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



Time for another edition of Fantasy Football Out on a Limb. I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week. I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch. To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other. Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points.

Scoring
6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard.

Last Week
Vince Young over Carson Palmer: Winner VY 15.0, Palmer 9.7
Ben Roethlisberger over Tom Brady:  Loser Big Ben 11.05, Brady 13.4
Ryan Fitzpatrick over Kyle Orton:  Loser Fitzpatrick 10.0, Orton 22.95
Jamaal Charles over Matt Forte +2:  Winner Charles 24.1, Forte 8.8 (6.8 actual +2)
Kevin Walter over Antonio Bryant:  Loser Walter 1.7, Bryant 2.2
SS: Joe Flacco over Brett Favre:  Winner Flacco 15.7, Favre 14.4

Regular Picks:  2-3
Super Stretch Picks:  1-0
Overall:  3-3

Season Record
Regular Picks: 32-35-1
Super Stretch Picks:  5-11
Overall: 37-46-1

Week 15 Picks
Matt Hasselbeck profile Brett Favre profile photo
Matt Hasselbeck over Brett Favre

I’m gonna pick on Favre again this week to make him prove the December thing is over. He’s averaging 197.4 yards, 1.1 TDs, and 1.6 INTs in his last ten December games. He faces a Carolina pass defense that is sixth in the league with 192.4 passing yards allowed and tied for third with 13 passing TDs allowed. Hasselbeck faces Tampa Bay, who ranks 28th with 24 passing TDs allowed.

Kansas City Chiefs 2009 Football Headshots Rashard Mendenhall profile
Jamaal Charles over Rashard Mendenhall +2
Charles has been great for the Chiefs despite all of their inadequacies.Look for him to torch Cleveland’s 28th ranked run defense (148.1 ypg). They’re also 23rd with 14 rushing TDs allowed. I’ll spot Mendenhall 20 yards, but that still should not be enough against the stingy Packers run defense that’s allowed just 85.0 rushing yards per game and 4 rushing TDs.

Houston Texans 2009 Football Headshots Ryan Grant Profile
Arian Foster over Ryan Grant
Foster is the latest Texan RB to take a crack at duplicating last year’s success. His path starts out smooth against St. Louis, who’s 27th in rushing yards allowed (147.2) and 31st in rushing TDs allowed (19). Grant is quietly putting together a nice season, but draws a tough match-up against Pittsburgh, who’s allowed 84.9 rushing yards per game and 4 rushing TDs.

D045594050.JPG DeSean Jackson
Randy Moss over DeSean Jackson
Most people wouldn’t touch Moss with a ten-foot pole in this match-up considering what went down last week. I’m from the camp that feels he’s respond to his critics with a big game. If you recall, the last time he faced the Bills he had 12 catches for 141 yards. The Patriots know they need Moss if they are going to challenge for another Super Bowl. Look for Brady to patch things up with his arm. San Francisco played inspired on Monday Night Football, and will try to bring that same energy to Philadelphia. The Niners give up yards in the air, but have only allowed 13 passing TDs, which ties them for third in the league.

Jermichael Finley profile Jason Witten profile
Jermichael Finley over Jason Witten
Finley’s size, speed, and athleticism make him a tough cover. Aaron Rodgers has been looking to him more in recent weeks. Pittsburgh is going to blitz Rodgers early and often so Finley could rack up the check-down looks. Jason Witten has played better of late, but draws a tough match-up against New Orleans.

SUPER STRETCH
Quinton Ganther profile DeAngelo Williams profile
Quinton Ganther over DeAngelo Williams
Ganther takes on the Giants, who are ranked 29th with 17 rushing TDs allowed. He also contributes in the passing game, which makes him a nice sneaky play. D-Will takes on the Vikings, who haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher since 2007. They rank fourth in rushing yards per game (86.9) and are tied with New England for the fewest rushing TDs allowed (3). Carolina lost RT Jeff Otah for the year so they’ll have to take on the Vikings’ front four without either starting Tackle.

