The Falcons have all but wrapped up a wild card berth with their win over Jacksonville last night, and Roddy White owners are stoked today. (Thanks Roddy. One week too late for you and the rest of my team.)
With wins in 7 of their last 9 games, and the only losses being in overtime to the Saints and on the road to the Texans, the Falcons have a legit shot in the NFC playoffs. I can't wait for those playoffs to begin, now that most of my playoffs are over.
Here are some sleeper picks in case you need them.
Rex Grossman versus the Giants
A lot has happened since week one, including Grossman losing his job for awhile, but in their first meeting of the season Grossman had 305 yards, 2 TD/0 INT. The Giants have been burned a lot lately by quarterbacks, and if you're desperate for a QB this week then Grossman is a viable candidate. I wouldn't advocate for him being a starter on any NFL team next season, but this is the position the Redskins are in and the Giants are beatable in the air.
Deep Sleeper J.P. Losman
If Matt Moore is unable to go, then Losman faces the team that once wasted a first round draft pick on him. Also, a team that stinks at pass defense or most kinds of defense.
Maurice Morris, Keiland Williams versus the Raiders
If Kevin Smith is unable to go, then the Lions other running backs get to face the team that is allowing the most yards per carry in the league and is last in weighted defense against the run. The Raiders are allowing 5.2 yards per carry and just over a touchdown per game.
If Oakland wants to compete with Tim Tebow, they're going to have to learn how to stop the run, but that won't start this week.
Felix Jones versus the Buccaneers
Welcome back Felix. I liked you a lot before the season. Then you sucked. Then you were hurt. Then DeMarco Murray was awesome. Then he got hurt. Now you're back. Now you face the Bucs. A team that's allowed the most rushing touchdowns this year. Now you're a must start. What a wild season.
Ben Tate versus the Panthers
It's hard to start a backup running back, even if it's Tate, but Ben Tate is not a bad play this week. He's the best backup running back in the league, playing a system designed to open major holes for RBs, and the Panthers are one of the worst run D's and have allowed 15 TDs on the ground this year. 80 yards and a score are not out of reach this week.
Lance Moore versus the Vikings
It's hard to start Moore this season as Jimmy Graham has emerged, which leaves Lance as an unsure option for owners each week. This could be a good week to start him. The Vikings are last in the NFL in pass defense, and per Football Outsiders, they give up yards and points across the board from WR1 to TE to WR3. Plenty of opportunity to go around and Brees could have a monster day.
Jabar Gaffney versus the Giants
Like what I said above about Grossman. Giants are amongst the worst in the NFL against WRs that aren't #1 WRs.
Deep Sleeper Andre Caldwell versus the Rams
The Rams are 28th in the NFL against all other WRs beyond #1s and #2s, which leaves the door open for Caldwell. This is a really deep play, but he could sneak in for a score.
Owen Daniels versus the Panthers
Carolina is the worst team in the NFL against the tight end and Daniels is starting to come on a little bit. I really liked him before the year if he could just stay healthy. He can't use injury as an excuse this season however, the ball just hasn't been going to him and he's been unproductive. He just had his first 100 yard game of the year though, maybe he can follow that up with another.
I'm on vacation and short on time this week. Here's a truncated version of players I really like:
Drew Brees, Arian Foster, Nate Washington, Chris Johnson, Roy Helu, Marques Colston, Percy Harvin, Antonio Gates
Players I'd avoid:
Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Rashard Mendenhall, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, C.J. Spiller, Carson Palmer.
Follow me on twitter @casetines for further advice this weekend.