Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings
Start of the Week: Tim Tebow
(Big Ben still questionable..I expect him to tough it out, he practiced Friday and Saturday, that is enough for him)
(Orton is starting, expect fireworks, 3 TDs earlier against GB this season w/Denver)
(Hasselbeck looks to be the starter)
(Rams going without Bradford, Cinci D is a must start)
(Deion Branch is out)
Year after year there’s a QB who nobody drafted that turns out being a top 10 option down the stretch. Last year that QB was Tim Tebow, he averaged 26 points per game (standard leagues) in his last three showdowns. Fantasy super stardom for Tebow is starting again in Week 15.
Tim Tebow is a must start this week as he hosts Tom Brady, and the TD Patriots. New England is going to score over 30 points against Denver this week, the Broncos defense does not have enough to slow down Shot Gun Tom Brady, in fact no defense does. You can make the case Denver’s defense has gotten better, but two weeks ago a QB by the name of Christian Ponder threw for 344 Yards and 3 TD. If the Patriots woke up one morning and Christian Ponder replaced Tom Brady, you’re looking at a 5-11 team at best with a mediocre offense.
With that being said, Tim Tebow will be forced to put up points in bunches this week. You don’t beat New England kicking FG’s. This is a Mission Very Possible situation for Tebow against a Patriot defense that not only allowed Rex Grossman (ex-Florida Gator) and Dan Orlovsky (ex-Ice Cream truck driver) to throw for multiple TDs and an average between them of over 300 yards. They are the worst team in total defense in the NFL.
The amazing thing about Tebow, and something he doesn’t get enough credit for. He is doing all of these amazing comebacks without any solid WRs; Demariyus Thomas is a project player on most NFL teams, Erick Decker is a slot WR at best, Eddie Royal would be a punt returner only on 90% of teams.
Onto the Weekly Rankings. In some leagues this the very first week of playoffs, while others are in the second round. If you want to reference my results from a week ago click the link. Good luck with your matchups.
Start of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger
Bust of the Week: Philip Rivers
Sleeper of the Week: Kyle Orton
Tier 1- Should all put up top 15 Performances in their Position.
#1. Aaron Rodgers @ Chiefs- Chiefs just gave up 4 total TDs to Mark Sanchez. Aaron Rodgers is 10x the QB Sanchez is. Expect a field day. Chiefs #11 vs. QBs.
#2. Drew Brees @ Vikings- Vikings pass defense stepped up in the second half against the Lions. But before that Stafford had 2 TDs in the 1st quarter. Brees and the Saints are a great dome team and that will show Sunday. Vikings #30 vs. QBs.
#3. Tom Brady @ Denver- Denver’s D has been great recently, with that being said Tom Brady has been unstoppable and there is no defense in the NFL that can contain the future hall of famer. You can expect an epic atmosphere Sunday evening in Denver. Broncos #24 vs. QBs.
#4. Tony Romo @ Tampa Bay- Tony has three beast WRs and a stud TE. With no more DeMarcco I expect Romo to throw the ball all day against a Tampa D that will be overwhelmed. If Jacksonville can score 40+ points against TB, then Dallas can do the same. TB #27 vs. QBs.
#5. Tim Tebow vs. New England- How does Tim Tebow do it week after week? Now he plays a defense that doesn’t defend at all. They give up multiple TD passes every week; they let teams drive down the field at will. This can be a 3 total TD Tebow performance easily. Patriots #30 vs. QBs.
#6. Eli Manning vs. Redskins- Redskins were very vulnerable in week 14 when the Patriots spread them out. Brady found targets open all day and threw for over 350 yards. Eli and co should have no problem moving the ball, especially with a healthy Manningham. Redskins #12 vs. QBs.
#7. Matt Stafford @ Raiders- Raiders were eaten up by Rodgers. The stats didn’t necessarily show it, but Arodg had the Packers in the red zone all day. Stafford should be able to pick apart this weak Oakland secondary, he would benefit greatly if Kevin Smith can return to keep defenses modest. Raiders #28 vs. QBs.
#8. Matt Ryan vs. Jacksonville- Jacksonville’s pass D has gone up and down lately, I don’t think they have enough quality defenders to stick with all the options the Falcons have. Matt Ryan should find matchups to take advantage of all day. Jags #8 vs. QBs.
#9. Cam Newton @ Houston- Finally a matchup where Cam Newton’s amazing athleticism will meet its match. Houston has maybe the best LB core and you can be sure they will be ready for Cam. With that being said, it is Cam Newton and he can perform on any given Sunday. This will be his true rookie challenge. Texans #4 vs. QBs.
*If you’re considering going with Cam Newton read this article.
#10. Andy Dalton @ STL- ST. Louis has been getting dominated through the air all season which is already a plus for Dalton. But take into account that the last 4 games for the Bengals was; Pitt, @Balt, Cle, Houston. STL will seem like a high school quality defense to Dalton and company. Rams #7 vs. QBs.
**#11. Ben Roethlisberger @ SF- SF’s run D is so good that Pittsburgh will have to throw often. This is a good thing as SF isn’t as good against the pass as everyone thinks they are. The Steelers have a lot of options and Big Ben should be able to put up top 15 QB numbers. John Skelton just threw 3 TDs against SF this past week. Listed as questionable with a high ankle sprain. Check back for updates. 49ers #14 vs. QBs.
Tier 2- Questionable Starters that can be top 10 options, could also be out of the top 20
#13. Michael Vick vs. Jets- Jets Defense looked good this week, but that was against KC. Vick on the other hand is finding his rhythm and he is too explosive to bench unless you have an option in Tier 1. Jets #5 vs. QBs.
#14. Kyle Orton vs. Packers- Orton hasn’t played more than one snap with Kansas City. But that doesn’t matter as we all know what Orton is capable of, and he has been learning plays and at least watching practice for three weeks now. That’s enough for a QB that will be throwing all second half in a blowout. I’m ranking Orton as if he’s the starter. If anything changes I will update accordingly. GB #32 vs. QBs.
