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It’s playoff time for many fantasy leagues and that means every game counts just a little bit more than it did before.  For players like Adrian Peterson, a tough matchup against Baltimore doesn’t mean you should sit him, but it does mean you may want to look at your other positions and consider that boom or bust option over the guaranteed 6-8 point play.

Riley Cooper, for instance, is in a great matchup against Detroit and has all kinds of potential for a huge game (see: weeks 9 and 10).  However, the past two weeks, Foles has been looking elsewhere.  Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker are likely safer options thanks to Manning throwing them the ball, but against Tennessee’s unbelievably consistent pass defense, their chances for a score are minimal.  Therefore, when faced with that kind of decision in a playoff scenario, Cooper might just be your ticket to the final 4.

Roddy White and Harry Douglas are similar plays this week.  After White’s fantastic 10 catches for 143 yards, I think it’s safe to say he’s feeling better, but Douglas is equally capable of a big week and Matt Ryan can’t throw to both of them on every down.  Still, if faced with the choice between either Atlanta receiver against Green Bay or someone like Julian Edelman who has been great the past two weeks, but could start to see some extra coverage when Cleveland comes to town, White and Douglas offer higher ceilings.

Marques Colston has been a big stat producer for years, but after a couple tough weeks, his matchup doesn’t get any easier this Sunday night against the Panthers.  Sure, it may seem crazy, but even Nate Burleson, who failed to make a catch last week, has a higher upside.  Colston’s going to catch a few passes, he always does.  However, with the fantasy season on the line, Burleson’s chances for a score are far greater and owners will need to weigh the risk verses the reward.

Keeping it in New Orleans, if Pierre Thomas’ four carries for zero yards wasn’t enough to convince you to sit him, keep in mind Carolina’s defense is good at just about everything.  Instead, Rashard Mendenhall, who looks like he’ll get the starting nod over the injured Andre Ellington again, is a much better start.  Even if Ellington suits up, both he and Mendenhall have higher upside than Thomas on Sunday night.  There may not be a lot of people with both Thomas and one of these Arizona receivers, but fill in your favorite running back with more potential for a scoring opportunity.  Even Willis McGahee fits that description.

We mentioned Adrian Peterson’s tough matchup already, but some other running backs could struggle as well.  Frank Gore has failed to top 10 fantasy points for the past three weeks and in case you weren’t paying attention on Monday, Seattle doesn’t make it easy to run the ball.  If you think back to week 2, Gore only managed 9 carries for 16 yards against the Seahawks and although he’ll likely top that number and still get plenty of carries, there are stronger plays for your fantasy playoff matchup.  Ray Rice, for instance, has also failed to top 10 fantasy points for a few weeks, but his matchup against the Vikings gives him a much greater chance to score.  No one wants to bench their first or second round pick, but this might just be the week to consider it in Gore’s case.

Zac Stacy is another one.  His situation may not be quite as dire as Gore’s, but the Cardinals held LeSean McCoy to just 79 yards on the ground last week in a game where Philadelphia did their best to kill the clock.  That may not be the case for St. Louis as Arizona could easily move ahead early in this contest.  Look for Stacy to have similar numbers to last week’s 19 rushes for 72 yards.  Although that’s not a terrible score, if you’re already starting someone like Peterson, it might be worth considering a guy like Montee Ball who rushed 13 times for 117 yards last week and has a much easier matchup this week.  With Tennessee keeping the passing game under control, Denver will be running the ball early and often.  It’s still Knowshon Moreno’s show, but Ball will get his due and if he breaks one for a score, Ball has potential to be a top 15 back this week.

For QBs, as much as it pains me to say this, it’s time to sit Andrew Luck.  With guys like Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick in great matchups, Luck’s a hard player to count on in Cincinnati.  I’d tell you to sit Peyton Manning against Tennessee as well, but if anyone can break the Titans’ streak of games without a wide receiver scoring, it’s Peyton.

Want a sleeper pick?  Dexter McCluster hasn’t had a TD since week 8, but he has consistently tallied up the receptions.  In a PPR, he’s a great fill-in flex this week.  In standard leagues, he still has plenty of potential if you’re in a jam.

Best of luck to all of you.

From Around The Web

  1. CL says:
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    Need 1 RB and 1 flex… PPR… who’d ya play?

    Zac Stacy, SJax, Mendy, Baldwin, and Crabtree

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @CL: SJax and Mendenhall unless Ellington does play, then I’d start Stacy in lieu of Mendenhall.

      • CL says:
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        @Loudon: Grazie.

  2. attgig says:
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    .25 ppr LEAGUE and I actually have Thomas, Ellington, and McGahee (all of whom you have listed) along with Joique Bell to use in my flex spot. which one do I go with?

    • CL says:
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      @attgig: I heard Bush may have injured his calf today? I’d play Bell… he gets his too.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @attgig: Although I don’t think Bush will miss this week’s game, I’m with CL. I’d start Bell unless you hear much more positive reports about Ellington as the week progresses.

