Just hours before the start of Week 15, I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver
We all know that Jackson’s season has been inconsistent, to say the least. That said he is coming off a game where he scored a touchdown for the first time since Week 5. Over that span he has appeared in seven games, and this is just the third time that he’s surpassed 50 yards (though they have all come in his past four games).
Now, he runs into the buzz-saw known as Darrelle Revis. We all know that Revis brings shutdown potential, the only question is if Jackson is going to be lining up across from him all day long.
According to David Weinberg of the Press of Atlantic City (click here for the article), “There’s a good chance that he’ll be shadowed by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is widely viewed as the top cover corner in the NFL.”
In other words, consider Jackson a risky play at best. He has potential, but has been shut down by mediocre cornerbacks this season. There’s just no guarantee that he produces.
Deion Branch – New England Patriots – Wide Receiver
Originally listed as questionable, reports from the team’s official Web site now have him as being out for today’s game against the Broncos. Branch has mixed good games with bad this season, which obviously had made him a risky play anyways.
With him out of action, it will likely just mean more throws heading in the direction of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker. Do not look for Chad Ochocinco or Tiquan Underwood to be alternatives if you were looking to use Branch this week.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – Quarterback
He is listed as questionable, though he has been practicing on a limited basis. From what we all know about Roethlisberger, does anyone actually expect him to sit out today’s game against the 49ers?
That said, this is going to be a tough matchup for a quarterback who likely will have limited mobility. The 49ers are in the middle of the pack in sacks with 32, but are also tied for second in the league with 18 interceptions. It definitely makes Roethlisberger a risky proposition, though his presence on the field is going to help to keep Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown as viable receiving options.
Monitor the news, just to be safe, but consider Roethlisberger a low-end QB1, but more of a QB2.
John Skelton – Arizona Cardinals – Quarterback
According to ESPN (click here for the article), “Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton will start Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Saturday. “
Skelton is coming off a solid game against the 49ers, going for 282 yards, three TDs and two INTs. It’s hard to recommend him, given his struggles in Weeks 11 and 12 (he totaled 213 yards, no TDs and five INTs) and a rather tough matchup (Cleveland is allowing just 180.7 passing yards per game and 13 TD). If you need a QB2 then I could see rolling the dice, but that’s about it.
Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – Wide Receiver
The San Francisco Chronicle (click here for the article) is reporting that, “Raiders rookie receiver Denarius Moore practiced for a third straight day and looks set to return to the lineup Sunday for the first time in four weeks. He said it ‘feels good’ to be back with his teammates from a foot injury and that the coaches have been easing him back into things this week.”
The Raiders could definitely use the spark, though I wouldn’t consider Moore’s return something that pushes himself, Carson Palmer and the rest of the Raiders offense into fantasy viability this week. The Lions passing defense is tough and the returning Ndamukung Suh is going to be out to prove a point.
The only Raider that is likely a recommended play would be Michael Bush.
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