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Recent posts by William Del Pilar
There are some solid players to start who haven't had good fantasy seasons so far. Players like Mike Williams and CJ2K are starting to post fantasy points for their owners. There are also some players you don't normally bench but for whom you might want to look elsewhere — for instance, Cedric Benson and Santonio Holmes will make it tough on their fantasy owners to start this week. The fantasy playoffs are here for many leagues, so spend a little extra time to give your roster a quick review.
QB Tim Tebow, Broncos (at Vikings)
Tebow's still the talk of the media but with a 5-1 record as a starter, his legend continues to grow. OK, that's over-the-top but every win brings Tebow more respect as a winner. He has a per-game average as a starter of 128.8 passing yards and 1.2 TDs with 11.8 rushing attempts for 69.7 yards and 0.3 TDs. He's posting No. 2 fantasy numbers but the Vikings are the league's worst in defending opposing QB sthe past four weeks — allowing 238 passing yards and 2.7 TDs per game. He warrants a start if you need him.
RB DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (at Bucs)
Williams' Week 12 game (15-69-2) was capped off with two TDs and he had a season-high in carries. This is one week he has a chance to surpass last week's numbers. The Bucs are the league's worst team against opposing RBs the past four weeks. They're allowing 154.5 yards and 1.3 TDs per game. Get him in you lineup as a No. 2 fantasy back.
RB Chris Johnson, Titans (at Bills)
In our RB fantasy tips, we note that Johnson's three 100-yard rushing games has been against the Browns, Panthers and Buccaneers, who rank 29th, 28th and 30th against the run. The Bills are in the bottom five at defending opposing RBs the past four weeks, allowing 171.8 yards from scrimmage and 1.3 TDs. Start him.
WR Antonio Brown, Steelers (vs. Bengals)
I believe it's time to view Brown (4-81-0 on six targets) as a must-start stud every week, as he continues to post strong No. 1 fantasy numbers and is playing on another level with electrifying moves and speed. The Bengals have not handled opposing wide receivers well the past four weeks. They're allowing 161 yards and 1.8 TDs per game. Start him.
WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers (vs. Panthers)
Williams (6-84-1 on 11 targets) came through once again for his fantasy owners and now has a two-game average of 6.5 catches for 83.5 yards and one TD on 11 targets. The Panthers have regressed as the season has progressed defending the WR position and are in the bottom 10 the past four weeks. They're allowing 175.7 yards and 1.3 TDs per game to the position. Despite QB Josh Freeman's erratic performance last week, he still managed solid numbers and one can assume against the Panthers he could do it again. Start him.
WR Reggie Wayne, Colts (at Patriots)
Wayne's playing for a contract and he has a two-game average against the Patriots of nine catches for 116.5 yards and 1.5 TDs. Granted, the odds of seeing that are not high but last week's performance (5-122-1 on seven targets) offers hope, especially against the Patriots. They're allowing 206.8 yards and 0.8 TDs per game over their last four. If you need help with a one-week play, start him.
TE Jake Ballard, Giants (vs. Packers)
Ballard hasn't exactly been lighting it up for fantasy owners the past three weeks. He has a three-game average of 2.3 catches for 31.7 yards and zero TDs on 5.3 targets. If he's going to do anything in the remainder of the season, it's this week. The Packers' defense can't defend the TE position, allowing 85.5 yards and 0.3 TDs per game the past four weeks. If you're in a larger league and in need of a one-week play, start him.
QB Carson Palmer, Raiders (at Dolphins)
Palmer has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners after a rough start in Week Eight but since then he's averaging 274 yards and 1.5 TDs. However, he didn't produce a score in Week 12. The Dolphins are allowing 227.3 yards, only 0.5 TDs and forcing 1.5 interceptions per game to opposing QBs the past four weeks. Palmer's top two WRs are injured and their status is unknown. This is not the week to risk a fantasy playoff game on a QB who possibly will be without his best receivers. Sit him.
RB Cedric Benson, Bengals (at Steelers)
Benson's season averages of 18.8 attempts for 74 yards and 0.5 TDs are serviceable numbers. The Steelers have been up and down, but they have been one of the best against opposing backs the past four weeks, allowing only 82.3 yards and 0.3 TDs per game. Benson has room to do better than expected but if you have the depth consider sitting him.
RB Ben Tate, Texans (vs. Falcons)
There has been much discussion this week about Tate being a fantasy starter despite the fact that he's No. 2 behind Arian Foster. He's hit or miss with his touches and the Falcons continue to be one of the best defenses against opposing backs this season. Over the past four weeks, they have held the position to 44 yards and 0.3 TDs. Look at other options and sit him.
WR Torrey Smith, Ravens (at Browns)
You can't blame Smith (2-23-0 on three targets) for his game against the Niners, as it was a defensive battle. He has another one this week, as the Browns are allowing only 100.8 yards and 0.3 TDs to the position the past four weeks. He'll see CB Joe Haden and company at times, limiting the passing attack. With the Browns struggling to stop the run, also look for the Ravens to emphasize Ray Rice and the rushing attack. If you have other options and can afford to sit Smith, do so.
WR Santonio Holmes, Jets (at Redskins)
Holmes should have been an undervalued draft pick when taken this season but has been nothing close to that. He saved his Week 12 performance (2-22-1 on nine targets) with a TD but has disappointing season averages of 3.4 catches for 44.9 yards and 0.45 TDs on 6.4 targets. The Redskins' defense is the only positive on the team and is a top-10 fantasy "D" against WRs the past four weeks, allowing 120 yards and 0.8 TDs per game. Holmes has value every week but if he doesn't score a TD his points are minimal. If you can, sit him.
WR Earl Bennett, Bears (vs. Chiefs)
Before Caleb Hanie took over at QB, Bennett was the team's hottest receiver. However, his Week 12 performance (1-5-0 on four targets) potentially blows his fantasy value out of the water. Compound that with the Chiefs' defense becoming one of the league's best against wide receivers the past four weeks — allowing 90 yards and 0.5 TDs per game — and it's easy to think Bennett could be a nonfactor again. Sit him.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (at Dolphins)
Heyward-Bey might start this week but despite four great games between Weeks 4-7, he has been struggling of late. He has a two-game average of four catches for 42.5 yards and zero TDs on 7.5 targets. Carson Palmer's not getting the ball into the endzone and the Dolphins are allowing only 138.3 yards and 0.5 TDs per game to opposing wide receivers over their last four contests. Heyward-Bey is a very risky play based on the matchup and his recent track record. If you can, sit him.