Recapping the Sit ‘Em & Start ‘Em suggestions that I made for week fourteen (14) of the 2013 Fantasy Football season.
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(CHI) QB Josh McCown vs. (DAL): 27/36 348 yards 4TD, 3 rush 16 yards TD – Did McCown ever come through for those who chose to start him again this week as he accounted for five touchdowns in the game. With the stellar Monday night effort McCown ended up as the highest scoring player in fantasy football. As good as McCown has looked in recent weeks there is still a good chance he is riding the pine when Cutler is able to start. People are talking about the Bears and how they should still let McCown start when Cutler is ready, but in the end Cutler is the more talented player and the guy they will go with in the playoffs should they get there. It has been a great story for a journeyman quarterback, but it could be coming to and end.
(TEN) QB Ryan Fitzpatrick @ (DEN): 13/24 172 yards TD, INT, 1 rush 4 yards – Fitzpatrick had the Titans moving pretty effectively early in this one, but it was the running backs who cashed in with the touchdowns; three of the Titans four touchdowns came from the running game despite only 96 total rushing yards in the game. The Titans actually held a one-point lead over the Broncos at the half, but were outscored 31-7 in the second half. Despite the lopsided score by the end of the game, Fitzpatrick only attempted 24 passes while the Titans rushed it 22 times. So yeah, the Titans only had about 46 offensive plays while Manning had 59 pass attempts (the Broncos also rushed it 32 times). This was a desperation play in a two-quarterback league if you used it, but unfortunately didn’t come through.
(ARI) Rashard Mendenhall vs. (STL): 17 rush 41 yards TD – I was hoping for some more yards from Mendenhall considering he got 17 carries in the win, but I am not going to complain about a double-digit effort. Mendenhall has another startable matchup next week against the Titans where he could again flirt with ten or so points, but will be sit’em player in week sixteen when the Cardinals take on the Seahawks in Seattle.
(ATL) RB Steven Jackson vs. (GB): 15 rush 71 yards, 1 catch 9 yards – The Falcons started off soli with Matt Ryan throwing a pair of early touchdowns and leading the Packers 21-10 at the half. I was hoping with an 11-point lead the Falcons would focus on running the ball, but instead it was the Packers who stepped things up at home and scored the only points of the second half. Like Mendenhall, Jackson has a good matchup next week against the Redskins but will likely need to be on your bench in week 16 as the Falcons visit the ‘49ers.
(GB) WR Jordy Nelson vs. (ATL): 4 catch 85 yards – Nelson was actually the leading receiver in the game with 85 yards, but was only targeted four times (luckily he caught all four). The best part about the result of the game was that the Packers won while the Lions squandered another chance in losing to the Eagles. Aaron Rodgers is still not cleared to play, but has a few more days to get clearance and help the Packers make a push for the division win, sitting just a half game back of both the Lions and Bears. It would be amazing for Nelson and Jones owners if Rodgers was able to play in the final few weeks of the fantasy season.
(DET) WR Nate Burleson @ (PHI): 2 catch 18 yards – I’m sure that everyone saw the weather in Philadelphia on Sunday and took the chance to take any non-stud from the passing game out of their lineup. The only players from this game I wanted to start after seeing the amount of snow were the running backs and Calvin Johnson, as I will never sit Calvin (even he was only able to come up with three catches for 49 yards). The leading receiver in the game was Cooper with 74 yards, but he only caught three of his nine targets. Let’s hope the Lions are playing in some better weather next week at home; they will be hosting the Ravens, one of the best run defences in the league and will need to move the ball in the air.
(PIT) TE Heath Miller vs. (MIA): 3 catch 56 yards – Despite a great matchup against the Dolphins and quarterback Big Ben throwing three touchdowns, Miller was unable to catch one and was left with just five fantasy points. Miller has gone over 80 yards just twice this season and has only one touchdown; I think I want to look elsewhere if I need a big day from a tight end in my fantasy playoffs. Miller has the Bengals this coming weekend.
(SEA) QB Russell Wilson @ (SF): 15/25 199 TD, INT, 1 rush 1 yards – It was another hard fought game between two of the heaviest hitting teams in the league, but as has been the trend was much lower scoring than the games played in Seattle. There is a stat going around about how the Seattle is 2-0 at home to the ‘49ers in the last two years, winning by 50 points or so, while the ‘49ers are also 2-0 at home to the Seahawks but bye around ten points. It was a bad matchup for Wilson as the ‘49ers have a great defence and were playing in a ‘statement’ game; make sure you get Wilson back in your lineup if you took him out for this one.
(PIT) QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. (MIA): 23/39 349 yards 3TD, 1 rush 8 yards – The Dolphins had allowed just one touchdown to a wide receiver all season but were scorched by Big Ben for three to go along with his 349 yards passing. Ben now has 14 touchdowns in his last five games and will be playing against a Bengals team that just allowed Andrew Luck to throw for four scores against them; I would think Roethlisberger should be in your lineup for that one. Some bad news is that the Steelers dropped to 5-8 in the loss to Miami and likely won’t be making the playoffs for the second year in a row.
(SF) Frank Gore vs. (SEA): 17 rush 110 yards – You can never count out Frank Gore. After six straight weeks of failing to rush for more than 90 yards, Gore comes out and goes for 110 against the Seahawks on just 17 carries. Gore will get the Buccaneers next week where he could have another solid day, and has an excellent matchup in week 16 against the Falcons. Gore should be solid for owners in the final two weeks of the fantasy season.
(STL) RB Zac Stacy @ (ARI): 14 rush 25 yards TD, 3 catch -3 yards – His yards per carry were awful as expected against the Arizona run defence, but was able to salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown to give him eight points. I don’t see a reason to sit Stacy anymore this season considering how consistent he has been and with his next two matchups coming at home to the Saints and Buccaneers.
(NO) WR Marques Colston vs. (CAR): 9 catch 125 2TD – I should have known better than to sit Colston when playing at home. Not that he has been amazing at home or anything, but the potential for a great game is always there, especially when the Saints or coming off a big loss and looking to smash someone. Colston caught the first two touchdowns thrown by Brees and ended the game with a team-high and season-high 13 targets. I imagine this will be Colston’s best game of the season, playing at home to a team the Saints are fighting for the division lead against, but he could see some more touchdowns in the coming weeks as they try to keep Carolina behind them in the standings. Unfortunately for the Saints, they play the next two games on the road.
(IND) WR T.Y. Hilton @ (CIN): 2 catch 7 yards – Andrew Luck was able to throw for four touchdowns against the Bengals defence, but only found Hilton for a total of seven yards. Another scary sign is that Hilton had less targets than four other Colt players. Coby Fleener again had a team-high nine targets along with rookie wide receiver Da’rick Rodgers while both running backs saw six targets compared to just five for Hilton. Hilton has been a bust in recent weeks and I expect more of the same against the Texans in week 15.
(CLE) TE Jordan Cameron @ (NE): 9 catch 121 yards TD – Against my expectations Cameron had a very efficient day on Sunday catching all nine of his targets for over 100 yards and a score. He was already having a solid game when Freeman found him on a four-yard score with about two minutes to go in the game. At the time it looked like it was going to be the game-winning touchdown, but you can never count out Tom Brady. Cameron had still been seeing at least seven targets in the tree games prior, but didn’t have more than 43 yards in any of those games. It was nice to see Freeman targeting him often and converting them for some solid gains. It is still hard to trust Cameron, but this game reminded me of his potential. Hopefully Freeman will continue to try to get the ball into Cameron’s hands.