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NFL Week 14 Game of The Week (Fantasy Style)

Published: December 12, 2009

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With Week 14 of the NFL season fast approaching, it is once again time for the Bruno Boys to pick a Game of the Week, with a fantasy football twist. Each week we will choose one NFL game that we feel will have a lot of impact on the fantasy football world.

We all know the old saying “things are bigger in Texas” and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones obviously believes that, as we have all seen pictures of the new Cowboys Stadium. Not only is the stadium big, there will also be a very big game played there this weekend when the 9-3 San Diego Chargers travel to Dallas to face the 8-4 Cowboys.

The Chargers currently hold a one-game lead over the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, while the Cowboys sit in a first place tie with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.

By NFL standards this should be a great match-up and one heck of a game to watch, not to mention with the offensive talent in this game it should be entertaining for fantasy owners.

Points should be plentiful in this game, which should lead to big points for fantasy owners at this crucial point in the season. Not only should this be a very good NFL game, it is also the Bruno Boys Game of the Week .


Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers has passed for more then 300 yards in back-to-back games, including a 373-yard two touchdown performance in Week 13 against the Cleveland Browns .

It was his second highest yardage output since topping 400 yards in Week 2. Over his last four games he has passed for 1,066 yards with seven touchdowns without an interception.

During his fourth season as the starting quarterback in San Diego, Rivers is having another very good season, as he has passed for 3,311 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He is ranked No. 3 on the Bruno Boys Quarterback Rankings this week and in this match-up he will be facing a Dallas defense that is ranked No. 20 against the pass. Rivers is a must-start QB1 this week as he should be in line for a big game in Texas.

Like Rivers, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has passed for more then 300 yards over his last two games and in Week 13 he completed 41 of 55 passes for a career-high 392 yards against the New York Giants .

He also passed for three touchdowns in the game without an interception. It was the sixth time this season that he passed for more then 300 yards and the fourth time that he has thrown for three touchdowns without an interception in a game.

Romo has built a reputation for starting the season hot, but choking with the playoffs on the line in the month of December. He started the month of December with a career-high stat line in Week 13 and he will look to continue his hot streak this week against the Chargers No. 8 ranked pass defense.

Romo is our No. 8 ranked quarterback this week and he should be used as a fantasy starter but remember he has just 17 touchdown passes in 14 December games.


Running Backs

For just the second time in his nine-year NFL career, San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson will return home and play the Cowboys in Dallas.

He is a Waco, Texas, native and his boyhood idol was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith . He will likely have a lot of family and friends in attendance and he should be in line for a good game.

He will look to build off his recent success as he has rushed for eight touchdowns over his last six games. Use Tomlinson as a No. 2 fantasy running back this week against the No. 8 ranked rushing defense of the Cowboys and he is ranked No. 18 on the Bruno Boys Running Back Rankings .

After being held without a touchdown for five games Chargers No. 2 running back Darren Sproles found the end zone in Week 13 on a 31-yard reception.

He finished the contest against the Cleveland Browns with his best game in several weeks as he had his first double digit fantasy outing since Week 7. Consider Sproles a low-end flex option this week against a good Cowboys run defense.

With Dallas quarterback Tony Romo passing the ball 55 times in Week 13, the Cowboys only rushed the ball 23 times, which limited running back Marion Barber to just 15 carries.

He finished the game with just 36 rushing yards and he also lost a fumble in the game. Barber hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8 and he has scored just four touchdowns all season.

Barber has 152 carries for 669 yards in 11 games and he is our No. 15 ranked running back this week. He should be used as a RB2 when facing a San Diego rush defense that is allowing 117.8 yards per game this season.

Coming off a game in which he scored 13 fantasy football points, Felix Jones had just six carries for six yards in Week 13 and he added one catch for 13 yards.

He has not lived up to preseason expectations heading into his sophomore season and he has only received more than eight carries just once this season. Use Jones as a RB3 or flex option this week as he is our No. 33 ranked running back this week.


Wide Receivers

In a Week 13 victory over the Cleveland Browns , Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson had two receptions for 54 yards. It was the second game in a row in which he managed just two receptions.

Through his first eight games of the season he was one of the most productive wide outs in the NFL , as he had 42 receptions for 722 yards with seven touchdowns. He has cooled off substantially of late as he has had nine receptions for 147 yards without a single touchdown over his last four games.

Jackson will look to get back on track this week against a Dallas pass defense that is allowing more then 225 yards per game and has yielded 17 passing touchdowns this season.

He is ranked No. 20 on the Bruno Boys Wide Receiver Rankings and still has value as a low-end No. 2 fantasy wide receiver. With the release of wide receiver Chris Chambers earlier in the season, Malcom Floyd has done a mediocre job playing as the starter alongside Jackson in San Diego.

He has 26 receptions for 478 yards with one touchdown in 12 games this season, although he has started the last five. He does not post consistent numbers each week and should not be used as more than a WR4 in deeper leagues.

If the Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo are going avoid a December collapse that has plagued them over the last couple of seasons, they are going to need to get continued production at the wide receiver position.

Miles Austin has stepped into the No. 1 wide receiver role in Dallas, as he has posted six double digit fantasy outings in his last eight games; including 17 receptions for 249 yards with two touchdowns over the last two weeks.

He has started six of 12 games this season and has 52 receptions for 928 yards with nine touchdowns.

Austin is our No. 6 ranked wide receiver this week and he should be used as a WR1 against the Chargers who are allowing less than 205 passing yards per game, while giving up 17 passing touchdowns.

Roy Williams is coming off of one of his best fantasy football performances this season in which he had six receptions for 60 yards with two touchdowns last week against the New York Giants .

He now has 32 receptions for 504 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games played this season. He likes to consider himself the Cowboys No. 1 wide receiver, but in all reality he is no better then a WR3 or flex option in this game. 

Tight Ends – In most preseason publications (including the Bruno Boys ) both San Diego tight end Antonio Gates and Dallas tight end Jason Witten were ranked among the top-four players at the position.

Fantasy owners were disappointed early on this season with the production of both of these former Pro-Bowl tight ends, but owners who have stuck with them have been rewarded of late.

Gates has taken advantage of opposing defenses focusing on Vincent Jackson and he has 25 receptions over his last four games, including 15 receptions for 285 yards with two touchdowns over his last two games.

After not gaining more then 77 receiving yards in a game over his first 10 games, Witten has gained more then 100 yards receiving in each of his last two games.

In Week 13, he had a season-high 14 receptions for 156 yards and appears to be back playing at an elite level, although he has not scored a touchdown since Week 2 and has just one touchdown this season.

Witten and Gates are ranked No. 2 and No. 4 respectively on the Bruno Boys Tight End Rankings and they both should be used as must-start No. 1 fantasy football tight ends in this match-up.



San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding has been very good this season. He has posted double figure fantasy points in seven games this season, including his last three. He is the No. 1 ranked kicker by the Bruno Boys this week and is a must-start.

Dallas kicker Nick Folk has not been nearly as reliable, as he has missed as least one field goal in each of his last four games and has scored just 14 points during that four-game span. He is not a recommended starting option this week. 



Both team’s D/ST units have had some good games this season, but in a game in which we expect a lot of points to be put on the board neither are recommended as anything more then No. 2 fantasy football D/ST units. Avoid starting either of these defenses this week if possible.




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Fantasy Football Week 14 Sit Ems

Published: December 12, 2009

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With many of you out there in Bruno Boys Nation getting set for Round 1 of your fantasy football playoffs and the rest still vying for a playoff spot, we want to make sure you enter Sunday knowing what players we feel you should play with caution.

Obviously it’s your team and your gut, so you are the final decision makers, but if these guys fail to get the job done for your fantasy squad don’t say the Bruno Boys didn’t tell you so. 

With that being said the Bruno Boys present the Fantasy Football Week 14 Sit Ems .



Bruce Gradkowski (Oakland Raiders) vs. Washington

Even though Drew Brees shredded the Washington Redskins defense in Week 13 (let’s be real, who hasn’t he been able to beat?) , Gradkowski’s chances are much more slim.

Granted, the new quarterback in Oakland has been infinitely better than his counterpart JaMarcus Russell while leading the Raiders to upsets over two good clubs (Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers ) , he still is a 26-year old journeyman.

Through 25 career games Gradkowski has just 15 touchdown passes against 25 turnovers and this match-up against the fifth ranked Redskins pass defense will be no easy task.

After getting scorched by Drew Brees for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 13, the Redskins are still only allowing 11.4 points to opposing QBs, so we think Gradkowski’s luck may be running out. 


Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Buffalo

While we believe that Jamaal Charles should flourish against the 32nd ranked Buffalo Bills run defense, quite the contrary is true with quarterback Matt Cassel .

The Bills have only allowed 10 passing touchdowns against 21 interceptions through 12 games this season, and Cassel is without his top threat, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe .

Make no mistake, Chris Chambers has filled in admirably, it’s no secret that Bowe was Cassel’s go to guy through the first 10 weeks of the season. Since the loss of Bowe, Cassel has just three TD passes while turning the football over five times.

