Start & SitOctober 2, 2009

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Week 4: Peyton’s Laser Rocket Arm - 7 comments

By Nick Hopkins

It’s Week 4 of the NFL Season and the Cafe’s Start & Sit is back for more! Week 3 saw Peyton Manning back at the top of the weekly stat sheets, and as a result he claims the Cafe’s top starter spot going into Week 4. The human bowling ball, Maurice Jones-Drew, led the way for the running backs with 119 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Santana Moss finally announced his presence with 10 catches for 178 yards and a score, but it wasn’t enough for the Redskins to avoid handing the Lions their first win since 2007. Week 4 provides fans with numerous intriguing games including a matchup of AFC heavyweights in Baltimore-New England, two teams trying to stay undefeated in New Orleans-New York, and of course, Fav-ruh’s return to Green Bay.

Two quick notes for this week’s article: For the first time this year four teams are off on bye weeks (Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Philadelphia). Also, this week I will be adding a bonus “Start” recommendation for the QBs, RBs, and WRs. And as always, a big thank you to all our rankers and other contributors!

In 2009, we’re ranking all the players we expect could see a significant amount of game action each week. We factor in a player’s overall ability, his weekly matchup, and the current status of his health. The result is one Start/Sit number, based on a scale of 100, and we’ll use each member’s ratings to find an average for each player. The higher a guy is on our list, the better you should feel starting him.

1Peyton ManningINDSEA95.00
2Drew BreesNONYJ86.80
3Carson PalmerCINat CLE83.40
T-3Eli ManningNYGat KC83.40
5Aaron RodgersGBat MIN83.00
6Matt SchaubHOUOAK82.13
7Jay CutlerCHIDET81.40
8Philip RiversSDat PIT81.20
9Tom BradyNEBAL81.00
10Ben RoethlisbergerPITSD76.40
11Joe FlaccoBALat NE75.80
12Tony RomoDALat DEN74.84
13Jason CampbellWASTB71.80
14David GarrardJACTEN70.80
15Mark SanchezNYJat NO68.40
16Brett FavreMINGB68.30
17Shaun HillSFSTL68.20
18Trent EdwardsBUFat MIA67.60
19Kerry CollinsTENat JAC65.40
20Kyle OrtonDENDAL62.80
21Chad HenneMIABUF59.60
22Matthew StaffordDETat CHI58.60
23Derek AndersonCLECIN56.60
24JaMarcus RussellOAKat HOU56.40
25Matt CasselKCNYG53.92
26Josh JohnsonTBat WAS53.80
27Seneca WallaceSEAat IND52.00
28Kyle BollerSTLat SF38.30
29Brady QuinnCLECIN31.10
30Matt HasselbeckSEAat IND25.55
31Marc BulgerSTLat SF22.80
32Brodie CroyleKCNYG11.00
T-32Josh FreemanTBat WAS11.00
T-32Byron LeftwichTBat WAS11.00
35Pat WhiteMIABUF10.60


Start: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals. Since that dismal first game against the Denver Broncos, Carson Palmer has thrown four touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last two games, including an impressive game winning touchdown drive last week against the Steelers. This week Palmer gets a Cleveland defense that is allowing over 30 points per game.

Start: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears. Not unlike Palmer, Jay Cutler bounced back well from a terrible Week 1 performance, with five touchdowns and only 1 interceptions in Week 2 and 3. Cutler has made viable receivers of Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Johnny Knox. This week the Bears welcome the Lions to Soldier Field. Detroit got their first win last week, but they still gave up over 300 yards and two touchdowns to the struggling Redskins passing attack.

Sit: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. Stafford took a step forward last week against the Skins (although he had some accuracy issues), but he’s still a rookie, and he still will make rookie mistakes. This week Stafford leaves the friendly (if somewhat empty) confines of Ford Field to play the Bears in Chicago. Don’t rush to get him into your starting lineup just yet.

RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentAverage
1Adrian PetersonMINGB92.20
2Brandon JacobsNYGat KC86.00
3Chris JohnsonTENat JAC85.80
4Matt ForteCHIDET85.00
5Ronnie BrownMIABUF80.80
6Cedric BensonCINat CLE80.00
7Maurice Jones-DrewJACTEN79.60
T-7Darren McFaddenOAKat HOU79.60
9Steve SlatonHOUOAK78.80
10Joseph AddaiINDSEA76.40
T-10Steven JacksonSTLat SF76.40
12Ahmad BradshawNYGat KC72.80
13Glen CoffeeSFSTL72.20
14Donald BrownINDSEA72.00
15Willis McGaheeBALat NE71.00
T-15Knowshon MorenoDENDAL71.00
17Thomas JonesNYJat NO70.60
18Michael BushOAKat HOU70.40
19Fred JacksonBUFat MIA69.40
20Ray RiceBALat NE69.00
T-20Leon WashingtonNYJat NO69.00
22Pierre ThomasNONYJ68.09
23Ryan GrantGBat MIN67.00
24Ricky WilliamsMIABUF66.80
25Marshawn LynchBUFat MIA66.40
26Correll BuckhalterDENDAL66.20
27Darren SprolesSDat PIT65.40
28Julius JonesSEAat IND64.95
29LenDale WhiteTENat JAC64.60
30Tashard ChoiceDALat DEN64.40
31Reggie BushNONYJ63.60
32Derrick WardTBat WAS63.40
33Cadillac WilliamsTBat WAS61.74
34Clinton PortisWASTB59.60
35Willie ParkerPITSD58.05
36Larry JohnsonKCNYG58.00
37Fred TaylorNEBAL56.60
38LeRon McClainBALat NE55.00
39Marion BarberDALat DEN53.66
40James DavisCLECIN53.60
41Justin ForsettSEAat IND52.60
42Laurence MaroneyNEBAL51.00
43Rashard MendenhallPITSD50.80
44Chester TaylorMINGB49.40
45Maurice MorrisDETat CHI42.60
46Chris BrownHOUOAK42.00
47Kevin SmithDETat CHI40.61
48Kevin FaulkNEBAL40.60
49Ladell BettsWASTB35.80
50Edgerrin JamesSEAat IND34.20
51Lyndell HamiltonNONYJ33.15
52Mewelde MoorePITSD30.60
53Jamaal CharlesKCNYG29.80
54Earnest GrahamTBat WAS29.40
55Michael BennettSDat PIT28.20
56LaDanian TomlinsonSDat PIT28.05
57Jamal LewisCLECIN25.79
58Felix JonesDALat DEN23.40
59Peyton HillisDENDAL20.80
60Adrian PetersonCHIDET20.00
61Jerome HarrisonCLECIN19.00
62Aaron BrownDETat CHI16.80
63Bernard ScottCINat CLE15.62
64Samkon GadoSTLat SF11.00
65Brandon JacksonGBat MIN10.00
T-65Sammy MorrisNEBAL10.00
67Frank GoreSFSTL9.00
68Greg JonesJACTEN7.00
T-68Shonn GreeneNYJat NO7.00
70BenJarvus Green-EllisNEBAL6.40


Start: Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins. Chad Pennington is out for the season, meaning the already run-oriented Dolphins will be looking even more to the wildcat to carry their offense. That’s good news for Mr. Wildcat himself, Ronnie Brown. As long as the Dolphins remain in the game, the offense is going to run through Brown. The Dolphins have a solid matchup this week in the Buffalo Bills (18th in rushing yards allowed, four rushing TDs allowed).

Start: Glen Coffee, San Francisco 49ers. Coffee is suddenly popping up all over fantasy players’ radars, as he prepares to make his first start after Frank Gore’s injury. Coffee was not particularly effective last week in relief of Gore, (he averaged just over two yards per carry), but he was given the ball 25 times. The Niners are going to run the ball early and often against a weak St. Louis defense this week, so Coffee will have ample opportunities to put up fantasy points. He could be a solid fill-in starter for Frank Gore owners, or teams struggling with bye weeks.

Sit: Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins. Portis still has not gotten on track this season. He is battling lingering injuries to his calf and ankles. The Redskins’ offensive line is not opening holes, and his coach seems to be more and more inclined to throw the ball. At this point, Portis is a bench-until-further-notice fantasy player.

RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentAverage
1Andre JohnsonHOUOAK90.40
2Reggie WayneINDSEA89.80
3Calvin JohnsonDETat CHI89.20
4Chad OchocincoCINat CLE85.40
5Greg JenningsGBat MIN84.40
6Randy MossNEBAL84.14
7Terrell OwensBUFat MIA83.60
8Marques ColstonNONYJ80.20
9Vincent JacksonSDat PIT78.40
10Steve SmithNYGat KC77.40
11Santana MossWASTB76.40
12Devin HesterCHIDET75.20
13Brandon MarshallDENDAL74.40
14Earl BennettCHIDET73.60
15Lee EvansBUFat MIA73.00
16Mario ManninghamNYGat KC72.20
17Santonio HolmesPITSD71.80
18Jerricho CotcheryNYJat NO71.20
19Mike Sims-WalkerJACTEN70.80
20Justin GageTENat JAC70.40
21Braylon EdwardsCLECIN70.20
22Johnny KnoxCHIDET69.60
23Donald DriverGBat MIN68.60
T-23Hines WardPITSD68.60
25Roy WilliamsDALat DEN68.40
26Derrick MasonBALat NE68.00
T-26Josh MorganSFSTL68.00
28Nate WashingtonTENat JAC67.62
29Kevin WalterHOUOAK67.20
30Pierre GarconINDSEA65.80
31Percy HarvinMINGB65.60
T-31Nate BurlesonSEAat IND65.60
33Torry HoltJACTEN65.20
34T.J. HoushmandzadehSEAat IND64.80
T-34Antwaan Randle ElWASTB64.80
36Isaac BruceSFSTL64.40
37Laveranues ColesCINat CLE64.20
38Mark ClaytonBALat NE63.60
39Patrick CraytonDALat DEN61.60
T-39Ted GinnMIABUF61.60
41Eddie RoyalDENDAL61.20
T-41Davone BessMIABUF61.20
T-41Chansi StuckyNYJat NO61.20
44Kenny BrittTENat JAC60.40
45Bernard BerrianMINGB59.20
46Brandon StokleyDENDAL58.80
47Devery HendersonNONYJ57.40
48Donnie AverySTLat SF57.00
49Louis MurphyOAKat HOU56.80
T-49Michael ClaytonTBat WAS56.80
51Wes WelkerNEBAL55.64
52Austin CollieINDSEA54.60
53Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKat HOU54.40
54Sidney RiceMINGB53.80
55Chris HenryCINat CLE53.40
56Robert MeachemNONYJ52.60
57Keenan BurtonSTLat SF51.00
58Dwayne BoweKCNYG50.94
59Josh CribbsCLECIN50.20
60Antonio BryantTBat WAS49.78
61Bryant JohnsonDETat CHI49.60
62Chris ChambersSDat PIT46.40
63Johnnie Lee HigginsOAKat HOU45.40
64Lance MooreNONYJ43.35
65Malcom KellyWASTB42.40
66Miles AustinDALat DEN42.00
67Mark BradleyKCNYG41.40
68Deion BranchSEAat IND40.00
69Joey GallowayNEBAL39.00
70Greg CamarilloMIABUF38.00
71Bobby EngramKCNYG37.80
72Andre CaldwellCINat CLE36.00
73Jacoby JonesHOUOAK33.40
74Kelley WashingtonBALat NE31.00
75Julian EdelmanNEBAL30.80
76James JonesGBat MIN29.20
77Josh ReedBUFat MIA29.00
T-77Arnaz BattleSFSTL29.00
79Andre DavisHOUOAK28.60
80Limas SweedPITSD28.20
81David ClowneyNYJat NO27.80
82Maurice StovallTBat WAS22.80
83Domenik HixonNYGat KC20.66
84Malcom FloydSDat PIT19.40
85Hakeem NicksNYGat KC16.80
86Mike WallacePITSD14.80
87Mike FurreyCLECIN13.20
88Dennis NorthcuttDETat CHI12.60
89Mohammed MassaquoiCLECIN12.40
90Brian HartlineMIABUF11.00


Start: Steve Smith, New York Giants. The “other” Steve Smith is certainly making a name for himself, filling Plaxico Burres’ shoes and more. Smith has six, ten, and seven catches in his first three games of the season, and has scored in two straight games. Smith and the Giants should find more smooth sledding this week against a struggling Kansas City defense.

Start: Devin Hester, Chicago Bears. I admit, I was skeptical that Hester would be able to seamlessly convert to wide receiver, having limited experience at the position, even at the college level. But with at least four catches per game, and two touchdowns already, Hester has proven that his speed and playmaking ability really does transfer to a full-time receiver position. Hester has a great chance to continue his solid season against the Lions at home.

Sit: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle Seahawks. I guess he’s okay in PPR leagues, with his fourteen catches, but Whoseyourmomma has only 145 yards and zero scores through three games. His ceiling is low with Seneca Wallace at quarterback. To make matters worse, the Colts are 10th in the league in passing defense, and have allowed only one passing touchdown this year.

