Fantasy Friday: Week 14

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Here’s this week’s look at good and bad fantasy matchups.

Note: I try to pick less obvious players. I’m not going to tell you to play Peyton Manning or LaDainian Tomlinson or Randy Moss. No kiddin’, Sherlock.

Warning: I’m not immune to accidentally suggesting a player that might be injured and out for the week — or even the season. As much as I follow the game, mistakes can happen. If it does happen, just give me a polite jab and I’ll correct myself.

Thumbs Up

The following players should have favorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are greater due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Matt Cassel, NE vs. Seattle
Look for Cassel to rebound this week against the Seahawks after struggling against the Steelers last week.

David Garrard, Jac vs. Chicago
Garrard could have a nice week against the Bears’ pass defense, who are fourth-worst in the league.

Other favorable matchups: Brett Favre vs. San Francisco, Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans, Gus Frerotte vs. Detroit.

Running Backs

Chester Taylor, Min vs. Detroit
I can’t tell you to play Adrian Peterson, because that’s a given. But there should be enough carries to go around for Taylor to have a big game, too.

Peyton Hillis, Den vs. Kansas City
Hillis has come out of nowhere to become a strong fantasy threat and he faces the league’s second-worst run defense this week.

Other favorable matchups: Tim Hightower vs. St. Louis, Larry Johnson vs. Denver, Ryan Grant vs. Houston.

Wide Receivers

Isaac Bruce, SF vs. NY Jets
The past two weeks, Bruce has averaged 6 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. This week, the 49ers face a Jets defense that can’t defend the pass.

Matt Jones, Jac vs. Chicago
It’s amazing Jones still has avoided his suspension by the league after all these weeks. If he plays this week, he could have a big game.

Other favorable matchups: Jets WRs vs. San Francisco, Dwayne Bowe vs. Denver, Lee Evans vs. Miami.

Tight Ends

Tony Scheffler, Den vs. Kansas City
Scheffler led the Broncos with 7 catches for 90 yards last week and should continue to have success against the Chiefs.

Dallas Clark, Ind vs. Cincinnati
This has the makings of a big week for Clark and the Colts’ passing game.

Other favorable matchups: Vernon Davis vs. NY Jets, Tony Gonzalez vs. Denver, Jeremy Shockey vs. Atlanta.


Matt Bryant, TB vs. Carolina
Big divisional game, I imagine Bryant could get some field goal attempts.

John Carney, NYG vs. Philadelphia
There’s two schools of thought when it comes to an NFC East rivalry. It could either be a tight, defensive battle, or these two strong offenses could explode. I’m guessing the latter and these two kickers could score big.

Other favorable matchups: John Kasay vs. Tampa Bay, Stephen Gostkowski vs. Seattle, David Akers vs. NY Giants.


Indianapolis Colts, Ind vs. Cincinnati
This Colts defense should feast on this struggling Bengals offense.

Minnesota Vikings, Min vs. Detroit
With or without the big, fat Williams buddhas anchoring the defensive line, this Vikings defense should score some points this week.

Other favorable matchups: Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis, New England Patriots vs. Seattle, Chicago Bears vs. Jacksonville.

Thumbs Down

The following players should have unfavorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are worse due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Jason Campbell, Was vs. Baltimore
Campbell has a tough matchup this week against the Ravens’ No. 2 pass defense.

Jake Delhomme, Car vs. Tampa Bay
Delhomme’s best days are behind him and following surgery this past year, his arm strength is not what it once was. Tampa Bay managed to contain one of the top players in the league, Drew Brees, last week. Delhomme should struggle.

Other unfavorable matchups: Donovan McNabb vs. NY Giants, Eli Manning vs. Philadelphia, Ben Roethlisberger vs. Dallas.

Running Backs

Clinton Portis, Was vs. Baltimore
Portis is banged up and might not even play this week. Even if he does, he has a terrible matchup against the Ravens.

Frank Gore, SF vs. NY Jets
With the exception of this past week, the Jets have been stout against the run.

Other unfavorable matchups: Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Chicago, DeAngelo Williams vs. Tampa Bay, Willie Parker vs. Dallas.

Wide Receivers

Braylon Edwards, Cle vs. Tennessee
Edwards had just 2 catches for 36 yards last week and now he has Ken Dorsey throwing to him.

Texans WRs, Hou vs. Green Bay
Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter could struggle this week against the Packers’ tough secondary and solid pass defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Roy Williams vs. Pittsburgh, Santana Moss vs. Baltimore, Chad Johnson vs. Indianapolis.

Tight Ends

Todd Heap, Bal vs. Washington
Heap had 4 catches for 39 yards and a touchdown last week, but his matchup this week is tougher and he hasn’t played consistently all year.

Chris Cooley, Was vs. Baltimore
It’s not a good idea to play anybody against Baltimore. The Redskins’ offense may see limited time on the field.

Other unfavorable matchups: Owen Daniels vs. Green Bay, Kevin Boss vs. Philadelphia, Heath Miller vs. Dallas.


Phil Dawson, Cle vs. Tennessee
Dawson is fourth in the league in field goals made, but the Browns’ starting quarterback is now Ken Dorsey and he probably won’t move the ball against the tough Titans defense.

Josh Scobee, Jac vs. Chicago
I have a feeling the warm-weather kicker will struggle in the gusty winds of Soldier Field and the Bears will play tight defense, anyway.

Other unfavorable matchups: Kris Brown vs. Green Bay, Shayne Graham vs. Indianapolis, Adam Vinatieri vs. Cincinnati.


Atlanta Falcons, Atl vs. New Orleans
Never play any defense against the Saints. There are too many bad things that can happen.

New Orleans Saints, NO vs. Atlanta
The Saints have had trouble stopping teams all season long and the Falcons enter this game averaging nearly 25 points per game.

Other unfavorable matchups: Houston Texans vs. Green Bay, NY Giants vs. Philadelphia, Cleveland vs. Tennessee.

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