Start & SitNovember 12, 2009

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Week 10: Thursday Football - 13 comments

By Nick Hopkins

With the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football schedule kicking off this week, we’re posting our Start and Sit rankings early. I’m proud to say that the Cafe is still rolling along at No. 1 in the rankings, doing better than nearly 30 other fantasy sites that post weekly rankings. When broken down by position, the Cafe has turned in top-five seasons at each fantasy position but kicker. You’re getting the No. 1 rated rankings on the web here, folks. - R.J.

Thanks RJ! And thanks again to all our rankers, not only for doing a great job every week, but for getting this week’s edition in just a bit early. We’ve got football on Thursday! I know I’m excited, so without further adieu, let’s move onto the rankings!

1Drew BreesNOat STL96.50
2Aaron RodgersGBDAL88.00
3Peyton ManningINDNE87.75
4Tom BradyNEat IND86.75
5Brett FavreMINDET86.00
6Kurt WarnerARISEA85.00
7Ben RoethlisbergerPITCIN82.50
8Philip RiversSDPHI79.25
9Joe FlaccoBALat CLE78.25
T-9Jay CutlerCHIat SF78.25
11Donovan McNabbPHIat SD77.50
12Tony RomoDALat GB76.75
13Carson PalmerCINat PIT73.75
14Matt HasselbeckSEAat ARI73.00
15Matt RyanATLat CAR68.25
16Alex SmithSFCHI67.75
17Chad HenneMIATB65.00
18Kyle OrtonDENat WAS63.25
T-18Matt CasselKCat OAK63.25
20Jake DelhommeCARATL61.00
21Matthew StaffordDETat MIN59.00
22David GarrardJACat NYJ58.00
23Jason CampbellWASDEN57.00
24JaMarcus RussellOAKKC53.50
25Mark SanchezNYJJAC51.75
26Vince YoungTENBUF51.50
27Trent EdwardsBUFat TEN44.75
T-27Josh FreemanTBat MIA44.75
29Marc BulgerSTLNO40.25
30Brady QuinnCLEBAL32.50

Start: Brett Favre, Vikings. The 40-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down so far this season. Coming off a four-touchdown performance against the Packers in Week 9, Favre looks primed for yet another big game this week. Favre’s Vikings face a Detroit defense that has allowed the second most passing yards per game in the NFL (263.1) and the second most touchdowns (19).
Start: Phillip Rivers, Chargers. Rivers has been spectacular at times this season, but perhaps just as important to fantasy players, he has been consistent. The Chargers’ signal-caller has yet to really have a “bad” fantasy start. He has not thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in any game this season and has at least 200 yards and a score in every game as well. The Chargers possess a dangerous passing game and only a mediocre rushing attack, meaning that Rivers is always going to be involved. That makes him a solid start this week, even against an above average pass defense like Philadelphia.
Sit: Matt Ryan, Falcons. I don’t think you can quite call it a sophomore slump, but some of the interception issues that plagued Ryan in college seem to be finally showing up on the pro level. Ryan has now thrown eight picks in his last four games, and has gone over 200 yards only once. The Falcons’ opponent this week, Carolina, ranks 6th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. It would probably be best to bench Ryan for the time being.
Sit: Kyle Orton, Broncos. Orton was putting up great numbers during the Broncos’ 6-0 start, but over their last two games, Denver is 0-2 and Orton’s numbers reflect that. Orton has thrown zero touchdowns and three interceptions over that span. He even shaved his trademark beard in hopes of turning it around this week against Washington. I think everyone expects the Broncos to stop their losing streak against the Redskins, but I would not expect particularly good numbers from Orton. The Redskins rank #1 in the NFL in pass defense, having allowed only 159.9 yards per game and 7 touchdowns.

RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentAverage
1Adrian PetersonMINDET97.00
T-1Chris JohnsonTENBUF97.00
3Ray RiceBALat CLE93.50
4Michael TurnerATLat CAR89.50
5Ronnie BrownMIATB88.50
6Maurice Jones-DrewJACat NYJ85.25
7Ricky WilliamsMIATB83.50
8Pierre ThomasNOat STL82.75
9DeAngelo WilliamsCARATL82.44
10Frank GoreSFCHI82.25
11Steven JacksonSTLNO81.75
12Thomas JonesNYJJAC79.25
13Joseph AddaiINDNE75.50
14Cedric BensonCINat PIT74.25
15Marion BarberDALat GB73.25
16Mike BellNOat STL72.25
17Ryan GrantGBDAL71.50
18LeSean McCoyPHIat SD71.00
T-18Rashard MendenhallPITCIN71.00
20Reggie BushNOat STL70.75
21Marshawn LynchBUFat TEN69.75
22Jonathan StewartCARATL68.75
23Matt ForteCHIat SF68.25
T-23Laurence MaroneyNEat IND68.25
25Tim HightowerARISEA68.00
26Jamaal CharlesKCat OAK67.50
27Knowshon MorenoDENat WAS65.75
T-27Kevin SmithDETat MIN65.75
29LaDanian TomlinsonSDPHI64.75
30Justin FargasOAKKC64.50
31Chester TaylorMINDET64.25
32Beanie WellsARISEA62.75
33Felix JonesDALat GB62.00
34Shonn GreeneNYJJAC60.25
35Michael BushOAKKC58.75
36Darren McFaddenOAKKC57.93
37Fred JacksonBUFat TEN56.25
38Cadillac WilliamsTBat MIA56.00
39Tashard ChoiceDALat GB55.50
T-39Julius JonesSEAat ARI55.50
41Jamal LewisCLEBAL53.75
T-41LenDale WhiteTENBUF53.75
43Ladell BettsWASDEN53.06
44Darren SprolesSDPHI52.75
45Kolby SmithKCat OAK49.75
46Correll BuckhalterDENat WAS49.25
47Kevin FaulkNEat IND46.25
48Maurice MorrisDETat MIN45.25
49Derrick WardTBat MIA45.00
50Brian WestbrookPHIat SD43.81
51Jerome HarrisonCLEBAL43.75
52Sammy MorrisNEat IND43.25
53Donald BrownINDNE42.28
54Glen CoffeeSFCHI41.25
55Justin ForsettSEAat ARI41.00
56Ahman GreenGBDAL37.00
57Willie ParkerPITCIN36.50
58Mewelde MoorePITCIN27.25
59Rashard JenningsJACat NYJ26.25
60LeRon McClainBALat CLE26.00
61Willis McGaheeBALat CLE25.00
62Garrett WolfeCHIat SF24.25
63Jason SnellingATLat CAR15.75
64Adrian PetersonCHIat SF12.50
T-64Dantrell SavageKCat OAK12.50

Start: Ricky Williams, Dolphins. I think one of this year’s more interesting story lines is the 32-year-old Williams’ resurgence in the Dolphins’ wildcat offense. Sure, he only gets around 10 touches a game, but he’s got a 5.4 yards-per-carry average, he’s involved in the passing game, and he’s got a nose for the endzone. There is plenty of room for both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to produce in the wildcat, and this week’s matchup against the Bucs should have the two backs licking their chops. The Buccaneers may have finally gotten their first win last week, but they still allow a whopping 163.4 yards per game on the ground.
Start: Pierre Thomas, Saints. Thomas is in a similar situation as the previously mentioned Williams this week, in that they are both sharing carries, but also both play a weak run defense. Thomas has topped 80 total yards and scored in the Saints’ last two games. It seems that he is slowing wresting the lead runner role from Mike Bell, and is getting more looks in the redzone. That’s good news for his fantasy owners, as the Saints are sure to find the redzone several times this week against St. Louis.
Sit: Cedric Benson, Bengals. OK, so I’m not necessarily suggesting that everyone has a better option than Benson just hanging out on their bench. After all, Benson is still ranked in our top 15 this week. However, be aware that Benson has a tough game ahead of him against the Steelers’ top-rated run defense. Pittsburgh allows just 70.4 rushing yards per game, and has given up just 2 total touchdowns on the ground. If you are having a tough time deciding between Benson and another top back, you should keep that in mind.
Sit: Ladainian Tomlinson, Chargers. It seems like just yesterday that LT was the best runningback in the league, and a must-start every week. In reality though, those days are long-gone. Tomlinson has yet to top 80 rushing yards in a game this season, is not finding the endzone, and is not involved in the passing game like he used to be either. He’s a decent play against weaker opponents, but hopefully you have a couple better options available when he plays tougher defenses (ie. the Eagles).

RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentAverage
1Larry FitzgeraldARISEA95.50
2Marques ColstonNOat STL88.50
3Randy MossNEat IND85.75
4Reggie WayneINDNE85.00
5Sidney RiceMINDET84.25
6Vincent JacksonSDPHI84.00
7Percy HarvinMINDET82.75
8Wes WelkerNEat IND81.25
9DeSean JacksonPHIat SD80.25
10Anquan BoldinARISEA79.38
11Calvin JohnsonDETat MIN79.35
12Chad OchocincoCINat PIT78.00
13Derrick MasonBALat CLE77.75
T-13Steve SmithCARATL77.75
T-13Donald DriverGBDAL77.75
16Nate BurlesonSEAat ARI77.25
17Jerricho CotcheryNYJJAC76.75
18Miles AustinDALat GB75.75
T-18Hines WardPITCIN75.75
20Greg JenningsGBDAL75.50
21Roddy WhiteATLat CAR75.40
22Devin HesterCHIat SF74.75
23Bernard BerrianMINDET74.25
T-23T.J. HoushmandzadehSEAat ARI74.25
25Dwayne BoweKCat OAK73.50
26Lee EvansBUFat TEN73.25
T-26Brandon MarshallDENat WAS73.25
28Braylon EdwardsNYJJAC73.00
29Santonio HolmesPITCIN70.75
30Terrell OwensBUFat TEN70.00
31Steve BreastonARISEA69.75
32Mike Sims-WalkerJACat NYJ69.25
33Michael CrabtreeSFCHI68.50
34Mark ClaytonBALat CLE67.00
35Devery HendersonNOat STL65.50
36Johnny KnoxCHIat SF64.75
37Earl BennettCHIat SF64.25
38Robert MeachemNOat STL64.00
39Davone BessMIATB63.25
40Santana MossWASDEN63.00
41Austin CollieINDNE62.04
42Jeremy MaclinPHIat SD62.00
T-42Josh MorganSFCHI62.00
T-42Antonio BryantTBat MIA62.00
45Roy WilliamsDALat GB61.75
46Mike WallacePITCIN60.75
T-46Donnie AverySTLNO60.75
48Bryant JohnsonDETat MIN59.50
49David ClowneyNYJJAC58.75
50Pierre GarconINDNE58.50
T-50Ted GinnMIATB58.50
T-50Malcom FloydSDvs. PHI58.50
53Eddie RoyalDENat WAS57.25
54Louis MurphyOAKKC57.00
55James JonesGBDAL56.75
56Patrick CraytonDALat GB56.25
57Torry HoltJACat NYJ55.75
T-57Deion BranchSEAat ARI55.75
59Laveranues ColesCINat PIT54.25
60Michael ClaytonTBat MIA53.50
61Nate WashingtonTENBUF52.25
62Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKKC52.00
63Muhsin MuhammadCARATL51.13
64Keenan BurtonSTLNO50.25
65Danny AmendolaSTLNO49.00
66Michael JenkinsATLat CAR47.50
67Kenny BrittTENBUF47.25
68Sam AikenNEat IND43.50
69Antwaan Randle ElWASDEN43.00
70Mohamed MassaquoiCLEBAL41.50
T-70Greg CamarilloMIATB41.50
72Josh CribbsCLEBAL40.00
73Johnnie Lee HigginsOAKKC39.50
74Kelley WashingtonBALat CLE39.25
75Mark BradleyKCat OAK38.25
76Jason AvantPHIat SD36.00
T-76Devin ThomasWASDEN36.00
78Jerheme UrbanARISEA35.75
79Brian HartlineMIATB35.00
80Lance MooreNOat STL34.75
81Malcom KellyWASDEN33.50
82Jason HillSFCHI32.25
83Chris ChambersKCat OAK29.75
84Chaz SchilensOAKKC28.61
85Sam HurdDALat GB28.50
86Chansi StuckeyCLEBAL27.50
87Andre CaldwellCINat PIT25.75
T-87Brandon StokleyDENat WAS25.75
T-87Isaac BruceSFCHI25.75
90Josh ReedBUFat TEN25.50
91Dennis NorthcuttDETat MIN25.25
92Bobby WadeKCat OAK25.00
93Maurice StovallTBat MIA24.50
94Sammie StroughterTBat MIA24.00
95Mike ThomasJACat NYJ22.00
96Limas SweedPITCIN19.50
T-96Legedu NaaneeSDPHI19.50
98Jabar GaffneyDENat WAS14.75
99Brandon GibsonSTLNO9.75

Start: Derrick Mason, Ravens. Mason’s performance has been inconsistent this year, so ideally you would play him only when his matchup is good. The Cleveland Browns would certainly be considered a good matchup. Cleveland is 22nd in the NFL is passing defense, and last time the Ravens faced the Browns, Mason record a season high 118 yards and a touchdown.
Start: Steve Smith, Panthers. I firmly believe that despite the Panthers’ failure to get him the ball, Smith is still one of the NFL’s best receivers. I like his matchup this week against Atlanta. The Falcons have shown weakness in their passing game recently, and have dropped near the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed. Not to mention that the last time Smith faced Atlanta he had his best game of the season (8 catches, 131 yards).
Sit: Santana Moss, Redskins. As the Redskins’ only reliable wide receiver, Moss has been able to put up somewhat respectable numbers, despite a decimated offensive line and shaky quarterback play. His matchup against the Broncos is not a favorable one though. He will likely be lining up across from one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks in Champ Bailey, and with the Redskins trotting out banged up and inexperienced offensive lineman, Jason Campbell will likely get very little time to look downfield.
Sit: Donnie Avery, Rams. Avery was considered by many (myself included) to be a possible breakout candidate this year. Unfortunately, that never materialized, even after a five-catch, 87-yard game a few weeks ago that I thought might help him turn the corner. Avery now has only four catches in his last three games. This week, the Saints’ aggressive blitzes and ball-hawking corners should be more than the Rams’ passing game can handle.

RankTight EndsTeamOpponentAverage
1Dallas ClarkINDNE89.00
2Vernon DavisSFCHI88.00
3Antonio GatesSDPHI86.50
4Tony GonzalezATLat CAR84.25
5Jeremy ShockeyNOat STL84.00
6Visanthe ShiancoeMINDET83.50
7Brent CelekPHIat SD82.75
8Kellen WinslowTBat MIA82.00
9Jason WittenDALat GB81.75
10Zach MillerOAKKC79.50
11Heath MillerPITCIN78.00
12John CarlsonSEAat ARI77.50
13Greg OlsenCHIat SF77.00
14Dustin KellerNYJJAC71.50
15Todd HeapBALat CLE70.50
16Brandon PettigrewDETat MIN68.00
17Anthony FasanoMIATB65.25
18Tony SchefflerDENat WAS65.00
19Donald LeeGBDAL63.00
T-19Ben WatsonNEat IND63.00
21Fred DavisWASDEN61.75
22Gary BarnidgeCARATL61.25
23Ben PatrickARISEA60.00
24Bo ScaifeTENBUF58.00
25Marcedes LewisJACat NYJ56.50
26Sean RyanKCat OAK56.25
27Robert RoyalCLEBAL55.25
28Daniel CoatsCINat PIT53.25
29Martellus BennettDALat GB47.00
30Derek FineBUFat TEN44.25

Start: Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings. I believe I recommended Shiancoe as a “Sit” in Week 4, stating that he did not seem too involved in the Vikings revamped passing game. Well, Visanthe must have taken that personally, because he’s scored five touchdowns in five games since then. He’s a great start against the struggling Lions this week.
Sit: Todd Heap, Ravens. Maybe I can inspire Heap by listing him as a “Sit” this week. The former Arizona State Sun Devil has been involved in the Ravens’ offense, but has not scored since Week 2. He’s got a good matchup this week, but it is still hard to recommend him over the fourteen guys listed ahead of him on our list.

