Week 13 is upon us and for some leagues that means this could be the last week of the regular season. Hopefully you have already clinched a playoff spot and you can begin to think about your playoff rosters. So far your season has been successful but if you lose in the first round than you can expect that bitter taste to stay in you mouth for the whole winter. Let's see if we can look at the next couple of weeks to see which teams will have an easy time and which teams will find things difficult.
Let's get the teams that will have a tough time scoring out of the way first. The first team that comes to mind is the Cleveland Browns. You may want to think twice before inserting Braylon Edwards or Kellen Winslow into your lineup because the Browns play Pittsburgh, Baltimore and an improving Tampa Bay defense in weeks 14-16. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are top 10 defenses. Also, the Kansas City passing game got a boost when Trent Green came back but that doesn't mean that you should welcome him back too. That's because the Chiefs will face some pretty solid pass defenses in Baltimore, San Diego and Oakland. All three are ranked in the top 14, including Oakland who ranks first.
Now for the good news. These teams should be able to put up some
points. Chester Taylor that could lead you to the promise land because the
Vikings play some lightweights during the fantasy playoffs. The Lions, the
Jets and the Packers will look to stop the Vikings. All three rank in the
bottom half of the league at stopping the run. The Seahawks, and all
fantasy owners around the world, welcomed back two of their key offensive studs
in Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks will welcome the
Cardinals and the Niners in weeks 14 and 15.
Here are a few players that you might want to take a look at plugging into your starting lineup this week to either turn around your luck or keep your success going! They may not be the top names in fantasy football, but most are the ‘in between' guys that you might have to make a tough decision on. The good fantasy owner is able to pick these players out from a crowd and stick them in their lineup for fantasy success!
Matt Leinart – After a bumpy ride in the middle of the year, Leinart is beginning to really come into his own. Leinart has averaged 22 fantasy points a game over the last two weeks, including topping 400 yards last week. He's got plenty of weapons to choose from including getting Larry Fitzgerald back in the lineup. This week Leinart goes up against the Rams. The Rams have allowed 16 passing touchdowns this year and we expect another couple this week from the high powered Cardinals offense.
Laurence Maroney – Even though he continues to split carries with Dillon, Maroney has been more than able to hold his own. Maroney had a tough outing against the mighty Bears last week, but he should find things a bit easier this week against the less than mighty Lions. The Lions give up 131 yards a game on the ground. The Patriots have 11 rushing touchdowns already this year and will look to Maroney to add to that total.
Deuce McAllister – Despite being on a pass happy team, McAllister still has been a very productive fantasy player. He now ranks as the 16th fantasy running back and has scored 4 touchdowns in the last four games for the Saints. The Saints play the Niners and although the Niners only give up 116 yards a game on the ground, they've allowed 12 rushing touchdowns which is the second most in the NFL.
Marvin Harrison – There was a time when Marvelous Marvin would be a no-brainer must start, but Harrison has slipped this year and now ranks as the 16th fantasy wide receiver his lowest since 1998. You might be tempted to sit Harrison but not this week. The Colts play the Titans and we expect Pac Man Jones to be preoccupied with Reggie Wayne. That should allow Harrison to feast on the Titans secondary that ranks 24th in the league.
Donald Driver – The Packers are the 9th ranked passing offense and Driver is a big reason why. He's Brett Favre's favorite target and the good news is that Favre is having a pretty solid year. The Packers play the Jets this week to complete their competition against the AFC East. Driver is averaging 77 yards against the AFC East and has 2 touchdowns. The Jets are average against the pass but we expect a high scoring game at home for the Packers.
– Davis has
missed most of the year with a broken fibula, but he's recently returned to the Niners lineup. San Francisco really could
use another weapon in the passing game and
Jacksonville – The stars could be aligning for the Jacksonville defense. Ronnie Brown won't be playing this week so that leaves Joey Harrington to lead the Dolphins against the Jags. That's good news for the Jaguars because Harrington likes to throw interceptions and the Jaguars already have 15 interceptions, 4th in the league.