Welcome back to another edition of Between the Hashes for Week 14 in the National Football League.
I’m still reeling from the loss my fantasy team suffered last weekend that could have clinched a playoff birth. Damn you Shonn Greene and your three touchdowns. Not starting him proved costly as adding it all up I would have won by two points and rested easy this coming weekend. Instead, I’m fighting for my playoff life after starting the season 7-0.
That’s right. Started 7-0, now 9-4 and could STILL MISS the playoffs.
But let’s hope I’ve made the right decisions starting players this week. For a lot of you, that’s what this week is all about too. Starting the right players, and getting the most out of them. I hit on a few players last week, notably, Lions QB Matthew Stafford (408 yards, TD, INT), Giants WR Victor Cruz (7/119) and Packers TE Jermichael Finley (6/87/1).
If you’re stuck with some players you absolutely have no choice but to start, or you are stuck between two or three guys in a couple spots, hopefully in this edition I’ll give you some players to play. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at players I like in a very important week for fantasy football players everywhere.
Carson Palmer- Raiders: If you have to start Carson, give him a shot. The Raiders likely will be playing from behind, so Palmer should have to throw the ball a ton. Teams are throwing a ton against the Green Bay Packers defense, which is allowing the 4th most FPG to QB’s in the last five weeks.
Prediction: 280 yards/2 TD/2 INT
Alex Smith- 49ers: Smith deserves some love here. He doesn’t make many mistakes, manages the game well and is helping the Niners get W’s. So, this week against the Cardinals, if you have to start him, go for it. He hit them up for 267 yards and two TD’s in their first matchup earlier this season.
Prediction: 235 yards/TD
Bonus QB: Matt Moore- Dolphins: He’s played well about the last month now. He’s also facing the Philadelphia Eagles this week and I think he’ll have himself a solid game. The Eagles are giving up an average of two TD’s to QB’s in the last five games. I don’t think Moore will have a huge game, but if you absolutely need him for whatever reason, I’d give him a shot.
Prediction: 215 yards/TD/INT
Roy Helu- Redskins: Finally Mike Shanahan is giving this guy the ball, and he’s proving why he should continue getting it. He’s rushed for at least 100 yards the last two games, and also scored a TD in both games. I like him more as a flex this week, but that’s OK, because he’ll go up against a New England Patriots run defense that is just OK. I can see him getting the ball 20+, especially if the game is somehow close.
Shonn Greene- Jets: I wish I had listened to myself last week and kept Greene in the lineup as he scored three times against the Redskins. This week, the Jets face the Kansas City Chiefs, who could limit Greene, or yield a big day. I see him scoring in this one again and it should be a close game.
Chris Johnson- Titans: Yeah I know, it’s Chris Johnson, but this guy has been up and down all year. He looks to finally be putting it together as the Tennessee Titans face the New Orleans Saints. Saints give up the 8th most FPG to RB’s over the last five weeks. He’ll probably see some production catching passes out of the backfield too.
Reggie Bush- Dolphins: The Dolphins will move Reggie all over the field to get him the ball, it comes against a team that got run over by Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. Bush won’t do that, but he could see 20 total touches or more against this team. If you need to, start him in your flex, especially in PPR formats.
Prediction: 15/67 rushing, 5/45 receiving
Jordy Nelson- Packers: You already know the deal on Nelson, the kid is for real. He had four targets last week, but turned that into 94 yards against the G-Men. I think he’ll score this week against the Oakland Raiders.
Anquan Boldin- Ravens: Boldin will be facing a Colts secondary that is extremely banged up and will be without their best defender in the secondary, Jerraud Powers to injury. QB Joe Flacco shouldn’t have to throw a lot as RB Ray Rice should run wild, but I expect “Q” to be active in this most excellent matchup against that team from Indy.
Stevie Johnson- Bills: He’s the guy in Buffalo, and should have a nice game this week against a Chargers secondary that gives up the 10th most FPG to WR’s. They weren’t tested much last week because Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert doesn’t throw well. But Johnson should be quite active this week.
Jason Witten- Cowboys: The New York Giants are absolutely atrocious against TE’s this season. So I think Witten will have himself a hell of a game.
Brent Celek- Eagles: If you need him this week, he might be a decent play. Miami is not very good against TE’s and the Eagles get QB Michael Vick back.
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