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Ravens, Giants could score big points for fantasy owners

Scott Engel of previews the Week 14 games from Fantasy Football perspectives.

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins

The Redskins can get pressure on the opposing passer, so Tom Brady will have to get rid of the ball quickly. Expect a busy day for Wes Welker and the Patriots TEs. Brady may get hit a lot and might not post fantastic numbers, yet you simply have to roll with him anyway. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should produce good PPR totals, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis could finish a drive with a TD run. The Redskins will try to keep it close and Roy Helu could be an outstanding flex start if he gets a lot of touches. Jabar Gaffney is a nice, sneaky start against his former team, and Santana Moss could have his best statistical game of the year.

Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers

The Raiders will need to use the ground game to offset the Packers offense dominating time of possession. The Pack will be ready and expect Michael Bush to work hard just to post adequate totals. Carson Palmer likely will have to throw a lot if Oakland falls behind, and expect him to throw for 300 yards and more than one TD. Oakland ranks 17th against the pass and could fall even further after Aaron Rodgers lights them up for at least three scores. Greg Jennings could catch a TD pass, Jordy Nelson should soar past the 100-yard mark and James Jones might catch a deep ball or two.

Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets

There's no reason to think any Chiefs will be useful for fantasy purposes, as Darrelle Revis could lock up Dwayne Bowe and Tyler Palko will struggle to find other receivers. Dexter McCluster should easily be held in check by the New York defense. Kansas City's defense has played respectably recently and could keep the score down. Mark Sanchez could have trouble throwing the ball downfield consistently, putting Santonio Holmes in line for a disappointing day. Plaxico Burress could be held without a score, and Shonn Greene might only supply decent numbers.

Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals

Both teams defend the run well, and with the Texans' passing game depleted by injuries, Arian Foster becomes easier to defend. The Bengals can afford to devote extra attention to the Houston RBs, which means you shouldn't expect a stellar outing from Foster or Tate. When T.J. Yates throws, Joel Dreessen has been a preferred target, and could be useful for a TD if you are scraping for TE help. Cedric Benson likely won't find enough open running lanes to make him worth starting, and the only surefire player to use from the Cincinnati side is A.J. Green. Jermaine Gresham is always a threat to score, though, and is worth starting if you do not have an elite Fantasy TE. Andy Dalton should get the ball to Green a few times, but he could sputter overall.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

The Colts will get a resounding thumping in the return to their roots, and may not be able to offer anything in the way of catch-up padded stats as they did last week. Using any Indianapolis players in what is generally a playoff week for most fantasy owners appears to be a ticket to an early exit. The Colts' awful run defense against fantasy superstar Ray Rice appears to be the mismatch of the season, and while the Baltimore RB appears certain to go over 100 rushing yards and score twice, it will not be all about the ground game for the Ravens. A great rushing attack should set up play action deep strikes to Torrey Smith, a very good WR3 start this week. Anquan Boldin could catch several key passes and is a fine PPR option, and even Ed Dickson should chip in. Joe Flacco is a solid starter who chould throw for 250-plus yards and at least two TDs.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Both teams are banged up, but the Vikings have been running the ball effectively and a blowout can't be assumed. Adrian Peterson will not be held down if he can play, and should come through with quality numbers. Percy Harvin is rolling, but his success depends on the availability and effectiveness of Christian Ponder. Minnesota's pass defense is a wreck right now, and Matthew Stafford could easily throw for over 300 yards with a minimum of two TD passes. Calvin Johnson should find the end zone while Nate Burleson finishes with at least 80 receiving yards. The lack of a dependable running game could keep the Lions from fully dominating, and none of their RBs should be used in a fantasy playoff week.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Michael Turner is dealing with a groin issue, but should be able to work through it against the league's 27th-ranked run defense, so plan to use him. The Panthers have allowed 18 TD passes and Matt Ryan has the ability to throw for at least two scores. Expect Roddy White to score, and Julio Jones to go over 100 yards while Tony Gonzalez catches several key passes. The Falcons are dealing with some key issues in the secondary, and Steve Smith should play better than he has in recent weeks. Cam Newton could throw for a pair of TDs and is usually hard to defend again, as either a passer or a scrambler. The Falcons have been formidable against opposing RBs, though, so try to steer clear of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams this week.

Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins rank fifth against the run, yet no team can fully contain LeSean McCoy, who should finish off at least one scoring drive. Michael Vick should be refreshed and ready to spread the ball around, so you can start him for solid, yet unspectacular fantasy production. Brent Celek could be a big beneficiary of the Vick return, yet the ball will be widely distributed and no Eagles WR is an outstanding start. Philadelphia ranks 17th against the run, and Reggie Bush should post quality rushing totals. Lock Bush in as a flex player, and Brandon Marshall will try to use his height and strength to get into position for many important catches. Start Marshall for sure, and Matt Moore could toss two scoring passes.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars allow 111.6 rushing yards per game, so here is an opportunity for LeGarrette Blount to get back on track. Jacksonville does not have the firepower to take a big lead and force the Buccaneers to abandon their running game, so Blount should get regular work and should be started as a RB2. If Josh Freeman can play without any significant limitations, expect Kellen Winslow to deliver double-figure PPR totals, and Mike Williams could score again. Maurice Jones-Drew has been an admirable, unstoppable force this year, and Tampa Bay's 29th-ranked run defense is in for a long day on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

The Titans' 18th-ranked pass defense likely will be no match for Drew Brees. Yet the Titans could continue to run the ball very effectively, and Chris Johnson will try to help his team stick close. Johnson is a must-start as a RB1 again, and Matt Hasselbeck will try to stay in a game with Brees. Hasselbeck could throw for a pair of scores, and Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins should be considered for use in larger leagues as potential TD threats. The Saints might not dominate time of possession enough to roll up more than three TD passes, yet Lance Moore and Marques Colston are strong starting options. Darren Sproles is not as explosive as he was earlier in the year, yet still should be used as a top flex player. Robert Meachem is way too unreliable to use him at this point of the season.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Frank Gore is capable of busting out with a big performance at any time, and you should look for a 100-yard outing against a Cardinals defense that ranks 19th against the run. Arizona has been vulnerable to the passing game all year, so you can start Michael Crabtree in larger leagues and gamble on the TD promise of Vernon Davis, even if he does not give you the desired yardage production. The 49ers could be more vulnerable defensively without Patrick Willis, and the call here is for the Niners to surrender their first rushing TD of the year. The Cardinals do have familiarity with their division rival and can exploit the loss of their top defensive player, so you should go with Beanie Wells as a RB2 and Larry Fitzgerald for sure. Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are much bigger rolls of the dice that you should avoid in the fantasy postseason.

Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos

Von Miller is expected to return to action, making the Denver defense a top fantasy start for Week 14. Denver should be able to shut down Marion Barber and force Caleb Hanie into many adverse passing situations. Hanie could take some big hits and might be prone to turnovers, so all Bears should be reserved in a very critical fantasy week. The Bears can still hang in there defensively, though, and Tim Tebow likely won't pass for more than one score. Still, he should run the ball well enough to guarantee you double-figure fantasy production in the high teens, and he could connect with Eric Decker for a score. Willis McGahee should be able to work through a knee injury for adequate yardage numbers. WR Demaryius Thomas has upside, yet could be quieted after a big Week 13 performance.

Buffalo Bills at San Diego Chargers

The Chargers' front seven can be exposed by quick opposing RBs, so you can use C.J. Spiller as a flex option. Still, Spiller is a work in progress, so be judicious when choosing who you use him over. Take the more dependable, proven option in a close call at RB2 or flex. Stevie Johnson is back in the flow of the offense and could score, but the rest of the Bills are running too hot and cold to be recommended. Buffalo allows 129.1 rushing yards per game, so Ryan Mathews should be rolled out as a RB1 this week and Mike Tolbert could be counted on for a TD. The Bills secondary has looked very vulnerable recently, so sit back and expect good numbers roll in from Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Both teams should light up the scoreboard in the marquee game of the week. Eli Manning and Tony Romo could both pass for over 275 yards with three scores. Dallas will struggle to find an answer for Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks and Jake Ballard should both find the end zone. New York may find advancing the ball on the ground to be tougher, as Ahmad Bradshaw might finish with only decent totals and Brandon Jacobs might not be allowed to score. Miles Austin should return with a flourish and Dez Bryant could beat the New York CBs for a few big gainers. Jason Witten should be an absolute standout when the Cowboys and fantasy owners need him the most. DeMarco Murray might be held in check early, yet a few long second half runs will make his final totals look very good.

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

The Rams likely will rely heavily on Steven Jackson because of their QB issues, and he should be quite busy as both a runner and pass receiver. Still, Jackson might not finish with better than respectable totals from scrimmage, yet he should get enough quality touches to keep your fantasy team in the running for a victory. Brandon Lloyd, however, could take a big hit in fantasy appeal because of the St. Louis QB situation, and he should be reserved. Marshawn Lynch is set to tear through the NFL's worst run defense, and should score at least twice. Seattle should also feature some air heroics, and you can consider Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin for usage in larger leagues. The Seahawks defense is a fantasy darling because of the obvious circumstances in St. Louis, and the sack and turnover numbers should be very fun to watch as they register.

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