Fantasy football: Josh Freeman losing appeal
By Michael Fabiano
Published: Dec. 19, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
Josh Freeman has killed me the last few weeks! Is it time to bench him in favor of Russell Wilson? - @JscottNaylor (via Twitter)
Michael Fabiano: Freeman was an enormous disappointment last week, scoring a meager 1.96 fantasy points against a New Orleans Saints defense that had allowed an average of over 19 points per game to quarterbacks. He's also recorded fewer than 17 fantasy points in four of his last five contests. On the flip side, Wilson has scored 20-plus points in each of his last three full games (he was rested for much of the second half in Week 14). I know this week's matchup against the San Francisco 49ers is a tough one, but take a look at the numbers. At home, the Niners have allowed an average of just 11.59 fantasy points per game to quarterback. However, that total increases to almost 17 points on the road. What's more, San Francisco has given up 18 or more fantasy points to signal-callers in four of seven road contests including two of their last three. Furthermore, Wilson has put up 16 or more points in his last three full home starts.
Should I start Tony Romo or Matt Ryan in Week 16? - M. Craft (via Facebook)
M.F.: Ryan has developed into a solid No. 1 fantasy option, but I like Romo this week. The veteran has been on fire, scoring the fifth-most fantasy points among all players over the last four weeks. He has a great matchup against the Saints, who have given up more fantasy points to signal-callers than any other team in the league on the road.
I'm in a PPR league and need to start three wide receivers from Randall Cobb, Michael Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker. Thoughts? - P. Nance (via Google+)
M.F.: I'm going with Cobb, Thomas and Welker as the three receivers to start. There's no chance I would utilize Fitzgerald, who's fantasy appeal has sunk to new depths because of the quarterback mess in Arizona. I'd also sit Crabtree, despite his monster stat line in Week 15. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to wide receivers on their home field than the Seattle Seahawks, so this is a difficult matchup. Crabtree's outlook would improve depending on the status of CB Richard Sherman, but I still see him as the fourth-best option among the wideouts you have listed.
I'm in the fantasy finals, but I don't know who to start as a flex player between Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte. Help! - @kinchit2u (via Twitter)
M.F.: This is a tough call, as Forte's value has improved with the news that Michael Bush is done for the year. That means a possible increase in goal-line opportunities. Still, Charles has a terrific matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, which makes him difficult to bench. Their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs on the road (22.21), so I would expect the talented Texas product to rebound from a disastrous Week 15 performance.
I have Adrian Peterson and need to start one other running back from Vick Ballard, Knowshon Moreno and C.J. Spiller. Thoughts? - M. Nixon (via Facebook)
M.F.: I think all three players are solid options, but I just can't bench Spiller while he's the true featured back in Buffalo. He thrived in that role last week against a tough Seattle defense, rushing for 103 yards with one score and producing 16.10 fantasy points. While Spiller does have a tough matchup against the Miami Dolphins, I'm looking past the totals here and basing this decision based on potential. To me, Spiller has more upside that Ballard or Moreno.
Should I pick up Tim Tebow? He was a solid fantasy option last season, and I don't believe Greg McElroy is going to stick as the starting quarterback. - E. Torres (via Google+)
M.F.: Coach Rex Ryan is going with McElroy over Mark Sanchez and Tebow, so there's no reason to consider him from a fantasy perspective. As bad as Sanchez has been this season, I'm a little surprised that Tebow hasn't been allowed a chance to start for the Men in Green - unless of course he's been no more than a circus act meant to put the Jets in the headlines and back pages of the New York newspapers. Regardless, Tebow's fantasy value has been wasted in 2012.
Should I start Cecil Shorts or Pierre Garcon? - @jbw1515 (via Twitter)
M.F.: I like both players this weekend, but Shorts is the one to start. He's posted double-digit fantasy points in seven of his last eight games including five in a row, and this week's matchup against the New England Patriots is a favorable one. Their defense has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts on the road in 2012. Furthermore, this unit has surrendered fewer than 20 fantasy points to wideouts on the road just twice - and those contests came versus the pass-punchless Jets and Miami Dolphins.
Which quarterback should I start this week: Colin Kaepernick or Peyton Manning? - W. LeFleur (via Facebook)
M.F.: The Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to quarterbacks on their home field than any other team in the entire league, which makes Kaepernick a serious risk. So despite the fact that his numbers have fallen over the last two weeks, I would stick with Manning this weekend. He has a very favorable matchup against the Cleveland Browns, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road in 2012.
How would you rank these three players for Week 16: Vernon Davis, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen. Thanks! - F. Brenland (via Google+)
M.F.: The time for starting Davis is long past, so I would rank him third out of this trio. The decision between Olsen and Miller is a coin toss, but I'll take the former based on a matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Their defense has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends on the road, so Olsen makes for a fine start.
Should I start Andrew Luck or Matthew Stafford. This one is for the championship! - @Ja5onC1ark (via Twitter)
M.F.: I would side with Luck over Stafford in Week 15. The Kansas City Chiefs have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks at home, so Luck should find a high level of statistical success. Stafford, who has been inconsistent, has a much tougher matchup against a stout Atlanta Falcons pass defense.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!