, starting this week against the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers in the past five weeks with five reaching double digits in Fantasy points over that span. When Wallace is healthy, motivated and has a good quarterback he can be an elite receiver, and we hope he takes that approach heading into free agency this offseason. If he plays well to close the season he could get a lucrative payday.
Danario Alexander (vs. CAR): The Chargers were the best surprise story in Week 14 when they went into Pittsburgh and won, and Alexander was a big reason why with seven catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He now has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games and shows no signs of slowing down. Rivers has targeted Alexander at least 10 times in three of the past four games, and the Panthers have allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers in the past five games, including two last week against the Falcons.
Michael Crabtree (at NE): It's clear that Crabtree has become the go-to option for Colin Kaepernick with 11 targets in each of the past two games against the Rams and Dolphins. He has 16 catches for 194 yards over that span and is an excellent option in PPR leagues. He now has at least nine Fantasy points in five of his past six games, and he should do well against the Patriots. New England has allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing receivers and 17 have reached at least eight Fantasy points. The worst performance for a No. 1 receiver against the Patriots in the past nine games was Reggie Wayne in Week 11 with seven catches for 72 yards.
|Lance Moore||(vs. TB)||Had nine catches for 121 yards in Week 7 vs. TB.|
|Darrius Heyward-Bey||(vs. KC)||Has at least seven Fantasy points in his past three meetings vs. KC.|
|Mike Williams||(at NO)||NO is tied with SD for most touchdowns allowed to receivers (18) this year.|
|Andrew Hawkins||(at PHI)||Nine receivers have scored against PHI in the past five games.|
|Antonio Brown||(at DAL)||Appears to be over ankle injury and has a healthy Big Ben back.|
Torrey Smith (vs. DEN): Smith was a major disappointment in Week 14 at Washington when he was held to one catch for 21 yards on just three targets. This was the second time this season Smith saw just three targets, and he has five games this season with five targets or less. That doesn't make sense for someone of his talent, but this is a tough matchup for him. The Broncos have done well in pass defense all season, especially against No. 1 receivers because of Champ Bailey. Andre Johnson and A.J. Green are the only No. 1 outside receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points against the Broncos, including matchups with Julio Jones, Denarius Moore twice, Marques Colston, Steve Smith and Vincent Jackson.
Brandon Lloyd (vs. SF): Lloyd was great against the Texans in Week 14 with seven catches for 89 yards and a touchdown on nine targets, which was the most attention he's received since Week 6. It coincides with Rob Gronkowski (forearm) and Julian Edelman (foot) out, and the Patriots could continue to lean on Lloyd. But this is a tough matchup since the 49ers secondary is among the best in the NFL. Danny Amendola is the only receiver to gain 100 yards against the 49ers this year, and only three receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against San Francisco. We're hesitant to start Lloyd as anything more than a No. 3 receiver in the majority of leagues.
Kenny Britt (vs. NYJ): Britt is finally playing at an elite level with 13 catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns in his past three games, and he has 17 targets in his past two outings against Houston and Indianapolis. This week he could get shut down as cornerback Antonio Cromartie will likely shadow him on the field. Since Cromartie took over for the injured Darrelle Revis (knee) in Week 4 he has limited Crabtree, Andre Johnson, Wayne, Lloyd twice, Brian Hartline, Larry Fitzgerald and Justin Blackmon to eight Fantasy points or less. Britt might prove too talented for Cromartie, but his recent track record suggests he will limit Britt's production in this matchup.
Jeremy Maclin (vs. CIN): It was nice to see Maclin play at a high level in Week 14 at Tampa Bay with nine catches for 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets, but that was against an easy opponent. The Bengals will make this a tough game for Maclin since only five receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against them this season with only two touchdowns allowed in the past five weeks. You can still consider Maclin a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week, but we're skeptical of starting him as long as Foles remains under center.
Steve Johnson (vs. SEA): Johnson almost got a break with Sherman originally scheduled to miss this game, but it appears like he will remain active and shadow Johnson all over the field. Johnson only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 7, and he has just two touchdowns since Week 3. The Seahawks haven't allowed a touchdown to a true outside receiver all season, and we're not expecting Johnson to change that in this matchup. If Sherman's suspension is upheld and he starts this week then Johnson's value would rise.
Bust alert: Pierre Garcon (at CLE): It's risky to sit Garcon, especially if Griffin (knee) plays. But the Browns have done a nice job against opposing receivers when Joe Haden is on the field. In the past six games Haden has helped limit Wayne, Wallace, Moore and Bowe to seven Fantasy points or less. Only Torrey Smith has scored against Haden during that span, but we're hesitant to call Garcon a must-start option this week. Griffin could be limited, and if he's out the prospect of Kirk Cousins throwing to Garcon should have you concerned. Consider him just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week even though he has been amazing the past three games with 44 Fantasy points over that span.
Brandon Myers (vs. KC): Myers was a colossal disappointment in Week 14 against Denver with one catch for 7 yards on two targets, which was his worst game of the season. We're expecting a bounce back performance this week since he's not going to be asked to block like he did last week. He has scored in three of his past four home games, and the Chiefs have allowed two touchdowns to tight ends in the past three weeks against Jacob Tamme and Greg Olsen.