#15. Matt Moore @ Buffalo- Buffalo is playing really bad lately. The Bills are home and they will be playing their heart out, but I don’t think they have the talent. Bills #19 vs. QBs.
#15. Philip Rivers vs. Baltimore- As soon as Rivers starting looking like his former self he now faces a tough Baltimore D. I wouldn’t completely rule out Rivers having a bad game, but I also wouldn’t be confident he can put up a good enough game to win me a playoff match. The good news is, the Chargers should be passing a lot since it is really tough to run against the Ravens. Ravens #1 vs. QBs.
#16. Joe Flacco @ San Diego- Flacco is good when the Ravens need him to put up points. This might be one of those sleeper weeks that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you had to use Flacco. San Diego isn’t great against the pass, and the Chargers will have to stack the box to have any chance of stopping the run, which could lead to big plays for his WR’s. SD #22 vs. QBs.
#17. Rex Grossman @ Giants- Grossman only gets ranked this high because the Giants will be putting up points. In return the Redskins will have to as well. The Giants secondary is beat up and Grossman should put up manageable numbers. Giants #31 vs. QBs.
#18. Carson Palmer vs. Detroit- The Lions are going to score a lot of points, and the Raiders will need to throw a lot in the second half to catch up. This seems all too familiar; I’m going to bench Palmer with his beat up WR corpse. Lions #23 vs. QBs.
#19. Matt Hasselbeck @ Colts- The Colts give up points, and there’s no way they can contain Chris Johnson without committing completely to the run. Hasselbeck has a chance to have a really nice sleeper game; with his big play WRs. I would not be afraid to use him if I had to. Colts #25 vs. QBs.
Tier 3- Good options in 2 QB leagues only.
#20. John Skelton vs. Cleveland- Cleveland has stopped QBs all season in fantasy football. Fitzgerald will have to make his big plays for Skelton to be fantasy relevant. Expect a heavy dose of Beanie Wells and the ground game. Browns #2 vs. QBs.
#21. Alex Smith vs. Pittsburgh- Smith is a bad QB and he will single handily eliminate SF in the playoffs. The 49ers are not a good team if they keep kicking FGs and that’s all they do. Pittsburgh’s D is way too good to use Alex Smith in the deepest of deepest leagues. Steelers #3 vs. QBs.
#22. TJ Yates vs. Carolina- Yates has a good matchup, problem is its TJ Yates and I expect run 1st, run 2nd, run 3rd approach from the Texans against a Carolina D that won’t have any idea how to contain Foster and Tate on the ground. Panthers #15 vs. QBs.
#23. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Miami- Despite Miami getting blown out they still managed to keep Vick to a marginal game. If Vick has a marginal game against Miami, than Fitzpatrick should not be counted on to do much. Does the professor have some Fitz magic left? Miami #21 vs. QBs.
#24. Josh Freeman vs. Dallas- Freeman will be throwing all second half against Dallas. That’s the only good news for Freeman because his fantasy season has been a huge disappointment. Tampa Bay was supposed to be a dark horse playoff team and that just wasn’t the case at all this year. Cowboys #18 vs. QBs.
#25. Mark Sanchez @ Eagles- Sanchez put up a huge game against KC. Not that surprising since it was @ Home. If Sanchez can put up a big game in Philly, than I will jump on his bandwagon. I don’t see it happening. Sanchez has thrown for over 200 yards only three times out of six games on the road this season. Eagles #18 vs. QBs.
#26. Christian Ponder vs. Saints- If Ponder plays the whole game, he should find some garbage time stats. If Webb was the starter, he could have put up a nice fantasy game. Ponder isn’t good enough to take an offense on his shoulders and will need AP healthy to give the Vikings any sort of chance. Saints #26 vs. QBs.
Start of the Week: Cedric Benson
Bust of the Week: Frank Gore
Sleeper of the Week: Kahlil Bell
Tier 1- Start these RBs.
#1. Ray Rice @ San Diego- Ray Rice is a fantasy beast and San Diego is an average defense. It would be surprising to see Rice fall short of his usual 100+ yards 1 TD performance. Chargers #16 vs. RBs.
#2. Arian Foster vs. Carolina- Carolina has finally been stopping the run. Am I believer in their defense? No, not at all. They stopped Michael Turner who has lost a step, and they stopped Blount after the Buc’s fell behind. Arian Foster is too good and should be able to find some big runs. Panthers #31 vs. RBs.
#3. Cedric Benson @ STL- Benson is the hardest runner in the NFL. Yes harder than Lynch, and STL will be afraid to face Benson after getting worn down all Monday night against Lynch. If DeMarrco can run for over 200 yards against STL than Benson will be able to cruise through this weak rams defense. Rams #28 vs. RBs.
#4. Beanie Wells vs. Cleveland- Cleveland cannot stop the run, and yes they did contain Mendenhall to less than 80 yards. But Mendy had less than 5 carries in the first half. Beanie will put Cleveland’s run D right back to where it belongs. Browns #25 vs. RBs.
#5. LeSean McCoy @ Jets- LeSean is a fantasy beast. He’s dangerous in the red zone and quite frankly anywhere else on the field. Jets run D has been playing better of late, but it’s not scary enough to bench McCoy. Especially with Vick back moving the ball down the field at will. Jets #13 vs. RBs.
#6. Maurice Jones-Drew @ Atlanta- MJD is a fantasy beast. If Jacksonville scores a TD Thursday night, I would put my money on this guy. If the Jags had a better QB than Jones-Drew could possibly be the best fantasy RB to own. Falcons #6 vs. RBs.
#7. Adrian Peterson vs. Saints- AP in doors is thing of beauty. The Saints run D shut down CJ1K this week, but that doesn’t worry me when it comes to Peterson. If he’s out there, he’s a threat to score on any play. He is a must start coming off the ankle injury as his body will feel fresh not taking hits for the past couple of weeks. Saints #21 vs. RBs.
#8. Chris Johnson @ Indianapolis- What an unpredictable season for CJ1K. After finally breaking out the past two weeks, he comes back to life against a middle of the pack Saints run D. He has a plus matchup against the sad Colts run D and should be able to run all over them especially in doors. Though they contained him to 34 yards rushing earlier this year. Roll the dice on your first round pick this week. Colts #30 vs. RBs.
#9. Felix Jones @ Tampa Bay- Tampa run D was sexually assaulted by MJD this week 4 total TDs. Without Gerald McCoy TB’s run D is too soft up the middle and with safeties having to play black, Jones should have running room all day. TB #32 vs. RBs.
#10 Michael Bush vs. Lions- The Lions run D just gave up 90 rushing yards, and a TD to the worst RB in the NFL Toby Gerhart. Bush is the Raiders guy, even in a blowout against the Packers he scored a rushing TD in the second half. Bush should continue to be a TD machine while Run DMC is out. Lions #8 vs. RBs.
#11. Roy Helu @ Giants- Helu is as solid as they come when it comes to a RB to who will get 100+ total yards. Helu is safe, and you should probably play him against a weak Giants run D. Giants #22 vs. RBs.
#12. Reggie Bush @ Buffalo- The Bills can’t stop the run. Reggie should have a big day in a cold Buffalo environment as he is a guaranteed 100 total yard man as well. Reggie has rushed for over 100 yards in back to back games now. He is also one of the most dangerous receiving RB in the NFL. Bills #27 vs. RBs.
#13. Kevin Smith @ Raiders- Hopefully Kevin Smith’s ankle is 100%. He really is a great player and against a soft Oakland defense Kevin Smith would be a must start with the injury to Mo Mo. He has shown top 10 value when on the field. **It looks like he got his reps in Thursday, check back later to see if he practiced fully on Thursday. Raiders #29 vs. RBs.
#14. Willis McGahee vs. New England- McGahee is a little risky this week. If New England scores at will and the Broncos fall too far behind than McGahee will have to pull a LaGerrette Blount and get all of his production in the 1st half. I expect him to find the end zone at least once. Patriots #13 vs. RBs.
#15. Michael Tuner vs. Jacksonville- Turner looks slow, he doesn’t have the burst he had earlier this year and nothing close to what he had two years ago. But THE BURNER plays for the high voltage Falcons and he can easily end up with multiple rushing TDs because they get inside the red zone nearly once a quarter. Jags #9 vs. RBs.
#16. Shonn Greene @ Eagles- Eagles run D has been soft and Greene has been hot. You got to keep rolling with Greene despite the fact that Sanchez has been a terrible road QB and the Eagles will be playing for their playoff lives in Philly! He should have another solid game. Eagles #24 vs. RBs.
Tier 2- All viable starting options/ could let you down.
#17. Ryan Grant @ Chiefs- Grant proved he still has enough in the tank to be a viable fantasy option. In this offense with no other true RB Grant has the chance to be fantasy gold in the playoffs, as long as Starks doesn’t get in his way. Starks hasn’t practiced yet this week. Chiefs #6 vs. RBs.
#18. Marshawn Lynch @ Bears- Beast Mode will meet a tough run defense in Chicago. This is the same defense that practices against Marion Barber week after week. I think they will be ready for Lynch and a red zone TD could be the only thing to save his day. Bears #7 vs. RBs.
#19. Brandon Jacobs vs. Redskins- Jacobs looks like what LeGarrette Blount should have been. A big bruising RB who gets goal line TDs. Well Jacobs looks healthy and he looks like he’s playing for a new contract. The Giants will be scoring at will, and I would be surprised if Jacobs didn’t join the party. Redskins #20 vs. RBs.
#20. Kahlil Bell vs. Seahawks- Bell gets an opportunity to shine. He was the Player Watch of the week last week, and if you took Sir Fantasy Drakes advice, well than you beat everyone to the punch and now have a RB that has a chance to get 100+ total yards and help with your RB depth problem. I’m going to rank Bell as Marion Barber will be benched for this game. I will change it accordingly if my sources don’t hold true. Seahawks #14 vs. RBs.
#21. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Redskins- Bradshaw is hungry and he wants to get his numbers. Enter the Redskins, a defense that has given up huge performances to Shnnon Greene, Frank Gore and many others before getting a rest against Shot gun Tom Brady. Redskins #20 vs. RBs.
#22. LeGarrette Blount vs. Dallas- Blount will be good for about a half in this game. As soon as the Cowboys score 3 TDs, the game is pretty much over for Blount. When that 4th one comes for Dallas, Blount will be on the sideline with his helmet off. It’s too bad the Bucs think they are a better scoring team with no LeGarrette. Dallas #10 vs. RBs.
#23. Ben Tate vs. Carolina- Tate has beast mode written all over him and in an easy matchup against Carolina. Look for Tate to show everyone that he deserves to be a starting RB in the NFL with a good game against a historic soft run D. Panthers #31 vs. RBs.
#24. Frank Gore vs. Steelers- Gore has a tough matchup and if he didn’t have a nice 30+ yard TD run against the Cardinals, Gore would have been a bust. The Steelers D will be able to contain Gore all day since it is obvious Alex Smith can’t win a game through the air. Steelers #6 vs. RBs.
#25. Stephen Jackson vs. Cincinnati- Cinci’s run D proved to be solid. They shut down Arian Foster, and held Ben Tate to a modest game despite a big run. The Rams are a terrible offense and S-Jax is a RB who should be on your bench this week. A goal line TD or a big run is the only thing that can save his day. Bengals #16 vs. RBs.
#26. CJ Spiller vs. Miami- Miami’s run D has been unstoppable, Spiller couldn’t do anything against SD and I don’t expect him to do anything against one of the hottest run D’s. If you’re desperate for a RB who will get touches than Spiller could be your last resort. Dolphins #4 vs. RBs.
#27. Ryan Matthews vs. Baltimore- Baltimore’s run D is fierce and Matthews has been tearing up some easy run games vs. Jacksonville and Buffalo. With Matthews not being the goal line back it would take a long run for Matthews to do much against a defense is top 3 in stopping the run. Ravens #2 vs. RBs.
