Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NFL Week 15: A Good Week For Vultures

Week 15 was rough on many fantasy football teams playing in their playoffs. For those who rode Aaron Rodgers to the Promised Land, that trip most likely ended with a thud. Peyton Manning also had another soft week, though many of us didn't know he was illin' going in. If you started those guys, you may have been able to weather the storm with a second or third stud. However, many of those players also ended up watching a teammate rack up fantasy points that could have proven helpful.

This is where the TD Vultures made a big difference this week. They generated some nice points...for the waiver wire. LeSean McCoy did a lot of the heavy lifting versus Dallas only to watch Chris Polk punch the ticket twice. Sadly, Polk and Sproles netted 3 TDs off a meager 5 carries. Knile Davis took advantage of a banged up Jamal Charles and netted 2 TDs of his own. Drew Brees watched the Bears load up their spotty defense on Jimmy Graham and found Josh Hill for 2 TDs of his own as well. Those are the kind of days that will leave you pulling your hair out in this game.
Elsewhere in week 15:
  • A few games actually were won and lost by the extra yardage racked up by TE Delanie Walker on the last play of the game in Tennessee. Titans fans were upset with Walker when he ended the flea-flicker by running out of bounds with the ball but, in retrospect, those fantasy owners were damn happy that he didn't throw the ball up for grabs and get credited with a lost fumble. Pretty wild how those plays can affect the outcome of a game. 
  • The passing numbers were mediocre, but Kyle Orton seems to own the Green Bay Packers. He knocked them off when undefeated when he stepped in for the Chiefs a few years ago and knocked them back to the 6th playoff seed this year. Of course, all the credit this year goes to a phenomenal defensive effort put forth that stymied Aaron Rodgers a week after stifling Peyton Manning. HC Doug Marone and DC Jim Schwartz need to get more credit this year. I am pulling for them to work their way into the playoffs. They deserve it...unless they lose to Oakland this weekend.
  • The end of the first half in New York was crazy with RGIII losing the ball before crossing over the end zone pylon. Unfortunately, these are the rules that the game follows now; like it or not, and they were administered correctly. I can't imagine what Santana Moss was thinking by blowing up like he did and what sort of argument he put forth. He had one catch in the first half and was probably exhausted from making any contribution for a change and really just wanted the rest of the afternoon off.
  • Oh, Johnny Manziel. You made my day on Sunday. I really wanted to see an effort like that to shut people up. You may become a decent QB one day, but you have a long way to go and will need to work hard at it. Methinks LeBron should stick to basketball as he is not very good at assessing a football player's readiness. Props to Johnny for handling the press conference properly and showing some humility though.
  • Way to stick it to your former team, Chris Johnson! The Titans fans made be down in the dumps from having to watch the Jets and Titans battle of futility, but they were definitely happy to be reminded of why they let you go.
  • I did love all the comments this week by the media when showing RB Jeremy Hill getting stuffed by a Browns' fan when trying to leap into the stands! Not sure where he thought he was but he did know where the holes in the defense were all game.
  • It appears that the media in Chicago has its limits. After watching Jay Cutler disgrace the team, the fans and the game on Monday night, no one in the media could stomach listening to him talk after the game and let him walk out. The Lions couldn't be happier about their opponent this week. 
  • After Philly came out roaring on Sunday night after halftime, I wondered if they had lined the Cowboys locker room with calendars highlighting that they were playing in the month of December. Kudos to the Cowboys though after they got off the mat after a standing eight-count and rallied back for a key win. Undefeated on the road is an impressive accomplishment. They have one more minor test to pass in 2 weeks in Washington to close it out.
For the majority of head-to-head leagues, this is your Championship week. For the old-school guys like me, we want to play in week 17 so we still need to worry about player moves. With a new spate of injuries, there are some players that may be able to help you out this week and/or next.

QB: Robert Griffin III (WASH) - assuming that Coach Gruden follows Owner Daniel Synder's wishes and keeps RGIII as the starter this week, it is possible that you could ride him to victory if you need a QB. He looked a bit like his former self last week and put up serviceable numbers without really utilizing DeSean Jackson. He gets Philly at home this week so it is a good matchup. Philly's secondary is not good and it should be a high-scoring game.

