There are only five weeks remaining this season! Picking players immersed in playoff contention is always good because their motivation is higher than those players who are just seeing the season out………
Drew Brees, Saints ($4m), has not reached 300 passing yards in his last five contests, but has delivered nine touchdowns strikes in his last three and leads the NFL with 31 scoring throws. Matt Ryan, Falcons ($3m), has surpassed 300 yards passing in his last four outings, including 411 and three touchdowns the last time these two teams met. Jake Locker, Titans ($2m): The Texans have given up 819 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks in the last two weeks. Tough game for the Titans, but a good opportunity for Locker.
Joe Flacco, Ravens ($3m), ended up throwing for 355 yards at San Diego last Sunday, but had only one scoring toss. Besides facing the number 1 aerial defense in the NFL, Flacco leads a Ravens offense that has produced only one touchdown in the last two games, including none at Pittsburgh two weeks ago. In his last eight outings, Flacco has thrown more than one touchdown pass only once. Carson Palmer, Raiders ($2m): After passing for only 146 yards at Cincinnati and facing a Cleveland defense that limited Pittsburgh’s Charlie Batch to less than 200 aerial yards and zero touchdowns, Palmer should be kept on the bench this week.
Michael Bush, Bears ($2m). The Seahawks always have problems on the road and have given up an average of 155 rushing yards in their last five games. With Matt Forte sidelined with an injury Bush, who scored twice last week against Minnesota, has a golden opportunity facing Seattle. Beanie Wells, Cardinals ($3m), was finally back last week and delivered, scoring two touchdowns for Arizona. The rushing offense is key for a Cardinals team that can’t get their passing game going, so Wells facing a Jets defense that ranks third last in the NFL at stopping the run looks as a very safe fantasy pick this week. Arian Foster, Texans ($4m): Tennessee has surrendered double digits in rushing touchdowns in 2012, Foster is the only player in the NFL who has double digits in rushing touchdowns. So once again, starting Houston’s elite back is a no brainer.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks ($4m), was limited to 46 rushing yards at Miami. Sunday he travels to Chicago to face a run defense that is, like Miami, amongst the NFL’s top 8. If you consider the Bears have only allowed three rushing touchdowns all season, the odds are clearly against starting Lynch this week. Stevan Ridley, Patriots ($2m), will be up against a Miami defense that shut down Seattle’s rushing offense last Sunday. The Patriots have always problems at South Florida and to win this one they will need to produce many passing yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals ($2m), has topped 100 yards rushing and scored a touchdown in each of his last two games, but repeating those numbers at San Diego against a Chargers defense that has not allowed a score on the ground since November 1 will not be an easy task.
Nate Washington, Titans ($1m): An opposing wide receiver has topped 140 receiving yards against Houston in each of the last two weeks. Washington, who leads Tennessee with 537 receiving yards and four touchdowns, is up now. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots ($3m): His knee is feeling much better and do not be surprised if Tom Brady, with an ailing receiving corps, looks for him often on deep routes. Jordy Nelson, Packers ($4m): Rodgers needs to deliver and Nelson should be on the other end of his quarterback throws. The top Packers wide receiver had 15 touchdowns receptions last year and only has six this season, but his numbers will be increased dramatically in December.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs ($3m): The Chiefs have been awful offensively in the last two seasons and that has really hurt Bowe’s numbers. After grabbing 15 touchdown passes in 2010, Bowe fell to five last year and has only three this season. Things should not change on Sunday as Kansas City will need to orientate their offense to the ground if they want to beat Carolina. Torrey Smith, Ravens ($2m), was limited to a seven-yard catch when Baltimore and Pittsburgh met for the first time two weeks ago. The Steelers have not allowed an opposing receiver to reach 100 yards since Week 1 and will take good care of stopping Smith’s ability to catch the deep ball.
Jimmy Graham, Saints ($4m), was held to only 33 yards receiving by the San Francisco defense last Sunday, but excelled three weeks ago against Atlanta with seven catches, 146 yards and two scores. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons ($3m), had also a huge performance in the last meeting between the Saints and Falcons, accounting for 11 grabs, 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Brent Celek, Eagles ($2m): The Eagles passing game has fallen apart in the last two weeks with a total of zero touchdowns. This situation has made Celek’s numbers decrease dramatically from October to late November.
Matt Bryant, Falcons ($1m) missed two field goals at Tampa last Sunday, but will be back home where he has won three games with late kicks for the Falcons. Bryant still ranks in the top 3 in the NFL in scoring with 108 points in the season. Lawrence Tynes, Giants ($1m), leads the league with 117 points. Tynes has 29 field goals and needs to average three per game to tie the NFL record set last year by San Francisco’s David Akers (44).
Steven Hauschka, Seahawks ($1m), has only made 15 field goals this year with three misses in 18 attempts. Hauschka has only attempted three field goals in his last four outings and Chicago is definitely not the best environment for this trend to be changed.
Chicago Bears ($1m). The Bears defense has not returned an interception for a touchdown for a while. If they corral the Seahawks rushing attack on Sunday, they will force rookie Russell Wilson to pass in situations which could lead to turnovers. San Francisco 49ers ($2m). The 49ers had many problems stopping the Rams offense in the game both teams tied three weeks ago. Be sure Jim Harbaugh will come up with an excellent defensive plan for Sunday with San Francisco’s D scoring big fantasy points again.
Philadelphia Eagles ($2m). Once an automatic fantasy pick, the Eagles defense is not delivering at all. On Monday night against Carolina, Philadelphia only got one sack from defensive end Jason Babin, who by the way was released after the game.