Chicago Bears at CLEVELAND BROWNS
Finally, Josh Gordon has some company as a Browns player worth considering for fantasy purposes! Obviously, you’ll be starting Gordon given his superhuman performance and production this season. His current pace extrapolated over a full 16 game season would have him at 2,036 yards and 11 TDs. Gordon is our #2 ranked WR this week, and he isn’t far behind Calvin in those rankings. Jordan Cameron finally showed some signs of life last week, finishing with 9 catches for 121 yards and a score. It’d be ambitious to expect a similar stat line, but 60-70 yards and a 50/50 chance to score seems rasonable. Jason Campbell had a monster game last week with almost 400 passing yards and 3 scores, and having Gordon at his disposal helps. However, he’s a risky start in your fantasy playoffs outside of a 2 QB league, and more than 275 yards and 2 scores would be impressive. If you’re still missing Aaron Rodgers, for instance, you could do worse, but don’t bet the house on Campbell. Chris Obgonnaya gets a special mention this week as a result of going against a poor Bears rush defense and Willis McGahee being out. He’ll still share work in the backfield, but he’s a sneaky flex option this week, and could see around 100 total yards.
CINCINNATI BENGALS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS
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There’s a distinct chance this will be a snow game, so if that happens, throw every prediction out the window. Ben Roethlisberger has been on a terrific tear of late, with 11 scores and 0 INTs over the last 4 weeks. He’s a safe bet for at least 250 yards and 2 scores, and is a high-upside QB2. Andy Dalton is a player we like a lot this week, and feel that he can exploit Pittsburgh’s secondary which has been prone to giving up big plays all season. His stat line should look similar to Roethlisberger’s by the end of the day. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is unlikely to put up big yardage, but is a good bet to score. Giovanni Bernard is a nice option, and we like him to pile up over 120 total yards. Le’Veon Bell will be in for a tough game, and his ceiling could be around 90 yards, though there’s every chance he can do more with his usual 20 touches. He’s best used as a flex option this week. Per ESPN, the Bengals’ defense has given up 6 WR scores over the last 4 games, though we think that benefits Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery more than Antonio Brown, who will still see his yardage top 100. All three are worthwhile options this week, depending on how desperate you are. A.J. Green has a very realistic shot at being fantasy’s highest scoring WR, as there looks to be nobody in the Steelers’ secondary capable of keeping up with him. Marvin Jones is also a sneaky option this week with a chance to go for over 60 yards and a score, but he’s a risky play. In spite of his score last week, we can’t recommend Jermaine Gresham, as week 14 was his first game with double digit fantasy points all season, and he finished with just 10. His floor and ceiling are just too low. Heath Miller, on the other hand, should have a baseline of around 60 yards, and is a safe play this week.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at Detroit Lions
Joe Flacco has, on paper, a juicy matchup with the Lions’ secondary. However, they’ve given up just 1 passing TD over the past 2 games. In the 3 weeks prior to last week’s game with the Vikings, Flacco had a solitary touchdown pass in each. Start him at your own risk. This also obviously hinders the Ravens’ WR corps, though Torrey Smith remains a high-upside WR2. We wouldn’t trust Marlon Brown who saw his targets increase from 1 in week 13 to 11 (!!!) in week 14. There’s just not enough consistency to consider using him. Dennis Pitta is a cause for optimism though, showing upon his return from injury that Flacco would target him often in key situations. His upside rivals that of almost any TE in the league, and if he’s on your roster he’s worth starting. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are not even worth considering starting against the Lions’ fearsome defensive line, which has been sensational against the run in recent weeks. Justin Tucker gets a bonus kicker mention, and should have a bounce-back game in a matchup in which the Ravens may struggle to move the ball.