Week 14: Sit 'Em
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in week 14. The second year quarterback has been struggling, plagued by injuries to his receiving targets and the inability of his offensive line to protect him from opposing defenses. Luck has taken a beating so far this season, bringing his fantasy numbers down to a disappointing level for owners who were predicting a big year from the former Stanford Cardinal. Luck's schedule does not get any easier this week, as the Colts take on the league's eighth best pass defense. Expect around 200 yards and one touchdown from Luck this week, numbers that should have you looking elsewhere for a starting quarterback.
Big Ben has stepped up his game for fantasy owners over the past few weeks, throwing 13 touchdowns over the past five games and averaging more than 250 passing yards per game. Roethlisberger has relied on Antonio Brown, a duo that has been one of the league's best this season. The Steelers face a tough matchup this week against Miami, who boast the league's ninth best pass defense. Brent Grimes has been excellent, and should engage in a duel with Brown this week. If Grimes can keep Brown under control, Roethlisberger will struggle to put up starter worthy fantasy numbers.
Ryan Mathews has put together a mediocre season, mixing a few big games in with a bunch of so-so outings. The good news for fantasy owners is that Mathews looked fairly healthy in week 13, rushing for 61 yards and catching five passes for another 31 yards.He was not able to find the endzone, but making it through the game injury free is a plus for fantasy owners. Mathews faces a tough match-up this week against the Giants and their ninth ranked rush defense. He should see around 15 touches again this week, but will that be enough to make him starter worthy in fantasy leagues? I would lean toward leaving Mathews on fantasy benches this week.
Rashad Jennings has been on an impressive run, topping 100 total yards in four of his last five games. Jennings was on his way to a poor rushing total in week 13 before suffering a concussion, but did save his fantasy day with two rushing touchdowns. Fantasy owners will need to be cautious with Jennings this week as he is going to have to be cleared by team doctors to be able to play against the Jets. The Jets have been stellar defending the run this season, allowing just 77 yards per game on the ground, best in the league. Even if Jennings is able to play this week, fantasy owners should only start the Raiders running back if they have no other decent options.
Surprised? All of Peyton Manning's top receivers are worthy starts each week just cause, but after his insane four touchdowns and 174 yards on eight receptions, we want to point out this could be a more challenging week for Decker. For starters, before last week, Decker had not found the end zone or gone over 75 receiving yards since Week 7. Now the Broncos face a Titans secondary that is allowing the fewest points in the league to fantasy wide receivers. In fact, Tennessee has not allowed a TD to a fantasy wide out since Week 2. The Titans also haven't faced one of the game's elite passers in some time, but Manning aside, tread lightly with Decker this week.