At this point of the season, many leagues will have started their playoffs in order to avoid playing the championship in Week 17. (It’s a good idea if you ask me, I’ve been burned before by teams resting their starters…) In other leagues the playoffs may be just around the bend. In any case, the Cafe’s Start & Sit is here to make your lineup decisions a little easier. This week, Drew Brees tops our QB rankings after his 400+ yard performance in a comeback win against Washington, Chris Johnson leads the RBs as he continues his record-setting pace, and Andre Johnson ends up our #1 receiver after catching seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown last week. Now, to the rest of the rankings!
|1||Drew Brees||NO||at ATL||97.50|
|2||Aaron Rodgers||GB||at CHI||90.50|
|4||Kurt Warner||ARI||at SF||84.00|
|5||Philip Rivers||SD||at DAL||83.00|
|9||Donovan McNabb||PHI||at NYG||78.50|
|10||Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||at CLE||78.00|
|11||Carson Palmer||CIN||at MIN||77.00|
|19||Jason Campbell||WAS||at OAK||65.50|
|20||Matt Hasselbeck||SEA||at HOU||64.00|
|21||Chad Henne||MIA||at JAC||60.00|
|22||Kyle Boller||STL||at TEN||59.50|
|23||Kyle Orton||DEN||at IND||59.00|
|24||Ryan Fitzpatrick||BUF||at KC||56.50|
|25||Kellen Clemens||NYJ||at TB||56.00|
|28||Daunte Culpepper||DET||at BAL||51.00|
|29||Matt Moore||CAR||at NE||50.50|
Start: Matt Schaub, Texans. Schaub suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder last week, but it appears that he will play this Sunday and is safe to start. Based on his matchup, you could say Schaub is more than just a “safe” start, as his opponent, Seattle, is 25th in the NFL in terms of passing, and has allowed 22 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions.
Start: Joe Flacco, Ravens. Joe Cool has struggled recently. He’s only thrown three touchdowns in his last six games, and last week’s Monday Night Game displayed his struggles on a national stage. However, most of those games were against pretty good defenses (Denver, Cincinnati, Indy, Pittsburgh, Green Bay). This week Flacco gets the Lions, statistically the league’s worst pass defense. If there was ever a chance for a bounce-back game, this is it.
Sit: Eli Manning, Giants. Manning has been pretty solid this season from a fantasy perspective, and is coming off a good game against Dallas to get New York back into the playoff picture. This week is another big game for the Giants against Philly. This matchup does not bode particularly well for Eli’s fantasy numbers though, as the Eagles have a tough pass defense that has recorded more interceptions (20) than touchdowns allowed (18).
Sit: Jay Cutler, Bears. Cutler has not thrown for more than 200 yards in any of his past three games. Maybe he’s been completing fewer passes to the other team, but he isn’t finding his own receivers much either. This week Cutler faces Charles Woodson and the Packers. Green Bay owns the third best pass defense in the NFL in terms of yardage, and are coming off a great game in which they picked off Joe Flacco three times.
|2||Steven Jackson||STL||at TEN||88.50|
|5||Rashard Mendenhall||PIT||at CLE||83.00|
|7||Thomas Jones||NYJ||at TB||81.00|
|9||Pierre Thomas||NO||at ATL||79.50|
|11||Ryan Grant||GB||at CHI||76.00|
|T-11||Ricky Williams||MIA||at JAC||76.00|
|14||DeAngelo Williams||CAR||at NE||72.50|
|15||Cedric Benson||CIN||at MIN||72.00|
|16||Fred Jackson||BUF||at KC||71.00|
|19||Kevin Smith||DET||at BAL||67.00|
|20||Knowshon Moreno||DEN||at IND||66.00|
|21||LaDanian Tomlinson||SD||at DAL||65.00|
|22||Marshawn Lynch||BUF||at KC||64.50|
|23||Beanie Wells||ARI||at SF||64.00|
|24||Tim Hightower||ARI||at SF||63.00|
|T-26||LeSean McCoy||PHI||at NYG||62.50|
|28||Julius Jones||SEA||at HOU||62.00|
|T-28||Jonathan Stewart||CAR||at NE||62.00|
|30||Quinton Ganther||WAS||at OAK||61.50|
|T-30||Mike Bell||NO||at ATL||61.50|
|T-33||Rock Cartwright||WAS||at OAK||60.50|
|T-39||Justin Forsett||SEA||at HOU||56.00|
|42||Shonn Greene||NYJ||at TB||55.00|
|T-43||Reggie Bush||NO||at ATL||54.50|
|45||Correll Buckhalter||DEN||at IND||53.00|
|49||Darren Sproles||SD||at DAL||50.00|
|50||Larry Johnson||CIN||at MIN||48.50|
|58||Lex Hilliard||MIA||at JAC||34.00|
|T-60||Mewelde Moore||PIT||at CLE||23.00|
|62||Leonard Weaver||PHI||at NYG||22.50|
|63||Willie Parker||PIT||at CLE||22.00|
Start: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs. Charles had a relatively tough test last week against the Broncos, and I would say he passed that test (59 total yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble). Now Charles gets a much easier matchup against the league’s worst rush defense, the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are allowing a whopping 172.1 yards on the ground and have given up 16 rushing touchdowns.
