Consensus Rankings Analysis - Week 14
I suppose the cat’s out of the bag with Josh McCown, as he’s consensus No. 7 with our analysts. Oddly enough, six of eight analysts have him exactly there. He’s playing an atrocious defense at home, and his last two games have been studly. Fire him up if you’re staring at someone you’re afraid of like an RGIII.
Over the last five weeks, the Vikings have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks versus only one interception. Joe Flacco gets them at home this week, and a win would go a long way in helping Baltimore towards a playoff spot. He’s taking a lot of sacks, but again, if you’re looking at a couple mediocre QB options and one of them is Flacco, his matchup is ripe this week. He sits at high-end QB2 range at No. 15 this week.
The Dolphins defense has been playing well of late, holding Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton to terrible to mediocre lines. This week, Big Ben gets a tough test against a Dolphins defense generating solid pass rush (third-best rating in the NFL) and a few members of the secondary playing well in coverage in Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson and Chris Clemons. Antonio Brown should get his as always, but I question whether Ben will get you anything close to what you want as we enter the playoffs.
Despite a couple yardage clunkers over the last few weeks, make sure you fire up Eddie Lacy if you have him. The Atlanta defense is reeling, primarily because of a weak front, and Matt Flynn clearly isn’t the recipe to putting up points. When Lacy is on, he’s on. Two weeks ago against Minnesota, he forced a whopping 10 missed tackles. For reference, Chris Johnson and Knowshon Moreno have caused 14 missed tackles on the entire season. There may be snow in the forecast as a heads up, but this shouldn’t discourage you too much from deploying Lacy.
By now you’re aware the Dallas defense is stinky. Sean Lee may be back, but Matt Forte still has an amazing matchup. In case any of you were wondering why he’s ranked No. 2 or higher by everyone across the board. However, on the other side of the ball, Demarco Murray’s matchup is nearly as good, as the Bears have ceded 901 yards and five touchdowns to opposing RBs over the last five weeks. Definitely an RB1 in what may end up being a shootout.
Though he’s been a stud since starting, Zac Stacy has another rough matchup this week. Against the Niners, he put up 72 yards on 19 carries. On the road against a rough Cardinals defense, his line may look similar, if not worse. He’s definitely more RB2 than RB1 this week, and his ranking of No. 18 seems about right.
At first glance, Alfred Morris has a decent matchup against a reeling Kansas City defense. However, if we dig further, there’s a chance Washington could end up getting blown out at some point, as they’re in the running for worst team in the NFL. If that’s the case, Morris will get pulled in place of Roy Helu for many plays, leaving Helu as a very sneaky deep deep PPR play. I wouldn’t trust Morris as anything more than an RB2 this week despite his stellar season. As of now, Morris is No. 15, and Helu No. 55.
Facing off against Vontae Davis this week, A.J. Green may have it rougher than usual, especially if he’s bracketed. On the year, Davis is our 7th best rated cornerback overall, and top five in coverage metrics. Besides a big play to Tavon Austin and 78 yards to Andre Johnson, Davis has played extremely well this year, and Green may be looking at low-end WR1/WR2 territory. You’re starting him, but don’t be surprised if he goes for less yards than usual.
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas will be facing off against a tough Tennessee secondary, including to extremely solid young corners in Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty. Both of those guys are top five in our cornerback metrics, and though Demaryius and Julius certainly aren’t benchable, this may be Wes Welker’s week. While those two corners lock down the outside, the inside of Tennessee is beatable. Don’t expect an Eric Decker Week 13 game for Welker, but he’s due for a score and some yardage.
If Victor Cruz is going to pick any week to bust out of his slump, this is it. San Diego’s secondary is a bottom of the barrel one, and they allow scores to opposing stud wide receivers. Recently, such wide receivers who’ve scored against the Chargers include A.J. Green (Week 13), Dwayne Bowe (12), Demaryius Thomas (3 scores in Week 10), and 172 yards to Pierre Garcon. Sitting at No. 15 consensus this week, fire him up for the start of your playoffs.