Michael Fabiano: Cruz doesn't have much more than name value at this point, as he's been almost invisible in the stat sheets for most of the 2013 campaign. In fact, most of his production has come in just two games. On the flip side, Allen has been more consistent in recent weeks, scoring no fewer than 8.6 fantasy points in each of his last three games. He's also scored 12-plus fantasy points twice in that time. With a favorable matchup up next against the Denver Broncos, the rookie is a much more attractive starter.
M.F.: I'm looking at Luck as a low-end starter whose value could rise or fall based on the opponent. I couldn't have been more wrong about him in Week 14, as Luck dodged a horrible matchup and went off for 32.24 fantasy points against the Cincinnati Bengals. With that being said, listing him as a sit 'em in the previous two weeks did bear fruit. Up next is a date with the Houston Texans, agasint whom Luck put up 24.84 fantasy points back in Week 9. He's also playing on his home field, which is also an advantage. Luck has a tougher matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 16, though.
Filling the Gronkowski void
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M.F.: Pitta has been on my waiver-wire list for each of the last three weeks, and he's the tight end I would target if I needed to replace Gronkowski. One of Joe Flacco's most trusted targets, Pitta was a big reason Baltimore won the Super Bowl last season. If Pitta isn't available, Delanie Walker (if he is active) is another nice option based on a great matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. In a worst-case scenario where you can't land Pitta or Walker, Bennett is more appealing than Cook.
What are your thoughts on Alfred Morris? Should I play him this week in Atlanta? - @Mike_Evenson (via Twitter)
M.F.: Morris has been a bit inconsistent, scoring fewer than six fantasy points in two of his last three games in an offense that has more drama than "Days of Our Lives." Still, it's tough for me to recommend sitting him this weekend in Atlanta. The Falcons have been vulnerable to runners this season, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Regardless of what goes on with Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan, Morris will see his share of the carries in what is a favorable matchup on paper.
M.F.: It all depends on what sort of backfield depth you have and the matchups those players have in Week 14, but I can tell you that Spiller's contest against Jacksonville isn't as favorable as it looks. In fact, the Jags have been one of the better defenses in the league when it comes to stopping running backs since Week 10. Spiller, who has scored five-plus fantasy points just once in his last four games, shouldn't be seen as more than a flex starter regardless.
M.F.: Both of these runners are close in value overall, but I'm going with Bernard this week. The rookie out of North Carolina is on pace to finish the season with 50-plus receptions, and this week's matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers is a favorable one. The last time he faced this AFC North opponent, Bernard put up 19.50 fantasy points in PPR formats (Week 2).
M.F.: It's all about being prepared and knowledgeable about the situation. be sure to keep tabs on reports about whether or not coaches plan to rest their starters, and make sure to roster legitimate alternatives in case you need to replace a superstar. If you have Manning and don't have another quarterback to start in a worst-case scenario, check out the matchups and have a good backup plan in place. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a nice matchup in Jacksonville in Week 16, as do Ryan Tannehill and Jason Campbell. You might even want to grab Jay Cutler, who could be back in time to face the Philadelphia Eagles.
What defenses do you like as streaming option this week? - @xtate_2000 (via Twitter)
M.F.: Want a deep sleeper at defense? Take a look at the Jaguars, who have scored a combined 29 fantasy points in the last three weeks and have a favorable matchup against EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills. The New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys (if Aaron Rodgers remains out), Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles are also viable streaming options based on their respective opponents.
M.F.: Absolutely, even more so in PPR leagues. White has started to look like his old self in recent weeks, totaling 18 receptions for 217 yards in his last two games. He also has a tremendous game next on the slate, as the Washington Redskins have been one of the more vulnerable defenses in the league against wide receivers.
M.F.: That would be Jordan Todman, who figures to start if Jones-Drew (hamstring) is unable to start for the Jaguars. However, you should also keep close tabs on the status of both Adrian Peterson (foot) and Eddie Lacy (ankle) as well. If either of those two runners is unable to go this week, Toby Gerhart and James Starks would be more attractive options than Todman as a one-week fantasy starter.