Start & SitOctober 30, 2009

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Week 8: Blowout City - 8 comments

By Nick Hopkins

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)

1Drew BreesNOATL93.75
2Peyton ManningINDSF93.50
3Aaron RodgersGBMIN86.25
4Matt SchaubHOUat BUF84.75
5Philip RiversSDOAK84.25
6Jay CutlerCHICLE84.00
7Kurt WarnerARICAR79.50
8David GarrardJACat TEN77.00
9Donovan McNabbPHINYG76.50
10Tony RomoDALSEA76.00
11Matt HasselbeckSEAat DAL74.75
12Kyle OrtonDENat BAL73.00
13Eli ManningNYGat PHI72.50
14Matt RyanATLat NO71.50
15Joe FlaccoBALDEN71.25
16Brett FavreMINat GB71.00
17Mark SanchezNYJMIA65.75
18Marc BulgerSTLat DET64.88
19Vince YoungTENJAC63.00
20Alex SmithSFat IND61.75
21Jake DelhommeCARat ARI59.75
22Matthew StaffordDETSTL59.55
23Derek AndersonCLEat CHI58.75
24Chad HenneMIAat NYJ56.25
25Ryan FitzpatrickBUFHOU50.38
26JaMarcus RussellOAKat SD43.75
27Daunte CulpepperDETSTL23.55
28Trent EdwardsBUFHOU7.38

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.

RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentAverage
1Adrian PetersonMINat GB86.75
2Maurice Jones-DrewJACat TEN86.50
T-2Steven JacksonSTLat DET86.50
4Kevin SmithDETSTL84.50
T-4Steve SlatonHOUat BUF84.50
6Matt ForteCHICLE82.75
7Chris JohnsonTENJAC82.50
8Michael TurnerATLat NO82.00
9Frank GoreSFat IND81.00
10Marion BarberDALSEA80.75
T-10Ronnie BrownMIAat NYJ80.75
12LaDanian TomlinsonSDOAK79.00
13Ray RiceBALDEN78.25
14DeAngelo WilliamsCARat ARI78.00
15Marshawn LynchBUFHOU77.75
16Joseph AddaiINDSF76.50
17Thomas JonesNYJMIA74.75
18Ricky WilliamsMIAat NYJ74.25
19Brandon JacobsNYGat PHI71.75
20Pierre ThomasNOATL71.50
21Felix JonesDALSEA71.25
22Darren SprolesSDOAK71.00
23Ryan GrantGBMIN70.25
24Tim HightowerARICAR70.00
25Beanie WellsARICAR68.75
T-25Ahmad BradshawNYGat PHI68.75
27Knowshon MorenoDENat BAL67.75
28Mike BellNOATL67.25
29Reggie BushNOATL66.75
30Justin FargasOAKat SD64.75
31Shonn GreeneNYJMIA63.50
32Fred JacksonBUFHOU62.75
33Tashard ChoiceDALSEA62.25
T-33LeSean McCoyPHINYG62.25
35Julius JonesSEAat DAL62.00
36Michael BushOAKat SD61.50
37Jamal LewisCLEat CHI60.75
38Jonathan StewartCARat ARI60.25
39Correll BuckhalterDENat BAL59.75
40Garrett WolfeCHICLE56.00
41LenDale WhiteTENJAC54.75
42Willis McGaheeBALDEN54.50
43Chester TaylorMINat GB53.50
44Chris BrownHOUat BUF52.75
45Jerome HarrisonCLEat CHI49.75
46Donald BrownINDSF45.85
47Brian WestbrookPHINYG41.84
48Glen CoffeeSFat IND41.75
49Jason SnellingATLat NO39.25
50Edgerrin JamesSEAat DAL35.25
51LeRon McClainBALDEN32.25
52Justin ForsettSEAat DAL31.75
53Adrian PetersonCHICLE27.25
54Rashard JenningsJACat TEN26.75
55Ahman GreenGBMIN23.75

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.

RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentAverage
1Larry FitzgeraldARICAR88.50
2Marques ColstonNOATL88.00
3Reggie WayneINDSF87.05
4Mike Sims-WalkerJACat TEN86.00
5Vincent JacksonSDOAK85.25
6Roddy WhiteATLat NO84.00
7Brandon MarshallDENat BAL80.75
T-7DeSean JacksonPHINYG80.75
9Miles AustinDALSEA80.50
T-9Steve SmithNYGat PHI80.50
11Andre JohnsonHOUat BUF78.93
12Steve SmithCARat ARI78.75
13Devin HesterCHICLE78.00
14Nate BurlesonSEAat DAL77.75
15Donald DriverGBMIN76.75
16Greg JenningsGBMIN76.25
17T.J. HoushmandzadehSEAat DAL76.00
18Torry HoltJACat TEN75.00
19Sidney RiceMINat GB74.00
20Johnny KnoxCHICLE71.00
21Lee EvansBUFHOU70.25
22Austin CollieINDSF69.75
23Percy HarvinMINat GB69.50
24Anquan BoldinARICAR69.05
25Derrick MasonBALDEN68.75
26Earl BennettCHICLE68.50
T-26Mario ManninghamNYGat PHI68.50
28Donnie AverySTLat DET67.30
29Terrell OwensBUFHOU67.25
T-29Bryant JohnsonDETSTL67.25
31Roy WilliamsDALSEA67.23
32Eddie RoyalDENat BAL67.00
T-32Hakeem NicksNYGat PHI67.00
34Pierre GarconINDSF66.75
35Lance MooreNOATL66.00
36Braylon EdwardsNYJMIA65.75
37Nate WashingtonTENJAC65.25
38Patrick CraytonDALSEA63.75
39Kevin WalterHOUat BUF63.00
T-39Devery HendersonNOATL63.00
41Calvin JohnsonDETSTL62.49
42Kenny BrittTENJAC62.25
43Keenan BurtonSTLat DET61.25
44Danny AmendolaSTLat DET60.25
45Mark ClaytonBALDEN60.00
T-45Muhsin MuhammadCARat ARI60.00
T-45Mohamed MassaquoiCLEat CHI60.00
T-45Robert MeachemNOATL60.00
49Steve BreastonARICAR59.95
50Justin GageTENJAC58.75
51Bernard BerrianMINat GB58.63
52Josh MorganSFat IND57.25
T-52Michael CrabtreeSFat IND57.25
54Jeremy MaclinPHINYG56.50
55Michael JenkinsATLat NO56.00
56Malcom FloydSDOAK55.00
57Deion BranchSEAat DAL54.25
58Isaac BruceSFat IND53.25
59Ted GinnMIAat NYJ53.00
60Jerricho CotcheryNYJMIA52.80
61Louis MurphyOAKat SD52.25
62Davone BessMIAat NYJ52.00
T-62Chris ChambersSDOAK52.00
64David ClowneyNYJMIA51.50
65Domenik HixonNYGat PHI49.00
66Josh CribbsCLEat CHI47.50
T-66James JonesGBMIN47.50
68Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKat SD47.25
69Chansi StuckeyCLEat CHI41.25
70Josh ReedBUFHOU40.75
71Dennis NorthcuttDETSTL38.25
72Jacoby JonesHOUat BUF37.00
73Jason AvantPHINYG36.00
74Mike ThomasJACat TEN35.50
75Brandon StokleyDENat BAL35.00
T-75Johnnie Lee HigginsOAKat SD35.00
77Jerheme UrbanARICAR33.75
78Greg CamarilloMIAat NYJ32.50
79Sam HurdDALSEA32.25
80Kelley WashingtonBALDEN31.50
81Brian HartlineMIAat NYJ28.00
82Chaz SchilensOAKat SD26.50
83Mike FurreyCLEat CHI26.00
84Andre DavisHOUat BUF24.00
85Jabar GaffneyDENat BAL22.50

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.

RankTight EndsTeamOpponentAverage
1Owen DanielsHOUat BUF91.25
2Dallas ClarkINDSF90.75
3Antonio GatesSDOAK89.75
4Jason WittenDALSEA84.75
5Tony GonzalezATLat NO83.75
6Jeremy ShockeyNOATL81.75
7Brent CelekPHINYG80.50
8Vernon DavisSFat IND79.50
9Zach MillerOAKat SD77.50
10John CarlsonSEAat DAL77.25
11Greg OlsenCHICLE76.25
12Visanthe ShiancoeMINat GB75.50
13Tony SchefflerDENat BAL72.75
14Marcedes LewisJACat TEN72.00
T-14Dustin KellerNYJMIA72.00
16Brandon PettigrewDETSTL71.00
17Donald LeeGBMIN70.50
18Kevin BossNYGat PHI69.75
19Todd HeapBALDEN66.75
20Randy McMichaelSTLat DET63.75
21Dante RosarioCARat ARI63.10
22Anthony FasanoMIAat NYJ60.50
23Robert RoyalCLEat CHI60.00
24Bo ScaifeTENJAC59.50
25Stephen SpachARICAR56.75
26Derek FineBUFHOU54.50
27Martellus BennettDALSEA51.00

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.

1Nate KaedingSDOAK89.50
2Ryan LongwellMINat GB87.75
3Robbie GouldCHICLE84.50
T-3Lawrence TynesNYGat PHI84.50
5John CarneyNOATL84.25
6Nick FolkDALSEA83.75
T-6David AkersPHINYG83.75
8Kris BrownHOUat BUF83.00
9Neil RackersARICAR82.00
10Jason ElamATLat NO81.00
T-10Matt PraterDENat BAL81.00
T-10Mason CrosbyGBMIN81.00
13Josh ScobeeJACat TEN78.75
14Joe NedneySFat IND77.75
T-14Rob BironasTENJAC77.75
16Josh BrownSTLat DET76.75
17Matt StoverINDSF76.25
18Jason HansonDETSTL74.25
19Rian LindellBUFHOU73.25
20Jay FeelyNYJMIA72.50
21Steven HauschkaBALDEN72.25
T-21John KasayCARat ARI72.25
23Sebastian JanikowskiOAKat SD69.50
24Dan CarpenterMIAat NYJ68.75
25Olindo MareSEAat DAL67.50
26Phil DawsonCLEat CHI56.88

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.

