AFC West Fantasy Preview: Week 14

First of all, if you are reading this you’re more than likely in the playoffs, so congratulations! I hope my previews have helped you get there, now let’s win some championships!

       

Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos (Sunday 4.05pm ET)                                                                                                      

Peyton Manning will be facing the 4th best defence against fantasy QBs, but Peyton is matchup proof. Unlikely to slip out of top 5 QB numbers.

Knowshon Moreno made up for his lack of yardage on the ground (18 from 15 carries) with 72 receiving yards and a receiving TD. This is great for Moreno owners, as he has shown he is a versatile back who Peyton can rely on. The Titans give up over 20 pts to RBs per game on average and Moreno should continue that trend.

Eric Decker caught 4 TDs last week in a win against the Chiefs – photo from www.thedenverchannel.com

Eric Decker blew up last week with 4 (count ‘em, 4!) receving TDs. The 42.40pts he scored account for over a quarter of his points this season, and I don’t need to tell you that he won’t be scoring those kind of points very often… This week I really like Welker, who should be Peyton’s top target against a good secondary. Underneath throws and short routes are likely to be in the game plan. Demaryius Thomas should still be started in all leagues, he’s a top 3 scoring WR in fantasy for a reason this year.

Julius Thomas may miss his third consecutive week if he doesn’t play this week. If he doesn’t play it gives a slight boost to the WRs in Denver. No TE will come in and put up Orange Julius-esque numbers, so don’t rush to start Tamme, who scored 0.3 points last week.

Broncos D/ST will be facing Ryan Fitzpatrick who seems to delight in throwing INTs. I can see a top 5 performance this week from the Broncos as Tennessee will have to throw to stay in the game.

 

Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins (Sunday 1.00pm ET) 

Alex Smith has scored an average of 20.7 points in his last three games, all of which the Chief’s lost. To put that into perspective, Smith’s average in all other games (all wins) was 12.3. I actually think this is a game the Chiefs could struggle in. A 3 game skid is never good and the game should be closer than you may think. I like smith to score 16-20 points this week, right around the average that Washington are allowing to QBs (18.94).

Jamaal Charles is not slowing down. 18 points last week, helped by a short TD run. Charles managed around 6YPC without any huge runs which is pleasing from a consistency point of view.

Dwayne Bowe had a few catches but Smith’s penchant to spread the ball to lots of different receivers makes Bowe a flex option at best. No other WRs bear mentioning at this stage.

Anthony Fasano is not expected to play this week, giving Sean McGrath’s limited value a bit of a boost. McGrath will see more targets, but he does not warrant a roster spot at this stage.

Chiefs D/ST has had a few poor games, but Bob Griffin is no Peyton Manning and I think they should see a top 10 performance this week.

 

New York Giants @ San Diego Chargers (Sunday 4.25pm ET)

Philip Rivers had his second worst fantasy performance of the season with just over 10 points against the Bengals. This time out he faces the Giants who have improved considerably in recent weeks and are on a roll. This game is going to be high scoring, both teams rely more on offence than defence. I think Rivers scores over 20 points for the 5th time this season.

Ryan Mathews had a quieter game but looking at his stats over the last 4 games he has shown consistency that he lacked last season. The matchup this week is okay, but Mathews is averaging 15 carries per game over the last 4 weeks and has 50 points to show for it. I like Mathews as a sleeper Flex option this week. Danny Woodhead had a really disappointing game, though his value as a receiving RB is going to be more volatile than a traditional RB like Mathews. He has flex value each week in PPR leagues, should get over 10pts this week in that format I predict.

Mathews has been quietly consistent this season after a dismal 2012 – photo from www.footballnation.com

Keenan Allen topped 100 yards again (5th time this season) but his fumble kept him in single digits. He gets WR2 targets and his talent pushes him into the WR1 question in deeper leagues. I like him for 10-14 points this week.

Antonio Gates was hindered a little by a hamstring injury but the Chargers still used him plenty on offence. However Ladarius Green bagged a TD and more points last week. I think both TEs will be used a lot from here on out since the Chargers have precious few WRs after Allen.

Chargers D/ST are not a good start, find another option.

 

Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets (Sunday 1.00pm ET)

Matt McGloin threw for more yards than Tony Romo on Thanksgiving, but crucially couldn’t win the game for the Raiders and is now 1-2 as the starter. The Cowboys were a great matchup, one of the best infact, and McGloin couldn’t find a TD against them, though his INT can be understood as he was trying to bring the Raiders back in the game late on with a deep throw. I’m a fan of McGloin but his upside is definitely limited as his OL remains hurt and inconsistent. Don’t start McGloin unless your hands are tied this week – I wouldn’t want him to lead me in a playoff run (though ironically I am in one league, not voluntarily!)

Rashad Jennings has 85 points in his 5 starts for the Raiders, however he left the game early due to concussion last week though he is practising fully. People are worried that Darren McFadden may return to take Jennings’ carries but DMC is hurting himself at the moment (ankle) and missed Wednesdays practise. McFadden is virtually done as a Raider. His contract is up this year and he won’t be retained in all likelihood. The Raiders’ season is lost and there is no reason not to let Jennings’ keep playing to earn a starting role next year. Jennings is a flex option at best this week though as the Jets allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs.

Denarius Moore missed the game last week and will likely miss again this week with a shoulder injury. In his absence last week we were introduced to Andre Holmes, who finished the game with with 11 targets, 7 catches and 136 yards as well as being inches short of a touchdown. Holmes has come from nowhere after posting just 3 receptions until this point. Holmes is more of a dynasty option right now but he certainly has upside. A risky start in anything but 16 team leagues, but fortune favours the brave. Rod Streater is averaging 75 yards a game over the last 3 weeks and his targets should increase with Moore injured. A flex choice in 16 team leagues, his PPR value is slightly greater.

Andre Holmes burst onto the scene with a breakout game in lieu of an injured Denarius Moore – photo from www.usatodaysportsimages.com

Mychal Rivera has been quiet since his TD in week 11, his points with McGloin is similar to his points with Pryor which is negligible on a points per game basis. Not worth owning but if you’re a dynasty player keep your eye on him.

Raiders D/ST against the Jets is a good matchup, but don’t bother starting the Raiders – you can find better options on waivers no doubt.

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