In The Trenches: Week 14 Matchups
Week 14 is upon us, and it's now or never for many at the start of the fantasy football playoffs. Who should you be playing?
The fantasy football playoffs, for 95 percent of you, begin this week. That raises the level of importance in terms of deciding who to start or sit. No more 'we'll get em' next week' talk. For most it's win or go home. Let me help you to win. Here us a look a the matchups that you should take note of for Week 14 of the NFL season.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one. Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 14 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-15 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested?
*** All notes of rankings are referring to a PPR setup.
WEEK 14 MATCHUPS
Doug Baldwin has scored four times in his last five against the Niners. He's scored three times in his last four games this season and he's gone for at least 75 yards in three of the four as well.
Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have a tough matchup this week. The Colts allow the 5th fewest points to runners this season and they've permitted RBs to catch 43 passes, the lowest total in football.
Anquan Boldin has caught 14 passes for 192 yards and two scores the last two weeks. The Seahawks are the second toughest defense against wideouts.
Dwayne Bowe has gone for at least 50 yards in 4-straight games and he's scored in two of three games. Sad that we're excited about levels of production like that from Bowe. The 'Skins are 11th worst at stopping WRs.
Tom Brady has thrown for five scores versus no interceptions in his last two meetings with the Browns. Brady has thrown for five scores and just one interception the last two weeks this season. He's also averaging 361 yards passing the last four weeks.
Drew Brees is coming off his worst passing game as a Saint – 147 yards. He faces the Panthers who allow only 210 passing yards per game and nine scores. Tough matchup. Still it's Drew Brees and in six home start this year he's killed it: 19 scores, three interceptions, 73.5 percent completion percentage and 122.2 QB Rating.
Andre Brown scored twice last week and now has 11 rushing scores in 13 games. The Chargers have allowed 10 rushing scores.
Antonio Brown is five catches from being the second Steeler with 90 receptions in a season (Hines Ward) and he's six yards away from his season best yardage mark (1,109). The Dolphins have been terribly stingy against wideouts this season – they allow the third fewest points – but Brown will still get his (just think back to the worry he faced when Joe Haden covered him and he was still out there producing).
Dez Bryant has scored 19 times in his last 20 games. The last time he faced the Bears he had eight receptions for 105 yards.
Nate Burleson was held off the score sheet last week as he wasn't even tageted one time. He does have a touchdown in each of his last two outings against the Eagles though.
Reggie Bush had 182 yards from scrimmage last week and he ranks 4th in the NFL with an average of 118.4 yards per week. Joique Bell, his running mate, had 128 yards from scrimmage last week. This week they face an Eagles club that allows the 14th most fantasy points to runners so while it's a positive matchup it's not exactly a plus one.
Jordan Cameron... oh heck, for more on this tight end and others that play his position see State of the Tight End.
Jamaal Charles faces the Redskins, a club that has allowed a league worst 17 rushing scores even though they have been solid on a per carry basis at 4.0 YPC.
Jared Cook faces the Cardinals in Week 14. Per game this season tights end have produced 6.5 receptions, 86.5 yards and 1.17 touchdowns against Arizona. Hello to the best waiver-wire add in fantasy at the tight end position for Week 14 (there is another below to note as well).
Andy Dalton and Peyton Manning are the only two QBs in history to throw for 3,000 yards in each of their first three NFL seasons. The Colts are right in the middle of the pack in pass defense allowing 239 yards a week with 17 touchdown passes.
Eric Decker, all of a sudden, is 29 yards from 1,000. His four scores in Week 13 are more than the three times he scored in his first 11 games this season. Dating back to last season Decker has scored 20 times in 28 games.
Over the last seven games Harry Douglas is averaging 98.1 yards and 7.1 receptions a game. The Packers are ranked 16th against wideouts.
Julian Edelman has gone for 100 yards in each of his last two games. The previous four games he had 89 receiving yards. He has 18 receptions the last two games. He had 11 the previous four games.
Larry Fitzgerald has four touchdowns his last three games. He scored twice in his last game versus the Rams. Michael Floyd has caught eight balls for 396 yards and two scores in his past three games this season. The Rams are right in the middle of the pack against wideouts this year. They rank 16th.
