InsideTheEagles.com

Fantasy Football Expert

Kurt Leimbach

Hot Pickups for Wk 14

Guys who might be available in your league and could help get a W this weekend –

Bryant Johnson (WR – ARZ) – Johnson should be starting for the Cardinals this weekend as Anquan Boldin will likely be sidelined with a broken toe. Johnson has struggled before in a starter's role, but at this point in the season anyone who is getting targets and opportunities belongs on a roster

Leonard Pope (TE – ARZ) – As with Johnson, Pope should benefit from additional looks as Larry Fitzgerald may also miss this game. Pope makes for a solid TE2 play in deep leagues.

Fred Jackson (RB – BUF) – Jackson has a great matchup against the Dolphins if Marshawn Lynch can't go again this weekend.

Mike Furrey (WR – DET) – Furrey will benefit most from Roy Williams' knee injury as he has been the odd man out of Detroit's passing game for most of the year.

Reggie Williams (WR – JAX) – Williams has been maddeningly inconsistent for most of his career and is likely sitting on your waiver wire. He has gained a good rapport with David Garrard and has a nice matchup against the Panthers this weekend.

Samkon Gado (RB – MIA) – Gado is in line to start against the Bills if Jesse Chatman can't go and any starting RB has value in fantasy.

Sidney Rice (WR – MIN) – Rice has had a couple of good games in a row and Tarvaris Jackson has been improving as of late. Minnesota has a good matchup against the 49ers this weekend.

Reuben Droughns (RB – NYG) – Droughns is nothing special, but will start against the Eagles if Brandon Jacobs can't go this weekend.

Josh McCown (QB – OAK) – McCown has a nice matchup against the Packers and will likely get the start over JaMarcus Russell this weekend

Marc Bulger (QB – STL) – A VERY slim chance that he is available, but if someone panicked after his concussion and cut him, he has a great matchup against the Bengals.

Luke McCown (QB – TB) – The other McCown brother will get the start if Jeff Garcia can't go, and has a good warm-weather matchup against the Texans.

Here's to a good week for all and enjoy the games. I always love to talk fantasy sports, so direct any lineup questions/comments about the article to KLeimbach34@yahoo.com .

 

Week 14

Well, if you're still reading, you're either in your league's playoffs or else still in the hunt to make them so congratulations!

With the first installment of these InsidetheEagles.com fantasy previews, I'll be taking a quick look at every game and hitting on the skill position players who I think are in line for a big-output game. That said, let's get right to it:

Thursday:

Bears @ Redskins

Bears Offense:

RB Adrian Peterson – The “other” Adrian Peterson had a nice game last week getting his via the ground and the air and should be in line to do the same against Washington . The Redskins let Bills 3 rd string RB Fred Jackson collect 150+ total yards, Peterson should be in line for a least 100 total yards and a good chance at a score. He runs pretty hard and pushes the pile.

Redskins Offense:

RBs Clinton Portis & Ladell Betts – Bears CB Nathan Vasher and NT Anthony Adams have already been ruled out for Thursday's game. Portis got nicked up a bit last week but should play and have a good game as he has been running well lately. Betts makes for a nice play in deep leagues as he is a good receiver and could get on the board for a score facing a Bears D that is a shell of its former self. OG Randy Thomas should return as well, shoring up their Redskins' O-Line.

Sunday:

Carolina @ Jacksonville

Panthers Offense:

WR Steve Smith – Smith has come back to life a bit the last few weeks with ancient wonder Vinny Testaverde at the helm. There is not much to like about the team's matchup with Jacksonville this weekend, but the team will at least keep trying to get Smith the ball.

Jaguars Offense:

QB David Garrard, TE Marcedes Lewis, WR Reggie Williams – Garrard has been amazingly consistent and careful this year in the passing game, recording his first thrown interception last week only because the ball bounced off of a Jags player first into the arms of a Colts defender. Lewis and Williams have emerged as his favorite targets over the past few weeks, especially with TE George Wrighster on IR with a knee injury.

Dallas @ Detroit

Cowboys Offense:

QB Tony Romo, WRs Terrell Owens & Patrick Crayton, TE Jason Witten – The Lions allow 265.6 passing YPG and have given up 24 passing TDs. There's enough love for everyone here. If you're really, really desperate you could even consider starting WR Sam Hurd or TE Anthony Fasano in a super-deep league.

RB Marion Barber – The Cowboys love to pass first to set up the run. Barber is a great closer and is a great option to secure a win when ahead. Expect some quality second half yardage numbers and a good chance at a score.

Lions Offense:

WR Calvin Johnson – The Cowboys can be passed on and the Lions will likely fall behind and need to throw a lot. Johnson is a physical specimen who should be able to handle the Cowboys' smaller corners with ease.

