1st and 5

This is it. Week 14 is here. The last week of regulation in most leagues. Some leagues started the playoffs last week (even sooner in custom leagues). Hopefully you took advantage and set up your team for the playoffs. If not, let’s see what we can do!

QB: Colt McCoy, Redskins- He’s got weapons for a nice aerial attack. His 2 playoff matchups are @Giants who rank 26 vs QBs and home vs the Eagles who are 29th vs QBs. He could be a sleeper QB. Alex Smith, Chiefs- Is a little safer and is home vs Raiders (21 vs QB) and @Steelers (23 vs QB). Johnny Manziel is kind of intriguing but he’s got to play the Colts and Bengals at home before getting to a Carolina defense that is ranked 25th vs QBs. We’ll see what he does vs the Colts if he gets the start. Could be lightning in a bottle.

RB: Carlos Hyde, 49ers- It’s been the bottom of the barrel here for running backs the last few weeks. It’s a good time to secure your handcuffs if you haven’t done so. Hyde might also get some extra carries vs Oakland who is 32nd vs the RB. Keep an eye on: The RB situation in Arizona. Starting RB Andre Ellington is banged up leaving the door open for Marion Grice or Stepfan Taylor. John Kuhn, Packers- Is a sneaky and high risk play. Andre Williams, Giants- Might be an option if Rashad Jennings can’t go.

WR: Kenny Stills, Saints- Probably leads the list of intriguing guys at the wideout position. Drew Brees finally had his breakout game of 2014. As someone who drafted Brees with my first round pick, I expected this a lot sooner. That being said, this connection might pay off in the playoffs. Starting this week vs Panthers (25th vs WR) @Bears (23rd vs WR) and home vs Falcons (28th vs WR). Donte Moncrief, Colts- You can’t ignore 134 yards and two TDs, but he is behind TY Hilton, Reggie Wayne and the TEs. Harry Douglas, Falcons- Stepped in for Roddy White and had himself a day. If White is out, feel free to play him this week vs the Packers.

TE: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings- I thought this guy was going to be a top 5 TE this year. Things happened and he was far from it. He could have a monster game this week vs a Jets defense that is ranked 30th vs the TE. Heath Miller might still be out there. Looks like only 49% owned in ESPN leagues.

D/ST: Rams- got Chris Long back and did a whole lot of damage. This week they have a juicy matchup vs the Redskins. Vikings- had a good week and are playing the Jets this week.

My last piece of advice heading into the playoffs: If you have “dead spots” on your roster and don’t feel like you need anyone, you can always pick up a player or D/ST to block your opponent from using them. It’s kind of cut-throat, but this is the playoffs. Win or go home!

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