Alright folks, the fantasy football season is almost in the rear view. I hope you guys are in the playoffs, but if not, I get a lot of pleasure out of playing the spoiler. This is gut check time. Now is when you see what your team is made of. Hopefully the injury bug didn’t send your season into a tailspin. This season has been very peculiar. RB has been thinner than Drew Brees’s hairline. If you weren’t fortunate enough to get a Zac Stacy, Knowshon Moreno, or Rashad Jennings, then you know where I’m coming from. Don’t worry, I may be able to help you compensate for your RB situation.
There were quite a few young players who proved that they are studs. Nick Foles has single-handedly saved one of my teams. I would suggest Nick Foles as a must start from here on out. Alshon Jeffery has become the #1 WR in Chicago, and that is saying a lot, considering Brandon Marshall is on the same team. Marshall owners are praying to the fantasy gods that Cutler returns quickly. Josh Gordon is a bona-fide superstar, and he has been lights out all year. Do not second guess yourself on him anymore. Start him! Here are some other players I believe will eat this week.
WHO’S GONNA EAT
- Desean Jackson vs Det – D-Jax has been relatively quite since taking the top off defenses while Vick was under center. D-Jax is just too good to be held in check this long. Foles has been deadly accurate, and Chip Kelly and company are trying to put a playoff run together. Kelly realizes that D-Jax is going to be instrumental in their bid for the post season. Don’t let Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day performance against “noodle arm” Flynn fool you. They will get burned worse than Michael Jackson’s hair in a Pepsi commercial.
- Ladarius Green vs NYG – Philip Rivers’s go to guy in the red zone. Green has made the most of his apprenticeship under Gates. Green is strikingly similar to Gates in his early career. He is a product of the Norv Turner regime. Turner has a knack for finding stud TE’s, and Green is no different. Follow Green to the green$$$. He will continue to produce TE 1 numbers the rest of the way.
- DeMarco Murray vs Chi – Lately, Murray has been running like a man possessed. Lance Dunbar looked like he was going to steal carries from Murray, until he went down with a knee injury. Dallas has been very vocal about their need to get the running game going. Chicago has been getting chewed up by RBs faster than a bag of Cheetos at Fat Camp. Murray is gonna feast this week. A top 10 finish is in store for him.
- Ben Tate vs Jax – Ben is gonna eat! The Jaguars left a bad taste in Tate’s mouth, after holding him to 1 yard on 7 carries in week 12. Tate has a chip on his shoulder after being benched during their last meeting. This is also a contract year for Tate. I always take the guy who has something to prove. Tate will have his redemption in this showdown, aka The Toilet Bowl. These two teams are obviously competing for next years #1 pick. Wrap your head around that for a minute; Houston finishing dead last.
- Vincent Jackson vs Buf – Jackson has been up and down this year. Most of that is due to a rookie QB and the lack of a legitimate threat opposite him. Mike Williams’s injury actually hurt Jackson’s value. V-Jax is constantly facing double teams, but he is good enough to beat them. Buffalo was lit up by a hobbled Roddy White, to the tune of 143yds. Vincent is gonna eat this week. A Top 5 finish is very realistic.
- Brandon Marshall vs Dal – I know I already mentioned that Marshall is the #2 as long as McCown is under center. Well, think back to week 5. Marshall publicly complained about his role after Alshon Jefferey’s monster game. The very next week, Marshall was pacified with targets. If history is an indicator of the future, then Trestman will keep his veteran WR happy by designed plays for Marshall. Add to that the fact that Dallas has given up the most yards in the league, and it is a recipe for a tasty meal for Big Baby Brandon to eat. Start him as the WR 1 you drafted him to be.
- Ryan Tannehill vs Pit – Tannehill has been very consistent this season. I have dubbed him “Steady Eddie.” Tanny is coming off back to back 20 point games. He might not have the most upside, but he can be considered a “sure thing.” I would start Tanny over the likes of Bobby 3 Sticks, Andrew Luck, Case Keenum, and Andy Dalton. This is the time of year where you play it safe. Tanny’s leading WR, Mike Wallace, has the luxury of playing his former team. Players always seem to get fired up and excel in games against their former teams, except Greg Jennings vs Minnesota. The antique Steelers D hasn’t been the same dominant squad. The Steel Curtain is rusty. Once known as an elite shutdown corner, Ike has been getting beat worse than Tina after she failed to come home on time. Tannehill might not feast, but he will get his belly full enough to hold you over this week.