Greg Olsen (at SD): Olsen has been tremendous of late with 21 Fantasy points in his past two games against the Chiefs and Falcons, and he has four touchdowns in his past five outings. The Chargers defense has also struggled with tight ends lately following a hot start. Dennis Pitta and Jermaine Gresham have scored against the Chargers in two of the past three games, and we like Olsen to continue playing well with Brandon LaFell (foot) banged up.
Dennis Pitta (vs. DEN): Take away Pitta's two games against the Steelers since Week 10, and he has been amazing. He has a touchdown in his other three outings against Oakland, San Diego and Washington, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Broncos. Denver has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends, with Antonio Gates, Gresham and Olsen each reaching double digits in Fantasy points in three of the Broncos past four road games. Even though Jim Caldwell is now calling plays for the Ravens we still expect Pitta to remain heavily involved.
|Martellus Bennett||(at ATL)||Looking to make it three games in a row with a touchdown.|
|Tony Scheffler||(at ARI)||ARI has allowed a tight end to score in three games in a row.|
|Dallas Clark||(at NO)||NO has allowed a tight end to score five touchdowns in the past five games.|
Jacob Tamme (at BAL): There might be too many mouths to feed in Denver for Tamme to have sustained success. He had a nice two-game stretch prior to Week 14, but that was with Brandon Stokley banged up. Stokley returned last week at Oakland, and Tamme was held to two catches for 24 yards on four targets. We don't expect Tamme to do much this week against the Ravens, and he's worth benching in all formats.
Scott Chandler (vs. SEA): Chandler has seven Fantasy points in each of his past two games, and he played well last week against the Rams with five catches for 71 yards. But this week he's facing a tough matchup against the Seahawks, who have allowed the fewest Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. No tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points against Seattle, including matchups with Jason Witten, Jermichael Finley, Olsen, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Pettigrew, Kyle Rudolph and Vernon Davis.
Jermichael Finley (at CHI): Finley had the chance for a quality outing in Week 14 against the Lions, but he struggled with just two catches for 16 yards on three targets. He now has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points on the season, and he was limited to four catches for 26 yards in Week 2 against the Bears. Chicago has allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but we just can't trust Finley in the majority of leagues.
Bust alert: Jason Witten (vs. PIT): The Steelers have dominated tight ends for the majority of the season as only Jacob Tamme in Week 1 reached double digits in Fantasy points, including matchups with Myers, Gresham, Martellus Bennett, Pitta twice and Gates. Pittsburgh has allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but that doesn't matter for Witten, who has just one touchdown on the season - from backup Kyle Orton. It has been 19 games since Witten last caught a touchdown from Romo, and he has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 8. We know it's hard to bench Witten in standard leagues (he should remain active in PPR formats), but it might be something to consider given his lack of touchdowns and the matchup with Pittsburgh.
Lions (at ARI): We'll stick with our theory of playing the DST against the Cardinals and go with the Lions this week. Ryan Lindley will start at quarterback for Arizona, and he should struggle even at home. Opposing DSTs have scored at least 20 Fantasy points in each of the past four games against the Cardinals with the Falcons, Rams, Jets and Seahawks all doing well. Seattle posted a 58-0 shutout in Week 14 with four interceptions, three sacks, four fumbles and two defensive touchdowns. This should be a good week for the Lions DST.
49ers (at NE): The 49ers have been among the best DST options this season and have the best pass rusher in the game right now in Aldon Smith, who has 19.5 sacks. But facing the Patriots is a daunting task. Only one team has reached double digits in Fantasy points against New England, which were the Cardinals in Week 2. Tom Brady has just three interceptions on the season, and the Patriots only have five fumbles. New England also is averaging 36 points a game, and the Texans DST just got embarrassed by the Patriots in Week 14. It's tough to bench the 49ers DST, but we would recommend using the Vikings, Dolphins or Lions DST over the 49ers this week, and all three are available in at least 45 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com.
|Dan Carpenter||vs. JAC|
|Ryan Succop||at OAK|
|Connor Barth||at NO|
Shayne Graham (vs. IND): Graham had been kicking well prior to last week's blowout loss at the Patriots, and he should rebound this week. In the three games leading up to Week 14, Graham had 31 Fantasy points in a standard league with six field goals and 11 extra points. He has the chance for a quality performance against the Colts, who have allowed double digits in Fantasy points to three of the past four kickers. In the past two games against Rob Bironas and Jason Hanson, the Colts have given up seven field goals and five extra points, and we expect the Texans to play well coming off last week's debacle.
Mason Crosby (at CHI): It wouldn't be a Packers game without a missed field goal from Crosby. He has missed at least one field goal in every game since Week 7, going 12 of 20 on field goals over that span. He has done well the past two games with five field goals and five extra points against Minnesota and Detroit, but both of them were at home. He did go 3 of 3 on field goals against Chicago in Week 2 with two extra points, but the Bears have only allowed Justin Medlock to reach double digits in Fantasy points at home when he made five field goals. Otherwise, Adam Vinatieri, Greg Zuerlein, Hanson, Graham, Blair Walsh and Steve Hauschka have all been held to seven Fantasy points or less in Chicago.
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