With the Chiefs focusing on pounding the football, and Cassel being turnover prone of late, it will likely lead to Cassel being used as a game managing quarterback with little fantasy value.


Potential Bust Pick of the Week

Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego

Romo has been one of the better options at the quarterback position for the past two weeks totaling 701 passing yards and 5 touchdowns compared to 0 INTs. These statistics are great if you had the guts to rely on him during crunch-time, but his inconsistent play in the month of December has red flag written all over it.

The San Diego Chargers only allow fantasy football quarterbacks to score 11.4 points per contest (16 TD:11 INT) in standard scoring leagues.

With this game against San Diego expected to be a shoot-out in Arlington it might be tough to sit a quarterback of Romo’s ability but keep in mind the signal caller has just 17 touchdown passes to 24 turnovers in just 14 career December games.



Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Minnesota

This recommendation isn’t for everyone out there reading this. This is for those fantasy owners who drafted the likes of Adrian Peterson and Thomas Jones and snagged Benson late in the draft only to see him shine.

It’s hard to place a running back as a sit ‘em who has carried so many fantasy football teams to the playoffs in 2009. Benson is a workhorse and proved that by having warrior-like 38 touches coming off a hip injury against the Detroit Lions in Week 13.

This Minnesota Vikings front four is not the Lions though, and they don’t allow opposing running backs much room to maneuver.

Last week, the Arizona Cardinals rushers netted 78 yards on 19 carries for 4.1 yards per carry (YPC) , but failed to score. In fact, the Vikings have only allowed three rushing touchdowns in 12 games this season and this statistic alone is enough to make owners’ think twice about Benson.


Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay

As expected, Forte was able to 96 total yards and a touchdown last week in the Bear victory over the St. Louis Rams , but the fact is, the second year running back out of Tulane has played nowhere near his “potential.”  

The 2008 version of Forte, in which he totaled 1,715 yards and 12 touchdowns, is not the same one that we’ve seen in 2009 (1,072 total yards, four touchdowns) , and the Green Bay Packers are not the match-up that makes Forte a viable start.

The Packers rank fourth in the NFL against the run and have allowed under 11 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (standard scoring).

In Week 13, fantasy stud Ray Rice was only able to put up 71 total yards (and a fumble lost) , against the Green Bay on Monday Night.

If Forte is going to score fantasy points this week it’s going to be as a receiver and with Jay Cutler forcing the ball down the field, it’s limited Forte in this department as well. The sure-handed receiver has just nine receptions for 59 yards over the Bears’ last three games.


Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) @ New England

Fresh off a 120-yard and touchdown performance in Week 13 many fantasy football owners will be tempted to start Stewart…but they shouldn’t.

Stewart is in the midst of nursing an Achilles injury and fellow running back DeAngelo Williams has practiced this week and is on track to play in Week 14 against the New England Patriots .

Couple that bad news with the fact that the Patriots are stingy against the run, and you have a Bruno Boys sit ‘em for Week 14. The Patriots have allowed just eight total touchdowns to opposing running backs (3 rushing, 4 receiving, 1 passing) , and with Jonathan Stewart not being much of a receiver, we don’t like his chances of scoring a touchdown.

When all is said and done, with Williams returning, Stewart will likely be getting around 40 percent of the touches for Carolina and he’s not a worthwhile start in New England.



Mario Manningham & Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia

Steve Smith has proven that he is a must-start in New York because of his flat-out consistency. Manningham and Nicks on the other hand are WR3 with upside when the match-up is right.

This week, the match-up is far from ideal. The Philadelphia Eagles are 10th in the NFL at defending the pass allowing 205 yards per game, and have allowed 18 TDs against 20 INTs.

Their biggest strength however is in not allowing the long pass play (which Nicks heavily relies on), as they’ve only allowed three 40+ yard pass plays this season.

Unless you are depleted at the wide out position, your best bet for the remainder of the season is to stay away from all wide receivers in New York except for Smith.


Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati

As strange as it was to say early in the season, the Cincinnati Bengals defense has been a top-10 unit in shutting down the pass and believe it not they rank No.1 in the NFL in points allowed.

To put these numbers in a fantasy football perspective, the Bengals have allowed just six wide receiver touchdowns all season (third best in the NFL), and less than 15 fantasy points per game to opposing teams’ wide outs.

Harvin has been on an absolute tear the past three weeks averaging 86 yards and a touchdown so it’s hard to sit the rookie at this stage of the season.

However, the match-up is a tough one and Harvin has missed three straight days of practice with a migraine headache. 

The rookie has been a reliable source of points for much of the season, and the Vikings do sport a high-powered offense, but as we said prior, the Bengals have a stingy pass defense.

You can beat the Bengals by spreading the ball around and with Brett Favre having play-makers all over the field, this could be the week the rookie struggles.


Roy Williams (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego

Williams was able to post phenomenal numbers last weekend with 60 yards and two receiving touchdowns in a loss to the New York Giants.

These big games come from time to time with Williams, but his level of consistency is third best, behind Miles Austin and Jason Witten, on the Cowboys receiving corps.

The San Diego Chargers passing defense has been vulnerable all season long and they do allow 17.6 fantasy points per game to the opposing wide outs, but with Austin and Witten likely seeing the majority of targets from quarterback Tony Romo, Williams could be in for a dud of a week.

With plenty of points expect to be scored this week many fantasy owners expect him to imitate his Week 13 performance…don’t be one of them.



Fred Davis (Washington Redskins) @ Oakland

Davis has provided some relief to fantasy football owners who had earlier in the season lost Chris Cooley and/or Owen Daniels to season-ending injuries.

His 10 & 11-point games in Weeks 12 & 13 proved that he could be a valuable asset to your team down the stretch run. But just as we mentioned last weekend, tight ends going against the Oakland Raiders find little opportunity to post solid numbers.

The Raiders are the ONLY team in the NFL to not allow a tight end to find pay dirt on them and they allow less than four points per contest to the tight end position.

Davis has been noteworthy of late but don’t expect the second year tight end to make it three straight weeks with double-digit fantasy football points.



Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay

Call it skill or luck, we’re thinking more luck, but the Green Bay Packers do not allow kickers to score points on them. They have only allowed nine field goals this entire season, and kickers have averaged 4.6 points against Green Bay in standard scoring fantasy football leagues.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff posted a whopping two points on them in Week 13, Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson racked up four points in Week 12, and San Francisco 49ers Joe Nedney scored six points in Week 11. The list keeps on going and as you can see, the numbers don’t lie, so don’t start Gould.



Cincinnati Bengals D/ST @ Minnesota

The Bengals have been a reliable option lately playing while playing the likes of the Oakland Raiders , Cleveland Browns , and Detroit Lions in successive weeks. This week, however, they won’t be lining up opposite a cupcake offense.

In Week 14, the Bengals have the daunting take of taking on a Minnesota Vikings offense that ranks second in the NFL in scoring at almost 30 points per game, fifth in total yards at 384 per game, and the Vikings as a team have thrown a league low six interceptions.

As you can see, in Week 14, there isn’t much to like about a Cincinnati defense that ranks first in the NFL in points allowed but has yet to take on an offense that is as explosive as the Vikings.

Your best bet is to take a flier on a defense that doesn’t have the statistics to maybe rival the Bengals but has a better match-up.




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Fantasy Football Week 14 Start ‘Ems

Published: December 12, 2009

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In a pinch for a skill player that will produce at a high level for you this week, but not sure what route to go? Well, no need to fret the small stuff because the Bruno Boys will help make your lineup decision easier. From Quarterbacks to Defenses we have you covered on who you should feel comfortable about plugging into your Week 14 lineup. Now, it’s time to cut to the chase and read our Fantasy Football Week 14 Start ‘Ems advice.


Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Detroit

After a sloppy performance in Green Bay, in which he threw two costly interceptions, Flacco is in need of a good performance in the worst way possible. Fortunately, he is playing a Detroit Lions’ team that allows the most fantasy points to opposing QBs per game at 18.6.

Having allowed 28 TDs (1 rushing) to opposing QBs on the year, the Lions have had a difficult time stopping anyone this season. Heck, even Brady Quinn posted his best game as a professional (304 yards and 4 TDs) versus Detroit. With the Ravens needing a win big time in order to move to 7-6, you can bet the Ravens and Flacco show up with their A-game.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Cleveland

Playing against the Cleveland Browns is always a blessing especially during the fantasy playoffs. As such, with Thursday Night Football just hours away, make sure Big Ben is plugged into your line-ups as Roethlisberger should be a viable option for you against Cleveland.

On a per game average, Roethlisberger has been the fifth best standard fantasy QB (tied with Brett Favre with 18.5 points per game), so he doesn’t lack reliability. Even when average as he was in week 13 against the Oakland Raiders , he posted 278 yards and 2 TDs compared to 1 INT. 

RB Rashard Mendenhall should have a field day against the Browns, which will open things up for Roethlisberger, who should be a reliable 18-20 point contributor as long as the wind cooperates some.

Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) vs. Seattle

Matt Schaub has averaged 287 yards and 1.8 TDs per game this season, which is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as his ability to finally stay healthy (The Texans’ QB even returned to the field of play after suffering a shoulder injury early in week 13’s games).

