Don't let this hit you too hard, but you probably only have two weeks left of fantasy football. And there are only three weeks left of actual regular season football. The season goes by fast when you're having fun. Of course, that's if you're winning. But no matter what your record reads, you must finish strong. Show your opponents that you are a force to recon with whether or not you're Championship bound.
Last week we didn't post our usual accountability check, so we'll do it this week. Basically, for those who are new to the Sportster's "Sit 'Em/Start 'Em articles, it's our way of letting you know how we're doing predicting fantasy match ups. We want you to feel confident in our predictions, and it also ensures that we stay on top of our game.
So, in saying that, we hit on an impressive 60 percent of our predictions last week, with Kelvin Benjamin being a tossup. We threw him in the 60 percent bunch because he did kind of save his fantasy day with a touchdown. So, if he helped you win your day, he did his job. If he caused you to lose, than shame on us. We'll take the hit.
So, as always, in saying that, let's get to this week's "Sit 'Em/Start 'Em." Per usual, all projections are based on Yahoo! Fantasy.
20 Buffalo Bills' Defense – SIT
How did the Bills' defense respond when they've faced two of the league's best offenses this year? It put forth fantasy duds. Against the Patriots and Broncos, the Bills posted a combined four fantasy points. So, it's easy to see why we don't recommend starting them this week when they play against a Packers' team that makes opposing defenses wilt.
19 New York Giants' Defense – START
The Giants owned one of the top fantasy defenses last week, scoring 27 fantasy points against the Titans. The unit finished the day with eight sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. This week, they'll have the Washington Redskins at home, and we suggest riding the Giants' hot streak. Further, if you're fighting your way through the fantasy playoffs, you might even consider going to battle with the Giants the rest of the way. They have another favorable matchup next week against St. Louis.
18 Jordan Cameron – TE, Cleveland Browns – SIT
Could new quarterback Johnny Manziel spark Cameron? That's certainly possible. We saw this happen in Washington when Colt McCoy took over for RGIII and Kirk Cousins. On paper, Cameron has a nice matchup against the Bengals, but it's tough to trust a tight end who owns one 15-plus point game all year. That game came way back in week six against the Steelers. Since then, he's posted paltry numbers and that's a good enough reason to stay clear of Cameron for the stretch run.
17 Jordan Reed – TE, Washington Redskins – START
With Colt McCoy starting, Reeds' targets have gone up and that is great news for fantasy owners just begging for some consistency at the position. Over the past two weeks, McCoy has targeted Reed 18 times, and the tight end put up 12 receptions for 148 yards. He only totaled 25 yards last week, but St. Louis is stingy against tight ends. Expect better results against the Giants.
16 Mike Wallace – WR, Miami Dolphins – SIT
Let's keep this short and sweet. We don't need to go into how Wallace is losing some targets to Jarvis Landry and how he and Tannehill are just not connecting on deep routes. We'll just tell you that you should sit Wallace because he's going up against either Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner this week, and the two corners know how to shut down opposing wideouts.
15 Martavis Bryant – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – START
*Sigh* Last week we were partly correct and partly wrong in our assessment of Bryant. While we suggested you sit Bryant because of his recent lack of production, we also told you not to give up on him just yet. After all, he did have a looming matchup against the Falcons.
So, what did he do? Bryant went off against the Bengals, putting up a massive 16.9 point fantasy showing. He'll be a risky play for the rest of the season because he depends on the deep ball, but Roethlisberger indicated last week that he still trusts the rookie. And you should too.
14 Steve Smith Sr. – WR, Baltimore Ravens – SIT
Other outlets suggest starting Smith Sr., but we don't and the reason is simple. Teams run on the Jaguars' defense, they don't pass on them. In fact, over the past three games, opponents have run on Jacksonville 37 times per game compared to passing only 28 times. We're not even confident Smith Sr. is a decent flex player at this point based on his recent production. Last week, he had his second stand-out game in his last seven. More so, the Jaguars have done a pretty healthy job of slowing down receivers. So again, run against the Jaguars. Don't pass.
13 Keenan Allen – WR, San Diego Chargers – START
Allen was a horrible start last week and for a good reason. He went up against Darrelle Revis, which completely eliminated him from the Chargers' passing attack. Allen finished the night with only three targets (none while Revis covered him) and caught only two balls for three yards. His fantasy value, of course, can only go up from there and it should against a Denver defense that has allowed five 13-point fantasy outbursts on the season. Philip Rivers had no problem targeting Allen last time the Chargers played the Broncos--13 targets to be exact--so you can be confident Rivers and Allen will follow a similar script.
12 Andre Johnson – WR, Houston Texans – SIT
There are two reasons why sitting Johnson is in your best interest this week. First, he's recovering from a concussion, so his snaps may be limited. Second, the Colts have a tough secondary. The unit has given up the fifth fewest fantasy points and have surrendered under 200 passing yards in their last three games. While Johnson has a nice matchup against the Ravens next week, we suggest sitting him this week.
