Start & SitNovember 2, 2007

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Week 9

By Nick Hopkins

Week 8 was an interesting one for fantasy owners. Indianapolis, San Diego, New Orleans, and New England won big due to huge games from star players like Reggie Wayne, Antonio Gates, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady, among many others. Oft-injured and/or unknown runners like LenDale White, Brandon Jacobs, Kevin Jones, and Ryan Grant put up over 100 yards on the ground. And to top it all off, Brett Favre and Greg Jennings ended up deciding a lot of fantasy games with their 82 yard touchdown connection in overtime on Monday night. Looking ahead to Week 9, the Steelers and Ravens clash in an AFC North showdown, LT and the Chargers face off against ADP and the Vikings in a battle of the NFL’s leading rushers, and of course, the league’s last two unbeaten teams take the field in Indy. Bye week losses should be relatively manageable this week with only St. Louis, Miami, Chicago, and the Giants taking the week off. Alright, the recap is out of the way… On to the rankings!

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Tom Brady – NEat IND15.83.49.2
Carson Palmer – CINat BUF15.72.27.9
Tony Romo – DALat PHI15.32.78.0
Derek Anderson – CLEvs SEA15.03.08.0
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAat CLE14.82.57.3
Peyton Manning – INDvs NE14.64.08.6
Brett Favre – GBat KC14.43.17.5
Philip Rivers – SDat MIN13.63.16.7
Jay Cutler – DENat DET13.63.16.8
Drew Brees – NOvs JAC13.13.86.9
Donovan McNabb – PHIvs DAL13.03.96.9
Jon Kitna – DETvs DEN12.93.86.7
Ben Roethlisberger – PITvs BAL12.74.06.7
Jeff Garcia – TBvs ARI12.44.06.3
Jason Campbell – WASat NYJ12.33.76.0
JP Losman – BUFvs CIN11.44.05.3
Kurt Warner – ARIat TB10.95.86.7
Vince Young – TENvs CAR10.25.15.3
Damon Huard – KCvs GB9.95.15.0
Josh McCown – OAKvs HOU9.95.14.9
Kellen Clemens – NYJvs WAS9.65.45.0
Alex Smith – SFat ATL9.45.04.4
Sage Rosenfels – HOUat OAK9.35.85.1
Joey Harrington – ATLvs SF9.05.54.5
David Carr – CARat TEN8.16.14.1
Steve McNair – BALat PIT8.16.34.4
Quinn Gray – JACat NO7.56.23.7
Kelly Holcomb – MINvs SD6.06.82.8
Brooks Bollinger – MINvs SD5.86.72.6
Kyle Boller – BALat PIT5.87.23.0
Byron Leftwich – ATLvs SF5.26.51.7
Matt Schaub – HOUat OAK5.07.72.7
Trent Edwards – BUFvs CIN4.07.31.3

Jay Cutler, DEN (13.6 rating): Jay Cutler’s numbers may not be that impressive on the season (8 TDs, 8 INTs) but he has looked solid in his last two games with 4 touchdowns over that span. The Lions passing defense is 30th in the NFL, so Cutler and his young receiving corps should have a nice game. Getting Travis Henry back could be a nice boost to the offense.