- Christopher Ivory vs Oak – Ivory was the lone bright spot for the NYJ offense, whom only amassed 177 total yards. The Jets realize they can’t rely on any of their QBs. Ivory will be the focal point of the offense this week. Rex Ryan is coaching for his job and won’t leave it in the hands of Planet of The Apes star, Geno Smith. Ivory has been running like a freight train as of late. Ivory is due to hit pay dirt against an inferior Oakland D. Start Ivory as a flex, and he shall deliver thee to the promise land.
Who’s Not Gonna Eat
- Andy Dalton vs Indy – Cincinnati is one of the most talented teams in the league. It is pretty amazing that they lead the AFC North, considering how horrible Dalton has been down the stretch. Dalton looks more out of place on the field than the snot troth on Joaquin Phoenix’s face. Dalton is not start-able during these crucial playoff match ups. Pray that you’re the one facing the guy who starts Dalton. DO NOT put your season in the hands of The Red Rifle.
- Colin Kaepernick vs Sea – The classic division rivalry is sure to be a very physical game. Kaep has struggled against the Legion of Boom. Crabtree is coming back from an Achilles injury, which will help Kaep’s value going forward. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a week. Seattle has Kaepernick’s number. Flash back to week 2, when Kaepernick was held to a pathetic five fantasy points. Granted, the 9ers will not have to deal with the 12th man this week, but they will have to deal with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Harbaugh seems to be very conservative with Kaepernick. This is a boring ground and pound offense. Although, Kaepernick himself has had few designed run plays this season. I would keep Colin on the bench if possible. I mentioned Ryan Tannehill earlier, whom I’d also start over Kaep. There is a very good chance Tanny is available in your league. If not, find another option.
- Pierre Thomas vs Car – Called the most underrated complete RB in the NFL by fellow teammate Drew Brees recently, Thomas draws the ferocious Panther D this week. While I might not totally agree with Drew’s assessment of Thomas, I do believe he is a jack of all trades. If Thomas was that good, he would’ve beat out Mark Ingram long ago. Yet Ingram still continues to get about 10-15 touches per game. Sproles is the man on passing downs and Ingram is the goal-line back. Where does that leave Thomas? I’ll tell you where, on your bench. There is just not enough touches to go around in New Orleans for Thomas to be relevent against this division foe. Coach Payton will want to get the passing game going after his team only put up 7 points last week against the Seadderall Seahawks. The division is on the line this week, so look for the Saints to rely on Jimmy Graham.
- Tavon Austin vs Patrick Peterson – I know Austin was just starting to come on and live up to his draft status. Sorry to inform you, but the momentum stops here! Arizona has some of the most talented DBs in the NFL. Arizona is looking to stay in the playoff hunt, so they will put there best CB, Patrick Peterson, on St. Louis’s most explosive weapon, Tavon Austin. Austin may be able to out run Peterson, but Peterson will be way too physical for the little guy to handle. Add in The Honey Badger flying after the ball on every snap, and it would not surprise me if Austin laid an egg this week. I wouldn’t trust the rookie as nothing more than a “what the heck” flex.
- Danny Amendola vs Cle – I know, the younger, better version of Wes Welker. NOT!!! All the preseason reports about the great chemistry between Danny and Brady look like nothing more than a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Imagine you got the championship within your reach and Amendola is in your line-up, and on his first touch of the game he gets hit, fumbles, and gets injured all on the same play. Well, that is a real risk when you roll with Danny Boy. Do Not let your season come down to an Amendola injury. Besides, it looks like Edelman is Brady’s safety net. Not to mention Vereen is back in the saddle again. Amendola is also likely to draw Haden, who’s in danger of losing his shutdown title after being torched on consecutive weeks. The only player guaranteed to eat in New England is Gronk.
1. T.Y. Hilton vs Cin – After the Reggie Wayne injury, Hilton became an instant WR2 with upside, so we thought. After putting up some very good numbers against some very good teams, Hilton has disappeared. Rookie OC Pep Hamilton has taken some recent criticism from within the Colts hierarchy. Hamilton knows he must get the ball in the hands of his best playmaker, Hilton. Luck has lost confidence in DHB, who has dropped more passes than the rest of the Colts combined. With Trent Richardson running into walls like Wreck it Ralph, the Colts are desperate to put points on the board. Fleener will soften up the Bengals defense underneath enough for Hilton to take the top off. Hilton is due and could be a sneaky start this week against an overrated Bengals secondary. If you’re looking for upside, then Hilton is your guy.
That’s all for this weeks installment of Who’s Gonna Eat. Good luck this week in your playoff match-up. I don’t care if you’re in the consolation bracket, give it your all and dominate your opponent. As always, you can have your questions answered on twitter at Lions Denn@dunbar_dennis. Until next time.