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#1. Did Eric Decker get lucky last week, or is he really stepping up into the Broncos’ offense?
Eric Decker found the end zone four times in week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, adding 174 yards in the process. Decker was not high on many radars and fantasy owners were left staring at their bench, looking at potential points they missed out on. Don’t beat yourself up too much; Decker has been an afterthought in the Broncos offense lately. Although, just to throw gas on the fire and mess with your head some more… Wes Welker found the end zone 9 times before the Broncos bye week, yet has zero scores in the last 4 games. That’s an interesting stat, but hardly a deciding factor in Eric Decker’s rest of the season (ROS) overall ranking. Yes, the Broncos offense can be a little frustrating, but Decker’s amazing week 13 performance should be dubbed a fluke. Do not be “that guy” that over thinks his starting lineup. You should not bench a productive starters based on one lucky week. Currently, Gridiron Experts WR rankings have Decker snagging 4 catches for 40 yards and score this week against the Titans.
#2. Is Percy Harvin playing and if he is… do I bother starting him?
Jody Smith and I don’t see it? We don’t see why there is so much love for this streaky wide receiver on a run-first team. May sound crazy, but I would much rather start Golden Tate in my lineup over Harvin. Currently, Tate has 46 catches on 73 targets and has found the end zone 4 times this season. Those aren’t spectacular numbers, but at least they are something. I am not a fan of “wishful fantasy thinking.” I personally need more than a familiar name, or flashy week to convince me to throw a guy into my starting lineup.
#3. Is a banged up Julius Thomas better than a waiver wire pickup?
Breakout fantasy gem Julius Thomas was inactive Week 13 against the Chiefs. Many Fantasy owners were scrambling to make do with waiver bums. As he was a near-go last week, many believe he will start week 14 against the Titans, but will not be 100%. Due to the lack of consistency outside of the top 5 or 6 Tight Ends this season, I would definitely start Thomas this week, if he plays. Julius Thomas was limited in Wednesday’s practice, but is a favorite target of Peyton Manning’s. Even he sees 50% of the snaps he usually does… he’s an easy start for me.
#4. What is Michael Crabtree’s value vs. the Seahawks?
You have been holding a place for WR Michael Crabtree all year and now an ugly match-up against the league’s best defense is making you question starting him… Crabtree played on 42-of-67 (62.6 %) snaps in Sunday’s win over the Rams and has added a much needed spark to the offense. Obviously, if you have no other options you start him, although expectations should be kept somewhat low. Gridiron Experts rankings have him in the 60 yard range this week.
#5. Is Ladarius Green the new Antonio Gates?
Antonio Gates missed two days worth of practice last week and still played 62-of-67 snaps against the Bengals. Green played 61 snaps. It seems we have another Tight End combo threat emerging, just as we have seen in Cinny and Philadelphia. Green may one day find himself a TE1, but right now I feel his success is due to the fact that Gates still demands respect from defenders. If Gates doesn’t start this week, there are no guarantees Green can step-up in a full time role for larger fantasy production. I would be nervous starting him this week against the Giants, despite the favorable match-up.
#6. How will Mike Wallace do in his return to Pittsburgh?
I would not start Wallace if you paid me too. Garbage time may be the best opportunity for Wallace rack-up points and I feel this match-up heavily favors the Steelers. The warm weather Miami Dolphins are heading to Pittsburgh to face-off against a team that has had extra rest after playing last Thursday. The Steelers are also extremely bitter, not only because of the end result of a loss to the Ravens, but due to a $100K fine issued to their head coach. The Steelers are a top fantasy sleeper defense of mine this week.
#7. Will WR2 options in the Lions vs. Eagles game be worthy of good fantasy starts this week?
Nate Burleson fantasy owners we’re not thankful for his Turkey day performance. Somehow, in a game where the Detroit Lions racked up 40 points, Burleson did not register a catch. This week, in what many have predicted to be a shootout match-up against the Eagles, fantasy owners are eye-balling not only starting Burleson, but Riley Cooper as well. The Eagles are one of the hottest NFC teams as of late, but mainly due to their defense. The Boo-Birds have not allowed more than 21 points in their last eight contests and have kept teams shutout early in most games. In both the last two weeks, the Eagles have allowed serious garbage time fantasy points by not finishing games. With the red-hot Lions coming to town, it’s unlikely that the Eagles will keep Detroit to 21 points, but that also could mean that Philly is still firing the ball in the 4th quarter rather than trying (and failing) to drain the clock. I think both wide receivers will have a strong Sundays full of points and are easy starts for flex options. Cooper has proved that he can make plays and may even be worthy of starting as a WR2.
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