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NFL Week 14 guide to fantasy football

Play ‘Em

Joe Flacco (Baltimore): Last week was the first time Flacco produced fewer than 20 fantasy points in standard leagues since Week 5. Granted, it was against Pittsburgh. Look for Flacco to get back on track against a Texans’ defense that has given up at least 300 yards passing to three of its last four opposing quarterbacks. The last time Flacco faced Houston, he threw for 185 yards with two touchdowns.

Knowshon Moreno (Denver): It will be interesting to see what the Broncos’ offense will look like under interim coach Eric Studesville. Aside from the distractions, Moreno should have a field day against Arizona, whose run defense allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and has surrendered 15 touchdowns on the ground.

LeGarrette Blount (Tampa Bay): Blount turned in his second 100-yard performance of the year last week against Atlanta, with 103 yards with a touchdown. Blount is a solid play this week against a Washington defense allowing 137 yards per game on the ground.

Anquan Boldin (Baltimore): Last week, Boldin had 118 yards. Look for similar numbers against a Houston defense that has allowed seven different wide receivers to reach the 100-yard mark and gives up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Consider Boldin a No. 2 fantasy wide receiver in this matchup.

Michael Crabtree (San Francisco): There’s another quarterback change in San Francisco; this time it’s Alex Smith. That’s good news for Crabtree because with Smith starting, Crabtree had five touchdowns in eight games. Not only does Crabtree get Smith back, but he gets to face the 30th-ranked pass defense in Seattle. Look for success against a defense that has surrendered 10 passing touchdowns in five games.

Bench ‘Em

Matt Cassel (Kansas City): It’s been a tough week for Cassel, who struggled against Denver, with 196 yards and a touchdown and on Wednesday had an appendectomy. If Cassel is cleared to play, expect limited production against the No. 1 pass defense of San Diego. In Week 1, Cassel threw for just 68 yards.

Marshawn Lynch (Seattle): Lynch had his coming out party last week against Carolina, with 83 yards and three touchdowns. But San Francisco allows the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and just 101 yards per game on the ground.

LaDainian Tomlinson (New York): It’s getting to the point where you can’t trust LT. Tomlinson has just one game of more than 100 yards and hasn’t rushed for more than 60 yards since Week 4. The Jets will continue to use Shonn Greene and this week face a Dolphins team that ranks ninth in run defense.

Percy Harvin (Minnesota): Another talented wide receiver battling injuries has been Harvin (migraines). Harvin has frustrated owners with this injury and should be considered a bench player this week against the Giants. Opposing wide receivers are averaging 19 fantasy points per game, ninth-fewest in the NFL. Also, Brett Favre is hurt again, which could limit Harvin’s production.

Hines Ward (Pittsburgh): Ward was held in check by the Ravens’ defense last week, with one catch for 13 yards. This is a recurring theme in which Ward becomes a non-factor in Pittsburgh’s offense. Ward has failed to eclipse 15 yards on six occasions this season. Ward, at best, is a flex option based on his track record, but consider other options.


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