1GiantsNYGat PHI84.75
4VikingsMINat GB81.75
6BroncosDENat BAL80.75
11DolphinsMIAat NYJ77.50
T-15TexansHOUat BUF71.50
17JaguarsJACat TEN71.00
T-17SeahawksSEAat DAL71.00
1949ersSFat IND70.25
20PanthersCARat ARI69.25
21FalconsATLat NO63.75
24RaidersOAKat SD59.25
T-24RamsSTLat DET59.25
26BrownsCLEat CHI55.25

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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8 Responses to “Week 8: Blowout City”

  1. User avatar DraftDodger says:

    The kicking advice hasn’t seemed very solid this season. For one thing, those blow-out match-ups that propel kickers to the top of these lists are mostly good for extra points. This week I’d expect a guy like Feely (in a divisional dog-fight) to outscore a couple of your Top 3 picks, who have easy games where nary a field goal will be kicked (at least, not by the winners).

    Shouldn’t kickers be ranked by their likely opportunity to kick several field goals, not 4 or 5 extra points?

  2. User avatar terpfan says:

    DD: I think that’s a tough thing to count on. You could go through and try to predict that, but I think it’s much easier to use general scoring chances as a basis for these kind of rankings. Especially when you gotta do it every week. And I would expect teams that give up a lot of touchdowns also tend to give up their fair share of field goals (see Raiders, Oakland).

    FWIW, I agree on Feely being ranked a little low. But Longwell and Tynes are also ranked in the top 5. Do you expect those games to be blowouts?

  3. Uriah43 says:

    I like Chicago this week but I’m not sure the Denver-Baltimore game is going to be a high-scoring contest. Baltimore’s defense got embarrased last week and I just don’t think that will happen two weeks straight. Likewise, Denver is playing good but let’s face it some of their victories are against teams like Kansas City and Oakland. Who wouldn’t look good against those guys? Baltimore’s offense complements their defense and for that reason I think the Ravens will be a tough matchup for Denver and I expect both defenses to keep the game close.

  4. jameeman says:

    While statistics may indicate a 2nd place ranking for the NY Giant pass defense, that’s clearly a product of the sub-standard opposition the team faced up until Week 6; Big Blue didn’t face a club with a winning record until that point (okay, they played the-then 1-0 Cowboys). Over the past couple of tilts, the Secondary has been dissected first by Drew Brees and then pushed to the wall by Kurt Warner last week.

    With RB Brian Westbrook shelved and rookie LeSean Jackson forced to fill-in as the feature against the Giants’ legitimately stout run D … a role he’s not quite prepared to assume, I would look for Donovan McNabb to go airborne early and often. The Eag’ pass catching corps is rock-solid and next to DeSean Jackson and even TE Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin will be more of an afterthought.

    I think Maclin has an intriguing upside as an under-the-radar receiver against a stressed Secondary in a must-win game for both NFC East arch-rivals Sunday. Time will tell.

  5. jameeman says:

    ERRATA: Obviously I was referring to Eagle RB LeSean McCoy, NOT the non-existent RB LeSean Jackson. Sorry, it’s late.

  6. Maclin could have a decent game sure. But this logic you are using is like saying well the number 3 wr gets the least attention as opposed to the number one who gets all the attention from the D, lets start the number 3 guy!!

  7. sixshooter says:

    Well I guess I am struggling to see where jameeman recommended starting a “number 3 guy” over the “number one”.

    I believe the point he was attempting to make is that Maclin could have a better game than some expect which I agree with and sounds very logical to me.

    As far as the Denver/Baltimore game and the defensive side of the ball, I guess every team has played their fair share of Cleveland and Oakland teams but at the same time…Denver has played the likes of Cincy, New England and Dallas all of whose offenses have done very well against other teams.

    And for the record…the Broncos have yet to play KC so I am not sure how they have a victory against them already as was stated in another post but the good news for those that have the Broncos defense is that they do still play KC twice this year.

  8. User avatar DraftDodger says:

    terp: blowouts no; high scoring, yeah. The Giants and Eagles both have high power offenses, and some weeks their defenses just don’t show up. And tell me it’s not going to be a shootout in Green Bay …

    Picking the kickers, I’d look at what the other teams are giving up in the way of field goals too. Miami is tied for fifth, I believe, in most field goals allowed. Add that into a game where both sides will likely move the ball but should sometimes stall outside the red zone, and it looks like a big day for Feely.

    I’ve played a couple of kickers based on Cafe picks this year, and I’ve been burned hard. On the other hand, most of the other position picks have been very strong, easily better than I’ve seen anywhere else, where fantasy “experts” flog the same dead horses every week.

    I just think the guys making the picks need to take more into account with the kickers. A high scoring game isn’t always kicker friendly from a fantasy perspective (especially since there isn’t a lot of pressure on the kickers to make field goals if the contest is lopsided). Look at teams that are moving the ball but are having trouble punching in the TDs, and look at which defenses are surrendering a lot of field goals.


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