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Salary cap advice: Patriots' soft pass defense a good fit for Schaub


It may feel like the NFL season is almost over, there still is a quarter of the season left. And with four weeks to go there's still plenty of time to fill up your coffers with prizes in salary cap fantasy leagues. Time to make or break your year.

This position-by-position look at some of the best bargains entering Week 14 is based on current prices in FanDuel 10-team leagues. If you're looking for a salary cap challenge, test your skills by going head-to-head with SI's Peter King in the Peter King Fantasy Challenge.

• Quarterbacks: The Patriots clinched the AFC East and get possibly their toughest test of the season against the one-loss but-not-yet-clinched Texans on Monday. The Pats' pass defense has allowed a lot of yards to opposing quarterbacks, something that a locked-in Matt Schaub should be able to take advantage of by targeting Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels as usual. In the eight games in which Schaub has thrown at least 30 times, he has averaged 288.9 yards with 15 total touchdowns. In nine games in which opposing passers have launched 30 or more throws against New England, those quarterbacks have averaged 320.6 yards with 18 touchdowns. That sets up nicely for Schaub, letting you conserve some passer funds for other positions. Others who should provide plenty of bang for the buck include Andrew Luck vs. Tennessee, Eli Manning against the Saints and Matthew Stafford at Lambeau Field.

• Running backs: Some of the league's better backs have tough matchups: Adrian Peterson faces the big, bad Bears, Frank Gore has a date with Miami, Stevan Ridley matches up with the Texans and Ray Rice travel down state to Landover to play the Redskins.

However, some matchups should have fantasy players licking their chops. Chris Johnson heads to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Colts' 26th-ranked fantasy defense against running backs. Ahmad Bradshaw should be quite busy all day against the Saints. And if you're shopping for a bargain, try Bilal Powell, who has become the scoring side of the Jets' running back tandem with Shonn Greene and has been the more effective of the two as of late. The Jets face the Jaguars, a team that has given up 100 rushing yards to everyone but the Raiders and Packers, two of the league's weaker running attacks.

• Wide receivers: Four of the five target leaders in the NFL over the past month are no surprise: Calvin Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson and Wes Welker. But the fifth may be a bit shocking for fantasy players who've been burned by his struggles all season: Hakeem Nicks. The Giants' top outside threat has been getting an average of 12.3 looks from Eli Manning per game and should have a field day at home against the Saints. Others to consider are the red-hot Dez Bryant; Roddy White, who is due to get back on track against the Panthers; James Jones, with Jordy Nelson very iffy to play against the Lions; Josh Gordon in Cleveland against the Chiefs; Mike Williams, who's too tough to handle for the checked-out Eagles and Jeremy Maclin, who should run through the Bucs' secondary.

• Tight ends: The Bengals have been vulnerable against tight ends, and Jason Witten is a pass-catching machine. That makes for a good matchup for the Cowboys tight end. Also of interest are Coby Fleener, who finally got a touchdown pass from his old college quarterback Andrew Luck last week, and his fellow Colts tight end, Dwayne Allen. Both will play at home against the Titans. Owen Daniels in Foxboro is also a promising matchup, as is Green Bay's Jermichael Finley, who is slowly turning his season around against the Lions.

• Kickers: Matt Bryant remains one of the top scoring kickers in the league, and the Panthers give up as many fantasy points as anyone. He's a good play as are Justin Tucker against the Redskins and Phil Dawson at home versus Kansas City.

• Defense: The Eagles are averaging 2.33 turnovers per game, and running back Bryce Brown, despite his prowess running the ball, hasn't helped in terms of coughing up the ball. That's why the Bucs make sense. Also cheap and useful this week are the Browns against the Chiefs and the Seahawks at home against the Cardinals.