Week 14 Forces and Frauds: Playoff Run

<p>As the weeks progress, injuries take a toll on many teams. Some teams like the Chiefs, Browns, and Titans in the AFC, or the Seahawks and Panthers in the NFC succumb to the pressures of losing starters. While others have backups who take on greater responsibility and carry the load so their teams don't miss a beat. </p> <p>Chris Goodhue take a look at this week's players who will be a force, and those who will likely be frauds.</p>

Week 14 Forces and Frauds: Playoff Run
By Chris Goodhue, Site Contributor

For most fantasy owners, the season is over and you’re wondering why you drafted Travis Henry or Kevan Barlow so high, when there we obvious questions about both. The rest of us are enjoying the spoils of the postseason, and dreaming of that fateful Sunday on week 17 when you can call yourself supreme football mind of the universe…or your circle of friends that may or may not include real estate brokers that as recently as a year ago followed a rap group that dressed as clowns across America. Enough of my incoherence…let’s get you to the promised land.

QB Forces: Chiefs QB, Trent Green (270/407 c/a, 3392 yds., 18/11 TD/INT) could have a huge game Monday night vs. a depleted Tennessee secondary. The Titans are missing CB, Andre Woolfolk and S, Tank Williams for the rest of the season, and may lose S, Lance Schulters for the duration as well. Green will be able to find TE, Tony Gonzalez and WR, Eddie Kennison for some easy scores vs. the Titans B-list defensive backs. Green will be throwing more anyhow, now that RB, Priest Holmes is out for the season with a knee injury.

Jaguars QB, Byron Leftwich (212/334, 2394, 11/7) put up 268 yards and a TD vs. a staunch Pittsburgh pass defense. With Jags RB Fred Taylor struggling, Leftwich may see his team’s fate placed more in his hands this week vs. Chicago. His favorite target, WR, Jimmy Smith should have no problems with Bears top CB, Jerry Azumah and should hit paydirt.

Texans QB, David Carr (228/372, 2899, 12/11) has the advantageous position of playing the Colts. If there’s anything we know about Indy, it’s that they go up on teams early, and they can’t stop anyone, so Carr will be throwing early and often. The last time these two teams hooked up, Carr threw 3 interceptions. However, now that Texans RB, Domanick Davis is fully healthy, Houston will be able to keep the Colts honest with the run, instead of throwing into 7 or more defenders dropping into coverage.

QB Fraud: Jets QB, Chad Pennington (164/243, 1798, 11/4) faces the vaunted Steelers defense this week. The Steelers will make Chad throw the ball, as they will plan to take RB, Curtis Martin out of the game. Pittsburgh has sacked the QB an AFC-high 38 times as well as intercepting 13 passes. He is still recovering from an injured rotator cuff, and may not get all the mustard on his passes as he normally does.

RB Forces: Patriots RB, Corey Dillon (254 carries, 1221 yds., 4.8 yds/carry, 9 TD) is a man on a mission this Sunday. Dillon faces his old team ­ the Bengals ­ which he left on less than glorious circumstances. The Bengals have the lowest ranked rush defense in the AFC (142 yards/game allowed) and will be kept off-balance by Pats QB, Tom Brady. Cincinnati lacks playmakers up front, and will be pushed around by C, Dan Koppen and G, Joe Andruzzi. Expect Dillon to have a monster day.

Bills RB, Willis McGahee (213/817, 3.8, 7) faces a porous Cleveland rush defense that has given up 16 TD’s on the ground this season. He has become the focal point of the Bills attack and should be able to slash his way through an under-coached unit that is just playing out the string. He should be able to find the end zone a couple of times.

Broncos RB, Rueben Droughns (216/984, 4.6, 4) had trouble last week vs. the Chargers tough run D (14 carries for 38 yds.) but should have no such trouble vs. the worn down Dolphins defense. The ‘Fins give up 134 yards a game on the ground and may be missing LB Zach Thomas for another game. Droughns may be the offense’s focal point with QB, Jake Pummer struggling and facing one of the leagues top pass defenses.

RB Fraud: Jaguars RB, Fred Taylor (217/980, 4.5, 1) has struggled to find the endzone all season. He hasn’t scored since week 3 at Tennessee and faces a Bears defense that has allowed only 7 rush TD’s all year. Expect another typical Taylor outing this Sunday….100 yards, but no scores. If you start him routinely, you probably aren’t in the playoffs anyways.

WR Forces: Colts WR’s, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley are on pace to become the first 3 teammates to receive for 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s each in a season. They are all start-worthy each week, and that shouldn’t change this Sunday vs. the Texans. The Colts hung 49 points on the Texans a few weeks back, and will continue to throw a ton until QB, Peyton Manning eclipses Dan Marino’s TD record.

Bills WR, Eric Moulds (68 catches, 840 yds., 5 TD’s) faces a Cleveland secondary that may be missing top corner Daylon McCutcheon. The Browns will spend a lot of time trying to stop RB, Willis McGahee which could open some end zone opportunities for Moulds, coupled with the fact that their entire team is in flux due to the coaching situation. He should get a TD or two.

Ravens TE, Todd Heap (15, 135, 0) returned from a 9 week absence to catch 3 balls vs. the Bengals. Expect Heap to be more involved in the mix vs. the Giants after a full week of practice. When healthy, Heap is a top-3 tight end. Frustrated owners (myself included) will be eager to insert him into our lineups for the playoff run. He is always a threat to score.

WR Fraud: Broncos WR, Rod Smith (53, 838, 5) has been suffering from Jake Plummer’s erratic play. Smith hasn’t had more than 4 catches in a game since Week 8, and has only 1game over 100 yards. It won’t get any easier this week vs. the Dolphins, as Smith will be matched up on CB, Patrick Surtain (3 INT). Don’t get your hopes up; you probably have better options on the bench.

Chris Goodhue has been running fantasy football and baseball teams since 1999 with one title to his credit. He can usually be found at a local Boston area sports bar settling arguments of sports history, but in case you can't find him send your questions and feedback to cgoodhue in the Insider Forums

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