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Last week: 26-15-5, Season: 243-139-25 (64%)
Week 13 Recap: I cooled off a little from the previous two weeks, but was still well above .500 on the week. It was a strange week with a bunch of fringe starters putting up huge point totals. I called a few of them in last week’s Start’em column: Tre Mason (+25), Keenan Allen (+23), Kenny Stills (+17), Philip Rivers (+17), and C.J. Anderson (+12). My calls to start Romo (-16), Tannehill (-10), and Sammy Watkins (-8) didn’t turn out quite as well.
Despite both my jinx on Stafford (+9) and reverse jinx on Cutler (+3) pretty much backfiring, most of my Sit’em picks were spot on (13-6). Every week I advise sitting Colin Kaepernick (-14), T-Rich (-10), Michael Crabtree (-10), and Vernon Davis (-6) and they keep making me look smart.
Here are a few other fantasy notes from week 13 before I get to this week’s picks:
– WR DeAndre Hopkins (43 fantasy points), RB Tre Mason (40), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (39), WR Keenan Allen (32), WR Kenny Stills (29), and WR Donte Moncrief (27) all blew up last week and far surpassed their projected point totals. I had four 4 of those guys ( & CJ Anderson) in my Fanduel lineup for the Champions tourney and still just missed qualifying.
– Be wary of the commonly believed shortcomings a player is supposed to have. QB Drew Brees playing outside on a cold and rainy day in Pittsburgh sounds like a disaster for a guy who supposedly struggles outside of a dome, but Brees was awesome on Sunday and threw 5 TD passes.
– It was good to see WR Calvin Johnson (32 fantasy points) back to his old form in time for the fantasy playoffs (unless you’re a Bears fan). It took a major investment to land Megatron in most leagues and he hasn’t returned the investment so far. If he carries a few of my squads to the fantasy title over the next few weeks it will all be worth it. He still has another game with the Bears on the schedule (week 16).
– Top 2 TE Jimmy Graham was held to ZERO fantasy points in what has to be the first time Graham ever dropped a doughnut in a game he didn’t leave due to injury. The Steelers double-covered Graham all game, even though Drew Brees was picking them apart with his other receivers. The Steelers gave up 5 TD passes with this defensive alignment, so I would be surprised if other teams try the same strategy on Graham. This may sound obvious, but Graham is still a safe play in all formats.
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If you missed my week 1 post with the pick guidelines and qualifications, here is the link . Short version is that only players started in less than 75% of Yahoo leagues are eligible for the Start’em picks and only players over 10% for the Sit’em picks. I’m using Yahoo’s default scoring projections (w .5 PPR) as my projection guidelines. The Start’em picks are players I think will outplay their projected line, while the Sit’em picks are players I think will fall short of their Yahoo projected total.
If you have questions about specific players, hit me up on Twitter or in the comment section and I will get back to you before this weekends games. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend. Now on to my Start’em / Sit’em picks for this week:
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Stafford, TB (70%, 15) – After a really bad season, Stafford found his touch and accuracy last week against the Bears. The Bucs defense isn’t great and Calvin Johnson finally looks healthy.
Tony Romo, @CHI (60%, 18) – As much as it pains me to say, the Bears pass defense has been really bad lately.
Russell Wilson, PHI (48%, 16) – The Eagles are giving up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Their fast-paced offense means more snaps for Wilson and I think he does enough to crack 20 points this week.
Philip Rivers, NE (41%, 17) – The Pats have one of the best pass defenses in the league, but Rivers was back to his early season form last week and I think he gets you at least 20 at home on Sunday.
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Ingram, @CAR (73%, 14) – Has at least 25 touches in 5 of the Saints last 6 games and I think he will get most of the work again this week against a suspect Panthers run D.
Tre Mason, @WAS (60%, 14) – Was last week a breakout game or a fluke against a bad D? I’m betting on a breakout game for the talented Mason and I think he will get enough touches to put up 15+ despite the Skins tough run D.
Denard Robinson, HOU (57%, 10) – Last week was a disappointment and he hasn’t scored over the last two games, but he is still getting around 15 touches per and I think he finds the end zone this week against a mediocre Texans Run D.
Daniel Herron, @CLE (34%, 11) – He’s basically producing at the same level as Ahmad Bradshaw, which makes you wonder how bad T-Rich really is when any other RB that gets the ball for the Colts looks awesome.
Andre Williams, @TEN (10%, 6) – Even if Rashad Jennings starts, he’s not 100% and I think Williams will get plenty of carries including the goal-line work in this one.