RB: Toby Gerhart (JAX) - Gerhart is the poster-boy for Bust this season but he could pay off if you need to replace a RB this week. Denard Robinson is done for the year and Gerhart saw the bulk of the rushing workload last Sunday. He has fresh legs from minimal work this season and gets Tennessee at home Thursday night.

RB: Lance Dunbar and Joseph Rangle (DAL) - many a fantasy owner, and Cowboys fans, were misty-eyed on Monday morning when they learned of Murray's broken hand. That was news that no one expected. Unfortunately, Murray has not been ruled out and, if he is, Dunbar will split the workload with Joseph Randle. Dunbar is more of the scat-back and Randle is more of the traditional back. This is a tough situation to predict but you want at least one of the backs if you have Murray and no one to replace him if ruled Out this weekend.

WR: Malcom Floyd (SD) - Keenan Allen is done due to a broken collarbone. If you are looking for a replacement, Floyd is your man. If he is not available, you could also try Eddie Royal.

WR: Donte Moncrief (IND) - Moncrief was a hot pickup in prior weeks but let owners down last week with a goose egg (He did have a 46-yard TD called back). However, the Colts will be in a shootout in Dallas and both T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne are banged up and uncertain if they will play and, if so, if they will be effective. If Moncrief is not available, Hakeem Nicks is your fallback.

TE: Charles Clay (MIA) - Clay has been battling injuries all season but is one of the few remaining pass-catching tight ends available right now. With the Dolphins' run game stagnating, Clay should see a good number of passes thrown his way on Sunday.

Week 16 Daily/Weekly Player Rankings

Below are the player rankings for Week 16 weekly fantasy football leagues. You can eliminate Thursday, Saturday and Monday's players for Sunday Daily leagues. Also, be wary of injuries and demotions before locking in players for the week.

QB: Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Stafford, Roethlisberger, Manning, Ryan, Luck, Romo, Flacco, Sanchez, Cutler, Wilson, Rivers, Tannehill
RB: L. Bell, Lacy, McCoy, Murray, Lynch, Foster, Ingram, Anderson, Forte, Charles, Forsett, J. Bell, Morris, Mason, J. Hill, Ivory
WR: Megatron, D. Bryant, Thomas, Nelson, J. Jones, A. Brown, Beckham, Green, Hilton, Watkins, Sanders, Evans, Cobb, Maclin, Tate, Jeffery, Stills, Wallace, Edelman, White, Benjamin, Colston, Hopkins, LaFell
TE: Gronkowski, Graham, Olsen, Bennett, Thomas, Gates, Rivera, Kelce, Witten, Rudolph, Allen, Donnell 
D: Seattle, Buffalo, Baltimore, St. Louis, Arizona, Philadelphia, Detroit, Green Bay, Miami, San Fran

QB: Brees,Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, Ryan, Stafford, Manning, Romo, Luck, Flacco, Sanchez, Cutler, Rivers, Wilson, Tannehill
RB: L. Bell, Lacy, Lynch, McCoy, Murray, Ingram, Foster, Anderson, J. Bell, Forte, Morris, Charles, Forsett, Mason, J. Hill, Ivory
WR: Megatron, D. Bryant, Thomas, Nelson, J. Jones, A. Brown, Beckham, Green, Hilton, Watkins, Cobb, Stills, White, Sanders, Evans, Maclin, Tate, Jeffery, Wallace, Edelman, Benjamin, Colston, Hopkins, LaFell
TE: Gronkowski, Graham, Olsen, Bennett, Gates, Kelce, Witten, Rudolph, Allen, Thomas, Rivera, Donnell 
D: Seattle, Buffalo, Baltimore, Detroit, Green Bay, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Arizona, Miami, San Fran
QB: Bridgewater, A. Smith, McCown
RB: D, Martin, S. Jackson, K. Davis, L. Miller
WR: Moncrief, Nicks, Royal
TE: Clay, Daniels, Fleener
D: Jax, Charlotte, Minnesota

NFL Week 16 Picks

We had a few frustrating near-misses last week. We lost the first half total in Atlanta by a half a point, pushed on the Steelers Team Total and pushed on the Seattle game. We always buy off of key numbers, such as 3, 7 and 10 in the game spread and recommend you buy the half point as well. The regular season draws to a close so many games are excluded because of spot-on lines or teams putting young guys to work. There are a few tasty treats lined up for us this week though.

