Week 14 Recap
Blake Bortles: 250/3/0 (rushing touchdown)
Jameis Winston: 182/1/0
Travis Kelce: 3/18/0
Richard Rodgers: 1/3/1
Matt Ryan: 224/0/1
Derek Carr: 135/2/0
Eric Ebron: 3/27/0
Tyler Eifert: 2/42/0
Year to Date Totals (total starts):
Fantasy Ca$h Quarterbacks (28): 7495/48/25 (268 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Quarterbacks (27): 6810/49/17 (252 ypg)
Fantasy Ca$h Tight Ends (28): 131/1403/8 (50 ypg)
Fantasy Crash Tight Ends (28): 95/862/10 (31 ypg)
Matt Stafford @ NO
It has been a bumpy ride for Stafford owners this season. However, the waters have calmed over the past five games. During that stretch, he has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four of five games. In the lone game that he didn’t throw for multiple touchdowns he chipped-in a rushing touchdown. Another encouraging sign for Stafford owners is that he has only thrown two interceptions over that period. This speaks volumes about his decision-making when you consider he started out the year by throwing eight interceptions in his first five games. He is trending the right way and a potential primetime shootout against the Saints should keep his arrow pointing up. In a playoff matchup, I am not looking to gamble at the quarterback position and Stafford’s floor is as sturdy as concrete this week.
Drew Brees vs. DET
I have made it the whole season without using two quarterbacks who face each other, but I cannot resist this opportunity. Drew Brees at home in prime-time has been fantasy gold. In his last 17 home prime-time games, he has averaged 334 yards, three touchdowns, and throws an interception once every three games.
It has been a “down” year for Brees, but as usual he has been outstanding at home. On the season, Brees has played six games at home and six games on the road. Check out these splits.
Home: 2100/17/5 – (350 ypg!!!)
Away: 1694/8/6 – (282 ypg)
The Lions defense is stronger on paper than perhaps they are in reality. They have faced an incredibly easy schedule in regards to passing offenses. On the year, they have only faced two top 10 passing offenses (SD, AZ). On the flip side, they have faced many teams in the bottom half of the league in terms of passing yards per game:
STL – 32
MIN – 31 (twice)
KC – 27
GB – 23 (twice)
PHI – 21
CHI – 20
SEA – 19
DEN – 18
Drew Brees and the Saints will be the best statistical passing offense that the Lions have faced all year. Only time will tell, but I expect the Lions defense to be exposed as a team that has feasted off of playing sub-par passing offenses.
Kyle Rudolph vs. CHI
I swung and missed on Rudolph two weeks ago, but I am coming back for more. Last week, on TNF Rudolph hauled in all six of his targets for 67 yards. He is becoming more involved in the offense as he has collected six receptions in three of his last four games.
The Bears have been strong against opposing tight ends for the most part. However, in Week 11 the Denver tight ends combined to go 11/146/0 and just last week Jordan Reed lit them up for 9/120/1. The first time these two teams met up, Stefon Diggs beat the Bears for 6/95/1 and Adrian Peterson chipped-in 103 yards on the ground. With these two playmakers drawing the attention of the defense, look for Rudolph to slip through the cracks and contribute another solid fantasy line.
Benjamin Watson vs. DET
I talked about how much I like Brees this week, and I expect Watson to be one of the main beneficiaries. After having just five targets in three out of four games, Watson has returned to being one of the top options in the passing game racking up 29 targets over his past three games. Opportunity is all a tight end needs to succeed against Detroit. The Lions have allowed double-digit fantasy points to opposing tight ends on six occasions this year. They have allowed 10 tight end touchdowns, which is second worst in the league. Watson has a great chance to finish the season as a top 10 fantasy tight end, and this matchup against the Lions should only help his chances.
Russell Wilson vs. CLE
I can hear it now.
My God man, have you lost your mind??? You do realize that he has thrown 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions over his last four games right???
I am aware, but I have a clear vision in how this game is going to play out. The Seahawks are playing as well as anyone in the league right now and I expect a massacre in Seattle with the Browns coming to town. I anticipate Seattle to take control of the game early. Russ will have the make the most of his opportunities because they might be few and far between in the second half.
With the injuries that the Seahawks backfield has sustained this year, they might want to get a look at their current prospects in case Lynch is not able to return this season. The Browns rank 29th in the league in rushing yards against, and 28th in yards per carry against. The Seahawks are going to have a golden opportunity to see what they have in the run game with newly signed Bryce Brown and familiar face in Christine Michael.
I am not saying to bench Wilson this week. I am just saying it might be wise to curtail your expectations due to how this game could play out. I would recommend staying away from him in DFS, as he will not live up to the high dollar value attached to him this week.
Alex Smith vs. BAL
I am looking at various rankings, and I am seeing Alex Smith’s name slipping inside the top 15. I assume this ranking is attributed to the matchup against the Ravens who allow the second most points per game to opposing quarterbacks. One of the reasons for their poor play against opposing quarterbacks is the sheer volume of passes that they have faced. Eight times this year, they have faced 32+ pass attempts. Alex Smith hasn’t attempted 32+ passes since Week 7. I am not taking anything away from Smith, as he is having an ultra efficient season, completing 64% of his passes and only throwing four interceptions. In the fantasy game though, volume is king and I don’t want my semifinal matchup riding on a quarterback that may only throw it 25 times.
Delanie Walker @ NE
It is incredibly difficult to bench a tight end that has recorded 90+ receiving yards in three of his last four games, but if you have a decent option on the bench please consider them this week. When I look at the Titans offense, Walker is clearly their most consistent producer and arguably their best weapon.
What do the Patriots do? That’s right, they take away the opposing teams best weapon. The Patriots have dominated opposing tight ends this season. They allowed double digit fantasy points just one time on the year and that was just 10 points back in Week 3 allowing more than 60 receiving yards twice this year. With this week’s opponent main offensive weapon being the tight end, you can rest assure the Patriots will have a game plan to stop him.
Travis Kelce @ BAL
I put my faith in Kelce last week and he let me down with his 3/18/0 on five targets against the Chargers; his worst game of the season. Things won’t get easier this week with him matching up against the Ravens. Who despite having issues in the secondary, they have been able to lock down opposing tight ends. Through 13 games, they have held opposing tight ends to less than five fantasy points on eight occasions. Just as impressive is that they have allowed only two receiving touchdowns.
The team is thriving, but Kelce’s production has taken a turn for the worse. He has been held under five catches in three straight games and only has eight targets in his last two. Kelce has not lived up to his preseason ranking and I would hate for his lack of production to be the reason you got eliminated from the playoffs.
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@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.