Hits & Misses – Week 13: Win or Go Home

Here are our “Hits” and “Misses” for week thirteen, listing players you want to make sure are in your lineup, as well as those you might consider shelving for the week (or at least lowering your expectations!) With the playoffs right around the corner, you most likely need a win badly this week to clinch that first round BYE (or to even get a playoff spot!) Hopefully our list this week can help you get over the hump and into your league’s tournament, where you will surely bring home the bacon because you frequent such an awesome and knowledgeable fantasy football website! Alright, enough tooting of our own horn, let’s get to the hits and misses for this week and GOOD LUCK!

Quarterback
Hits
Misses
Matt Schaub, Texans @ JAX – The last time Schaub played the Jaguars, he finished with a tidy 300 yards and three touchdowns. While this time the game is on the road, the numbers shouldn’t be all that much different. Drew Brees, Saints @ WAS – Maybe this has a little to do with the fact that I’m still pissed at Brees for the way he dismantled the Patriots on Monday, but the Redkins pass defense is no joke. They’ve only allowed opposing quarterbacks over 200 yards four times all year (!) and have only given up multiple touchdowns once! While they’ve played a pretty weak schedule overall, they have more-or-less shut down Donovan McNabb twice and could at least limit Drew Brees this weekend.
Carson Palmer, Bengals vs DET – Recently the Bengals have seemed to abandon the passing game somewhat, limiting the numbers Palmer (and his outspoken #1 wide receiver) have put up. However, this week I see that trend coming to a halt, with Cincinnati playing a Lions team that has given up over 300 yards passing in four straight weeks and have allowed seven scores to opposing quarterbacks in the last two games. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks vs SF – Minus a beat down by Aaron Rodgers in week 11, the 49ers defense has been pretty solid against the pass. In the past few weeks, they’ve limited Peyton Manning, Vince Young, Jay Cutler and David Garrard to a combined zero touchdowns and could do the same to a very inconsistent Matt Hasselbeck.
Donovan McNabb, Eagles @ ATL – Even with DeSean Jackson most likely side-lined this week with a concussion, the Eagles should have more than enough weapons in the passing game to exploit a Falcons defense that has surrendered 15 passing touchdowns over the past seven games. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers @ CAR – I gambled on Freeman last week, successfully putting him on the “hit” list, but he moves to the right side of the list this week against a tough Panthers defense. Since their BYE, Carolina’s only real blemish has come to Drew Brees and even then, they limited him to just one touchdown. While he’s a great keeper league candidate, you don’t want Freeman in your line-up this week, especially if your playoff chances count on it!
Running Back
Hits
Misses
Thomas Jones, Jets @ BUF – I guess they’ve improved a bit following their week nine BYE, but the Bills are still giving up double-digit fantasy points to opposing running backs on a weekly basis. The Jets completely dominated them in week six and while they may not rack up over 300 yards on the ground this week, T-Jones should still have a solid game. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs DAL – Like Moreno (see “hits”,) Jacobs also hasn’t hit the 100 yard mark all year. The difference though is that he probably won’t do it this week either. The Cowboys have been awesome against the run lately and haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown or 100-yard rusher in five weeks.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers vs OAK – The Raiders have only prevented opposing running backs from hitting the century mark twice all season (and in one of those they still gave up two touchdowns to the Chargers.) They’ve been torched for 196 and 159 yards in the past two games and with a slightly-concussed Big Ben behind center, the Steelers may be more apt to run the ball. Kevin Smith, Lions @ CIN – Smith is only really valuable if he catches a few passes, as he’s usually only good for about 40-60 rushing yards per game. This week though he plays a Bengals team that has completely shut down opposing running backs the past three games. Expect Smith to make it a fourth game.
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos @ KC – Moreno is still looking for his first 100 yard game and this could be the week, against a Chiefs defense that’s given up over 20 fantasy points to opposing running backs in five straight weeks! Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs MIN – Just look at the rushing yards the Vikings have given up the past six games: 81, 85, 38, 65, 9, 27. The Cardinals are not the best running team in the league and if Hightower doesn’t catch a few passes out of the backfield, he’ll be in for a very disappointing day.
Wide Receiver
Hits
Misses
Chad Ochocinco, Bengals vs DET – The Lions have given up big-time yardage to opposing receivers over the past few games and with Ochocinco shooting off his mouth for the team to open up the passing game, I think the same will happen again this week. If the Browns receivers can rack up 240 yards and three touchdowns, the Bengals wide-outs should have a solid game. Terrell Owens, Bills vs NYJ – If Darrelle Revis had a fighter jet, he’d probably have the following names etched on to the side: Andre Johnson, Randy Moss (twice!), Marques Colston, Steve Smith (CAR) and Terrell Owens (once already this year.) Pretty impressive resume for the youngster and not someone I want my receiver matching up with with the playoffs on the line. Even though the T.O. of old seems to have come back from the dead, expect him to climb back in the grave this week.
Jeremy Maclin, Eagles @ ATL – With DeSean Jackson most likely out with a concussion, Maclin becomes Donovan McNabb’s number one target in a game where the Eagles should pass the ball a lot…since the Falcons just aren’t that good against the pass. Calvin Johnson, Lions @ CIN – Although they haven’t faced the greatest wide receivers the league has to offer over the past few weeks, the Bengals have been solid against the pass all year and should give Megatron all he can handle this weekend.
Steve Smith, Panthers vs TB – This is probably wishful thinking (he’s on one of my playoff-hopeful teams,) but in the past when Matt Moore has started for the Panthers, he has looked Smith’s way often. I heard a rumor that he has a knack for throwing the deep ball…which is Steve Smith’s specialty. Roddy White, Falcons vs PHI – Somehow the Redskins receivers racked up 143 yards and a score against the Eagles defense this past weekend, but before that Philly had shut down both the Chargers and Bears wide-outs. With Chris Redman at the helm for the Falcons again, expect a rough day for White (even though he did alright last week against Tampa Bay…but it’s Tampa Bay.)
Tight End
Hits
Misses
Tony Scheffler, Broncos @ KC – I’m taking a bit of a risk on this one, but the Chiefs have been pretty bad against the tight end position the past two weeks, giving up a combined 16 receptions, 231 yards and three touchdowns to the likes of Heath Miller and Antonio Gates. Zach Miller, Raiders @ PIT – Over the past seven games, the Steelers have given up the following fantasy points to opposing tight ends: 3, 0, 2, 1, 1, 8 (fluke touchdown), and 0.