Week 14 Where to Put em

Thursday, Dec 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 14 of the 2011 NFL Season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Adrian Peterson. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Put 'em In The Game: Joe Flacco
If you have Joe Flacco, this is probably the last game this year where he's a viable starter. The Colts are giving up 253 yards passing to opposing QB's and the 4th-most fantasy points. Unless Ray Rice completely dominates the game, Flacco should put up decent numbers.
Put 'em In The Game: Carson Palmer
Let's see if you've heard this story. The Packers offense is unstoppable and they score at will. This forces their opponents to throw more than they'd like. Sound familiar? The Packers' secondary allows the 2nd-most yards and the 5th-most fantasy points to QB's, which makes Carson Palmer a great fantasy start this week particularly if Moore and Ford play.
Put 'em In The Game: Rex Grossman
The Patriots are the mirror-image of the Green Bay Packers. Explosive, score-at-will offenses with suspect secondaries. The Pack gives up the 2nd-most passing yards and the Patriots give up even more (325 yards/game). The match-up is beautiful and would be stunning if Fred Davis hadn't doped himself out of the game. We're saying give Sexy Rexy the ball!
Put 'em In The Game: Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch has been on a roll and we expect this train to keep rolling into Monday night when the Seahawks face the Rams. St Louis gives up the 4th-most yards on the ground and the 3rd-most ppr fantasy points to opposing RB's. Call us superstitious, but Lynch seems to do really well when the spotlight is upon him (148 yards & 2 scores on Thurs), and there's no bigger regular-season spotlight than Monday Night Football.
Put 'em In The Game: Reggie Bush
When compared to his production numbers, Reggie Bush has always been more hype than substance...until recently. He has scored double-digit ppr fantasy points in 4 of his last 6 games. He's seen the century mark twice. The Eagles defense has not lived up to its billing as of late and they're giving up the 7th-most fantasy points to opposing RB's. If it's a streak, we're ready to jump on the bandwagon.
Put 'em In The Game: C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller was a popular grab off the waiver wire. If you snagged him, this is the week to use him. After his showdown at San Diego he becomes less of an attractive option in Weeks 15 and 16. We'd definitely play him this week though as the Chargers give up the 11th-most yards on the ground and double-digit fantasy points to opposing rushers.
Put 'em In The Game: Roy Helu
While we can't prove it, we're pretty sure that Mike Shanahan is getting a percent or two of Roy Helu's next contract. Helu is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard games plus a score in each. He has been playing incredibly well since getting into Shanahan's good graces. The Patriots are very middle-of-the-road against the run, but with the way Helu has been playing, we're not ready to sit him.
Put 'em In The Game: Percy Harvin
Don't look now, but the hottest wide receiver in the game is not named Welker or Johnson. Percy Harvin has lit up the fantasy world the past three weeks so there is no reason to sit him while Peterson is out. Harvin is being looked upon as the team's primary playmaker and he hasn't disappointed. The Suh-less Lions are trending downward defensively which makes Harvin all that more attractive an option.
Put 'em In The Game: Anquan Boldin
If you receive the free weekly FFN newsletter, perhaps you got a chuckle out of the Sheldon Cooper reference to Anquan Boldin last week. By all accounts, it was entirely accurate. Laugh no more Boldin fans as we flip-flop faster than a politician running for President and endorse his "start" status this week against the Colts. Indy gives up at least 1 touchdown every week to an opposing WR. We like him for the same reasons we like Joe Flacco above.
Put 'em In The Game: Santana Moss
Let's see, that's 1...2...3. Yes, this is the 3rd Redskin that we're recommending this week. With Fred Davis out and Washington facing the porous secondary of the Patriots, we're giving the thumbs up to Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney. We're not putting stock in his past two games. He came back from injury and faced two tough defenses. Starting this week Moss has a cake schedule for the rest of the year. He could prove very helpful in the fantasy playoffs.
Put 'em In The Game: Kellen Winslow
Based upon the match-up, Kellen Winslow should be a solid option for fantasy owners and he's still available in a quarter of all Fleaflicker.com leagues. When Tampa Bay makes the short trip to visit the Jaguars, they'll be facing a defense that was dismantled on Monday night and is giving up the 3rd-most ppr fantasy points to opposing TE's.
Put 'em In The Game: Brent Celek
Besides Vick-owners, fantasy players who have Celek should be thrilled to see Michael Vick back under center. With Vince Young throwing the ball, Celek became an afterthought. It was sad to see when Young would get flustered in the pocket and try to scramble instead of looking to Celek or McCoy as the safe outs. Celek was great with Vick and we're looking forward to seeing that happen again.
Put 'em In The Game: Jason Hanson
For much of the season, Jason Hanson was the #1 kicker in the NFL. He's slipped down to 10th among all kickers since the Lions' bye week, but he has a great match-up this week against the Vikings. Minnesota gives up the most fantasy points to kickers and Hanson was flawless (4 for 4 FG's and 2 for 2 XP) when they met earlier this year.
Put 'em On The Bench: Andy Dalton
At this point in the season, we're looking for good plays to help advance us to the finals. Andy Dalton is risky. The rookie has been stellar this year but he's struggled as of late against some excellent defenses (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, & Cleveland). His tough road continues against Houston who gives up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to QB's.
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Ryan
If you don't have a better option, you're going to play Matt Ryan but we want to temper your expectations. He has struggled in the past against Carolina averaging 202 yards in their last 3 meetings (with just 163 yards in Week 6 this season) and more picks than scores. The Panthers give up the 12th-most fantasy points to QB's, so the potential is certainly there but we're looking for safer plays this week if we can find them.
Put 'em On The Bench: Beanie Wells
We received emails and questions from folks who disagreed with us in sitting Steven Jackson against San Francisco. Jackson didn't see the end zone in that game and we do not expect Beanie Wells to do so this week either. The 49ers are ridiculous against the run (even without Patrick Willis) and still haven't given up a score or a 100-yard game to an opposing RB. Wells is a risky play this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Cedric Benson
Flip a coin and you generally have the same odds as everyone else in predicting when Cedric Benson will have a solid game. This week we'll give even higher odds that he does poorly. The Texans cough up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to opposing rushers which means that he will likely struggle similar to last week against the Steelers. Don't drop him though - he's got a sweet match-up next week!
Put 'em On The Bench: Pierre Garcon
It's tempting to leave Garcon in after coming off a ridiculously awesome 9-catch, 150 yards, and 2 score game. Don't let the gaudy numbers fool you. That was against the Patriots and most came during the 4th quarter. The Ravens secondary is much tougher than the Patriots and it would be very surprising to see Garcon reach double-digit fantasy land.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dwayne Bowe
We're pretty sure we know what Dwayne Bowe has been doing all week...watching game tape of Buffalo's Stevie Johnson when he faced the Jets. Johnson made the super hero known as Darrelle Revis seem...well...ordinary. Johnson was the exception to the rule. While Bowe continues to get his targets with Tyler Palko, the throws were more accurate and timely when it was Matt Cassel under center. Unless Bowe/Palko can do what Buffalo did, we're expecting Revis to be back to his super hero ways.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brandon Pettigrew
Risky, risky, risky. Those are 2 more words than you need to describe Brandon Pettigrew right now. He torched the Vikings in Week 3 reaching the century mark, but he has been in a serious decline since. He's reached double digit fantasy points in ppr formats just once in the last six games. He's also one shove away from being ejected. We recommend looking for a safer alternative.
Put 'em On The Bench: Owen Daniels
Oh how we miss Matt Schaub. Daniels hasn't seen double-digit ppr fantasy points since Week 8. It's unlikely that he'll achieve double-digits this week against the Bengals who are giving up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to opposing TE's this season.
Put 'em On The Bench: Adam Vinatieri
We're not a big fan of Adam Vinatieri this week and it's pretty simple to explain why. If your team can't get into field goal position, your team can't kick field goals. If your team can't get into the end zone, your team can't kick extra points. Unless there's another way for a kicker to score some fantasy points, we're not expecting much out of Vinatieri.

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