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The Pug’s Kennel Week 14: Playoff Time

Must Plays

Russell Wilson – QB Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson has been on absolute fire the last 3 weeks. He has thrown for 879 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions over the last three weeks. Up next he has a match up against the Baltimore Ravens pass defense that ranks in the bottom half of passing yards allowed per game. Keep riding the hot hand, and no one is hotter than Wilson right now.

Matt Forte – RB Chicago Bears – Last week was Forte’s second week back in the lineup returning from injury. Unlike the first week, the Bears showed a commitment to getting him carries and he appears to be back on track to becoming the workhorse he has been for years. It couldn’t have come at a better time since he was a high draft pick for most. This week he goes against the Washington Redskins, who rank 25th in the league against the run. Look for a return to big numbers from Forte this week.

Allen Robinson – WR Jacksonville Jaguars – This is another case of starting a guy riding the hot hand. Did you see his numbers last week? He caught 10 passes for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns! In the past three weeks, he has had 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. This week he goes against a Colts defense giving up the 7th most points to opposing wide receivers. The Jags are looking to play spoiler this week, and look for Robinson to be a big part of that.

 

High Risk, High Reward

Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB New York Jets – Sticking with my theme of riding trends, Fitzpatrick has put together quite the impressive pair of games. With the Jets back against the wall, Fitz has thrown for 667 yards 6 touchdowns and no interceptions to put the Jets right back in the wildcard driver’s seat. The risk here lies with the Titans owning the 9th ranked pass defense, despite giving up 322 yards to Blake Bortles last week.

Lamar Miller – RB Miami Dolphins – Besides a few starts, Miller has been mostly disappointing this year. The Dolphins welcome the Giants and their reeling defense to town this week. This could be a week to get going for Miller. The Giants defense ranks in the bottom half of the league, but remember, they are playing for a division title. The defense could show up especially against a mediocre running back like Miller.

Green Bay’s Defense – This has been a unit that has seen high’s but has also seen lows. Like very low. They play against Dallas this week, a team that seems unable to get any sort of offense going without Tony Romo. In terms of total yardage the Packers rank 19th in the league so the risk in this start is quite obvious.

 

Players to Avoid

Devonta Freeman- RB Atlanta Falcons – Freeman was racking up the points earlier in the year until he got hurt. Now that he is back, many owners are ecstatic, but this may not be the best week for him. The Falcons go against the second ranked run defense in the league in the Carolina Panthers. Last week Mark Ingram found some success against the Panthers, and the Panthers defense was torched overall. Look for them to bounce back this week, and Freeman’s numbers to suffer as a result.

Amari Cooper – WR Oakland Raiders – One of the frontrunners in this year’s offensive rookie of the year contest, Cooper has enjoyed a productive rookie campaign. He was held to just 47 yards earlier in the year by the Broncos, and don’t expect to see any better this week. The Broncos pass defense is still ranked number one in the league for a reason.

Antonio Gates – TE San Diego Chargers – Antonio Gates seems to be ageless as he still produces almost week in and week out. The Chargers play the Chiefs this week and they give up the fewest points against opposing tight ends then anyone in the league. When these two teams met a few weeks back, the Chiefs defense held Gates to one catch for 6 yards. All signs point to benching Gates.

Waiver Wire Gem of the Week

Tyler Lockett – WR Seattle Seahawks – I have had my eye on Lockett all season ever since I seen him perform in the pre-season. He finally seems to be developing into a receiver albeit in a complementary role. He is also a threat to return punts constantly. He could provide a little insurance to your wide receiver depth through the playoffs.

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