#28. Darren Sproles @ Vikings- Vikings are good against the run, but Sproles is such a dangerous player he can take anything to the house. With no Mark Ingram, Sproles gets more touches and has a better chance of scoring. He is very high risk/high reward. Vikings #11 vs. RBs.
#29. Rashard Mendenhall @ SF- The Steelers sometimes forget that they have a dangerous 1,000 yard RB in Mendenhall, 2 carries in the 1st quarter against one of the league’s worst run Defenses in Cleveland. This week against SF that trend will continue, SF can’t stop the pass but they can definitely stop the run. They still have not allowed a rushing TD all season. A goal line TD is Mendenhall’s only chance of fantasy production. 49ers #1 vs. RBs.
#30. Marion Barber vs. Seattle- The Barbarian really messed up last week. He ran out of bounds when Chicago was trying to stop the clock, then fumbled in OT when the Bears were already in FG range. Everyone in Chicago likes this guy about as much as Cleveland likes LeBron James right now. I don’t know what kind of production or volume Barber will see this week, but if you’re desperate then use him. Seahawks #14 vs. RBs.
Tier 3- If you’re desperate or need a guaranteed top 40 option. Go with these guys.
#31. Lance Ball vs. New England- Lance should see lots of action vs. NE. He is good in the passing game and the Broncos will need to put up points in bunches to keep up with Tom Brady. Patriots #13 vs. RBs.
#32. Peyton Hillis @ Arizona- Hillis has yet another tough matchup. After facing Cinci, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, he now faces the red hot Cardinals defense that has stopped everything in its path. Another week I would put the Madden Cover man on my bench. Cardinals #17 vs. RBs.
#33. Benjarvus Green-Ellis @ Denver- The Law Firm is a TD or nothing type of player as well, I expect New England to present the chances. But will they give the ball to him in the goal line or let Tom Brady find Gronk time after time. Probably Gronk. Denver #18 vs. RBs.
#34. Mike Tolbert vs. Baltimore- Tolbert is a TD or nothing type of player against Baltimore this week. I would not use Tolbert unless I was desperate and it was a deep flex league. Baltimore #2 vs. RBs.
#35. Thomas Jones vs. Packers- Jones is the RB I would want for the Chiefs. KC was trying to go with Jones early but once they were getting blown out, they felt they should save him for next week against the GB where he could be heavily involved in the short passing game. Packers #19 vs. RBs.
#36. Ladanian Tomlinson @ Eagles- LT finds a way to get in the end zone, whether it’s through the passing game or stealing a goal line run, LT is an okay start in this matchup but someone that can really let you down if you’re depending on him. Eagles #24 vs. RBs.
#37. Jonathan Stewart @ Texans- J-Stew is too hard to predict and a player I would not want on my fantasy team in this matchup. The Texans stop the run and Stewart doesn’t get enough guaranteed touches. Texans #3 vs. RBs.
#38. DeAnglo Williams @ Texans- DeAnglo is the opposite of the Brandon Jacobs, or the Mike Tolbert’s who steal goal line TDs. He’s a guy who will either get a 60 yard TD run or nothing. And against the Texans I would bet on the nothing. Texans #3 vs. RBs.
#39. Pierre Thomas @ Vikings- Pierre faces a tough run D and I don’t see him having a big game unless he gets a TD. The yardage just won’t be there with so many options in that backfield. Vikings #11 vs. RBs.
#40. Daniel Thomas vs. Buffalo- This guy is a bum, and I was one of those owners that bought him high. He misses holes, announcers talk about that he doesn’t make good plays. It’s just too hard to even say this guy’s name without cringing. A Reggie Bush injury is the only thing that can make this guy fantasy relevant again. Bills #27 vs. RBs.
#41. Ricky Williams @ San Diego- Run Ricky Run, will be a modest bench player who can possibly steal a goal line TD if Ray Rice gets tired. Chargers #16 vs. RBs.
Start of the Week: AJ Green
Bust of the Week: Brandon Lloyd
Sleeper of the Week: Demariyus Thomas
Tier 1- You can’t go wrong with any of these guys. Should all be top 20 options.
#1. Calvin Johnson @ Raiders- This double bracket coverage trick on CJ is working. Stafford is only putting up modest games because of it. I expect the Lions to figure something out to make Calvin relevant again. He’s too good to be a decoy.
#2. Jordy Nelson @ Chiefs- With no Greg Jennings, Jordy is a must own, must start WR in any format. Nelson is #1 WR on the #1 offense in the NFL, with the #1 QB.
#3. AJ Green @ STL- AJ Green gets an easy matchup and you can bet he’s excited to breakout with a huge game. STL has no answer for a big talented WR like Green, and after tough matchups against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Haden, and Houston. Green will be ready.
#4. Wes Welker @ Denver- Mr. PPR himself will be very busy against a Denver secondary that gave up 3 TDs to Christian Ponder two weeks ago. It was nice to see him find the end zone; he dropped an easy TD earlier in the game.
#5. Percy Harvin vs. Saints– The Saints will be scoring lots of points this week and the only way the Vikings can catch up late is through this guy. He is getting more guaranteed action than any WR.
#6. Roddy White vs. Jacksonville- Roddy is back to being the 1st round WR he was drafted to be. With Julio now healthy, Roddy is getting open very easily and Matt Ryan looks for his BFF when they single cover him.
#7. Victor Cruz vs. Redskins- Cruz looks like he has fallen back to #2/#3 WR based off of Eli Manning’s reads. That may help Cruz because as soon as defenses start rolling attention to Nicks, Cruz starts to explode.
#8. Hakeem Nicks vs. Redskins- Back to his old stomping grounds as the man for the Giants. He is too good to even consider benching him, and he makes all of his WRs and Eli Manning better.
#9. Dez Bryant @ Tampa Bay- Dez looks to be the odd man out with Laurent and Miles controlling the passing game. Though Dez plays every snap in 2 WR sets which is enough for me to consider Dez the WR to own. As soon as defenses stop keying in on Bryant he will explode.
