Marcas Grant: I have a feeling Mr. Football will be making a pretty robust appearance in this week's Mailbag. So let me start by saying this: Johnny Manziel might have a very long and prosperous career in the National Football League. He could even ball out this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. There is a small handful of quarterbacks that I'd consider starting him over this week. But generally speaking, am I trusting my fantasy playoff existence to a player that is a mostly unknown quantity? Noooooope.
M.G.: Let's not overthink this. Johnny Manziel is certainly the flavor of the week (year?), but we still have no real idea of what he can do. Meanwhile Russell Wilson is starting to turn up in recent weeks. Don't fear the matchup against San Francisco. The ineptness of the 49ers offense has hamstrung its defense over the past month. Not to mention that the Seahawks are so much more potent at home and have dominated their NFC West rivals at CenturyLink Field in the past couple of seasons. I'd feel more than confident with DangerRuss in Week 15.
M.G.: Man, you guys are really fired up about Manziel this week. Also ... how are you choosing between this list of quarterbacks? Presumably this is for a daily league. If that's the case, then this is the spot in which I'd give Johnny F. Football a shot. His price is pretty reasonable and his potential ceiling is really high. When you remove the fear of elimination from the equation, the concern about starting an unknown quantity drops significantly.
M.G.: After what we saw from the New Orleans Saints secondary last week against the Carolina Panthers, I'm optimistic about what Jay Cutler could do this week -- even without Brandon Marshall. Conversely, I wasn't a big fan of Philip Rivers' schedule for the fantasy playoffs. He struggled last week against the Patriots defense and I don't have a a lot of confidence that Sir Bolo can prosper this week versus a quality Broncos defense.
M.G.: It stands to reason that an offshoot of all the Johnny Manziel questions would be questions about Josh Gordon. The most you can really ask for from any receiver is that he sees a lot of targets. Regardless of whether Manziel succeeds, you can expect that the Browns will do everything they can to get the ball to their best playmaker. Plus if you've held a roster spot for Gordon all season long, is this really the time to consider sending him back to your bench?
M.G.: I like Latavius Murray a little more this week -- and not just because he owns the only two rushing touchdowns the Chiefs have allowed this season. But as my man Elliot Harrison pointed out to me, Kansas City has allowed the second-most rushing yards this season. Don't believe that the Chiefs are impenetrable by opposing running backs. As for your receiver spot, Donte Moncrief is the better play. The Texans secondary is a far cry from what the Lions have ... not in a good way. Not to mention that with Charles Johnson having put a few nice games on tape, Detroit's defense is likely scheming to slow him down.
M.G.: Not sure who you did start, but I will say you should start Moncrief this week for the reasons I listed above. But you should also give Moncrief a shot because ... have you seen Washington's offense? Click here for a photo of it. No one -- and I include Jay Gruden in that -- seems to have any clue of what's going on there. It doesn't matter if it's Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin III or Doug Williams, I have zero confidence that they can consistently get the ball to their playmakers. Especially because the latter is 59 years old.
M.G.: I'm not completely sold that Green is going to have a monster game this week just because the Browns have found a way to hold him down recently. That "way" is generally named Joe Haden. Nonetheless, I still feel more confident that Andy Dalton will do his best to get the ball to Green and that the Bengals wideout has a far higher point-scoring ceiling than Jordan Matthews. That's a long-winded way of saying ... start your studs.
M.G.: Your decision gets a little bit easier with news that Denard Robinson is out for the rest of the season with a foot sprain. From the rest of that list, Isaiah Crowell has the best matchup and has been the most consistently productive of the backs in that group. There is certainly concern that Terrance West could snatch some touches from Crowell, but against the Bengals run defense, both rushers should be good options.
M.G.: You should definitely roll with Latavius Murray for the reasons I mentioned above. Your other choice should be Jonathan Stewart. He's the lone true option in the Carolina backfield (Fozzy Whittaker shouldn't be a real concern) and has a plus matchup against the Buccaneers this week. Could Kerwynn Williams have another good week against St. Louis? Sure, but Bruce Arians making noises about a committee situation doesn't do anything to make me optimistic.
M.G.: Happy Birthday, Rank!