Week 14 is a huge week in fantasy football with the playoffs beginning in many leagues. Our fantasy guru, James Morris, provides answers to many questions that fantasy football owners are debating this week:
Question- Do you think Rob Gronkowski will be available for week 15 or 16? If so, does he pick up where left off or is he just an average TE?
James Morris: The only people who truly know about Gronk’s injury status are God and Bill Belichick. I hear he is pushing to come back as early as this week, but we won’t know anything for sure until closer to Friday. When he does get back, I think he immediately becomes one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets once again as Aaron Hernandez has been inconsistent the last two games.
Question- Eric Decker started the season off great, but has really been a bust for me over the last few weeks. I also own Julio Jones, Hakeem Nicks and Randall Cobb. Should I continue to start him every week and hope he breaks his slump, or do I bench him in favor of my other WRs listed?
James Morris: Since week 10, Decker has just 10 catches for 119 yards and 1 TD. That’s an average of 2.5 catches and 29.75 yards over the last four games. Given your other WRs, I would bench Decker to finish out the season as Demaryius Thomas is Peyton Manning’s new Marvin Harrison/Reggie Wayne in Denver. I’d rather miss one solid game where he finally catches a touchdown, than continue to run him out there in place of Jones (18 catches, 303 yards and a TD in last 4 games), Nicks (19 catches for 195 yards and a TD in last 4 games) or Cobb (19 catches for 175 yards and a TD in last 4 games).
Question- I just finished 8-5 to make the playoffs in my league and I need your advice on who to start at WR. I decided I’m going to start Ray Rice and Trent Richardson at RB, with Doug Martin as my flex. At WR I’ve got Demaryius Thomas, Andre Johnson, Julio Jones and Marques Colston. I’m thinking Thomas is an automatic start, but I am having trouble with who to start as my other WR. Do I go with Johnson vs. the Patriots, Jones vs. the Panthers or Colston vs. the Giants? Which one would you go with out of those 3? And do you agree with starting those 3 running backs this week.
James Morris: First, I absolutely LOVE those three RBs this week! I’d give them all top-5 rankings at RB, and since you own them all, your team should be in Beast Mode for points. At WR, I would start Johnson and Thomas. Jones is close, but not as good of a bet, and I don’t like Colston until Drew Brees snaps out of this funk he is in. The problem with Brees is that he could easily go off for 5 TDs and 400 yards in any given week, but with 7 INTs over the last two weeks, and the Giants being #2 in the NFL with 18 INTs, it might not get all that much better this week for him. I don’t think he throws another 5 INTs, but 2-3 is certainly possible.
Question- I’m in a rookie keeper league and I have Robert Griffin III and Ben Roethlisberger at QB. Right now Russell Wilson is sitting on my waiver wire. Should I grab him for a playoff run and keep him going into next season? (roster attached)
QB Robert Griffin III, Wsh QB
RB C.J. Spiller, Buf RB
RB Bryce Brown, Phi RB
RB/WR Andre Johnson, Hou WR
WR Julio Jones, Atl WR
WR Eric Decker, Den WR
TE Owen Daniels, Hou TE
D/ST Jets D/ST D/ST
K Matt Bryant, Atl K
Bench Darren McFadden*, Oak RB
Bench Ben Roethlisberger*, Pit QB
Bench DeMarco Murray, Dal RB
Bench Randall Cobb, GB WR
Bench Shane Vereen, NE RB
Bench Dustin Keller, NYJ TE
Bench Bilal Powell, NYJ RB
James Morris: If there are no limits to the number of rookies that you can keep, absolutely you should grab him. Looking over your roster I would cut Dustin Keller or Bilal Powell of the Jets and add Wilson right this second. Neither player will play for you nor has much value to finish this season out. Wilson is showing that he can get the job done, but the Seahawks need to give him better weapons to throw to next season for him to avoid the sophomore slump.
Question- It’s going to be a tough week at my house. In the first playoff week in our PPR league, my roommate and I are matched against each other. Also, my beloved Bengals are matched against his Cowboys. I read your column every week, and was hoping you could help me set my line-up this week.
At QB I have Drew Brees. My RBs are Frank Gore, Doug Martin, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and Alfred Morris. My WRs are Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Reggie Wayne, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, and Brandon Lloyd. My TE is Jimmy Graham. I have the Cardinals and Falcons D/ST, and my kicker is Lawrence Tynes.
My starting line-up looks like this as of now:
QB – Drew Brees
RB – Frank Gore
RB – Doug Martin
WR – Demaryius Thomas
WR – Reggie Wayne
TE – Jimmy Graham
FLEX – Julio Jones
D/ST – Cardinals
K – Lawrence Tynes
Which leaves this on my bench:
-Jordy Nelson (not going to play him)
-Brandon Lloyd (not going to play him)
-Benjarvus Green-Ellis (wary of playing him)
-Alfred Morris (wary again)
–Kyle Rudolph (not going to play him over Jimmy Graham)
-T.Y. Hilton (considering playing him over Reggie Wayne)
Do you have any advice for me that can help me maintain bragging rights in my house?
James Morris: First, I would check out Criagslist in your local area just in case you need to move… work smart, not hard. Then, I would change the password on the internet for the house so your roommate can’t make changes to his roster. Again, work smart, not hard.
With regards to your team, I would swap out Gore for Morris this weekend. The Dolphins allow just 15.0 fantasy PPG to RBs (7th best in NFL), whereas the Ravens give up 19.1 PPG (11th worst). I’d look to add a different defense for this weekend; Look at the Broncos, Jets, Browns or Rams, in that order, and cut the Falcons or Brandon Lloyd (disappointment).
Hilton and Wayne have actually been right on par with each other over the last month (59.10 points in NFL.com for Wayne – 59.30 for Hilton). But, the real difference comes in that Wayne has 153 targets on the season, and Hilton has just 69. Wayne receives 30 percent of the total throws to Hilton’s 14 percent. So, long story short, you play the best player available and don’t try and get cute with it. Keep Wayne in there.
Be sure to check back on Friday for James’ Week 14 “Start ‘Em & ‘Sit ‘Em” Lineup Advice
Also, for more fantasy guidance, follow James on Twitter here.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.