Entering the championship week, for most of us it is not the time to start messing around with what got you here. If you've started Philip Rivers for fourteen out of fifteen weeks, leave him as your starter. Don't over think it and throw in a waiver wire pickup. Trust me, I've done this before. It's very tempting, but with teams still fighting for playoff positioning, no one is resting or benching their starters this week.
Jay Cutler came back with a solid start after missing the last four games. He looked rusty to begin the game but kept firing and ended with a top-twelve performance for the week. Cutler targeted Brandon Marshall very heavily and that hurt him initially with the two interceptions. When Cutler looked to involve the Bears' other receivers, that's when the passing game took off and he settled into a nice groove. He faces a poor Eagles pass defense this week. Philadelphia gave up 382 yards passing and two touchdowns to Matt Cassel and the Vikings last week. Cutler should pick apart the Eagles, and with a game under his belt he may even perform even better than last week.
Ryan Tannehill has quietly put up an average of twenty three points in his last three starts. Miami is pushing to make the playoffs after a mid-season swoon. Tannehill has passed for 843 yards and eight touchdowns during this mini win streak. He will travel to Buffalo this week and the weather/wind can be notoriously bad in December in Orchard Park. He's worth a look for those in need of a quarterback this week, but keep an eye on the weather.
Drew Brees did not have his best game last week against the St. Louis Rams. If it wasn't for some late game scrambling by the Saints passing game, Brees would have finished with a terrible point total. If you look at his point totals at home against his point totals on the road, you can see a remarkable difference. He has failed to reach twenty fantasy points in any of his seven road games, but has put up at least twenty fantasy points in six of his seven home games. This week, Brees will be on the road against Carolina in quite the rematch. Carolina's defense was embarrassed in the Week 14 game by Brees when they surrendered 313 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. Of course I'm not saying Brees should be benched but expectations should be lowered.
My sleeper for this week is Kirk Cousins. This should come as no surprise after he threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season. He gave a nice spark to the Redskins and almost won the game on a two point conversion at the end of the game. He was facing the poor pass defense of the Atlanta Falcons but it still was an impressive performance. This week he takes on the Dallas Cowboys and a defense that gives up the most points to fantasy quarterbacks. I can't wait to see what he's able to do this week in Dallas. He's a must start for anyone looking for a quarterback this week.
Listed below are the top five quarterbacks for passing touchdowns:
And the top five quarterbacks for passing yards:
1. Peyton Manning - 4,811
2. Drew Bress - 4,500
3. Matthew Stafford - 4,211
4. Tom Brady - 4,049
5. Philip Rivers - 4,048
Quick Notes: Carson Palmer is expected to play through his ankle and elbow injuries this week.... Joe Flacco is expected to play against the New England Patriots this week. The knee injury he suffered on Monday night does not look like a major concern.... Tennessee released John Skelton. This was to make room for Tyler Wilson on their roster. Matt McGloin had made Wilson expendable in Oakland.... Aaron Rodgers will practice on Wednesday. With Green Bay still in the playoff hunt, Rodgers coming back is still a real possibility.... Matt Cassel is expected to start the last two games for Minnesota.... Geno Smith expects to compete for the New York Jets starting job in 2014.... Matt McGloin will start for Oakland in Week 16.... Eli Manning threw five interceptions in Week 15. That brings his season total to 25.... The Minnesota Vikings may look to trade Christian Ponder for a late round draft pick in the upcoming draft.