Fantasy Doctor: Patriots' defense is on a roll

Posted Nov. 28, 2012 @ 4:49 p.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to Questions may be edited for clarity.

I don't know whether to start New England's defense or Green Bay’s defense. Green Bay seems to be universally ranked higher this week against Minnesota, but I'm uncertain considering their injuries, as well as New England being pretty hot the last two weeks. Suggestions?


I’d go with the Patriots. They have more than twice as many return TDs (defense and special teams) as the Packers (7-3), with five coming in the past two weeks. While the Pats are surrendering 40 yards per game more than the Packers, they have allowed fewer points than Green Bay (244, compared to G.B.'s 245). With a favorable matchup Sunday vs. Miami, the Pats are the play.


This week, I need you personally to please help me get into the playoffs and possibly grab a first-round bye!

At RB, I have Alfred Morris starting, but my second RB I need to chose between an injured Matt Forté, Beanie Wells or Bryce Brown.

My TE slot has been a struggle all season so I traded for Vernon Davis and picked up Brandon Myers. Who gets the nod this week?

Finally, defensively, I am leaning toward starting the Bengals over my usual Seahawks, but am debating picking up the Browns.

Thanks Doc, appreciate all of the advice this season!


To me, your RB dilemma is the most challenging call. Personally, I’d lean toward Brown if LeSean McCoy (concussion) remains out. If McCoy plays, then Forté, if healthy, gets the nod. Wells is the third-best option.

At tight end, I’d go with Davis. And I’d keep rolling with the Seattle defense.

Hi there Doc!

I’m so excited that this is my rookie year playing fantasy football. I have been in first place for 10 weeks now, and did I mention I’m a girl?? Ha! Well, this has gotten the bad boys all worked up — I basically have a bulls-eye and the boys want to take me out. The girls in our team are all about the Girl Power!

I have done a ton of research, but for this week I’m really stuck. Here is my dilemma. I need to pick two WRs, two RBs & one flex. My players are:

WR: Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson, Cecil Shorts, Malcom Floyd & Justin Blackmon

RB: Reggie Bush, Ahmad Bradshaw, Darren McFadden, Bryce Brown, Marcel Reece

My heart is telling me to start WRs Julio Jones and Vincent Jackson and RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Darren McFadden, if he comes back.

Now for my Flex — do I go with Cecil Shorts, Reggie Bush or Bryce Brown (my heart) depending on the McCoy situation? Should I go with my heart and gut — or stick to plain statistics. Ugh! I love Reggie, but against the Pats, I'm just not sure.



I think you’ve got a good read on your WR situation. Jones and Jackson are the plays.

At running back, Bradshaw is the must-start of the group, and his value could increase with Andre Brown (leg) out for the season. I would also agree that McFadden is another reasonable play if it’s clear he will return and get the bulk of the carries Sunday vs. Cleveland.

As for the flex role: I’d go with Brown over Bush, with the back who doesn’t start in that spot a reasonable play at running back if McFadden is out.

I'm in a de facto play-in situation this week. Win and I'm in the playoffs.

It’s a standard scoring, non-PPR league. At RB1 and WR1 I'm set with Ray Rice and Roddy White. The tough decisions come at WR2, RB2 and flex. The options include Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch, Mikel Leshoure, Marques Colston, Randall Cobb and Mike Wallace.

Who should fill those final three roster spots in this must-win game?

Thank you,

Here’s how I’d rank your options at the various positions:

RB — Lynch, Morris, Leshoure.

WR — Colston, Cobb, Wallace. Note that Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders are both listed as first-string wideouts opposite of Antonio Brown. I’d be leery of counting upon Wallace in Week 13.

Flex — Morris, Cobb, Leshoure, Wallace.

Should I drop Rob Gronkowski from my team since he probably won't be back before the playoffs?



I wouldn’t drop Gronkowski. For starters, he could return in the regular season. He reportedly faces a recovery timetable of 4-8 weeks after suffering a forearm injury in Week 11, and if he returns in the early part of this range, he’ll be back for a portion of the regular season. And if that’s the case, he will have fantasy value.

If you release Gronkowski, he will be picked up in about two minutes, and if he helps another team in the fantasy postseason … well, that wouldn’t be ideal, I’d say.


I'm tied with two other teams for second in my 12-team league and going into the last game I need a win to maintain a playoff spot.  I've gotten little production recently at TE since I dropped Kyle Rudolph after Week Eight and have tried to play matchups since then, including Dwayne Allen the last two weeks. Who has the best chance to score a touchdown this coming week and give me some decent fantasy points: Rudolph, Martellus Bennett, Marcedes Lewis, Dallas Clark, Ben Watson or Jared Cook? Also, might Rob Housler be a sleeper play? Thanks for your help!

— Mike from Maryland

I’d rank your TE options thusly: Rudolph, Bennett, Clark, Lewis, Cook, Watson, Housler.

Hey Doc,

I badly need a win in one of my leagues just to have a chance to make the playoffs, so I could use your advice on my lineup. I need one RB, two WRs, and a flex. Here are my options: Ahmad Bradshaw, Bryce Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Danny Amendola, Jeremy Kerley. At this point I'm leaning toward Bradshaw, Brown, Fitzgerald, and Shorts. What do you think?



That sounds reasonable to me, Steve. There’s not a lot separating Shorts, Fitzgerald, Amendola and Blackmon. The key is to get Bradshaw and Brown into the lineup if Brown remains the Eagles’ featured back this week.

Should I play Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden or players that are hot — Jermaine Gresham and Jacquizz Rodgers? This is a score-only league. Any advice?

— V.

I’d go with Johnson and McFadden. If McFadden sits out Week 13, you can always put Gresham in the lineup.