If you're reading this, then you've probably made it into your fantasy playoffs. Congrats! When you sat down to draft your team, this is the place that you envisioned yourself. You've arrived. Some didn't.
Moment of silence.
OK. Where were we? Oh yeah.
In an effort to keep you moving to the championship round, I've identified a few stud players who have worked to get you here, but need to be sat this week. Not stopping there, I also wanted to play the Tim Tebow role and give you a read-option. So check out the studs with the bad matchups and the options that you have if you don't want to give the rock to your them.
Bang it below to keep your fantasy team clicking.
Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton has his defense firing on all cylinders right now. They've found their groove. The Cardinals front seven is an attacking bunch and can shut down just about any running back.
Over the past three weeks, the Cardinals have established themselves as one of the top run defenses in the league. Against the 49ers in Week 11, this group held Gore to 3.7 yards per carry; in Week 12, Steven Jackson ran for 3.8 yards per carry, and in Week 13, the Cardinals held the rising star DeMarco Murray to 3.2 yards per carry. They are legit.
This week, Gore will do worse than he did (3.7 YPC) against the Cards in Week 11. Seek help elsewhere.
Marshawn Lynch (Sea) v. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are the lowliest run defense in the league, giving up 157.8 yards per game. Beast Mode will gash the Rams for a buck-50 on the ground and at least one score.
Shonn Greene (NYJ) vs. Kansas City Cheifs
Greene exploded in Week 13 with three rushing touchdowns and should find success against the NFL's 25th ranked run defense this week. While Greene has been disappointing this year given his preseason hype, he will be less disappointing than Wells or Gore this week. While three touchdowns this week is out of the question, 100 yards rushing and a touchdown are not.
And one weekly waiver wonder to consider:
Brandon Saine (GB) vs. Oakland Raiders
This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers are likely to be without the services of starting running back James Starks due to an aggravated ankle injury. Ryan Grant has simply passed his time.
Enter Saine. The Ohio State product is a strong runner and can catch well out of the backfield. In a game that the Packers are sure to control, Saine will be leaned on to run the ball. He could rack up 100 total yards and a score.
This week, the Houston Texans will turn the power off to Green's electricity. The Texans rank third in the league against the pass. The stifling Houston defense will get pressure on rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and cut off his safety value to Green.
While Green has provided a lot of electricity to the Cincinnati area this year, he'll get short-circuited on Sunday.
Here's an alternative to consider:
Titus Young (Det) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Look for young to redeem himself for his bonehead penalty that put the Detroit Lions in a pickle against the New Orleans Saints. With quarterback Matthew Stafford's finger healing, combined with a crippled Vikings secondary that is putting up little resistance, Young is in line for a solid performance.
It's no secret that the San Francisco 49ers are the top run defense in the league. And while you may have heard that The Brick Wall, otherwise known as Patrick Willis, will probably miss the trip to Arizona, the 49ers defense will still shut down Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells.
Wells is a hard runner that tries to buffalo his way over defenders. Just take a look at the picture in this slide. Against inferior foes, he's often successful. The 49ers defense is not one of those foes.
Even without Willis for the second half of the game against the St. Louis Rams, Steven Jackson managed to rush for 19 yards on 10 carries. Jerious Norwood also chipped in on 11 runs and managed the same pathetic 19 yards.
While Wells will probably get more than 19 yards, it may not be too much more.
Here's a guy who will get more:
While the dominant running back on the field between the Dolphins and Eagles with be LeSean McCoy, you shouldn't overlook Miami's Reggie Bush. At the beginning of the season, Bush was determine to prove that he was a featured running back.
In spots this year, he has filled that role. Against the smallish Philly linebackers, Bush will take the featured role on again and produce admirably for your fantasy team.
Since his rookie year, Dwayne Bowe has shown that he is one of the best receivers in the NFL. This year, he's managed to stay relevant in fantasy circles despite having a guy named Tyler Palko throwing to him.
This week, Bowe will be rendered Mr. Irrelevant when he visits Revis Island. Palko has probably already told Bowe that he won't be throwing to him as long as Darrelle Revis is covering him. And yes, Revis will be covering Bowe.
You need to cover yourself and find an alternative to Bowe. Oh, wait. I already did. Here you go:
Torrey Smith (Bal) vs. Indianapolis Colts
The rookie Torrey Smith is hit or miss with respect to his fantasy production. This week, he lines up opposite the Colts defense surrendering the most points in the league. Baltimore will get on the board early and often, and Smith will have at least one of those touchdowns.
And a weekly waiver wire to consider:
Damian Williams (Ten) vs. New Orleans Saints
Over the past six weeks, Williams is averaging 52.0 yards per game. This week, when the Saints come marching to Tennessee, they're going to bring all those points they usually put up in each stadium. The Titans will be forced to throw just to make this one look respectable. Williams will be the beneficiary of the come-from-behind effort the Titans will surely engage in.
See the picture to the left? That's Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden. What does he have tucked away in his arm? A football. Who had it just before him? Ben Roethlisberger. Haden intercepted Roethlisberger and will do it again this Thursday when the two teams match up on Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger has the task of throwing against the top passing defense in the league. That defense is anchored by Haden and will shut Roethlisberger down.
You should shut Roethlisberger down for this week and consider this alternative:
Matt Moore (Mia) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Moore has given more to his fantasy friends since taking over for Chad Henne in Miami. Over the past five weeks, Moore has a 8:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Over that same span, he's tossed the rock for an average of 212.6 yards per game.
On Sunday, the Eagles travel to Sun Life Stadium with their so-so defense that ranks 22nd in the league for points given up. Moore will put points on the board, and if you start him, will put points up for your fantasy team.