Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 14 of the 2013 NFL season.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons at Packers. If you managed to make it to the playoffs with Ryan as your quarterback, congrats. With Roddy White as healthy as he's been all year, the Falcons' passing game finally appears to be back on track. Next up: A Packers secondary that has coughed up 22 passing TDs while collecting a near-league-low six INTs.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys at Bears. My enthusiasm for Murray isn't just related to his three-TD outburst on Thanksgiving. It has everything to do with Chicago's pathetic run defense, and the fact that backup Lance Dunbar is out because of a season-ending knee injury.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers vs. Bills. Rainey has had some tough sledding since his Week 11 breakout game. That was expected, because of the stout run defenses he has been facing. Fortunately, the rookie has settled into a workhorse role and will once again have a chance to soar with the soft Bills rush defense coming to town.
Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots vs. Browns. Right on cue, Tom Brady has stepped up his game. It helps, of course, that his receiving corps is in better shape than it has been all season. Edelman has risen to the top of the wideout pecking order in targets and production, though Danny Amendola is still considered No. 1. That should mean Cleveland CB Joe Haden will be locked on Amendola, freeing Edelman to excel against the Browns' second-tier defenders.
Kendall Wright, WR, Titans at Broncos. Do you believe the Titans will be playing catch-up for a good portion of this game? Then you must believe Wright will continue to receive double-digit targets. Add in the generous nature of the Broncos secondary, and you have the prescription for fantasy success.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Josh McCown, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, Robert Griffin III; RBs Knowshon Moreno, Reggie Bush, Le'Veon Bell, Steven Jackson, Eddie Lacy, Gio Bernard, Andre Brown, C.J. Spiller; WRs Roddy White, Harry Douglas, Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Pierre Garcon, Michael Floyd, Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers vs. Seahawks. On the positive side, Michael Crabtree is back in fine form, and Kaepernick's production has steadily improved over the last three weeks. But all you have to do is look at Kaepernick's results from his previous matchup with Seattle (127 passing yards, 87 rushing yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs) or look at how Seattle humbled Drew Brees on Monday night. Either way, Kaep must sit.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans at Broncos. Remember that part above about the Titans playing catch-up? That scenario will also limit CJ1K's impact on this game. Though he has been playing better of late, Johnson can't be trusted against a decent Broncos run defense.
Zac Stacy, RB, Rams at Cardinals. As much as I like the rookie, the Cards have allowed only four rushing scores all season, and they're playing very tough-nosed run defense.
More thumbs down: QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Matt Flynn; RBs Pierre Thomas, Rashad Jennings, Lamar Miller, Donald Brown, Chris Ivory, Ray Rice, DeAngelo Williams; WRs James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, Hakeem Nicks, Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Lance Moore, T.Y. Hilton, Greg Jennings, Miles Austin.
Montee Ball, RB, Broncos vs. Titans. Denver is cruising to the AFC's No. 1 seed while Knowshon Moreno is still nursing an ankle injury. Both situations have opened the door for Ball, who ran hard and kept hold of the ball against the Chiefs last week. That should earn him even more touches and, with the soft Titans run defense coming to town, Ball's arrow is pointing skyward.
. . . sits Drew Brees after his debacle in Seattle. True, he'll be facing a stingy Carolina defense, but as veteran fantasy players know all too well, you never sit your stud