Friday, December 7, 2007

Matt's Stats: Week 14 NFL Preview

Playoff time is finally here, so no time to cry about the busts or injured players (Reggie Bush anybody?) that are impacting your team this week. By this point of the year most owners should know which Players to start on an every week basis so instead this week all players listed to "Play" will be fringe players on the rise, that will be great starts to make up for your injured starter as you enter the postseason. It is time to get right into which Players should be started as you look to advance past Round 1:

"Play" or "Stay Away":

QB - Play Tarvaris Jackson (QB, Minnesota Vikings) this week. As someone who is going against Jackson this week, I hate to say it but Jackson makes a great injury replacement for the week. Jackson is against a bad 49ers defense that is ranked 20th against the pass. 3 of Jackson's 5 TDs this season have come in the last two weeks and as he continues to gain experience Jackson's stats will only go up. The Vikings are on a roll to the Playoffs, so if you are having QB trouble entering the Playoffs give Jackson a shot, you won't be disappointed.

Stay away from Jay Cutler (QB, Denver Broncos). At 13 TD and 12 INT for the season Cutler has been disappointing and don't expect much of an improvement this week against Kansas City. The Chiefs may be bad, but Herman Edwards still knows how to stop QBs as evidenced by their defense ranking 7th in the NFL against the pass. Stay away from Cutler this week if you hope to reach the second round of the Playoffs.

RB - Play Aaron Stecker (RB, New Orleans Saints). Stecker's stats have not been that impressive so far with 200 Rushing Yards and only 1 TD, but remember these are all as a backup. Lifetime as a backup with Tampa Bay and New Orleans he has totalled 317 Rushes for 1,220 Yards (a 3.8 yards per rush avg.) with 4 TDs, as well as 140 Receptions for 1,005 Receiving Yards (a 7.2 yards per reception avg.) for 2 TDs. Now that Bush is gone, Stecker will get a lot of carries and gets to play against a Falcons defense that ranks 24th against the run. If you go by his lifetime averages, at 20 rushes and 5 receptions, Stecker would total 76 Rushing Yards and 36 Receiving Yards. If you add in a possible TD to that, you get a very respectable start as a replacement RB. If you are in injury trouble at RB, as many teams this time of the year are, Play Aaron Stecker.

Stay away from Frank Gore (RB, San Francisco 49ers). After a nice Week 12, Gore was back to his disappointing self totalling only 58 Rushing yards and 0 TDs. I know he is injured and it isn't his fault that he is the only person with any talent on the offense, but none of that helps you win Fantasy games. Gore goes up a Vikings defense that is #1 in the NFL against the run. Stay away from Gore this week if you have other options.

WR - Play Justin Gage (WR, Tennessee Titans). Gage is quickly becoming the favorite target of Vince Young, having at least 64 Receiving Yards over the last 4 games with 2 total TDs over the same period. Gage is against San Diego this week, which while leading the NFL with 20 INTs, only ranks 24th in the NFL in Receiving Yards allowed. Play Gage this week and expect 75 Yards and a TD.

Stay Away Lee Evans (WR, Buffalo Bills). Evans is a very streaky player who has been struggling lately. He has been unable to get into the endzone or get more then 65 Receiving Yards over the last 4 games. The Bills are playing a bad Miami team, but they have a Secondary that is giving up the 3rd least Receiving yards per game in the NFL. Stay away from Evans this week if you hope to advance in your Playoffs.

Survival of the Fittest:

The Browns losing to Arizona brought my season record down to 11-3 for the season. The pick this week to get back on the winning side is the Jacksonville Jaguars over the Carolina Panthers. Last year the Jaguars were 8-5 and collapsed down the stretch to finish outside of the Playoffs at 8-8. After a close loss to Indianapolis last week, the Jaguars will look to rebound this week at home against a bad Panthers team and to insure that no talk of a collapse starts up again this year.

Have a Great Week 14 and Good Luck in the Playoffs!!!

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