Roto Arcade - Fantasy

After experiencing a slight malfunction at Cleveland in early November, Bill Belichick's team has basically been unstoppable. A robotic menace, unaffected by weather, undeterred by opponents. 

Over the past five weeks, New England has faced three defenses that rank among the top-six in the NFL in points-allowed: Pittsburgh (15.2), Chicago (17.5), and the Jets (18.6). In those three games — two of which were played on the road, one of which was played in a blizzard — the Patriots have averaged 40.0 points and 444.3 total net yards.

They are impervious to … well, to everything.

This week, during the fantasy semis, New England hosts Green Bay, a team that's limiting opponents to just 14.5 points and 314.1 yards per game. And the match-up isn't even worth discussing. This game could be played in polar conditions, or on the surface of the sun. Don't care. The Pats cannot be controlled.

Prepare, again, to witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station. Submit or be destroyed, citizen.

Below you'll find the rough draft of my Week 15 ranks. As always, feel free to praise the stunning accuracy in comments…

QUARTERBACKS

1. Peyton Manning(notes) vs. JAC
2. Michael Vick(notes) at NYG
3. Tom Brady(notes) vs. GB
4. Philip Rivers(notes) vs. SF
5. Drew Brees(notes) at BAL
6. Matt Ryan(notes) at SEA
7. Matt Schaub(notes) at TEN
8. Jon Kitna(notes) vs. WAS
9. Eli Manning(notes) vs. PHI
10. Josh Freeman(notes) vs. DET
11. Kerry Collins(notes) vs. HOU
12. Jay Cutler(notes) at MIN
13. Joe Flacco(notes) vs. NO
14. Kyle Orton(notes) at OAK
15. David Garrard(notes) at IND
16. Jason Campbell(notes) vs. DEN
17. Matt Cassel(notes) at STL
18. Sam Bradford(notes) vs. KC
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) at MIA
20. Carson Palmer(notes) vs. CLE
21. Ben Roethlisberger(notes) vs. NYJ
22. Matt Hasselbeck(notes) vs. ATL
23. Shaun Hill(notes) at TB
24. Colt McCoy(notes) at CIN
25. Alex Smith at SD

Notably absent above: Aaron Rodgers(notes). The Pro Bowl quarterback was concussed in Week 14, and it's actually the second time he's had his concussion card punched this year. (Five more and he gets a free burrito!) The Packers are reportedly preparing Matt Flynn(notes) to start; we won't have a definitive ruling on Rodgers until late in the week, perhaps not until Saturday. … As of this writing, we don't yet know where the Monday night game between the Vikings and Bears will be played. The conditions at TCF Bank Stadium are (and will be) horrendous. There's been talk that the Vikings could have another out-of-state home game. Also unknown: Minnesota's starting quarterback. Brett Favre(notes) is dealing with an injured throwing shoulder and numbness in his right hand; Tarvaris Jackson(notes) has turf toe. Joe Webb(notes) and/or a street free agent could be behind center on Monday.