Jacksonville -3 vs. Tennessee - Hardly Must-See TV for this game. However, these teams are not all that surprising. It was shocking to see a bad Saints beat a bad Bears team since they were pre-season playoff contenders, but the Jags and Titans never were in that category. The Jags have a better defense than the Titans and will be trying to give their patient fan base a glimpse of hope to take into 2015. Play the Jags in the game for 7 units and play the Titans Team Total under 18 for 5 units.


Detroit -6.5 at Chicago - The 2014 Bears are an embarrassment to a proud franchise and they are content to close the season that way. It was obvious on Monday that the Bears already have their bags packed. The Lions have not looked very impressive since Thanksgiving, but they control the division and own the Bears. As long as they do not overlook this game and look ahead to their showdown in Lambeau, this game will not even be close. Play the Lions in the first half for 8 units at -3.5 and for 15 points in the game at -6.5. Also, play the Lions Team Total Over 27 and the Bears Team Total Under 20 for 6 units each.

Baltimore -5.5 vs. Houston - the Texans' defense gave the Colts all they wanted last weekend, but it wasn't enough to cover for a one-dimensional offense that lost 2 QBs. The starting QB for the Texans this week is unknown, but I expect the Ravens to rise to the occasion and stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. The strength of their defense is the run defense and the strength of their offense is their vertical passing game. The Texans can be beat via the air as long as the ball gets over J.J. Watt's extended mitts. Play the Ravens in the first half for 5 units at -3 and for 10 units in the game at -5.5.

Pittsburgh -3 vs. Kansas City - the Steelers are rolling on offense right now. They defense is questionable, at best, but that won't come into play against Kansas City. Jamal Charles is banged up and the Chiefs have still not thrown a TD pass to a wideout. Play 7 units on the Steelers in the first half at -1.5 and 7 units on the Steelers in the game at -3.


Denver -3 at Cincinnati - the Broncos, much like the Lions, have been doing just enough to get by recently. We will chalk that up to facing good defenses and Peyton Manning being under the weather. With a consistent running game and a need to win out in hope of getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Broncos will take care of business against a defense that cannot contain them. Play the Broncos in the first half for 6 units at -1.5 and for 6 units in the game at -3.

Costanza bet: 3 units on Arizona to cover at +8.

7-point Teaser Of The Week (5-to-1 odds) for 2 units
  • Jax +4
  • Philly -1
  • Detroit  +0.5
  • ATL/NO  O48.5
  • Patriots -3
  • Ravens +1.5 
10-point Bonus Teaser (-120 odds) for 10 units  [Ties lose]
  • Packers -0.5
  • Patriots -0.5
  • Falcons +16 
Season record
  • Sides   37-32  (-49.9 units)
  • Overs   22-17 (+21.9 units)
  • Parlay   1-11  (-18.8 units)
  • Teaser   2-12 (+0.0 units)
  • Moneyline 4-8  (-3.4 units)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NFL Week 15 Picks

Week 14 was a nice week that bordered on outstanding. We drilled our big plays on the Patriots and looked good with our big plays on Green Bay with one leg in and a 24-point halftime lead only to watch Atlanta give them all they could handle in the second half. It was par for the course this season, but it gives some hope heading down the stretch here. Sadly, for the viewer, there are a lot of crappy matchups this weekend so let's enjoy winning some dough in this batch of losers.
Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh O55 - The Steelers have burned us numerous times this season, especially on the road, but this game sets up to be a shootout. Atlanta is coming off a Monday night game, the game is indoors, neither team has anyone to pressure the QB, and both teams have loads of playmakers. The only thing that gives us a bit of pause is the health of Julio Jones and Roddy White. With a playoff berth still a possibility, it is expected that all guns will be drawn in this game. Play the Over 27.5 in the first half for 7 units, the Over 55 in the game for 7 units and play the Steelers Team Total Over of 27 for 10 units.

New York Giants -6.5 vs. Washington - this is a game that few people will tune into, including those in New York and Washington, unless they have a wager on it. The Redskins have mailed in their season since stunningly upsetting the Cowboys 6 weeks ago. They have covered one game and it was against a bad Niners team. The Giants are simply trying to end up looking better than the Jets. One way to do that is to take care of a division rival at home. The Giants have the better team, which is worth at least a TD this weekend. Play the Giants in the first half for 5 units at -3.5 and for 10 units in the game at -6.5.

