NFL Week 17 Fantasy Fill-ins

30 December 2009

Before we get started, check out my Week 17 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

We’ve already looked at the players who could struggle this week (click here for article). Now I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough match-ups.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos
If you are in a league that plays the season out, Orton is a decent option for Week 17. He takes on Kansas City, who’s in the bottom half with 22 passing TDs allowed. Brandon Marshall was quiet last week against the Eagles, for look for him to break out as the Broncos vie for a playoff spot.

Vince Young, QB, Tennessee Titans
The Titans playoff hopes were dashed by the Chargers last week, but VY is still playing for next year. Luckily for him, he gets to close out with Seattle who has one of the league’s worst passing defenses giving up 262.7 passing yards per game and 26 passing TDs.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith is another resurection project that should finish the season on a high note. He takes on the lowly Rams, who have allowed 246.1 passing yards per game and 21 TDs.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Cutler will try to salvage a forgettable 2009 season with a big game against the Lions, who are 31st with 274.9 passing yards allowed, and dead last with 31 passing TDs given up.

continue reading »

NFL Week 16 Fantasy Fill-ins

23 December 2009

Before we get started, check out my Week 16 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

We’ve already looked at the players who could struggle this week (click here for article). Now I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough match-ups.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith has a chance at fantasy immortality as he takes on Detroit’s league-worst pass defense. They have allowed 268.6 yards per game and 23 passing TDs. Smith 10 TDs in his last five games.

Jerome Harrison, RB, Cleveland Browns
If Harrison’s record-setting performance didn’t ensure him of a heavy workload this week, I will openly question Mangini’s sanity. I don’t see him coming anywhere near what he did last week, but he should be able to produce against the league’s 28th ranked run defense that’s allowing 148.9 yards per game along with a league-worse 20 rushing TDs.

Jason Snelling, RB, Atlanta Falcons
I don’t want to hear about Michael Turner for the rest of the year. Twice they rushed him back. If they just let his ankle heal, he’d be exploiting the Bills’ league-worst run defense. They have allowed 165.6 yards per game and 18 TDs. Snelling should be a force in the fantasy football championship.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Beanie is really beginning to his his stride with 189 yards (226 total) and 2 TDs in his last two games. He faces a terrible Rams run defense that is 27th in the league with 140.4 yards allowed. They have also given up 19 rushing scores.

Terrell Owens, WR, Buffalo Bills
T.O. has struggled for the better part of this season, but Atlanta’s porous secondary brings some relief. They rank 30th with 265.9 yards allowed, and have given up 24 passing TDs.

continue reading »

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Fill-ins

16 December 2009

Happy Birthday Nicole!

Before we get started, check out my Week 15 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough match-ups.

Jason Campbell, QB, Washington Redskins
Campbell has played relatively well the past three weeks 273.3 yards and 2.3 TDs. He faces a reeling Giants team that ranks 26th with 23 passing TDs allowed. Fred Davis, who has four TDs during that three-game stretch, should be able to exploit the G-Men over the middle.

Brady Quinn, QB, Cleveland Browns
Quinn has alternated stinkers with impressive performances. If the pattern stays true, he’s up for a big one. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that pattern, but will factor in his opponent. He faces Kansas City who is 24th in the league in pass yards and passing TDs allowed.

Quinton Ganther, RB, Washington Redskins
Ganther played well last week as the lead back against Oakland. He’ll have a stiffer test this week against the Giants. They don’t give up a lot of rushing yards, but are tied for 29th with 17 rushing TDs allowed. He’s not a bad play if you’re in a bind.

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
It appears that it’s Foster’s turn on the Texans RB merry-go-round. He’s got a great week to show his stuff as they face St. Louis, who ranks 27th in rushing yards allowed (147.2) and 31st in rushing TDs allowed.

continue reading »

Before we get started, check out my Week 14 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough match-ups.

I told you about the guys who could struggle this week (click here for the article). Now, let’s look at some guys you can plug into your fantasy lineups as you look to advance in the fantasy playoffs.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith has thrown eight TDs the past three weeks and faces Arizona’s 30th ranked (257.8 yards allowed per game). Vernon Davis is having an unbelievable year and Michael Crabtree is developing into a big time WR. They are going to have to throw to keep up with Arizona making Smith a nice sleeper play for the opening round of the fantasy playoffs.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco has regressed after starting the season off with a bang. He should be able to relive some of that early-season glory this week as he faces Detroit’s league-worst pass defense. They have allowed more passing  yards (274.8) and passing TDs (28) than any other team.

