Week 15: Sit 'Em
According to multiple sources, Dez Bryant's fractured finger could require season-ending surgery. The team and doctors are exploring all options to see if surgery can be scheduled post-season without further complications. This could be good news for Miles Austin owners. If Bryant does not play, Austin might see more targets and fantasy points. Austin started the season well, but has slowly lost traction. Weeks 9-12 were quite disappointing. If Bryant does not go this week, Austin is going to be a guy many fantasy owners consider. However, I caution starting him given the match-up. Pittsburgh's defense is ranked first against wide receivers and allows an average of 16.5 fantasy points to the position per game. This is one stingy pass defense. You could argue that early in the season Austin performed well vs. some tough defenses; I would agree. I worry about his production of late, which was down again in Week 14. Look for 3-4 receptions for 45-50 yards without seeing the endzone.
Stevie Johnson collected six receptions in each of his Week 10, 11, 12 and 14 games. If you own Johnson in a PPR format he might look appealing as a flex option at this stage of the season. Johnson's season rank is 27th, but this week he slides way down to 43rd. The good news is that it does not appear that his hamstring injury is that limiting to his production. The bad news is his match-up this week. Despite being Fiitzpatrick's favorite target, Seattle's defense will take Johnson out of plays. Seattle ranks third against wide outs and allows on average 18 points to the position per game. This is not the week to take a flyer on Johnson given his productivity of late. I would expect to see 3-4 receptions for 40-50 yards, but no touchdown.