Bilicki's NFL Fantasy Report: Week 15

Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings fails to catch a pass while playing against the Tampa Bay...

Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings fails to catch a pass while playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half during their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin November 20, 2011. (REUTERS/Darren Hauck)

DAN BILICKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 PM ET

For all fantasy intents and purposes, Greg Jennings is done for the season and should be dropped.

The Packers’ star receiver went down with an MCL sprain and will be out for two to three weeks. That’s the remainder of the regular season if you’re keeping count, rendering him useless unless your league carries over into the playoffs.

Even if he is recovered by Green Bay’s Week 17 match-up with the Lions, under what logic would they risk a setback to their biggest receiving threat with the playoffs looming?

Jennings’ absence means an increase in value for Jordy Nelson, who was already having a pretty good fantasy season, and James Jones, who could be a breakout star for the fantasy playoffs.

The most interesting and puzzling part of the Packers’ fantastic passing game is Jermichael Finley though. The tight end didn’t have a single catch on Sunday despite his team putting up 46 points against the Raiders. Then again, it’s hard to make catches when you don’t get a single target, as was the case.

I wouldn’t expect a shutout like that again, though Aaron Rodgers does usually spread the ball pretty consistently.

— Did you hold onto Felix Jones after he lost his starting job to DeMarco Murray while injured? Good for you because you now have the Cowboys’ starting running back – again. The waiver-wire sensation Murray broke his ankle early in Sunday night’s tilt with the Giants and is out for the season. Jones is now a must-own in every league and a good play this week. In case the fragile Jones does go down again, Sammy Morris — yes, the former Patriots’ backup — is now the second option for the Cowboys.

— You might want to keep an eye on the Titans’ injury report this week, especially on their quarterbacks. Both Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker are banged up, which could mean that Rusty Smith is in for a start. That could be trouble for a couple of skill players. Chris Johnson has a prime match-up facing the porous Colts defence and Nate Washington is coming off a big week too. If Locker can start, Washington is an excellent play. In both games Locker played this season, Washington had more than 100 yards receiving. Of course, keep an eye on his injury status too.

— The Texans’ injury woes are so bad, it’s even affecting their coaches. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will miss this week’s game after undergoing kidney surgery. That could mean their defence will be a little more lax towards their opponent, the Carolina Panthers. Keep that in mind when selecting your starters.

— If he has no setbacks with his injured finger in practice, Kyle Orton will start against the Packers this week. That may not sound like good news for his chances of winning, but it’s great news for fantasy value. The Packers have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season, thanks to gaining big leads early on. Orton will have a couple of weapons to throw to as well, with Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston in the fold.

— Playing Big Ben Roethlisberger is a big risk this week. The Steelers’ quarterback still hasn’t practised due to a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Monday night’s game against the 49ers. He has also been wearing a walking boot this week, but that is most likely a preventative measure. It’s a tough match-up already and having to play on a bum leg won’t help. It’s probably safer to sit him than hope he comes through.

STAT CORNER

After catching 11 TDs in the first eight weeks of the season, Calvin Johnson only has one in his past five games and hasn’t reached 100 yards receiving in that span either.

IN BEAST MODE

Over the past six weeks, Marshawn Lynch has the most rushing yards in the league with 706 on 151 carries.

SIT/START

Start Tim Tebow, QB, DEN vs. NE — The Patriots pass defence is so poor that he’ll be able to throw on them in more than the fourth quarter.

Sit Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF vs. MIA — Was actually pulled last week for poor performance.

Start Michael Bush, RB, OAK — Has scored in four of his past five games and the Lions aren’t that stout against the run.

Sit Marion Barber, RB, CHI — Backup Kalil Bell had 14 touches last week and we all know how the game ended for Barber.

Sit BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE — His touches are way too inconsistent to trust at this time of the fantasy year.

Start Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL at TB — Just because he’s not starting, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t carry a lot of value.

Sit DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI — He only scores on big plays and the Jets have allowed only two TDs of 20+ yards this season.

Start Jake Ballard, TE, NYG — The Redskins are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing TEs.

Start Miami Dolphins, DEF at BUF — They are averaging 11 points per game in their past six and the Bills are stinking.

 

VERSUS

Wes Welker, WR, NE at DEN

— Will likely be lined up opposite Champ Bailey for the majority of the game.

— When the Patriots get down to the red zone, you just know that Tom Brady is looking in Rob Gronkowski’s direction.

— Was limited in practice this week with a knee injury, but hasn’t been slowed by any ailments yet.

— Has 100 catches this season, or 20 more than second-place Jimmy Graham.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC vs. GB

— The Packers have allowed the second most passing yards this season.

— Tyler Palko will be benched. Even if Kyle Orton can’t play, Ricky Stanzi will start.

— Has not scored a touchdown since Week 5, when he got into the end zone twice against Indy.

— Is tied for the fifth in the league with 118 targets this season.

Verdict: Despite having the worse match-up, it’s hard to think that Welker won’t have one of his usual nice days.

Dan.bilicki@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @danbilicki

 

 


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