It’s Week 14 in the NFL. That means it’s crunch time for 12-person fantasy leagues. Or perhaps your playoff season has just begun. Regardless, this week’s edition of Fantasy Sports Island will help you get to the post-season promise land or at the very least keep you from falling to last amongst your friends’ rankings.
All following speculations will be based off Standard Scoring strategies not Points per Reception, you can still, however, get a good idea on who’s hot & who’s not. Matchup-proof players (e.g. Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliot, etc.) will not be listed because…duh – they should forever be locked into your starting lineup.
MATTHEW STAFFORD vs. CHICAGO BEARS
Stafford hasn’t been putting up ridiculous numbers lately, mainly because of his red-zone struggles, but continues to manage his top-10 status as a fantasy QB. Going up against the Bears at home this week, you can figure his massive yardage per game, in both the air and on the run, will still put up QB1 numbers week in and week out.
ANDY DALTON @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
This is your weekly QB start against the Browns alert. This time, however, a star QB like Andy Dalton will be the adversary. After dropping 2 touchdowns for 308 passing yards in Week 7, look for Dalton to repeat once more, regardless of AJ Green coming back from injury or not.
PHILIP RIVERS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
With 12 passing touchdowns in only his past 5 games, Rivers’ veteran play remains superb. Matching up against the Panthers secondary this week, he will repeat and excel. So long as he manages his turnover/interception per drive ratio.
CAM NEWTON vs. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Cam is known as an elite mobile QB. Mobile. Not passing. With fewer than 50 percent air accuracy in his past 3 games, Newton will be facing off with the Chargers, who are league leaders in interceptions. If the Panthers don’t get going early in this one, consider the offense a lost cause once more.
BLAKE BORTLES vs. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Nobody was surprised when Bortles dropped his second-lowest performance of the season last week, considering he was playing Denver. This week appears to be not much different as he faces off versus the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings pass defense will most likely replicate the Broncos and hold Bortles to sup par numbers once again.
TYROD TAYLOR vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Tyrod is another great mobile QB. But with only 3 total touchdowns since his Week 10 bye, you can’t expect much successful running on his behalf when matched up against a fierce Steelers rush defense. Therefore the logical thing to do is expose Pittsburgh’s awful pass secondary, so long as Watkins and company return to form.
TYRELL WILLIAMS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
Since Keenan’s Week 1 injury, no receiver on the Chargers has been as consistent as Tyrell Williams has been. Rivers’ favorite target has had a touchdown in each of his previous 4 games. He’ll look to make it 5 in a row this week against a flawed Panthers cornerback corps.
KENNY BRITT vs. ATLANTA FALCONS
With Tavon Austin’s season long regression, Kenny Britt has fought for his position as LA’s number one receiver. With 119 yards and 2 touchdowns in his last two games alone, another good showing is on the horizon this week against the injury-ridden Falcons secondary.
MICHAEL CRABTREE @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Crabtree has been a target monster for the Raiders. He now has four double-digit target games in his last six games. This week should be no different and just as productive in a must watch Thursday Night Football matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
JORDY NELSON vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
It’s never good for a receiver when he hears that Richard Sherman, and the Seahawks for that matter, will be shadowing his route running. Nelson has the second most touchdowns in the league, yet will be facing Seattle who have allowed only 11 touchdowns in 12 matchups. Expect a decrease in Jordy’s productivity and consider a bench this week.
EMMANUEL SANDERS @ TENNESSEE TITANS
Remember when we said it was Sanders season? Well, it still is, so long as Paxton Lynch isn’t QB. Rumors have a once more healthy Trevor Siemian suiting up as the Broncos QB this week, but for now, they remain rumors and Lynch remains Sanders’ QB.
MIKE WALLACE @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Joe Flacco threw for 4 touchdowns and 381 passing yards in Week 13 versus the Miami Dolphins. So how’d the Ravens’ number one WR do? Not so great. Notching only 59 yards on 6 receptions, we figure a low performance is in the making, once more, going up against an on-fire New England side.
MATT FORTE @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Forte has had a bit of a slump since his Week 11 bye. But rest assured this veteran RB will find ways to produce against the league’s worst run defense, the 49ers. Especially since Petty will be the starting QB again, Forte will find an increase in snaps coming his way.
SPENCER WARE vs. OAKLAND RAIDERS
While Jamaal Charles heals on the injury reserved list, the Chiefs are rolling with Spence Ware’s fortunate productivity. Coming off a two-touchdown game last week, Ware will look to steam roll his way into the red zone against this week versus the Raiders.
JEREMY HILL @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
This is your weekly RB sta- wait, I already used this line. You get the point; Cleveland’s defense is a no-no. So that means an elite halfback like Jeremy Hill is a yes-yes. With Giovani Bernard nursing his injury, for the time being, keep Hill in your list of starts.
LEGARRETTE BLOUNT vs. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Blount barely broke his scoreless streak last week. Now this week he’ll be facing the league’s number one rush defense named the Baltimore Ravens. Including the fact that a healthy Dion Lewis and competitive James White is biting into his snap count, expect Blount to produce mediocre, at best, fantasy points.
JORDAN HOWARD @ DETROIT LIONS
Howard went off last week, putting up 29 fantasy points over the, league’s worst rush defense, 49ers. Before that: no rushing touchdowns in his last 3 competitions. His high workload still keeps him vital to the Bears offense, but going up away from Detroit, who have allowed only 50+ yards to runners only once since Week 7, won’t prove helpful to his productivity.
JAY AJAYI vs. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Remember when Ajayi put up 200+ yards on the ground per game? Yeah, we ‘member. That hasn’t been the case since then. Recently so, Jay has put up only one touchdown in his last four competitions. This week going against the Arizona Cardinals stellar run defense, we expect it to remain this way.
Waiver Wire Pickups
QB, TREVOR SIEMIAN, BRONCOS (10 percent owned in Yahoo!)
Siemian is now considered questionable. If healthy, he will be productive once more, especially after thrashing the Chiefs in Week 12 for 390 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns.
TE, LADARIUS GREEN, STEELERS (39 percent)
Usually, a receiver would take up this sleeper spot, but considering how Green’s workload and productivity have been on the rise, and after a 17 fantasy point performance last week, we recommend you pick him up if you’re reconsidering your TE at the moment.
RB, JACQUIZZ RODGERS, BUCCANEERS (22 percent)
Rodgers outplayed Doug Martin at the end of Week 13’s matchup. Martin was eventually benched for reasons unknown. So if the reason turns out to be an injury, look to pick up Jacquizz off the waiver wire ASAP.
Thus concludes this week’s FSI preview for Week 12 of the NFL. Check back in next week for more analysis and suggestions concerning your fantasy lineup. Until then, make sure you follow the Daily Nexus and Daily Nexus Sports on Twitter. Cheers!