RankTight EndsTeamOpponentAverage
1Dallas ClarkINDSEA94.60
2Jason WittenDALat DEN89.20
3Chris CooleyWASTB86.80
4Antonio GatesSDat PIT84.60
5Greg OlsenCHIDET82.00
6Owen DanielsHOUOAK79.80
7John CarlsonSEAat IND79.40
8Dustin KellerNYJat NO76.60
T-8Vernon DavisSFSTL76.60
10Zach MillerOAKat HOU76.40
11Kellen WinslowTBat WAS74.00
12Kevin BossNYGat KC73.20
13Tony SchefflerDENDAL67.60
14Todd HeapBALat NE66.80
15Jeremy ShockeyNONYJ66.65
16Visanthe ShiancoeMINGB65.80
17Heath MillerPITSD65.00
18Anthony FasanoMIABUF64.00
19Marcedes LewisJACTEN62.00
20Robert RoyalCLECIN60.20
21Donald LeeGBat MIN57.20
22Brandon PettigrewDETat CHI57.12
23Daniel CoatsCINat CLE56.60
24Ben WatsonNEBAL55.60
25Randy McMichaelSTLat SF54.60
26Derek FineBUFat MIA53.20
27Martellus BennettDALat DEN49.00
28Jermichael FinleyGBat MIN46.00
29Sean RyanKCNYG45.00
30Bo ScaifeTENat JAC39.60
31Alge CrumplerTENat JAC33.80
32Daniel GrahamDENDAL22.00


Start: Dustin Keller, New York Jets. Keller had a slightly disappointing week in the Jets win over the Titans. He is still an explosive downfield threat however, and I could easily see the Saints-Jets game this weekend turning into a shootout. Drew Brees and the Saints will put up some points, so the Jets are going to have to go the air to keep up. Gregg Williams has done a good job with the Saints’ defense, but I think Keller makes a good start this week against New Orleans.

Sit: Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings. With just six catches on the year so far, Shiancoe has been one of the few disappointments this year in Minnesota. There’s always a chance Favre could find him for a short touchdown in any given week, but in general he does not seem to have as high a priority in the Vikings’ offense as he had last year.

1Ryan LongwellMINGB87.40
2Rob BironasTENat JAC85.40
3Mason CrosbyGBat MIN84.40
T-3Stephen GostkowskiNEBAL84.40
5Lawrence TynesNYGat KC84.00
6Robbie GouldCHIDET83.60
7Kris BrownHOUOAK83.00
8Nick FolkDALat DEN81.20
9Shayne GrahamCINat CLE79.80
10John CarneyNONYJ79.40
T-10Nate KaedingSDat PIT79.40
12Adam VinatieriINDSEA79.00
13Joe NedneySFSTL76.20
T-13Shaun SuishamWASTB76.20
15Jeff ReedPITSD73.60
16Matt PraterDENDAL72.60
17Josh ScobeeJACTEN71.80
18Rian LindellBUFat MIA71.20
19Jay FeelyNYJat NO69.80
20Phil DawsonCLECIN69.00
21Sebastian JanikowskiOAKat HOU68.60
22Jason HansonDETat CHI67.00
23Dan CarpenterMIABUF66.60
T-23Josh BrownSTLat SF66.60
25Steven HauschkaBALat NE66.20
26Olindo MareSEAat IND64.00
27Mike NugentTBat WAS63.40
28Ryan SuccopKCNYG57.20


Start: Lawrence Tynes, New York Giants. The top of the kicker rankings are fairly similar each week, but sometimes one kicker stands out because of a particularly good matchup. Tynes against the Chiefs is one such matchup.

Sit: Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers has given Reed at least two field goal opportunities in each of his first three games, but Reed is having trouble converting. He’s already missed three kicks this season. If your league deducts points for misses, he’s probably not worth starting.

1GiantsNYGat KC97.60
3RavensBALat NE87.20
6TitansTENat JAC80.00
8JetsNYJat NO79.20
10BengalsCINat CLE74.40
11CowboysDALat DEN73.00
12BillsBUFat MIA72.60
T-12PackersGBat MIN72.60
T-16ChargersSDat PIT69.80
20RaidersOAKat HOU61.60
21BuccaneersTBat WAS60.60
25SeahawksSEAat IND55.40
26RamsSTLat SF51.00
27LionsDETat CHI50.00


Start: Minnesota Vikings. The Green Bay Packers have had trouble protecting the quarterback this season, giving up a league-high 12 sacks in three games. This is music to the ears of pass rushers like Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and E.J. Henderson of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikes make a good defensive start at home.

