Rebound Candidate: Jared Goff is in a better
spot this week against the leaky Eagles defense.
Grab a Helmet
Goff vs PHI: So apparently the flip of the calendar to
December didnít just cool down the weather, it cooled down most
of the offenses in the NFL! Top-10 quarterbacks have had some abysmal
performances the past two weeks, none worse than Goffís four-interception
disaster at Chicago on Sunday night. The Ramsí six-point dud proved
that stout defense and the cold weather can conspire to shut down
elite offenses. Lucky for LA, neither of these things will be the
case this week against the Eagles. The Rams host the leakiest secondary
in the NFL, fresh off giving up a 400+ yard day to Dak Prescott.
Goff has struggled on the road at times this year, but has been
top-3 elite at home most of the time. Donít be afraid to trust Goff
in your fantasy playoffs.
Watson @ NYJ (Sat): So everything I said about Goff struggling
on the road in the cold should apply to Watson this week. Heís a
warm weather/dome QB heading out on the road against a ďgot nuthiní
to lose Jets team. The difference here is the Jets arenít nearly
the defensive team the Bears are. Watson has been consistent if
not spectacular this season, cutting down on his early season turnovers
in a big way. The more conservative approach has adversely affected
his overall fantasy scoring, but New York just doesnít have the
bodies in the secondary to slow the Houston passing game down much.
Look for at least 250 yards and 2 scores, solid numbers that wonít
lose you a week.
Roethlisberger vs NE: The sky is falling again in Pittsburgh.
After the calamity of the start to the season was calmed by a six-game
winning streak, the Steelers have now lost three in a row, and are
in serious danger of losing what seemed like a locked in playoff
spot. Pittsburgh has gone decidedly pass heavy the last month, with
Big Ben hoisting up 45+ receptions in 4 of the last 6 games. Despite
getting beat up and missing a few series last week against Oakland,
he completed nearly 90% of his passes and had nearly identical numbers
from the loss against the Chargers. With James Conner unlikely to
play, Pittsburgh doesnít have a back capable of carrying the ball
25+ times, so look for a pass heavy game plan against the suddenly
desperate Patriots. This game should have one of the biggest over/unders
of the week, so put your money on Big Ben.
Grab a Headset
Winston @ BAL: Another team putting a kibosh on fantasy
scoring this season has been the Baltimore Ravens. Back to playing
a rambunctious brand of disruptive defense, Baltimore may have
lost last week at KC, but they certainly made the Chiefs earn
every yard. Winston was dreadful last week against the Saints,
completing less than 50% of his passes and turning the ball over.
Winston hasn't played many games on the road in cold weather cities
in his career, but in general he hasnít played well on the road
outside the division. Baltimore has too much to play for, and
should be able to dominate time of possession. Look for the Ravens
to force Winston into a few mistakes, making him a desperate Week
Stafford @ BUF: The ship probably sailed on Staffordís
fantasy season several weeks ago, but any hope his owners had
to resurrect last season value is all but gone this week. Yet
another dome quarterback hitting the road, this time in hostile
Buffalo, Stafford just isnít a fantasy option in any format this
week. He has 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions over his last four
games combined, and has been mediocre at best in December road
games the last few seasons. I know there's more than a few teams
out there that might have cut Stafford by now, but donít be tempted
to try and test the match-up.
Rodgers @ CHI: Resident Rodgers fanboy Huthcins isnít
going to like this, but for my 2nd straight SCR I have to advocate
sitting Rodgers. Barely clinging to top-10 status, Rodgers hasn’t
topped 300 yards passing since Week 11 and has been a run-of-the-mill
as possible the last three weeks. Despite a solid Week 1 against
this same Bears team, this game is on the road, and the Bears
are fresh off asserting their will against the Rams. Look for
the Packers to try and spread Chicago out and pepper them with
short crossing patterns. Stranger things have happened, and it’s
always a risk to sit a Hall of Famer during fantasy’s do
or die weeks, but I’d look in another direction at quarterback
if I had the depth.