Fantasy soda: Ravens pass defense bad news for Colston, Saints
The Ravens have allowed the second-fewest passing yards per attempt
Santana Moss has caught 14 passes and 169 yards in last two Cowboys games
Ricky Williams has scored a TD in each of his last five games agianst the Bills
The New Orleans Saints are back to playing at a Super Bowl level thanks to a passing game that has registered 300 or more yards in five of the past seven games. But this week New Orleans faces a Ravens defense capable of shutting down the finest of aerial assaults. For this reason, wide receiver Marques Colston is my STUD TO SIT for Week 15. Heading into Monday's Week 15 contest, the Ravens ranked 12th in the league in passing yards allowed per game, and second in yards allowed per attempt -- bad news for a Saints offense that relies on its vertical passing game. Colston has scored five touchdowns over the past four weeks, but those have come against subpar defenses. Baltimore has blanketed top receivers all season, and has kept opposing passers to a completion percentage of 58.4.
BREAKING NEWS: San Francisco's Alex Smith has reportedly cemented his status as the team's starting quarterback following a 255-yard, three-touchdown performance against Seattle. Any fantasy owners willing to start Smith next week against a Chargers defense ranked No. 1 against the pass? Didn't think so.
CALL ME CRAZY but I plan to find room for Santana Moss in my lineup this week. Dallas' secondary has struggled all year, and it's evident Terence Newman no longer has the recovery speed necessary to compete with the game's top speed receivers. And should the Cowboys attempt to cover Moss with the more aggressive Mike Jenkins, Moss is bound to make the often careless cornerback look foolish. In his last two games against the Cowboys Moss has caught 14 passes for 169 yards. He remains Washington's best option in the passing game, and should find success against a Cowboys defense that ranks 30th in yards allowed per attempt (8.0).
I like the SHORT ODDS, so give me the following running backs to gain 100 or more yards this week: Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and LeGarrette Blount.
The Colts have proven they can beat teams with their No. 2 or 3 receiver when necessary. Of course, when Peyton Manning is your quarterback, anything is possible. In Week 15 fantasy owners should jump all over Manning's weapons against a Jaguars defense that has given up 24 touchdowns and 8.7 yards per attempt. And even though neither player had a catch against Jacksonville in the first go-round this season, I say DOUBLE DOWN on Pierre Garcon and tight end Jacob Tamme. Manning has shown Tamme plenty of love since Dallas Clark's injury, while Garcon has three touchdowns over the past two weeks. It'll be bombs away for Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon.
A little BASIC MATH tells us Ricky Williams is worth consideration against Buffalo. The veteran back has scored a touchdown in three of his last five meetings with the Bills. And he has averaged more than 20 carries over the last three. In the Week 1 contest between the two clubs, Williams carried 18 times -- his second most carries of this season. With Buffalo ranked dead last against the run, Williams might offer fantasy owners one last hurrah.
THE BREAK ROOM (industry experts share their thoughts): Who is the one fantasy player you would want your team to have in the playoffs this season?
"The one player I'd like to have throughout the playoffs?" says John T. Georgopoulos, senior editor of SportsGrumblings.com. "That's a tough one, but I'd have to go with Michael Vick. He's a consistent, indispensable part of the Eagles' offense -- and given the nature of the NFC East, the Eagles will be playing all the starters the rest of the way."
"The first two players that come to mind are Knowshon Moreno and Darren McFadden. Both running backs are on fire, and their schedules in the final two weeks of the traditional fantasy postseason (Week 15-16) are unbelievably favorable," says NFL.com Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano. "But if I could have just one player, it would be Michael Vick. The man is as close to a superhero as there is in fantasy football this season. No player in the NFL has averaged more fantasy points per game, and he puts up big-time totals regardless of the competition.
"Moreno and McFadden would be nice, but I'll take Vick ... and a pile of fantasy championships."
SUCKER TRADE OF THE WEEK
Bert from Maryland writes: "When one guy gave up on MJD I made a move and gave him LaDainian Tomlinson." ... Looks like your friend gave up on winning, too, Bert.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com. Send him your questions and "sucker trade" entries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a full name and your home state, please.
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