Kellen Clemens, NYJ (9.6 rating): Washington’s defense got shredded by the Patriots last week to the tune of 52 points. (Although I imagine most teams would have pulled back after 38 or so, but I digress…) Clemens gets the start this week for the Jets, but I don’t expect he will have an easy time against the Skins. He is no Tom Brady, and the Redskin D should be fired up and ready for redemption. Despite losing cornerback Carlos Rogers for the season, I think the Redskins’ defense will be able to shut down the Jets’ passing attack. Remember, Laveranues Coles may also be missing from the Jets’ lineup due to a concussion.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
Kevin Jones – DETvs DEN15.02.67.6
Marshawn Lynch – BUFvs CIN14.62.87.4
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat MIN13.94.18.0
Brian Westbrook – PHIvs DAL13.83.57.3
Clinton Portis – WASat NYJ13.63.37.0
Adrian Peterson – MINvs SD13.54.37.8
Edgerrin James – ARIat TB13.43.77.0
Marion Barber – DALat PHI13.24.07.2
Joseph Addai – INDvs NE13.24.17.3
Frank Gore – SFat ATL12.83.86.6
Kenny Watson – CINat BUF12.84.37.0
Larry Johnson – KCvs GB12.74.26.8
Willis McGahee – BALat PIT12.34.66.9
Willie Parker – PITvs BAL12.24.76.9
Shaun Alexander – SEAat CLE12.24.06.2
Reggie Bush – NOvs JAC12.14.06.1
LenDale White – TENvs CAR11.94.26.1
Fred Taylor – JACat NO11.84.36.1
Travis Henry – DENat DET11.85.26.9
Earnest Graham – TBvs ARI11.64.25.8
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat NO11.53.95.5
Laurence Maroney – NEat IND11.24.75.9
Selvin Young – DENat DET11.24.75.9
Jamal Lewis – CLEvs SEA11.04.65.6
Jerious Norwood – ATLvs SF11.04.75.7
Justin Fargas – OAKvs HOU10.94.55.4
LaMont Jordan – OAKvs HOU10.84.85.7
Thomas Jones – NYJvs WAS10.84.95.8
Michael Bennett – TBvs ARI10.64.75.3
Julius Jones – DALat PHI10.54.95.5
Chris Henry – TENvs CAR10.54.85.3
Joe Echemandu – HOUat OAK10.54.85.3
Brian Leonard – STLBYE10.00.40.4
Derrick Ward – NYGBYE10.00.50.5
DeShaun Foster – CARat TEN10.05.55.5
Patrick Cobbs – MIABYE9.50.60.2
Kenton Keith – INDvs NE9.55.54.9
DeAngelo Williams – CARat TEN9.55.75.2
Kevin Faulk – NEat IND9.25.44.7
Ladell Betts – WASat NYJ9.24.84.0
Najeh Davenport – PITvs BAL9.05.84.8
Warrick Dunn – ATLvs SF8.95.54.4
Ron Dayne – HOUat OAK8.85.54.2
Maurice Morris – SEAat CLE8.65.33.9
Jason Wright – CLEvs SEA8.65.54.1
Michael Turner – SDat MIN8.65.84.4
Vernand Morency – GBat KC8.65.84.4
Anthony Thomas – BUFvs CIN8.45.33.7
Ahman Green – HOUat OAK8.35.74.0
Rudi Johnson – CINat BUF8.36.34.5
Aaron Stecker – NOvs JAC8.15.53.6
Leon Washington – NYJvs WAS8.06.34.3
Greg Jones – JACat NO7.85.83.6
Maurice Hicks – SFat ATL7.75.53.2
Michael Robinson – SFat ATL7.46.23.6
Chester Taylor – MINvs SD7.46.84.2
Chris Brown – TENvs CAR7.46.23.5
TJ Duckett – DETvs DEN7.15.72.8
Correll Buckhalter – PHIvs DAL7.16.43.5
Marcel Shipp – ARIat TB7.16.03.0
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs SEA6.66.12.7
Ryan Grant – GBat KC6.66.53.1
Tony Hunt – PHIvs DAL6.46.63.0
Tatum Bell – DETvs DEN5.96.92.8
Mike Anderson – BALat PIT5.87.12.9
Priest Holmes – KCvs GB5.76.92.6
Kolby Smith – KCvs GB5.37.22.5
Musa Smith – BALat PIT5.27.52.6
Brandon Jackson – GBat KC4.17.81.9

Kevin Jones, DET (15.0 rating): Well, look at that! A good showing from KJ last week (105 yards rushing, 1 TD) and he vaults up to the top of the Start and Sit rankings. OK, so maybe the Broncos’ last ranked run defense has something to do with it. But Jones has certainly made more of an impact in the first half of this season than many people expected him to. He has scored in 4 of the 5 games he has played this season, something he has had trouble doing up to this point in his career. The Lions seem to have made him the feature back once again, so a good week is to be expected for Jones against Denver.

