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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 14

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Josh Freeman vs. PHI

Freeman is often lost among elite fantasy quarterbacks as he hasn't thrown for more than 300 yards in the last six games, which is almost unheard of now in the pass happy NFL. However, Freeman has no trouble finding the endzone as he has multiple touchdown passes in seven of his last eight games, and this should continue this week against the Eagles. The Eagles are 31st in the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and have allowed multiple touchdown passes in six straight games. Freeman should be on target to be one of the better quarterback plays in Week 14.

Knowshon Moreno vs. OAK

Moreno has 20 carries in each of the last two games, and while he hasn't been spectacular, he has gained a respectable 154 yards, and this week faces the best matchup since he gained the starting job after the injury to Willis McGahee. The Raiders are surrendering the second most fantasy points to running backs and have allowed at least one rushing touchdown in their last five games. Also, they gave up 153 yards on the ground to Denver running backs in Week 4. Moreno should be productive enough to be a decent RB2 in Week 14.

Michael Turner vs. CAR

While Turner has just 143 yards in his last three games, he has gotten into the endzone in each game and has been fantasy relevant in four of his last five games despite averaging just 3.6 yards per carry in that time. Turner should continue to make his fantasy owners happy this week against the Panthers. The Panthers allow the sixth most fantasy points to running backs, and Turner had 171 total yards and a touchdown in his Week 4 matchup. Look for Turner to put up better numbers on the ground and have a good shot to get in the endzone for the fourth straight game on Sunday.

Lance Moore vs. NYG

Moore doesn't get in the endzone much for such a high volume passing team like the Saints, but he has played well recently, and has excelled in his three best matchups of the season catching 17 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. This week, Moore has an excellent matchup against a struggling Giants secondary. The Giants have allowed the fifth most points to fantasy wide receivers this season and for the most part have struggled against top-level quarterbacks this season. Look for a big bounce game from Drew Brees and for Moore to be on of the major beneficiaries in Week 14.

Torrey Smith vs. WAS

Despite 28 targets in the last three weeks, Smith has only 11 catches and seven came against the Chargers in Week 12. Smith still appears to be Joe Flacco's favorite target, and this week's matchup should get Smith back on target. The Redskins have been awful against receivers and for the season allow the second most fantasy points to the position. Smith has six of his seven touchdowns in the best four matchups he has faced, and statistically this is the best matchup Smith has all season.


Philip Rivers vs. PIT

Rivers threw for 280 yards last week but was held without a touchdown in a loss to the Bengals and hasn't had a big fantasy output since Week 10 against Tampa. This week figures to be a challenge against a Steelers defense ranked first in fewest fantasy points allowed to the quarterback. The Steelers haven't allowed more than 200 yards passing since Week 6. Rivers definitely should be on your bench this week as he doesn't project to do much to help fantasy owners.

Russell Wilson vs. ARI

While Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have garnered most of the headlines regarding rookie quarterbacks, it could be argued that in the last five weeks Wilson has been as good as either. Wilson has thrown for 11 touchdowns and just one interception in the time. This week should be a big test for Wilson against the Cardinals. While the Cardinals offense has been terrible recently, the pass defense ranks third against fantasy quarterbacks and held Wilson to just 153 yards and a touchdown in their previous meeting. While Wilson should exceed those pedestrian numbers, he probably won't have to throw due to the poor Cardinals offense, so don't expect huge production from this promising rookie this week.

Darren McFadden vs. DEN

At press time, McFadden (ankle) is expected to play and will most likely get the bulk of the work due to the injuries of the other Raiders running backs. McFadden has been a major disappointment this season even when healthy and doesn't figure to get back on track this week against the Broncos. The Broncos rank as the sixth toughest team against fantasy running backs, but have been especially good lately holding the running back position to fewer than 90 yards in six of the last seven games. While McFadden looks to get the start for the Raiders, he definitely should be a bench for fantasy owners.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. SEA

Fitzgerald's play has been anemic lately, but the quarterback play certainly hasn't helped as he hasn't caught more than half of his targets since Week 7 and is on a three-game streak of catching only five of his last 22 targets. This week, Fitzgerald has a tough matchup, even if he had an NFL caliber quarterback throwing to him as he faces Seattle. The Seahawks rank second in the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, and it is almost impossible to see Fitzgerald doing anything fantasy worthy against this defense with the level of quarterbacking he has.

Jermaine Gresham vs. DAL

Unlike Fitzgerald, Gresham is on pace to have career highs in all major receiving categories this season. This week, Gresham faces a tough matchup in the Cowboys. The Cowboys rank seventh in fewest fantasy points allowed to tight ends and have given up seven or fewer fantasy points in standard leagues in all but one game since Week 2. Gresham may be too good to bench unless your deep at tight end, but don't be surprised if Gresham has his worst game since Week 7

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