Miami @ Buffalo

Dolphins Offense:

RB Samkon Gado – RB Jesse Chatman looks like he could miss this coming game at the Bills, and former Packers starter Sam Gado will be getting the rock for the Dolphins. The Bills have a very middling run defense, giving up 116.4 yards per game on the ground. They've also yielded 10 rushing TDs this year, making Gado a good play if Chatman can't go.

Bills Offense:

Starting RB – Whoever can go for the Bills this weekend is a tremendous play, be it fill-in Fred Jackson or super-rookie Marshawn Lynch. Jackson had a great game in last week's upset win at Washington , totaling over 150 yards. Lynch is still nursing an ankle sprain, but could be set to go after a good week of practice. Keep an eye on the injury report. Miami sports the league's worst run defense and if cold weather rears its head in Orchard Park , the Bills will run, run, run to keep rookie QB Trent Edwards' mistakes to a minimum.

NY Giants @ EAGLES

Giants Offense:

WR Plaxico Burress – Burress is and always has been a terrible match-up for the Birds' corners. He is tall and extremely athletic. He is hobbled by a good number of injuries to his lower body, but has a great chance to score a TD against the Eagles, having done so the last two times the teams have played. Eagles CB Sheldon Brown may miss the game, making his matchup even better.

Eagles Offense:

RB Brian Westbrook – Westbrook is a matchup-proof player. He is capable of having a 100+ total yards/multiple TD game against any opponent.

WR Kevin Curtis – Regardless of who starts at QB (and I feel it's going to be McNabb who is going to be pronounced “100% healthy” by Reid this week), Curtis is a good play against the Giants. New York 's secondary wasn't very good to begin with this year, and now has a lot of injuries as CB Aaron Ross and S Gibril Wilson are very nicked up.

Oakland @ Green Bay

Raiders Offense:

TE Zach Miller – Not much to report here for the Raiders as it will be a cold West-to-East road trip game for Oakland . Miller could be a nice sneaky play as he has a good rapport with QB Josh McCown, who played very well in relief against Denver , leading the Raiders to a big win.

Packers Offense:

RB Ryan Grant – Grant has been absolutely nails since taking over the starting RB job in Green Bay , adding a lot of punch to a running attack that was far and away the worst in the league before he joined the lineup. I have to admit that I was not a big Grant supporter, but his big game against the Cowboys last week really turned me, and Oakland has one of the worst run defenses in the league. Grant should be in line for a huge game on the frozen tundra.

Pittsburgh @ New England

Steelers Offense:

RB Willie Parker – Parker should be able to bounce back from a disappointing game against the Bengals in which he lost two fumbles when the Steelers head to Foxborough. As much as we hear about the “blueprint” for beating the Pats, Willis McGahee and the Ravens laid down another chapter with their ability to get big gains in the running game. Losing LB Roosevelt Colvin is a big blow to the Pats' run defense and Parker will be an integral part of Pittsburgh 's game plan on Sunday.

Patriots Offense:

QB Tom Brady, WR Randy Moss – Even in a bad game, they have a good game. Brady didn't look very good last night, but still ended up with 2 TD passes, one of them to Moss. The Steelers have the best defense in the league, but obviously you would never sit these two. This matchup will have an effect on some of the lesser players like RB Laurence Maroney, but Brady and Moss will still get theirs.

San Diego @ Tennessee

Chargers Offense:

RB LaDanian Tomlinson – Um….you'd never sit him either. Tomlinson is like Westbrook in that you can put them against the best D in the league and still like your chances for a monster effort.

TE Antonio Gates – Gates had an awful game last week, catching only one pass for -1 yard. I like him to bounce back this week against an LB corps that is much better suited to stuffing the run than covering TEs. Once LT gets his game going a bit, the middle will start to open up for Gates to chew up yardage as the Titans begin to crowd the line.

Titans Offense:

WR Justin Gage – Gage has quietly had a very nice last month, averaging over 10 fantasy points (the equivalent of 100 yards or 40 yards + TD). The Chargers' weakness is their passing defense, and Young obviously has a good amount of trust in Gage. The Titans' passing game takes on a lot more importance if RB LenDale White's dislocated finger keeps him from suiting up. The team doesn't really like to give RB Chris Brown a full load.

St. Louis @ Cincinnati

Rams Offense:

RB Steven Jackson, WR Torry Holt, QB Marc Bulger – The Rams' triplets are in good shape, as Bulger just passed a neuropsych exam and is cleared to start this weekend if he makes it through the week of practice. He had missed last week's game with a concussion. This is great news for Jackson and Holt, as apparently the team's next option was going to be 3 rd stringer Brock Berlin . The Bengals' defense gives up 357.2 yards per game and 26.3 points per contest so there is a plenty of fantasy action to go around for Rams' skill players.

