It all comes down to this, at least for the vast majority of fantasy leagues. With fifteen weeks in the books, fantasy teams suddenly need to start worrying about which teams will bench their star players if the score gets out of hand. Luckily, no team’s playoff seed is in cement just yet so you should be able to start most of your studs with confidence.
Matchups, however, should still be taken into consideration and it all starts Thursday night when The Falcons travel to Detroit. The Falcons may not have been the most consistent defense this year, but they’re talented and guard the pass quite well; just ask The Giants. If Eli Manning can only manage 161 yards against your defense, you’re doing something right. That could spell trouble for Matthew Stafford and his dwindling staff of receivers. Calvin Johnson is a must start every single week, but even his value is limited in a game you know he’ll be getting the bulk of the attention.
The Broncos are dangerously close to a first round bye, but it is by no means a guarantee just yet so they’ll be playing 110% at home against Cleveland. That’s bad news for Josh Gordon and Greg Little owners. Although neither has been consistently reliable this season anyway, I would leave both on my bench this week.
Also, if last week’s performance wasn’t enough of an indication, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts have lost the vast majority of their fantasy value; especially playing The Bears this week. Sure, they’re both exceptionally talented, but do you really want to trust the remainder of your fantasy season to The Cardinals’ carousel of B-list QBs?
On the plus side, although The Buccaneers might tell you differently, The Saints are still one of the worst pass defenses in the league and that’s great for Tony Romo, Miles Ausin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten. Keep an eye on Bryant’s fractured finger, but it should be all systems go for the Dallas offense and their fantasy owners.
The Raiders are also still a terrible defense despite what The Chiefs might tell you which should keep the good times rolling in Carolina. Cam Newton has been one of the hottest fantasy players in the league these past few weeks and if he continues to target Steve Smith, the duo may finally redeem themselves in the eyes of fantasy owners who drafted them a tad too high for their production this season.
Finally, with Danny Amendola back in action, The Rams should be able to do plenty of offensive damage again against a Bucs defense that was crushed by The Saints this past week. Sam Bradford and Brandon Gibson are both solid plays along with Amendola.
Good luck to everyone in their championship games this week!