Two weeks ago in Pricer’s Picks we discussed the best team defenses and special teams units to own down the final stretch of the season and into the fantasy playoffs. This week we will look at the RB, WR, and TE matchups for the all important weeks 14-16.
Week 14 RB:
1. Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis @ Cleveland
2. Alfred Morris vs Baltimore
3. MJD, Rashad Jennings vs New York Jets
4. Steven Jackson, Daryl Richardson @ Buffalo
5. Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, David Wilson vs New Orleans
Jamaal Charles was given a significant workload in week 10 and rewarded his owners with 100 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. In week 14, the first week of the fantasy playoffs, Charles gets the Browns. Hillis still isn’t getting the workload I thought he would but is worth consideration in week 14 if Charles gets hurt again.
Alfred Morris has great matchups in the first two weeks of the fantasy playoffs. He has had a couple of down weeks in a row now leading up to his bye last week which makes him a perfect buy low candidate. I recommend shooting some trade offers to the Morris owner in your league and err on the side of getting him on your roster, even if you have to overpay. In week 14 Morris gets the Baltimore run defense that has been a sieve to opposing running backs ever since Ray Lewis got hurt.
I think MJD is back by week 14. If not then Jennings is worth a start against one of the worst run defenses in the league
Steven Jackson had his best game of the year last week against the tough Niners defense. Jackson posted 29 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Daryl Richardson will be worth a flex play against Buffalo in week 14 even if SJax remains healthy.
The Giants have a great matchup against the Saints, but at this point we don’t know who will be getting the carries in week 14. Monitor Bradshaw’s injury status the next few weeks. If I was to target one of these backs to get in trade, it would be Andre Brown.
Week 15 RB:
1. Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin @ Buffalo
2. Doug Martin, LeGarrette Blount @ New Orleans
3. Alfred Morris @ Cleveland
4. Chris Johnson vs New York Jets
5. Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas vs. Jaguars
Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin are two of the hottest running backs in the league right now and both have excellent matchups in Week 15. Their respective backups, Turbin and Blount are also worth stashing away in case of injury.
Morris make the list again vs Cleveland.
After an extremely slow start, Chris Johnson is looking more like his old self. Johnson has ran for at least 90 yards in each of the past 5 games and has scored a touchdown in two straight games. In week 15 he gets the Jets who just gave up more than 150 yards and a touchdown to he the aforementioned Marshawn Lynch.
Reggie Bush hasn’t been himself since he tweaked his left knee back in Week 3 vs the Jets. Since his 172 yard 2 touchdown outburst in Week 2, Bush hasn’t had more than 67 yards rushing in a game and only has two touchdowns in the last 7 games. Despite all that, Miami has a great schedule for their running backs in week 15 and 16. Daniel Thomas has been getting more work in recent weeks and may be the more valuable back to own by week 15 if he isn’t already.
Week 16 RB:
1. Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen @ Jacksonville
2. Willis McGahee, Ronnie Hillman vs Cleveland
3. Ryan Matthews @ New York Jets
4. Demarco Murray, Felix Jones vs New Orleans
5. Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas vs Buffalo
In week 16, the fantasy super bowl for most weeks, Steven Ridley or Shane Vereen could very well carry you to a championship. Ridley is a great trade target and is flying a bit under the radar. Most people don’t realize that Ridley is the 6th best fantasy RB through week 11 and may be willing to deal him. If you can’t get Ridley then pick up Vereen off your waiver wires and stash him. He has flex value now, but would become an instant RB2 should Ridley get hurt or start fumbling again.
Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman have a great matchup in week 16 against the Browns. Hillman has been getting more work in recent weeks and if McGahee can’t get a handle on his fumbling issues, Hillman’s role could grow even more. With Manning routinely putting up 300 yards per game, the Browns will be more concerned with the passing game than the running game which should leave plenty of room to run for both Denver running backs
Ryan Mathews hasn’t lived up to his draft spot, but due to the dearth of productive running backs, he is still an every week start. In week 16, the most important game of the season, Mathews will help you win a title running against the Jets.