Bengals Offense:

RB Rudi Johnson, WRs TJ Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson & Chris Henry, QB Carson Palmer – About the same story for the Bengals as for the Rams. The Rams give up 24.8 points per game and doesn't have the secondary depth to keep up with the Bengals' star receivers. Rudi Johnson is back to being the starting RB and scored a TD last week against the Steelers. He still doesn't look like he's got a lot of burst, but he's getting the chances, and is a good bet to score a TD against a weak Rams defense.

Tampa Bay @ Houston

Bucs Offense:

RB Earnest Graham – Graham has been running great as of late and has brushed aside any rumors of Michael Pittman or Michael Bennett taking his job. Houston gives up 122.1 yards per game rushing, and Graham has also shown himself to be a very serviceable receiver coming out of the backfield.

Texans Offense:

RB Ron Dayne – With Matt Schaub likely out, the Texans will have to lean on Dayne to kickstart the offense. Dayne has been running very well lately, and had a good game last week against the Titans, who have the 6 th best rush defense in the league. Surprisingly enough, Dayne looks to be one of the few reliable cogs in Houston 's offense.

Arizona @ Seattle

Cardinals Offense:

RB Edgerrin James – WRs Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald are both hurt with a broken toe and a pulled groin, respectively. Boldin left last week's game early and Fitz didn't play, leaving a good portion of the offense to James. He responded well, with 120+ yards on 24 carries. Boldin will likely not play this weekend, and leg injuries are always of concern to receivers so Fitzgerald will likely be questionable at best. James figures to benefit again by being the focal point of the offense.

Seahawks Offense:

QB Matt Hasselbeck – Arizona ranks in the bottom third of the league in passing yards allowed per game, and Hasselbeck has a lot of weapons at his disposal. S Adrian Wilson and CB Eric Green will be out, leaving the Arizona secondary very depleted.

Minnesota @ San Francisco

Vikings Offense:

RBs Adrian Peterson & Chester Taylor – San Francisco yields 124.0 yards per game on the ground, and Minnesota can run with the best of them. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league and the 49ers defense should not have much of a chance of keeping these guys out of the end zone. Peterson is the better play as he has more home-run ability, but Taylor retains good value as a receiver and he still has a chance to score against the 49ers.

49ers Offense:

TE Vernon Davis – Not much to like about San Francisco 's offense. The Vikings have the best run D and the worst pass D so I like Davis 's chances to work the middle and have a decent chance at a score.

Cleveland @ NY Jets

Browns Offense:

RB Jamal Lewis – The Jets have the 4 th worst run D in the league and Lewis has run well lately for the Browns. He has a great chance to score a TD this week, and should benefit from the other Browns being able to move the ball between the 20's as well.

Jets Offense:

QB Kellen Clemens – Clemens had a decent week against the Dolphins and should be able to continue that trend against a Browns' defense that allows 258.4 yards per game through the air. WR Lavernaues Coles is back on the field and should help Clemens get some good stats against Cleveland .

Kansas City @ Denver

Chiefs Offense:

RB Kolby Smith – Smith has run well taking over as the starter from Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes. Denver gives up 149.1 yards per game on the ground and was torched by Oakland RB Justin Fargas for 144 yards and a score last week, who runs with a similar style to Smith. KC will look to keep the ball on the ground, and stay away from having to throw at CBs Dre' Bly and Champ Bailey.

Broncos Offense:

WR Brandon Marshall – Marshall has been incredibly consistent for the Broncos, not accruing less than 6 fantasy points in any game this year. Last time out, he caught 6 balls for 83 yards and should be productive again this weekend.

Indianapolis @ Baltimore

Colts Offense:

QB Peyton Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark – Baltimore fought hard against New England last night, but came up short and will likely be reeling from the loss next week. The Ravens still have a tough run D but have really struggled against the pass this year. Indy's O-line is back to healthy and Manning should have enough time to pick apart the Ravens' secondary.

Ravens Offense:

RB Willis McGahee – The Colts are very strong against the pass, and the Ravens showed last night that they are much more effective when they pursue a ground attack. McGahee ran with purpose and burst last night, gaining yards 8 and 9 at a time. He should be in line for a big game as the Ravens try to keep the ball away from Manning with a ground-control offense.

Monday:New Orleans @ Atlanta

Saints Offense -

WR Marques Colston – Reggie Bush is hurting and it has shown in his play as of late. Colston had a slow game last week, but likely was slowed by Tampa 's tough defense. Look for him to bounce back with a big game this Monday.

Falcons Offense –QB Chris Redman, WR Roddy White – Redman looked really good filling in for Joey Harrington last weekend and looked White's way early and often.

New Orleans is very susceptible to the big play, so if Redman gets the start, he could be a very nice play against the Saints' secondary.

Here's to a good week for all and enjoy the games. I always love to talk fantasy sports, so direct any lineup questions/comments about the article to KLeimbach34@yahoo.com .

 













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