Joe Flacco threw for 385 yards and two scores in his one start against the Vikings. The last time Flacco threw for 275 yards this season was back on October 13th. The matchup is a grand one though as the Vikings allow 287 passing yards a week (third most in football) and 26 scores (the worst in football).
Nick Foles has thrown for 13 scores an no interceptions in his last four games, and on the year he has 19 scores and no interceptions. The Lions permit 262 yards a week through the air and 21 scores in total. It's far from a scary matchup for the locked in QB though the Lions do have 12 interceptions in 12 games.
Pierre Garcon leads the NFC with 84 receptions and he's caught at least five passes in every game this season.
Mike Glennon has only thrown two picks in his last seven games. He's also tossed 10 scores. The Bills are middle of the pack against QBs this season in fantasy points (18th) but they have allowed 23 passing scores, the third worst mark in football.
Josh Gordon has gone for 235 yards in each of his past two games. He's the first player in league annals to go for 200 yards in back-to-back games. He's also totaled 623 yards the past three weeks, the most during a 3-game run in history. There's no telling who will be throwing him passes and he faces a Patriots club that is allowing the 12th fewest points to wide receivers.
Garrett Graham faces the Jaguars, the third most beatable pass defense against tight ends this season. Graham has received a whopping 33 targets the past three weeks. It's Cook or Graham off waivers this week if you need a tight end.
Jermaine Gresham has caught 13 balls for 108 yards an a score in two games against the Colts. The matchup isn't a good one though as the Colts are allowing the 4th fewest points to the tight end this season.
Robert Griffin III has carried the ball at least 10 times in two of his last three games. He's also thrown only two interceptions in his last four games. He faces the Chiefs who have allowed a net passing total of 323, 387 and 403 yards the past three weeks.
Chad Henne, the last three times he faced the Texans, hasn't thrown an interception. He's only thrown for four scores and 616 yards though. The Texans allow only the 9th most points to QBs per game.
Everyone seems to like to bash T.Y. Hilton, but does anyone know that he's caught at least five balls in each of his last five games? Josh Gordon (3-straight), A.J. Green (one), Demaryius Thomas (zero) can't combine for 5-straight such games.
Chris Ivory is averaging 101.3 yards per game on the ground in his last three at home. The Raiders are allowing 102.8 yards per game on the ground this season.
DeSean Jackson has nine grabs for 209 yards an a score his last two against the Lions. DJax hasn't scored the last two weeks this season, hasn't caught more than four passes in thee games, and has only one 85 yard outing since the second week of October. Riley Cooper has five touchdowns in his last four games. He's also caught only nine passes the past three games and he's been held to less than 50 yards receiving in three of five outs. The matchup – the Lions allow the 6th most points to WRs.
Vincent Jackson has been really hit or miss of late, but he does enjoy playing at home. In his last four home games he's caught three scores on 27 receptions and 386 yards. The Bills get torched by wideouts allowing 16 scores and the 4th most points to WRs of any club.
Steven Jackson has averaged 126 yards from scrimmage while scoring twice in his last six games against the Packers. This season Green Bay has allowed RBs to score 10 times while permitting the 11th most points to the position.
Alshon Jeffery is one of eight in league history to have two 200-yard games in a season. Over the past nine games he's averaged 6.3 receptions and 112 yards a game and he's also scored five times. The Cowboys are ranked 12th against the wideout.
Greg Jennings hopes that Matt Cassel ends up starting and playing the whole game in Week 14. When the duo is together Jennings he has caught 15 passes for 202 yards and three scores in less than three games. Jennings has only 28 receptions, 315 yards and no scores when Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman is under center.
Rashad Jennings has run for an average of 90 yards a game the past five. He's also run for four scores in that time. Darren McFadden is around but he is missing more practice time this week with Jennings still working his way back from a concussion. It may not really matter who totes the pigskin more given that the Raiders face the Jets, the team that leads the NFL with a 2.9 YPC mark and is allowing a league best 77 rushing yards a week.
