Falcons vs. Packers Fantasy Advice: Start Roddy White, Sit Jarrett Boykin

Kevin C. Cox

On a semi-frozen Lambeau Field, it will be the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons trading several big plays against each other's struggling defenses, and much fantasy production will be the result in Week 14.

I've gotten a lot of emails over the past few weeks asking me if I prefer playing in PPR (point-per-reception) leagues versus non-PPR leagues. For me, it's not close: PPR leagues for sure, and I always write this column based on your league being a PPR one. So if you play in a non-PPR league, bump up the guys I have projected for few catches.

Why do I like PPR better? Well, despite what others in the industry say, it is fast becoming the standard. Non-PPR leagues always unfairly weight the importance of running backs over wide receivers and tight ends. National high stakes leagues like the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) realized this, and chose to award one point (equal to yards in most formats) per every catch.

So if you do like playing in leagues where you don't need a full, dominant team to win and only need a top-five quarterback and two above average running backs, non-PPR is for you. But the best players in the world play PPR. It's more fun and mitigates luck, rewarding the best fantasy performances. Try one out next year. You'll (probably) thank me later.

Here are my projections for this week, which might very well see you in the first round of the playoffs:

QUARTERBACKS

Matt Flynn gets a full week of practice, and a long one at that. NFL signal-callers always seem to play much better at home than on the road. While that's good news for Flynn, it's not for Matt Ryan who looks a shell of his 2012 self. Both teams defenses are bad enough to allow for big plays by both guys, though.

Flynn: 260 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Verdict: Start as a low-end QB2 in Start 2 QB leagues and QB-flex leagues

Ryan: 310 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Verdict: Start as a low-end QB1

RUNNING BACKS

It seems like I use this space to praise Eddie Lacy every week, so I won't waste too many keystrokes doing it again this week. He faces one of his juiciest match-ups of 2013, and I expect him to go bonkers. Steven Jackson is as hard of a back as there is to predict what he's going to do on any given week. Given the Packers poor rush defense this season, I'm more likely to say this is a second straight good week for him.

Lacy: 110 rushing yards,1 touchdown. 3 catches, 30 yards
Verdict: Start in all leagues

James Starks: 25 rushing yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

Jackson: 75 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 catches, 20 yards
Verdict: Starts as a mid-to-low end RB2 in all leagues

Jacquizz Rodgers: 25 rushing yards, 3 catches, 25 yards
Verdict: Start as a desperation flex in 12- and 14-team leagues

Antone Smith: 15 rushing yards, 1 catch, 5 yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

WIDE RECEIVERS

It seems like James Jones has once again reclaimed the WR2 job back from Jarrett Boykin for the remainder of the season. However both of their fantasy production will once again depend upon how they are defended by opposing teams making their stats difficult to project. My advice is to look elsewhere if you can this week. In much the same way I think Boykin will replace Jermichael Finley's stats in 2014, I think Harry Douglas will do the same for Tny Gonzalez in Atlanta. He looks great, and Roddy White finally looks fully healthy for the first time all season. I expect significant numbers from all of these guys this week.

Jordy Nelson: 6 catches, 70 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in most leagues

Jones: 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start as a WR2 in most leagues

Boykin: 4 catches, 50 yards
Verdict: Start as a flex in 12-team PPR leagues

White: 7 catches, 80 yards
Verdict: Start in all PPR leagues

Douglas: 6 catches, 70 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in all leagues

TIGHT ENDS

Green Bay seems content to run their offense through Lacy and the wideouts, ignoring the tight end position (something they did frequently even with a healthy Finley in the lineup), so you will only find good tight end production on one of these teams this week. Gonzalez is a must-start because you never know when he is going to off with one of his signature 14-catch, 150-yard, 2 touchdown beauties.

Andrew Quarless: 2 catches, 20 yards
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Brandon Bostick: 1 catch, 5 yards
Verdict: Bench in every league

Gonzalez: 5 catches, 65 yards,1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in all leagues

KICKERS

This section of this column is always dicey. I try to predict extra points and field goals, but a close play either way and that changes everything. Here's the skinny: This game features two pretty good offenses and two pretty bad defenses. It's going to be cold, and it could snow. I'm not going out of my way to try an acquire someone else for my squad this week, but a better alternative could be out there staring you in the face.

Mason Crosby: 3 extra points,1 field goal
Verdict: Start in most leagues as a low-end option

Matt Bryant: 3 extra points
Verdict: Start if you have to, but check your league's waiver wire first

DEFENSES

Avoid, avoid, avoid. I don't like either one of these units for this week or the rest of the season. Listen, if you're still reading this column, you're probably in your league's playoffs or one victory away from making it. Don't flush it away by rolling with either of these options. The Raiders, Rams and Chargers are all much better this week.

Packers: 2 sacks,1 fumble recovery, 410 yards allowed, 21 points allowed
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Falcons: 1 sack, 1 interception, 405 yards allowed, 24 points allowed
Verdict: Bench in most leagues

Good luck!

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