  3. Joe G says:
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    I have peyton manning and Eric decker should i bench them against Tennessee ? I have andy dalton in the bench

    • CL says:
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      @Joe G: I own Decker and he will not be benched ever. If I owned Peyton, he’s starting too. No way I gamble on “upside” when I have the cream of the crop. That’s just me.

      • Joe G says:
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        @CL: men but the passing defense of Tennessee and the weather scares me….i can affore to lose…but i guess i will start manning over dalton

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Joe G: You don’t bench Peyton. Dalton isn’t a terrible option this week, but unless you had Foles or Stafford as a backup option, Peyton shouldn’t be on your bench. As for Decker, that all depends on your other available options. Obviously Decker has huge potential, but it’s definitely limited this week.

      • Joe G says:
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        @Loudon: i have André johnson,brandon marshall,keenen allen, TY Hilton, who should i start? Just 3 i can start

        • CL says:
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          @Joe G: Still starting Decker. Then I’d start Marshall and Johnson along side. Houston vs Jacksonville? That’s got shit show written all over it. Andre will get his.

          • Joe G says:
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            @CL: you dont like keenen allen against the giants?

            • CL says:
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              @Joe G: I just like the other guys on your list more, especially in PPR. If you decided to start Allen over Andre I wouldn’t hold it against you, but Andre has got some TDs to catch. Look at targets and receptions for all those guys. You’ve got good WRs.

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Joe G: Marshall, Johnson, and Allen. I’d start all of them over Decker this week.

  4. Ciwa says:
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    Hi Loudon!
    Standard league:Fasano or Heath Miller as TE?

    Good luck!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Ciwa: Neither of them are top 10 options this week, but of those choices, Miller’s my pick.

  5. J-FOH says:
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    McCown starting?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @J-FOH: As of right now it appears that way. He’d be a great start this week.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Loudon: I know, I’ve been salivating all over my keyboard waiting on Cutler updates

        • Kzing says:
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          @J-FOH: would you go Mccown over Brees? I’m im 1st playing for the bye- last week was scary.

  6. RalphW says:
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    Which 3 RBs do i start? McCoy, Bush, Stacey, Tate and MJD?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @RalphW: McCoy, Busy, Tate. MJD isn’t a bad 4th option though.

  7. uncdrew says:
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    I’m staring Monte Ball (Let’s Make a Deal) over Master Alfred Morris.

    I’m starting Harry Douglas over Rowdy Roddy White?

    Insane, wise, who the hell knows or I’ll tell you on Monday?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @uncdrew: Ball over Morris is a risky one, but it could definitely pay off. God speed.

  8. The Thumb says:
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    Roddy White, Nelson, or Garçon as WR2 to this week to Calvin? I’m leaning White, who I actually just picked off waivers surprisingly.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @The Thumb: I’d probably go Garcon, but White’s got plenty of potential for a huge game.

  9. The Thumb says:
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    Also, Reeds injury has put my TE situation into the shitter. Would you stream Cook, Myers, Fasano, or Zach Miller?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @The Thumb: Cook

  10. daCHIkid23 says:
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    PPR League I Need 3 WR’s from this group… Green, C.Johnson, Marshal, and Gordon
    also 2 RB’s Lacy, Moreno, Vereen, and Bell
    Thanks Mojo

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @daCHIkid23: With your WRs, just flip a coin between benching Marshall or Gordon. There are no wrong decisions there. As for your RBs, start Lacy and Moreno.

  11. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Am I crazy to be considering Ladarius Green over Jordan Cameron. Cameron got off to a hot start but has been meh over the last number of weeks. Green seems to be playing (91% of snaps last week) and producing more and more. He seems to becoming the #2 option behind Keenan Allen. No less than 8 fantasy points over the last 3 weeks. Maybe I’m overthinking; trying to talk myself into it when Cameron is really the smart play. However, Cameron could have Hanie or Tanney throwing the ball to him:( What to do??

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dr. Sauce: I think you’re right in starting Green over Cameron. Cameron could certainly have a great game, but the way they’ve both been playing, Green is the safer pick.

  12. Brett says:
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    Ppr choose a rb a wr and a flex: Stacy, Bernard, Steven Jackson, Rainey, white, decker, Nelson

    Thanks so much

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Brett: Jackson, Gio, and White

  13. Zandy says:
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    Please pick two for std league
    Stacey Rainey Mathews McGahee
    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Zandy: Stacy and Rainey.

  14. Flipflop says:
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    So Im clearly the underdog this week limping into the playoffs w/ a lot of injuries.

    Playing against Brees, Charles, Moreno and DJax.

    I’m think I’m gonna go w/ McCown over Romo if Cutler is out…dumb?

    .5 PPR

    Stacy or L Miller?

    Boykin, Randle, or McCluster?