Andre Johnson has averaged 82.5 yards per game in his career. That mark is 81.7 percent against the Jaguars in his career even though he was limited to two catches for 36 yards just a few weeks ago.
Chris Johnson is ranked 9th at the running back position in points. The last two weeks he has nine receptions and over his last five games he's scored five times. The Broncos have allowed the 10th most points on a weekly basis to runners.
Stevie Johnson will likely see a whole lot of Revis Island in Week 14. He had a disappointing five catch, 55 yard outing last week against the reeling Falcons. The last three games he's played SJohn has averaged four receptions for 46 yards and he hasn't scored.
Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging 81 rushing yards and has scored nine times in his last 10 games against the Texans. He also had 144 yards from scrimmage in the last meeting, his largest total on the season. Here are his touch total his last five games: 25, 25, 18, 20 and 25.
Colin Kaepernick is coming off his best two game passing stretch of the season. Also, over the last three weeks he's thrown for six scores an only one interception. When he faced the Seahawks in Week 2 this season he was limited to 127 yards while being picked off three times. The 'Hawks just shutdown Drew Brees on MNF.
Case Keenum has made two starts on the road and has thrown for four scores and zero interceptions. He faces a Jaguars club that allows 251 passing yards a week while permitting 23 TD passes, the third most in football even though they limited Keenum to 169 yards an no score a couple weeks back.
Eddie Lacy has averaged 103 yards a game on the ground in his last five at home. The Falcons are struggling defensively and they have allowed the third most rushing yards per game this season (135.4). They've also allowed 11 scores.
Andrew Luck leads AFC quarterbacks with nine rushing scores since last season. He's also thrown for the 4th most yards in a QBs first two seasons in league history. The Bengals are a tough D against the pass though at 214 yards a week while permitting 15 scores while intercepting 13 passes.
Marshawn Lynch has run for 419 yards the last four times he faced the Niners while scoring six times. In fact, the last two times he's faced the club from San Francisco Lynch has run and caught a touchdown pass.
Eli Manning has four scores an no interceptions his last two against the Chargers. The club from San Diego is poor against the pass allowing the 5th worst mark of 269 yards a game in adidtion to 19 scores while only picking off seven passes.
Brandon Marshall's three games against the Cowboys have resulted in 16 receptions, 332 yards and three scores.
LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 1,523 yards from scrimmage. The Lions are tough against runners though allowing the 4th fewest points to RBs this season.
Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball have a good matchup in Week 14. The Titans allowed 114 yards on the ground, nothing special there, but they have permitted the second most rushing scores in football – 16.
Lamar Miller had a season-high 23 touches in Week 13. He only had 85 yards though as he faced the best run D in football (Jets). This week things are better as the Steelers have allowed 115 yards a game and 13 scores. They're just below the middle of the pack against the run.
Alfred Morris ranks 4th in the NFL with 996 rushing yards. His average of 4.8 YPC is better than the three men above him on the yardage list – Peterson, McCoy, Charles. He faces the Chiefs who have allowed only six rushing scores but permit 120.6 yards a week on the ground – 12th worst in football.
Greg Olsen has four touchdowns the last six games. The Saints have allowed only four scores to the tight end position this season.
Cordarrelle Patterson is a unique talent. He's also scored only twice on offense though and has just one game this season with more than four touches. Be careful.
Adrian Peterson ran for 143 yards the only time he faced the Ravens. The club from Baltimore allows a mere 100.1 yards per week on the ground, 6th fewest, and they've also permitted a league low two rushing scores.
Bobby Rainey has four touchdowns in his last four games. However, he's also failed to run for 65 yards in three of those four games and he's been held out of the end zone the past two weeks. Rainey faces the Bills who allow more than 121 rushing yards a week, 9th worst, but they've permitted only seven rushing scores this season.
Rueben Randle has six scores in his last eight games.
Tony Romo is 3-for-3 at throwing for 300 yards against the Bears. This season Chicago's defense has slumped though they have still intercepted 15 passes, the third best mark in football.
