Fantasy Football News: Player News and Updates for 12/8/13
Fantasy Football Daily: Checking in on the Steelers, Pitta and more
December 8, 2013
Week 14 will be resuming within the coming hours, and that means fantasy owners’ playoff lives are hanging in the balance. A single player can mean the difference between moving on and losing it all, so with that in mind let’s take one final look at some of the notable names out there in the fantasy world this week.
Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints: Sproles and the Saints will be playing in this week’s marquis matchup: tonight at home against the Panthers in a nationally televised game on NBC. It should be a pretty tight battle between both teams’ backfields as they attempt to keep the opposing offense off the field.
Sproles isn’t the greatest fantasy play--and he’ll take a backseat to Pierre Thomas--but he’ll find his way onto lots of rosters this week, especially in PPR leagues. We can expect a similar workload to last week against the Seahawks, since they’re a similar defense to the Panthers. Sproles didn’t do much on the ground (three carries; 11 yards) but did find some room in the passing game (seven receptions; 32 yards). He’ll need to break a couple of big plays to become a legitimate fantasy contributor, so he carries a lot of risk tonight.
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Mike Tolbert, RB, Carolina Panthers: Let’s stick with the Saints-Panthers matchup and check in on the other backfield. Of the three heads on the rushing monster in Carolina (well, four heads if you count Cam Newton), we lean toward Tolbert in fantasy.
There are a couple of reasons for that. One, he’s coming off a pretty productive game against a good Seattle defense (12 touches for 89 yards). Also--and more importantly--he’s the most likely Panthers back to get some looks in the red zone. New Orleans has shown some weakness against the running game at times this season, so Tolbert may very well be able to find some room up close to the goal line. He, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are all deeper considerations and risky propositions, however.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens: Well, here’s an interesting scenario. Remember Dennis Pitta, the Ravens TE who was all geared up for a monster fantasy season before he injured his hip in training camp? He’ll be available for today’s game after getting activated yesterday.
What does that mean for fantasy owners, though? Well, not a whole lot at this point. It’s impossible to tell how much the Ravens will use him, or if he’ll be starting, working on limited reps or whatever. That said, if Pitta is back to full strength, he becomes an intriguing fantasy option down the playoff stretch, especially for deep leaguers. As of right now, we’d recommend holding off picking him up, but you should definitely keep your eye on him today.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense: The Steelers defense is available in a lot of leagues out there, and they honestly might not be too bad of an option for Week 14. They’ll be facing the Dolphins in Pittsburgh, and Miami’s offense isn’t making anyone quake in their cleats.
Here’s how it breaks down: in 12 games this year, opposing defenses have scored double-digit fantasy points on the Dolphins eight times. Miami won’t be putting too many points on the board, and their porous offensive line will likely allow a handful of sacks. If you need a last-minute replacement at the D/ST slot--or just some confidence in starting them--Pittsburgh should have a pretty good week.
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