Vereen's a good fantasy football bet

The Patriots' Shane Vereen should put up good numbers rushing and receiving with Rob Gronkowski out. ELISE AMENDOLA / Associated Press
The Patriots' Shane Vereen should put up good numbers rushing and receiving with Rob Gronkowski out. ELISE AMENDOLA / Associated Press
Posted: December 14, 2013

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 15.

Watch 'em roll

Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots at Dolphins. Rob Gronkowski's absence is bad news for Tom Brady's owners, but Vereen's stock gets another boost. Especially in PPR leagues, his versatility will be integral to the Patriots' game plan. With the vulnerable Dolphins defense up next, Vereen should pile up the yards both rushing and receiving.

Ben Tate, RB, Texans at Colts. He's coming off a surprisingly mediocre outing against the surging Jaguars, but the Texans' workhorse has an excellent chance to rebound against the dismal Colts run defense.

Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles at Vikings. Cooper is fantasy-relevant for the first time in his four-year career, thanks to the emergence of Nick Foles. Under the dome, the Eagles' up-tempo offense should shred the Vikings' generous pass defense.

Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers at Buccaneers. With Anquan Boldin likely stranded on Revis Island, Crabtree should draw soft coverage from the rest of the Bucs secondary, which has surrendered 24 touchdowns through the air this season.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings vs. Eagles. With a TD rushing and receiving over the last two games, the rookie playmaker has worked his way into the fantasy discussion.

More thumbs up: QBs Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, Josh McCown, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo; RBs Gio Bernard, DeMarco Murray, Andre Ellington, Steven Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Reggie Bush, Alfred Morris, Darren Sproles; WRs Julian Edelman, Stevie Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson, Marques Colston, Torrey Smith, Cecil Shorts, Dwayne Bowe, Andre Johnson, Antonio Brown, Roddy White, Golden Tate.

Roll 'em back

Eli Manning, QB, Giants vs. Seahawks. It's not just Eli you need to worry about in this highly unfavorable matchup. Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary will be clamping down on his talented receiving corps as well.

Ray Rice, RB, Ravens at Lions. Most teams that invested a first-round pick in Rice have probably stopped paying attention. But in case you're considering him, don't. The Lions have stifled some of the best backs in the league, and they'll be back at home playing comfortably indoors.

Chris Johnson, RB, Titans vs. Cardinals. He has scored in consecutive weeks, but still has just one 100-yard rushing game all season.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins at Falcons. Garcon hasn't reached the end zone since Week 10.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals at Titans. Until his 2-for-26-yard performance against the Rams last week, I considered the surging Floyd an every-week starter. Now facing an even tougher test against Tennessee's top-notch secondary, Floyd is suddenly a very risky starter.

More thumbs down: QBs Carson Palmer, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick; RBs Andre Brown, Stevan Ridley, Chris Ivory, Rashad Jennings, Pierre Thomas, Maurice Jones-Drew; WRs Tavon Austin, Santonio Holmes, Hakeem Nicks, Kendall Wright, Anquan Boldin, DeAndre Hopkins.

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