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Despite his recent struggles, don't bench CJ2K in Week 14

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Is it time to bench Chris Johnson? He's been pitiful over the last two weeks, and I can replace him with either Matt Forte or Pierre Thomas (who is expected back this week). Also, I need a sleeper tight end this week. Thoughts? - A. Scone, Lafayette, La.

Michael Fabiano: Believe it or not, but Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli has scored more fantasy points than CJ2K over the last two weeks. Still, I'm not benching him when the Colts are next on the schedule. Their run defense has been atrocious, allowing an average of close to 19 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. I'd look for Johnson to rebound on Thursday night. At tight end, I would add Ravens tight end Ed Dickson. With Todd Heap in danger of missing this week's game due to an injured hamstring, Dickson is in line to see more targets against the Texans -- their defense has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than any other team in the league. Dickson is a free agent in most leagues.

I've been a Peyton Manning owner for the past several years, but I'm concerned about his recent spike in interceptions. I have a bye in Week 14, so I need to figure out if I should start Manning or Michael Vick down the stretch. Do you think Manning is going to bounce back and help me win a title, or should I start Vick? - J. Law, Collinsville, Va.

M.F.: Truth be told, you should have been starting Vick over Manning for weeks now. When he's played the majority of the snaps for the Eagles this year, Vick has averaged more fantasy points than any other player in the NFL. I also wouldn't be concerned about contests against the Giants and Vikings in the final two weeks of the fantasy postseason. If Vick has proven anything, it's that he's a matchup-proof performer. Unless something drastic like an injury happens, I'd ride Vick to the title.

I'm in three leagues and have counted on Eli Manning in all of them, but he's lost his two top wide receivers and has tough matchups in the fantasy postseason. I plan to add Josh Freeman in one league, Jason Campbell in another and Jon Kitna in the third. Are these smart moves, or would you hold on to Manning? - R.B. Fagin, Portland, Ore.

M.F.: I don't think it's a bad idea to add Freeman or Kitna as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback, but I definitely wouldn't rest my fantasy championship aspirations on Campbell. I also wouldn't release Manning. Freeman and Kitna have some nice matchups upcoming, but there's a chance that Manning could get Steve Smith back this week. Hakeem Nicks is also projected to return in Week 15. Once those two wideouts are back in the mix, Manning will experience a nice rise in fantasy appeal and becomes a much safer play in all leagues. In the interim, I do like Freeman this weekend against the Redskins. Their defense has allowed an average of over 16 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

I'm in the first round of the fantasy playoffs and plan to start Arian Foster, Ray Rice and Andre Johnson. I also need to decide between Joe Flacco and Kyle Orton at the quarterback position. I like Flacco, but is it a good idea to be so heavily invested in one game? - T. Abari, Cherry Hill, N.J.

M.F.: I understand the concern about having four players in one game, but how can you pass on starting Flacco against the Texans? Their defense has been dreadful all season, allowing an NFL-high 27 touchdown passes and the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. As good as Orton has been overall this season, he's scored fewer than 12 fantasy points on NFL.com in two of his last three games. That includes a 2.68 dud in Week 13 against the Chiefs. Unless the Texans suddenly morph into a formidable defense on Monday night (which isn't very likely), I would have confidence in starting Flacco, Rice, Boldin and most of the Ravens prominent offensive skill position players in Week 14.

I need to sit one of the following four running backs in Week 14: LeGarrette Blount, Peyton Hillis, LeSean McCoy or Brian Westbrook. Help! - S. Perry, Toluca Lake, Calif.

M.F.: Westbrook has a very favorable matchup this week against the Seahawks, who have struggled defensively (especially on the road) most of the season. However, he's still the player to bench out of this quartet. Hillis and McCoy are no-brainers -- Hillis is going to run all over the Bills -- and Blount has a great matchup against a Redskins defense that allowed four rushing touchdowns to the Giants last week. Blount is also not in danger of losing half of his carries, which is something you can't say about Westbrook at this point in time. Last week against the Packers, he had the same number of rushing attempts as Anthony Dixon and received one less touch overall.