Demarco Murray should be back in the lineup by the time the Cowboys face the Saints, but if not Felix Jones is running well enough that he will take advantage of the matchup.
Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas have another great matchup in week 16.
Week 14 WR/TE:
1. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham @ New York Giants
2. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks vs. New Orleans
3. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek @ Tampa Bay
4. Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin @ Washington
5. Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels @ New England
The Giants secondary has been on life support all season long and provides a juicy matchup for the Saints passing attack in week 14. Start all of your Saints this week.
The Saints are likewise a great matchup for the Giants passing attack. Hakeem Nicks should be 100% by the time the Saints come to town. He is the key to Eli Manning turning his season around and getting the Giants out of their current slump
DJax, Maclin, and Celek have a great matchup vs the worst pass defense in the league in week 14. We don’t know who will be the quarterback that week just yet, but it shouldn’t matter. This matchup is that good. Foles and Maclin seemed to be building some chemistry in the second half of last weeks game against the Cowboys, so he could be the more valuable of the two going forward.
Flacco is inconsistent, but against the Redskins he should support good fantasy days for both Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.
The Patriots pass defense has been giving up big plays all season. Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels should both have great days in this potential preview of the AFC championship game.
Week 15 WR/TE:
1. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham vs Tampa Bay
2. Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams @ New Orleans
3. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Brandon Stokely, Joel Dreesen @ Baltimore
4. Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez @ New York Giants
5. Brian Hartline vs Jacksonville
The Saints show up again on the week 15 list because they face Tampa Bay, the worst pass defense in the league. Start all your Saints in week 15.
The Saints are again in turn, a great matchup for their opponent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see big days from both Vincent Jackson and Mike WIlliams. Dallas Clark could even be worth a start depending on how he looks coming into the game.
Peyton Manning has made all of his receivers look good this season. In week 15 he draws the 25th ranked pass defense of the Baltimore Ravens. All Broncos receivers should be in a lineup for this matchup.
You are already starting all your Falcons receivers every week anyway, but you’ll get a particularly great matchup in week 15 against the Giants’ decimated secondary.
Brian Hartline has put up a solid fantasy season through week 11 and draws a fantastic matchup in week 15 when the Jaguars come to town. Think of Hartline as a high end fantasy WR3 with low WR1 upside.
Week 16 WR/TE:
1. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Greg Jennings(?), Jermichael Finley vs Tennessee
2. Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez @ Jacksonville
3. Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten @ New Orleans
4. Danny Amendola, Chris Givens @ Tampa Bay
5. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek vs. Washington
If you have stuck with the Packers wide receivers through all their injuries and inconsistencies, then you will be rewarded greatly in week 16, the fantasy super bowl, when the Titans come to Lambeau. Even Jermichael Finley could be worth a start here depending on your roster. If Jennings is back in the lineup, look out. He will still have fresh legs after being out of commision for much of the earlier part of the season
Owners of the Cowboys receivers are in line for a big game against a weak Saints pass defense. If you have put up with Dez Bryant’s rollercoaster season, get ready to reap the rewards this week when it matters most.
I mentioned that Stevan Ridley could carry you to a fantasy championship in Week 16. The Patriots receivers and tight ends can and will do the same against a very suspect Jacksonville pass defense.
The Rams aren’t an offensive powerhouse but the Tampa Bay pass defense will make them look like one Danny Amendola is a borderline WR1 in ppr leagues and a low WR2 in non-ppr leagues. He has to be in your lineup against the league worst Tampa Bay pass defense. Chris Givens could get behind this defense and pull in another one of his patented 50 yard touchdown receptions.
The Eagles receivers appear on the list a second time here in week 16. We won’t know who the quarterback is for another few weeks, but again this matchup is too good to pass up unless you are stacked at wide receiver.
Thanks everyone. Post your questions about the rankings in the comments section in the forums!!