[Update: comments are now closed.] Micah James here with my colleague Russell S. Baxter, and we, along with State Farm, want to welcome you to Week 14! At this point, you probably have a good idea of whether your fantasy team has made the league’s playoffs or not. We’re guessing that if you’re here today it is because either you’re already in, or you’re facing the most important matchup of your season this weekend.
Before we highlight a couple of intriguing games, let us offer a piece of advice that has served fantasy teams quite well over the years.
Ever hear the saying “Dance with the one who brung you”? Basically, this means that you keep to the game plan. You stick with the players that have produced for you all season long instead of over-thinking your lineups and when everything is on the line. It’s good advice.
Here’s an example: don’t bench Jamaal Charles in favor of Bobby Rainey. Sometimes the long shot comes through, but during the fantasy playoffs, it’s better to trust your most reliable players — the ones that brung you.
A few games this week should have significant playoff implications, but let’s look at one or two which will have some fantasy consequences as well…
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
This week is the first meeting between the NFC South divisional leaders and, if last year’s games are any indication, this should be a high-scoring contest. The Panthers swept the 2012 series, winning 35-27 and 44-38, Carolina’s highest point totals all season. You’ll want to play your Saints, of course, but the Panthers’ skill players might be sneaky-good starts this week. Despite facing the team that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season, it's hard to believe Drew Brees will throw for fewer than 200 yards for a second straight week.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
Divisional leaders will square off in a game that should have a big impact on playoff seeding in the AFC. The Colts are still looking for ways to involve running backs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown in the offense, but tight end Coby Fleener has done a nice job picking up some of the yards that Reggie Wayne used to account for. The Bengals need quarterback Andy Dalton to bring back his elite performance numbers, and this matchup against a soft Colts’ secondary might just be the ticket. Plus, rookie running back Giovani Bernard is getting harder and harder to keep out of your lineup.
Thanks for being a part of our Sunday conversations here on Deadspin, courtesy of the good folks at State Farm. Hopefully Russell and I can help you do one final double check this afternoon to help launch your playoff campaign on a winning note! Jump in the comments below, and ask us all your lineup questions.
Russell Baxter and Micah James are here to help you double check your team just like your State Farm agent can help you double check for discounts up to 40% on auto insurance. See how that works?