With many of you out there in Bruno Boys Nation getting set for Round 1 of your fantasy football playoffs and the rest still vying for a playoff spot, we want to make sure you enter Sunday knowing what players we feel you should play with caution.
Obviously it’s your team and your gut, so you are the final decision makers, but if these guys fail to get the job done for your fantasy squad don’t say the Bruno Boys didn’t tell you so.
With that being said the Bruno Boys present the Fantasy Football Week 14 Sit Ems .
QUARTERBACKS – SIT ‘EM
Bruce Gradkowski (Oakland Raiders) vs. Washington
Even though Drew Brees shredded the Washington Redskins defense in Week 13 (let’s be real, who hasn’t he been able to beat?) , Gradkowski’s chances are much more slim.
Granted, the new quarterback in Oakland has been infinitely better than his counterpart JaMarcus Russell while leading the Raiders to upsets over two good clubs (Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers ) , he still is a 26-year old journeyman.
Through 25 career games Gradkowski has just 15 touchdown passes against 25 turnovers and this match-up against the fifth ranked Redskins pass defense will be no easy task.
After getting scorched by Drew Brees for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 13, the Redskins are still only allowing 11.4 points to opposing QBs, so we think Gradkowski’s luck may be running out.
Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Buffalo
While we believe that Jamaal Charles should flourish against the 32nd ranked Buffalo Bills run defense, quite the contrary is true with quarterback Matt Cassel .
The Bills have only allowed 10 passing touchdowns against 21 interceptions through 12 games this season, and Cassel is without his top threat, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe .
Make no mistake, Chris Chambers has filled in admirably, it’s no secret that Bowe was Cassel’s go to guy through the first 10 weeks of the season. Since the loss of Bowe, Cassel has just three TD passes while turning the football over five times.
With the Chiefs focusing on pounding the football, and Cassel being turnover prone of late, it will likely lead to Cassel being used as a game managing quarterback with little fantasy value.
Potential Bust Pick of the Week
Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego
Romo has been one of the better options at the quarterback position for the past two weeks totaling 701 passing yards and 5 touchdowns compared to 0 INTs. These statistics are great if you had the guts to rely on him during crunch-time, but his inconsistent play in the month of December has red flag written all over it.
The San Diego Chargers only allow fantasy football quarterbacks to score 11.4 points per contest (16 TD:11 INT) in standard scoring leagues.
With this game against San Diego expected to be a shoot-out in Arlington it might be tough to sit a quarterback of Romo’s ability but keep in mind the signal caller has just 17 touchdown passes to 24 turnovers in just 14 career December games.
RUNNING BACKS – SIT ‘EM
Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Minnesota
This recommendation isn’t for everyone out there reading this. This is for those fantasy owners who drafted the likes of Adrian Peterson and Thomas Jones and snagged Benson late in the draft only to see him shine.
It’s hard to place a running back as a sit ‘em who has carried so many fantasy football teams to the playoffs in 2009. Benson is a workhorse and proved that by having warrior-like 38 touches coming off a hip injury against the Detroit Lions in Week 13.
This Minnesota Vikings front four is not the Lions though, and they don’t allow opposing running backs much room to maneuver.
Last week, the Arizona Cardinals rushers netted 78 yards on 19 carries for 4.1 yards per carry (YPC) , but failed to score. In fact, the Vikings have only allowed three rushing touchdowns in 12 games this season and this statistic alone is enough to make owners’ think twice about Benson.
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay
As expected, Forte was able to 96 total yards and a touchdown last week in the Bear victory over the St. Louis Rams , but the fact is, the second year running back out of Tulane has played nowhere near his “potential.”
The 2008 version of Forte, in which he totaled 1,715 yards and 12 touchdowns, is not the same one that we’ve seen in 2009 (1,072 total yards, four touchdowns) , and the Green Bay Packers are not the match-up that makes Forte a viable start.
The Packers rank fourth in the NFL against the run and have allowed under 11 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (standard scoring).
In Week 13, fantasy stud Ray Rice was only able to put up 71 total yards (and a fumble lost) , against the Green Bay on Monday Night.
If Forte is going to score fantasy points this week it’s going to be as a receiver and with Jay Cutler forcing the ball down the field, it’s limited Forte in this department as well. The sure-handed receiver has just nine receptions for 59 yards over the Bears’ last three games.
Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) @ New England
Fresh off a 120-yard and touchdown performance in Week 13 many fantasy football owners will be tempted to start Stewart…but they shouldn’t.
Stewart is in the midst of nursing an Achilles injury and fellow running back DeAngelo Williams has practiced this week and is on track to play in Week 14 against the New England Patriots .