Start: Ryan Grant, Packers. I’ve called Grant one of the NFL’s most boring runningbacks, but while he may not be that exciting, I will say that he has been relatively consistent this year. Against the 25th-ranked Chicago rush defense, Grant should be able to manage his customary 80-to-100-yard game with a decent chance for a touchdown.
Sit: Matt Forte, Bears. I just realized it kinda seems like I’m piling on Chicago this week for some reason. I guess that’s the result of the Bears having lost 4 of their last 5, while Green Bay is riding a four game winning streak. In any case, Forte is not a great start against the Packers and their #4 ranked rush defense. The Packers allow under 100 total rushing yards per game, and have given up only four rushing touchdowns all year.
Sit: Jonathan Stewart, Panthers. Stewart got an opportunity to be the lead back last week against Tampa Bay, and took advantage, running for 120 yards and a touchdown. It looks like Deangelo Williams could be back this week, which would be bad news for Stewart’s fantasy prospects. The Panthers also have a tougher matchup this week against a New England defense that has only allowed three rushing touchdowns this year.
|2||Larry Fitzgerald||ARI||at SF||90.00|
|5||Marques Colston||NO||at ATL||81.00|
|7||Calvin Johnson||DET||at BAL||80.00|
|10||Anquan Boldin||ARI||at SF||78.00|
|T-10||Terrell Owens||BUF||at KC||78.00|
|12||Steve Smith||CAR||at NE||77.50|
|T-12||Chad Ochocinco||CIN||at MIN||77.50|
|14||Vincent Jackson||SD||at DAL||77.00|
|15||Donald Driver||GB||at CHI||76.50|
|16||Brandon Marshall||DEN||at IND||75.50|
|17||DeSean Jackson||PHI||at NYG||75.00|
|19||Greg Jennings||GB||at CHI||73.50|
|20||Donnie Avery||STL||at TEN||73.00|
|24||Robert Meachem||NO||at ATL||69.00|
|26||Jerricho Cotchery||NYJ||at TB||68.00|
|27||Davone Bess||MIA||at JAC||67.50|
|28||Lee Evans||BUF||at KC||67.00|
|T-28||Santana Moss||WAS||at OAK||67.00|
|T-32||T.J. Houshmandzadeh||SEA||at HOU||66.00|
|34||Braylon Edwards||NYJ||at TB||65.50|
|35||Nate Burleson||SEA||at HOU||64.00|
|36||Santonio Holmes||PIT||at CLE||63.50|
|37||Jeremy Maclin||PHI||at NYG||63.00|
|38||Steve Breaston||ARI||at SF||62.00|
|40||Devery Henderson||NO||at ATL||61.50|
|44||Brandon Gibson||STL||at TEN||59.00|
|49||Mike Wallace||PIT||at CLE||57.00|
|50||Muhsin Muhammad||CAR||at NE||56.50|
|52||Jason Avant||PHI||at NYG||55.00|
|54||Greg Camarillo||MIA||at JAC||54.50|
|55||Malcom Floyd||SD||at DAL||54.00|
|60||Devin Thomas||WAS||at OAK||51.50|
|T-62||Ted Ginn||MIA||at JAC||50.50|
|64||Laveranues Coles||CIN||at MIN||50.00|
|65||James Jones||GB||at CHI||49.50|
|T-65||Brian Hartline||MIA||at JAC||49.50|
|67||Eddie Royal||DEN||at IND||48.50|
|68||Bryant Johnson||DET||at BAL||47.50|
|69||Andre Caldwell||CIN||at MIN||45.50|
|T-73||Jordy Nelson||GB||at CHI||44.00|
Start: Calvin Johnson, Lions. Megatron has scored in three straight games now, and he has a pretty good matchup against a weak Raven secondary. I can’t really imagine Domonique Foxworth, Frank Walker, or Lardarius Walker hanging with CJ. With Ed Reed still nursing an injury as well, Johnson could be met with very little resistance this weekend.
