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“Off the Matt”: In Question, Week 15 (Key Injury Advice)

Fantasy football can be cruel.



As I watched the MNF game, I couldn’t help but think of all the owners who watched their season go up in flames. All thanks to Julio Jones, who set a franchise record for yards receiving in a game on his way to a 30+ point fantasy performance.  I am sure there were thousands of owners who went into that game saying the same thing, “Well, as long as Julio doesn’t go huge–I advance.”  Three hours later, Julio Jones either became one of your favorite players; or a name that will always leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Some losses are worse than others.

bad beat

Remember that meaningless Aaron Rodgers kneel-down with one second on the clock?  One guy who will never forget it is the owner of the Derriere Destroyers.  The 4 yard loss on that kneel-down was enough to cost him is match-up by .2 points.  We have all had our fair share of beats, but that one ranks right up there with as bad as I have seen.

With guys like Rodgers, Nelson, D. Thomas, and McCoy I would assume that he is in contention for highest cumulative point total for the season.  Which brings me to this weeks installment of fantasy commandments.  Last week, I stressed the importance of playing in multiple leagues.  This week I want to strongly recommend playing in leagues that offer a percentage of the prize pool to the overall highest scoring teams.  I understand the correlation of fantasy playoffs to NFL playoffs.  Think about it though, when you draft Peyton Manning are you drafting him because you think is going to have a good year; or are you drafting him to play well in week 14/15/16?  Sometimes a good statistical year won’t always coincide with production in any or all of those weeks.  Don’t get me wrong. The rivalries and banter of a head to head league are hard to beat.  However, isn’t it silly to have all the money riding on the production of players over a three week stretch? Everyone has their own preferences, but playing in a league where a percentage of the money is set aside for the top 3 highest point totals for the season is the only way to go in my opinion.

Week 14 Recap

Penthouse Picks

Jonathan Stewart – 21.5

Poorhouse Picks

Stedman Bailey – 4.7

Jordan Reed – 2.5

Week: 15: “In Question”

If you are reading this chances are you are still alive and well in your fantasy league(s).  Congrats!  However, now is not the time to rest on one’s  laurels.  Julio Jones and his league leading receiving yards headline this weeks report.  All eyes will be on Atlanta, hoping Julio can get on the field for a dream match-up verse the Steelers.


Cam Newton (Out)

Any owner who trusted Cam Newton last week is probably moving on thanks to his 30+ point performance.  However, this week owners will have to find a different option.  Picking Johnny Manziel for this spot seems too obvious; I am going a different route.

Plan B: If I am a desperate man looking for a quarterback option who can have a big week, look no further than Jake Locker.  The Titans have struggled to get a ground game going all year, and it won’t get any easier verse the stout Jets run defense.  The secondary of the Jets  is where they can be beat.  The Jets have allowed 2+ touchdown passes in 11 of 13 contests this year.  Look for Locker to get a few touchdown passes and do enough damage with his legs to make him a sneaky play this week.


Denard Robinson (Out), Reggie Bush (Questionable), Ronnie Hillman (Questionable), Ryan Mathews (Questionable)

Reggie Bush cannot seem to get his ankle right as he lands back on the injury report with a questionable tag.  In his return last week, after a month layoff he looked rusty only netting 34 yards on 12 total touches.  With as hot as C.J. Anderson has been Ronnie Hillman might have a hard time getting on the field.  Ryan Mathews didn’t see the practice field any this week and is looking more on the doubtful side.  None of these guys listed above should be in your line-up today.

Plan B: The Tusk (Chris Ivory) stabbed me in the back earlier this year, but I am going to give him another chance.  Back to back 16 carry games is an encouraging sign.  16 carries verse the Titans rush defense should be more than enough to make for a productive fantasy outing.  Titans run defense last 6 games:

Attempts / Yards / Touchdowns



vs Houston: 36 / 200 / 2

@ Baltimore: 31 / 153 / 2

Pittsburgh: 33 / 204 / 1

@ Philly: 34 / 160 / 2

@ Houston: 31 / 98 / 0

NYG: 27 / 136 / 1

It is no secret that the Jets like to run the ball.  With the way the Titans struggle verse the run we might have the pleasure of seeing another game featuring 13 Geno Smith pass attempts.  I wonder what Corey Roberts would think of this game plan?? (1 hour 19 min mark)

Some say running backs hit a wall at 30.  Tell that to 33-year-old Fred Jackson.  Last week verse Denver he collected 10 receptions.  This week they could be trailing again making Jackson a must start in PPR leagues.


