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The Finsiders Blog
Fantasy: Week 15 Mid-Week Report
By on December 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

121113_Clay_ThomasJames Morris, our fantasy guru, provides his advice on fantasy football trades as well as providing the latest news and notes to help prepare your team for week 15 of the fantasy football season.

The word is that Lamar Miller’s concussion isn’t too serious as he got some work in at Tuesday’s practice. What makes the situation interesting for fantasy owners is the 105 yards and a touchdown from Daniel Thomas in relief of Miller in week 14. When these two teams played each other back in week 8, Miller lead with 112 total yards, but Thomas managed 52 total yards and a touchdown. Because I expect both backs to play and split carries, it makes it almost impossible to play either. If you play Miller, you are looking more at yards (50-75) than touchdowns since that is his forte; Thomas on the other hand is more likely to get a touchdown since he has 5 on the season compared to Miller’s 2. Play them as flex options this weekend.

Adrian Peterson went down last weekend with a sprained foot, and from what I hear the chances of him playing this weekend are slim. That puts Toby Gerhart in the driver’s seat for carries against an Eagles defense that is in the middle of the pack for fantasy points allowed to RBs (17th in the NFL at 17.7 PPG).

The only WR that I would go grab off the waiver wire this weekend would be the Colts Da’Rick Rogers. Rogers has been someone that has always had the talent to play in the NFL, he just needed to mature off the field. It seems he has found that in Indianapolis with Andrew Luck and company. Now, I can only hope that the Colts have finally given up on Darrius Heyward-Bey and will let Rogers play the big WR role that he is best suited for. I wouldn’t go sticking Rogers into your top-3 WR positions just yet as the Texans have allowed the 6th fewest fantasy points to WRs at 17.1 PPG this season. If you can make it to week 16, and are in a league that plays in week 17, Rogers will pay off as the Chiefs give up 23.9 PPG to WRs (13th most) and the Jaguars give up 24.4 PPG (12th most).

Matt Cassel has looked good enough the last two games to probably keep his starting job even though Christian Ponder has been medically cleared to play. But, looking good enough isn’t the same as looking good. Cassel is average at best (and below average most weeks) as a fantasy quarterback. If/when Peterson is ruled out, Gerhart becomes a legit RB for week 15. I would go grab him right now!

And before anyone asks, no I would not go grab Cordarrelle Patterson and stick him in my line-up. 79 of his 141 yards came on a touchdown last weekend. Let’s say one of the numerous defensive backs he ran around tackles him on that play, the other 4 passes he caught accounted for just 62 yards. If the play in question was held to even a 10 yard gain, that is 72 total yards on 5 catches and no touchdowns. Those numbers would be a LOT closer to his actual value in fantasy terms than the 141 and a TD.

I noticed one well known fantasy website that supplies news and information to Yahoo’s fantasy game suggesting that Jason Campbell is a good pick-up this weekend against the Bears. Something you should consider is that while the Browns are at home, the Bears have given up the 8th fewest fantast points to QBs this season at 18.2 PPG, and the 14th fewest to WRs at 22.6 PPG. Their weakness has been TEs (11th most at 9.1 PPG) and RBs who catch passes (8th most at 26.4 PPG). With Willis McGahee possibly out with a concussion this week that means pass-catching back Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whittaker would split carries for the Browns. The Browns offense centers around one player most weeks in Josh Gordon, and two players some weeks when Jordan Cameron finds openings. If Campbell is looking like an option for you this week… well… I’ll see you in 2014!

Maurice Jones-Drew pulled his hamstring last Thursday night, and is saying that he hopes to practice by Friday. The problem there is hamstrings are extremely trick and it wouldn’t shock me if MJD chooses to let it heal rather than risk further injury with nothing left to play for this season. According to the Jaguars website, Jordan Todman would be the starter on Sunday if MJD can’t go. Todman has a season-high of 31 rushing yards and 43 total carries, so I wouldn’t go rushing to the waiver wire to pick him up. If he looks like a real option for your line-up, see the last sentence in the paragraph above.

As you are all well aware, looking for a TE on the waiver wire past week 3 that can produce is like looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone talks about it, but nobody actually sees it! Dennis Pitta returned last weekend and posted 6 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. For a Tight End, that is waiver wire gold.

Then you have Jacob Tamme, who is flying under the radar but I think can be every bit as important to the Broncos this weekend as Pitta was for the Ravens. Wes Welker went down with a concussion against the Titans, his second in a month. On top of that, the Broncos play Thursday night against the Chargers. With the multiple concussions and the short week, you can scratch Welker from Thursday right now and pencil Tamme into the slot. It wouldn’t shock me if the Broncos (or the league) make Welker pass every test known to man before letting him back on the field.

After Tamme took over for Welker he hauled in 4 passes for 47 yards, not bad for a TE in fantasy football. Rob Gronkowski owners could grab either Tamme or Pitta as plug-n-play options, with Tamme having more value this weekend, and Pitta having more in week 16 if Welker is back.

Can anyone guess what fantasy defense is ranked 9th on over the last month? It is the team I love to hate, the Jacksonville Jaguars. I know, I know, but hear me out here. Last week they held the Texans to 20 points and added 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. The Jaguars take on a Bills team that is 28th in the NFL for passing YPG with 194.2, but 5th in the NFL for rushing YPG with 133.6. When you consider how well the Jaguars defense has played the past month, the idea isn’t all that bad for teams looking to stream a defense this week.

If you want to go with safer options, the Bills (14.5 percent owned) play the Jaguars and the Saints (24.7 percent owned) take on the Rams this weekend.

Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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