James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
Week 13 of the NFL season marks the final regular season week for most fantasy leagues, and the last chance for those bubble teams to make it into the postseason. That makes this week the most important one year-to-date and all the more vital that you pay attention to me now.
The main thing I've noticed in the emails, Twitter messages and Facebook posts is that owners are starting to get cute and go for the longshot players instead of continuing to do what got you here. Why would you bench a starter who is producing for a guy you have a gut feeling on? Fantasy 101 says you play the best player available unless he is hurt or the matchup clearly dictates a benching. Don't get cute; work smart, not hard.
Also, a lot of you keep asking me about guys like Cedric Benson, Jermaine Gresham, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton and whether or not they should be played this weekend. The short answer is no. I wouldn't cut them because they have fantasy gold matchups in Weeks 15 and 16, which is the fantasy championships for most leagues, but I would sit them until then since they have tough matchups. Remember, fantasy football isn't about loyalty; rather, it is a game that we play to win. I am a HUGE A.J. Green fan, and I own him in several leagues. But, his matchups over the next two weeks are brutal and I am sitting him down in favor of less talented WRs who have more favorable games. Play to win or don't play at all!
Matt Moore: Not that Moore is someone you should play if you have a starter in place that has been working for you this season. But, the Dolphins do play the Raiders, who are currently allowing nearly 22 fantasy PPG, and that is bad enough for fourth worst in the NFL. I think Moore can be one of the sneaky QBs this week that finds himself in the QB1 talk.
Carson Palmer: Oakland is in first place in the AFC West, but I think it is more due to a weak division than it is them being that good. That being said, Palmer has brought a new attitude to the Raiders passing attack and the Dolphins are just as bad against the pass as the Raiders are. I think this could be one of those rare games where both QBs are worth starting.
Roy Helu: Those in PPR leagues will want to get Helu in their lineups this weekend for sure. The Jets give up just over 20 PPG to RBs in PPR formats this season, and Helu is really all the Redskins have to count on for offense, so the chances are he will finish as a low-end RB1 or a high-end RB2 this weekend.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Law Firm could have a monster fantasy game this weekend with the Patriots heavily favored against the helpless Colts. If the Patriots get up early, they could turn to the run and that means Mr. Law Firm should have himself an end zone dance or two by the end of the game.
Victor Cruz: Cruz has been huge the last two weeks, hauling in 15 passes for 285 receiving yards and 3 TDs. The Packers are giving up the second-most fantasy points to WRs this season at 25.8 PPG and Cruz is just the type of guy to finish with WR1 numbers. Hakeem Nicks is going to play this weekend, but Cruz is still worth playing and should finish in the WR2 range.
Laurent Robinson: Robinson hasn't been killing it with the yardage totals, but he makes his living in the end zone and he is good at what he does. In the last five weeks he has scored 7 times and this week he gets a Cardinals defense that is giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs at 23.3 PPG.
Aaron Hernandez: Rob Gronkowski has taken the No. 1 spot for the Patriots TEs, but Hernandez is no slouch as he averages 53.3 YPG. The Colts are a team that I think can run the table in reverse this season and the Patriots could set some kind of record if the coaching staff doesn't make Tom Brady take his foot off the pedal around halftime. With that said, I think both Gronkowski and Hernandez are going to be worth playing in all formats.
Atlanta Falcons Defense: All the Falcons have to focus on this weekend is stopping one man: Arian Foster. The Texans are down to their third-string QB in T.J. Yates and recently signed Jake Delhomme if that gives you any indication on how much confidence they have in Yates. I wouldn't come within a country mile of playing Andre Johnson this weekend, but I'd bet the farm on the Falcons defense finishing as a Def1 when the dust settles from Week 13.
Mark Sanchez: Sanchez has been solid the last few weeks as he has developed a nice rapport with Plaxico Burress. That being said, this week the Jets face a tough pass defense in the Redskins. They allow just 17.6 PPG to QBs this season, which is good enough to rank them ninth in the NFL. Sanchez is only an option in two-QB leagues this week.
Joe Flacco: Flacco has topped 300 yards just four times this season and he is coming off a season-low 161 yards last week. This week he draws the Browns and their secondary is giving up just over 13 PPG to QBs, which is tied for the second lowest in the NFL. Say what you will about the Browns, but they are shutting QBs down this season and fantasy owners need to know that heading into the playoffs.
Steven Jackson: SJax is on the downside of his career and has hit the 100-plus yard mark just three times this season. The last two weeks he has failed to gain more than 65 yards on the ground, but what concerns me this week is that he plays the 49ers and their No. 1-ranked run defense in fantasy leagues. Keep him as far away from your fantasy team as possible this week.
Reggie Bush: Bush has a favorable matchup this week against the Raiders, but he now has Daniel Thomas stealing touches and he failed to hit 100 yards of total offense last week. I think he is a boom-or-bust play this week, but with Moore starting for me I tend to think Bush is a PPR flex play and standard scoring sit for Week 13.
Reggie Wayne: Some fantasy owners have gotten the idea of playing Wayne this weekend since the Patriots give up the most fantasy points to WRs this season. However, what they failed to take into account was that Wayne has Dan Orlovsky throwing to him and not Peyton Manning. I don't even know why you own Wayne at this point, let alone are considering starting him. Yahoo is projecting him as the No. 20 WR this week and I don't see any way that happens unless he scores in garbage time with the Colts down big.
Dwayne Bowe: With Bowe losing his starting QB, that leaves Tyler Palko throwing the ball around the field for the Chiefs and that is about as bad as it gets in the NFL. Kyle Orton is on the roster, but we won't see him under center this week, which means you can bench Bowe against a Bears secondary that gives up the 12th-fewest fantasy points to WRs.
Vernon Davis: Davis has one major problem when it comes to his value in the NFL: his QB. Yes, the Rams are actually ranked No. 1 against tight ends this season, but Alex Smith is still Alex Smith and that means Davis is not a TE you want to play against a defense known for stopping TEs.
Detroit Lions Defense: The Lions have a twofold problem this weekend: the Saints and no Ndamukong Suh. The Saints are probably the one team in the NFL that can keep the Packers from getting another ring for their fingers, and Suh is one of the most intimidating presences in the NFL. I think this could be a shootout with Drew Brees on one side and Matthew Stafford on the other, so keep away from the Lions defense this weekend.
Q: I've never actually emailed and asked for roster help, but I'm the No. 8 and last seed in the playoff picture going into the final week and I would like to remain at least there. We are in a Yahoo league with PPR and 1 pt for every 25 yds rushing or receiving. We have to start 1 QB and 5 WR/RB/TE as well as a Def and kicker. Right now I have starting: Dez Bryant, Hakeem Nicks, Andre Johnson, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch. I also have Stevie Johnson, Aaron Hernandez, Jermichael Finley, Crabtree, Winslow, Santana Moss and Jerome Simpson (go Bengals!). I'm more concerned about Andre Johnson and Dez Bryant. Should I sit Andre or Dez and if so who should I put in? Also, I will gladly accept any other advice as well.
A: In that type of format, I'd play Bryant, Nicks, Murray, Lynch and Hernandez. Hernandez actually had 7 targets last week to Gronkowski's 4; Gronk just gets more TDs. I personally like both TEs this weekend and wouldn't have a problem starting both of them.
I like Finley, but the Giants could be the team to beat the Packers this weekend as they are desperate and the Packers are on cruise control. Stevie Johnson is a basketcase and the Bills are getting tired of him. Fitzpatrick started off hot, but he is ice cold at this point. Crabtree has the same problem Vernon Davis does: his QB. Moss is in the same boat right next to Crabtree, and Simpson is too inconsistent to count on and the Bengals next few games are brutal for the pass.
Bryant is a big-play WR and you know the one game you sit him down he will break out for 200+ yards and 3 TDs.
Mike Tyson said it best: Everybody has a plan, until they get hit! We all have a fantasy plan heading into the draft, but then you get hit with injuries or players underperform and what do you do now? That is where I come in. I am the Hitch of the fantasy football world.