Start 'em, Sit 'em, Smash 'em
Congratulations to all of you who have qualified for the 2013 fantasy postseason. This week’s live chat will commence at 10:30am eastern and will run for one full hour, where we’ll be discussing starts and sits, injury updates, weather reports, point spread movements and more. To access the chat, simply hit up the homepage of the National Football Post on Sunday morning and look to the “Hot News & Rumors” section of the site. Hangovers welcome.
WEEK 14 SURVIVOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Outside of the obvious (New England, Denver), we’d take a good long look at San Diego, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia in Week 14. The Chargers are 7-2 against the spread over their last nine games coming off a loss and catch New York in a sandwich spot (road divisional game last week, home marquee matchup vs. Seattle in Week 15), Tampa Bay plays host to a Buffalo team that is 1-4 on the road this season and the Eagles welcome an indoor dome team to some nasty Philadelphia weather.
MISFIRE OF THE WEEK
Last week: Buffalo Bills (-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (loss)
PICK: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3) vs. Carolina Panthers
Analysis: The Saints are 4-0 ATS over their last four games coming off a loss and 21-6 ATS over their last 27 home games. And after the humiliating beat-down New Orleans sustained at Seattle on Monday night, you know we’re going to get a great effort out of Drew Brees and company on Sunday. The Panthers can rest easy knowing that a loss on Sunday means a chance at redemption in Carolina two weeks from now, while the Saints are in a must-win spot if they have any plans of earning a first-round bye.
LVH SUPERCONTEST SELECTIONS
Last week: 3-2
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5) vs. Carolina Panthers
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-3) vs. New York Giants
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-2.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
BALTIMORE RAVENS (-7) vs. Minnesota Vikings
**Card not final yet, so a couple of these picks are subject to change.
CLICK HERE to check out all of the current lines.
START ‘EM UP
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Detroit): Why the hell not? All the second-year product out of Arizona has done this season is post a QB rating of 125.2 (best in NFL) while tossing 13 touchdown passes over his last four starts with exactly zero interceptions through 196 attempts. We expect the smooth stat lines to continue Sunday against a dome Lions team that is heading outdoors with a secondary that currently ranks 26th in the league against the pass (262.2 yds/gm).
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (at Chicago): The Bears currently rank dead-last in the NFL against the run (153.6 yds/gm), having surrendered 120 or more rushing yards in each of their last seven outings. And yes, that includes the 504 total rushing yards Chicago has permitted in just their last two games alone. Shockingly, only the Dallas Cowboys have surrendered more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than Chicago (23.6 pts/gm vs. 22.4 pts/gm), which makes Matt Forte and excellent start option in addition to Murray.
Smith should have some fun against a secondary that ranks 30th in the NFL against the pass.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Minnesota): Smith has found pay dirt in three of his last four starts and should benefit greatly in Week 14 from the fact that quarterback Joe Flacco plays far better at home than on the road. This matchup features a reeling Minnesota team that has to travel outdoors for a non-conference showdown with a defense that ranks 30th in the league against the pass (287.0 yds/gm) while permitting an average of 26.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (fourth-most in NFL).
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers (vs. Atlanta): Last week’s stat line at Detroit (10-16-0) was a total bust, but Lacy has still found the end zone in five of his last seven starts and should run wild Sunday afternoon against an Atlanta Falcons defense that currently ranks 30th in the league against the run (135.4 yds/gm) while giving up an average of 21.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in 2013 (sixth-most in NFL). The frigid Wisconsin temperatures will no doubt play a roll in the warm-weather Falcons’ already shoddy tackling abilities.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Buffalo): Jackson has found the end zone just once over his last six starts, but ranks seventh in the NFL in targets (121) and appears to play just a tad better at home (34-490-3) than on the road (27-473-2). Meanwhile, Buffalo is 1-4 away from Ralph Wilson Stadium this season and is permitting an average of 28.2 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Take note that only the Philadelphia Eagles have surrendered more fantasy points to opposing wideouts in 2013 than the Bills.
Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams (at Arizona): While certainly not the best option on the board due to a variety of inconsistencies that have limited Cook to a mediocre 2013 campaign, take solace in the fact that this Sunday offers up the tastiest matchup on the board for the 26-year-old, as Cook challenges an Arizona defense that is surrendering more fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year than any other team in the business (15.6 pts/gm).
New York Jets, D/ST (vs. Oakland): The Jets may have dropped three straight, but this defense still plays half decent at home, having allowed just 21.0 points per game through six home starts with five interceptions and a staggering 22 sacks. Note that this is a real bad spot for Oakland, who has to travel all the way across the country for an early start time with an offense that is averaging only 19.8 points per game on the season (26th in NFL).
SIT ‘EM DOWN
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (at San Francisco): He was an absolute beast on Monday night against the Saints (357 total yards, 3 touchdowns) and has completed over 72 percent of his passes in each of his last four starts, but Wilson is operating on a short week against a revenge-minded San Francisco squad that is surrendering an average of just 15.8 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (third-fewest in NFL). You can roll the dice if you want to, but don’t be surprised if the Niners put forth one of their best efforts of the season on Sunday.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams (at Arizona): The Cardinals are giving up an average of just 18.1 points and 77.0 rushing yards per game with one rushing touchdown allowed through six home starts this season (5-1), and just so happen to rank first in the league in fantasy points permitted to opposing ball-carriers in 2013 (12.0 pts/gm). Stacy should see plenty of touches, but we don’t believe they’ll result in enough to warrant a spot in your starting lineup this weekend.
We'd pass on both Wilson and Kaepernick in Week 14.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints (vs. Carolina): Has found the end zone just once over his last 11 starts with only one 100-yard receiving effort on the season, so take a pass on Colston in Week 14 when he runs into a Carolina defense that currently ranks sixth in the NFL against the pass (209.6 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of just 15.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (fourth-fewest in NFL).
Rashad Jennings, RB, Oakland Raiders (at NY Jets): A pleasant surprise during a solid four-game stretch in November (413 rushing yards, 2 scores), this is not the week to ride with Jennings. The Raiders are traveling cross country for an early start time in cold weather to challenge a Jets defense that is giving up an average of just 12.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (second-fewest in NFL).
Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee): Decker went nuclear against Kansas City last Sunday to the tune of eight catches for 174 yards and four scores, so fantasy owners are likely chomping at the bit to get him back into the starting lineup. But we advise you exercise caution with the Denver wideout this Sunday, as this looks to be a flat spot for the Broncos, who face a Tennessee defense that ranks seventh in the NFL against the pass (212.6 yds/gm) while giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league this year (12.4 pts/gm).
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (vs. Kansas City): Even if he’s ready to go this Sunday (concussion), take a pass on Reed in Week 14, as no team in the NFL is giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season than the Kansas City Chiefs (4.9 pts/gm).
Carolina Panthers, D/ST (at New Orleans): The Saints are 21-6 against the spread over their last 27 home games, 4-0 ATS over their last four games following a loss and definitely pissed off following the ass-kicking this team sustained just four days ago. Expect a big effort from Sean Payton and Drew Brees.
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