Studs and Duds: Week 15

Did you survive the first round of the playoffs? Are you still in contention for some consolation prize? Before I get into this weekend’s picks, let’s take a look back at how last week went. As hard as a few players tried, I still ended up with a pretty solid record. The Buffalo running game, plus my boy Ryan Grant, turned in very solid performances, while the Tony Romo to Jason Witten connection was in full force, even if T.O. was left out of the action. Kevin Jones came out of no where to log multiple touchdowns, while the Buffalo and Houston passing games went huge in the touchdown department…which was NOT expected though. This weekend I’m looking to make perfect recommendations (no misses!), but we’ll just have to wait and see how that works out. So without further ado, here are your suggestions that should hopefully propel your team to the next (and possibly final) round of your playoffs…

Studs

Adrian Peterson (MIN): I’m going to go out on a limb and say that last weeks performance by Peterson was a complete anomaly. How else can you explain how the San Francisco 49er’s (!!!) held A.Pete to 3 freakin’ yards on 14 carries? This week Peterson plays against a soft, inter-conference Chicago run defense, so he’ll be looking to re-establish himself as the top back in the NFL.

Joseph Addai (IND): Even with low yardage last week, Addai found his way into the endzone three times. This week, he faces the worst run defense in the NFL in allowing teams into the endzone with the Raiders (21 rushing touchdowns allowed!) Addai should have a field day.

Willis McGahee (BAL): As long as his toe troubles don’t act up…McGahee should be looking forward to a ton of carries against a weak Miami defense that has allowed a league worst 155 rushing yards per game, plus the second worst number of rushing touchdowns per game (16). One hundred yards and a score would be disappointing.

Earnest Graham (TB): At this point in the season, you might have to consider Graham a top three contestant on the "Who’s the biggest surprise of the year?" show. Graham has at least one touchdown in the past 5 games and plays a weak (and depressed) Atlanta team this week. Get him in your lineup this week!

Philip Rivers / Antonio Gates / Chris Chambers (SD): I may have suggested previously that Rivers never make the "Stud" list again, but it’s hard to deny him the privilege when he goes against the Lions. Rivers played fairly well last weekend against a solid Tennessee defense, so I expect him to do at least as well against the Lions, especially at home. Gates and Chambers should prosper along with Rivers.

Lee Evans (BUF): Last weekend, Trent Edwards and Lee Evans took what should have been fairly low fantasy stats, and turned them into super fantasy stats with touchdowns all over the place. I can’t expect that Edwards will get nearly as lucky this week, but against the Browns, there is a good chance that Evans could catch a few deep balls. Especially against a Brownie defense allowing an NFL worst 27 touchdowns through the air this year.

Kurt Warner (ARI): In previous years, I’d never have called Warner a "trooper", but this year, the guy seems to be constantly injured, but keeps putting up stats. Over the past five games he’s passed for 12 touchdowns (although he’s thrown for 9 interceptions). No matter the receivers, Warner seems to get it done (fantasy-wise at least), so I expect another big game this weekend against a bad Saints pass defense.

Derek Anderson / Braylon Edwards / Kellen Winslow (CLE): If all goes right, this game could be quite the fire fight, as both teams (the Bills being the other team) are bad against the pass. I expect Anderson and his cronies to make the most of the other teams deficiencies though, as he’s been solid all year long. The Bills are letting a little over a score a game through the air this year, but expect that average to rise a bit after the Browns are done with them.

Duds

Adrian Peterson (CHI): This is a pretty funny matchup…Minnesota vs. Chicago…Adrian Peterson (A) vs. Adrian Peterson (B). Make sure you don’t get confused and plug in the wrong guy this weekend or you could be in for a long afternoon. While the Bears haven’t been that good against the run this year, Minnesota has been dominant, allowing less than 71 yards a game (with only 5 rushing TDs allowed). The B version of Peterson hasn’t done much with his opportunities once Benson went down and don’t expect that to change this week.

Maurice Jones-Drew / Fred Taylor (JAX): Last weekend the Jags ran the ball pretty well, but that was against the Panthers, who are average at best. This week though, they go to Pittsburgh to play a Steelers defense that has allowed three rushing touchdowns all season long, not to mention around 73 yards per game. Even if the team gets some decent stats here, they’ll be divided between the two backs, making both a risky play.

Samkon Gado / Jesse Chatman (MIA): Don’t let Gado’s freak, two touchdown performance last week fool you. This week, the ‘Fins play a team with an actual rush defense in the Ravens, and this two headed monster (if Chatman even plays), is not expected to put up anywhere near the fantasy stats they did last week.

Running Backs (NYG): Well, it appears that Derrick Ward is out for the year, so the load now falls on the shoulders of Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns. Last weekend the ground game never really got going for the G-Men, and this week I expect more of the same. The Redskins are allowing under 100 yards a game on the ground and will focus on stopping the running game in this one, with Eli struggling with the passing game.

Quarterback / Jerry Porter (OAK): In terms of passing yards allowed per game, the Colts are now number one in the NFL. Their next opponent, Quarterback X of the Oakland Raiders. No matter the body the Raiders put on the field, the Colts will punish him and Porter will suffer because of it.

Kellen Clemens / Wide Receivers (NYJ): If all goes according to plan here, the Patriots are supposed to beat the Jets 80-0 or something (at least that’s what I hear on TV). Seriously though, I expect the Patriots to bring the house against a young Clemens, as the town of Boston is not a fan of any Clemens’ at this point. With Clemens on his backside most of the afternoon, his receivers will suffer as well, so get Cotchery out of your lineup.

Chris Redman (ATL): Ummm…can you feel bad for the Falcons at this point? If you must feel bad for someone, it can’t be Vick, Petrino or DeAngelo Hall. Maybe I felt bad for the only good offensive player on the team this year in Roddy White, but when he donned that "Free Mike Vick" t-shirt in the game, I had to discredit him a bit. I guess you only feel bad for Vick’s dogs and the fans that are suffering through this disaster of a season. Their third (or fourth if you count Vick) quarterback of the season is now Redman, who’s last start before last weekends game was like 10 years ago or someting. He actually hasn’t played too bad in the past two weeks, but this time he takes on a team with an actual pass defense in Tampa Bay. Expect a long day for the Falcons, as they’re already thinking of vacation and the hope that their team can get a new quarterback in the off season.

Slightly-biased scoring (Hits-Misses-Pushes)

Week 14: 12-6-2
Season: 107-48-46