After 13 weeks, Mark still remains our leader. We think he may be cheating so we're going to hire a private investigator take a look into that. With that being said, fantasy football playoffs are upon us. With the injury bug affecting players around the league, now is the perfect time to raid your league's waiver wire. There very well may be a hidden gem that could lead you to a fantasy football championship in your league.
Just a reminder for those keeping score at home (though we'll do it for you), for players who each analyst starts, these are the points they will receive:
5 points if a player scores 25+ points
5 points if a player scores negative points to 5 points
Without further adieu, here are our picks for Week 14. Good luck!
Mark Strotman (Week 13: 14 points; Season total: 164 points)
Do I get a bye for standing atop the rankings to start the playoff schedule? All kidding aside, this week's starts and sits are crucial as teams enter win-or-go-home matchups. But you've got to take chances (and subsequently get lucky) to win most playoff matchups, especially in the first round where teams are more or less even in quality. I've got high-reward plays this week in my starts, while my sits don't have much upside but are solid low-end plays. If you tail me and I'm right, congratulations on moving to the second round. If I fail, I pray you don't know where I live.
Steven Jackson, RB -- STL (@ BUF)
Kudos to Jeff Fisher to finally using his star running back like he should. After seven of eight single-digit performances to begin the season (and trade block rumors), Jackson has turned it on as of late. Averaging 12.3 points over his last four, the Rams are going to run early and often against a weak Bills' rush defense. Jackson is an easy RB2 play, with RB1 upside. It's great to see a workhorse like him carry you into the playoffs.
James Jones, WR -- GB (vs. DET)
Remember him? The guy who went for two touchdowns in three straight games in the middle of the season, but has since caught four balls in the last three games? He'll be back as a prime target for Aaron Rodgers as Jordy Nelson likely sits with a hamstring injury. It's a risky play, but you could do a whole lot worse in the flex than Jones against a Lions' secondary prone to big plays.
Joe Flacco, QB -- BAL (@WAS)
Of all the fantasy headaches suffered annually, the play of Joe Flacco may top the charts in 2012. He has gone for 18 or more points five different times, including a 29-point effort in Week 10, but also had seven or fewer points four different times. I've got faith in him against a Washington defense on a short week that allowed Tony Romo to gunsling all over the field on Monday. Bet on Flacco to be a QB1 as he and the Ravens rebound from a bad home loss to Pittsburgh last week.
Ryan Mathews, RB -- SD (@ PIT)
If you haven't already cut Mathews out of your regular starting lineup, allow me to do it for you. He hasn't reached double-digit points since Week 5 against the lowly Saints' defense, and while he's getting carries he isn't doing anything with them. The Steelers aren't what they once were against the run, but Mathews doesn't have a high enough upside anymore (that would have sounded crazy in September) to warrant starting him in the playoffs.
Chris Givens, WR -- STL (@ BUF)
Danny Amendola may return in Week 14 and, as I said above, I see the Rams trying to win this one on the ground. GIvens has been a boom-or-bust play most of the year (think Denarius Moore) and while he's coming off an 11-catch performance against the 49ers, that game was at home and in a dome, where the weather will be as close to opposite in Buffalo. Find another flex as a safer play.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- PIT (vs. SD)
It'll be a triumphant return for Big Ben after Charlie Batch led the Steelers to a win in Baltimore, but I'm thinking the rust is going to be pretty thick. Mike Wallace will be itching to get back on the field with Roethlisberger at the helm, but Pittsburgh is likely to play it safe in this one. Roethlisberger looks like a low-end QB1 play, but you can probably do better.
Tony Andracki (Week 13: 9 points; Season total: 147 points)
Well, that's about right. Seemingly every week, one of the guys I pick as a "sit" wind up having their best game of the season. So, I'm sure it'll happen again this week. So instead of guys I think you should put on your bench, I'm picking guys you should lower your expectations on.
It's playoff time, and every move you make counts, every injury is magnified. There is no tomorrow if you lose. Alright, enough of the superlatives. Don't overthink things. Go with your gut. Go with the guys that helped get you here. Go with the hot hand. Trust yourself and your judgement. Even if you backed your way into the playoffs, you still got there somehow, so rely on those instincts.
Greg Jennings, WR -- GB (vs. DET)
If you still have Jennings on your roster and you drafted him, there's a good chance you're not in the playoffs. Jennings has been a non-factor this season, but most of that was due to injury. If you do happen to be playing this week, start Jennings. He returned to the field last week and immediately demanded a team-high 8 targets. Couple that with the fact this Packers-Lions game should be a shootout and Jennings could be a big factor in your opening round matchup.
Tony Romo, QB -- DAL (@ CIN)
So much for Romo struggling in December, huh? His fantastically hot streak continued Sunday night with a second straight game of at least 300 yards and 3 TDs, though this time, he didn't throw a pick. Ride the hot hand again this week.
Chris Johnson, RB -- TEN (@ IND)
Indy boasts one of the worst run defense in the NFL, as even Shonn Greene and the Jets tore these guys up. The Colts have allowed 12 rushing TDs this season and if the Titans want to stay in this game, they'll need a heavy dose of Johnson. CJ is the bellcow in Tennessee and he will be a factor this week. Plus, there's always the chance he busts a long run.Sit 'em: