James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for well over a decade. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers fantasy sections, as well as the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz fantasy basketball sections in the NBA. Last season James finished with an 82 percent accuracy rating for fantasy predictions and will be here to answer any questions you may have about your specific team. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
First and foremost let me say that my prayers go out to WR Chris Henry. Since I also write the Bengals fantasy section, I can say that Henry had come a long way since his rookie year and he was well on his way to becoming a quality NFL receiver. Rest In Peace Chris!
Hopefully you listened to my advice last week as I went 15-for-16 on my picks and you are now either in the semifinals or the finals depending on your league setup. I am getting a lot of emails asking if owners should sit Saints or Colts players now that they have locked up their playoff spots and the answer is no. Both teams are going for perfect seasons and as long as the hope is alive, you will want to play the respective players as if this was Week 5 instead of Week 15. Remember, now is not the time to get cute ... keep doing what you've done to get you here.
Kurt Warner: Last week Warner completed just 16 of 29 passes for 178 yards, with two interceptions and two fumbles. Because of last week's terrible performance many people are worried about this week, but playing the Detroit Lions has a way or turning seasons around and I have Warner slotted in my top 3 for QBs this week.
Brady Quinn: Quinn and the lowly Browns go up against the 24th-ranked Chiefs pass defense this weekend and I could see him finish with stats worthy of QB2 status. I would only play him in 2 QB leagues, but he is a better option than guys like Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.
Jamaal Charles: Charles is the rare diamond in the rough that fantasy owners are always searching for. Last weekend I told you to start him and he rumbled for 143 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and caught seven passes for 38 yards. I expect more of the same this weekend against the 29th-ranked Browns run defense.
Laurence Maroney: Maroney has eight touchdowns this season and ran 22 times for 94 yards last week. With the Patriots going up against the Bills and their last-ranked run defense, I expect 100+ yards and a score from Maroney. He is a very solid RB2.
Sidney Rice: Rice is to Minnesota what Sterling Sharpe was to Green Bay: Brett Favre's man-crush. Rice has 1075 receiving yards with 5 TDs this season, so even though the Panthers are ranked sixth against the pass I think Rice and Favre will rack up the stats and he will finish as a WR1 this weekend.
Robert Meachem: The Saints are still looking to run the table, but once the 21st-ranked Cowboys pass defense lets this game get out of control, I think Meachem will see his fair share of receptions and maybe a touchdown or two.
Jason Witten: Witten has been a major fantasy bust this season, but the Saints secondary is not nearly the same as it was when the 2009 season kicked off. New Orleans allows 235.6 passing YPG and that is 23rd in the NFL, so this is a week where I could see Witten as a top 5 fantasy TE.
Arizona Cardinals Defense: The Cardinals actually top my list of fantasy defenses this week as they face a Detroit Lions offense that is down to a weak backup RB, a rookie QB, and a WR corps that has Calvin Johnson and some no-names along side of him. I'm predicting the Cardinals as the No. 1 ranked defense when this week is over.
Jay Cutler: Speaking of Cutler, you will want to drop him if you haven't already. The Bears offense is in shambles and everyone is suffering. If you happen to own Cutler for some unknown reason, do not play him against a tough Ravens defense that allows just 208.2 passing YPG this season.
Eli Manning: The Giants are in a dogfight with the Cowboys and Eagles for a playoff spot, but this weekend they face the division rival Washington Redskins. The Redskins happen to be ranked fourth in pass defense and Eli Manning has shown he can be rattled. I'd find another option if you can.
LaDainian Tomlinson: The Bengals are ranked third against the run and while LT is having a solid fantasy season, it is due to the touchdowns instead of the yards. This week I think the TD streak comes to an end and he is not going to be the RB1 you drafted.
Arian Foster: When news broke this week that Foster would be featured in the final few games, people ran to the waiver wire and picked up Foster hoping to have another Charles on their team. The problem with Foster is the rookie hadn't seen a single carry before last weekend and he averaged just 2.6 YPC in his career debut. Don't get too excited here, the Texans are a passing team.
Dwayne Bowe: Bowe is reported to be on track to resume his WR1 role with the Chiefs now that he is back from his four-game suspension. The problem is that Matt Cassel has 13 TDs to go with his 13 INTs, and that doesn't bode well for Bowe's chances of success in his first game back.
Mike Sims-Walker: I am a big fan of Sims-Walker, but he is coming off calf and knee injuries and the Colts are a tough matchup to have in a short week as the Jaguars play this week's Thursday night game. David Garrard is up and down with his stats and this is win or go home time for fantasy football.
Kevin Boss: Boss is a true all-or-nothing play for fantasy owners. In Week 11 he finished with 76 yards and 2 TDs. Then in Weeks 12 and 13 he had a total of 32 receiving yards. Washington has a great pass defense and I wouldn't want to take the risk of playing Boss this weekend.
Miami Dolphins Defense: The Dolphins have the impossible task of trying to slow down Chris Johnson and the rest of the resurging Tennessee Titans offense. I don't think Vince Young is the answer at QB, but I know Johnson can take over a game and kill fantasy defenses on his own, which means I am going to avoid the Dolphins this weekend.
Q: Thank you so much for all your help last week in helping me set my lineup. Your advice about picking up the Tennessee Titans D propelled me into the second round in a most improbable way! In true Alcoa 'Fantastic Finish' format (if those were still around) I led by 9 going Sunday night with no players remaining while my opponent had 2. His Giants D layed an egg and Larry Fitzgerald had a season-worst game as Kurt Warner & Co gave up 7 turnovers. A miracle victory and my friend is still speechless on how he lost to me. Onto this week's crucial action to get me to the Super Bowl! My opponent has Schaub and Chris Johnson. So every point is going to have to count. I am down to deliberating kickers. (My current planned starters are in bold)
QB: Brett Favre, (alternate Orton though Orton is tough to sit with his matchup vs OAK)
RB: Knowshon Moreno, LaDainian Tomlinson (alternates Mendenhall & Moats)
WR: Miles Austin, Sidney Rice (Yes they were waiver wire pickups early this season!)
Flex: Robert Meachem (alternates Mendenhall (I don't like his matchup vs. GB))
TE: Jermichael Finley (alternate Kevin Boss)
DEF: Seattle Seahawks vs. TB (Alternate is Cincy D vs SD, but don't like matchup)
Kicker: Rob Bironas vs. MIA (alternate Garret Hartley vs. DAL)
What do you think of my lineup?
--Ed in Fairfield, CT
A: First, thank you for reading the article and for the great feedback! Now, about the lineup. I think you have it about right. Mendenhall and the Steelers are really slumping and I don't want to take a chance on him when I need to win to have a shot at the league title. Moats on the other hand has lost his job to a rookie that hadn't played before last weekend.
The changes I would make are Boss instead of Finley and Hartley instead of Bironas. I am not a fan of Boss this weekend, but I would give him a shot before I would Finley because the Steelers are hungry for a win and Finley has been targeted more than any other Packers receiver over the last four weeks, which means he is due for a bad game. I normally don't get into the kicker talk, but Hartley is going to get some FGs once this game gets out of control, whereas I think the Titans-Dolphins game will be a close one.