    Reed or LaDarius?

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Flipflop: I like McCown over Romo this week. Both have pretty equivalent upsides. After that, I’d play Miller over Stacy, Randle, and Green since Reed still isn’t practicing. Best of luck.

  15. Matthew says:
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    I have to win the final week as I stand in 4th place but tied 7-6 with 3rd-7th.

    My team

    QB – Brees
    WR – Hilton
    WR – Deckcer
    WR – Mike Wallace
    RB – Charles
    RB Stacy
    TE – Witten
    B – Spiller
    B – Vereen
    B – Colston
    B – Baldwin
    B – Fleener
    B – J Bell

    K – Gostkowski

    DEF – Denver

    I am honestly stressting. I dunno who to start, and Den had to go against ba great Rec def like Tenn this week haha.

    Do you have any suggestions on who to start at TE/WR? I want Vereen to start over Stacy but I get nervous Vereen won’t get a TD. I’m lost in this particular league as I’ve made the playoffs in 2 others and am on the cusp in another at 3rd place.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Matthew: You definitely have some tough matchups in your WRs, but I think you’re starting the right guys. I would personally Vereen AND Spiller over Stacy this week assuming Spiller’s ankle is fine. Vereen is certainly no guarantee for a score, but his odds of getting one are better than Stacy this week.

      • Matthew says:
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        @Loudon: I picked up Jacoby Jones and am starting him over Wallace.
        Yay or nay?

  16. moose says:
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    Griffin or flacco. I never would have thought flacco as more than insurance but Griffin has disappointed and flacco playing the worst def against qbs.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @moose: I’d say Flacco, but only because RGIII is playing KC.

  17. Abe Froman says:
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    Hi, do you like Seattle or St. Louis DST this week? Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Abe Froman: Seattle

  18. Shaun says:
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    I’m stuck in the Gore situation and its a playoff game. I can run Tate and JC for RB’s and have Gore as a flex right now. But I’m worried about Gore, could swap him for Bowe or Lamar Miller. Thoughts?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Shaun: Gore and Miller are close for me this week, but I think I still have to say Gore. Best of luck!

  19. Yager says:
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    CJ Spiller
    Ray Rice
    Giovani Bernard
    Leveon Bell
    Bobby Rainey
    Montee Ball

    Demaryius Thomas
    Kendall Wright
    Mike Wallace
    Nate Burleson

    Coby Fleener
    Ladarius Green

    2RB, 2WR, 1FLX, 1TE….. What combo? I have made it to the playoffs, even after starting/sitting the wrong people numerous times. There are too many options that are close and/or equally inconsistent and unreliable I am surprised I made it this far. Ha….. Need a little assistance here.

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Yager: Bell and Rice with Spiller at flex. Then Thomas and Wright with Green at TE.

  20. Bluety12 says:
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    Need 3 WRs in a point per rec. after 3rd rec..
    Fitz
    Nicks
    Bowe
    Nat B.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bluety12: Fitz, Bowe and Burleson.

  21. es21729 says:
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    In my 2-RB 2-WR 1-Flex league I have Ben Tate, Vereen and Steven Jackson at RB and Dez, Cruz, Michael Floyd and Riley Cooper at WR. Tate and Dez are no-brainers to me, do I play Vereen or Sjax at the other RB, and who’s my 2nd WR and flex? I’m leaning towards playing Floyd as my sure shot #2 WR. So at flex I’m choosing between Cruz, Sjax/Vereen, and Cooper. Help!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @es21729: I’d start Tate and Vereen at RB, Dez and Cruz at WR, and then it’s a toss up from there. Floyd, Cooper, and Jackson are all great options. If you want the HR hitter, I’d go with Cooper. If you want the safe play, I’d say Jackson. If you want somewhere in between, go with Floyd.

      • es21729 says:
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        @Loudon: I have to be honest – Cruz has been such a disappointment and Floyd has been so consistent lately that I’m really thinking about benching Cruz and playing Floyd, with Cooper as my home run hitter flex guy.

  22. Allan says:
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    Garrett Graham or Jordan Cameron this week? Also Myers, Ertz, and Green are available.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Allan: With Green available, I’d say go Green. Otherwise, flip a coin between Graham and Cameron. They’re even in my book.

  23. rapscallion13 says:
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    Need help picking my 2 WR’s this week. Standard league (not ppr). A. Brown, R. Cooper, H. Douglas, M. Floyd

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @rapscallion13: Brown, Cooper and Floyd.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Loudon: Sorry, I’ve been answering 3s a lot. Brown and Cooper would be my top 2 of your available options.

  24. Almost823@hotmail.com says:
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    Panthers D against the saints or bills D against Tampa?

  25. Mike says:
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    I have vereen, d. Brown, cj spiller, j. Bell, the law firm, L. Green, and Harry Douglas. I need advice for my two starting rbs and a flex in a regular scoring league. Thanx

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