2012 Fantasy Football Week 14 Monday Night Football Preview: Patriots vs. Texans

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Welcome to the playoffs! If you’re reading this you’re probably in your league’s playoffs, and chances are you you’ve got a player or two on your team who’s playing Monday night as the Texans face the Patriots.

Monday night’s game is pretty cut and dry when it comes to whom you should start and sit. The Texans have a very good defense when healthy, but they’re currently pretty banged up. Even though they’ve given up single-digit fantasy points to quarterbacks in seven games this year, you’re not sitting Tom Brady this week. He got you to the playoffs and he’s starting for you. No questions asked. Matt Schaub has a better matchup against the Patriots’ porous secondary, which is giving up the 11th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

To compare to another starter in a start/sit decision I’d have to see who your other QB is, but Schaub makes for a good play this week. He’s coming off three straight productive games, and before last week the Pats had given up a touchdown in every game this season and at least 244 passing yards in every game except one.

Arian Foster hasn’t been nearly as efficient as the past two years, but he’s still scoring touchdowns and usually getting well over 20 touches a game. The Pats feature a top five fantasy run defense, but, as with Brady, you’re not sitting your studs. Start Foster this week.

Stevan Ridley’s been a great surprise this year after being drafted 52nd on average. He’s seventh among running backs in fantasy points and been very consistent week-to-week. But this week you might want to sit him even though I’ve been saying to start your studs. I’m rolling the dice and starting him, partly because he’s scored a touchdown in five straight games and partly because Beanie “Score When You Sit Me Suck When You Start Me” Wells is my next best option. But the Texans have the second best fantasy run defense and have only allowed two rushing touchdowns to running backs all year long. So I wouldn’t blame you for sitting him.

Hopefully you weren’t like me and didn’t spend a fourth-round pick on Brandon Lloyd. If you did he’s probably on the waiver wire or been riding your bench for some time now. He’s not startable, but Wes Welker and Andre Johnson are, obviously. Both those guys are top-11 fantasy receivers and should top 100 yards this week. No other receivers in this game are worth starting, but two tight ends are: Owen Daniels and Aaron Hernandez. Daniels is Schaub’s second favorite target and fifth-best fantasy tight end this season. He’s been consistent, catching at least three balls in every game he’s played this season. The Pats are the fourth-worst defending tight ends in fantasy, and have given up seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends, which is the third-most among defenses. Now that Hernandez is healthy, and with Rob Gronkowski injured, Hernandez is basically matchup-proof. He had eight catches for 97 yards last week, and he should be able to do well for you this week, hopefully fulfilling the hope you had in him when you drafted him.

Good luck in the playoffs!

Written by Andrew Miller exclusively for

Unless otherwise noted, the following lineup and roster advice assumes a standard 10- or 12-team league with roster spots as 1 QB/2 RB/2 WR/1 RB/WR/1 TE. If I don’t mention a player it means I feel he isn’t worthy of starting in any league except very deep leagues. For advice regarding deeper leagues feel free to ask me on Twitter @44AMiller.

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Week 14 rankings by position:
 QB | RB WR | TE | D/ST  K