Week 14: Start 'Em
Going into week 14 of the season, you are either in the playoffs already or this is the final week of your season; either way, good luck. For those of you who are in the playoffs, I recommend that you start the same group of players you have been starting that helped get you in the playoffs. Week 13 had some wild games, big comebacks and it finished with the Colts and Saints still undefeated. Luckily for most fantasy owners, week 13 was a pretty quiet week in terms of major injuries or big fantasy stories. If you have an open spot because some of your players are injured or really not performing, here are some guys who might be able to help this week.
Joe Flacco started out the season on fire and it seemed he could do no wrong, but since the Ravens came back from their bye in week 8, Flacco has been brutal -- throwing for only 3 touchdowns in 6 games. Not really sure what happened to Flacco or where things went wrong, but this week he plays the Detroit Lions and that is the best cure for any QB who is going through a rut. The Lions have been a disaster when it comes to stopping opposing teams' QB's, giving up an average of 281.6 yards and 2.2 touchdowns per game. If you have soured on Flacco and stashed him on the bench, make sure to give him one more chance this week.
If you are in point per reception leagues then Davone Bess might be your guy this week, as he faces the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bess will never be mistaken for a big play guy (as you can see by his 9.3 yards per reception), but he is averaging about 5 receptions per game; thus making him a perfect fit for point per reception leagues. The Dolphins have been looking for their go-to receiver and finally after last week's performance (10 receptions for 117 yards and his first touchdown of the season) they might be ready to make Bess that guy. This week Bess faces a Jaguars team that has been awful at defending receivers, giving up an average of 13.2 receptions for 175.2 yards and 1.3 touchdowns. Put Bess in your line up this week.
The Redskins have been looking for a big play receiver to play opposite Santana Moss for years now, and over the past few weeks it has started to look like they might have found that somebody. Devin Thomas has finally started to emerge as a threat opposite Moss, even outproducing him over the past 3 weeks. Thomas made his big splash last week as he set career highs in every category, and he went off for 7 catches for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. If Thomas can keep this up he might finally be ready to be the Redskins' go to receiver -- at this point I think they would settle for consistent play week to week. Thomas has a solid match-up this week as Washington faces the Oakland Raiders. Look for Thomas to build on last week's performance, making him a solid WR3 or flex start this week.
Mike Wallace has been a pleasant surprise in his rookie campaign playing behind Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, posting solid numbers – 30 receptions for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns through the first 12 games of the season. Wallace would probably have better numbers if he wasn't the #3 receiver and sometimes #4 after Heath Miller, and that is most likely what will happen this week. Hines Ward is dealing with a strained hamstring and Coach Mike Tomlin has said that he is "very questionable" to play this week, especially with the Steelers playing on Thursday. If Ward does indeed sit out this week, look for Wallace to put up some big numbers.
Too bad for fantasy owners who drafted Kevin Boss expecting big things from him this season, it just hasn't turned out that way. Although, if you still have him on your roster this week, it is a great week to start him as he faces the Philadelphia Eagles. Last time these 2 teams met, Boss had 3 receptions for 70 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season. The Eagles have been one of, if not the, worst team at defending tight ends this season, giving up an average of 6.5 receptions for 69 yards and just over half a touchdown per game. This is a big game for the Giants, so look for Boss to step up and have a big game.
Jermichael Finley has had a wild up and down season, dealing with injuries and inconsistent play, rarely putting up 2 good weeks in a row over the first 10 weeks. However, now that he is finally healthy it looks like he has become a major part of Green Bay's passing offense. Over the last 3 weeks Finley has 17 receptions for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns, becoming one of Aaron Rogers' favorite targets. If you watched any of the Monday night game vs. the Ravens, you noticed that Rogers was constantly looking for Finley. Tight end is not a deep position and many owners are often looking for a new tight end to start, well look no further; time to get Finley off the bench and into the game.