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Payne's Perspective: Sammy in St. Louis

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Week 15 will probably be remembered as a payback week for players that burnt their former teams. Marshawn Lynch had 127 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against the Bills, Randy Moss had two catches for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots and Mike Tolbert had 64 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the Chargers. Lynch's teammate Russell Wilson had a historically good game after rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for another in a game played in Canada. In case you hadn't heard, the Seahawks have scored 108 points over their last two games and don't look like a team anyone will want to play in the playoffs. The NFC East now has a three-way tie for first and suddenly the Giants aren't looking as good as they were a few weeks ago. The Patriots' loss proves that there aren't too many dominant teams in the league past the Denver Broncos. The pickings on the waiver wire are slim this week as most leagues head into their championship game Week 16, but there might still be some diamonds in the rough to consider.


Kirk Cousins, WAS -
We should probably believe a teammate (Pierre Garcon) over a father with regard to the injury status of a player (Robert Griffin III). Cousins turned in an outstanding game as this continues to be the year of the rookie quarterback, throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins ran for 22 yards, adding in a couple of extra fantasy points, and has a good matchup this week against the Eagles. Especially in two quarterback leagues, Cousin is worth a flier for this week, just check Griffin's status throughout the week.

Sam Bradford, STL -
It's easy to recommend a quarterback coming off a game of 377 passing yards and three touchdowns. However, there is more to this recommendation than a stellar Week 15 performance. The matchup for Bradford this week doesn't get any better than a Tampa Bay team that is giving up a league-high 311 passing yards per game. Bradford has seen his young receiving options - Lance Kendricks, Chris Givens, Brandon Gibson and Brian Quick mature as the season has progressed and this probably is the best receiving group he's had in the NFL. Think of him as a plug-and-play if your quarterback has a bad matchup or if you're looking for a cheap player in salary cap leagues.


Curtis Brinkley, SD -
Death, taxes and Ryan Mathews is hurt yet again. Mathews is done for the season after breaking his collarbone, the most commonly broken bone in the human body. Brinkley took his place and finished the game with six carries for 42 yards and three catches for 14 yards, most of which took place during garbage time. it's hard to have a clear view of how the Chargers will divide up the touches in their backfield, and Jackie Battle could vulture goal-line carries. However, judging by the usage from Sunday, Brinkley looks like he'll be used the most out of any of the San Diego running backs.

Mike Tolbert, CAR -
Tolbert doubled his season total for touchdowns Sunday with two scores coming at the goal line, making him a valuable add in touchdown-only and standard formats. Jonathan Stewart is dealing with an ankle injury, and there isn't a reason to rush him back. Carolina has moved the ball well lately, scoring at least 21 points in each of their last five games. Tolbert could be in for more scoring this week with a favorable home matchup against the Raiders.

Danny Woodhead, NE -
Stevan Ridley only saw one snap after fumbling in the third quarter as the Patriots utilized Woodhead in an attempt to play catch-up against the 49ers. Woodhead finished with two touchdowns and 84 yards from scrimmage while being targeted 10 times by Tom Brady. It's unclear if Woodhead will get extra touches this week against Jacksonville after Ridley and Shane Vereen both coughed up the football. That could be the possibility considering how much BenJarvus Green-Ellis was heavily used due to his lack of fumbling. See if there is any indication in practice this week that Woodhead will be more involved.

Dexter McCluster, KC -
It doesn't make a ton of sense that with Dwayne Bowe out a guy like Steve Breaston wasn't even active. In these cases it also doesn't make a ton of sense to even waste a roster spot on a player like that. The lack of either Breaston or Bowe being on the field Sunday ended up benefiting McCluster, who finished with seven catches for 59 yards on 10 targets. It's hard to have any faith in the Chiefs passing game, but if there's one player to gamble on in PPR formats, it's McCluster.


Joseph Morgan, NO -
It's never bad for your fantasy wide receiver to have Drew Brees throwing him the ball, and for the second straight week Morgan had more than 10 fantasy points in standard formats. I hesitate in recommending Morgan only due to the fact that he hasn't had more than three targets in any game this season. His presence likely will make Devery Henderson expendable, and Morgan will gain a lot of sleeper hype heading into next season. Just realize that Morgan is a gamble as a boom-or-bust type of play.


Dennis Pitta, BAL -
On a day where both Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith and Ray Rice disappointed fantasy owners, Pitta turned in the best game of his young career. He finished with seven catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns and now has five touchdowns over his last six games. Another factor that could be working in Pitta's favor this week is that Torrey Smith is dealing with a concussion and may not suit up for Sunday's tilt against the Giants. That means Pitta could approach double-digit targets again this week.

Follow @KCPayne26 on Twitter.