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Week 14 Studs, Duds and Sleepers

December 10, 2009

STUDS

DREW BREES –  Anyone watching Atlanta the past 4 weeks should be able to see how bad that pass defense really is.  Brees will turn in one of his best weeks of the year.  300 + yards and at least 3 TDs should help carry your team to the playoffs, or at least keep one of your friends out of them.

KURT WARNER –  The 49ers have played a solid run D all season so look for the Cardinals to stick to what they do best, throwing the football.  Warner did injury his hip last week so double check the injury updates as the week progresses but the Cardinals expect Warner to start and fantasy owners can expect big numbers.  309-2 TDs

CHRIS JOHNSON – It’s almost embarrassing to have to put Johnson on the list this week.  By this time everyone knows the kind of year CJ is having and a game against the Rams at home could be epic as he races towards Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. A ridiculous 200 + yards are very possible this week.

RASHARD MENDENHALL – Cleveland doesn’t do a lot of the things right on the defensive side of the ball, but defending the run could be what they do worst.  Pittsburgh needs a statement game and should look to get back to what they are known for which is a lockdown D, and a smash-mouth run game.   125 yards and one or two scores are likely.

MARQUES COLSTON – Like his teammate above Colston is blessed with a wonderful matchup in week 14 just in time for fantasy owners going into the final week before the playoffs.  While it is very likely that Brees will have success throwing to anyone of his passing targets, there will be plenty of points to go around.  Colston will score this week and hope he can put together his 2nd 100 yard game in three weeks.

VINCENT JACKSON – Jackson has been pretty useless to owners since his blistering start to the season.  Not reaching 60 yards receiving or the end zone in his last four games.  Fear not owners, the Dallas secondary can be beat for yards and scores and Jackson stands to improve greatly this week.  Look for 90 yards and a TD this week.

TONY GONZALEZ – T-Gonz had a solid 89 yards the last time Atlanta played the Saints.  His reception totals quietly went up after Ryan went down with his injury.  Look for that to continue as Hotlanta will be playing from behind early in this one.  100 yards and 1 TD.

DUDS

TOM BRADY – While labeling Brady a full blown “dud” this week might be a stretch, don’t expect huge numbers from him this week.  Carolina’s pass defense has been exceptional this season and Brady hasn’t been himself lately.  I see this game being closer than most people think and not very high scoring; the weather could also be an issue this week.  I saw one publication had Brady as their top ranked QB this week and I actually started laughing.  I’m not saying start whoever your number 2 QB is, but project modestly.

JAY CUTLER – The last time the Bears and Packers met Cutler was flipping passes up left and right and the results were an awful 4 Interceptions in a Bears loss.  Since that time the Packers secondary has gotten better.  Don’t expect many points out of the Bears in general, if you have a solid second choice this is the week for that play.

FRANK GORE – Since Alex Smith emergence as a legit passing threat, the 49ers have been forced to air the ball out.  Gore’s carries and rushing average have plummeted.  Unless you play in a PPR league or Gore has a favorable matchup, be careful where and when you start him.  Against Arizona this week is not one of those times.

CEDRIC BENSON – Minnesota has one of the top rushing Defenses in the NFL.  Add to that Benson injuries and Larry Johnson stealing some carries, it doesn’t look like a good weekend to rely on Benson to carry your fantasy team.

ANTONIO BRYANT – Bryant has been coming on the last couple of weeks and is starting to look like a viable option at WR once again.  The problem comes this week as he faces a very solid defense in the NYJ and a Pro-Bowl corner in Darrelle Revis.  Don’t expect much out of Bryant or the Bucs this week, but don’t forget about him either.

GREG OLSEN – Even if Olsen had not just been shut down for 2 catches for 1 yard last week I would strongly advise against starting Olsen at TE in week 14.  The Packers only allowed him one catch in their week one matchup and DPOY front runner Charles Woodson has been asked to handle most teams’ most dangerous target, which is still Olsen.  With a warm Woodson blanket covering him all day Sunday don’t expect Olsen to do much of anything.

SLEEPERS

JOE FLACCO – Everyone knows how bad the Detroit secondary has been this year.  The Ravens and Flacco should be looking for a confidence boost after a subpar offensive performance against the Packers Monday night.  I see no reason why Flacco and Co. can’t hang 30 plus on Detroit, look for the Ravens QB to be in on most of those points.

QUINTON GANTHER – In a move that should please fantasy owners, HC Jim Zorn announced early this week the Ganther would start @Oak this week.  This eliminated the chance that Ganther and Cartwright would be serving in the dreaded split carries situation and opened a nice window for a great RB matchup versus the Raiders awful run defense.  Ganther is a must add in all leagues and just may produce a top 15 RB performance this week.

CHRIS BROWN/RYAN MOATS –  Steve Slaton was placed on the IR this week ending his season but creating opportunity for Brown and Moats.  Seattle has played terrible on the road this year.  Look for Houston to keep the pressure off Matt Schuab’s injured Shoulder and control the clock with Brown and Moats.  Brown likely will receive most if not all the goal-line carries but moats should be the receiving and yards threat particularly late if Houston can build a lead early.

BRAYLON EDWARDS – Don’t expect a ton of yards from Edwards this week as NYJ will certainly keep the ball on the ground this week, but Tampa Bay has yielded 24 passing touchdowns this year and Edwards has shown should be the top red zone threat for the Jets this week.

HEATH MILLER – Quiet as of late look for an improved effort from Miller this week.  Pittsburgh’s offense should be clicking on all cylinders Thursday against the Browns as they look to get on track.  Miller had 80 yards and a touchdown the last time the two met.

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