Shaun Hill (finger) reportedly did some throwing at Wednesday's practice, and may start for the Lions in Week 15. Hill is an obvious upgrade over Drew Stanton(notes), assuming that he's only lightly damaged. … Matt Cassel (appendectomy) could ultimately be a game-time decision, though he managed to participate in Wednesday's practice on a limited basis. There's hope for Bowe and Charles owners — unless of course you were eliminated in Week 14.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Arian Foster(notes) at TEN
2. Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) at IND
3. Chris Johnson vs. HOU
4. Michael Turner(notes) at SEA
5. Darren McFadden(notes) vs. DEN
6. Peyton Hillis(notes) at CIN
7. Jonathan Stewart(notes) vs. ARI
8. Knowshon Moreno(notes) at OAK
9. Jamaal Charles(notes) at STL
10. Steven Jackson vs. KC
11. LeSean McCoy(notes) at NYG
12. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) vs. PHI
13. BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes) vs. GB
14. Adrian Peterson vs. CHI
15. Felix Jones(notes) vs. WAS
16. LeGarrette Blount(notes) vs. DET
17. Fred Jackson(notes) at MIA
18. Ronnie Brown(notes) vs. BUF
19. Ray Rice(notes) vs. NO
20. Ryan Torain(notes) at DAL
21. Matt Forte(notes) at MIN
22. Tim Hightower(notes) at CAR
23. Brandon Jacobs(notes) vs. PHI
24. Mike Tolbert(notes) vs. SF
25. Cedric Benson(notes) vs. CLE
26. Rashard Mendenhall(notes) vs. NYJ
27. Jahvid Best(notes) at TB
28. Tashard Choice(notes) vs. WAS
29. Ryan Mathews(notes) vs. SF
30. Christopher Ivory(notes) at BAL
31. Danny Woodhead(notes) vs. GB
32. Brian Westbrook(notes) at SD
33. Rashad Jennings(notes) at IND
34. Pierre Thomas(notes) at BAL
35. Marshawn Lynch(notes) vs. ATL
36. Thomas Jones(notes) at STL
37. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) at PIT
38. Ricky Williams(notes) vs. BUF
39. Mike Goodson(notes) vs. ARI
40. Michael Bush(notes) vs. DEN

Not sure I've ever ranked Adrian Peterson as low as No. 14, even in the roughest match-up. But you have to consider the O-line issues, the likelihood of incompetence at quarterback, and the quality of the opposing defense this week. It's far from an ideal setup, and Peterson was obviously contained by the Giants last Monday (14 carries, 26 yards).

Christopher Ivory was limited in Wednesday's practice, which has to be considered a good sign (unless you're a Pierre Thomas owner). Ivory was lifted from Sunday's win over the Rams, due to a hamstring issue. He later told reporters that dehydration was the source of the problem. Doesn't seem particularly serious. … I like Tim Hightower well enough to recommend him here, but let's keep in mind that his fantasy stats all arrived in garbage time last week, in a game that was otherwise dominated by Arizona's 34-year-old kicker. The Cards are averaging just 18.7 points and 90.3 rushing yards per week. … It should be clear by now that I'm not expecting a shootout in Pittsburgh, and I'd rather not have my fake football team tied to that contest. Feels like a 13-9 ballgame. Difficult sit/start decision ahead for Rashard Mendenhall owners. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Andre Johnson(notes) at TEN
2. Roddy White(notes) at SEA
3. Reggie Wayne(notes) vs. JAC
4. Hakeem Nicks(notes) vs. PHI
5. Miles Austin(notes) vs. WAS
6. Calvin Johnson(notes) at TB
7. Dwayne Bowe(notes) at STL
8. DeSean Jackson(notes) at NYG
9. Marques Colston(notes) at BAL
10. Kenny Britt(notes) vs. HOU
11. Wes Welker(notes) vs. GB
12. Jeremy Maclin(notes) at NYG
13. Terrell Owens(notes) vs. CLE
14. Brandon Lloyd(notes) at OAK
15. Malcom Floyd(notes) vs. SF
16. Mike Williams (TB) vs. DET
17. Pierre Garcon(notes) vs. JAC
18. Stevie Johnson(notes) at MIA
19. Larry Fitzgerald(notes) at CAR
20. Anquan Boldin(notes) vs. NO
21. Santonio Holmes(notes) at PIT
22. Greg Jennings(notes) at NE
23. Chad Ochocinco(notes) vs. CLE
24. Santana Moss(notes) at DAL
25. Vincent Jackson(notes) vs. SF
26. Mike Wallace(notes) vs. NYJ
27. Johnny Knox(notes) at MIN
28. Brandon Marshall(notes) vs. BUF
29. Donald Driver(notes) at NE
30. Braylon Edwards(notes) at PIT
31. Derrick Mason(notes) vs. NO
32. Deion Branch(notes) vs. GB
33. Nate Washington(notes) vs. HOU
34. Austin Collie(notes) vs. JAC
35. Danny Woodhead vs. GB
36. Hines Ward(notes) vs. NYJ
37. Mike Sims-Walker(notes) at IND
38. Mario Manningham(notes) vs. PHI
39. Mike Williams (SEA) vs. ATL
40. Lance Moore(notes) at BAL
41. Michael Crabtree(notes) at SD
42. Earl Bennett(notes) at MIN
43. Sidney Rice(notes) vs. CHI
44. Louis Murphy(notes) vs. DEN
45. Roy Williams vs. WAS
46. Jacoby Ford(notes) vs. DEN
47. Jacoby Jones(notes) at TEN
48. Kevin Walter(notes) at TEN
49. Percy Harvin(notes) vs. CHI
50. Davone Bess(notes) vs. BUF
51. Robert Meachem(notes) at BAL
52. Anthony Armstrong(notes) at DAL
53. Arrelious Benn(notes) vs. DET
54. Devin Hester(notes) at MIN
55. Eddie Royal(notes) at OAK
56. Nate Burleson(notes) at TB
57. Steve Smith (CAR) vs. ARI
58. Steve Breaston(notes) at CAR
59. Randy Moss(notes) vs. HOU
60. Brandon Tate(notes) vs. GB