Averaging 18.4 fantasy points per game, he has been reliable, even without a reliable rushing attack keeping team’s honest. However, while still riding a streak of four straight games with double digit fantasy points, Schaub has been a bit turnover prone in those games with 5 INTs and 1 fumble lost, which has led to just average QB play from your fantasy stud.

He should get back on track in week 14 versus a Seattle Seahawks’ team that allowed Alex Smith to throw for 310 yards and 2 TDs in week 13.


Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Buffalo

The Bills have not let fantasy owners down for those who have been starting opposing RBs against them. Just last week, New York Jets’ RB Thomas Jones recorded 109 yards against them, while the Jets totaled a convincing 249 rushing yards on them as a team. Without many other options than Charles, the Chiefs figure to steadily move the ball against the Bills by relying on their ground game.

Even against a tough Broncos’ defense in week 13, Charles put up 59 total yards and a TD (though he did also fumble the ball away) reaffirming that he has value for fantasy owner’s playoff runs. The Bills allow almost 26 points per game to fantasy RBs, so make sure to start Charles this weekend.

Laurence Maroney (New England Patriots) vs. Carolina

Crunch time has come for potential playoff teams, and New England is one of them. After struggling the past two weeks, expect the Patriots to come out firing against the Panthers this weekend. That means that Tom Brady should fare well as well as the running game which has been successful in weeks past.

Even though Maroney’s ypc average (3.9) has been less than spectacular, he should get things going in this one. The Panthers have allowed 16 TDs (5 receiving) to opposing RBs, and we believe Maroney is poised to have a solid 12+ point day in Foxboro.

Thomas Jones (New York Jets) @ Tampa Bay

Thomas Jones has been a reliable source of fantasy points from week one through week 13. In fact, he hasn’t had less than 10 fantasy points since a week three matchup with the Tennessee Titans .

In week 14, he faces a Buccaneers team that is 1-11 and is allowing 20.8 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, including 18 fantasy points to RB Jonathan Stewart in week 13. Thomas Jones should be in for a solid week 14 performance, helping to keep your hopes for a fantasy championship alive one more week.

FREE AGENT PICK-UP OF THE WEEKQuinton Ganther (Washington Redskins) @ Oakland

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints , the Redskins are facing the Oakland Raiders in week 14. The Raiders allowed 16 fantasy points to Rashard Mendenhall Quinton Ganther now being named the starter, we’re recommending him as a guy to keep an eye on in a great match-up versus Oakland.

Even in splitting time with Rock Cartwright , it would not be surprising to see Ganther accumulate 8-10 fantasy points this weekend, making him a nice flex start for many fantasy owners.


Derrick Mason (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Detroit

Mason struggled against DB Charles Woodson on MNF, but how nice must it be to face the Lions’ secondary coming off a bad game. The Lions are the second worst team in the league when it comes to defending the WR position (the Titans are the worst, but they’re playing the Rams in week 14), so Mason should be able to post his 70-yard, 1 TD game that we’ve grown accustomed to.

The Lions allow nearly 25 points per game to WRs, and seeing that the Ravens only real threat at the wide receiver position is Mason, he is a promising start if you’re looking for WR help in week 14.

Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Arizona

Although Crabtree wasn’t around in the first game of this NFC West rivalry, he will be ready to make an impact for game two. Percy Harvin (15 fantasy points) and Sidney Rice (7) were both fantasy-startable against the Cardinals in week 13. This weekend, the Cardinals will face a 49ers team that has finally been able to move the ball through the air with Alex Smith under center.

Crabtree, having seven NFL games under his belt now, is finally getting in a groove. He has been unable to have that breakout game in 2009, but this could be the week that he shines, especially on MNF.

Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills) @ Kansas City

The New York Jets and Darrelle Revis were able to shut down TO to the tune of just 31 yards on 3 catches in week 13 on Thursday Night Football. However, Owens’ week 14 opponent allowed Broncos’ stud WR Brandon Marshall to get 15 fantasy points with 94 yards and a TD. Owens could be in line to see some similar numbers, especially due to KC’s inability to cover opposing WRs (21 fantasy ppg allowed to the position).


Kevin Boss (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia

Kevin Boss goes up against a Philadelphia Eagles’ defense that ranks seventh in the NFL in total yards allowed per game, but is dead last when it comes to limiting the TE in fantasy points. The Eagles have allowed 9.8 fantasy points per game to the position, which is a number that Kevin Boss and his owners are excited to see.

Boss has 391 yards and 4 TDs through 12 weeks, which isn’t exactly what fantasy owners hoped for when drafting him, but he should be able to log at least 60 yards receiving this week and makes for a good waiver-wire option.

NOTE: On the other side of the ball, Brent Celek makes for another great start this upcoming weekend facing the New York Giants , who allow the second most fantasy points to TEs in the NFL at 9.7 per game.


Billy Cundiff (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Detroit

The Lions allow an average of almost 10 points a game to opposing kickers through 12 games this season. In week 13, Shayne Graham posted 11 points on 3 FGs and 2 XPs against the same Lions team that Cundiff will face this weekend. While Cundiff hasn’t done much to prove his worth as a fantasy kicker, going against the Lions should undoubtedly amount to 8-10 fantasy points.


Tennessee Titans D/ST vs. St. Louis

A matchup with the St. Louis Rams has led to many fantasy-worthy defensive performances for most of 2009. With the Titans on a roll in the second half, their defense should be good for a solid week 14.

The Rams have only averaged 11.6 points per game this season, which ranks them as the worst scoring offense in the NFL. The Rams are 20th in the NFL having allowed 28 sacks and have a TO differential at -6. As a result, the Titans are a must-start for week 14.

Other favorable D/STs match-ups: (New York Jets @ Tampa Bay, New England Patriots vs. Carolina, Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit, Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland)




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Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Kickers

Published: December 12, 2009

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Now it’s time to take a look at the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 14 Kicker Rankings .

1. Nate Kaeding (San Diego Chargers) @ Dallas

No kicker in football is as hot as Kaeding right now. With the Chargers offense hitting full throttle over the last month it has led to 10 field goals converted and 14 extra points for the veteran kicker. During that span, Kaeding has 48 fantasy football points in standard leagues and nothing should change here against the Dallas Cowboys in an expected shoot-out.

Point Projection:
11 points

2. Garrett Hartley (New Orleans Saints) @ Atlanta

It’s been a wild 18 months for Hartley. After finishing the 2008 season as the Saints kicker he was expected to keep his duties in 2009 but a four game suspension for violating the leagues substance abuse policy put an end to that. New Orleans signed free-agent kicker John Carney and for the first 11 weeks they never looked back.

However, in Week 12 Carney missed a near chip shot and the coaching staff decided to re-insert Hartley into the starting lineup. He responded well in Week 13 as he knocked down four field goals and a game-winner in overtime against the Washington Redskins .

Expect much of the same this week against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has allowed 28.25 points per game over their last four.

Point Projection:
11 points

3. Ryan Longwell (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati

We’ve said it for years now and we will say it again—consistency wins in fantasy football and that’s just what Longwell is. Playing in a high powered Minnesota offense, Longwell has knocked down at least one field goal in all but two games and he has at least two extra points in every contest.

His six field goal attempts over the last four games is not ideal, but this week the Cincinnati Bengals come to town and their defense is far more talented than anyone the Vikings have played over the past month. Look for Minnesota to move the football, but don’t expect them to find the end zone at the rate they have lately.

Point Projection:
11 points

4. Jay Feeley (New York Jets) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coming off a huge week in which he racked up a very impressive 14 fantasy points, hitting 4-of-4 field goals and adding an extra point, Feely looks primed for yet another double digit outing in week 14.

Ranked 31st against the rush, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a difficult time slowing down the Jets’ running game. However, with Kellen Clemens under center, drives are sure to stall once the Jets get down near the goal-line, which means plenty of field goal opportunities for Feely.

Point Projection:
11 points

5. David Akers (Philadelphia Eagles) @ New York Giants

If you’ve been riding the leg of Akers all season long, now is not the time to stop. Through 12 games, the Eagles’ kicker has racked up 6+ fantasy points each and every week, averaging a fantasy football best at his position of 9.9 per week. We expect a repeat of Akers’ prior meeting with the New York Giants this season, a game in which he tallied 10 fantasy points.

Point Projection:
10 points

6. Billy Cundiff (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Detroit

For all those that don’t think kickers’ are tough, take a look at Billy Cundiff as the Ravens’ kicker played through a mild concussion in week 13 in the Monday Night contest against the Green Bay Packers .

He should play through the injury yet again, which is good news for his fantasy owners as he’ll be kicking against a Detroit Lions’ team that has allowed the most fantasy points to the kicker position on the year.

Point Projection:
10 points

7. Shayne Graham (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Minnesota

Through the first eight weeks of the season, Graham did not have one game in which he tallied more than one field goal. The last four weeks have been a different story. In that time span, Graham has connected on 11-of-13 field goal attempts, a big reason he has tallied 12 fantasy football points in three of those contests. The kicker is hot, making him worthy of a fantasy spot.

