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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Jaguars-Falcons game


Jaguars: RB Maurice Jones-Drew

Falcons: QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, TE Tony Gonzalez, K Matt Bryant, defense and special teams

Quick slants: Jones-Drew -- who has rushed for 1,222 yards, caught 35 passes for 348 yards and scored 10 touchdowns (four of them last week) -- is the only Jaguar worth playing. ... Ryan has thrown for 1,791 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last six games. He has averaged 303 yards in his last five. ... Turner is expected to play with a groin injury, and he is a somewhat risky start for the fantasy semifinals because of the ailment and a three-game stretch in which he has rushed for only 180 yards, averaged 3.3 yards per attempt and been held out of the end zone. I'd play him, but I wouldn't feel great about it. ... White has 28 receptions for 402 yards and three TDs in his last four games, and he has scored in three straight. It's his best stretch since his sensational 2010 season (115 catches, 1,389 yards, 10 TDs). ... The 35-year-old Gonzalez is having his best year since going to Atlanta in 2009. He has 23 catches for 251 yards in his last three games and 73 receptions for 812 yards and seven TDs on the year. ... Bryant has scored 96 points and has misfired on just two kicks (21 of 23 field goals and perfect on 33 extra points). ... The Falcons' defense ranks 14th overall (336.5 yards per game), fifth against the run (not good news for MJD owners) and 22nd vs. the pass. The Falcons have 25 sacks and should be able to have their way with rookie Jags QB Blaine Gabbert.


Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, TE Marcedes Lewis, K Josh Scobee, defense and special teams

Falcons: WR Julio Jones

Quick slants: If you're wondering why we didn't list a Jaguars wide receiver, it's this: Jacksonville, amazingly, has zero players with 400 yards receiving. The Jags' leader in receiving yards is Mike Thomas, who has 391 yards and a norm of only 9.8 yards per catch. ... Gabbert has completed 50.3 percent of his passes and has 1,783 yards, 10 TDs and nine interceptions. ... Lewis had a breakout 2010 (58 receptions for 700 yards and 10 TDs) to earn a big contract extension, but he has yet to find the end zone this season. He has 32 catches for 385 yards. ... Scobee, like Bryant, has missed two kicks, but he hasn't had nearly as many opportunities (18 of 20 field goals and perfect on 19 PATs). ... The Jaguars' defense has been pretty darn good -- No. 4 overall (302.3 yards per game), No. 16 vs. the run (111.5) and No. 4 vs. the pass (191). But I wouldn't be anxious to play them at Atlanta, which has scored at least 23 points in seven of its last eight games and is averaging 25.3 points in its last four home contests. ... Jones is a tempting start after catching seven passes for 174 yards and two TDs in his last two games, but he tends to be all or nothing, which is extremely risky at this time of year. In Jones' four 100-yard games, he has a combined 23 receptions for 477 yards and four TDs. In his six other contests, he has 14 receptions for 193 yards and zero TDs.

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