Austin Collie reportedly put in a full practice on Wednesday, so there's a fair chance he'll return for an outstanding match-up. Assuming he does, it's safe to kick Blair White(notes) to the curb in most leagues. Collie caught a touchdown pass in Indy's loss at Jacksonville in Week 4 (not surprising, since he caught six TD passes in his first six games this year).

Last week, Kenny Britt returned from his hamstring troubles, and was targeted eight times. He's really a must-start against the NFL's worst pass defense. Houston has allowed 279.9 yards per game through the air and 29 passing TDs. … That Greg Jennings rank (and the Donald Driver rank) is obviously related to the uncertainty surrounding Rodgers. If Flynn is quarterbacking, all bets are off. … Malcom Floyd apparently still has a tender hamstring, and was thus held out of practice. He might be downgraded in the final version of this week's ranks, but it would be a small surprise if he couldn't play. … Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu(notes) both reportedly practiced for Seattle, so things are looking up for that pair. Williams figures to draw the most targets. You'll recall that Deon Butler(notes) (leg fracture) was placed on IR.

TIGHT ENDS

1. Vernon Davis(notes) at SD
2. Jason Witten(notes) vs. WAS
3. Jacob Tamme(notes) vs. JAC
4. Tony Gonzalez(notes) at SEA
5. Greg Olsen(notes) at MIN
6. Kellen Winslow(notes) vs. DET
7. Kevin Boss(notes) vs. PHI
8. Chris Cooley(notes) at DAL
9. Owen Daniels(notes) at TEN
10. Marcedes Lewis(notes) at IND
11. Benjamin Watson(notes) at CIN
12. Rob Gronkowski(notes) vs. GB
13. Brandon Pettigrew(notes) at TB
14. Zach Miller vs. DEN
15. Brent Celek(notes) at NYG

Two injury notes at this spot: Antonio Gates(notes) is officially listed as doubtful for Thursday night, so don't rely on him this week. Todd Heap(notes) (hamstring) didn't practice on Wednesday, and he was sidelined in Week 14. In Heap's absence, Ed Dickson(notes) helped no one.

DEFENSES

1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NYJ
2. Chicago Bears at MIN
3. Philadelphia Eagles at NYG
4. San Diego Chargers vs. SF
5. Cleveland Browns at CIN
6. New England Patriots vs. GB
7. Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI
8. New York Jets at PIT
9. Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS
10. Arizona Cardinals at CAR
11. New Orleans Saints at BAL
12. Washington Redskins at DAL
13. New York Giants vs. PHI
14. Miami Dolphins vs. BUF
15. Atlanta Falcons at SEA

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Photos via AP Images

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