Fantasy football: C.J. Spiller can carry the load
By Michael Fabiano
Published: Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:12 a.m.
Who should I start this week between Reggie Bush and C.J. Spiller? Also, which two wide receivers should I start from Danario Alexander, Victor Cruz, Pierre Garcon and Julio Jones? - @Kevin_Mdo (via Twitter)
Michael Fabiano: I might have thought about Bush, who has a great matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, had Fred Jackson not been injured last week. That leaves Spiller to be the unquestioned No. 1 running back for the Buffalo Bills. Sure, the matchup against the Seattle Seahawks isn't favorable on paper, but Spiller has proven to be a matchup-proof runner in the past. You have a very tough call at wide receiver, as all four players mentioned are legitimate starters across the board. I'll go with the players with the most statistical upside, and that's Cruz and Jones. Coincidentally, those two wideouts will be facing each other in Atlanta.
My fantasy team is still alive, no thanks to Drew Brees. Should I bench him for another quarterback? - J. Franklin (via Facebook)
M.F.: I'm in the exact same position in one of my leagues (my other quarterback is Josh Freeman), and will continue to start Brees. I know, he has been bad in the stats sheets over his last two games. But based on his resume, not to mention a great matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I can't advise benching Brees at this point in the fantasy postseason.
Who would you start in Week 15: Shonn Greene or DeAngelo Williams? - S. Greenberg (via Google+)
M.F.: Far be it from me to trust a member of the New York Jets, but I'd start Greene over Williams this week. Despite splitting time with Bilal Powell, he's scored double-digit points in two straight games. He also has a nice matchup next against the Tennessee Titans. Their defense has given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs at home in 2012.
Can I still trust Bryce Brown for the fantasy postseason? - @vin26iorio (via Twitter)
M.F.: Let's be fair to Brown - he had no chance to duplicate the bananas totals he put up in his first two games as a starter. He also faced a tough matchup last week, as the Buccaneers boast the top-rated run defense in the National Football League. His matchup is far more attractive in Week 15, as he'll face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has given up an average of close to 19 fantasy points per game to running backs overall. That makes Brown a viable flex starter as long as LeSean McCoy (concussion) remains out of action.
Even if Robert Griffin III is active this week, is it time to bench him for Cam Newton? - M. Nixon (via Facebook)
M.F.: That is quite the luxury you have at the quarterback position! In fact, you have the two highest scoring players in fantasy football right now. Considering how hot Newton has been over the last several weeks, coupled with the fact that Griffin III is coming off a scary knee ailment, I would go with the Auburn product over the rookie regardless of his status.
Would you start Frank Gore or DeMarco Murray in Week 15? Gore has been solid, but his game against the New England Patriots scares me! - L. Hallis (via Google+)
M.F.: I would roll with Gore over Murray. Yes, the Cowboys running back has been a nice option since his return from an injured foot, but look at the numbers Gore has recorded. He's in the top 10 in fantasy points at his position, scoring double-digit fantasy points in three straight games and four of his last five overall. And while the Patriots have been tough against the run overall, their defense has allowed an average of close to 19 fantasy points per game to runners at home. Murray also faces a pretty tough Pittsburgh Steelers run defense.
Would you drop Larry Fitzgerald for a hot free agent? - @TheRealKBitar15 (via Twitter)
M.F.: I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I would drop Fitzgerald if I needed to add a free-agent starter for the postseason. How is this for a stat - over the last four weeks, a total of 103 wide receivers have scored more fantasy points than Fitzgerald. 100! The quarterback position in Arizona is a mess, and opposing defenses know that taking away Fitzgerald means taking away the entire Cardinals offense for all intents and purposes. Sadly, it doesn't look like Fitzgerald will have much fantasy value until the 2013 campaign.
Is it time to sit Aaron Rodgers? He's been fairly unproductive lately and faces the Chicago Bears next. - B. Jenkins (via Facebook)
M.F.: You're right, Rodgers has been a huge disappointment in recent weeks. In fact, he has failed to score even 16 fantasy points in each of his last four stats. With that being said, I doubt that is a quarterback on the waiver wire that I would even consider starting over the Packers signal-caller. Rodgers cost you a first-round pick, and I'm not about benching my stars in the postseason. Also, the Bears defense isn't what it used to be earlier in 2012.
I have the Bears defense and I'm sick of starting them! Which defense(s) would you pick up off the waiver wire and start ahead of them? - L. Husvar (via Google+)
M.F.: If you're looking for a potential waiver-wire gem, pick up and start the Lions defense. This unit is still a free agent in plenty of leagues (34.4 percent on NFL.com), and a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals couldn't be more favorable. The Seattle Seahawks posted a ridiculous 41 fantasy points against them last week, and opposing defensive units have scored double-digits in all but one game against the Cardinals since Week 3. That's an amazing stat.
Which wideout should I bench this week from Alexander, Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall and Wes Welker? - @SweetBabyKeith (via Twitter)
M.F.: Decker is the wideout to sit. Marshall and Welker are must-starts across the board, and Alexander has been far more productive and reliable than the Broncos wideout. In fact, he's scored double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five games. Compare that to Decker, who hasn't hit that mark since Week 9, and Alexander is the clear-cut third choice.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!