Last week of the regular season in fantasy for most leagues and if you’re a team on the cusp this week begins your fantasy playoffs. Here are some names to look at as you choose your line ups.
Matthew Stafford – Stafford looked bad on Thanksgiving, but with a game against the red hot Saints he sure to have to throw the ball a ton with the Saints likely making it a high scoring game.
Eli Manning – There are a lot of things going wrong for the Giants, but Manning isn’t one of them. He threw for a little over 400 yards in their lose to the Saints and against the soft pass defense of the Packers, he should put up solid numbers again.
Matt Moore – Moore has been solid over the past few weeks and he gets a soft Raiders secondary that has been vulnerable to the pass.
Others I like: Tony Romo – Romo has been solid since the offense has become more balanced, and with a burnable Patrick Peterson at corner, he should have another solid day. Philip Rivers – Rivers is having a down year, but the Jags lost top corner Rashean Mathis and are beginning to weather from another down season.
Roy Helu – Ok, we’ve been down this road before with Mike Shanahan, but I’m willing to give it another shot. Especially after the way that Helu played as the feature back for the Redskins, and against a soft Jets run D he’s a good play. This will also be great timing for owners going into the playoffs to evaluate the risk/reward of relying on a Washington running back.
LeGarrette Blount – The Colts and Donald Brown reminded us last week that if your running back is facing the Panthers then it is probably best to run him. Carolina can’t stop the run and Blount should be a great start this week.
Mark Ingram – He led the Saints backfield in touches and with the road to the Super Bowl likely going through Green Bay, the Saints need to establish their ability to run the ball. Ingram could be in line for an increased workload as the season comes to an end.
Others I like: Reggie Bush – With Rolondo McClain likely to miss the game and then some, the Raiders run defense will be severly hampered without him and the Dolphins should benefit. Michael Bush – With McFadden out yet another game, look for the other Bush to continue running like he wants a new contract.
Antonio Brown – Mike Wallace’s production has been down for the past few games, and Brown has looked like the receiver to own for the Steelers. A good deal of this may be due to the broken thumb Roethlisberger has on his right throwing hand and could be limiting his down the field throws. Roethlisberger hurt his thumb again this week, and though he’ll play, Brown may continue to be the preferred target.
Wes Welker – Welker had a great game last week and against the Colts he will re-attain must start status after a few down weeks. The Colts cover the tight end well and may limit Gronkowski’s performance leaving Welker to benefit.
Torrey Smith – The epitome of hot and cold this season, Smith has been unreliable from game to game, but this week the Ravens get the Browns who, though they have the top pass defense and Joe Haden are burnable opposite of their top corner.
Others I like: Laurent Robinson – He has scored in 5 straight games now, and the Cardinals aren’t the best pass defending team. Look for 6 straight games. Vincent Jackson – He has been another boom or bust player this season, but the Jaguars lost Rashean Mathis a few weeks back and could lose a little “umph” in their secondary.
Aaron Hernandez – He is usually lining up as a wide out and so I think the idea of the Colts limiting tight ends can be overlooked, beside most of the attention will be on Rob Gronkowski. Hernandez could be in for a good day.
Jake Ballard – Manning continues to look Ballard’s way each week, with his only interception last week on a pass in the end zone to Ballard. The Giants will have to throw the ball against the Packers and Ballard should continue to be involved and targeted.
Greg Olsen – He has been quiet as of late, but Tampa has not fared well against tight ends and Olsen could be due for a nice game.
Others I like: Vernon Davis – The Rams have done well to stop tight ends this season, but Davis is not your typical tight end and is difficult to bench anyway. Fred Davis – The return of Santana Moss has helped free up Davis and he will be a solid play with Moss drawing the coverage of Darelle Revis.
Neil Rackers – Another week with a strong run game and a weak option at QB should lead to plenty of attempts for Rackers and the Texans.
Stephen Gostkowski – The Patriots will look to take it to the Colts with no mercy. Despite a few missed field goals over the past few weeks, Gostkowski is a solid play this week.
Others I like: John Kasay – Another high octane game with the Saints versus the Lions. Kasay should get his looks. Dan Bailey – The Cowboys will continue to rely on the rookie instead of forcing the ball with Romo. Should be another solid game for Bailey.
New England – I’ve said it before a few times in the blog and at the risk of sounding redundant, the Patriots will take it to the Colts whether they’re down or not.
Denver – The Broncos defense has been playing lights out with bookends Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller and should be in for a good fantasy day with Adrian Peterson set to miss another game this week.
Others I like: San Francisco – The 49ers are a top 10 defense in the league and against the down and out Rams should put up solid fantasy numbers. San Diego – The Chargers have been on a defensive slide as of late, but they get a plus match up against rookie Blaine Gabbert and a Jaguars offense that is predicated on effectiveness of Maurice Jones-Drew.
Thanks for reading. Please leave any comments or questions here or you can follow me on Twitter @dwillPSB.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.