Here we are, week 13 of the NFL season and the last week before the fantasy football playoffs start. Some of you have already locked up your playoff spot and you are just playing for the best overall record in the league right now; some of you are on the outside looking in and will be headed to the consolation bracket to battle it out in the Toilet Bowl to see who the best of the rest is. And still there are others who are fighting for the final spot in their league's playoffs and it is win or go home time. The good news is that most of you are in the first bracket and just a few are in the final bracket, so let's get you into the playoffs and headed to victory and a summer's worth of bragging rights.
Frank Gore: Gore is done for the season with a fractured hip, so hopefully you were the first to grab Brian Westbrook off the waiver wire. Anthony Dixon will steal some carries from Westbrook, but he should only be added in TD-heavy leagues. Gore should be ready for the start of next season, so his dynasty value is right in line with his 2010 value.
Michael Vick: Vick is going to feast on the Texans secondary tonight, and I would put him as the #1 QB in all of fantasy football heading into this one. Since his return from injury Vick has averaged 285.5 passing yards, 58 rushing yards and has 11 TDs. Now he gets a defense that allows 286.2 YPG passing and has given up a league-leading 25 passing TDs.
Kyle Orton: I keep waiting for Orton to remember that he is Kyle Orton and not Joe Montana, but it just isn't happening this season. On the season, Orton is averaging 306.3 YPG and has thrown 20 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. This weekend he faces the Chiefs 24th-ranked pass defense, but it is in Kansas City. Knowing my luck this will be the first week he fails to throw a touchdown, but all the signs point to another 300-yard game with at least two TD passes mixed in.
Peyton Hillis: Hillis is another guy I told you to start last week, but did you listen? His 905 rushing yards this season rank him 9thin the NFL, and his 11 TDs rank him 2nd. Hillis is going to be the waiver wire pick that gets you into the playoffs, so play him all the way.
Mike Tolbert: In the last two games Tolbert has managed to rack up 214 rushing yards (111 and 103) with a touchdown in both games. This weekend the Chargers are at home against the Raiders in one of the league's most heated rivalries. I fully expect Tolbert to finish with low-end RB1 numbers when all is said and done.
Dwayne Bowe: Bowe busted out last week with 13 catches for 170 yards and three end zone trips. This week he faces the Broncos and their defense gives up 248.5 receiving yards per game to go along with their 23 TDs to receivers. Bowe is a top 3-5 play at WR this weekend.
Jeremy Maclin: Maclin has just two 100-yard games this season, but he has eight TDs to show for it. As I stated with Vick, the Texans pass defense is horrible and I think Maclin will make the most of his chances tonight, so play him as a WR2.
Marcedes Lewis: I can't keep putting Jacob Tamme on here every week, so I will give Lewis a low-end TE1 play this weekend. The Titans allow 268.9 YPG to receivers, bad enough to rank them 27thin the NFL. Lewis is a top-10 play, but anyone after the top five TEs are risky anyway.
Chicago Bears defense: There is not a single other defense in the league I would want more than the Bears this weekend. Drew Stanton is going to start for the Lions on Sunday and that is making my mouth water just thinking about it.
Donovan McNabb: I told you to sit McNabb last week, but did you listen? All he did was throw for 211 yards with a TD and an INT, but I already knew it would happen. This week he faces the Giants and the NFC East is a tangled mess outside of the last-place Cowboys. The Giants boast the league's #1 pass defense that gives up just 186.4 YPG and a 14-11 TD-INT ratio.
Brett Favre: If you read these articles then you know I am not a Favre fan at all. This season Favre is sporting a 10-17 TD-INT ratio and is averaging 222.4 YPG in the air, stats hardly worth relying on to get you into the playoffs. Add to that the fact that he faces the Bills 11thranked pass defense and I would play almost any QB over him this weekend.
Brian Westbrook: I know I said to pick up Westbrook, but I don't see him holding anything more than high-end flex value this weekend. The Niners travel to Green Bay to play a Packers 16th-ranked run defense that has allowed just five rushing touchdowns all season. Oh, and did I mention that it is December… in Green Bay? Which means the expected high is 28 degrees.
Any Lions RB: Yes, I am going to throw a blanket statement out there and say any RB wearing a Lions uniform should be on your bench this week. There is no team hotter than the Bears right now and their run defense allows just 80.5 YPG.
Michael Crabtree: The Niners' pass attack ranks 21stin the NFL with 209.5 YPG and Crabtree has had more than 61 yards receiving just once this season (105 yards in week 5). I personally would just cut him outright if there were anyone worth adding on the waiver wire, but at this point all you can do is wait for an injury and let him ride the bench.
Chad Ochocinco: I hate to do it to one of my favorite players in the league, but there is no loyalty in fantasy football. Ochocinco has two 100-yard games this season and his last one came in week 7. The Saints defense is ranked 2ndin receiving yards at 208.9 YPG, which means the odds are against him this weekend.
Joel Dreessen: The Eagles have allowed the 2nd-most TDs to TEs this season, but I wouldn't play Dreessen this weekend unless you really have nothing else. TE is an all-or-nothing position anyway, but the Texans' passing attack has been a huge disappointment and I never play someone on the hope that one of the two catches they get will be for a TD.
Dallas Cowboys defense: The Cowboys defense is by far the most disappointing fantasy defense this season, and this weekend it gets worse as they face the Colts in Indianapolis. The Colts offense puts up 380.4 total YPG and has scored 282 points this year, 5thin the NFL for both.