Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
A number of trusted fantasy options came up short in Week 15.
Who will bounce back with everything on the line?
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions - Stafford followed up six fantasy points in Week 14 with seven in Week 15, but only one of those games was played in a blizzard. There was no excuse for Stafford's 235-yard, one-TD, three-pick effort Monday against Baltimore inside the dome in Detroit. Stafford has turned the football over 15 times over the last seven games and has only one 20-fantasy-point effort in his last six, but he should come through at Ford Field against a Giants team that was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago and shut out by Seattle last Sunday. New York has given up at least 17 fantasy points to opposing QBs in each of the last four games with an average of 21.3 in that span. Prediction: 316 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos - Moreno's four fantasy points in Week 15 were his least since Week 3 against Oakland, but there was a reason why he failed to make an impact: time of possession. The Chargers held the ball 38:49 to the Broncos' 21:11 by running the ball 44 times and ticking off 24 first downs. Even with that disparity, the Broncos still gave Moreno the football 13 times. With third-string running back Dennis Johnson starting in Week 16, the Houston Texans will be unable to control the clock and Moreno should get back to his usual tricks. Prediction: 62 rushing yards, 31 receiving yards, one touchdown.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins - Morris had 98 rushing yards in Week 15 at Atlanta, his most since Week 10, but he put the ball on the Georgia Dome turf twice and lost both, leading to a five-point game for fantasy owners. Morris has produced just one touchdown in the last six games and zero 20-point games all season. However, he has a primo matchup against the Cowboys -- Dallas has allowed 4.9 ypc this season, 31st in the NFL -- the same team he ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns against in Week 17 last season. Look for Morris to conjure up images of that game Sunday with his first top-10 fantasy effort since Week 8. Prediction: 124 rushing yards, one touchdown
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans - The switch from Case Keenum back to Matt Schaub (Keenum is out with a thumb injury) won't hurt Johnson considering how poorly Keenum has played the last few weeks, but it may not particularly help him either. Of Johnson's five touchdowns this season, zero were thrown by Schaub. The 32-year-old should see at least 10 targets for the third straight game and 10th time this season, but the high probability he won't catch a touchdown keeps him in low-end WR2 territory. Prediction: 98 receiving yards, zero touchdowns.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens -Smith has reverted to his boom-or-bust ways the past nine games after putting up at least eight fantasy points in each of the first five. Smith did have 127 yards and two scores in Week 3 against the Patriots last season and New England has been beat for long touchdowns by Josh Gordon and Mike Wallace in the last two weeks, but Smith is too risky to trust as anything more than a WR3 with upside. Sit him in two- wideout leagues. Prediction: 77 receiving yards, zero touchdowns.
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins - Do you really have a choice but to start Clay again even after he had zero fantasy points in Week 15? The tight end ranks are extremely thin with Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Cameron and Garrett Graham out, and the players outside the top-five of Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Julius Thomas, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten are a dime a dozen. Clay does have his matchup going for him this week, as the Buffalo Bills have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of the last four games. Prediction: 48 receiving yards, one touchdown.
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