DeShaun Foster, CAR (10.0 rating): Foster is getting a solid amount of carries for Carolina, despite DeAngelo Williams lurking behind him. This is not a good week to start him though, as he has a matchup with one of the league’s best run defenses in Tennessee (64.3 yards per game, 1st overall). Foster is likely to remain a solid producer for the rest of the year as long as he keeps holding Williams at bay, but this would be a good week to sit him if you have other options.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat BUF16.32.18.5
Randy Moss – NEat IND16.02.99.0
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs SEA15.53.18.7
Chad Johnson – CINat BUF15.22.98.1
Reggie Wayne – INDvs NE14.73.78.4
Terrell Owens – DALat PHI14.73.38.0
Lee Evans – BUFvs CIN14.13.27.4
Roy Williams – DETvs DEN14.03.77.7
Brandon Marshall – DENat DET13.63.36.9
Steve Smith – CARat TEN13.44.27.6
Wes Welker – NEat IND13.24.27.4
Greg Jennings – GBat KC13.23.97.1
Joey Galloway – TBvs ARI12.94.06.9
Marques Colston – NOvs JAC12.93.96.8
Kevin Curtis – PHIvs DAL12.84.06.8
Chris Chambers – SDat MIN12.83.76.5
Anquan Boldin – ARIat TB12.74.47.1
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat TB12.74.57.2
Bobby Engram – SEAat CLE12.73.25.8
Brandon Stokely – DENat DET12.33.96.2
Donald Driver – GBat KC12.34.36.6
Hines Ward – PITvs BAL12.24.46.6
Calvin Johnson – DETvs DEN12.14.16.2
Santana Moss – WASat NYJ12.04.06.1
Marvin Harrison – INDvs NE12.04.66.7
Dwayne Bowe – KCvs GB11.94.26.1
Antwaan Randle El – WASat NYJ11.83.95.8
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJvs WAS11.84.56.2
Derrick Mason – BALat PIT11.84.56.3
Patrick Crayton – DALat PHI11.84.36.1
Santonio Holmes – PITvs BAL11.74.56.3
DJ Hackett – SEAat CLE11.54.25.8
Roddy White – ATLvs SF11.54.76.2
James Jones – GBat KC11.44.86.1
Reggie Brown – PHIvs DAL11.34.25.6
Donte Stallworth – NEat IND11.24.75.9
Ike Hilliard – TBvs ARI11.14.45.5
Ronald Curry – OAKvs HOU10.94.55.5
Shaun McDonald – DETvs DEN10.94.65.5
Kevin Walter – HOUat OAK10.75.25.8
Jerry Porter – OAKvs HOU10.65.05.6
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs SEA10.34.95.2
Andre Davis – HOUat OAK10.35.05.2
Mike Furrey – DETvs DEN10.24.74.9
Devery Henderson – NOvs JAC10.05.35.3
Roscoe Parrish – BUFvs CIN9.94.84.8
Arnaz Battle – SFat ATL9.95.05.0
Roydell Williams – TENvs CAR9.84.64.5
David Patten – NOvs JAC9.84.74.5
Nate Burleson – SEAat CLE9.74.44.1
Reggie Williams – JACat NO9.75.04.6
Vincent Jackson – SDat MIN9.54.94.4
Laveranues Coles – NYJvs WAS9.45.65.0
Dennis Northcutt – JACat NO9.15.34.4
Troy Williamson – MINvs SD9.15.44.5
Darrell Jackson – SFat ATL8.95.84.7
Michael Jenkins – ATLvs SF8.85.54.3
Matt Jones – JACat NO8.85.54.3
Mark Clayton – BALat PIT8.86.14.9
Drew Carter – CARat TEN8.75.34.0
Ben Obomanu – SEAat CLE8.64.83.4
Anthony Gonzalez – INDvs NE8.55.64.1
Eric Moulds – TENvs CAR8.55.33.8
Deion Branch – SEAat CLE8.45.84.2
Buster Davis – SDat MIN8.35.43.7
James Thrash – WASat NYJ8.15.23.4
Antonio Chatman – CINat BUF8.15.73.8
Ashley Lelie – SFat ATL8.15.83.9
Sidney Rice – MINvs SD8.15.83.9
Jabar Gaffney – NEat IND8.15.94.0
Brandon Lloyd – WASat NYJ8.15.33.3
Bobby Wade – MINvs SD8.05.63.6
Sammie Parker – KCvs GB7.85.93.7
Ernest Wilford – JACat NO7.85.73.5
Bryant Johnson – ARIat TB7.86.44.2
Sam Aiken – BUFvs CIN7.75.73.4
Brandon Jones – TENvs CAR7.75.83.5
Nate Washington – PITvs BAL7.76.44.1
Lance Moore – NOvs JAC7.75.63.3
Malcolm Floyd – SDat MIN7.65.83.4
Glenn Martinez – DENat DET7.65.53.1
Sam Hurd – DALat PHI7.56.33.8
Terrance Copper – NOvs JAC7.45.93.3
Joe Horn – ATLvs SF7.26.33.5
Tim Carter – CLEvs SEA7.06.23.3
Michael Clayton – TBvs ARI7.06.23.2
Dwayne Jarrett – CARat TEN6.96.53.4
Cedrick Wilson – PITvs BAL6.86.53.3
Demetrius Williams – BALat PIT6.76.63.3
Jacoby Jones – HOUat OAK6.56.93.4
Jerheme Urban – ARIat TB6.07.03.0
Andre Johnson – HOUat OAK3.98.32.2

