Week 15: Sit 'Em
As you begin your fantasy playoffs, consider your options carefully. Analyze your roster and make the best adjustments to support your playoff run. This week I think you should sit:
I am not sure if anyone was looking at Tyler Plako as a starting QB this season, yet a fantasy option. Palko will start against a Green Bay defense this week that is comparable to the pass defense in New England. This might look like an opportunity, but Palko has been less than stellar of late. In his last three games, he has not thrown for more than 200 yards and the last time he faced New England he threw for 230 yards and 3 interceptions. Green Bay has been successful in finding ways to intercept opposing QBs and this does not bode well for Palko. He is not a fantasy worthy gamble in playoffs.
Hunter is stealing carries and Gore has not been as productive as expected. Gore has been plagued by injury, but finally scored his first touchdown in many weeks last week. I like Gore and think he has the potential to bring a few more big games this season/post-season. This week, however, will not be one of them. Pittsburgh's solid run defense and Hunter's workload vs. Gore's are not convincing factors to start Gore this week. He is definitely a player downgrade given the match-up and running back by committee approach. Look for Gore to rush for 65 yards with no score. This might be a painful sit'em, but I have a feeling it will pay off. Hopefully you have another option stashed away on your bench.
Mathews has had three 100 plus yard outings in his past three games. This week he faces the Baltimore defense. This defense can be run on, but San Diego will have to be on target and cue to break down their opponent. Philip Rivers has had some issues this season and this causes issues with the running game. Mathews also has to deal with the fact that Mike Tolbert is the goal line back. Tolbert grabs the scores and Mathews does the work. Mathews does have an upside in the passing game, although Baltimore will look to constantly pressure Rivers. He might not have time to drop the ball off to his backs. Rivers is going to have to pick his targets, step into his throws and connect in this game. Mathews might look like a great option this week, but I think he could sit if you have a viable alternative. Look for Mathews to gain 60 yards tops, play a minimal role in the passing game and lose a TD opportunity to Tolbert.
I could not agree more with our Player Downgrade report on Rashard Mendenhall this week. The San Francisco run defense has shut down more than a few solid running backs. San Francisco is ranked first against the run, giving up about 70 yards per game. Pittsburgh's strategy this week should feature a heavy passing game. Mendenhall is not breaking long runs and Big Ben likes to air it out to his wide out weapons. Mendenhall's production this season has not been amazing. He has rushed for more than 80 yards only once this season and that outing was for 146 yards vs. Jacksonville. Issac Redman looks to steal touches as well. Redman has averaged more yards per carry than Mendenhall recently. I suspect we will see Mendenhall carry the ball around a dozen times for 50 yards without a score.
Spiller is now in the starting role and has not produced much. Spiller was held in check by San Diego last week and the last time Buffalo faced Miami, Fred Jackson and the running game were kept down. Yes, Buffalo played much of the game from behind, but the running game was stifled. This week I expect to see Buffalo play better than they did in their last outing with Miami. Spiller will get his chances though Mimai's defense might be able to keep him contained. Spiller will run for 40 yards on about a dozen carries and catch a few short yardage passes.