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Fantasy Football Week #15: We Are Starting The Deep Playoff Run

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We are into the playoffs and if you are still alive congratulations. For those of you who are out of the running may I suggest a weekly league on line to help extend your enjoyment. Either way here is the weekly look at what is in store for fantasy football.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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Quarterbacks

Start

Carson Palmer - By now readers have probably figured out that Palmer has been my go-to passer this season and for good reason. It seems like every week Carson is putting another 20-point performance on the board. Having a guy that you can rely on to be consistently productive it a good way to find success in any fantasy sport. This week Palmer has an added plus as he faces a Philadelphia defense that also seems good for 20-point per performance outings. The Eagles have averaged that many points surrendered to the QB position this season. Guess who I am building my FanDuel lineup around this week?

Matthew Stafford - If I recall correctly I told you last week to sit Stafford and to hold out one week because the Saints were next up for him and the Lions. The Saints have given up over 24 points per contest to enemy passers this year and they have allowed more passing touchdowns than any other unit in the league. True to my word, I have Matthew Stafford on my start list this weekend.

Alex Smith - Alex Smith is not a guy I am comfortable with. In all honesty I do not care for his game but he is also prone the the effects of a match up. The Chiefs have the Ravens and their terrible pass defense this week. That is what makes Alex a bargain this week for weekly league players. If you can get Smith on the cheap and steal points with him plus pad your roster at other positions then go for it.

Sit

Eli Manning - Usually I like to throw out a must start of the week. This week I am giving you a must sit player; Mr. Eli Manning. It have nothing to do with any bias toward our division rivals in the Big Apple, this weekend's contest is going to be a nightmare for Manning. Josh Norman on Odell Beckham, Jr should be interesting to watch and I suspect each will win some battles, but with his biggest threat playing in such a match up Manning does not have much else to work with.

Sam Bradford - Remember what I said about Carson Palmer and this contest being a great match up for him. The opposite is true for his counterpart in green. Bradford faces one of the better pass defending defenses in the league and he does so at the helm of one of the league's most disappointing offenses.

Running Backs

Start

Lamar Miller - I am not going to say San Diego's run defense is so bad that I could run on them, but most NFL backs should find success facing the Chargers. The Bolts are allowing over 22 points per contest to opposing runners this season. and I would not be surprised to see Miller go well over his 15 point per season average this weekend. He too is in my weekly lineup at FanDuel.

Chris Ivory - I suspect that Ivory is looking forward to this one. The Cowboys run defense is almost on par with the Bolts and he knows that in facing the Cowboys, the home folks in around Longview, Texas are all going to be tuned in to watch him play. A combination of good match up and motivation will work in his favor this weekend. Hate to say it but you can bank on Ivory this weekend.

Jeremy Hill - Hill is a good bet to steal you some points this weekend. The Chargers and Cowboys may have their struggles, but the 49ers leave them in the dust when it comes to dismal run defenses. Over the last month the SF defense has allowed an average of over 30 points per game to the position.

Sit

Darren McFadden - Nobody has been happier for McFadden in recent weeks than I, but this will not be a good week for the Dallas RB. The Jets have been the second best team against the run this season and I don't foresee a Matt Cassel led offense as being able to do enough other things well enough to force the Jets to loosen up on the run. If the rest of the cast was playing well, ....

Isaiah Crowell - Anytime a back goes for almost 28 points in a single outing it is a temptation to roll the dice and cash in.  Resist the temptation. This week Mr. Crowell will be returning to earth against a Seattle defense that eats running backs for breakfast. Nobody has been tougher against the run this year, and Crowell is still a rookie playing for a bad offense. He had a game for the scrapbook last week; this week will probably be one for the scrap heap.

Wide Receivers

Start

Doug Baldwin - The Seahawks WR is usually not someone who really shows up on my radar screen, but he has been a touchdown machine in recent weeks and he has the added benefit of facing the Cleveland Browns this weekend. Baldwin is going to come down just a little from the pace that he has been on over the past few weeks, I am certain of that. I am equally certain that the Browns will not be the ones who help him float back down to earth.

Sammy Watkins - Watkins is having a good closing stretch of the season. He has been around the 15 points per outing mark over the past several weeks. Look for that trend to continue against the Washington Redskins. The Skins are among the league's worst pass defenses, so it is a good bet that Watkins can go well above his average.

Golden Tate - I hold a grudge against Mr. Tate, and I will never be a fan, but that does not mean that I would hesitate to take advantage of an opportunity. This weekend he and the Lions will face the defense formerly masterminded by one Rob Ryan when they invade New Orleans. Look for Tate to have a strong outing and improve on his 10 point per game average.

Sit

Odell Beckham, Jr - OK I am not going to put OBJ in the must sit category like I did Manning. The match up he faces against Josh Normal is going to be a good one and I doubt that either man will get the best of the other. Beckham will have a decent day, but there are better points opportunities out there.

Randall Cobb - It's been a tough season for the Packers wideout. He has a match up against the Raiders this week and their pass defense is actually better than many people would guess. Over the past month they've been a stingy unit.

Tight End

Start

Gary Barnidge - The Browns one bright spot this weekend should be the play that their tight end turns in. With Johnny Football back under center the chances are that the Loose Deuce will be looking for Barnidge throughout the game. The pair has combined for some very productive outings when Johnny is not in the doghouse. Add in the fact that Seattle is a pretty good match up for opposing tight ends this season and you have a very good reason to go with Barnidge this weekend.

Sit

Jason Witten - He has become a name rather than a threat in the current Dallas offense. That is not why I am sitting the Senator this weekend, however. The Jets do a very good job of shutting down opposing tight ends. With a healthy Tony Romo and a fully clicking Cowboys O I would still suggest that other options might be a better choice.