Lee Evans, BUF (14.1 rating): Lee Evans seems to have finally gotten on track this season. He has 10 catches for almost 240 yards in his past two games. J.P. Losman is back at quarterback and you can bet that he will be looking for Evans deep, especially if they fall behind. The Bengals have a defense that is liable to get them into a shoot-out. I expect to see Losman airing it out with Evans being the main beneficiary.

Derrick Mason, BAL (11.8 rating): Mason has been extremely dependable so far this season. In fact he’s had between 78 and 85 yards in EACH of his last 5 games. Now that’s predictability! That said, he may break that streak this week against a tough Pittsburgh defense. The Steelers’ have the 4th ranked passing defense in the NFL and the Ravens’ quarterback situation remains shaky. Could be a bad combination for all Ravens’ receivers.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Antonio Gates – SDat MIN17.41.99.3
Jason Witten – DALat PHI15.13.28.4
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs SEA15.12.98.0
Chris Cooley – WASat NYJ14.32.77.1
Dallas Clark – INDvs NE13.74.17.7
Tony Gonzalez – KCvs GB13.53.36.9
Tony Scheffler – DENat DET12.83.36.1
Heath Miller – PITvs BAL12.33.76.1
Vernon Davis – SFat ATL12.33.86.2
Donald Lee – GBat KC11.14.45.5
Eric Johnson – NOvs JAC10.64.55.1
Ben Watson – NEat IND10.34.95.3
Bo Scaife – TENvs CAR10.24.44.6
Zach Miller – OAKvs HOU10.04.34.3
Jeff King – CARat TEN9.94.84.8
Todd Heap – BALat PIT9.85.45.2
Visanthe Shiancoe – MINvs SD9.64.84.4
Robert Royal – BUFvs CIN9.54.74.2
Owen Daniels – HOUat OAK9.25.54.7
LJ Smith – PHIvs DAL9.25.74.8
Marcedes Lewis – JACat NO9.14.94.0
Alex Smith – TBvs ARI9.15.24.2
Leonard Pope – ARIat TB8.95.54.5
Kyle Brady – NEat IND8.85.74.5
Chris Baker – NYJvs WAS8.84.93.7
Will Heller – SEAat CLE8.74.73.4
Daniel Graham – DENat DET8.64.83.4
Matt Spaeth – PITvs BAL8.55.43.9
Anthony Becht – TBvs ARI8.55.74.2
George Wrighster – JACat NO8.45.23.6
Ben Troupe – TENvs CAR8.45.23.6
Reggie Kelly – CINat BUF8.35.64.0
Alge Crumpler – ATLvs SF8.16.24.3
Ben Utecht – INDvs NE7.85.83.6
Matt Schobel – PHIvs DAL7.85.83.6
Marcus Pollard – SEAat CLE7.75.93.6
Jeb Putzier – HOUat OAK7.45.73.2
Anthony Fasano – DALat PHI7.15.93.0
Dan Campbell – DETvs DEN7.15.72.8
Quinn Sypniewski – BALat PIT6.56.53.1
Bubba Franks – GBat KC4.87.52.3

Vernon Davis, SF (12.3 rating): I thought Vernon might need a game to get back in sync with Alex Smith at quarterback, but they seemed to click right away as the tight end hauled in six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown last week. Now that Smith is healthy again and apparently looking Davis’ way, Vernon is probably a pretty safe start for the rest of the season. He has a nice matchup this week against Atlanta.

Quinn Sypniewski, BAL (6.5 rating): Sypniewski was a decent replacement in Todd Heap’s absence, but he did not prove to be much of a big play threat or a redzone target. He is probably not worth starting outside of the very deepest leagues whether Heap is back this week or not. My feeling is that after a bye week to rest up, Heap will be back in the starting lineup anyway.