Julio Jones (Questionable), Andre Johnson (Questionable), DeSean Jackson (Questionable), Torrey Smith (Questionable), Percy Harvin (Questionable), Kendall Wright (Questionable)

Reports are not good out of Atlanta regarding the availability of Julio Jones.  Anytime I read something that says “can barely run” and “decoy” I am going to look for other options – – helllllooooo Harry DouglasAndre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, and Torrey Smith are all looking like game time decisions.  Of the three, Smith is most likely to play.

Plan BMarques Colston has had more downs that ups this fantasy



season.  However, he is riding a three game streak of at least 7 fantasy points and walks into a good match-up on MNF verse the Bears.  Chicago has allowed receivers to hit pay-dirt on them twice each of the last two weeks.  Chris Conte was the victim last week allowing 5’7” 130lb Cole Beasley to drag him into the end-zone.  Conte reportedly left the game with a back injury, but I think a bruised ego was the real diagnosis.  Conte is likely out making that already suspect secondary a bit weaker.


Good luck in the semis.  Hopefully you are not facing the white-hot Le’Veon Bell this week.  I don’t ever remember when it became commonplace  to forecast 200+ total yards of offense for a guy and it not be considered a reach.  I think we are at that point with Bell.  As sad as I am to say it, I would be thrilled if he was held to 150 and just one touchdown.  Not a bad floor eh?





(Click the blue link below to listen live)

Major League Fantasy Sports Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on December 14th, 2014 from 11am-12pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by TheSports PaloozaRadio Network.

We will take your calls live at 646.915.8596.  Our guests this week include Bryan Robinson and Ron McCleese. Bryan is a writer with MLFS and his focus is on the RB/WR positions. His articles are published every Thursday called “FLEXual Tension”. Ron McCleese is also a writer with MLFS and his focus is on the QB/TE positions. His articles are published every Friday called “Heroes & Zeros”. This should be a very spirited debate and we encourage listeners to join in!

Don’t forget if you miss the live airing you can always click the blue link above or listen to the podcast afterward. You can find it by searching forSports Palooza Radioon I-Tunes or Google play stores.

A/S/ the old school AOL instant messenger days... 31/M/PA Elementary Physical Education by day, chasing around my 1 and 2 year old boys by night. I started playing fantasy football when I was 9 years old (94'). My older brother let me be a co-owner on his team. We had one of those giant C-Band satellite dishes and had heard that there was a way to get every football game through a new package called "Sunday Ticket." My first memory was watching Terry Allen run around for the Vikings and I have been hooked ever since. I don't know what the world record is for most consecutive Sundays watching a minimum of seven hours of football, but I have to be on my way to achieving it.



  1. Joe Iannone

    December 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I 100% agree with you on the idea of splitting the prize money with top point scorers also. You could have the best season of your life going, built the best team you ever had, and watch it all be for naught on one Monday night game that goes against a season’s worth of predictability. I quit Head to Head several years ago mostly because of just that. I couldn’t imagine losing on that Rogers kneel play. I think my laptop would end up in the pool and I’d (At least for a minute) quit fantasy sports. I lost this season in the first round with Atlanta’s Jackson and Green Bay’s Davante Adams going. I only needed about 20 points. Once it was a high scoring game and Atlanta was playing catch-up, both players predictably became irrelevent on their teams and I watched the 2nd half in agony feeling helpless. I even quit fantasy sports (for a minute) and had to fish my lappie out of the pool in 35 degree water.

    Great article BTW.

    • Ron McCleese

      December 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Joe I haven’t throw my lappie out in the pool but I’ve sure come close to throwing it through my 60in TV screen! So I feel your pain!

  2. Matt Barkman

    December 14, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Hahaha…been there. Yea, I like head to head for the rivalries that are bound to happen. That is about it though. There is enough luck involved in fantasy football, but head to head playoffs is a whole other level.

  3. Ron McCleese

    December 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Great article as always Matt. I picked up Douglas in every league he was available yesterday. I hope that you’re right about Colston. I’m up by 5 pts and only have Colston left and my opponent has Marquess Wilson. Gonna be another night of nail biting and finger crossing!

    • Matt Barkman

      December 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Lock it up Ron. Any Wr vs this Bears secondary won’t disappoint

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