START: Tom Brady, QB – New England Patriots
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
If you blinked during Brady’s now famous scramble against the Dolphins, you might have missed him and that blazing speed. As a Brady owner, I’d like to say “thanks for the bonus rushing point, Tom!” Now ordinarily, I tend to stay away from advising obvious/homer picks, but Brady going against a paltry Jets’ secondary is too juicy a match-up to ignore. I mean, you DO want to win this week, right? Last time these two teams squared off, New England’s stud quarterback roasted the Jets for 261 passing yards and 3 touchdowns – good enough for 22 points in standard leagues. It’s a division game, and we all know how competitive Brady is for those events…particularly against the Jets. Of course he won’t admit it, but Brady wants that MVP honor. So I think he comes into the Meadowlands and tries to make his best case for his third individual award by putting up some solid stats. He’s a top 3 quarterback play this week.
SIT: Philip Rivers, QB – San Diego Chargers
Traditionally a December warrior (33-8 career record), Rivers has lost two straight this month. Now you might point to the fact that those two games came against New England and Denver, but I’ll counter by saying that both those battles were on his own home turf and he played quite awful in each of them (421 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs combined). This week he leaves behind beautiful San Diego, to travel to a hostile San Francisco stadium that will be occupied by fans starving for a spoiler victory. And oh yeah, the 49ers defense is pretty good (ranked 4th against the pass).
SLEEPER: Andre Williams, RB – New York Giants
First of all, I’m not a huge fan. He was a Heisman finalist at Boston College, which is all fine and dandy, but the talent simply hasn’t translated to the NFL. Williams doesn’t have great hands, nor is he going to make many guys miss; he’s essentially a plodder who bulldozes for what yardage he can get before going down. He isn’t terrible, and he has had a few decent runs this season, but at 3.2 YPC, he also hasn’t shown to be a special running talent in this league overall. With all that said, he does find himself in a great situation this week, as Rashad Jennings looks to once again be sidelined with ankle woes. The match-up itself is a tough one (St. Louis is ranked 6th in run defense this season), but Williams is going to carry the bulk of the mail, so he will get some production. If you’re in a tough spot this weekend, feel free to deploy Williams in your FLEX spot.