11 Kelvin Benjamin – WR, Carolina Panthers – START
Benjamin wrecked havoc on the Buccaneers in week one, putting up 92 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Since then, he's seen consistent targets and racked up a ton of touchdowns (nine to be exact). Since coming off his week 12 bye, Benjamin has been slow to put up the fantasy points, but we expect him to destroy Tampa Bay's secondary this week, even with Derek Anderson starting. Remember who started in week 1 for the Panthers against the Bucs (when Benjamin scored 15.2 points)? That's right, Derek Anderson. He should get touchdown number 10 and maybe even 11.
10 Trent Richardson – RB, Indianapolis Colts – SIT
About two percent of fantasy owners have dropped Richardson this week. He is only owned in 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues. And when you look at his statistics you can see why people are bailing on the former first-round pick. The Colts aren't giving him any carries, instead opting to put more faith into Daniel Herron, who also does work in the passing game. There are better options out there at running back and Richardson isn't even worth a flex start.
9 LeGarrette Blount – RB, New England Patriots – START
In the last three games, the Dolphins have surrendered the most rushing yards to opposing running backs. They have actually given up 24 more yards than the team ranked second on that list, the Saints. What else gives us confidence Blount will have a big day? The Patriots love running the football in cold weather and have clearly identified Blount as their feature back. He received the rock 20 times last week and we're confident he'll see similar carries in week 15.
8 Frank Gore – RB, San Francisco 49ers – SIT
How is Gore still owned in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues? I'm certain that some owners just drafted and forgot about him because the guy is pretty safe to drop. Not convinced? His best game came back in week four when he put up 23.4 points. Since then, his fantasy numbers have been as sporadic as his carries. Sure, Gore still has something left in the tank, but coach Jim Harbaugh refuses to let the running back "floor it," which has kept his speed close to zero.
7 Latavius Murray – RB, Oakland Raiders – START
Murray has a second crack at a Kansas City team that is still surrendering a tremendous amount of yards to running backs. In fact, their defense ranks second last in rushing yards allowed per game. We'd expect the Raiders to continue to feature Murray down the stretch. They did so last week, giving him 23 carries against an always tough San Francisco run defense. Many fantasy owners sat him the first time around because he was such an unknown, but his 23.2 point fantasy outburst in week 12 should have woken you up by now.
6 Andre Williams – RB, New York Giants – SIT
By the end of last week, it appeared as if Rashad Jennings would get his usual heavy workload. We predicted he would. However, by Sunday that changed, and Jennings received only two carries, while Williams put up over 100 yards on the ground. Rotoworld believes Jennings should return to his normal workload this week, which hurts Williams' fantasy value. Also, Williams' value is hurt because of Washington's' stout run defense. Sit Williams. Consider sitting Jennings as well.
5 Jonathan Stewart – RB, Carolina Panthers – START
There are two reasons Stewart will rack up the fantasy points this week. First, the Buccaneers surrender the eighth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. And two, it looks like Cam Newton will not be starting this Sunday. With all the traveling players do, it's a situation you pray never happens, but it did this week when Newton was involved in a two-car accident. As of this past Tuesday, he has no life threatening injuries, which is great news, but the accident leaves his playing time in doubt. Look for the panthers to lean on Stewart who should see upwards of 20 carries this week, especially with DeAngelo Williams being sidelined.
4 Ryan Tannehill – QB, Miami Dolphins – SIT
There are better quarterbacks out there on the waiver wire for you to pick up and start. Literally any quarterback out there on the waiver wire is a better play this week. Tannehill failed to challenge the Ravens' depleted secondary last week and put up a poor fantasy showing. If Philip Rivers struggled mightily against the Patriots' elite secondary, you can imagine how Tannehill will fare in the cold at Gillette Stadium.
3 Jake Locker – QB, Tennessee Titans – START
Streaming quarterbacks? Locker might just be your guy. Obviously not the Titans' first choice--or yours, for that matter--but the matchup this week favors Locker. He's at home and the Jets are plain awful against opposing quarterbacks. They surrender the fifth most to the position and have given up 18-plus points to both Kyle Orton and Teddy Bridgewater this year. If you don't like Locker, than Ryan Fitzpatrick might still be on the waiver wire. However, we think the Texans are built to run more than the Titans, which nudges Locker into the "start em" spot.
2 Colin Kaepernick – QB, San Francisco 49ers – SIT
You're looking to win your fantasy playoffs, so why would you start a quarterback on a team that looks more like they are packing it in than making a real playoff push? That's a long-winded way of saying, don't take a risk on playing Kaepernick who also has the non-luxury of going up against the number one fantasy defense against quarterbacks. The Seahawks have only surrendered 190 passing yards per games. Best to leave the "Golden State" quarterback back in the "Golden State."
1 Ben Roethlisberger – QB, Pittsburgh Steelers – START
Roethlisberger went on a tear last week, racking up 350 yards and three touchdowns on the road against Cincinnati. We expect more of the same this week against the Atlanta Falcons who rank 13th against opposing quarterbacks in fantasy football. The Falcons have also surrendered 288 passing yards a game and have actually given up the second most passing yards per game over the last three games. He's a solid start this week.