#10. Miles Austin @ Tampa Bay- Austin looked healthy, he had a TD in his first game back and should have had another one had Romo not overthrown him on a wide open 60 yard TD late in the game. He will have plenty of opportunities vs. Tampa.
#11. Antonio Brown @ SF- Brown is a solid #1 WR and someone that could put up a great game as long as Carlos Rodgers doesn’t shadow him all night. But even if he does, Brown is an athlete who can do a lot after the catch.
#12. Dwayne Bowe vs. Packers- Dwayne will finally have a game where he will have a true QB. Orton has a better arm than any QB Bowe has dealt with his entire career. GB should blow out the Chiefs which should allow plenty of opportunities for Orton and Bowe to get some good reps in.
#13. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Cleveland- Fitzgerald is the most amazing WR in the NFL, and with Skelton as the QB look for John to keep lobbing the ball to Fitz to make his plays. Skelton is a much better QB than Kolb and as long as Skelton is back there, Fitz must be in your lineup. Haden has no chance to stop Fitzgerald.
#14. Marques Colston @ Vikings- Colston has historically been a streaky player and his draft value fell because of that and his off season surgery. Colston has been consistent all season and is coming off a 2 TD performance. If I have Colston against the one of the leagues worst pass defenses, I’m playing him.
#15. Julio Jones vs. Jacksonville- Julio is the best deep threat in the NFL to get single coverage. Julio gets plenty of opportunities to make game changing plays and should see them again @ home in a dome against a beat up Jacksonville secondary.
#16. Steve Smith @ Texans- It was great to see Steve Smith have a good game again. He was my start of the week last week because of the matchup, this week Steve Smith will have a tougher time against a great Texans secondary. He is the Panthers playmaker however and will be counted on to make lots of plays.
#17. Brandon Marshall vs. Buffalo- BMarsh almost took a huge hit when Matt Moore got hurt. Luckily Moore will be back and Marsh should continue his success against a weak Buffalo secondary. He has dominated them in the past and the trend will continue, as long as Moore plays in that game.
#18. Mike Wallace @ SF- He is slowly falling to the #2 WR but still dynamic enough where he can make anything happen when the ball is in his hands. Wallace has speed that no corner can catch up with. Pittsburgh should be throwing a lot Monday Night and Wallace should be on the receiving end on a lot of those passes.
#19. Laurent Robinson @ Tampa Bay- Laurent is Romo’s go-to-guy and that’s enough to be a good starting option. However he isn’t on the field every play, but I don’t think that matters anymore because when he’s on the field they get him the ball.
Tier 2- These guys can win you a week, or they can completely ruin it. Let’s Play Risk.
#20. Santana Moss @ Giants- Giants secondary has holes and the Redskins will need to pass the ball to have any chance to catch up. Moss should have had 2 TDs if one didn’t get called back last week vs. the Patriots.
#21. Vincent Jackson vs. Baltimore- Vincent is all or nothing, San Diego should be passing a lot this week but V-Jax is too hit or miss in a matchup where he could disappoint, especially if Rivers doesn’t do as well. All it takes is one big for Jackson to have a big game.
#22. Anquan Boldin @ San Diego- Boldin started out so hot this season, but now appears to be right around what we pegged him at. A #3 WR in standard fantasy leagues, hopefully with Baltimore needing to score points this week after the 1st half Boldin will get his name back into that top tier.
#23. Demariyus Thomas vs. New England- D.Thom is a beast and one of the best WR’s when it comes to hardest to tackle. Thomas should have a nice game as it appears he has surpassed Decker as the #1 WR for Tebow. New England will be putting up points this week, so expect Thomas to be busy.
#24. Nate Washington @ Indianapolis- Locker loves Nate Washington, I would call it a man crush and that’s enough to play Nate in this easy matchup where Tennessee should be putting up points quickly. Indy will be playing for their 1st win this season, and they will be playing hard.
#25. Eric Decker vs. New England- Decker could come back with a huge game and everyone could forget what Thomas has done these past weeks. But for now Decker is the #2 WR on the Broncos as far as fantasy perspective goes, and that still is enough to have a good game against the Patriots who give up big games to #1 and #2 WRs. Gaffney had 90 yards and a TD against NE this past week.
#26. Mario Manningham @ Redskins- Manningham is back and he dropped another TD. Good news is, he caught a TD so Manningham is a safe bet to get enough targets to be a useful fantasy WR. Especially with the way the Redskins play defense.
#27. Steve Breaston vs. Packers- Breaston is a solid bet for 70 yards and with Orton in the picture, Breaston’s value should go up as the Packers will be blowing out the Chiefs, look at this game as a chance for Orton to build chemistry with his WRs as they gear up for the Raiders and Broncos and try to ruin both of their playoff hopes, or play for momentum going into next season.
#28. Stevie Johnson vs. Miami- Stevie was good for another 100 yards and as long as Fitzpatrick has to force feed Johnson I would play him. Someone has to get the receiving yards on this team and Johnson is the only guy who can put up more than 50.
#29. Jabar Gaffney @ Giants- Jabar is a great name, and also a player who can benefit from #2 CB’s. Grossman has trust in Gaffney and he should put up a solid game. Would I bet on the TD? Ehh, it’s not likely but it’s possible. I do like 70 yards.
#30. Jerome Simpson @ STL- If the Rams are smart and decide to double team Green, Simpson can have a huge game. We all remember what he did at the end of fantasy football last season. If you need any reminder: Last 2 games of the season, 18 catches 247 yards 3 TD.
#31. Brandon Lloyd vs. Cincinnati- Lloyd is the only chance the Rams will do anything this week, and that’s not enough of a chance I would be willing to take vs. a good Bengals defense.
#32. Mike Williams vs. Dallas- Dallas will be blowing out the Bucs in this game, so that means Williams should have plenty of opportunities to get some garbage time stats.