Quarterbacks
Aaron Rodgers
- 20 of 32 for 278 yards, TD, INT, 5 carries for 22 yards
Matt Schaub - 23 of 39 for 284 yards, TD
Peyton Manning - 28 of 37 for 318 yards, TD
Philip Rivers - 34 for 48 for 346 yards, 2 TDs, INT
Brian Griese - 26 of 37 for 269 yards, TD, INT
Tavaris Jackson - 11 of 17 for 163 yards, 4 TDs
Kurt Warner - 29 of 45 for 270 yards, TD, INT
Jake Delhomme - 17 of 26 for 253 yards, TD, INT
Matt Cassel - 18 of 30 for 218 yards, 4 TD, INT, 7 carries for 18 yards
Donovan McNabb - 26 of 35 for 290 yards, 2 TDs, INT

Running Backs
Pierre Thomas
- 22 carries for 87 yards, TD, 7 catches for 59 yards, TD
Matt Forte - 11 carries for 34 yards, TD, 5 catches for 29 yards
Thomas Jones - 20 carries for 78 yards, TD
Marshawn Lynch - 21 carries for 127 yards, 3 catches for 13 yards
Leon Washington - 1 carry for 47 yards, TD, 1 catche for 7 yards
Fred Jackson - 7 carries for 31 yards, TD, 6 catches for 24 yards
Steven Jackson - 24 carries for 91 yards, TD, 4 catches for 36 yards
Maurice Jones-Drew - 12 carries for 48 yards, TD, 4 catches for 22 yards, TD
Steve Slaton - 24 carries for 100 yards, 3 catches for  15 yards
Kevin Smith - 20 carries for 88 yards, TD, 6 catches for 31 yards
Dominic Rhodes - 20 carries for 86 yards, 2 TDs, 4 catches for 30 yards
Cedric Benson - 21 carries for 73 yards, 3 catches for 88 yards
LT - 15 carries for 39 yards, TD, 6 catches for 35 yards
Michael Turner - 32 carries for 152 yards, TD, 2 catches for 30 yards
Adrian Peterson - 28 carries for 165 yards
Chester Taylor - 10 carries for 66 yards, 4 catches for 37 yards, TD
DeAngelo Williams - 12 carries for 88 yards, TD
Jonathan Stewart - 16 carries for 52 yards, TD
Sammy Morris - 14 carries for 117 yards, TD
LaMont Jordan - 12 carries for 97 yards, TD
Darren McFadden - 12 carries for 46 yards, TD, 3 catches for 68 yards
Kevin Faulk - 6 carries for 45 yards, 6 catches for 66 yards, TD
Tashard Choice - 9 carries for 91 yards, TD, 4 catches for 52 yards

Wide Receivers
Marques Colston
- 6 catches for 84 yards, TD
Torry Holt - 4 catches for 64 yards, TD
Dennis Northcutt  – 5 catches for 127 yards, TD
James Jones - 4 catches for 132 yards
Andre Johnson - 11 catches for 207 yards, TD
Calvin Johnson - 9 catches for 110 yards, TD
Reggie Wayne - 7 catches for 104 yards
Santana Moss - 7 catches for 72 yards, TD
Chris Henry - 4 catches for 54 yards, TD
Vincent Jackson - 6 catches for 89 yards, TD
Malcom Floyd - 5 catches for 67 yards, TD
Antonio Bryant - 8 catches for 108 yards, TD
Bobby Wade - 2 catches for 67 yards, TD
Jerheme Urban - 3 catches for 82 yards, TD
Hines Ward - 8 catches for 107 yards
Steve Smith - 9 catches for 165 yards, TD
Randy Moss - 5 catches for 67 yards, 2 TDs
Wes Welker - 6 catches for 69 yards, TD
Johnnie Lee Higgins - 3 catches for 66 yards, TD
Jason Avant - 5 catches for 101 yards
Braylon Edwards - 5 catches for 102 yards

Tight Ends
David Martin
– 2 catches for 66 yards, TD
John Carlson - 5 catches for 76 yards
Dallas Clark – 12 catches for 142 yards, TD
Antonio Gates - 7 catches for 78 yards
Tony Gonzalez - 6 catches for 62 yards, TD

 

 

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Fill-ins

12 December 2008


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in to your lineup if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.   Check back following the games to see the stat line of guys profiled.