Start: Terrell Owens, Bills. A matchup this week against Kansas City must be music to TO’s ears after having Darrelle Revis in his hip pocket all day. The Bills have been throwing the ball TO’s way a lot recently, and before the Jets game they were having a lot of success with that. Expend that trend to continue, resulting in a big game for Terrell Owens this weekend.
Sit: Santana Moss, Redskins. The Redskins’ pass offense has picked up in recent weeks, but Moss has yet to have a big game of his own. This is probably a result of defenses keying on Moss, and Campbell finding other receivers, such as second-year wideout Devin Thomas, and second-year tight end Fred Davis. This week Nnamdi Asomugha and the Raiders’ secondary will likely be focused on Moss again.
Sit: Steve Breaston, Cardinals. Breaston was once considered one of the league’s most prolific slot receivers, but his production has really fallen off these past three weeks. Breaston has only managed 0, 4, and 1 catches in those three games, and has not found the endzone. The Cardinal receiver has to be considered a risky start in any matchup at this point.
|2||Brent Celek||PHI||at NYG||89.00|
|3||Antonio Gates||SD||at DAL||86.50|
|4||Jeremy Shockey||NO||at ATL||83.00|
|8||Heath Miller||PIT||at CLE||77.50|
|13||Jermichael Finley||GB||at CHI||72.00|
|15||John Carlson||SEA||at HOU||69.50|
|17||Dustin Keller||NYJ||at TB||66.50|
|22||Anthony Fasano||MIA||at JAC||60.50|
|24||J.P. Foschi||CIN||at MIN||57.50|
|25||Tony Scheffler||DEN||at IND||57.00|
|T-25||Will Heller||DET||at BAL||57.00|
|27||Fred Davis||WAS||at OAK||56.50|
|28||Shawn Nelson||BUF||at KC||55.50|
|29||Donald Lee||GB||at CHI||55.00|
|30||Dante Rosario||CAR||at NE||53.50|
|31||Ben Patrick||ARI||at SF||50.50|
Start: Brent Celek, Eagles. Celek has four touchdowns over his past six games, and could be in line for another this week against the Giants. Celek recorded 61 yards and a touchdown last time he faced New York.
Sit: Ben Watson, Patriots. What a tease that 77-yard, 2 TD game in Week 1 was… Watson has only three catches over his past four games. He shouldn’t be getting any consideration as a fantasy starter.
|1||David Akers||PHI||at NYG||79.00|
|2||Mason Crosby||GB||at CHI||78.50|
|3||Matt Prater||DEN||at IND||77.00|
|T-3||Garrett Hartley||NO||at ATL||77.00|
|8||Jay Feely||NYJ||at TB||73.50|
|9||Dan Carpenter||MIA||at JAC||73.00|
|11||Rian Lindell||BUF||at KC||72.00|
|T-11||Jeff Reed||PIT||at CLE||72.00|
|13||Neil Rackers||ARI||at SF||71.50|
|15||Nate Kaeding||SD||at DAL||70.00|
|T-15||Olindo Mare||SEA||at HOU||70.00|
|18||Shayne Graham||CIN||at MIN||68.50|
|24||Jason Hanson||DET||at BAL||61.50|
|T-24||Graham Gano||WAS||at OAK||61.50|
|26||Josh Brown||STL||at TEN||61.00|
|28||John Kasay||CAR||at NE||59.50|
Start: Garrett Hartley, Saints. Hartley kicked four field goals last week in relief of John Carney. I don’t expect the Saints offense to slow down against a less-than-intimidating Falcon defense. The game will also be played in a dome. Hartley should be a good start again.
Sit: Nick Folk, Cowboys. Folk has missed 5 of his last 7 field goals. This was so startling to the Cowboys’ coaching staff that they are apparently considering having Tony Romo go back to holding. That could be interesting, to say the least. In any event, Folk is probably not worth the trouble as a fantasy kicker right now.
Start: Baltimore Ravens. Calvin Johnson is daunting, but the rest of the Lions’ offense isn’t scaring anyone, especially with Daunte Culpepper starting this week. The Ravens have had some injuries on their defense, but they still have a nose for big turnovers (6th in NFL with 14 interceptions, 3 defensive touchdowns). The Ravens should be able to the handle the Lions well enough at home to put up a good fantasy point total on defense.
Sit: Denver Broncos. Denver has been a top ten fantasy defense this year, but even the best defenses have trouble with the Colts. Look for a better option than the Broncos against Peyton Manning and Co. in Indianapolis.
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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