Vince Young, QB, Tennessee Titans
Who would have ever imagined that Alex Smith and Vince Young would be viable fantasy options in Week 14 when the season started? They couldn’t even beat out Kerry Shaun Hill and Kerry Collins respectively. VY faces St. Louis this week and he should produce with his arm and his feet. They just don’t have the athletes to keep up with him.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles has produced every week since taking over the starting gig. He should continue his strong play against the league’s worst run defense (172.1 ypc). The Bills are also 30th in the league with 16 rushing TDs allowed.
continue reading »

Before we get started, check out my Week 13 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Garrard has a decent match-up this week against Houston’s middle-of-the road passing defense. That’s not what makes him a decent play this weekend. He truly is a different player at home, where the Jags happen to play this week.

Home:  5 games, 283.8 yards per game, 7 TD, 4 INTs
Away:  6 games, 198.5 ypg, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith has back-to-back multiple TD games for the Niners. With Seattle on deck, who is 25th in passing yards allowed (238.1)and 27th in passing TDs allowed (20), Smith is a good bet to make it three straight.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
I’m sure by now his fantasy owners have lost faith in Cutler, but feel free to trot him out there against the Rams. St. Louis is 22nd against the pass with 225.6 yards per game. Now if Cutler can just remember which team to throw to.

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
Jackson was heavily utilized last week by Interim Coach Perry Fewell, and appears to have replaced Marshawn Lynch as the team’s feature back. He faces the Jets’ 13th ranked run defense, which has been more susceptible of late.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
Knowshon should build upon his Thanksgiving performance we he faces the Chiefs’ 27th ranked run defense (134.5 ypg). Moreno has averaged 88.3 rushing yards the past three weeks.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
J-Stew should bounce back from a couple of down weeks as he faces Tampa Bay’s 30th ranked run defense (160.4 ypg). The last time the Panthers faced the Bucs, he ran for 110 yards and a score.

Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant, WRs, Philadelphia Eagles
It’s unlike that DeSean Jackson’s concussion will allow him to play this weekend, which elevates both Maclin and Avant’s fantasy values. Aside from the extra looks they should receive, they face Atlanta’s 27th ranked pass defense (252.6 ypg).

Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, WRs, Indianapolis Colts
Peyton continues to spread the ball around, and both of these WRs have to potential to produce against theTitan’s 31st ranked pass defense (266.7). Garcon has been the better play of late, but Collie had a pair of TDs the last time they squared off with Tennessee.

Dante Rosario, TE, Carolina Panthers
Dante has caught four passes in each of his past two games, and is a good sneaky play this week as he faces Tampa Bay.

Rob Bironas, K, Tennessee Titans
Bironas faces the Indianapolis Colts who have allowed two Field Goals a game this season. Bironas has hit 1.6 FGs per game with five straight multiple FG games.

Olinod Mare, K, Seattle Seahawks
Mare faces San Francisco, who is tied for 26th with 20 FGs allowed. Mare has made 19 FGs on the year. They play in Seattle where he averaged 2.2 FGs per game.

Buffalo Defense/Special Teams
The Bills play the Jets at home. The last time they faced Mark Sanchez, he threw five Interceptions. While I don’t expect him to reach that mark, a multiple INT game isn’t out of the question.

Chicago Bears Defense/Special Teams
Da Bears get to stop the bleeding by facing the Rams at home. Multiple Sacks and turnovers should be in order.

NFL Week 12 Fantasy Fill-ins

25 November 2009


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Matt struggled last week against the Vikings, but almost everyone they faced this year has struggled against them. Life should be much easier for them this week when they take on St. Louis, who is giving up 236.7 passing yards and 1.5 passing TDs per game.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Matt bounced back last week after five consecutive mediocre starts. This week he takes on Tampa Bay, who is 30th in the league with 22 passing TDs allowed. Matt is also playing at home where he’s been far more effective.

Home: 4 games, 192.3 yards per game, 8 TDs, 4 INTS
Away: 6 games, 251.2 yards per game, 8 TDs, 8 INTs

Justin Forsett, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Shame on me for piling on the poor Rams, but I’m going to do just that. They are 28th against the run allowing 146.4 yards per game. They are also tied for 29th with 14 rushing TDs allowed. Forsett should contribute both on the ground and through the air.

continue reading »

NFL Week 11 Fantasy Fill-ins

18 November 2009

Before we get started, click here for my Week 11 NFL Picks or here for my NFL Power Rankings.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the reeling G-Men. It gave them time to regroup and prepare to get back in the hunt. I like Eli this week going up against the Falcons’ 28th ranked pass defense. Plus, with Michael Turner out, the Falcons shouldn’t be able to control the clock as well.

Ricky Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins
Ricky has been a nice flex/RB2 option while sharing carries with Ronnie Brown. Now that Brown is sidelined with an ankle injury, Ricky becomes a low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Plus, he faces Carolina’s 25th ranked run defense.

Jamal Lewis, RB, Cleveland Browns
Despite playing in an offense that is unwatchable, Lewis is actually a decent replacement player this week for all of last week’s fallen RBs. Detroit isn’t quite as bad against the run (19th) as in year’s past, but Jamal should be able to put up a respectable fantasy number this week.

Jason Snelling, RB, Atlanta Falcons
He isn’t Michael Turner, but he should be able to put up a fair amount of yards against the Giants’ middle-of-the-road run defense. The G-Men are tied for 26th with 12 rushing TDs allowed this year.

continue reading »

NFL Week 10 Fantasy Fill-ins

11 November 2009

Before we get started, click here for my Week 10 NFL picks.


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle will have to throw plenty to keep up with Arizona on the road. Arizona has the 29th ranked pass defense, which works in Hasselbeck’s favor. In his last four starts against the Cardinals, he’s averaged 208.8 yards per game, 5 rushing yards, 1.5 TDs, and 1 INT. Not great numbers, but good for a 14.94 fantasy point average.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
They play the early game so you’ll have to decide early to roll with Smith. He takes on the Bears that have allowed 10 TDs the past two weeks (I don’t count the Browns).

Ricky Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins
Ricky has shown that he’s more than a flex option or a bye week replacement. He has become a legitimate RB2, and should not be avoided because only two teams are on bye. Don’t be afraid to start both Ronnie Brown and Ricky against Tampa Bay’s 30th ranked run defense. continue reading »

NFL Week 9 Fantasy Fill-ins

6 November 2009


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Hasselbeck has the good fortune of facing Detroit’s 27th ranked passing defense. What’s worse is they have allowed 18 passing TDs, which is one behind Tennessee for the league lead.

David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Garrard squares off with Kansas City’s 28th ranked pass defense at home. In three home starts Garrard has averaged 313.3 passing yards and 32 rushing yards. He also has 5 passing TDs. On the road he’s averaging just 165.8 passing yards and 16.5 rushing yards. His lone rushing TD came on the road, but all of his passing TDs came at home.

Julius Jones, RB, Seattle Seahawks
I don’t love JJ this week, but he does face the 21st ranked Detroit run D at home. Jones averages a respectable 78.3 total yards in four home games with 2 TDs versus a 44 total yards and 1 TD in road games. continue reading »

NFL Week 8 Fantasy Fill-ins

30 October 2009


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars - I have to mention him since he’s facing the sorry Tennessee Titans, but I must warn you, I have a bad feeling about this one.  This could be a trap play for your fantasy team.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos - He doesn’t make mistakes and Brandon Marshall is playing great football.  Plus, Baltimore has struggled against the pass this year.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears - I believe “Good” Jay will show up this week and torch the Browns.  They will have a hard time containing Greg Olsen and Devin Hester is coming into his own.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers - LT always kills the Raiders (131 total yards/game & 23 TDs in 17 games).  They can’t stop the run, and he’s getting his feet under him.

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets - Greene makes a nice flex-play against the Dolphins despite the tough matchup.  The Jets are fully committed to the run and they should be able to do so at home against the Fins.

Mike Bell, RB, Atlanta Falcons - Bell also makes a good flex play as he’s getting the ball around the stripe.  The Saints’ offense is humming.

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars - #1 WRs have dominated their banged up secondary all year, including Sims-Walker for 91 yards and 2 TDs in Week 4.  He won’t reach those lofty numbers, but he should be solid.

Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears - See Jay Cutler above.

Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo Bills - He’s actually played well with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will be under Center again as the Bills face Houston.

James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers - The Vikes have struggled a bit against teams with good 3rd WRs (72 yards and a TD to Mike Wallace, 48 yards to Kelley Washington, and 47 yards and a TD to Jordy Nelson).  Now that Jones is in that role for the Pack, he’s a good bet to do well.  The Packers are going to be fired up as they welcome Brett back.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Denver Broncos - Scheffler has been a nice target for Orton the past couple of weeks.

Zach Miller, TE, Oakland Raiders - The Chargerss have struggled containing Tight Ends the past couple of seasons, including Miller in Week 1 of this year.

Robbie Gould, K, Chicago Bears - It goes without saying that bad teams allow a lot of points.  Gould faces Cleveland, who’s 26th in the leauge with 11 FGs allowed.

Matt Prater, K, Denver Broncos - The Ravens have struggled defending the pass, but their D can buckle down when they need to.  They are 30th in the league with 13 FGs allowed.  I can see the Broncos moving the chains only to have their drive stalled out in FG range.

Arizona Cardinals Defense/Special Teams - Arizona is getting after it on D, and they face Carolina who is trying to find their identity.  Better yet, it’s a home game.

San Diego Chargers Defense/Special Teams - LT isn’t the only thing slipping in San Diego, but the Raiders should be just what the Doctor ordered.

Chicago Defense/Special Teams - The Browns are a mess.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties