FANTASY FOOTBALL, New York, December 4
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Playoffs are upon us. That’s right, folks, after 13 long weeks, the moment we’ve been building up to is here. Did you make the cut?
You might have if you’ve been listening to me – I have had five-straight positive weeks, dating back to week 9, and my start ‘ems have been outscoring my sit ‘ems by a total of 274-193 during that time.
Last week, QB Matthew Stafford, WR Odell Beckham Jr. and D/ST Texans all proved to be great picks, while QB Jay Cutler, WR Mike Evans and D/ST Chiefs all collected dust on the bench.
Let’s focus on this week now – and let’s start with the picks:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (HOU) at JAX
The guy put on one of the best fantasy quarterback performances of all-time last week (39 points) – and this week QB Ryan Fitzpatrick can take that confidence boost into an easy matchup against one of the league’s worst secondaries.
WR Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs BAL
A second-round steal for the Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft, WR Jarvis Landry is one of the best rookie receivers in the league, and he’s seeing plenty of targets. On Monday, he saw 11 targets – a tie for team-high with WR Mike Wallace – and this week he’ll see the ball come his way even more.
RB Frank Gore (SF) at OAK
The Raiders got their win in week 12, but any good feelings running through Oakland were squandered by a blowout in week 13, 52-0. In that game, the Raiders allowed 172 yards on the ground, and that lackadaisical run defense will allow for a field day by RB Frank Gore.
TE Rob Gronkowski (NE) at SD
He’s a beast. TE Rob Gronkowski has easily been the best fantasy tight end in 2014. This week, you shouldn’t be afraid of the matchup – sure, San Diego has been good against the tight end this season, but that will be forgotten on Sunday night.
K Dan Carpenter (BUF) at DEN
Kicking in Denver is a luxury. This week, K Dan Carpenter hit the lottery as he’ll travel to Sports Authority Field for a Sunday afternoon showdown that should produce ample kicking opportunities for the six-year veteran.
D/ST Lions (DET) vs TB
Only two other teams are allowing more points per game to opposing defenses this season (Jacksonville 13.6, St. Louis 11.3) so it’s safe to say that Tampa Bay has struggled in 2014. This week, the Lions welcome them to Ford Field where Detroit will force plenty of turnovers.
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) at GB
Green Bay is playing the best football in the NFL – there’s no doubt about it. This week, Atlanta and QB Matt Ryan will catch the Packers at the worst possible time when they arrive at Lambeau Field for Monday Night Football.
WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs SEA
The “Legion of Boom” is back – through the last three weeks, Seattle hasn’t allowed a wide receiver touchdown and is allowing, on average, just 55 yards/game to all receivers. Those are some scary numbers, especially for WR Jeremy Maclin who won’t be able to get anything going on Sunday.
RB C.J. Anderson (DEN) vs BUF
There’s no doubt that the second-year stud RB C.J. Anderson has emerged as the best – potentially by default due to injuries – running back in Denver’s backfield, but teams are going to start figuring him out. The leaders of that charge will be the Bills, which sport a run defense that allows just 96.3 yards/game on the ground this year.
TE Travis Kelce (KC) at ARI
When TE Anthony Fasano starts looking like a better option than you, that’s how you know you have a problem. TE Travis Kelce just hasn’t looked like the monster offensive weapon he was talked up to be this year, and his troubles will continue against a stout Arizona secondary this week.
K Robbie Gould (CHI) vs DAL
The Bears aren’t kicking many field goals this year – just 12 attempts in 2014 – and that hasn’t left much room for K Robbie Gould to be successful. Keep in mind, in the tries he has had, he’s only made 75 percent of his kicks. Stay away from Gould this week against Dallas. – As it turns out, Gould was injured the day after this article was written; K Jay Feely took his place and struggled in the same way I said Gould would.)
D/ST Chargers (SD) vs NE
QB Tom Brady isn’t happy with the loss to Green Bay last week and he’s going to take out that fury against San Diego – a team that’s forced only 13 turnovers this season, the fourth lowest in the league.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record
(Thursday, December 4, 2014; A24)