Point Projection:
9 points

8. Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers) @ Chicago

Kicking for an offense that’s averaging over 26 points per game has it’s benefits as Crosby’s 29 points over his last three games proves. The good times should continue to roll in week 14 as Crosby will matchup against a Chicago Bears’ team that he notched 8 fantasy points against back in week one.

One thing to be aware of though is that this game is being played in Chicago in December, so be sure to keep a close eye on the weather.

Point Projection:
9 points

9. Matt Prater (Denver Broncos) @ Indianapolis

In each of the last two weeks, Prater’s been putting up points more reminiscent of a RB2 than a K, as the Denver Broncos ’ kicker has recorded 15 points in each of those contests. He won’t get to that lofty total here in week 14, but with the Colts giving up the seventh most fantasy points to kickers’ on the season, he should still be in for a solid outing.

Point Projection:
9 points

10. Matt Stover (Indianpolis Colts) vs. Denver

The misses Stover has had over the last two games may eventually cost him his job when Adam Vinatieri is ready to return. That, though, isn’t yet as Stover remains the Colts’ kicker, a good place to be with the Colts’ putting up 27.6 points per game. Per usual, Stover should have some opportunities to put fantasy football points on the board.

Point Projection:
9 points

11. Rian Lindell (Kansas City Chiefs)  vs. Buffalo

Lindell is currently in the midst of a three-game streak in which he has tallied at least eight fantasy football points. The streak should continue in week 14 as the Buffalo Bills will head to Kansas City to take on a Chiefs’ team that is allowing kickers’ an average of 8.9 points per contest.

Point Projection:
9 points

12. Dan Carpenter (Miami Dolphins) @ Jacksonville

With a six-point effort in week 11 and a two-point showing in week 12, Carpenter, who had had a streak of eight games with at least seven fantasy points prior, was beginning to lose his owners’ confidence.

However, a 11-point performance last week against the New England Patriots , in which he was 3-of-3 on field goals with an extra point, should remedy that. Feel free to employ him against a Jacksonville Jaguars team giving up over 22 points per game.

Point Projection: 8 points

13. Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) vs. Carolina

The New England Patriots’ two-game skid has hit their kicker as Gostkowski has just seven fantasy points combined in those two outings. The Carolina Panthers have limited opposing kickers for the majority of this season, but with the Patriots coming in hungrier than ever, we expect them and Gostkowski to rebound in Week 14.

Point Projection:
8 points

14. Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans) vs. St. Louis

Ok, the streak of double digit performances ended at five as Bironas tallied just five fantasy points against the Colts in week 13, but that’s no reason to jump ship on the Titans’ kicker, especially with a matchup against the St. Louis Rams on the docket.

The Rams have given up 26.2 points per game on the season, and even if his field goal attempts are limited, Bironas should still have enough extra points to make him a solid play.

Point Projection:
8 points

15. Lawrence Tynes (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia

While Tynes hasn’t exactly been making the Giants happy of late with his shoddy accuracy, fantasy football owners don’t have much to complain about as the Giants’ kicker has racked up 7+ fantasy points in each of his last four games.

Reaching that number this week will be a bit tougher than in his previous games as the Philadelphia Eagles are a formidable opponent, but we have faith.

Point Projection:
8 points



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Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Wide Receivers

Published: December 10, 2009

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Need help for your fantasy playoffs? The Bruno Boys have you covered with our Week 14 Wide Receiver Rankings!


1. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) @ San Francisco

Kurt Warner’s re-entry into the starting lineup regained Fitzgerald the fantasy value he was losing when Noodle Arm Matt Leinart was under center. And it showed last week against the Minnesota Vikings , as Fitzgerald collected eight passes for a season-high 143 yards and one score.

Point Projection: 20 points

2. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) vs. Seattle

When Matt Schaub went out with an injury and Rex Grossman came in, fantasy football owners around the country had to be pounding their skull into the nearest blunt object, at least if they had Johnson on their fantasy team. Hopefully, they didn’t pound themselves into unconsciousness, because Schaub came back, and the day was saved—at least for Johnson’s owners, as he ended up with seven catches for 99 yards and one touchdown. Houston wasn’t so lucky, as they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars . But, that’s not really one of our concerns, now, is it?

Point Projection: 20 points

3. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) vs. Carolina

Moss caught two passes for 66 yards and one touchdown last week in New England’s loss to the Miami Dolphins . It’s a bit troubling to see his catches ebb in each of his last three games, he has scored twice, and will be a weekly threat to do so. That includes this week against the Carolina Panthers , who are fifth in the league in touchdown passes allowed.

Point Projection: 19 points

4. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) @ Atlanta

Of all the players on the Saints who showed up on the stat sheet, nobody caught fewer than Colston’s two passes. Yet he still gained 41 yards and scored a touchdown for the second consecutive week and now has a candy-apple sweet match-up with the Atlanta Falcons , who are 29th in the league in pass defense, and 22nd in touchdown passes allowed. Colston had 85 yards and one score against them back in Week 8.

Point Projection: 19 points

5. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Denver

Wayne didn’t have the production that most fantasy football owners expected against a team in the Tennessee Titans that had previously been killed by passing attacks. Wayne managed just four catches for 48 yards, but he’ll have a chance to redeem himself this week, and that’s exactly what you should expect him to do. Even if he takes on top cover corner Champ Bailey .

Point Projection: 18 points

6. Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego

Austin caught 10 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown against the New York Giants last week as the Cowboys fell. In his last 10 contests, Austin has had fewer than 10 fantasy points only twice, and he’s had 16 or more four times. The San Diego Chargers are a top-10 pass defense, but, then again, so was New York. Austin makes big plays and he likely will do it again in Week 14.

Point Projection: 17 points

7. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati

Rice was targeted by Brett Favre a total of 16 times in the Vikings’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, and he caught seven of those throws for 72 yards. Rice’s 16 targets were more than double the amount any other receiver got, and two more than Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian combined. Expect much of the same this week.

Point Projection: 17 points

8. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Minnesota

It was easy to tell who Carson Palmer was looking for throughout last week’s game against the Detroit Lions , as Ochocinco was targeted 14 times; no other Bengals player had more than four. With that came nine receptions for 137 yards and one score for the Ocho, and this week he gets to go up against a Minnesota Vikings team that was recently strafed by the Arizona Cardinals and who are 21st in pass defense.

Point Projection: 17 points

9. Wes Welker (New England Patriots) vs. Carolina

After a strangely quiet week in New England’s loss to the New Orleans Saints , Welker re-awoke with 10 receptions for 167 yards against the Miami Dolphins , though the Patriots still came up short. He’s still putting together large amounts of catches and yards, but the thing keeping him from putting up even higher fantasy totals are touchdowns—he hasn’t scored since Week Seven, and only four teams have given up fewer touchdown passes than the Carolina Panthers .

Point Projection: 16 points

10. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) @ Baltimore

Megatron should have his own cartoon, because when he’s healthy, he’s saving football fans in Detroit from, well, awful football. Okay, that doesn’t sound like the most exciting program ever to grace the airwaves, but you get the point. Last week, Johnson caught six passes for 123 yards and one touchdown in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals , which was his third score in his last three games.

Point Projection: 16 points

11. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) @ San Francisco

Boldin has been fabulous since coming back from injury in Week 10, other than a 53-yard performance in Week 12 with Matt Leinart taking the snaps. However, In the three games with Kurt Warner at quarterback, Boldin has averaged 7.6 catches and 102 yards per game with three touchdowns.

Point Projection: 16 points

12. Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) @ Indianapolis

Predictably, Marshall had an excellent game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, catching seven passes for 94 yards and one touchdown. And while his opponent this week, the Indianapolis Colts , can be thrown on a bit—they’re 19th in the league in pass defense—only four teams have allowed fewer scoring passes than they have.

Point Projection: 15 points

13. Steve Smith (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia

With 13 targets, Smith was targeted at least nine more times than any other Giants player last week, and he responded with six receptions for 110 yards. Smith has unfortunately only scored one time since Week Four, but he’s still piling up the yards, and has at least 70 in each of his last three games. He had eight catches for 68 yards the last time he faced the Philadelphia Eagles , and though he didn’t score then, the Eagles can be had; they’ve 18th in the league in passing scores allowed.

Point Projection: 14 points

14. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) vs. New Orleans

Without Michael Jenkins lining up opposite him, White was busy last week in Atlanta’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles , getting a total of 20 passes thrown his way, and catching nine of them for 104 yards and one touchdown. This week, he’ll face the New Orleans Saints , the last team he had 100 yards against before doing so against the Eagles.

Point Projection: 14 points

15. Robert Meachem (New Orleans Saints) @ Atlanta

With eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown last week against the Washington Redskins , Meachem more than announced his presence to any fantasy football owner who was not previously paying attention. He has now scored in five straight games, and with a juicy match-up against the Atlanta Falcons this week, it could be a touchdown in six games in a row.

Point Projection: 13 points




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Fantasy Football Week 14 Rankings: Running Backs

Published: December 10, 2009

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Congratulations to all of you that have made your fantasy football playoffs. Your hard work has paid off, but it is not time to rest on your laurels.