Seattle -10 vs. San Francisco - the Niners know that they are done for the season and are playing like it. The Oakland debacle just put the final nail into a bad season that has seen them only score more than 17 points once in their last 7 games. The Seahawks held the Niners to just a field goal two weeks ago in San Fran and will be looking to pitch the shutout at home this weekend. Pete Carroll loves to run the score up and would take great pleasure in helping get Jim Harbaugh ushered out of the division after this year. Play 10 units on the Seahawks in the first half at -6 and 15 units on the Seahawks in the game at -10.

New Orleans -3 at Chicago - While we are going back to the well on the Steelers, why not get back in with both feet with the Saints, who has also cost us a fortune this season. After watching the Saints lose 4 in a row at home wrapped around a dominating win at Pittsburgh, it is not hard to believe that they won't bounce back and win in Chicago in December. The Bears completely look uninterested in winning for their fans, especially at home. Losing Brandon Marshall doesn't help, but it really doesn't seem to hurt much either based on their level of play this season. Play the Saints in the first half for 5 units at -1.5 and for 5 units in the game at -3.

Costanza bet: 3 units on Tampa to win at +150.

7-point Teaser Of The Week (5-to-1 odds) for 2 unit
  • St. Louis +3
  • Oakland +17
  • Ravens  -7
  • Detroit  -1
  • Patriots -0.5
  • Seattle -3 
10-point Bonus Teaser (-120 odds) for 5 units  [Ties lose]
  • Tampa +13
  • Giants +3.5
  • Colts  +3.5 
Season record
  • Sides   34-34  (-52.4 units)
  • Overs   22-15 (+37.3 units)
  • Parlay   1-11  (-18.8 units)
  • Teaser   1-11 (-5.0 units)
  • Moneyline 4-7  (-0.4 units)

Winning big in Fantasy Football Playoffs

For those involved in their league playoffs in Week 14, there were some definite highlights and a few lowlights. Anyone heavily invested in Cowboys and Bears players, sans Jason Witten and Brandon Marshall, got the week off to a good start in a high-scoring December game in Chicago last Thursday. The fantasy stud of the week was undoubtedly La'Veon Bell. Hard to believe that he topped 200 total yards again for the third straight game, matching a feat only accomplished previously by the Great Walter Payton, to go alongside 3 TDs. 

If you didn't own Bell, there were plenty of big points strewn around the league last week, especially when you married star QB and stud WR on your team. The shootout at Lambeau to finish up the week turned many games. Having the tandem of Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson or Matt Ryan and Julio Jones paid off handsomely for many owners and no Rodgers owner should be complaining about losing a match due to a 4-yard rushing loss on the last kneel down of the game.

On the flip side, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning owners had to be a bit sick to their stomach after watching these two put up Geno Smith numbers last weekend. It really had to be hard for those owners to swallow if they had Cam Newton or Andy Dalton shining on the bench. The reality of it all is that you should always go with your studs this time of year unless there is an injury concern.  

For those still playing, even if it is in your Toilet Bowl, there are a host of players available this week. 

QB: Jake Locker (TENN): Locker gets the reins back in Tennessee again this weekend with Mettenberger back on the bench with injuries. I hate to look to the waiver wire this week for a QB, but I prefer Locker over Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown.

RB: Jonathan Stewart (CAR): Stewart has now tallied 10 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games after rushing 20 times for 155 yards and a score against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. With Cam Newton undoubtedly out on Sunday, Stewart will again carry a heavy load.

RB: Latavius Murray (OAK): Murray is back after a concussion and resumed his role as lead back with 23 carries. He didn't do much with them, but he faces a Chief's defense that he lit up for over a 100 yards and 2 TDs just 3 weeks ago on 4 carries.

RB: Kerwynn Williams (AZ): Williams was a shock this past weekend when RB Andre Ellington was placed on IR since Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice were getting the fill-in carries. After producing 100 yards on 19 carries, ignore any talk of a platoon and pick up Williams.

WR: Charles Johnson (MINN): Johnson has been recommended previously but still sits on 78% of all waiver wires and keeps producing. His last game saw him deliver for 4/103/1.

WR Marqise Lee (JAX): Lee also makes a repeat appearance. After losing a lot of the season to injury, he has established himself as a player to watch next year but appears to be QB Blake Bortles go-to receiver right now. With the Jags chasing a lot of points in Baltimore this weekend, expect a lot of passes to be thrown by the Jags.