1Ryan LongwellMINDET95.50
2David AkersPHIat SD92.00
3Stephen GostkowskiNEat IND87.75
4John CarneyNOat STL84.50
5Nick FolkDALat GB81.00
6Nate KaedingSDPHI80.75
7Neil RackersARISEA80.50
8Jay FeelyNYJJAC80.25
T-8Rob BironasTENBUF80.25
10Mason CrosbyGBDAL79.50
11Matt PraterDENat WAS79.25
12Robbie GouldCHIat SF76.75
13Matt StoverINDNE76.50
14Steven HauschkaBALat CLE76.25
15Dan CarpenterMIATB74.50
16Jason ElamATLat CAR73.25
17Sebastian JanikowskiOAKKC71.75
18Rian LindellBUFat TEN71.25
19Joe NedneySFCHI70.75
20Jeff ReedPITCIN70.50
21John KasayCARATL68.25
22Josh BrownSTLNO68.00
23Ryan SuccopKCat OAK67.25
24Olindo MareSEAat ARI65.75
25Josh ScobeeJACat NYJ65.00
26Shayne GrahamCINat PIT64.50
27Shaun SuishamWASDEN63.00
28Jason HansonDETat MIN62.00
29Phil DawsonCLEBAL61.25
30Connor BarthTBat MIA61.00

Start: Jay Feely, Jets. Feely is probably available in most leagues, so if you normally start Lawrence Tynes or Kris Brown and need a bye-week replacement, the Jets’ kicker could be your man. Feely has topped seven points in each of his last five games, and the Jaguars are far from an intimidating defense.
Sit: Shayne Graham, Bengals. It’s funny, Graham is generally considered a good kicker, and the Bengals have been pretty good on offense, but for some reason he has only managed ten field goal attempts on the season (and he’s only made seven of them). I would not expect a big turnaround this week against the stingy Steelers’ defense at the less than kicker-friendly Heinz Field.

1SaintsNOat STL94.25
3BroncosDENat WAS88.50
5EaglesPHIat SD86.00
7RavensBALat CLE82.50
13BengalsCINat PIT70.75
14CowboysDALat GB70.25
15FalconsATLat CAR69.50
T-15PatriotsNEat IND69.50
20SeahawksSEAat ARI67.75
21BearsCHIat SF67.00
23ChiefsKCat OAK63.25
24BillsBUFat TEN61.50
25BuccaneersTBat MIA59.75
26JaguarsJACat NYJ59.50
27LionsDETat MIN54.50

Start: Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins don’t rank highly in many defensive categories, but they have also played some really tough offenses so far this year (the Saints, Colts, Patriots, Falcons, Chargers, Jets twice). This week, however, they play Tampa Bay, a team that averages just 15.4 points per game. And that’s after the 38 points they scored last week in their first win (that total includes two defensive touchdowns). Point is, the Dolphins have a good matchup this week, and could be available in your league if you need a replacement.
Sit: Indianapolis Colts. This one’s pretty simple. The Colts are top ten fantasy defense, but this week they play one of the league’s best offenses in the Patriots. Our rankers have taken notice, dropping Indy all the way to 29th in this week’s rankings (ouch!) If you have been starting the Colts every week up to this point, you might want to consider your other options for this week.

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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13 Responses to “Week 10: Thursday Football”

  1. User avatar WWM says:

    I definately feel Mendenhall is under rated this week but I have respect for my compadres of pickdom. I will say this if he kills it versus Cinci and hes not top ten from here on out Im calling the syndicate for sit down. ;)

    Good luck everyone!


  2. User avatar lacunacoiler says:

    So if you got both Mendy & Benson, would you prefer to start both(1 in flex) or just start one of them?? If one only, then who???

    Btw standard scoring with 1pt per 10rush/rec yards, 6 per rec/rush td, & fractional scoring…

  3. User avatar WWM says:

    Im personally rollin with mendy at flex and benson rb1 with confidence.

  4. User avatar terpfan says:

    Depends on your other options for the flex position, lacuna. I’d go with Benson over Mendenhall, but Mendenhall isn’t a bad option either.

  5. User avatar lacunacoiler says:

    Well I already got Mike Turner for rb1 & likely Benson as rb2.. for flex i got alot of options since I can put Barber, Mendy, Austin, MSW, or DJax..

    my 2 wr starters are Fitz & Djax, unless you guys think someone is better to start over Djax this weekend…

    thnx for your replies guys…

  6. User avatar BoyNamedSue says:

    Definitely not happy that NFL Thursday’s are back but I’m VERY happy that I get the best insight on internet from Fantasy Cafe!!

    Week 10’s looking good w/ C Johnson, Colston and S. Rice in my lineup

  7. User avatar bisklimpkit says:

    I had V. Davis, Jay Cutler, and E. Bennett in my lineup last night…for a grand total of 5 points. Going to be tough to get a win this week…

  8. User avatar WWM says:

    The opportunities for Cutler were there he just forced balls he shouldn’t have. Vernon Davis should have kept his pie hole shut. ;)

  9. McCaffrey says:

    i have the same dilemma, lacuna…CBen, Mendy both face #1 and #2 RB DEF…
    I was gonna use Deangelo and SJAX but i might have to sub in Ced for DeAngelo.

    Oh, and i’d prob go with M Austin as your flex over Mendy
    Forget about Barber….GB can sure stop the run but their pass D is overrated. Frickin first time starting rookie Josh Johnson passed for 3 td’s on ‘em. I like Austin this week.

  10. BearsFan65 says:

    Late to the party on this one, but Dallas Clark the #1 tight end? I have to believe the Hoodie will be doing whatever he can to take that option away, even if it means allowing Collie and Garcon to see more targets. I also envision the Pats trying to play ball control, even if they do it with high percentage passes, to keep Manning and Co. off the field. I’m not suggesting Clark will be completely shut down, but to rank him at the top this week sounds more like a reflection of what he’s done rather than an assessment of what he’s going to do. The Philly D has been generous to TE’s most of the year, seems to me like Gates would fare better. Then again, I thought you were right on with Vernon Davis in the top 3, and we see what happened there. Great job as always, thanks for the work you do!

  11. User avatar joejlitz says:

    I think Randy Moss and the Pats have a tough passing match-up this week and while Moss has had two monster weeks in the last 3, he and Brady have generally shown that they struggle against top pass defenses. With that said, I expect to see Moss outside the top-10 receivers and thing #3 WR is too high.

    I also believe Hines Ward’s excellent matchup deserves a better than 18th ranking. He goes against CIN who is ranked 24th against the pass. Moreover, Ward is the 12th ranked-WR in standard leagues. That alone sounds like a top-15 ranking with a good chance for top-10.

    Just my opinion…

    God bless you guys for ranking 99 WRs. Where’s the emoticon with the helmet-dude going, “Whew!” I don’t even know who a few of those guys are in the bottom ten! Stovall? Sounds like a kicker! :)

  12. User avatar terpfan says:

    OK Shayne Graham I get it! No need to rub it in…

  13. User avatar Navyseal says:

    Uhhhhh, lets’ not rank Brandon “baby T.O.” Marshall anywhere in the 20’s at WR from here on out, huh? He single-handedly won me my game this past week, and despite your ranking against my beloved Redskins’ pass D, I never once considered starting him over Derrick Mason, whom I sat in lieu of B-Marsh, Roddy and Miles this past weekend. Marshall should be a top-ten WR from here on out REGARDLESS of whom he faces, you dig?


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