Last week NFL fans were subjected to a host of blowouts, as Tony Romo and the Cowboys sliced up Atlanta, Cedric Benson helped his Bengals beat down his old team, and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers helped their teams by tossing three touchdowns each against over-matched opponents. This week we should see a few more tightly contested games with matchups like Denver-Baltimore, New York-Philadelphia, and Minnesota-Green Bay. That said, let’s move on to the rankings! (Again, I’d like to thank all our rankers, and remember: the Bengals, Chiefs, Patriots, Steelers, Buccaneers, and Redskins are off this week)
|4||Matt Schaub||HOU||at BUF||84.75|
|8||David Garrard||JAC||at TEN||77.00|
|11||Matt Hasselbeck||SEA||at DAL||74.75|
|12||Kyle Orton||DEN||at BAL||73.00|
|13||Eli Manning||NYG||at PHI||72.50|
|14||Matt Ryan||ATL||at NO||71.50|
|16||Brett Favre||MIN||at GB||71.00|
|18||Marc Bulger||STL||at DET||64.88|
|20||Alex Smith||SF||at IND||61.75|
|21||Jake Delhomme||CAR||at ARI||59.75|
|23||Derek Anderson||CLE||at CHI||58.75|
|24||Chad Henne||MIA||at NYJ||56.25|
|26||JaMarcus Russell||OAK||at SD||43.75|
Start: David Garrard, Jaguars. Garrard has been somewhat inconsistent this year, but he has shown the potential for some big games. This week he has a chance to put up another one of those big games, as he’s matched up with the reeling Tennessee Titans. The Titans have allowed the most passing yards and passing touchdowns in the league this season, and by a wide margin. The last time Garrard played the Titans (Week 4) he had his best game of the season (323 yards, 3 TDs).
Start: Kyle Orton, Broncos. Orton may not have the highest ceiling of any fantasy quarterback, but he has been incredibly consistent this year. He has thrown at least one touchdown in every game this season, and two touchdowns in each of his last three games. Baltimore’s defense is not what it once was, and the secondary is a major reason why. The Ravens are 23rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. Orton should be able to put together another solid start.
Sit: Joe Flacco, Ravens. Looking at our rankings for this week, I don’t know that I would categorize any of the top 18 or so as “bad starts.” Flacco has certainly become an every week starter for a lot of fantasy players. I still believe that you can start Flacco with confidence this week, however if you have a quarterback on your bench with a better matchup it would be worth taking a look at it. The Broncos pass defense has been very good this year, allowing the 8th fewest passing yards per gam (182.8) and the 2nd fewest passing touchdowns (3). At the very least, be prepared for a below average game from Flacco.
Sit: Alex Smith, 49ers. Smith was impressive in his return to the starting role in San Francisco, throwing three touchdown passes, all to the Niners best receiving threat, Vernon Davis. That certainly got him picked up in some leagues, but it shouldn’t be enough to get you to start him this week against Indianapolis. The Colts rank 6th in the league is passing yards allowed, and 1st in passing touchdowns allowed. Stash Smith on your bench for this week and see how he does.
|1||Adrian Peterson||MIN||at GB||86.75|
|2||Maurice Jones-Drew||JAC||at TEN||86.50|
|T-2||Steven Jackson||STL||at DET||86.50|
|T-4||Steve Slaton||HOU||at BUF||84.50|
|8||Michael Turner||ATL||at NO||82.00|
|9||Frank Gore||SF||at IND||81.00|
|T-10||Ronnie Brown||MIA||at NYJ||80.75|
|14||DeAngelo Williams||CAR||at ARI||78.00|
|18||Ricky Williams||MIA||at NYJ||74.25|
|19||Brandon Jacobs||NYG||at PHI||71.75|
|T-25||Ahmad Bradshaw||NYG||at PHI||68.75|
|27||Knowshon Moreno||DEN||at BAL||67.75|
|30||Justin Fargas||OAK||at SD||64.75|
|35||Julius Jones||SEA||at DAL||62.00|
|36||Michael Bush||OAK||at SD||61.50|
|37||Jamal Lewis||CLE||at CHI||60.75|
|38||Jonathan Stewart||CAR||at ARI||60.25|
|39||Correll Buckhalter||DEN||at BAL||59.75|
|43||Chester Taylor||MIN||at GB||53.50|
|44||Chris Brown||HOU||at BUF||52.75|
|45||Jerome Harrison||CLE||at CHI||49.75|
|48||Glen Coffee||SF||at IND||41.75|
|49||Jason Snelling||ATL||at NO||39.25|
|50||Edgerrin James||SEA||at DAL||35.25|
|52||Justin Forsett||SEA||at DAL||31.75|
|54||Rashard Jennings||JAC||at TEN||26.75|
Start: Kevin Smith, Lions. Detroit’s young runner has managed to be a solid fantasy contributor despite his team’s struggles. This week is a great matchup for Smith against a St. Louis defense that ranks 27th in league against the run and has allowed a league high 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Start: Marshawn Lynch, Bills. Lynch has received the lion’s share of the carries in Buffalo since returning from his three-week suspension. The Houston Texans are allowing an average of at least one rushing touchdown per game, a stat that bodes well for Marshawn’s chances of finding the endzone in back-to-back weeks.
