Fantasy Rapid Fire: Week 14
We all want to kick some butt this weekend, but a high number of fantasy owners are about to be eliminated from the race to the championship. “Any Given Sunday” is a perfect analogy for not only the chances of an NFL team, but a fantasy team as well. Regardless of this weekends stressful results, I want everyone to promise me that they will start a fantasy line-up that they have faith in. -Don’t play players you don’t believe in.
Every fantasy owners line-up situation is different, but the following are 5 fantasy studs I believe are going to perform very well in week 14.
Andrew Luck vs. the Titans
The Colts are about to face a divisional opponent that has nothing to play for except to ruin a rival’s opportunity at the post season. Many fantasy owners think that a match-up that features a winning team and a team that is struggling is a great opportunity for fantasy success. There is some truth in this for running backs, but for quarterbacks, they usually get an easy afternoon once the game is out of reach. This does not apply when it comes to divisional games, as the level of commitment and passion is amped up.
I believe the Titans want nothing more than to spoil the Colts season. With such a tight AFC playoff race, the Colts cannot take any team lightly, especially the Titans. This a good thing for Andrew Luck and Colt fantasy players. If this becomes a high-scoring affair, Luck will repeat the type of numbers he had last week against the Lions.
Tennessee is allowing 257 yards a game, which is ranked 25th in the league. With the Colts slight weak spot at stopping the run, the Titans will be able to get CJ2K involved. The over/under is 46.5, and the more I think about this match-up the more I believe it could turn into a grudge match. I think this game should have a great opportunity for Luck to rack up some points.
Ahmad Bradshaw vs. the Saints
The Saints defense is a doormat for welcoming touchdowns. Everyone is wanting and hoping for big fantasy numbers from Eli Manning, yet my money is on Bradshaw carrying the Giants pass game Sunday. Just about every running back over the last month has had at least 4.5 yards per carry against the Saints. Tom Coughlin is an old-school coach that will not want to force things, he’ll give his trusted ball carrier 25 carries and many goal-line opportunities.
The Saints rank dead last in the league in stopping the run.
Steven Jackson vs. the Bills
First off, I feel bad for Steven Jackson, he just can’t get into the playoffs…it’s really kinda sad. Fortunately his millions of dollars keep him warm at night.
Entering week 14, the Rams head to Buffalo who have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. The Bills invested a great deal of money into their defensive line, yet are ranked 30th in the NFL for rushing yards allowed per game. What makes matters worse is the Bills have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns in only 13 games, ranking dead last in the NFL. If you’ve read some of my articles before, you’ll know I don’t get too hung up on statistics and trends, yet in this instance I could easily see Stephen Jackson gaining 70-80 yards and a touchdown. Jackson has struggled against tougher defenses, but when given a heavy dose of caries he still racks up yardage with the best of them.
Jeremy Maclin vs the Buccaneers
The progression of rookie Nick Foles is quite noticeable with every passing game. The young kid has the remainder of the season to show off his leadership, accuracy, and toughness to possibly become Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback in 2013. So far, Foles has targeted familiar second tier offensive personnel like Riley Cooper, yet as the season progresses his attention towards the regular starters needs to gel. Jeremy Maclin, along with many other Philadelphia Eagles this season, has been a victim of inconsistent quarterback play and a poor offensive line that has not allowed time for the passing plays to develop.
Entering week 14, the Eagles do battle against one of the worst passing defenses in the league. Nick Foles is about to face a golden opportunity to rack up brownie points for next season. Throughout this process I believe a great deal of targets will be sent Maclin’s way.
James Jones vs. the Lions
The Green Bay Packers have one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. Normally when a talented wide receiver like Jordy Nelson is ruled out for divisional battle (which was confirmed Friday) a team would be concerned about their passing attack. Yet the Green Bay Packers simply look to the next man in line. With Greg Jennings returning from injury, and Randall Cobb’s emergence, the underrated James Jones has become a sleeper target for Aaron Rogers in the red zone. Jones has already surpassed his career-high for receiving touchdowns in one season with nine. He is also on pace to have his most productive season with yardage and receptions as well. Some believed the Jones days in Green Bay were done. Rumors were the six-year pro was on the trading block, yet nothing has seemed to faze him, in fact he’s become a reliable piece of the offensive puzzle in Green Bay.
I’m confident that Jones racks up a large number of receiving yards Sunday night, and is targeted multiple times in the red zone.