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The Pug’s Kennel Week 13: Crunch Time

 

 

  For most, this is the last week before playoffs start in fantasy football a.k.a. crunch time. For those fighting for the last playoff spots, line up questions become crucial. Use my guide to help you through, and as always if you have individual line up questions e-mail me at anthonypugliese@thescrumsports.com.

Must Start

Calvin Johnson – WR Detroit Lions – After a mediocre start to the season, man did he come on strong for Thanksgiving. A huge 3 touchdown day may not be repeated, but I feel another big day coming for Calvin. Chances are he is a must start for you anyway, but with the Packers struggling and the Lions surging, look for Calvin to break 100 yards and score in this contest.

DeAngelo Williams – RB Pittsburgh Steelers – The back up to star running back Le’Veon Bell has filled in admirably in his absence. This week could be a big week for him. The Colts give up the 8th most points in the league to opposing running backs. In a huge matchup with playoff implications, and the uncertainty behind Ben Roethlisberger’s health, the game plan could easily be designed around Williams. If you have him on your team, start him without hesitation.

Jay Cutler – QB Chicago Bears – Not going to lie; this is a player I never expected to have on this list at any point this year. Cutler has made much smarter decisions behind center this season, and is coming off a huge win against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers are ranked 28th in the league against the pass, which leads me to believe Cutler is in for a huge day. Breaking 300 yards with multiple scores doesn’t seem too unbelievable.

High Risk, High Reward

Eric Decker – WR New York Jets – Decker has quietly gotten himself 8 touchdown receptions on the season behind all the noise made by Brandon Marshall. The Giants rank dead last in passing defense and think they will do everything they can to shut down Brandon Marshall. This should result in numerous one on one opportunities for Decker, which could result in huge numbers for Decker. The risk here is if the Giants fail to shut down Marshall which could happen, and Decker is the odd man out.

Matt Schaub – QB Baltimore Ravens – The season veteran trust into the starting role after the injury to Joe Flacco. His opponent this week is the Miami Dolphins; coming off a game where Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 4 touchdown passes against them. The Dolphins rank in the bottom 10 of points against them by opposing quarterbacks, and Schaub could make them pay for it. The only risk here is Schaub needs to keep the turnovers down. He threw 2 picks one returned for a touchdown last week, but if he can control the football, he could put up nice numbers against a poor Dolphins defense.

Danny Amendola – WR New England Patriots – Coming off a knee injury there seems to be no reason to believe that Amendola won’t be Tom Brady’s top target this week. The loss of Gronk has Brady searching for weapons leaving him with limited options. The match up seems great, as the Eagles defense was waxed last week against the Lions. The sole reason he is on my high risk list is because of the fact that he is coming off a knee injury this week, and may be limited in his role. It’s a risk worth taking though.

Players to Avoid

Todd Gurley – RB St. Louis Rams- Alright, I know he is in this spot two weeks in a row, and that is usually something I like to avoid. I just want to let the world know how much I hate this matchup. The Cardinals have the 4th best rushing defense in the NFL. The Cardinals also boast the top offense in the NFL, and I believe this game to get out of control quite quickly, which may limit the number of opportunities that Gurley receives in this game. Use an alternative option if possible.

Stevie Johnson – WR San Diego Chargers – The number one receiver in San Diego due to the injury to Keenan Allen, he has put up decent numbers and was a huge wide receiver waiver wire pick up. This week, he faces a Denver defense that has only given up one touchdown to wide receivers all year. Aqib Talib will more than likely be shadowing Johnson all day, which could mean terrible numbers for him.

Drew Brees – QB New Orleans Saints – I understand the thought of benching Brees sounds crazy, but they are playing the undefeated Panthers. They have given up the second fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Drew Brees didn’t play against the Panthers earlier in the year, but the Panthers did keep Luke McCown from throwing a touchdown pass. Just not digging the match up.

Waiver Wire Pick Up of the Week

Scott Chandler – TE New England Patriots – This was an easy choice for me. The Patriots will still utilize the tight end position even in Gronk’s absence. So if you’re looking for tight end help, pluck and play Chandler, who Brady could make look like a star.

 

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