Week 14 Update

It’s Playoff time so decisions are more important than ever! Here are some things to consider when making your lineup decisions.

Darren McFadden will be looking towards returning week 15 which means he is out this week. Mike Bush makes a decent play against the Packers who have struggled in all aspects of defense as of late although the Pack will most likely center on him and force Palmer to beat them vertically.

Emmanuel Sanders will miss week 14 and will hope to return week 15. He is slowly being phased out and the injury means more targets for Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. Both receivers will have their work cut out for them against the top rated Browns secondary so we could see another 2 score day for Rashard Mendenhall. All your Steelers receivers and Ben Roethlisberger make for average plays this week. Don’t get high expectations just because it’s the Browns.

Willis McGahee did not practice Wednesday and is looking very iffy this week after exiting the game Sunday hobbling off the field towards the end of the 4th quarter. Lance Ball will most likely get the nod and he is very capable of producing though neither back makes a great play. The problem is the Bears will be stacking the box and will be disciplined in maintaining their lanes. With DJ Moore returning, the Bears will be able to risk more man coverage. You’ve got to start Tim Tebow, but this is one of the better defenses he has will have faced all season. Forget about Demaryius Thomas repeating his big performance last week and Eric Decker is a boom or bust probability which depends solely on Tebow’s ability to break down the defense. Not happening here.

If you’ve been living in a cave, Matt Forte is out at minimum 2 weeks which leaves Marion Barber toting the rock for the Bears. Denver is 20th against the run and even allowed Gerhart to look productive last week. While Barber looks like a good play, I thinkJohnny Knox makes for the best offensive play on the team. Haine trusts him and Knox has led the team in targets and receiving the last two weeks. Barber makes a decent Flex play, but I am weary on his ability to carry the load.

Andre Johnson will miss this week although Kubiac seems to think he is only Day to Day. Arian Foster makes a solid play only because he is likely to touch the ball 25-30 times this week. The Bengals are 6th against the run, only allowing 96 YPG. In 12 games they have only allowed two 100+ rushers and they will be able to stack the box and force Yates to beat them.

With so many tough match ups this week, here are the four top players at Quarterback, Running Back, and Wide Receiver I am projecting in fantasy this week.



RAY RICE (BAL): After a 204 yards performance against the Browns 31st ranked rush defense, Rice now sets up for a match against the Colts 30th ranked run stoppers. Rice is sitting at 926 yards with 9 rushing touchdowns on the season and has been the pulse of the Raven offense all year. As bad as the Colts are, they are even worse on the road. The Colts have allowed no less than 24 points to opponents on their home turfs and have allowed 17 rushing scores on the year. Though last week was their best effort yet, the Ravens have won 3 straight and are just hitting their stride.

RYAN MATHEWS (SD): Mathews seems to finally be back at full health and his speed was on display Monday night against the Jags. Mathews rushed for 112 yards and a score, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. This week he faces the struggling Bills defense which is 24th vs. the run and allowed 153 yards with 2 scored to Chris Johnson last week. After a big win on the road, the Chargers confidence will be high. The Bills are on the opposite end of the spectrum, losers of 5 straight games with only one win on the road all season.

LEGARRETTE BLOUNT (TB): With the injuries and match ups this week, Blount makes for a solid play even though he stunk it up against Carolina last week. As described above, Mathews pounded the Jags for 112 yards and Blount should be the primary focus of the offense this week. With Josh Freeman nursing a sore shoulder, Blount should be asked to carry the load and set the tone. Blount is the only goal line option at running back and should see a few opportunities to convert. The Jags are allowing 104 rushing yards per game, good for 14th in the league.

DEMARCO MURRAY (DAL): Though the Giants have been playing well defensively as of late, they still struggle against the run (24th). Murray is a beast at home, nearly doubling his numbers in every category as opposed to when on the road. Though he was taken out of the game last week, the Cowboys will need to pound the ball and things should get much easier with Miles Austin back in the lineup. Forced to spread out wide, the Giants won’t be able to bring help up front to stop Murray which means plenty of running lanes for the speedster. 


CALVIN JOHNSON (DET): The Vikings made Tim Tebow look like an efficient pocket passer last week and now face one of the best QB/WR tandems in the league. Minnesota has been torched all season by opposing receivers, allowing 24 touchdowns through the air. Megatron has been a bit more low key the last four weeks but a face off against the Vikings is just what the doctor ordered. The Vikes don’t have a corner on their roster capable of containing Megatron so a return to his 2 touchdown days is likely.

GREG JENNINGS (GB): The Raiders are in a heavy funk and now must travel to Lambeau against the toughest offense in the league. This is a team which allowed Johnny Knox 145 yards two weeks ago with Caleb Haine at the helm. As precise as Rodgers has been all season, there should be no problems hooking up with Jennings against a banged up Raider secondary which ranks 17th in the league.

JORDY NELSON (GB): The match up is too good to pass up for all the reasons above and Nelson is actually tied in touchdowns with Jennings (9). There should be more than enough to go around this week and both receivers make for top tier plays this week.

VINCENT JACKSON (SD): Phillip Rivers finally had the breakout game we were waiting for and nothing is as dangerous as a quarterback with confidence against the 19th ranked pass defense. The Bills are struggling in all facets of the game right now and even when the Chargers have struggled, Jackson has been able to produce given his high volume of targets. There are too many offensive weapons for the Bills to handle on this team now that Floyd is back and the Bills will be picking their poison. Jackson will be able to torch a Bills secondary left to rely on zone coverage and hoping to only contain a potent offense.


AARON RODGERS (GB): Rodgers has decimated better defenses and things just seem to go the Packers way no matter what the situation. The Packers have only won two games by less than a touchdown while the Raiders have only won one game by more than a touchdown. The Raiders are 17th against the pass and have allowed 21 passing scores. Rodgers has not thrown for less than 249 yards and 2 touchdowns all season so there is little to doubt with this play.

DREW BREES (NO): Brees is on track to break Marino’s single season passing record as well as a host of others by season’s end. This week he draws the Titans 18th ranked pass defense which is allowing 233 yards per game. While that is actually somewhat respectable, the Titans have not faced as talented a pass offense all season. The closest they came was against the Steelers in week 5 in a game where Ben Roethlisberger tossed 5 touchdowns. 

TOM BRADY (NE): The Redskins have actually been solid against the pass, ranking 9th in the league this year. Still, how can Brady not be on this list? Brady has thrown 10 touchdowns with no picks his last four games while throwing for no less than 234 yards in a contest. The Packers have not scored less than 31 points on the road except for once against the Steelers. 

PHILLIP RIVERS (SD): Rivers threw for 294 yards with 3 touchdowns Monday night and will look to carry the performance over against the Bills. Rivers has struggled most of the season, but since the return of Gates he has slowly progressed and reminding us of his past seasons where he was a top 5 quarterback. For the first time he will have all his weapons healthy and at his disposal. Add in Vincent Brown as a 4th option and you have a recipe for destruction. Things will be made even easier on Rivers as Mathews seems to be saving his best ball down the stretch. 

www.TheSportsParlor.com is offering two games where you can earn DOUBLE your winnings if you finish as the top scorer this week. Finish as high man in either or both the BROWNS @ STEELERS or GIANTS @ COWBOYS games this week and win DOUBLE the payout! Two readers racked it up last week and it can be your turn now!

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