Making the playoffs is just the first step in the Bruno Boys’ divine plans to make all of you champions. Now that the playoffs are upon us, it continues to get tougher and tougher each week. One mistake can literally cost you your season at this point.

Every position in fantasy football is important, but there may not be a more important position than running back. So, as you ponder your starting lineup for what is very likely a playoff match-up, please enjoy the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 14 Running Back Rankings.

Good luck to all of you in this playoff season. We here at Bruno Boys Fantasy Football hope each and every one of you achieves the ultimate fantasy football success this season.

1. Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) vs. St. Louis

In a Week 13 loss to the undefeated Indianapolis Colts, Chris Johnson rushed for more than 110 yards for the seventh straight game.

He has been the best running back in the NFL this season, as made evident by his league leading 1,509 rushing yards through 12 games. He has a legitimate shot at a 2,000 yard rushing season, and he should be in consideration for the NFL MVP award.

Johnson has a great match-up this week against a St. Louis Rams rush defense that is allowing more than 145 rushing yards per game and has allowed 17 rushing touchdowns on the season. He is an elite fantasy running back and should once again be used as a No. 1 fantasy option this week.

Point Projection : 25 points

2. Thomas Jones (New York Jets) at Tampa Bay

In the Jets’ Week 13 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Thomas Jones rushed for 109 yards on 23 carries, but was held without a touchdown. Nevertheless, it was his ninth straight game with double digit fantasy points, giving him 10 double figure fantasy games this season.

He has been one of the most consistent fantasy running backs in 2009, and he should be in line for another big game this week against a Tampa Bay defense that is allowing 160 rushing yards per game and has given up 13 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jones should be used as a No. 1 starting fantasy running back in this match-up.

Point Projection : 22 points

3. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Detroit

Against a very good Green Bay Packers rush defense, Ray Rice had one of his worst outings of the seasons. He finished the game with 14 carries for 54 yards and three catches for 17 yards in a Baltimore loss to the Packers on Monday night.

Rice did not score a touchdown in the game, and he lost a fumble. He is still having a very good sophomore season, and he should bounce back with a real nice game against a struggling Detroit Lions defense in Week 14.

This is a playoff match-up many fantasy owners have been looking forward to all season. Rice should be used as a must-start No. 1 fantasy running back this week, although it is worth noting that Willis McGahee has taken goal-line snaps away from Rice over the last two weeks.

Point Projection : 20 points

4. Rashard Mendenhall (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Cleveland

Rashard Mendenhall had 20 carries for 103 yards with a touchdown in a Week 13 loss to the Oakland Raiders. It was the first time in nearly a month that he topped the century mark, and it was his first touchdown since Week Six.

This week he gets to face a Cleveland Browns defense that he rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown against earlier this season. Mendenhall should be in line for another good game this week as the Browns are ranked No. 29 in the league in rushing yards allowed and have yielded 14 rushing touchdowns this season.

Use him as a RB1 this week in this AFC North battle.

Point Projection : 19 points

5. Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) at Tennessee **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

After missing practice most of the week with back spasms, Steven Jackson was able to play in Week 13 and had 28 carries for 112 yards. He was held out of the end zone after scoring a touchdown in each of the Rams’ four previous games. With 1,120 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the year, he has been the lone bright spot for an otherwise dismal St. Louis offense.

Jackson’s match-up is a nice one for Week 14. As well as the Titans have been playing of late, they have allowed 15+ fantasy points to opposing RBs in each of their last nine games.

Point Projection : 19 points

6. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Miami

After scoring at least one touchdown in five straight games, Maurice Jones-Drew failed to score a touchdown for the second straight game during the Jaguars’ Week 13 victory over the Houston Texans. It was, also, the third week in a row that he was held under 80 rushing yards as he finished the game with 24 carries for 76 yards.

In Week 14, he will face a Miami Dolphins defense that is allowing less than 110 yards rushing per game, but has given up 14 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jones-Drew is a weekly must-start and should be used as a No. 1 fantasy running back this week.

Point Projection : 18 points

7. Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins) at Jacksonville

After posting three straight games with more than 100 yards rushing, Ricky Williams was held to 75 yards on 18 carries in a Week 13 victory over the New England Patriots. Williams, also, failed to find pay dirt for the first time since Week 10.

He has played very well since the season ending injury to Ronnie Brown, and he will look to have another solid outing this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who possess a top-10 rush defense. While the match-up is not ideal, Williams heavy work-load and rejuvenated running make him worthy of a fantasy playoff start.

Point Projection : 18 points

8. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati

Adrian Peterson had 13 carries for 19 yards in a Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, in what was his worst rushing performance of the season. He added six receptions for 46 yards in the game, but the five-point outing came at the worst time for fantasy owners who were trying to secure a playoff birth.

With 1,109 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns this season, Peterson remains a must-start fantasy option on a weekly basis. His owners should note, however, that he has another tough match-up this week against a Cincinnati Bengals’ defense that is ranked No. 3 in rushing yards allowed and has given up a mere six rushing touchdowns this season.

Point Projection : 17 points

9. Ryan Grant (Green Bay Packers) at Chicago

In a Week 13 victory over Baltimore, Ryan Grant had just 41 yards rushing on 18 carries and was held out of the end zone against a very good Ravens rush defense. He has 227 carries for 931 yards with five touchdowns through 12 games this season. He has, also, been a factor in the passing game with 23 receptions for 190 yards.

He will look to rebound this week against a Chicago Bears defense that he had 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown against in Week One, but the Bears defense has been on a decline since that first game with key injuries to players like linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

As such, consider Grant a low-end No. 1 fantasy running back this week in a bitter division rivalry game.

Point Projection : 17 points

10. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) vs. New Orleans   **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Michael Turner was inactive for the Falcons’ Week 13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with an ankle injury. It was the second game he has missed in the last three weeks due to an ankle injury. Turner’s status is still up in the air for Week 14, so if you were relying on him for a playoff run, you better monitor this situation closely.

When healthy, he is a must-start fantasy option as he has 864 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns in 10 games played this season. If he starts, consider him a low-end RB1 against a New Orleans defense that has allowed 14 rushing touchdowns this season. However, keep in mind that with a high ankle sprain, he is an injury risk, even if he starts.

Point Projection : 16 points

11. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Buffalo

Jamaal Charles had another solid outing as the starting running back for the Kansas City Chiefs with 18 carries for 56 yards with a touchdown.

The problem is his fumbling issues continued in the game. He fumbled for the third time this season and the second time in the last two weeks.

The Chiefs are very thin at running back, so even with the fumbling problem he should remain the team’s starter.

Charles has scored a touchdown in three of the last four games and should be used as a No. 2 fantasy running back this week against a Bills rush defense that is allowing more than 175 rushing yards per game and has allowed 16 rushing touchdowns this season.

Point Projection : 16 points

12. Joseph Addai (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Denver

Joseph Addai had 21 carries for 79 yards with two touchdowns and added three catches for 17 yards in Week 13. He is having a very solid comeback year after a disappointing and injury plagued 2008 season.

Addai has 935 total yards this season and has scored 12 total touchdowns. He is the clear-cut No. 1 rushing option in Indianapolis and is a key component in the Colts high-powered offense.

Use Addai as a RB2 this week against a Denver rush defense that has allowed double digit fantasy points to opposing RBs in eight of their last nine games.

Point Projection : 16 points

13. Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals) at Minnesota

After missing two weeks with a hip injury, Cedric Benson returned and rushed for 110 yards on 36 carries in Week 13 and didn’t show any ill-effects from the injury. The only thing that could have made the return better was if Benson made a trip to the end zone.

When healthy he has been one of the best running backs in the NFL, as he has rushed for 969 yards in 10 games played with six touchdowns. Benson will have a tough match-up for fantasy purposes this week when he faces a very stout Minnesota rush defense, but owners need to play him regardless.

Remember, Benson has proven he can beat good defenses, going for double digits against the Steelers and Ravens (twice) already this season.

Point Projection : 15 points

14. Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Arizona

In the 49ers’ Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Frank Gore had nine carries for 25 yards and added five receptions for 37 yards. He was held without a rushing touchdown for the third consecutive game, and it was the second straight game he was held to less than 35 yards rushing.

He attempts to get back on track this week against a Cardinals’ rush defense that has allowed eight touchdowns and is giving up just over 104 rushing yards per game. Consider Gore a RB2 play for Week 14.

Point Projection i: 14 points

15. Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego

With the Cowboys passing the ball 55 times in a Week 13 loss to the New York Giants, Marion Barber wasn’t a huge factor. He had 15 carries for 36 yards and three receptions for seven yards, while being held out of the end zone for the fifth straight week. He has been a disappointment to fantasy owners this season with only 669 rushing yards and four touchdowns so far this season this season.

Barber has a good match-up this week when Dallas faces a San Diego defense that is allowing more than 117 rushing yards per game and has given up an average of 18.1 fantasy points to opposing RBs each week. Consider him a low-end RB2 this week as he continues to be the No. 1 rushing option in Dallas.