Sit: Denver Broncos. The Broncos are 3-0, in large part to their defense. Then again, they have not played the toughest of competition so far (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Oakland). This week, they host a Cowboys’ offense that should get Marion Barber back from injury. At home they may not be a terrible start, but if you picked them up to start against Oakland last week, you may want to take another look around, as there are several better options this week.

Nick Hopkins is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Nick in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of terpfan.
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7 Responses to “Week 4: Peyton’s Laser Rocket Arm”

  1. User avatar joejlitz says:

    How the heck is Kevin Smith 47 in RBs?

    Nice work with the extra commentary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. User avatar joejlitz says:

    I like Marcedes Lewis as a top-10 TE this week. He goes up against TEN who has trouble against TEs. If you need a FA one week filler, this guy might be it!

    Carlson’s matchup against a good pass D like IND and tough against the tight end – that scares me. I’m actually looking to sit him this week. Especially after he was less than involved last week with Wallace at QB.


    how on earth is vincent jackson rated below terrell owens? who in there right mind would start T.O. over someone whos averaging 100yrds/game and has 2 tds IN 3 WEEKS? Not to mention that jackson is recieving passes from the league leader in passing yards.

  4. rshahpazian says:

    I love this site and always use it. Since using it I’ve won the super bowl in my league 3 times. Today is the first time i disagree with it on two parts. Vincent jackson should be before t.o. and Tashard Choice is going to have a break out week for his first ever start. But i could be wrong.

  5. User avatar WWM says:

    I hear ya on the TO rating. Its an avg of a bunch of people so there must be some still high on TO’s prospects this week. I think Vjack is at stud status where he is top 4 every week from here on out period.

  6. dmickens says:

    Thanks guys I played D McFadden over K Smith….looks like it’s gonna cost me big!

  7. User avatar daullaz says:

    Just got back in from Vegas late last night — let’s tackle a few of these comments, for anyone still reading.

    Kevin Smith was ranked so low this week due to the information we had on hand from the Lions. He was being called “week-to-week” after sustaining an injury, and I personally though there was no way he’d play against the Bears. Well, we know he did play, and while his yardage total was pretty bad, he scored two TDs on goal-line plays. I was also surprised that they used him in this physical role, which leads me to believe we were completely duped about the severity of the injury.

    Joe, excellent call on Marcedes Lewis! I’ll take 76 yards and a TD from my TE every week. I was high on him coming out of the draft, but I’ve emotionally cut ties with him and discounted anything that looked like progress. Seems now I should re-evaluate.

    I’m sure we all have Vincent Jackson rated above Terrell Owens on talent alone, and in deciding between the two for the season, Jackson is the obvious choice. However, Owens had a sweet matchup to exploit this week, and I also felt he had something to prove after that no-catch game. I gave him the highest rating possible in our Matchup category based on that. Taking in tandem with Jackson’s matchup not looking good at all, and it caused the two to be equally rated as 80 on my spreadsheet. And for the record, Owens had 60 yards receiving this week, while Jackson had 56 yards, and neither scored a TD. Not that either output was great, but it looks like my assessment of equality was pretty spot on (for once ;-)).

    As for Tashard Choice, I feel we were pretty high on the guy, considering it was looking very likely that Marion Barber would be playing in the game (heck, he nearly played in last week’s Monday night game). And when you see we had Choice nine spots higher than Barber, and you know that Choice received six more touches than Barber (although The Barbarian did get the TD and have the better day), it seems like a reasonable prediction from our bunch.

    And for mickens, I’m sorry we led you to the wrong back. I’ve explained Smith already; with McFadden, he was the #1 back on a team taking on the worst rushing defense (by far) in the league. Everyone expected big things for him this week. I know a few McFadden apologists, and even they’ve had enough of the guy at this point. It was a truly pathetic performance, but not one we could have seen coming.

    Alright, now that I’m back in the swing of things, I promise we’ll have some great material from this point on. While you may not always agree with it, please know that we put a lot of time and effort into the project each week, and we do it for no other reason than to give you guys and gals a little more guidance, if you feel you need it. If you want to just have fun bashing the ratings, feel free! Disagreement breeds better product, in my opinion. Now, if you want to put that disagreement to good use, contact me and I’ll get you set up with a place in the project. We’re always looking for eager volunteers!



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