Week 15: PPR Watch
PPR is here to stay and I love to make your team better. Agree or disagree with the picks? Let me hear it. Question about someone I didn't mention? Ask me in the comments section and follow me on Twitter. @MarkKadubec -- Playoff Semi-Finals, did you make it? All the teams left are killers. Don't over think it, and enjoy the last couple weeks while you can!
Confident - Hope your waiver priority is high if you need a running back for the playoffs, because the preseason darling, turned flop is back once again with a legitimate chance of making a huge difference in the final 2 weeks. Jones ran well after the disastrous injury to DeMarco Murray, making some very nice cuts and averaging 6.6 per carry on his way to 106 yards. As a PPR back, he looked great as well, catching 6 passes for another 31 yards. He did lose a fumble, but he has no competition and should see a full workload against a Tampa Bay defense that's given up the most total yards and touchdowns to running backs. The Bucs have lost 7 straight; and even though Jerry Jones is standing by Jason Garrett for the moment, he obviously can't afford another loss. I expect the Cowboys to make a statement, and Jones to come away with 150+ total yards. Fit him in your lineup.
Confident - Confident... yeah I know it is hard to truly be confident in the Denver passing game. Well, I've already mentioned him once as a sleeper, so if I'm going to bring him up again I've got to go all the way. After back to back weeks with at least 4 receptions and at least one score, I'm feeling pretty good about him. I haven't forgotten about Eric Decker; he's been solid all year, and it is possible week 15 will be his turn to get back in the picture. Nevertheless, against a New England defense that's given up 25 more receptions and 500 more yards to WRs than the next closest team, you can make a very good case that both Thomas and Decker have a good chance to produce. When it comes to Thomas, 4 catches for 144 yards felt a bit fluky, but following it up with 7 for 78 against a solid Bears pass defense makes him worth serious consideration. Besides, with the Patriots there's always the chance they get ahead quickly, and force Denver to throw a few quarters earlier than usual.
Confident - This pick looks a lot like the Santana Moss pick last week, and with good reason. With no Fred Davis, Gaffney is clearly in line for targets. He didn't get quite as many as Moss last week -- 8 versus 9 -- but he made good on a higher percentage, catching 6 balls for 92 yards and a score. Against a good pass defense, I'd hesitate to go this direction, but against a NY Giants secondary that's allowed more points to wide receivers than any team not named the Patriots, he's a safe bet (with fairly decent upside). Helu has given the Redskins a balanced offensive attack, and Rex Grossman has never been afraid to air it out regardless of the consequences. Both make Washington a rising fantasy offense at just the right time of year. He's no world beater, but Gaffney's a reasonable WR3, and a solid flex this week.
Confident - Lynch is far from an obvious play against the Bears in Chicago, a defense that's allowed just 5 rushing touchdowns to running backs all year. So where am I going with this? Well Chicago has scored just 13 points combined in the last 2 weeks against good defenses, and Seattle is just that. Without the ability to sustain offense, the Seahawks should have a lot of opportunities with the ball. Lynch should get his usual 25 carries, but more than just that, I think this could be a game where we see him get an uncharacteristically high number of receptions. Teams haven't ran well against the Bears, so to keep their RBs involved, they've been throwing them the ball. Chicago has allowed 80 receptions to running backs -- second most in the league -- and 580 yards, 6th most. On the road against an even stronger Ravens defense, Lynch caught 5 balls for 58 yards earlier in the year (one of his best receiving games). In other words, if you've been relying on Lynch down the stretch, don't stop now fearing the match-up. In standard leagues it's a bit daunting; but in PPR, he has other ways to come through.
Caution - I know.. how do you sit Vincent Jackson? You probably can't. Still, it is my job to give you the numbers and arm you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, that information doesn't look good for VJAX. First off, as you're probably well aware, he was unspectacular again in a very beatable match-up against Buffalo -- catching 5 passes for only 55 yards. Respectable in PPR, but far from what owners expected. It seems like the potential to go off is always there, but for the most part, when the match-up has been bad, Jackson has been too. In 4 games against top 10 fantasy defenses versus WRs, Jackson has managed 13 catches for 201 yards and 1 TD. He's still getting a nice chunk of targets each week, but the Ravens are a top 10 defense, and they've allowed only 7 TDs all year. I can't tell you to sit him, but I do think his ceiling is low; you shouldn't regard him any higher than a WR3.