Driven Stronger: Cobb, Bryant in line for big games


Last week Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson were among our Driven Stronger candidates, and they scored three touchdowns between them. Johnson had the bigger overall day, but Nelson had to battle with Darrelle Revis for much of his game and still managed to perform. Looking ahead to Week 14, whether the players below are hoping to bounce-back, face a great matchup or want to silence critics, each should have a little extra something to propel them to the tops of the fantasy ranks.

Quarterback -- Andy Dalton

Dalton averaged a paltry 6.5 yards per pass attempt last wek, throwing for only 176 yards on 27 attempts, with one touchdown and three interceptions. It was a game to forget for Dalton that the Bengals were barely able to walk away from with a victory. This week, Dalton faces his division rival Steelers in a crucial battle with playoff implications, so look for Dalton to rebound against a secondary that has been exposed at times this season.

Running back -- Isaiah Crowell

Crowell looked to be running away with the starting running back job for the Browns ... until he ran into the formidable Bills defense. This week he should be able to bounce back against a Colts defense that has had troubles stopping the run all season, especially against bigger, athletic backs like Crowell.

Running back -- Matt Forte

Forte's 5.80 fantasy points were his lowest total since Week 2, and only the second time he'd failed to score at least 17 fantasy points since Week 4. The Bears offense needs to run through Forte in order to be effective, so don't be surprised to see Forte get the ball early and often on Thursday night football as the Bears take on the Dallas Cowboys in an important battle for playoff positioning.

Wide receiver -- Dez Bryant

Bryant was held in check on Thanksgiving against an Eagles secondary that had been burned by lesser wide receivers in the past. However, he has an even better matchup this week against a Bears secondary that couldn't cover a toddler with a blanket. With the Cowboys losing their lead in the NFC East, look for Tony Romo to look for Dez to help give their offense a much needed spark.

Wide receiver -- Randall Cobb

Cobb caught seven passes for 85 yards and tacked on 8 rushing yards for a solid fantasy outing, but it wasn't up to Cobb's season-long standards. Furthermore, this was the third straight week where Cobb failed to find the end zone. With the Falcons top cornerback Desmond Trufant likely shadowing Jordy Nelson this week, look for Cobb to have a big game working against the rest of the Atlanta secondary.

Tight end -- Jimmy Graham

You know what's a rare occurence in the NFL? Jimmy Graham being held without a catch. You know what's even rarer? Jimmy Graham not receiving a single target in a game. Yet, that's exactly what happened last week ... in a game where Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes. Needless to say, Graham should get his due this week as the Saints continue to battle to win the NFC South and take on the Carolina Panthers.

Kicker -- Dan Bailey

Bailey had a great matchup at home on Thanksgiving, but only managed to score four fantasy points -- his lowest total of the season. The entire Dallas offense was slowed down last week, but that shouldn't be the case on Thursday Night Football. Expect a solid rebound game from Bailey in Week 14.

Defense/Special teams -- Green Bay Packers

The Packers defense played a great game against Tom Brady and the Patriots, just not a great fantasy game as they only scored one point. This week, however, the Atlanta Falcons come to Green Bay for Monday Night Football, and the Packers defense should be able to rebound nicely for their fantasy owners as the Falcons boast one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer at Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar.