BYE: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
Saints vs Falcons: Kenny Stills; It’s never a good sign when your fantasy predictions go astray Thursday night as the Saints appeared to sleepwalk their way to a win despite the Falcons trying their hardest to make it a game at the end. I’ll chalk up Atlanta’s unlikely defensive resurgence to playing at home in a divisional match-up, but they should continue being the defensive sieve we’ve experienced over the past month. There’s a glimmer of hope for Matt Ryan and Roddy White owners heading to one of the league’s pass defenses in Buffalo next week, but are you really tying your playoff hopes to players who have yet prove their fantasy worth this year?
Jets vs Ravens: Marlon Brown; I’m tired of trying to predict who the No. 2 WR in Baltimore is, and especially frustrated with Torrey Smith slowly reverting back to his former big-play dependent self. Perhaps Geno Smith is simply “Bad Geno”? Sure, it’s only his first year in the NFL and he’s working with second and third-tier offensive weapons, but it takes a special individual to go 25 for 64 for 345 yards with 5 INT, 2 FUM, and 0 TDs over the last THREE GAMES. You’re hoping Chris Ivory’s high/low-ankle sprain is nothing serious with a great upcoming matchup against Miami’s porous run defense.
Steelers vs Browns: Jericho Cotchery; Cotchery posted a big fat zero (one target) in a game where Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t afraid to punt the ball or throw in Antonio Brown/Joe Haden’s direction as Brown looks to be turning the corner as a veritable WR1. Josh Gordon appears to have taken a page from the same book and continues to beast regardless of who’s throwing him the ball.
Panthers vs Dolphins: DeAngelo Williams; Matchups be damned! Carolina struggled the entire game before a couple late-game heroics courtesy of Cam Newton saved the day for the Panthers. You’re not overreacting to Carolina’s performance, and on Miami’s end, you have to be encouraged by Mike Wallace’s performance (5|127|1TD), who has a nice stretch of matchups to round out a disappointing year. You’re looking forward to an offseason for him and Ryan Tannehill to build a better connection for 2014.
Bears vs Rams: Rams D/ST; Josh McCown finally coughed up a couple turnovers (1 INT, 1 FUM), but it was the Bears defense that lost the game. The Rams D/ST were a sleeper pick for me coming into the season, but their biggest issue has been consistency and their window of opportunity as a productive fantasy play has likely closed with @SF, @Ari, NO, TB, and @Sea rounding out their season. Unless you’re desperate, Tavon Austin is too big-play dependent for you to care about him sitting on your bench.
Buccaneers vs Lions: Bobby Rainey; Did YOU predict Tiquan Underwood’s performance? How does his hightop fade fit underneath his helment? Why didn’t I play Lavonte David as my IDP?! You’re not surprised by Rainey’s performance, but unlike Donald Brown owners, you shouldn’t be discouraged considering he still had 18 touches out of the backfield, although you should continue to temper your expectations until at least Week 14 against Buffalo (Mike Glennon included). Nate Burleson is back in the starting WR3 conversation.
Vikings vs Packers: Jarrett Boykin; Boykin looks and plays like a big-time wide receiver and should be a solid WR3 with upside with a soft remaining schedule, especially with Matt Flynn replacing Scott Tolzien (Did I just vouch for Matt Flynn?) and playing against Detroit’s terrible secondary on Thanksgiving. Also, ties shouldn’t exist in the NFL.
Jaguars vs Texans: Garrett Graham; The Case Keenum Era in Houston appears to be coming to a close and beyond Andre Johnson and Ben Tate (who’s now competing with Dennis Johnson for backfield touches), no one is worth getting excited about as the Texans continue sinking to the bottom of the AFC. Jacksonville is no longer the early season cake-matchup but Maurice Jones-Drew is still your only starting Jaguar.
Chargers vs Chiefs: Ryan Mathews; Mathews had his 3rd-straight double-digit fantasy day, but a hamstring injury may once again derail his recent string of success; Danny Woodhead is likely long gone and Ronnie Brown isn’t worth a waiver pick-up. Speaking of derail, injuries to Justin Houston and Tamba Hali and another Denver match-up make the Chiefs D/ST more benchable than ever. Dwayne Bowe’s stock is rising as a WR3.
Colts vs Cardinals: Michael Floyd; Floyd continues to play like a high-end WR3 as long as Carson Palmer continues his hot streak while the Colts can’t figure out anything with their running game dead in the water and teams discovering T.Y. Hilton isn’t a WR1…yet.
Titans vs Raiders: Delanie Walker; Walker remains a low-end TE1, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s continued success makes you wonder if the Titans offensive system produces successful QB play rather than Jake Locker being a good QB, and Rashad Jennings likely has until Thanksgiving operating as Oakland’s backfield before it reverts to a timeshare and Darren McFadden begins eating into his production.
Cowboys vs Giants: Rueben Randle; Even a dream matchup against Dallas can’t solve Eli Manning’s woes this year, which spells doom for all Giants WRs yearning for any semblance of consistent fantasy productions. Andre Brown AND Tony Romo continue to do work.
Broncos vs Patriots: Danny Amendola; Or Julian Edelman? Right. A crazy game that proved a few key points: 1) Tom Brady is back to being a high-end QB1 2) Goodbye Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blound, hello Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden, and 3) Peyton Manning really hates the cold.
49ers vs Redskins: Colin Kaepernick; Kaepernick thrived as expected against a terrible, no good, very bad Redskins defense, who could seriously take his value to next level if he was allowed to run. Does anyone feel like Mike Shanahan is the parent who really wants the best out of his kids, but has no idea how to get it out of them? Needless to say, he’s lost the team and I’d be shocked if he was still in Washington next year. On a similar note, Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling drives me insane on Darrell Bevell-esque levels, and I doubt he has a job next year, too.
Always remember: Start your studs, play the match-ups, and don’t be afraid to make the trade!