#33. Torrey Smith @ San Diego- Torrey goes deep, and San Diego will fall asleep. Ray Rice demands too much attention from safeties that Smith should get a few opportunities to make some big plays.
#34. James Jones @ Chiefs- Jones finally has the opportunity to get multiple targets with Jennings getting hurt. Look for James to show everyone why he deserves to be a starting WR in the NFL, starting now.
#35. Darrius Heyward-Bey vs Lions- If DHB is the only healthy WR of the bunch, with Moore and Ford still battling injuries. I expect a pretty decent game with at least 70 yards once again. He’s solid and reliable with such a weak receiving corpse and a terrible defense that forces them to throw often.
#36. Michael Crabtree vs. Pittsburgh- Alex Smith will have to pass the ball to someone when Vernon Davis is double teamed. Crabtree should be a good bet to get a lot of targets and maybe the best offensive weapon in this game for SF.
#37. Nate Burleson @ Raiders- Nate should be producing more with this Megatron double bracket coverage. Good news is, he plays Oakland and they cannot stop the pass and Burleson should bounce back.
#38. Damian Williams @ Indianapolis – Damian is a beast and is great after the run. Problem is they have so many options it’s hard to trust him, the Colts could also be trailing by so much in this game that D-Will will have to put up his points early.
#39. Lance Moore @ Vikings- I like Moore to bounce back against a team that shuts down the run. The Saints will need to pass the ball and Lance Moore is the closest thing to Wes Welker the Saints have.
#40. Jeremy Maclin vs. Jets- Maclin didn’t look healthy and now faces Darrel Revis or Cromartie, I don’t like his chances, but it is Jeremy Maclin. We all know what he is capable of in any matchup.
#41. Devin Aromashodu vs. Saints- The #2 WR for the Vikings is not a bad option in game where the Vikings will be trailing and they will need production out of Devin, as Harvin gets doubled/extra attention.
Tier 3- Either a Tier 1 type performance, or something you wish was left on your bench.
#42. Desean Jackson vs. Jets- Desean is happy to have Vick back and is capable of those long TD’s week after week. He has a tough matchup against the Jets secondary but still has the chance of making the play. I would start a safer option.
#43. Donald Driver @ Chiefs- Driver steps up into the #3 WR role, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him perform like the #2 and against a Chiefs defense that will be overwhelmed, he could be a good sleeper bet for a TD.
#44. Santonio Holmes @ Eagles- Holmes faces Nandi, and Sanchez is on the road. This is a matchup I would avoid in fantasy leagues. Holmes gets his targets, but he’s going to have a challenge ahead of him.
#45. Jonny Knox vs. Seattle- Calibe Haine is so bad; I wouldn’t trust any of his WRs. The only thing Knox has is the big play potential, but who knows if he will get enough opportunities to make a big play.
#46. Golden Tate @ Chicago- Tate is Seattle’s man well at least the man I would trust more in this matchup, but this will be a run, run, run game and I don’t expect Tate to do much.
#47. Titus Young @ Raiders- Titus Young is a growing part of the Lions offense and could find plenty of room to roam against a weak Oakland secondary. Young could be a great start especially if the Raiders take on the approach of shutting down Megatron.
#48. Malcolm Floyd vs. Baltimore- Floyd is all or nothing type of WR and he could be a sneaky look when all the other weapons get attention. I expect Rivers to attempt a lot of passes and that could lead to a sneaky TD for Floyd.
#49. Plaxico Burress @ Eagles- The Brandon Jacobs of WR’s has a matchup where he will present a huge size differential. I like him to have the better game than Holmes. If Sanchez can do anything on the road this would be a good sleeper pick, but I wouldn’t be confident.
#50. Kevin Walter vs. Carolina- Carolina is going to do all they can to stop the run, which should leave opportunities for Walter to work on single coverage. Does that mean any chance of a big play? Highly unlikely.
#51. Early Doucett vs. Cleveland- Turning into a Robert Meachem type all or nothing player. He is the #3 WR with Roberts playing well, Doucett is a TD threat but that’s it.
#52. Andre Roberts vs. Cleveland- Maybe a catch, maybe three, maybe a TD, maybe you should go with safer options.
#53. Greg Little @ Arizona- This matchup looked good three weeks ago. Now it’s safe to bench Little and not give him a chance against Patterson and the stingy Arizona defense.
#54. Robert Meachem @ Vikings- Meachem is a Homerun threat, either 1 big catch or nothing. Buy a lottery ticket if you’re starting Meachem this week.
Start of the Week: Jermaine Gresham
Bust of the Week: Vernon Davis
Sleeper of the Week: Jake Ballard
Tier 1- Start’em if you got’em
#1. Rob Gronkowski @ Denver- Gronk is a manimal. I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again. Definition of a monster.
#2. Jimmy Graham @ Vikings- Graham disappointed (no TD..less than 70 yards) but then again Graham is too good to not consider as the #2 TE no matter what.
#3. JerMichael Finley @ Chiefs- Finley 0 catches? He dropped a TD in what turned into an INT Sunday vs. the Raiders. Rodgers doesn’t want his big TE to lose confidence, I see him going there often especially with no Greg Jennings in the picture anymore. Word around Packers camp is they are running more plays for him as the primary target.
#4. Jason Witten @ Tampa Bay- Where was Jason Witten this week. 3 catches for 12 yards? Witten is due to bounce back in a game where the play action fake will work too often.
#5. Aaron Hernandez @ Denver- A.Hern is athletic, big, and fast. If he didn’t have Gronkowski on his team, Hernandez would be the top TE in fantasy football. He nearly had a TD against Washington.
#6. Tony Gonzales vs. Jacksonville- Gonzales is as solid as gold. He catches everything, and even if he doesn’t run after the catch. He’s a sure fire hall of famer and still has value left.
#7. Antonio Gates @ Baltimore- Gates is 100% healthy and that’s enough to know that Rivers will look this guys way if they don’t throw double coverage at him. Gates is still safe despite the tough matchup.
#8. Jermaine Gresham @ STL- Andy Dalton has so many options against a Rams defense that already has to worry about the run. Gresham is a good bet to reach the end zone this week.