Point Projection : 14 points




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Fantasy Football Week 13 Start Ems

Published: December 5, 2009

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In a pinch for a skill player that will produce at a high level for you this week but not sure what route to go?

Well no need to fret the small stuff because the Bruno Boys will help make your lineup decision easier. From Quarterbacks to Defenses we have you covered on who you should feel comfortable about plugging into your Week 13 lineup.

Now, it’s time to cut to the chase and read our Fantasy Football Week 13 Start Ems advice.


Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles) @ Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons have been great at home posting a 5-0 record, but whether your quarterback leads his team to victory or not has nothing to do with accumulating fantasy football points.

However, with Falcons’ second year quarterback Matt Ryan deemed out by Head Coach Mike Smith , this should give Philadelphia the edge in a must win game for both teams. The Falcons have allowed 16.5 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, and let their opponents throw for 18 touchdown passes while hauling in just eight interceptions.

Even without McNabb’s favorite target and stud wide receiver DeSean Jackson (Jason Avant should see more targets), the Falcons secondary will have their hands full containing McNabb and the Eagles. Look for McNabb to make it three of four games with at least 250 passing yards and multiple TD passes.

Kyle Orton (Denver Broncos) @ Kansas City

The fantasy football value of Kyle Orton completely hinges on his matchup at this point. While he has, at times, shown flashes of brilliance against better defenses, Orton’s not the type of quarterback that will chuck the football 40 times a game (just once in 11 games this season).

But in Week 13 against a lackluster Kansas City Chiefs passing defense, he might not need a heavy workload to have a productive outing.

Kansas City has allowed over 700 passing yards and five touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks over the last two games, and on the season they are surrendering 16 fantasy points per contest to quarterbacks in standard scoring leagues.

With nearly every game being a “must-win” for the Broncos from here on out, expect them to find some balance in their offense and let Orton pick apart a disappointing Kansas City pass defense.

Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Detroit

Not only are the Detroit Lions the worst team in the NFL at defending the quarterback position in fantasy leagues, but also the Bengals running game is slightly an unknown coming into Week 13. Partner that with Chad Ochocinco saying they plan on throwing 50 times this game, and you have the recipe for what looks to be a breakout game from Carson Palmer .

Even though Palmer has only had one huge game this season (Week Seven against the Chicago Bears —233 yards and five TDs), a matchup against Detroit should put him in line to flirt with 300 passing yards for the first time this season.

The Lions have allowed 27 touchdown passes to opposing quarterbacks, so anything less than two touchdown passes and 200-250 yards should be considered a disappointment.



Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) vs. St. Louis

Maybe, just maybe, Forte will be able to put up a good game. It has definitely been long enough. While Forte hasn’t scored in over a month (November 1st against the Cleveland Browns ), the St. Louis Rams should help his four streak come to an end.

In Week 12, St. Louis allowed 130 yards and two touchdowns to Seattle Seahawks Justin Forsett, and if the Bears’ use Forte in similar fashion, those numbers will hopefully be matched in Week 13.

His struggles have been well documented, but as bad as Forte has been, he does produce against bad teams’ running back (Week 4—Detroit Lions & Week 6 — Cleveland Browns ), and as long as the Bears can jump on the Rams early, Forte should post low-end RB1 totals.

Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) @ New York Giants

It’s a confusing situation as to which Cowboys running backs should be started on a weekly basis. All three options (Marion Barber , Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice ) totaled over 60 individual rushing yards against the Oakland Raiders in Week 12.

However, because Barber has seen the bulk of the carries (34 carries over last two games), we are expecting good numbers from him in Week 13 against a struggling New York Giants defense.


The Giants are in the middle of the pack in regards to fantasy football running back points at 16.7 per game, but it’s their 15 rushing touchdowns allowed that stands out (fourth worst in the NFL ).

Barber might only hover around 75 total yards in this game, but at the rate New York has been allowing rushing touchdown, you have to like his chances of finding paydirt in what should be a shootout.

Rashard Mendenhall (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Oakland

Unless you are swimming in running back depth, Mendenhall is most likely a “must start” in Week 13, but his matchup against the Oakland Raiders can’t be avoided. The Raiders allow more than 160 rushing yards per game and have given up an NFL high 17 rushing touchdowns.

With a concussed Ben Roethlisberger probably starting the game, expect head coach Mike Tomlin to be conservative at times and ride Mendenhall to victory in a must-win game for the Steelers.

When taking a look into the Bruno Boys Crystal Ball it projects Mendenahall to total over 120 yards and score at least one touchdown versus a Raiders team in need of another high draft pick for 2010.



Jason Avant (Philadelphia Eagles) @ Atlanta

It’s not so much that the numbers of Jeremy Maclin won’t improve as well with DeSean Jackson likely inactive, but that Avant has increasingly seen better overall statistics even with Jackson in the lineup.

Avant’s last three games have provided fantasy football owners with 15 points in Week 10, eight points in Week 11, and nine points in Week 12. Taking on an Atlanta Falcons secondary that has allowed 36 receptions to opposing wide receivers over the last three weeks should be enough for Avant to keep that streak alive.

Look for Avant to be on the receiving end of five to six Donovan McNabb passes, and to make the most of his play-making ability (46 & 58 yard receptions in the past three weeks). If you are in a pinch for a WR3 with your playoff hopes on the line, take a gamble on Avant.


Kevin Walter (Houston Texans) @ Jacksonville

After such a promising 2008 campaign, Walter’s prospects were high; however, outside of a 15 fantasy point performance in Week three he has done nothing. Walter has only averaged 50 yards per game and has a single touchdown through nine games played.

After reading this you are probably wondering why we suggest you play Walter as a plug-n-play option this week. It’s simple, he is fresh off a seven reception for 73 yards performance in Week 12 and takes on a below average Jacksonville Jaguars Owen Daniels .

Walter has slowly worked his way into the No. 3 pass-catching option behind stud wide out Andre Johnson secondary. If you watched the Jaguars in the past few weeks you would probably agree that Walter is due for a breakout game.

Jacksonville allows over 173 yards per game to opposing wide receivers and without tight (who should dominate this weekend) and running back Steve Slaton (who has been stealing Walter’s receiving TDs), don’t be surprised if Walter hauls in 75 yards and a touchdown in Week 13.


Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) vs. Tampa Bay

To be blunt, Steve Smith’s must start status was non-existent ever since Jake Delhomme threw four interceptions in Week 1. Unfortunately for Smith, his value is based directly on which team Delhomme is actually throwing to and judging by the eight touchdown passes to 18 interceptions that Delhomme has produced this year, Smith hasn’t fared well this season.

However, there is good news for Smith and his fantasy football owners. Delhomme suffered a broken finger in Week 12 and backup quarterback Matt Moore is expected to start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . By all means we aren’t calling Moore the answer in Carolina, but some fresh blood under center can only help a stagnant offense and their best play-maker on the outside.

Tampa Bay has been awful on the road (0-5) this season and has allowed the second most touchdowns to opposing wide outs (17 total). Considering there is no one else in the Panthers receiving corps that has the ability to make a play like Smith, you can expect Moore to lean on him heavily in Week 13.

Look for the veteran out of the University of Utah to make up for his previous meeting against Tampa Bay, when he had one reception for four yards.



Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Philadelphia

Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame numbers just keep getting better, and without quarterback Matt Ryan some of his owners are wondering if he is a risky play in Week 13. This shouldn’t be the case, as we expect Chris Redman to take a once again conservative approach that will rely on Gonzalez to make plays for him.

Gonzalez had nine catches for 83 yards last weekend (all once Redman came in for Ryan), so we like Gonzalez’s chances of overachieving while Ryan is out. With an unknown running game for the Falcons, Gonzalez and Roddy White should be the focal points of the offense and it doesn’t hurt that the Eagles allow the most fantasy points to the tight end position in the NFL (10 per game).

In fact, Philadelphia has allowed 10 or more fantasy football points to opposing TEs on six different occasions this year and we fully expect Gonzalez to add to that total.



Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans) @ Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Colts have allowed 26 field goal attempts through 11 games, which is the third most in 2009. Opposing kickers are averaging over eight fantasy points per contest against the Colts and the efficiency of the Tennessee Titans should lead to some kicking chances out of Bironas.

The Titans offense is finally moving with Vince Young under center, so don’t blame Bironas if he failed miserably at the beginning of the season. Over the last five weeks (all Titans victories) Bironas has averaged 9.8 fantasy football points per game and has knocked down four field goals of 50+ yards. In short, Bironas is a must start from here on out.



San Diego Chargers D/ST @ Cleveland

There are great D/ST matchups for fantasy football owners all over the schedule weekend, but we will hone in on the San Diego Chargers defense against the Cleveland Browns .

In standard scoring formats, the Browns have allowed 12.5 fantasy points per week to opposing defenses, and the Chargers have decided to start playing good overall team football since their bye week (6-1, 6 game win streak).

With San Diego allowing under 14 points per game in those six victories, the Browns, who are averaging just 11.1 points per game and a league low 230 yards per game, will struggle to punch it in, especially with the news that starting running back Jamal Lewis is out for the season. 