Matt Ryan has thrown for 300 yards six times this season. Unfortunately he's only thrown one score the past two weeks an over his last six games he's tossed only six touchdowns. The Packers allow 250.5 yards a game but they've only intercepted six passes while allowing 22 passing scores.
Alex Smith is a top-10 QB the past three weeks (he might even be top-5 in your setup). He's got a great matchup with the Redskins who allow the 7th most points to QBs. I still don't have him in my top-10 this week.
Just for fun... Geno Smith has gone 4-straight games without completing 10 passes. He's gone 4-straight without passing for 130 yards. He's gone 5-straight without a passing score.
Torrey Smith needs 48 yards for his first 1,000 yard season. The Vikings are the third worst defense against WRs this season, they allow 194 yards a week to wideouts, and have permitted 14 scores.
C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson killed it last week. This week though they have a toughish matchup with the Bucs who have allowed only six rushing scores this season and have held runners to 107 yards a week on the ground.
Darren Sproles has gone for 100 receiving yards or a touchdown the last three times he's faced the Panthers. Mark Ingram has a rushing score in two of three meetings. Pierre Thomas had 110 rushing yards in the last matchup. None of those efforts seem repeatable given that the Panthers rank 1st in the NFL in points allowed (13.1) and second in run defense (80.3 yards a game) while permitting a mere three rushing scores.
Zac Stacy has run for 482 yards and four scores in his last five games. He faces the Cardinals, a tough run defense that ranks third (83.3 yards per game an only four rushing scores).
Matthew Stafford has thrown for 627 yards and six scores the past two games. He faces the Eagles this week, the club that allows more yards per week through the air than any in the league (296.8). They've also permitted 20 passing scores this season.
Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 300 yards each of the past two weeks. He faces the Steelers, a club that is allowing 225 yards and has permitted 14 scores in 12 games. On paper, not a fantastic matchup for Tannehill.
Ben Tate ran for more than 100 yards and three scores last week. This week he faces the Jaguars who are allowing 130 yards a week (4th worst) and 16 rushing touchdowns (the second worst mark in football).
Justin Tucker has made 27-straight field goals. That's the longest active streak in football.
Shane Vereen has caught at least five passes in each of his four games this season. I still stand by my statement that because of his injury he can't catch. He never hauls in the ball cleanly. It's amazing that he's having so much success being unable to secure the ball immediately. He does have only 69 yards rushing over 20 carries the last two weeks. The Browns have allowed 61 receptions to running backs this season, the 13th most in football.
Mike Wallace will be motivated against the team that he felt disrespected him in Pittsburgh. Wallace has caught 12 balls for 209 yards and two scores the past two weeks.
Nate Washington has caught five of six targets each of the last two weeks though he hasn't scored a touchdown since September.
Roddy White caught 10 balls for 143 yards last week, showing up for the first time this season. White caught eight balls for 132 yards an a score in his only career game in Green Bay. Overall, he's scored in four of five meetings with the Packers (including the playoffs).
DeAngelo Williams has scored eight times in his last eight games against the Saints. He's also run for an average of 123 yards a game the past seven. Of course, he didn't play last week and has only one game this season with 90 yards rushing. Mike Tolbert ran for three scores the last time he faced the Saints. This season the Saints have allowed nine rushing scores while permitting 113 rushing yards a game.
Jason Witten lit up the Bears for 13 receptions, 112 yards an a score in the last matchup. He should have more success given that the Bears allow the 5th most points to tight ends.
Danny Woodhead has lost an average of seven snaps and five touches a week over the last four games when compared to the seven before that and that's not a trend that should make anyone comfortable. The Giants have been beaten a lot by the pass though as they've permitted 68 receptions by runners, the 6th most in football.
Kendall Wright has caught at least six passes for 77 yards in each of his last four games. During that stretch his average game has been seven receptions and 85 yards. The Broncos are ranked 8th worst at stopping WRs.The fantasy football playoffs, for 95 percent of you, begin this week. That raises the level of importance in terms of deciding who to start or sit. No more 'we'll get em' next week' talk. For most it's win or go home. Let me help you to win. Here us a look a the matchups that you should take note of for Week 14 of the NFL season.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.