WR: Marquess Wilson (CHI): with Brandon Marshall done for the year, Wilson is expected to see his involvement in the offense expand exponentially. With a shootout versus the Saints looming, Wilson could be a real sneaky add for your playoffs this week.

TE: Heath Miller (PITT): with so many receiving options for the Steelers, it is hard to count on Miller week-in and week-out, but I see a solid game ahead against bad Falcons defense.

Week 15 Fantasy Football Player Rankings

Below are the player rankings for Week 15 weekly fantasy football leagues. You can eliminate Thursday and Monday's players for Sunday Daily leagues (Cardinals, Rams, Bears and Saints).

QB: Brees (weekly only), Luck, Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Stafford, Roethlisberger, Ryan, Sanchez, Romo, Cutler (weekly only), Flacco, Wilson, Rivers, Tannehill
RB: McCoy, Murray, Bell, Foster, Lynch, Anderson, Forte, Charles, Lacy, Mathews, Forsett, Morris, Ingram, Miller
WR: Megatron, Thomas, Brown, D. Bryant, Jones, Beckham, Hilton, Nelson, Green, Hopkins, Watkins, Sanders, Evans, Cobb, Maclin, Jeffery, Allen, Gordon, Edelman, White, Benjamin, LaFell
TE: Gronkowski, Graham, Thomas, Bennett, Gates, Olsen, Rivera, Kelce, Witten 
D: Baltimore, St. Louis (Weekly only), Arizona (Weekly only), Kansas City, Detroit, Seattle, Green Bay, Houston, Buffalo

QB: Brees (weekly only), Luck, Roethlisberger, Ryan, Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Stafford, Sanchez, Flacco, Romo, Wilson, Cutler (weekly only), Rivers, Tannehill
RB: McCoy, Lynch, Bell, Murray, Foster, Anderson, Forte, Mathews, Forsett, Morris, Ingram, Charles, Lacy, Miller
WR: Megatron, Thomas, D. Bryant, Brown, Jones, Beckham, Hilton, Nelson, Hopkins, Watkins, Sanders, Evans, Cobb, Green, Maclin, Jeffery, Allen, Gordon, Edelman, White, Benjamin, LaFell
TE: Gronkowski, Graham, Bennett, Thomas, Gates, Witten, Olsen, Rivera, Kelce
D: Baltimore, St. Louis (Weekly only), Detroit, Seattle, Green Bay, Kansas City, Houston, Arizona (Weekly only), Buffalo

QB: McCown, E. Manning
RB: F. Jackson, S. Jackson, L. Murray
WR: M. Bryant, S. Smith, Stills
TE: Walker, H. Miller, Donnell
D: Tampa Bay, New York Giants, New York Jets

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

No Such Thing as a Sure Thing

Bet against the Steelers every time you see a “sure” thing with them. I thought the loss to the Jets was inexplicable, but losing at home, after a Bye week, against the same Saints who normally never win outdoors especially in late November and who had just lost an unheard of three straight games at home under Sean Payton. Also, they dominated this game with Jimmy Graham being a statistical non-factor. Of course, he should get some credit for being the focal point of the defense and giving Kenny Stills plenty of room to get open. Wow, Stills has really taken advantage of Brandin Cooks’ injury. When you least expect it in the NFL, expect it!

Also, go against bad teams with momentum. After Oakland won their first game of the year in a huge upset versus Kansas City, they were beaten worse than SMU would have been last Sunday. The Rams scored the first 5 times that they had the ball and averaged 4.5 plays per scoring drive. Oakland used to be good for at least putting up a late TD or two to make a few of their players useful in fantasy football. Not last Sunday. They are happy with their one win and a paycheck. The Niners will be happy to see them submitting this coming weekend. The stat that I found amazing was that, prior to facing the Rams, the Raiders QBs had only been sacked 13 times this season. Make that 19 now…and counting.

I feel bad for anyone who has to guess which Tampa or New England running back to play. I assume that the Bucs are giving Doug Martin the rock in hopes that he does well enough to generate an off-season trade request. Of course, they have to be concerned about the lack of production from Charles Sims in his limited chances. As far as New England goes, just when you figure that Jonas Gray is out of the doghouse and/or LeGarrette Blount is now the RB1, Brandon Bolden gets a load of love and gets the only Pats rushing TD.

