Week 14 means a lot of us are heading into the first week of our season-long league playoffs. It also proposes to be a week in which Johnny Manziel gets another shot at showing what he can do facing a team as iffy as his with the Browns.
What can we say? Let the games begin.
The Falcons are full of questionables, led by kicker Matt Bryant (quadriceps) and Julio Jones (knee), then Jacob Tamme (shoulder) and if you are counting, Devin Hester (toe), facing the unbeaten Panthers, who are looking at the cluster of Ted Ginn, Jr, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart--none of whom practiced Thursday--as also questionable. I will guess that troika will do anything to play as long as their team is undefeated.
The Bills' LeSean McCoy has hurt feelings (ask Chip Kelly), but he will play, although Karlos Williams (shoulder) and Charles Clay (knee) are questionable against the Eagles, whose Ryan Mathews (concussion) is questionable while Sam Bradford (shoulder) and Zach Ertz (hip) are probable.
Eddie Royal (knee) is questionable for the Bears, while Martellus Bennett (ribs) gets to join the "Toast List" for the rest of the season, while the Redskins have no injuries to report that impact our fantasy teams.
As noted, Manziel gets a shot at redemption facing the Niners, while a couple of his weapons, Travis Benjamin (shoulder) and Dwayne Bowe (unknown) are questionable. For San Francisco, Anquan Boldin (hamstring), Carlos Hyde (foot, and has been out for seven weeks) and Vance McDonald (concussion) are all questionable. I would not bank on either Hyde or McDonald.
Dez Bryant (knee) is probable for the Cowboys against the struggling Packers, who have no new injuries to report.
The Broncos are loaded with questionables in C.J. Anderson (ankle), Andre Caldwell (quadriceps), Owen Daniels (knee), Vernon Davis (concussion) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) while Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is probable against the Raiders, whose Amari Cooper (foot) is questionable.
Houston's Alfred Blue (back) and J.J. Watt (groin) are questionable hosting the banged up Patriots, who have Danny Amendola (knee), Scott Chandler (knee) and Rob Gronkowski (knee) listed as questionable.
The Jaguars' Allen Hurns (thigh) is probable against the Colts, who have no new impacting injuries.
Fantasy Score Plays
There are a lot of signal callers I like this week, but I am going with the ever productive Blake Bortles ($7800) in what should be a shootout against the Colts.
In fact, I am taking the Jags defense ($1500) on the low end figuring they can cause some problems for the aging Matt Hasselbeck.
That allows me to go high end with my receivers, taking A.J. Green ($8200) as a go-to guy in a tough game against rival Pittsburgh, while I like Odell Beckham, Jr.'s ($8700) chances running routes against the Dolphins.
Finally, Brian Hartline ($2000) is someone to monitor, as he has caught 16 passes for nearly 200 yards over the past two weeks.
Douglas Tompkins, founder of Berkeley-based "The North Face," died in a kayaking accident in Chile. It was just a little local shop when I started shopping there 35 years ago on the south end of Telegraph Avenue. Obviously, the company is international now.
Remember Philip Humber? Threw a perfect game in early 2012? He signed a minor league deal with the Padres this past week.
The Athletics gambling on Jed Lowrie (mostly a health issue) and swapping of Brett Lawrie means Lowrie gets first dibs at covering second, with Danny Valencia owning third for the coming season. Lowrie played his best and was his healthiest in Oakland. Of course, Lowrie can also move around to second and third.
Note that I will look at the Rule 5 draft this coming Saturday at Bed Goes Up.
Again, remember you can play against us at the Mastersball 50-team 50/50 Challenge and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.