Tier 2- Not Bad Starting Options. Not Great either.
#9. Jake Ballard vs. Redskins- Jake the Snake looked to be open every play when Eli dropped back, and almost had a second TD if not for getting tackled at the one inch line. The Patriot TEs had big games against Washington this past week.
#10. Brandon Pettigrew @ Raiders- Pettigrew was the beneficiary of the Calvin bracket coverage and should continue to have success against the Raiders who have enough to worry about as is.
#11. Anthony Fasano vs. Buffalo- Fasano was so close to a TD, he has turned into a solid option behind Brandon Marshall in the passing game.
#12. Dustin Keller @ Eagles- Keller is decent and Sanchez depends on him. That’s enough to make him a low end starting option.
#13. Brent Celek vs. Jets- Celek is inconsistent, but if you’re desperate for a TE that will struggle to move the ball as easily as they have in the past. Than Celek is your guy.
#14. Owen Daniels vs. Carolina- Daniels has a good matchup but he also has multiple TEs to battle with, however he is the top and it seems that he is the most likely to succeed.
#15. Ed Dickson @ SD- Dickson is too unpredictable and someone I wouldn’t trust. Though he does have the chance for that random TD, which could come this week. Will you be teased?
#16. Kevin Boss vs. Lions- Boss got a nice garbage time TD against GB and if Palmer needs to rely on Boss again with a plethora of inconsistent WRs, Boss could surprise with an okay game.
#17. Vernon Davis vs. Pittsburgh- Vernon blocks when the 49ers face teams that blitz. Pittsburgh’s nickname is blitzburgh and whenever Vernon Davis goes out for a pass he gets extra attention. Bench Vernon if you have a better option.
#18. Greg Olsen @ Texans- Greg Olsen showed he’s a great runner after the catch. Olsen should be challenged against the Texans tough LB core, I would not start him.
#19. Kellen Winslow vs. Dallas- Winslow should have success as the Bucs will be passing all second half. I expect a lot of blocking though in the 1st half.
Tier 3- For the Desperate Owners that can only hope for a TD.
#20. Joel Dreessen vs. Carolina- Dreessen is the sleeper pick for a TD this week. If you’re desperate at the position Dreessen will get enough looks to have a maybe decent game if you’re desperate.
#21. Zack Miller @ Chicago- The Bears LB core is tough, I don’t trust Zack Miller but he is the best option for the Seahawks with Rice injured.
#22. Heath Miller @ SF- Heath Miller could have a solid sleeper week and it wouldn’t be the end of the world to play him, but he should be blocking a lot in this one as well.
#23. Daniel Fells vs. New England- Fells could be on the other end of a Tebow TD, but if he isn’t I wouldn’t trust him for much more.
#24. Jeremy Shockey @ Texans- Shockey at Houston is a matchup fantasy owners should avoid and can only be considered in the deepest of leagues.
#25. Dennis Pitta @ San Diego- Pitta is a great TE and if he didn’t have to compete with Dickson he could be a tier 1. But he does compete with Dickson and that’s enough to not be a reliable option.
#26. Evan Moore @ Arizona- With Greg Little dropping everything, Moore is the only pass option target I expect to make any plays vs. a tough Arizona D.
#27. Mercedes Lewis @ Atlanta- Finally some life for Mercedes. 2 catches for 77 yards. One of them was a 62 yard catch. Lewis is a backup TE at best in fantasy.
Start of the Week: Mike Nugent
Bust of the Week: David Akers
Sleeper of the Week: Shaun Suisham
Tier 1- Scoring, Scoring, Scoring. Will be busy days for these Kickers.
#1. Mason Crosby @ Chiefs- Packers score at will, Crosby can expect another busy day.
#2. Rob Bironas @ Colts- The Titans are in doors, that’s enough for the former #1 kicker to be a great start this week, especially against a weak Colts team.
#3. John Kasay @ Vikings- Huge advantage to be kicking in doors, in December, even when he’s on a road game. Saints will be scoring.
#4. Mike Nugent @ STL- The Rams will have their back to the walls all game which should lead to lots of opportunities for Nugent. And he’s kicking in a dome.
#5. Jay Feely vs. Cleveland- I expect the Cardinals to be controlling the clock in this game and that should result into plenty of FGs for Feely.
#6. Stephen Gostowski @ Denver- Kicking in the mile high winds, I expect Gostowski to get a few FG tries as the Patriots have no running game in the red zone, which only helps the other SKI.
#7. Shaun Suisham @ SF- Great game lined up for Suisham. Pittsburgh should move the ball through the air, and then stall in the red zone against a tough SF D. Suisham is a great option this week.
#8. Matt Bryant vs. Jacksonville- I expect Atlanta to be putting up a lot of points. This could be a good week to keep the consistent Bryant in your lineup.
#9. Lawrence Tynes vs. Washington- He plays for a high scoring team against a soft defense. Either he will kick a lot of short FGs or extra points. Problem is they don’t trust him with 53+ yard FGs, oh well, the Giants still get in the red zone enough.
#10 Neil Rackers vs. Carolina- The Texans should move the ball well vs. the Panthers, which should create many FG attempts since Yates probably can’t finish off drives.
#11. Jason Hanson @ Raiders- The Lions should be in the enemies’ territory a lot in this one. Will it be TDs? Who knows, but Hanson should stay busy.
#12. Dan Bailey @ Tampa Bay- Bailey will be kicking a lot of extra points this week. The Cowboys are too good to not get TDs in the red zone against a weak Tampa D.
#13. Robbie Gould vs. Seattle- If the Bears need a win, this is the week. If the Bears are going to score any points, it’s going to be off this guy’s foot.
#14. Dan Carpenter @ Buffalo- Watch the weather report in this one, if the conditions are good Carpenter would make an excellent sleeper pick in a team that could have trouble converting red zone attempts.
#15. Billy Cundiff @ San Diego- I expect the Ravens to put up a good number of points this game. That usually means FG attempts will be there for Cundiff. Will he make them? That’s a bad question for me to have to ask. He misses too often for my liking 77% success on the season.
