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For many leagues, this is the final week before the playoffs.  With bye weeks behind us and the end of the season in sight, matchups have never been more important.

Sure, The Titans may not have been able to fully take advantage of The Jaguars awful pass defense, but The Bills should have a much easier time making plays which puts Steve Johnson on my own personal must start list.  After making six catches for 106 yards against The Colts, Johnson should find pay dirt for the first time since week 7 when The Jaguars come to town.  Look for another 90+ yard day as well to give him a solid 15-17 fantasy points on the day.

Owners of Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Matt Ryan probably would have started these guys anyway, but in a Thursday night matchup against The Saints, this is your chance to get a huge lead on your opponent early.  Neither Jones nor White scored a TD the first time these two teams met, but this time they’ll be in Atlanta and looking for revenge after a tough loss in New Orleans.  Matt Ryan still threw for 411 yards and 3 TDs last time so start all three with even higher confidence than usual.

Need a solid sleeper pick this week?  Colin Kaepernick seemed to have a lot of chemistry with Mario Manningham this past Sunday in New Orleans and when The 49ers travel to St. Louis, it’s likely that trend will continue.  If The 49ers opt to start Alex Smith at QB instead, Michael Crabtree becomes the better play at WR, but keep an eye on the 49ers this week and adjust your lineups accordingly.

There’s always a negative side though and unfortunately for most teams’ flex play, The Chargers drew the short straw this week.  The Cincinnati Bengals have been surprisingly good against the pass this year and that spells trouble for the likes of Philip Rivers, Malcolm Floyd, and Danario Alexander.  Sure, Alexander may have been an incredibly lucrative waiver wire pickup for weeks 10 and 11, but you should definitely consider sitting him this week.  The top WR for Oakland only managed 23 yards against Cincinnati last weekend.  If you start anyone off of San Diego this week, make it Antonio Gates.

If you have any Buccaneers on your fantasy teams, you know how frustrating The Falcons made everything this past week.  Sure, the yardage was there, but The Falcons made sure WRs weren’t the ones getting into the end zone.  While I would never suggest benching Drew Brees, his receivers will have a rough week this Thursday.  Marques Colston and Lance Moore have both been reliable options this year most of the time, but look for them to have similar outings to last week with 10 or fewer fantasy points each.  Devery Henderson shouldn’t even be considered this week.

Finally, regardless of who starts at QB this Sunday night, DeSean Jackson is a rough start against The Cowboys.  On November 11, Jackson caught 5 passes for 62 yards with nearly all of his production coming on The Eagles’ first possession.  The Eagles’ season is in shambles and even if Vick comes back, Jackson should be will covered by The Cowboys’ star corners. *AUTHOR NOTE* Hard to predict injuries, especially ones that lead to IR.  For full context see the first comment on the post.

20 Responses

  1. Loudon

    Loudon says:
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    WRITER’S NOTE: The above article was written before Monday Night’s game. With DeSean Jackson being placed on IR, I now HIGHLY recommend not playing him this week. In fact, you should probably just drop him from your team. Statistically, players on IR score an average of 0 fantasy points.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Loudon, haha, awesome author’s note! Do you want me to add something to the actual article? I can do that if you need me to.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Sky, Maybe just an asterisk with a “see writer’s note below” or something to that extent would be helpful. Thanks

  2. Ryan says:
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    Safe to assume that you wrote/published this before hearing the news that DeSean Jackson is now on IR.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Very safe assumption. Added a note for him on the actual article. I wrote about Laurent Robinson as a week 13 add in my ‘thinking forward’ piece last week. He got put on IR middle of the day it posted. Fun times.

  3. Ryan says:
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    Yeah, noticed tht RIGHT after I posted. (facepalm)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha now you know how it feels! :) No worries at all.

  4. Joe F says:
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    I was gonna start DX with confidence this week.. I just feel like he’s instantly become Rivers’ favorite target and is a matchup nightmare for CB’s. But now I’m having second thoughts seeing your analysis of CIN’s pass D.

    With that being said I need some help to get my playoff spot.. I need to start 2 of these 3 receivers Steve Smith (hate him lately, but my opponent has Cam this week so maybe), Ryan Broyles, and DX. Already have Julio starting and it’s .5 PPR.

    Which 2 WR’s would you pick? thanks guys

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Joe F, Steve Smith is so frustrating. After a monster year last year, he has been so unreliable. If you were playing this opponent on Monday, starting Smith certainly wouldn’t have eased the pain of Newton’s 4 TDs. This is a very tough call between three WRs I feel are all VERY close in value this week, but in a .5 PPR, I think I’d roll with Smith and DX, but watch Alexander’s injury status this week. It could be nothing, but if he’s limited at all, Broyles is a nice backup.

      • Joe F says:
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        @Loudon, Yea I’m scared Cam has a similar game this week. And tell me about it! I don’t think Smith has had more than 15 pts in my leagues scoring setting once all year he’s putting up low-end WR3 numbers lately (all year even). If Broyles is named the starter and DX is healthy, it’ll be tough for me to choose between Smith and Broyles but I’ll probably gut it out for Smith and give him another chance.

        Really appreciate it!

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Joe F, The only reason I ranked Broyles #3 was because he hasn’t really proven any sort of lasting impact. Remember Ogletree’s first game of the season? He was everyone’s waiver wire darling for catching 8 passes for 114 yards and 2 TDs. He didn’t break 60 yards or score another TD until week 9. Broyles has more potential than Ogletree, but after scoring TDs against both Seattle and Chicago, he only got 52 yards without a TD against Jacksonville so you never can tell. Smith might be inconsistent, but he’s still Carolina’s #1 receiver.

  5. Corey says:
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    Advice needed please. Dynasty league and I’m on the cut line for the playoffs with a running back situation. I was offered Brandon Lloyd and Bryce brown for Vincent Jackson. RB1 AP RB2 McCoy. I have Ronnie brown and hillman on the bench. Should I wait out McCoy and stick with one of my bench guys or go through with this trade.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Corey, If you’re on the cut line for the playoffs, do this deal. Vincent Jackson is facing Denver this week, one of the best pass defenses in the league. The Bucs have one of the EASIEST schedules after that, but I’m guessing the person offering you this trade already has a spot in the playoffs and knows that. I highly doubt McCoy plays this week so if you need this win to get in, the price is right.

  6. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Assuming Big Ben is back for the fantasy playoffs, do you like Antonio Brown or Broyles more in a .5 PPR?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Steve Stevenson, Assuming Brown doesn’t have a setback with his ankle and Big Ben is in, I like Brown more. However, those are two big IFs.

  7. barker says:
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    8 team league .5 ppr

    lost desean ( good riddance )

    options from waiver include

    b lloyd blackmon garcon crabtree britt heyward bey hilton broyles

    which 3 are best for ROS

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @barker, As far as schedules for ROS, Britt has the best. Followed by Hilton and Broyles.

      Crabtree and Heyward-Bey have the worst.

  8. Ritardo Mantleban says:
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    Brah, here’s a DOOZIE

    Shorts or BMarsh this week?

    Thanks mang.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Ritardo Mantleban, Although BMarsh has a nightmare matchup, Shorts’ matchup isn’t easy enough to play him over Marshall.

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