Other favorable matchups (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit, New Orleans Saints @ Washington, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay, Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis)





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Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: Tight Ends

Published: December 5, 2009

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Week 12 produced some pretty strong performances from the tight end position, but none were more appreciated than the efforts by Antonio Gates and Jason Witten , who both played like the dominating tight ends we all fell in love with. Against the Kansas City Chiefs , Gates hauled in seven passes for 118 yards and two scores for a fantasy, fantasy performance of 23 fantasy points. Witten, meanwhile, recorded his first 100-yard day on the year with five catches for 107 yards on Thanksgiving day against the Oakland Raiders . Can these two keep it up in Week 13? To find out, check out the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 13 Tight End Rankings.

1. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Philadelphia

Gonzalez has been outstanding over the past two weeks, catching a total of 17 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown, and he has an opportunity to put up more huge numbers this week, even with Matt Ryan out. His opponent, the Eagles, have allowed the most receptions (70), second-most receiving yards (747), and second-most touchdowns (tied with seven) to opposing tight ends in the league.
Point Projection: 14 points

2. Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Tennessee

After a two-week dry spell, as far as receptions are concerned, in which he only caught a total of five passes, Clark rebounded last week with nine catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. He has now caught a touchdown in two straight games, and in his last game against this week’s opponent, the Titans, Clark had nine receptions for 77 yards. Look for similar production this week, but throw in a touchdown reception for good measure.
Point Projection: 13 points

3. Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) @ Cleveland

After a very quiet six games starting in Week Six, in which Gates did not accumulate more than seven fantasy points in any contest, he broke out of it last week with seven receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. This week, against the Browns, he has a chance to do more good things. The Browns are not proficient against opposing tight ends as only six NFL teams have allowed more touchdown passes to them than Cleveland has.
Point Projection: 12 points

4. Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers) @ Seattle

Davis continued his breakout season with six catches for 69 yards and one touchdown last week against the Jaguars; it was his second consecutive game with a touchdown reception. And, though he had one of his least productive games in his last meeting with the Seahawks, back in Week Two, that was with a different quarterback under center. In the six games since Alex Smith took over, Davis has had at least 100 yards or a touchdown catch (or both) in all but one contest.
Point Projection: 12 points

5. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) @ New York Giants

So, he is alive. One of the biggest disappointments of the fantasy season, Witten finally had his first 100-yard game of the season on Thanksgiving last week. It was his first game since Week Three with at least 70 receiving yards, and his only game with at least 80. But, the Giants are ripe for being taken advantage of by Witten. He scored his only touchdown of the season against them in Week Two, and they have allowed opposing tight ends the second-most touchdown catches (tied with seven), third-most receptions (tied-60), and fifth-most receiving yards (652) in the league.
Point Projection: : 11 points

6. Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles) @ Atlanta **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Celek has easily become one of Donovan McNabb’s favorite targets, leading the team last week with nine targets. This week, with DeSean Jackson possibly out, and a sweet match-up, he has a chance to put up solid totals. Only four teams have allowed opposing tight ends to catch more passes than the Falcons, and only three teams have allowed them to gain more yards. The one concern fantasy owners should have with Celek is his sprained thumb, but until it proves to hinder the tight end, employ him as normal.
Point Projection: 11 points

7. Greg Olsen (Chicago Bears) vs. St. Louis

Olsen led the Bears in receptions (seven), receiving yards (45), and targets (eight) last week against the Minnesota Vikings . The numbers are certainly underwhelming, but it’s clear that Jay Cutler has an affinity for the Miami product. Olsen has a solid match-up this week against the St. Louis Rams , and with the lack of other receiving options in Chicago’s stable, Olsen is a good play on a weekly basis.
Point Projection: 10 points

8. Visanthe Shiancoe (Minnesota Vikings) @ Arizona

With so many other receiving options at the hands of Brett Favre , you would think it would be easy for him to overlook Shiancoe. But that hasn’t happened, as the big tight end got nine targets last week, finishing the day with five receptions for 51 yards and one touchdown. It was his second straight game with a touchdown, and he’s now scored seven times in his last eight games.
Point Projection: 10 points

9. Kellen Winslow (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) @ Carolina

Winslow had an impressive day last week, catching seven passes out of eight targets, and compiling 81 receiving yards. It was the third time in three games, he had at least eight fantasy points, so he’s rolling well right now. The Panthers held him to just three catches for 29 yards in their last meeting (Week Six), but with Josh Freeman at quarterback, things are a bit different now.
Point Projection: 9 points

10. Dustin Keller (New York Jets) @ Buffalo

Keller led the Jets with four catches and 68 receiving yards last week in their win over the Panthers, which marked the third time in four games he’s had at least 55 receiving yards. The Bills held him down in their last meeting (Week Six), where Keller could only muster two catches for 16 yards, but Buffalo has been somewhat vulnerable to tight ends this year; only seven teams have allowed allowing opposing players at that position to catch more passes.
Point Projection: 9 points

11. Todd Heap (Baltimore Ravens) @ Green Bay

Heap has been a non-factor of late, evidenced by his one catch for six yards last week. But we’re throwing caution to the wind this week and saying Heap finds the end zone for the first time since Week Two against a Packers team that has allowed the second-most touchdowns (tied with seven) to opposing tight ends.
Point Projection: 8 points

12. Zach Miller (Oakland Raiders) @ Pittsburgh

With a new quarterback brings new promise to Miller, who is unfortunately lost in the muck out in Oakland despite being one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the game. He had five catches for 73 yards last week, and the previous week he had five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown – where once Miller was lost, with Bruce Gradkowski , he’s been found.
Point Projection: 7 points

13. Anthony Fasano (Miami Dolphins) vs. New England

Fasano’s five catches and 74 receiving yards last week led the Dolphins, as he played in his first game after missing two weeks. Despite New England being a tough match-up, he did catch a touchdown against them the only time he faced them last season, and with better health should come better productivity.
Point Projection: 6 points

14. John Carlson (Seattle Seahawks) vs. San Francisco

Like the rest of the Seahawks’ passing game last week, Carlson put up futile numbers, with only two catches for 14 yards. He has been something of a disappointment all year, but he did have one of his better games of the season against the 49ers back in Week Two, when he caught six passes for 46 yards.
Point Projection: 6 points

15. Kevin Boss (New York Giants) vs. Dallas

Boss’ three-game touchdown streak came to an end on Thanksgiving last week, as he was held to just two receptions for 22 yards. Still, you can’t ignore what he had been doing, and despite his lack of production the last time he faced the Cowboys (one catch, 13 yards), you can expect more this week.
Point Projection: 5 points



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Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings: Tight Ends

Published: November 26, 2009

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Week 12 is here and by now the playoffs in your league are probably forming its face. You know for the most part who is in and who is out; but for those that are lucky enough to still be in, Bruno Boys Nation that is, you can’t let down just yet. You still have a seed to fight for and a bye-week in Week 14 is always a nice break to sit back and enjoy some football without the stress of wondering if you are going to win or lose.

So tackle this article and the rest of the positional rankings that we have to offer this week and lets sew up a good playoff placing. Now onto this week’s edition of the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 12 Tight End Rankings .

1. Greg Olsen (Chicago Bears) @ Minnesota

Why is Greg Olsen sitting on top of the Bruno Boys rankings this week for tight ends? It is a combination of two things. He has averaged over 57 yards per game during the past month and had a three touchdown performance in Week Nine against the Arizona Cardinals .

To top it off, the Minnesota Vikings have been horrible defending against the tight end position this year. Add in the fact that Jay Cutler has connected with Olsen a total of 13 times in the past two weeks you have to like his chances of performing at a high level this week.

Point Projection:
13 points

2. Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Jacksonville

Vernon Davis has averaged nine fantasy football points per game during the past month; a month in which he has struggled some. If he gets back on track and continues his success that he had in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers , in which he went for 108 yards and a touchdown, then Davis has a shot of finishing the season as the top fantasy tight end.

Even with the Jacksonville Jaguars shutting down the tight end position this season you should plug in Davis with confidence.

Point Projection:
13 points

3. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Tampa Bay

This stud tight end has averaged almost 70 yards this past month while grabbing two touchdowns. Not too shabby considering that the Atlanta Falcons passing game as a whole has struggled. Look for his success to continue this week against the weaker Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Tony Gonzalez is a must start.

Point Projection:
13 points

4. Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts) @ Houston

This former first round pick went from the cream of the crop at the tight end position this year to a three yard, one touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. The good news though is that he faces the Houston Texans , a team he torched for 14 receptions and 119 yards in Week Nine, this week so he should get back on track for great yardage. If he tosses in a touchdown he could be the best play of the week.

Point Projection:
12 points

5. Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) vs. Kansas City

Truth be told, we love Antonio Gates this week but we need to be somewhat cautious as he has averaged only seven fantasy football points per week during the past month. In a similar match to the Kansas City Chiefs this week, were when the Chargers took on the Oakland Raiders in Week Eight, and they kept him to only 49 receiving yards. But with a talent like Gates you really can’t sit him unless you have a better option.

Point Projection: 11 points

6. Kellen Winslow (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) @ Atlanta

One game he is going for 11 fantasy points, the next 10 and sandwiching those two performances in was a 0 point and two-point performance. So in other words you probably should get a nice game from Kellen Winslow, but this is nowhere near a guarantee so don’t bet the house.

Point Projection:
9 points

7. Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers) @ Detroit

After missing a few games due to an injury, Jermichael Finley was in the lineup in Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers . He did not disappoint as he put together 54 receiving yards on seven receptions.

That is near his average on the year and this week he gets to face the Detroit Lions , who have allowed a league high nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends on the season. Expect Finley to make it two straight games with at least 50 receiving yards.

Point Projection:
9 points

8. Zach Miller (Oakland Raiders) @ Dallas

Insert a new quarterback into the Oakland Raiders offensive attack and Zach Miller all of a sudden looks like a reliable fantasy football option. In fact, this week during the Dallas Cowboys he should see enough targets to put together a solid Turkey Day game for those brave enough to start him.

Look for him to build on the success that he had last week in which he went for 65 yards and a touchdown. The best part of it all is that if you are hurting to find a tight end Miller probably can be had on your waiver wire.

Point Projection:
8 points

9. John Carlson (Seattle Seahawks) @ St. Louis

Despite being shutout last week, John Carlson is normally good for at least 3-4 fantasy points with the occasional game that produces much more. This week should be that type of game as he faces the St. Louis Rams (54.6 yards per game to TE, 5 TDs) in which he had two touchdowns and 95 receiving yards against in Week One. While that does not guarantee anything, on potential alone it pushes him past many tight ends this week.

Point Projection:
8 points

10. Dustin Keller (New York Jets) vs. Carolina

As it goes with many tight ends, Dustin Keller’s play is just too inconsistent to rely on as a sure play, but he does go against the Carolina Panthers who should give rookie Mark Sanchez fits this week. Because of that Keller should be used as an escape route a lot this week. Don’t look for a touchdown, but nice yardage should be expected.

Point Projection:
7 points

11. Jeremy Shockey (New Orleans) vs. New England

The bad on Jeremy Shockey is that he is so up and down because of the balanced attack that the New Orleans Saints possess. The good is that he did go for 80 yards against New England in his last matchup against them. Take that as you wish but he remains no more than a low-end TE1 play in deeper leagues.

Point Projection:
6 points

12. Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Washington

Brent Celek is not a yardage whore, but he has become one that you really can depend on for a touchdown. Whether or not that translates into one this week remains to be seen but we are betting that he is no better than a low-end TE1 play in deeper leagues. His three touchdowns during the past four games though makes him intriguing.

Point Projection:
6 points



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Fantasy Football Week 12 Rankings: Wide Receivers

Published: November 26, 2009

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Last week was an interesting one for fantasy football fans. We saw some firsts, like Michael Crabtree’s first touchdown catch; some births, such as Robert Meachem seemingly becoming the favorite red-zone option for Drew Brees; and some rebirths, in the form of Terrell Owens finally having a huge game. The fantasy football playoffs loom right around the corner, and we’re here to help you round that corner and cross the finish line with this edition of Bruno Boys’ Fantasy Football Week 12 Wide Receiver Rankings.

1. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) at Tennessee

Fitzgerald caught another touchdown pass last week in the Cardinals’ win over the St. Louis Rams. It was the third game in succession that Fitzgerald found his way into the end zone. His matchup this week against the woeful outfit the Titans put out to defend the pass is one to savor. However, if Kurt Warner (head injury) can’t give it a go on Sunday, and the Cardinals’ are forced to use Matt Leinart you might not see as much yardage out of Fitzgerald.

Projection: 20 points

2. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) at Houston

Wayne had seven catches for 89 yards last week in a solid effort against the Baltimore Ravens. The only thing missing was a touchdown reception fantasy football owners are so used to seeing him make—considering he had eight in nine games previous to last week. Wayne has actually gone without a touchdown in two of his last three games, but expect that to change this week.

Projection: 19 points

3. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers) vs. Kansas City

Jackson has been so excited for the new Twilight movie to come out that he couldn’t keep football in the forefront of his mind for the last two weeks. Okay, that was completely made up, but there has to be some reason he’s been so mediocre over his past two games. In those games he has a combined total of just five catches for 66 yards and no touchdowns. However, the Kansas City Chiefs are often a good remedy for what ails wide receivers, and a return to prominence for Jackson seems like a good bet this week—especially when you take into consideration that the last time he faced Kansas City he went for 142 yards and one score.

Projection: 19 points

4. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) vs. Indianapolis

It’s hard to believe that, prior to Monday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans, Johnson hadn’t scored a touchdown in four games. But he ended that drought with a score on one of his four catches, and added 78 receiving yards against Tennessee. Though Indianapolis has been tough against the pass most of the season, the last time Johnson faced them, Week 9, he had 10 receptions for 103 yards.

Projection: 18 points

5. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) @ New Orleans

Though the New Orleans Saints have only allowed nine touchdowns through the air this season, eight of those have come gone into the hands of a wide receiver, which places the Saints in a tie for 10th-most touchdowns allowed to receivers in the league. It’s not a super-high number, of course, but when talking about Moss, who has scored seven times over his last four games, it’s an indicator that he should find his way into the end zone yet again.

Projection: 17 points

6. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) vs. Green Bay   **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Megatron had a season-high 166 receiving yards, and his first touchdown grab since Week 2, last week against the Browns. This is exactly the type of game fantasy football owners needed to see from Johnson. It reaffirms the faith that many placed in him at the start of the year, because defenses like the one Cleveland threw out are the ones that Johnson should murder. The Packers, who just lost Al Harris for the season, have allowed more touchdown throws than all but three other NFL squads, so expect CJ to do big things.

Projection: 17 points

7. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) @ Detroit

Using Jennings on your fantasy team in the last six weeks or so was akin to getting a toothbrush on Halloween. You may have needed a toothbrush, and in some way it was useful, but it just wasn’t what you were expecting, or hoping for. Last week, Jennings went from toothbrush to full-size Snickers bar with a season-high 126 receiving yards and one touchdown on five catches. This week, he could turn into a king-sized Snickers bar considering his opponent. The Detroit Lions have allowed the third-most receiving yards and fifth-most touchdown catches to wide receivers this season.

Projection: 17 points

8. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Chicago

Two weeks ago came the yards, last week came the touchdowns. After a 200-yard receiving game, but no scores, against the Detroit Lions, Rice caught two touchdown passes last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and has quickly vaulted to must-start status. As a nice bonus, the Chicago Bears have allowed the sixth-most touchdowns to wide receivers this season.

Projection: 16 points

9. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Tampa Bay

White has had two disappointing performances in his last three contests, including last week’s four-catch, 45-yard display against the New York Giants. He hasn’t scored in three games, but he has an excellent chance to reverse that trend this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the second-most touchdowns given up to wide receivers.

Projection: 16 points

10. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) @ Tennessee

Last week’s eight-catch, 103-yard effort against the St. Louis Rams marked the second straight game in which Boldin had eight catches for over 100 yards. He also caught his first touchdown pass since Week 3. Now that he’s totally healthy, Boldin belongs in the class of elite fantasy football wideouts. Like Fitzgerald, this ranking is contingent upon quarterback Kurt Warner playing.

Projection: 15 points

11. Wes Welker (New England Patriots) @ New Orleans

If Welker actually scored touchdowns, he’d be the best fantasy football receiver on the planet considering all the yards and receptions he piles up. He had a monster game last week, with 15 catches for 192 yards, and still has played just one game this season in which he had fewer than eight catches and 80 yards. Yet, he hasn’t scored in three games. For a guy who averages nearly 10 receptions per game, he’s scored only four times.

Projection: 15 points

12. Mike Sims-Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ San Francisco

Sims-Walker scored for the third consecutive game last week as his squad beat the Buffalo Bills. He caught a total of eight passes for 91 yards, which marked the fifth time in nine games he’s accumulated at least 90 receiving yards. He’s got a solid match-up this week against a San Francisco 49ers team that is 30th in pass defense.

Projection: 14 points

13. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Cleveland

Last week, the Cleveland Browns allowed five touchdown passes to the Detroit Lions, so Ochocinco & Co. have to be licking their chops. He had just three catches for 24 yards the last time Cleveland and Cincinnati hooked up, but two of those receptions went for touchdowns, easing any pain that may have otherwise occurred.

Projection: 13 points

14. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Baltimore

Ward had a predictably good game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, with one touchdown reception as part of his 10-catch, 128-yard effort. It probably will not be quite so easy this week against the Baltimore Ravens, who are a much better defensive unit than Kansas City, and whose six touchdowns allowed to wideouts is tied for seventh-best in the NFL.

Projection: 13 points

15. Donald Driver (Green Bay Packers) @ Detroit

Driver has fallen off a bit over the past couple weeks, with games of 50 and 40 receiving yards, respectively. But his opponent this week is none other than the Detroit Lions, and that is always music to the ears of fantasy football owners. In his last game against them, Driver had seven catches for 107 yards.

Projection: 12 points



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