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Surer than prediction of worldâ??s end RICH SHEPOSH FANTASY FOOTBALL


February 19. 2013 11:14PM
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The Mayans sure picked the wrong week to hold an apocalypse.


You'd think thousands of years ago, when those ancient astronomers were coming up with their ticking time bomb of a calendar, they could have found a better week for the world to go POOF than during the fantasy football championships. If they had any souls to speak of, they would have held doomsday right before that Sex and the City movie premiered a few years ago.


And if you doubt that the end is nigh, you missed out on some sure signs of the apocalypse last week in the NFL.


How else do you explain the Giants and the Buccaneers -- the fourth and sixth-best offenses in the league -- getting shut out? And one of those shutouts was pitched by the Saints – the worst defense in the NFL.


And what about Ray Rice, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White and Doug Martin COMBINED being outscored by a kicker – Blair Walsh of the Vikings?


Still, there is hope. Since you are reading this, maybe that calendar was just something they got from the First Mayan Savings Bank, so we might just be OK.


And if we are, this list of top picks on who to start for your fantasy Super Bowl won't be quite as irrelevant as I feared on Tuesday. If you made it this far in the playoffs, you don't want your fantasy world to end on a bad note.



QB: Sam Bradford, Rams. The worst pass defense in the NFL this year has given up 27 TD passes and allowed an average of 310.6 yards per game – the only team to top 300 yards in that category. That team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And that team is also who Bradford gets to face today.



Also consider: Nick Foles, Eagles. Foles is a typical rookie. He struggles against good pass defenses and has an occasional breakout game against bad ones. The Redskins are third worst in the NFL against the pass.



RB: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos. Mr. No One Saw This Coming has been fantasy gold since he took over for Willis McGahee in Week 12. He's coming off two straight 100-plus yard games with a TD. With the Browns paying a visit to Denver, here's thinking Moreno gets a third.



DeMarco Murray, Cowboys. Since coming back from injury, Murray's had a TD in three consecutive games. That's a trend. The Saints defense making like the Steel Curtain last week? That's an aberration. You can run on the Saints, and that's just what Dallas will do.



Also consider: Reggie Bush, Dolphins. When Buffalo comes to town, wake the neighbors and phone the kids. It's time for some offense.



WR: Danny Amendola, Rams. If he can stay upright, Amendola has the makings of a fantasy star. It's the whole tackle part of football that has taken a toll on him. If he survives, look for 100 yards and a TD.



Randall Cobb, Packers. In 2011, the studs of Green Bay's wide receiver corps were Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings. This year, it's James Jones and Randall Cobb. Jones has taken over the Nelson role as a red zone target and Cobb is doing his best Jennings impression as the yardage guy. Against the Titans defense this week, look for Cobb to get his yards as usual and add a bonus TD.



Also consider: Kenny Britt, Titans. This game has some garbage-time points written all over it. Britt should get a fourth quarter score in a lopsided Tennessee loss.



TE: Martellus Bennett, Giants. As a whole, the Ravens don't have a good defense. But they have some great individual players. Let's figure on the Ed Reeds of the world looking after Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, which leaves Bennett open for a score or two.



Also consider: Anthony Fasano, Dolphins. If he's going to have a good game, the Buffalo Bills are the team he'll do it against.



K: Steven Hauschka, Seahawks. There will be some defense played in the Pacific Northwest Monday. And where there is defense, touchdowns are scarce. And where TDs are scarce, field goal opportunities are plentiful.



Also consider: Josh Brown, Bengals. See Hauschka, Steven. And substitute Pittsburgh for Pacific Northwest.



DEF: Colts. The Raiders defense would have to improve mightily just to rise to mediocre. And yet, they shut out the Chiefs last week. Next up for K.C. is Indianapolis, a team trying to make the playoffs. The offseason can't get here fast enough for the Chiefs.



Also consider: Cardinals. The defense has always had potential, and after they shut down the high-powered Lions, they get the struggling Bears in the desert.


ONE FACT TO KNOW

What's going on with Ray Rice?


The Baltimore RB used to be as much a terror catching passes out of the backfield as he was running with the ball. But the Ravens haven't been using him as much in the passing game.


But going into week 16, he has 55 receptions and zero receiving TDs. In 2011, he finished with 76 receptions and three TDs via the pass.





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