As we roll into Week 15 of the NFL season, it's the championship game for many of you hopefully still fighting for your league trophies, prize money, and 9-month bragging rights. As usual, after you lock your must-start #1's into your lineup, it's time to make some tough decisions, so let's get down to it...
QUARTERBACKS TO START
1. Matt Schaub @ STL. Schaub and Johnson could blow up again for second straight week... both have top-5 potential.
2. Tony Romo @ NO. Barber and DAL rushing attack has been putrid of late and Cowboys also should be trailing, meaning the passing game will be predominant again. Romo is consistently hitting 250-350 yards and multiple scores, with his main weapon Miles Austin capable of blazing Saints' defense on turf.
3. Alex Smith @ PHI. Eli Manning rolled the PHI secondary last week and few QBs have been consistently hotter than Alex Smith over the past month and a half.
QUARTERBACKS TO SIT
1. Joe Flacco vs. CHI. Bears' secondary showed it's still capable of limiting a good offense (last week vs. GB), and if there's a weakness to exploit on Bears' D, it's that run defense, so BAL should be pouning the ball.
2. Eli Manning @ WAS. Tough Washington secondary and budding star DE Brian Orakpo could give Eli some fits Monday night.
3. Matt Hasselbeck vs. TB. Yes, yes dears, our Buccaneer defense is underwhelming as a whole, but our secondary has actually done a pretty good job keeping opposing passing attacks somewhat under raps. Also, Hasselbeck's #1 guy, Nate Burleson, is expected to be out Sunday. He could have a decent game, but I just don't think he blows up Sunday.
RUNNING BACKS TO START
1. Thomas Jones vs. ATL. Atlanta defense gives out TDs to opposing running backs like Freeman has been giving out turnovers lately.
2. Jamaal Charles vs. CLE. The possible waiver wire claim of the year has RB1 potential this week.
3. Ray Rice vs. CHI. Should be featured guy in Baltimore offense that will be looking to run most of the time against a CHI defense that was just burned by the inconsistent Ryan Grant.
RUNNING BACKS TO SIT
1. Brandon Jacobs @ WAS. Jacobs has struggled this year... and did I forget to mention that WAS is doing a pretty good job of stopping opposing rushing attacks as well lately? Haynesworth starting to earn his money.
2. Marion Barber @ NO. Cowboy offensive line not getting much of a push for Barber, who's not getting much more than 3-5 yards on any given carry lately. After another paltry performance last week, still hasn't rushed for 100 yards since Week 2 or scored since Week 8.
3. Matt Forte @ BAL. With the Chicago passing attack sputtering under Cutler, the Ravens should tee off on Forte and the CHI ground game Sunday. Ick.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO START
1. Miles Austin @ NO. Should hit some big plays and continue his streak of putting up double-digit fantasy points.
2. Michael Crabtree @ PHI. Big play potential against a risk-taking defense with a hot QB throwing him the ball makes me feel giddy about Crabtree's chances to have a big game.
3. Robert Meachem vs. DAL. DAL in bottom half of league in passing YPGA. Although Meachem's TD streak was snapped last week, he managed to lead all Saint WRs in RecYds with 57 and has clearly earned the trust from his QB as the team's second option in the passing game. Start.
BONUS: Antonio Bryant @ SEA. AB free of Revis and going up against a secondary that is prone to give up the big play.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO SIT
1. Donnie Avery vs. HOU. In case you hadn't heard, there was an H1N1 outbreak at Rams practice this week. Keith Null's absoutely dreadful performance might be even more sickening than that.
2. Roddy White @ NYJ. Most of you Roddy White owners took him as a high pick, but expect a 4-5 catch, 40-55 yard range if you don't have a better option.
3. Steve Smith @ MIN. Both starting tackles out for CAR, which will subject Matt Moore to pressure all game. If you have better options, think about it.
TIGHT ENDS TO START
1. Fred Davis vs. NYG. Becoming top red-zone target for Campbell and Skins, hauling in 4 TDs in last 3 games. Celek had a nice game against NYG last week.
2. Brent Celek vs. SF. Has scored in 5 of past 7 games and caught 4 passes each game in the 2 games where he didn't score.
3. Visanthe Shiancoe @ CAR. Panther passing defense is strong, but Shiancoe has scored in 3 of last 4 and is Favre's main red zone target. Keep him active.
TIGHT ENDS TO SIT
1. Jeremy Shockey vs. DAL. Although DAL pass defense ranks low, they've been effective in covering the TE this season. Shockey's production has been overall disappointment this season.
2. Zach Miller @ DEN. Not sure who Charlie Frye will lock in on. Denver's back 7 is athletic enough to slow down Miller.
3. Heath Miller vs. GB. Packers' pass defense is ranked 3rd in NFL and Miller hasn't scored in 3 games and has become tercery option in PIT passing game.
DEFENSES TO START
1. Denver vs. OAK.
2. Houston @ STL.
3. Arizona @ DET.
BONUS: New York Jets vs. ATL.
DEFENSES TO SIT
1. Dallas @ NO.
2. Pittsburgh vs. GB.
3. Washington vs. NYG.
As usual, if you have a lineup question, fire away, and we'll do our best to chime in and help. Thanks to all who read and commented on these posts the past couple of months!