Sit: Julius Jones, Seahawks. Jones has yet to top 40 total yards or score in three straight weeks now. Maybe there is some extra incentive for him to get it going against his old team, the Cowboys, but I wouldn’t count on it. Dallas has allowed only three touchdowns on the ground this season.
Sit: Jonathan Stewart, Panthers. As a backup, Stewart’s fantasy production is prone to be inconsistent, so your best bet would be to play him only when he has a favorable matchup. Unfortunately, this week the Panthers play the league’s top ranked rushing defense, believe it or not: the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is allowing a league low 67.5 yards on the ground this season.
|4||Mike Sims-Walker||JAC||at TEN||86.00|
|6||Roddy White||ATL||at NO||84.00|
|7||Brandon Marshall||DEN||at BAL||80.75|
|T-9||Steve Smith||NYG||at PHI||80.50|
|11||Andre Johnson||HOU||at BUF||78.93|
|12||Steve Smith||CAR||at ARI||78.75|
|14||Nate Burleson||SEA||at DAL||77.75|
|17||T.J. Houshmandzadeh||SEA||at DAL||76.00|
|18||Torry Holt||JAC||at TEN||75.00|
|19||Sidney Rice||MIN||at GB||74.00|
|23||Percy Harvin||MIN||at GB||69.50|
|T-26||Mario Manningham||NYG||at PHI||68.50|
|28||Donnie Avery||STL||at DET||67.30|
|32||Eddie Royal||DEN||at BAL||67.00|
|T-32||Hakeem Nicks||NYG||at PHI||67.00|
|39||Kevin Walter||HOU||at BUF||63.00|
|43||Keenan Burton||STL||at DET||61.25|
|44||Danny Amendola||STL||at DET||60.25|
|T-45||Muhsin Muhammad||CAR||at ARI||60.00|
|T-45||Mohamed Massaquoi||CLE||at CHI||60.00|
|51||Bernard Berrian||MIN||at GB||58.63|
|52||Josh Morgan||SF||at IND||57.25|
|T-52||Michael Crabtree||SF||at IND||57.25|
|55||Michael Jenkins||ATL||at NO||56.00|
|57||Deion Branch||SEA||at DAL||54.25|
|58||Isaac Bruce||SF||at IND||53.25|
|59||Ted Ginn||MIA||at NYJ||53.00|
|61||Louis Murphy||OAK||at SD||52.25|
|62||Davone Bess||MIA||at NYJ||52.00|
|65||Domenik Hixon||NYG||at PHI||49.00|
|66||Josh Cribbs||CLE||at CHI||47.50|
|68||Darrius Heyward-Bey||OAK||at SD||47.25|
|69||Chansi Stuckey||CLE||at CHI||41.25|
|72||Jacoby Jones||HOU||at BUF||37.00|
|74||Mike Thomas||JAC||at TEN||35.50|
|75||Brandon Stokley||DEN||at BAL||35.00|
|T-75||Johnnie Lee Higgins||OAK||at SD||35.00|
|78||Greg Camarillo||MIA||at NYJ||32.50|
|81||Brian Hartline||MIA||at NYJ||28.00|
|82||Chaz Schilens||OAK||at SD||26.50|
|83||Mike Furrey||CLE||at CHI||26.00|
|84||Andre Davis||HOU||at BUF||24.00|
|85||Jabar Gaffney||DEN||at BAL||22.50|
Start: Miles Austin, Cowboys. Wow, talk about bursting onto the scene… 16 catches for a whopping 421 yards and 4 scores in two games is one way to thrust yourself into the starting lineup, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that Romo is looking to Austin before any of his other wideouts. I see no reason that Austin can not continue his success into this week. Heck, half of his production from either of these last two games would be considered a good start for most receivers.
Start: Andre Johnson, Texans. Fear not AJ owners, Johnson practiced on Thursday and looks good to go this weekend against the Bills. Even at less than 100% Johnson has to be considered a must start, unless your team is really stacked.
Sit: Jeremy Maclin, Eagles. Maclin’s three games of four catches or more have come against teams with a combined three wins (Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Washington). Against weaker opponents, there are more balls to go around, and Maclin is likely to make an impact. This week though, the Eagles play the New York Giants, owners of the league’s 2nd ranked passing defense. Leave Maclin on the bench this week.
Sit: Jerricho Cotchery, Jets. Cotchery was on pace for a great season before his injury and the Jets’ trade for Braylon Edwards. Now, Cotchery seems to be ready to make his return to the field, but he has likely been supplanted from the #1 receiver spot by Edwards. If you have the option, sit Cotchery this week and see how much the Jets use him against Miami before thinking about getting him back into your lineup.
|1||Owen Daniels||HOU||at BUF||91.25|
|5||Tony Gonzalez||ATL||at NO||83.75|
|8||Vernon Davis||SF||at IND||79.50|
|9||Zach Miller||OAK||at SD||77.50|
|10||John Carlson||SEA||at DAL||77.25|
|12||Visanthe Shiancoe||MIN||at GB||75.50|
|13||Tony Scheffler||DEN||at BAL||72.75|
|14||Marcedes Lewis||JAC||at TEN||72.00|
|18||Kevin Boss||NYG||at PHI||69.75|
|20||Randy McMichael||STL||at DET||63.75|
|21||Dante Rosario||CAR||at ARI||63.10|
|22||Anthony Fasano||MIA||at NYJ||60.50|
|23||Robert Royal||CLE||at CHI||60.00|
Start: Jeremy Shockey, Saints. Shockey has at least four catches in every game this season, and last week he went over 100 yards for the first time. He seems to be one of Brees’ more consistent targets after Marques Colston. Look for that trend to continue this weekend against the Falcons.
Sit: Dustin Keller, Jets. Keller only has three catches in his past three games, not a good enough pace for a starting fantasy tight end. The last time the Jets played Miami, Keller didn’t even get onto the box score. Hopefully you can find a better option at tight end this week.
|2||Ryan Longwell||MIN||at GB||87.75|
|T-3||Lawrence Tynes||NYG||at PHI||84.50|
|8||Kris Brown||HOU||at BUF||83.00|
|10||Jason Elam||ATL||at NO||81.00|
|T-10||Matt Prater||DEN||at BAL||81.00|
|13||Josh Scobee||JAC||at TEN||78.75|
|14||Joe Nedney||SF||at IND||77.75|
|16||Josh Brown||STL||at DET||76.75|
|T-21||John Kasay||CAR||at ARI||72.25|
|23||Sebastian Janikowski||OAK||at SD||69.50|
|24||Dan Carpenter||MIA||at NYJ||68.75|
|25||Olindo Mare||SEA||at DAL||67.50|
|26||Phil Dawson||CLE||at CHI||56.88|
Start: Nate Kaeding, Chargers. The Oakland Raiders have allowed the most field goals in the NFL this season, and the Chargers have been giving Kaeding plenty of opportunities as it is. Kaeding has gone over 10 points in 4 of his 6 games this season, including the last two.
Sit: John Kasay, Panthers. The struggling Panthers’ offense has only allowed Kasay to score more than four points once this season. Don’t expect that to change this week against the Cardinals. Arizona has only allowed six field goals on the season.
Start: Chicago Bears. My “start” recommendations on defense have recently turned into a game of “find who plays the Browns.” But once again the Browns opponent, Chicago, is a defense that normally might not get a lot of starting consideration, but makes a good play against the Browns’ weak offense. If the Bears are available in your league they should make a decent stop-gap start for this week. (The same goes for San Diego against the Raiders, but they are less likely to be available on free agency).
Sit: Baltimore Ravens. I touched on this earlier when I recommended Kyle Orton as a “Start,” but Baltimore’s defense is not what it once was. Sure, they still have some talent, particularly in the front seven, but stars like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are aging a bit, and there are some serious holes in the secondary. Coach and playcaller Josh McDaniels has the Broncos’ offense clicking, and they have the weapons to burn Baltimore. I’m expecting a great game in this one, but not a particularly low scoring one.
Nick Hopkins is a Cafe member who has been contributing to the Start & Sit since 2006. He posts on the Cafe under the name terpfan. R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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