Couple that bad news with the fact that the Patriots are stingy against the run, and you have a Bruno Boys sit ‘em for Week 14. The Patriots have allowed just eight total touchdowns to opposing running backs (3 rushing, 4 receiving, 1 passing) , and with Jonathan Stewart not being much of a receiver, we don’t like his chances of scoring a touchdown.
When all is said and done, with Williams returning, Stewart will likely be getting around 40 percent of the touches for Carolina and he’s not a worthwhile start in New England.
WIDE RECEIVERS – SIT ‘EM
Mario Manningham & Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia
Steve Smith has proven that he is a must-start in New York because of his flat-out consistency. Manningham and Nicks on the other hand are WR3 with upside when the match-up is right.
This week, the match-up is far from ideal. The Philadelphia Eagles are 10th in the NFL at defending the pass allowing 205 yards per game, and have allowed 18 TDs against 20 INTs.
Their biggest strength however is in not allowing the long pass play (which Nicks heavily relies on), as they’ve only allowed three 40+ yard pass plays this season.
Unless you are depleted at the wide out position, your best bet for the remainder of the season is to stay away from all wide receivers in New York except for Smith.
Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati
As strange as it was to say early in the season, the Cincinnati Bengals defense has been a top-10 unit in shutting down the pass and believe it not they rank No.1 in the NFL in points allowed.
To put these numbers in a fantasy football perspective, the Bengals have allowed just six wide receiver touchdowns all season (third best in the NFL), and less than 15 fantasy points per game to opposing teams' wide outs.
Harvin has been on an absolute tear the past three weeks averaging 86 yards and a touchdown so it’s hard to sit the rookie at this stage of the season.
However, the match-up is a tough one and Harvin has missed three straight days of practice with a migraine headache.
The rookie has been a reliable source of points for much of the season, and the Vikings do sport a high-powered offense, but as we said prior, the Bengals have a stingy pass defense.
You can beat the Bengals by spreading the ball around and with Brett Favre having play-makers all over the field, this could be the week the rookie struggles.
Roy Williams (Dallas Cowboys) vs. San Diego
Williams was able to post phenomenal numbers last weekend with 60 yards and two receiving touchdowns in a loss to the New York Giants.
These big games come from time to time with Williams, but his level of consistency is third best, behind Miles Austin and Jason Witten, on the Cowboys receiving corps.
The San Diego Chargers passing defense has been vulnerable all season long and they do allow 17.6 fantasy points per game to the opposing wide outs, but with Austin and Witten likely seeing the majority of targets from quarterback Tony Romo, Williams could be in for a dud of a week.
With plenty of points expect to be scored this week many fantasy owners expect him to imitate his Week 13 performance…don’t be one of them.
TIGHT ENDS – SIT ‘EM
Fred Davis (Washington Redskins) @ Oakland
Davis has provided some relief to fantasy football owners who had earlier in the season lost Chris Cooley and/or Owen Daniels to season-ending injuries.
His 10 & 11-point games in Weeks 12 & 13 proved that he could be a valuable asset to your team down the stretch run. But just as we mentioned last weekend, tight ends going against the Oakland Raiders find little opportunity to post solid numbers.
The Raiders are the ONLY team in the NFL to not allow a tight end to find pay dirt on them and they allow less than four points per contest to the tight end position.
Davis has been noteworthy of late but don’t expect the second year tight end to make it three straight weeks with double-digit fantasy football points.
KICKERS – SIT ‘EM
Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay
Call it skill or luck, we’re thinking more luck, but the Green Bay Packers do not allow kickers to score points on them. They have only allowed nine field goals this entire season, and kickers have averaged 4.6 points against Green Bay in standard scoring fantasy football leagues.
Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff posted a whopping two points on them in Week 13, Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson racked up four points in Week 12, and San Francisco 49ers Joe Nedney scored six points in Week 11. The list keeps on going and as you can see, the numbers don’t lie, so don’t start Gould.
DEFENSES – SIT ‘EM
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST @ Minnesota
The Bengals have been a reliable option lately playing while playing the likes of the Oakland Raiders , Cleveland Browns , and Detroit Lions in successive weeks. This week, however, they won’t be lining up opposite a cupcake offense.
In Week 14, the Bengals have the daunting take of taking on a Minnesota Vikings offense that ranks second in the NFL in scoring at almost 30 points per game, fifth in total yards at 384 per game, and the Vikings as a team have thrown a league low six interceptions.
As you can see, in Week 14, there isn’t much to like about a Cincinnati defense that ranks first in the NFL in points allowed but has yet to take on an offense that is as explosive as the Vikings.
Your best bet is to take a flier on a defense that doesn’t have the statistics to maybe rival the Bengals but has a better match-up.
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THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY JACOB LERMAN.