I've kept Joseph Addai and Austin Collie on my roster for weeks now. Are either (or both) of them likely to come back? If not, who should I target off the waiver wire between Tashard Choice, Dixon, Ryan Torain and James Starks? As wide receiver, would you drop Collie for Kenny Britt, Deion Branch or Earl Bennett? - T. Sinito, Cleveland, Ohio

M.F.: I have Addai in one of my leagues, and I'm just holding onto him in hopes that he'll return. Chances are it won't be this week, as the Colts have a short week and added veteran Dominic Rhodes for depth purposes. In fact, it looks like Donald Brown and Javarris James will share the workload against the Titans. Addai is starting to do some limited work in practice, though, so if you survive Week 14 you might have him back in Week 15 against the Jaguars. If you absolutely must release him, I would add Torain (if he's able to practice in full this week) or Starks. Choice and Dixon would be the third and fourth options. Britt looks like he'll be active to fact the Colts, and I would add him even if it meant dropping Collie. Britt was one of the best wideouts in fantasy football before injuring his hamstring and could be useful moving forward.

I have Boldin, Greg Jennings, Terrell Owens and Brandon Lloyd at wide receiver, but I need to bench one of them this week. Jennings seems like a lock to me, but I don't know about the others. I'm thinking Lloyd is a good choice against the Cardinals, but what about Owens or Boldin? What do you think? - C. McKenna, Canada

M.F.: I agree that Jennings is a definite starter in what is a dandy matchup against the Lions, and it's hard to bench Lloyd against a Cardinals defense that has been vulnerable most of the season. With that said, your decision comes down to Boldin and Owens. While T.O. did smash the Steelers for 10 catches, 141 yards and two scores in Week 9, I would have a tough time benching Boldin against the Texans. The Cowboys are the lone team to surrender more touchdown catches to wide receivers this season.

I need to start Cedric Benson, Jahvid Best or Dixon as a No. 2 running back. Dixon has the best matchup, but I'm not sure he's the most attractive option. - J. Maffia, Chicago, Ill.

M.F.: Dixon does have a favorable opponent, facing a swiss cheese Seahawks defense. However, the fact that he's in a backfield timeshare with Westbrook makes him less appealing. Best is still dealing with the lingering effects of turf toe and has done next to nothing since Week 2, so Benson is the best option. He does face a tough Steelers defense and could be staring a mediocre stat line in the face, but I'd much rather roll the dice with him seeing 18-22 carries than Dixon or Best seeing 10 or fewer.

Should I start Pierre Garcon against the Titans on Thursday night, or bench him in favor of Jeremy Maclin or Mike Williams (TB)? I regret not playing Garcon last week, and I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I'm not sure if this matters, but I do have Peyton Manning at quarterback. - C. Dunlap, Northern Kentucky

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M.F.: While I do like Garcon's matchup on Thursday night, the wide receiver to start is Maclin. He faces a Cowboys defense that has been dreadful against the pass, allowing an average of 28.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. That's more than any other team in the league. That Sunday night game at the Jerry Dome should be a shootout, so look for Vick, McCoy, Maclin and DeSean Jackson to all see more than their share of opportunities to produce between the white lines -- and in fantasy leagues.

Which running back should I start in Week 14: Ahmad Bradshaw or Jonathan Stewart? - C. Hanson, Minneapolis, Minn.

M.F.: I do like Stewart moving forward, as he's clearly the bell cow for a suddenly rejuvenated Panthers ground attack. But there's no chance I would start him ahead of Bradshaw. Despite his recent "demotion" in the Giants backfield, Bradshaw still saw 25 carries and scored two touchdowns last week against the Redskins. By comparison, Brandon Jacobs started the game for coach Tom Coughlin but saw 17 fewer carries and 18 fewer touches overall than his talented teammate. Again, Bradshaw gets the nod here.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com!

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