Bucs QB Josh Freeman (3,003 yards passing, 23 TD) has averaged 303 yards passing and 1.8 touchdowns in his last five home games.
The following countdown details six "start-or-sit" scenarios for Week 14, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.
But, as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.
Enjoy the show...and good luck in the playoffs!
2012 Stats: 888 Yards Passing, 7 TD
Reasons To Start Colin Kaepernick Over Philip Rivers
1. Kaepernick has tallied 250-plus total yards in all three of his career starts for the 49ers. Last week, he accounted for 292 total yards against the Rams.
2. The second-year quarterback's pass attempts have increased with each successive start.
3. In the mold of Cam Newton, Kaepernick has the capacity for 50 rushing yards and one running TD every week.
4. For what it's worth, the 49ers have outscored AFC East opponents by a whopping 79-3 margin this season. (Playing a hunch here.)
2012 Stats: 2,969 Yards Passing, 18 TD
Reasons To Bench Philip Rivers (For Kaepernick)
1. With standard-scoring leagues, Rivers ranks as the No. 18 fantasy quarterback—a sizable drop from last year's No. 7 status.
2. The Steelers currently have the NFL's No. 1 pass defense, allowing only 166.7 yards per game.
3. Against AFC North foes this season (three outings), Rivers has averaged 181 yards passing and 0.3 TDs.
2012 Stats: 48 Total Yards (29 Rushing)
Reasons To Start Montell Owens Over Reggie Bush
1. Filling in for the injured Rashad Jennings last week, Owens racked up 40 total yards on eight touches against the Bills.
2. With Jennings and Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) on the sidelines, the tailback-thin Jaguars might feature Owens 20 times per game over the next four weeks.
3. The Jets currently have the NFL's 20th-ranked rush defense, allowing 130 yards per outing.
2012 Stats: 915 Total Yards (726 Rushing), 5 TD
Reasons To Bench Reggie Bush (For Owens)
1. Bush hasn't totaled 100 yards in any of his last 10 games.
2. The Dolphins back has logged only 47 touches since Week 10. His running mate, Daniel Thomas, had 37 touches in that span.
3. The 49ers currently rank as the NFL's No. 3 rush defense, surrendering just 90.6 yards per outing.
2012 Stats: 50 Catches, 561 Yards, 3 TD
Reasons To Start Brandon Lloyd Over Dwayne Bowe
Like this nation's first president, George Washington, I cannot tell a lie: On seasonal numbers alone, Lloyd does not warrant a regular recommendation in traditional 12-team leagues.
But here's my case for a one-time start:
1. In their last three games, the Texans have surrendered 1,104 yards passing (opposing QBs—Chad Henne, Matthew Stafford, Jake Locker), easily the highest three-game tally of any defense in that span.
2. Houston favors press coverage, which should help the elusive Lloyd get free on deep routes.
3. For what it's worth, Lloyd (then with the Broncos) rolled for five catches and 111 yards in his last meeting with the Texans (December 2010).
2012 Stats: 57 Catches, 731 Yards, 3 TD
Reasons To Bench Dwayne Bowe (For Lloyd)
1. Bowe hasn't found the end zone in eight straight games, the second-longest scoreless streak of his career.
2. Since Week 5, Bowe has averaged only 4.5 catches and 48 yards per contest.
3. The way things are progressing, or regressing with the Chiefs, Bowe will likely fall short of last year's output in catches (81), receiving yards (1,159) and touchdowns (five).
2012 Stats: 41 Catches, 448 Yards, 2 TD
Reasons To Start Jermichael Finley Over Jared Cook
1. Of his last six outings against the Lions, Finley has scored a touchdown four times.
2. In Week 13 against the Vikings, Finley caught six balls for 60 yards.
3. Finley has accounted for 10 TDs in his last 28 games.
4. With Jordy Nelson (hamstring) likely sidelined against Detroit, Finley should be a priority in the Packers' game plan.
2012 Stats: 41 Catches, 503 Yards, 3 TD
Reasons To Bench Jared Cook (For Finley)
1. Jared Cook posted a season-high 12 targets last week...but caught only four balls.
2. On the road this season (five games), Cook has middling averages of 3.6 catches, 34 yards and 0.4 TDs per outing.
3. For what it's worth, Cook has never scored a touchdown against the Colts.
2012 Stats: 3,003 Yards Passing, 23 TD
Reasons To Start Josh Freeman Over Jay Cutler
1. For the season, Josh Freeman ranks as the No. 14 quarterback in standard-scoring leagues.
2. Through 12 games, Freeman has either thrown for 299 yards or multiple touchdowns nine times.
3. In his last five home games, Freeman boasts per-outing averages of 303 yards passing and 1.8 TDs.
4. The Eagles have allowed 195 points in their last six games for an average of 32.5 per outing.
2012 Stats: 2,235 Yards Passing, 15 TD
Reasons To Bench Jay Cutler (For Freeman)
1. With standard-scoring leagues, Cutler ranks as the No. 19 fantasy quarterback (points per outing).
2. Against the Vikings two weeks ago, Cutler threw for only 188 yards and one touchdown.
3. In two career trips to the venerable Metrodome, Cutler has not passed for 200 yards or more. (To be fair, he has four TDs.)
2012 Stats: 52 Catches, 822 Yards, 4 TD
Reasons To Start Lance Moore Over Jeremy Maclin
1. For the season, Moore has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown seven times.
2. Moore already has four outings of double-digit targets.
3. The Saints wideout may be the NFL's premier No. 4 passing option on a club (sharing touches with Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Darren Sproles).
4. Against the Giants last year, Moore racked up five catches, 54 yards and two scores.
2012 Stats: 57 Catches, 731 Yards, 3 TD
Reasons To Bench Jeremy Maclin (For Moore)
1. Maclin is off the pace of last year's output in catches (63) and receiving yards (859). He's no lock to eclipse the 2011 TD tally (five), either.
2. In Nick Foles' three starts with Philly, Maclin has a deflating total of eight catches and 93 yards (with zero scores).
3. Philly's offensive focus has quickly shifted to the running game and rookie Bryce Brown, who has accounted for 372 total yards and four TDs in the last two weeks.