Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Philip Rivers (QB – San Diego)
The Giants are allowing the 14th-most points to fantasy quarterbacks, but those numbers are misleading. They gave up a total of 21 points to quarterbacks between Weeks 7-11 when they faced heavyweights Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, an injured Terrell Pryor, and Scott Tolzien. They’ve given up an average of 21 points a game against real NFL quarterbacks because their secondary sucks. Phil Rivers is a real NFL quarterback despite the weird faces he makes from time to time.
Steven Jackson (RB – Atlanta)
I can’t believe I’m recommending Jackson, but facts are facts. Jackson has 39 carries in the last two games and scored three touchdowns. Atlanta doesn’t have many other options, so they’re going to continue to use Jackson despite the fact that he probably runs a 5.6 40-yard-dash these days. Green Bay’s defense has gotten killed in the past two weeks, so you should be able to roll Jackson out there with confidence.
Montee Ball (RB – Denver)
Chances are you can’t get your hands on Ball now, but you may be debating whether or not to start him this week at the Flex. I’m giving you the go-ahead. Ball had 13 carries for 117 yards last week. Denver should be up in this game against Tennessee, so they’ll be running the ball more. They’ve also they they’d like to lessen Knowshon Moreno’s workload. Ball gets half of the goal line work anyway. This all sounds flex-worthy to me.
Nate Burleson (WR – Detroit)
I thought the Burleson hype wave was too strong last week, but I’m ready to give him a look here since expectations came back to Earth. The Lions’ secondary is incredibly bad so the Eagles will score plenty of points. Detroit will have to keep up, so there should be lots of passing to around this week. Last week’s bagel was probably an anomaly for Burlseon and he should bounce back as the third option in a heavy passing offense this weekend.
Julian Edelman (WR – New England)
The newly nicknamed “Minitron” has had a strong last two games. So much for a healthy Danny Amendola. It’s been Edelman playing ahead of Amendola in recent weeks. New England will continue to throw, so Edelman should be a factor again.
Ladarius Green (TE – San Diego)
Green played on 61 of 67 snaps last week, which is kind of a big deal because he’s supposed to be the second tight end. Antonio Gates is banged up with a hamstring injury (hamstring injuries never go away) and couldn’t provide a full work load, but there really just aren’t great options for Rivers other than Keenan Allen. Green’s a 6-foot-6 athlete with 4.4 speed. The Giants don’t defend TEs well, so you could do worse than Green this week.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Andrew Luck (QB – Indianapolis)
Luck’s owners can be disappointed with his performance this season. He was expected to take the leap, but in reality he’s scored an average of 13.5 fantasy points over the last four weeks. That’s not going to cut it during the games you need him most. The Bengals allow less than that, coming in as the seventh-best defense against fantasy quarterbacks. You should look for Luck alternatives if they’re there.
Frank Gore (RB – San Francisco)
I banged the drum on Gore when he was playing poor defenses recently, so now I’m going to pull the rug out from under him when he takes on the Seahawks. It’s also interesting that Gore has rushed less than 20 times in the last five games and hasn’t surpassed 100 yards since Week 6. The Seahawks’ defense limits the run, so Gore’s expectations should be lowered dramatically for this week.
Rashad Jennings (RB – Oakland)
Jennings has been extremely productive since taking over the starting gig for Darren McFadden. He wasn’t great last week, but part of that was a focus on the passing game and another part is the concussion. This week the Jets’ defense becomes the main issue. They limit most backs and their secondary, like with Oakland’s opponent last week, is a weakness. An added concern is that the Jets will likely take their chances letting Matt McGloin beat them and focus on Jennings.
Anquan Boldin (WR – San Francisco)
Boldin has looked back to his badass self over the last three games and it sure doesn’t hurt that Vernon Davis is health and Michael Crabtree is back. The problem is he does poorly with physical coverage and excels in zone sets. Since Crabtree isn’t at 100 percent yet, look for Richard Sherman to shadow Boldin and hold him down this week.
Michael Floyd (WR – Arizona)
Floyd has been great of late and was on my start list last week. He excels with deep routes and there won’t be many of those to go around this weekend. St. Louis’ pass rush should force Arizona to throw shorter patterns and limit Floyd’s big-play ability.
Jordan Cameron (TE – Cleveland)
Don’t look now, but Cameron hasn’t scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 7. He hasn’t scored a touchdown in that time, but he also isn’t putting up the yardage totals like the beginning of the season. Josh Gordon has become the primary offensive weapon for Cleveland and even the re-insertion of Brandon Weeden didn’t wake Cameron up last week. I’m OK with you looking for an alternative to Cameron this week because I am doing the same myself.