Other Week 13 Oddities
  • Aaron Rodgers has thrown 20 TDs versus 0 INTs at home this season. Needless to say, they have not lost any of those games. Jordy Nelson has 7 of those TDs and all have gone for 25 yards or longer. Very nice if you are playing in a league that offers bonus points for longer TDs or playing in a TD Only Daily Fantasy Football league.
  • TE Anthony Fasano and RB Jamaal Charles each caught a TD against Denver, extending the Chief’s season-long drought of WR TD receptions. 
  • Colt McCoy threw for 393 yards. Pierre Garcon, playing against his original team, had 3 receptions for 9 yards. Yuck. So much for showing up against your former team. He did have 9 Targets, which shows you how meaningless that category really is.
  • Though he has a few former teams, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick sure didn’t look rusty when he dialed into the Six TD Club against his former employers in Tennessee last Sunday. Loads of points on the waiver wire there.
  • Atlanta took one weapon into battle versus Arizona last Sunday, Julio Jones, and Arizona had no defense for it, even with the great Patrick Peterson shadowing Jones. That is the same Peterson that claims that he is as good as Derrelle Revis. I did not see the game but I have to assume that DC Todd Bowles and HC Bruce Arians noticed that Julio owned Peterson and provided some form of help instead of leaving him hanging out to dry in embarrassment. I hate to see another great season for the Cardinals go to waste as they miss the playoffs, but it is trending n that direction. They better take care of KC this weekend.
  • Here we go. Johnny Manziel got into the game versus Buffalo in the 4th quarter when it was over and scored a TD. Whoopie. Of course, he had to do his stupid money gesture. Me-First gestures always make sense in a blowout, don't they? Of course, LeBron has to chime in about Manziel’s readiness since he is such a student of the game and his opinion on personnel really matters. This is how I feel when I see the tide turning for Manziel like it did for Tebow in Denver. 
  • How about those Giants?! Up 21-0 against a Jacksonville team that was playing inspired Raiders’ football. Eli decided to bait them into playing by fumbling to them in the end zone for an easy TD. Well, that was enough to wake the sleeping Giant-killers and have them rise up and give the Giants their 7th loss in a row. Not much joy in the Big Apple again this year. 
  • Speaking of the Big Apple, you could sit out in the rain watching the Jets lose again on Monday night or head to the local theater. Now, everyone has that choice every game day. In this case though, you would have paid more for your movie ticket than you would have for the Jets game.
  • J.J. Watt is such a machine. Add 2 sacks, a forced fumble and another offensive TD to his amazing 2014 season.
Fantasy playoffs are here for 80% of fantasy football  leagues. There are still some traditionalists, count me as one, that enjoy playing all 17 weeks. In-game change leagues make that so much easier. For those still playing, even if it is in your Toilet Bowl, there are a host of players available this week. 

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Hou) – as mentioned above, he showed no rust and stuck it to the Titans last week. He will come back down to Earth, but no QB has a more favorable set of matchups to end the season. He is startable over many QB1s. Jake Locker is another QB that is available and has good matchups ahead. He is an injury risk though so tread lightly. Our recommendation of Colt McCoy from last week still stands and I would take him over Locker if I had to choose.

RB: Doug Martin (TB) – the Bucs have determined that Charles Sims is not ready and want Martin to showcase himself so they can move him in the off-season. He has severely underperformed all season, but you can’t be choosy on a thin waiver wire when needing a RB.

WR: Kenny Stills (NO) – back-to-back big weeks has Stills in a must-start position with great matchups ahead and Drew looking his way often more than any other Saints’ receiver.

WR: Stedman Bailey (STL) – since Shaun Hill has taken over and the receiving corps have taken a hit, Stedman has been steady with 12/189/1 over the past 2 games, including a 100-yard effort in the first half against Oakland last week. 

WR: Nate Washington (TENN) – the Titans have been erratic this season under center and Washington has often been a forgotten man, but they have just lost WR Justin Hunter for the season and are inserting Jake Locker back under center. Washington’s best games the past few years have been with Locker as QB.

TE: Jordan Reed (WASH) – Reed finally shook off the injury bug and got a boost by the return of McCoy. Colt relies heavily on Reed and will be throwing often in all of his games since the Skins defense is terrible and they will be playing from behind in all cases. This week’s matchup versus a stingy Rams’ defense is not ideal though.