QB
Tyler Thigpen
- The last time Thigpen faced San Diego he fired three TDs.  He faces them at home so another solid game should be in order.
Stat Line:  19 of 28 for 171 yards, TD, INT, 10 carries for 40 yards, TD

RB
Kevin Smith
- He had a nice game against Minnesota despite the presence of the Williams Wall.  He should have more room to run against Indianapolis this week, who rank 25th with 129.8 rushing ypg. They have allowed 15 rushing TDs. 
Stat Line:  20 carries for 88 yards, TD, 6 catches for 31 yards

Jonathan Stewart - Kudos to you if you had the foresight to play J-Stew vs. Tampa last week.  Another big game could be in store for the part-time back this week as the Panthers face Denver’s soft run D.  They’re yielding 139.5 ypg.
Stat Line:  16 carries for 52 yards, TD

WR
DeSean Jackson - After failing to catch a pass last week, DeSean should see a considerable bounceback with a juicy matchup against Cleveland.
Stat Line:  5 catches for 77 yards, INT

Deion Branch - After scoring a pair of TDs against his former teammates, Branch gets to face St. Louis, who is 24th against the pass with 224.8 ypg allowed.  They’ve given up 17 TD strikes.
Stat Line:  5 catches for 76 yards

TE
Visanthe Shiancoe - Shiancoe showed a lot last week.  Enough of the locker room scene talk.  He did catch a pass.  With T-Jack at the helm, the big TE should be counted on more this week.
Stat Line:  1 catch for 8 yards.

K
Olindo Mare
- St. Louis is tied for 29th with 122 Kicker points allowed.  A couple of FGs could be in order for the former Syracuse Orangemen.
Stat Line:  3 FGs, 2 PATs

DEF
New England
- Things are getting so bad for the Patriots that they contemplated signing Andre Tippett.  Kidding.  The Pats face Oakland this week so multiple Sacks and Turnovers should be in the cards, especially if weather is a factor.
Stat Line:  INT, 2 Sacks, Kick Return TDs (if you’re in a DST league)

Time for another edition of Fantasy Football Out on a Limb.  I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week.  I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch.  To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other.  Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points. 

Scoring
6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard. 

Last Week
Matt Ryan
(27.05) beat Philip Rivers (24.6) WHICH I WON.
DeAngelo Williams (31.2) destroyed Larry Johnson (3.6) WHICH I LOST. 
Kevin Smith (9.0) over Clinton Portis (4.6) WHICH I WON.
Terrell Owens (9.4) beat Donald Driver (7.5) WHICH I LOST. 
Marvin Harrison (13.8) over Santana Moss (4.8) WHICH I WON. 
   
Super Stetch:  Matt Cassel (18.8) beat Tony Romo ( 15.1) WHICH I WON.

Regular Picks:  3-2
Super Stretch Picks:  1-0   
Overall:  4-2

Season Record
Regular Picks:  44-26 (.629
Super Stretch Picks:  6-7 (.462)
Overall:  50-33 (.602)

Quarterback
  
Seneca Wallace/Matt Hasselbeck
over Ben Roethlisberger
I’m going to take the combination of Seattle slingers over Big Ben. The Seahawks have a much better matchup against St. Louis.  Pittsburgh will likely have more success passing the ball vs. running it against Baltimore, but I don’t expect big production for either source.  

Running Backs
 
Dominic Rhodes
over Willie Parker
LenDale White and Chester Taylor were both effective backups against the Lions in recent weeks.  I’m guessing this game will get out of hand and Rhodes will pile up the stats running out the clock.  Fast Willie could find it hard to get free against the Ravens.

    
Steven Jackson over Steve Slaton
Assuming S-Jax can actually make it through another game intact, he should fare well against Seattle.  Slaton has been a beast of late, but has a tough test against Tennessee.

Wide Receiver
 
Wes Welker over Randy Moss
I figured now would be a fun time to go with a teammate battle.  Welker should find space against Oakland while Moss will have to contend with Nnamdi Asomugha.

   
Reggie Wayne over Calvin Johnson
Why not do a head-to-head battle as well.  Wayne has been ice cold the past few weeks, but Detroit is the perfect remedy.  Indy is strong against the pass.  Stopping the run is their problem.  Calvin could struggle.

SUPER STRETCH 
 
Deion Branch over Derrick Mason
Branch has looked good the past couple of weeks.  I look for him to continue his strong play against St. Louis.  Mason has a tough matchup against the Steelers.      
   


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties