Fantasy Football – Week 13
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) – It would seem as if Superman returned in full-form over the past few weeks as Carolina Panthers (3-8) QB Cam Newton (82.9 QB Rating - 2,701 YDS, 10 INT's, 11 TD's) has averaged over 18 points in 3 of his past 4 games. This weekend should be no different as Newton and the Kittens are heading into Arrowhead Stadium (a place not as dangerous as once thought to be) to face a Kansas City Chiefs () team attempting to recover from both a brutal season and tragedy as one of the player's, just yesterday, took a girlfriend's and his own life. Don't expect to see Pouty Cam this weekend when the Panthers act like they're good or something while putting a few back-to-back wins together in a futile attempt to end the season on a "high note."
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) – Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) QB and professional ginger Andy Dalton (94.0 QB Rating - 2,769 YDS, 11 INT's, 23 TD's) has been on absolute fire(crotch) for owners in recent weeks, putting up 20-plus fantasy points in three straight games; not to mention the fact that the San Diego Chargers (4-7) also have allowed 20 or more fantasy points to each of the last three quarterbacks to face them, so Dalton has a chance to keep up the stat-sheet success in this AFC... ummm, "battle."
Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49'ers) – San Francisco 49'ers (8-2-1) - my God, I hate writing that record out - QB Colin Kaepernick (102.3 QB Rating - 680 YDS, 1 INT, 3 TD's) has scored close to 40 combined fantasy points in his last two games, so his value is on the rise. Assuming Kaepernick remains atop the 49'ers' depth chart (which he should, as I hear Smith is looking to apply for unemployment benefits), he should post a great total against a St. Louis Rams (4-6-1) defense that has allowed an average of 17.82 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at home. Nothing like having your franchise QB's career with your team on the line when all he can do is watch from the sidelines and hope there's still a spot for him come next week!
RB’s - Start ‘Em!
Trent Richardson (Cleveland Browns) – Last week, Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) BenJarvus Green-Ellis (201 CAR, 767 YDS, 5 TD's) run all over the Oakland Raiders (3-8) last week knows just how vulnerable that unit is to decent backs. That makes Cleveland Browns (3-8) RB Trent Richardson (209 CAR, 755 YDS, 6 TD's) an absolute must-start in all fantasy leagues. Oakland has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs at home, so look for "T-Rich" to run wild on these goons.
Bryce Brown (Philadelphia Eagles) – Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) new starting RB, Bryce Brown (51 CAR, 319 YDS, 2 TD's) went off last week, leading all runners in fantasy points in the absence of LeSean McCoy (177 CAR, 750 YDS, 2 TD's). Assuming McCoy is out once again, Brown is a terrific option against the Dallas Cowboys (5-6) defensive line. Their sagging overall defense has allowed 16-plus fantasy points to running backs in each of their last four games overall. Just allow me this one, singular bright spot for the Eagles this week without spoiling it... please?!
C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills) – Buffalo Bills (4-7) head coach Chan Gailey named C.J. Spiller (123 CAR, 830 YDS, 4 TD's) his starter this week, adding that he should also see 60 percent of the snaps. That's more than enough for the explosive Clemson University product, who faces a Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) defense that has surrendered 12 total touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs overall, ranking 28th and 29th in passing and rushing defense. It's sad, really... kind of like watching Helen Keller try to find an outfit that color-coordinates, really.
WR’s – Start ‘Em!
Eric Decker (Denver Broncos) – Although Denver Broncos (8-3) WR Eric Decker's (54 REC, 685 YDS, 8 TD's) stock has tumbled in recent weeks, as he's failed to score more than 8.50 fantasy points in three straight contests, I'd still start him against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) who are dead last in passing defense, giving up 315.5 yards-per-game to opposing quarterbacks. The Bucs defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the road, so Decker has a good chance to succeed, especially with that one QB throwing the rock... what's his name again? Meh, whatever.
Cecil Shorts III (Jacksonville Jaguars) – Can you even consider Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) WR Cecil Shorts, III (36 REC, 747 YDS, 6 TD's) a sleeper anymore? Regardless, he has scored double-digit fantasy points in three straight games and five of his last six overall. The Buffalo Bills (4-7) have given up 14 touchdowns to wideouts this season - that's tied for the seventh-most in the NFL, so Shorts needs to be active today on your rosters. I understand that his name sounds as if he's a fictional character on "What's Happening", but that still doesn't make him a bad option for today, ok?!
Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) – Dallas Cowboys (5-6) controversial WR Dez Bryant (65 REC, 880 YDS, 6 TD's) should get the start of the week in Week 12, is back in the saddle with a nice matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-8). The third-highest scoring player at his position in the last four weeks, Bryant should see plenty of targets against the Eagles with Miles Austin being injured. He had 14.70 fantasy points against them in Week 10 - look for more today when they take on Philly's J.V. squad.
QB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) – Baltimore Ravens (9-2) QB Joe Flacco (87.0 QB Rating - 2,850 YDS, 7 INT's, 14 TD's) has been a good fantasy option at home overall, but this week's matchup against the rival and visiting Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) makes him a huge risk to me. In four career home games against the black and yellow, the veteran has averaged just 224 yards with five touchdowns. Pittsburgh has also had one of the toughest defenses against quarterbacks in 2012, ranking 1st in pass defense (165.7 YPG) and 5th against the rush (91.5 YPG). Hell, it's not like the Steelers can rely on their quarterback situation to put up points, so they're defense is going to have to pretty much do it all today.
Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) – If we have learned anything about San Diego Chargers (4-7) starting QB Philip Rivers (88.0 QB Rating - 2,689 YDS, 14 INT's, 18 TD's) this season, it's that you can't trust him to post good totals... or to not go on vacation with other league QB's. In fact, he's posted fewer than 15 fantasy points in five of his last six games. The Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks overall, so the matchup isn't good for Rivers either. Besides, this man has almost personally tanked my fantasy team and I'm being a bitter little bitch about it, quite frankly.
Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) – A sleeper last week, Seattle Seahawks (6-5) starting QB Russell Wilson (93.9 QB Rating - 2,051 YDS, 8 INT's, 17 TD's) had a terrific stat line with over 20 fantasy points against the struggling Miami Dolphins (5-6). Unfortunately, he's likely to struggle this week against the Chicago Bears (8-3) 3rd-ranked (200.7 passing yards-per-game). Their defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks at home, so Wilson could be in for a difficult afternoon. Besides, the man's more hot and cold, on-again-off-again than my ex... and almost as bipolar.
RB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Rashard Mendenhall (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Reports out of Pennsylvania suggest that Pittsburgh Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall (34 CAR, 113 YDS, 0 TD's) has fallen to third on the Steelers depth chart behind both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, so he needs to be benched (or even released at this point) in all fantasy leagues. In fact, it's hard to trust any one of the three Steelers running backs in what has become a committee of... well... I like to call them Carolina 2.0 - pointless to own.
Shonn Greene (New York Jets) – Not only has New York Jets (4-7) RB Shonn Greene fallen into a deep statistical slumber, scoring fewer than seven fantasy points in each of his last three games, he is now also losing carries to backup Bilal Powell. The Arizona Cardinals (4-7) have given up just five rushing touchdowns to running backs all season, so Greene isn't in a good position to reverse his fortunes in the Battle of Who Gives A Shit at University of Phoenix Stadium today.
Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos) – Denver Broncos (8-3) RB Knowshon Moreno (28 CAR, 100 YDS, 1 TD) posted a nice stat line last week, scoring 11.10 fantasy points in a win over the Kansas City Chiefs (1-10). Unfortunately, an upcoming matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) isn't as favorable. No defense in the league has allowed fewer rushing yards to running backs (1st - 81.5 rushing YPG), so Moreno will have more trouble finding success with the ground game today than Casey Anthony has starting her own daycare.
WR’s – Sit ‘Em!
Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Barring a miraculous return, Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) QB Ben Roethlisberger (2,287 YDS, 4 INT's, 17 TD's) is going to miss another contest. That's bad news for WR Mike Wallace (47 REC, 572 YDS, 6 TD's) who has been invisible in the stat sheets over the past three weeks. What's more impressive/of a letdown, the Baltimore Ravens (9-2) held Wallace to just 24 yards and 0.40 fantasy points back in Week 11. Proceed with caution... especially when starting douche bags with afro-mohawks.
Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs) – Want two reasons to bench Bowe? Brady and Quinn. There ya' go... you get the idea. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) WR Dwayne Bowe (53 REC, 667 YDS, 3 TD's) has been a fantasy disaster in recent weeks, scoring no more than 6.50 points in a single game since Week 4. The Carolina Panthers (3-8) have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the road, which is just another reason to bench Bowe this week... not to mention the fact that the quarterback throwing the ball to him is about as overrated as his alma-mater this season in college football.
Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles) – Although Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) WR Jeremy Maclin's best fantasy stat line in the last five weeks has come against the Dallas Cowboys (5-6). But with DeSean Jackson (45 REC, 700 YDS, 2 TD's) out for the season, Maclin is going to see a lot of CB Brandon Carr (35 TACK, 1 INT) this week. And unless starting QB Michael Vick (79.2 QB Rating - 2,165 YDS, 9 INT's, 11 TD's) returns to action, rookie QB Nick Foles (65.3 QB Rating - 542 YDS, 3 INT's, 1 TD) will get the call once again. That's not good for Maclin... or for viewers. Did anyone else catch the abomination that was this past Monday's night's game?! Puke.