The last time the Raiders gave up 300-plus
yards to a QB was back in Week 5... against Philip Rivers.
Grab a Helmet
Winston @ DAL: Winston and the Bucs are growing right
before our eyes. Heís cut down on his early season turnovers and
given his team a chance not only to stay competitive, but win some
games down the stretch to be in playoff contention. The Cowboys
play a solid brand of bend-but-donít-break defense thatís buoyed
by a clock eating offense. Tampa wonít get many chances on offense,
but I think Dallas will have a tough time with Mike Evans, and I
think Charles Sims could be a huge weapon out of the backfield.
Winston certainly has a lowish ceiling here, but the quarterback
options are few and far between with injuries, ineptitude, and frigid
weather creeping in. In a huge game for both you and the young Bucs,
trust in Jameis!
Rivers vs. OAK: Rivers was a mess last week against Carolina,
forcing passes for most of the game in an attempt to come back from
a huge early game deficit. With Melvin Gordon set to miss this game,
I think the Chargers employ a pass heavy game plan to try and steal
one from their division rivals. These two teams combined for 65
points in an early season matchup and while the Raiders pass defense
hasnít given up a 300-yard game since that one against Rivers in
Week 5, they have difficulty when Khalil Mack isnít a one man wrecking
crew. Rivers has a healthy stable of pass catchers and nothing to
lose, so fire him up as a top QB1.
Cousins vs. CAR: Carolina has stemmed the early season
bleeding in their secondary, but Washingtonís pass offense has been
pretty much match-up proof. They have a host of receivers who can
win at all levels, and Jordan Reed played a bunch of snaps last
week despite his low production. As soon as Washington realizes
theyíll have to win in the air, Cousins will be up to the task.
Heís been a really solid starting option as the overall QB4, so
why quit now.
Grab a Headset
Stafford @ NYG: Despite trying to downplay the injury
to his throwing hand, Stafford looked incredible shaky last week
in the Lions come-from-behind win. Itís going to be sloppy in
New York this Sunday, and the conditions certainly wonít favor
a dome quarterback with torn ligaments. Fun Fact: The Lions havenít
played a game outdoors since Week 4 in Chicago. Three of the four
Lion losses have come outside as their quick release passing game
doesnít function as crisply as it does inside. The Giants defense
has been killer against the pass, and this matchup is absolutely
miserable for Stafford. Heís been a QB1 all year, but in a must
win fantasy playoff game I simply canít start him.
Luck @ MIN: Much has been said about the criminal understaffing
of the Colts offense, and Luck seems to rely on guts and moxie
to keep his team in games. They lost a tough one last week to
Houston, and their playoff hopes are officially on life support.
In most weeks Iíd still feel comfortable trotting Luck out there
as my guy, but the Colts go on the road to rowdy Minnesota to
face a Vikings defense that has its swagger back. Luck has lost
yet another starter along the line this week, and the Vikings
are going to live in the backfield. Minnesota is going to play
like a cornered animal with their playoff hopes on the line as
well. With Donte Moncrief likely out, and T.Y. Hilton being shadowed
by Xavier Rhodes, itís going to be a long afternoon for Luck.
Kaepernick @ ATL: The 49ers offense looked awesome
for about 10 minutes last week against the Jets. Kaepernick, back
from his banishment last week against the Bears, had another hot
start turn into a turd by the 4th quarter. This offense lacks
playmakers outside of Carlos Hyde, and Atlanta has the potential
to run away with this game quickly. The Falcon defense will be
able to tee off in the Dome, and Kaepernick is going to struggle
to push the ball downfield. Atlanta needs this game badly, and
the Niners seem intent on packing it in early. Always a threat
to be benched, and with nothing much to play for, I wouldn’t
go near Kaepernick.