Week 14: PPR Watch
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Confident - Surprise! Baltimore isn't really that great a defense this year. At least for fantasy purposes, they really aren't that scary at all. So after 2 straight weeks of watching Garcon go off, the question isn't whether you should start him against the Ravens, but who should you bench to get him in? Frankly, I'd say just about anyone that's not top 15 at the position. Garcon has come back showing the same sort of juice we saw from him at the beginning of the year, and his 11 targets in week 13 show that he has more than just big play potential. Especially when you consider he saw just 57% (up from 44% in week 12) of the offensive snaps. The Redskins are showing no hesitance to get him the ball in a variety of ways, and as his "full practice participant" status shows, he looks completely healthy to me. Baltimore's been excellent stopping WRs from scoring, but Garcon has a variety of ways to put up points. Play him.
Confident - If there was ever a week to use the once again relevant Moreno, it is week 14 against the Raiders. Knowshon has dominated the snap count for the Broncos, and been reasonably productive in the process -- 194 total yards, and 8 catches in his first 2 games as the feature back. Everyone remembers what Doug Martin did to Oakland, but he wasn't the only one. Over the past 5 weeks opposing RBs have gashed the Raiders for 755 yards and 8 touchdowns; Far and away the worst of any team in the NFL. I'm not a fan of the Thursday games for fantasy production, but this matchup is too good to pass up, and I'd easily play Moreno over sexier options like Bryce Brown, Matt Forte, and Frank Gore. Knowshon should easily reach 100 total yards, 3-5 receptions, and has a great chance to score. Safe production with big upside in a playoff week? Done deal.
Confident - It looks like Josh Freeman is starting to discover the hidden gem of reliability that is Dallas Clark. Rarely have you heard someone reliable referred to as a "gem"? Well, maybe you should hear it more often, because Clark is a quarterback's best friend. With Jackson and WIlliams stretching the field, and Doug Martin making teams fear the run, Tampa has turned into a dynamic offense. TE, WR, RB, it doesn't matter what the position, you want players in a dynamic offense and Clark is both a beneficiary of (and a reason for the mid-season turnaround). Over the past 3 games, Clark is 5th in Fantasy PPG, with 3 TDs, and 20 targets. This week, Tampa gets the Eagles at home. Philly has been vulnerable to the TE, allowing nearly 6 catches and 60 yards a game over the last 5. Clark is a solid option if you don't have an elite TE, and is still available in more than 60% of leagues.
Confident - At long last, week 13 saw the return of Greg Jennings. Unfortunately, It wasn't exactly a dazzling performance, just 4 catches for 46 yards on 8 targets. On the positive side though, that 8 targets was good enough to lead the team, and with Jordy Nelson expected to be out this week, he should get at least as many again. The first meeting against the Lions wasn't exactly a shootout, but the two teams did combine for 44 points. The Lions remain a terrible pass defense, allowing the 11th most fantasy PPG to WRs, and the 7th most receptions. If you stashed him this long waiting, it is time to put Jennings in your lineup. He may be tough for Rodgers to find in the endzone, but should get enough work to be a viable WR3 in PPR.
Caution - I had high hopes for Rudolph this year, owning him in nearly every league (as I did Jimmy Graham the previous year). It hasn't quite worked out the same way, and I've ended up replacing Rudolph everywhere. That said, his 8 touchdowns have a way of making him very tempting, and after a dry spell in the middle of the season, he's back in the top 10 over the past 4 games. Sorry, I just don't care. I don't even care that he had his biggest game in recent memory just two weeks ago against the Bears. I announced him "dead to me" earlier in the year, and I'm not changing from that position now. He's still only had 18 catches and 170 yards in those 4 games, and that is just not a viable PPR TE. His TD against Chicago was in garbage time, and not because he was a force in the game. The Bears have allowed just 4 TDs in 12 games this season overall. I'm not betting my playoff hopes on him catching another one this week.