Tier 2- Expect some production, but you will be on the other end of the kicking matchup.
#16. Sebastian Janikowski vs. Lions- This is a must win game for the Raiders, will they be up for the challenge, I wouldn’t count on it. Janikowski could still end up with a few FGs but if the Raiders fall too far behind it could get dangerous for Jani.
#17. Nick Novak vs. Baltimore- Novak could be a good sleeper this week if the Chargers have success in the passing game. They will have trouble converting in the red zone.
#18. David Akers vs. Pittsburgh- Finally a game Akers won’t get 10 FGs. The 49ers will be trailing and they will need TDs when they fall behind 14-0.
#19. Matt Prater vs. New England- Prater has a great leg, but he you don’t beat New England kicking FG’s. Prater might not be that active this week.
#20. *Josh Scobee @ Atlanta- Good news is he kicks in doors. Bad news he will be facing a team they will probably lose to, and he is dealing with a leg injury. Watch this week to see his status.
#21. *Olindo Mare @ Houston- Carolina, should move the ball a little right? Maybe enough to get Mare FGs maybe not. I wouldn’t trust him anyways 76% on the year. Check to see if he gets cut before the game.
#22. Nick Folk @ Eagles- The Eagles present a game where it could be a FG match, could not. Folk isn’t a bad option, but he’s not a great one either. Sanchez on the road has a downgrade on all Jets players this week.
#23. Alex Henery vs. Jets- Eagles should drive the ball against the Jets. Henery could be busy but 2 FGs and 1 extra point sounds like a real possibility.
Start of the Week: Arizona Cardinals
Bust of the Week: SF 49ers
Sleeper of the Week: Tennessee Titans
Tier 1- Expect a top 15 Performance.
#1. Cardinals vs. Browns- The Browns offense is bottom 5 in the league and the Cardinals are maybe the hottest unit defensively. I don’t expect the Browns to be able to do much against the Cardinals.
#2. Packers @ Chiefs- They face throw me an INT Kyle Orton this week. Orton will be throwing a lot of pass attempts which should create a lot of INT’s.
#3. Cincinnati @ STL- The Bengals defenses is still underrated and they are playing for a playoff position. St. Louis is playing for honor and that’s not enough to slow down a physical AFC North team.
#4. Bears vs. Seattle- Seattle has no chance to do anything. This will be a low scoring run heavy game. The Bears will be looking for a huge game.
#5. Pittsburgh @ SF- SF has problems throwing the ball, and when they can’t run the ball like last week against AZ, their offenses is as threatening as the Rams. SF is in for a tough matchup against the AFC champs.
#6. Atlanta vs. Jacksonville- Jacksonville scored 48 points this past week, but I’m not worried about an encore performance especially because Atlanta is a playoff quality team, Tampa Bay isn’t. Jacksonville still has no passing game.
#7. Dallas @ Tampa Bay- Tampa will have to throw all game as the Bucs aren’t a good enough team to compete with the Cowboys. That’s going to lead to a lot of turnovers for a hungry Ryan defense.
#8. Ravens @ San Diego- The Ravens defense is so good that you can start them against any team. Rivers should throw a turnover or two which could create a big play for this Ravens D. They are solid despite playing a respectable defense.
#9. Titans @ Colts- The Titans defense is pretty good, solid but not great. Enter the 0-13 Colts; I would start this unit with confidence. The Colts will play hard, but they aren’t talented enough to do much.
#10. Saints @ Vikings- Adrian Peterson will get his rushing yards, and as long as the Saints don’t completely fold, they should hold Christian Ponder. I would be a little worried if Joe Webb was the QB, but he’s not so the Saints should be fine.
#11. Seahawks @ Bears- The Bears offense is garbage and Seattle is playing well. This will be a low scoring game and I expect a solid game, if the defensive unit can create a TD they will give you a top 5 performance.
Tier 2- Viable Starting options.
#12. Giants vs. Redskins- The Giants defense has been playing mediocre lately and facing a Rex Grossman Redskins means, they will give up yards, but they should create turnovers. You will be okay if you need to use the Giants.
#13. Dolphins @ Bills- The Dolphins D is still playing great despite giving up 30 points Sunday to the Eagles. The Eagles offense was lucky that Matt Moore kept turning over the ball and then JP Losman couldn’t give the Dolphin’s D a break. The Bills don’t pose a threat at all and the Dolphins should bounce back with a solid road performance.
#14. Eagles vs. Jets- The Jet’s offense is not that great on the road, and the Eagles will be playing for a playoff spot. I expect their defense to rise to the challenge and shut down a terrible road Mark Sanchez.
#15. Texans vs. Carolina- The Panthers offense is a top 5 option, but playing the Texans I expect Cam Newton to make more mistakes than great plays. I would start the unit if I had to, and I would still expect a decent game. But they could let you down.
#16. Lions @ Raiders- Raiders offense isn’t very threatening, but Detroit’s defense has good playmakers. Joe Webb just tore them apart and Carson Palmer could have a good day, I would bench the Lions just in case.
#17. SF vs. Pittsburgh- SF will be tested through the air, and this will be the true test to see if their defense is ready for a playoff type team. My guess is they can’t handle the Pittsburgh offense.
#18. Jets @ Eagles- The Jets D has been playing better of late, but the Eagles are no easy task and Michael Vick doesn’t get sacked a lot. I would play a safer option as it’s going to take a huge collapse Michael Vick game for the Jets D to be fantasy relevant.
#19. New England @ Denver- Tebow might turn the ball over a few times, but I like Tebow to have a big game and Willis should have running room. The only way New England puts up points is a TD.
-Muntradamus is the senior chief editor of MaddenArena.com. He has been playing fantasy sports in high stakes league since 3rd grade. He played varsity sports in HS and studies fantasy sports hours upon hours a day. For questions, or looking for advice sign up for the forums to talk to Muntradamus and all of the Fantasy experts at MaddenArena.