Adam Vinatieri – INDvs NE15.22.88.0
Shayne Graham – CINat BUF15.02.47.4
Nick Folk – DALat PHI14.73.07.7
Stephen Gostkowski – NEat IND14.73.38.0
Rob Bironas – TENvs CAR14.42.87.2
Josh Brown – SEAat CLE14.42.67.0
Jason Elam – DENat DET14.12.86.9
Nate Kaeding – SDat MIN13.63.06.7
Jason Hanson – DETvs DEN13.63.16.7
Kris Brown – HOUat OAK13.53.46.9
Jeff Reed – PITvs BAL13.43.77.0
Phil Dawson – CLEvs SEA13.13.46.5
David Akers – PHIvs DAL13.13.56.6
Matt Stover – BALat PIT13.13.76.8
Mason Crosby – GBat KC13.13.56.6
Neil Rackers – ARIat TB12.83.36.2
Rian Lindell – BUFvs CIN12.72.95.6
Shaun Suisham – WASat NYJ11.93.35.3
Matt Bryant – TBvs ARI11.54.15.6
Olindo Mare – NOvs JAC11.24.15.3
John Carney – JACat NO11.14.25.2
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKvs HOU11.03.94.8
Joe Nedney – SFat ATL11.04.55.4
Morten Andersen – ATLvs SF10.94.04.9
John Kasay – CARat TEN10.84.85.7
Dave Rayner – KCvs GB10.64.34.9
Mike Nugent – NYJvs WAS10.64.65.2
Ryan Longwell – MINvs SD10.64.34.9

Nick Folk, DAL (14.7 rating): The Dallas offense is still clicking, and Folk has been surprisingly reliable for a rookie kicker. He has only missed 2 field goals out of 15, with one of those misses coming from over 50 yards. He should get several opportunities against the Eagles, which have a defense that I think will be able to slow the Cowboys down a bit, but not keep them out of field goal range consistently. Philadelphia is tied for third in field goals allowed on the season.

Joe Nedney (11.0 rating): Coming up with a kicker to “sit” is always the hardest part for some reason. But how about this… Nedney has not scored more than 4 points in any of his last 4 games. That should be a good enough reason to leave him on the waiver wire.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
San Diegoat MIN14.33.47.7
Pittsburghvs BAL13.93.87.7
Washingtonat NYJ13.82.96.8
Green Bayat KC13.73.67.4
Tennesseevs CAR13.23.56.6
Dallasat PHI12.64.47.0
Jacksonvilleat NO12.34.16.4
Tampa Bayvs ARI12.24.26.4
Houstonat OAK11.54.25.8
Seattleat CLE11.14.65.7
Arizonaat TB11.04.35.3
Baltimoreat PIT11.05.36.3
Detroitvs DEN10.94.85.7
Denverat DET10.55.45.9
San Franciscoat ATL10.54.34.8
Atlantavs SF10.34.64.9
Oaklandvs HOU10.24.74.8
Carolinaat TEN9.85.35.1
Kansas Cityvs GB9.75.14.7
Minnesotavs SD9.65.75.3
Cincinnatiat BUF9.45.14.5
New Englandat IND9.36.86.1
New Orleansvs JAC8.76.14.8
Buffalovs CIN8.65.54.2
Philadelphiavs DAL8.66.24.8
Clevelandvs SEA8.35.94.3
Indianapolisvs NE8.37.25.6
New York Jetsvs WAS8.36.04.2

San Diego (14.3 rating): Adrian Peterson is a heck of a runningback, but he can’t do it all on his own. The quarterback situation in Minny is a mess, and until that gets figured out, opposing defenses are going to put up nice fantasy numbers against the Vikings. The Chargers have really turned it around recently, with three straight double digit wins, and big plays from the defense has a lot to do with it. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie scored twice in their win over Houston last week. Look for more of the same against the Vikings.

New England (9.3 rating): It’s tough to recommend benching anyone on the Patriots’ team, and that includes the defense. But against the high-powered Colts, in the dome in Indianapolis, they are a risky play. If anyone can dissect New England’s defense it would be Peyton Manning and the Colts. They have the running game working great with Joseph Addai, and even if Marvin Harrison sits out, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Anthony Gonzalez provide Peyton with adequate weapons to work with through the air.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, treat24, dream_017, latraffic, madaslives911, BlueBandit24, WaCougMBS, knapplc, Fatfoot, bobbing_headz, and PMoneyTKE for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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