Start & SitOctober 1, 2010

Post to Twitter

Week 4: All About Steve - 12 comments

By Drew Szczerba

The bye weeks are upon us and you know what that means. All of your hard work and preparation is about to pay off. One month ago you combined unparalleled drafting savvy with the ability to read a calendar and assembled enough roster depth to strike fear in the hearts of those who so foolishly refused to plan ahead … maybe not. If you didn’t, don’t worry about it. It probably doesn’t matter. Either way, the bye weeks are here.
Dallas, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City are off this week, though the Chiefs just played San Francisco and it seems unfair to allow a team to have consecutive byes. No one needs that much rest. At 0-3, the 49ers are reeling as they find themselves last in a division they were supposed to run away with. In an effort to right the ship and no longer be a punch line, San Francisco fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. This is big news because it means San Francisco actually had an offensive coordinator. Unbelievable! Okay, maybe I’m overreacting, but if I find out the Panthers have a quarterbacks coach I’m going to lose it. Let’s get to the rankings.
Here at the Café, we rank 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 match-up, 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. Finally, below each table, I will give my personal Start/Sit recommendations for each position. Without further ado, here’s Start/Sit for Week 4.
Ed. note: The Cafe’s Week 3 Start/Sit column rated No. 1 among weekly Internet rankings, according to FF Crystal Ball.

1Peyton ManningINDat JAC99.25
2Aaron RodgersGBDET95.88
3Drew BreesNOCAR93.76
4Tom BradyNEat MIA89.13
5Matt SchaubHOUat OAK86.00
6Philip RiversSDARI85.00
7Michael VickPHIWAS82.50
8Jay CutlerCHIat NYG82.00
9Matt RyanATLSF76.63
10Eli ManningNYGCHI73.75
11Carson PalmerCINat CLE72.15
12Mark SanchezNYJat BUF70.88
T-12Kyle OrtonDENat TEN70.88
14Donovan McNabbWASat PHI70.00
15Chad HenneMIANE69.88
16Matt HasselbeckSEAat STL67.88
17Vince YoungTENDEN67.25
18Bruce GradowskiOAKHOU65.13
19Sam BradfordSTLSEA64.38
20Joe FlaccoBALat PIT62.88
21Alex SmithSFat ATL61.25
22David GarrardJACIND59.63
23Jimmy ClausenCARat NO55.38
24Derek AndersonARIat SD53.75
25Shaun HillDETat GB51.75
26Ryan FitzpatrickBUFNYJ51.38
27Charlie BatchPITBAL48.50
28Seneca WallaceCLECIN46.69
29Jake DelhommeCLECIN29.96

Start: Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos. “A girl phoned me the other day and said … ‘Come on over, there’s nobody home.’ I went over. Nobody was home.” – Kyle Orton
Actually, that joke is one of Rodney Dangerfield’s famous “no respect” lines. Much like Rodney, Orton can’t seem to get any respect. Orton started the season strong and has only gotten better. Last week, he completed 37 of 57 passes for 476 yards against Indianapolis. As of today, he’s only being started in 30% of leagues. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because he looks like a guy whose name is Kyle Orton. Whatever the reason, he needs to be started in more leagues. Denver is a pass-first team, and I’m betting Orton earns some long overdue respect in Week 4.
Sit: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens. Flacco stepped it up last week with three touchdowns against the Browns. He was in command all game, as he had a ton of time to survey the field and deliver the ball accurately. Cleveland didn’t have an answer. Depending on your definition of the word “blitz,” the Browns tried to blitz Flacco on several occasions. Nothing worked. This week should be a much tougher assignment as the Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have an elite defense, and there’s good chance we see more of the “Week 2 Flacco,” and not as much of the Week 3.
RankRunning BacksTeamOppAverage
1Chris JohnsonTENDEN92.50
2Frank GoreSFat ATL87.50
3Maurice Jones-DrewJACIND86.98
4Arian FosterHOUat OAK86.13
5DeAngelo WilliamsCARat NO81.75
6Cedric BensonCINat CLE79.00
7Ronnie BrownMIANE78.75
8Joseph AddaiINDat JAC78.63
9Michael TurnerATLSF78.39
10Darren McFaddenOAKHOU78.15
11LaDainian TomlinsonNYJat BUF78.13
12Rashard MendenhallPITBAL77.63
13LeSean McCoyPHIWAS76.00
14Matt ForteCHIat NYG75.63
15Justin ForsettSEAat STL73.88
16Shonn GreeneNYJat BUF72.50
17Ahmad BradshawNYGCHI72.25
18Peyton HillsCLECIN71.63
19Ricky WilliamsMIANE71.13
20Pierre ThomasNOCAR70.93
21Ray RiceBALat PIT70.78
22Jonathan StewartCARat NO68.80
23Brandon JacksonGBDET67.88
24Ryan MathewsSDARI67.07
25Steven JacksonSTLSEA66.86
26Beanie WellsARIat SD66.08
27Mike TolbertSDARI63.25
28Clinton PortisWASat PHI63.19
29Jahvid BestDETat GB62.44
30BenJarvus Green-EllisNEat MIA62.00
31Darren SprolesSDARI61.00
32Marshawn LynchBUFNYJ58.00
33Laurence MaroneyDENat TEN57.88
34John KuhnGBDET57.13
35Brandon JacobsNYGCHI57.00
36C.J. SpillerBUFNYJ56.13
37Donald BrownINDat JAC55.56
38Correll BuckhalterDENat TEN55.51
39Chester TaylorCHIat NYG55.50
40Leon WashingtonSEAat STL54.75
41Tim HightowerARIat SD54.38
42Jason SnellingATLSF54.25
43Steve SlatonHOUat OAK50.25
44Ryan TorainWASat PHI48.63
45Kevin SmithDETat GB47.21
46Chris IvoryNOCAR47.13
47Fred JacksonBUFNYJ44.78
48Kenneth DarbySTLSEA44.13
49Bernard ScottCINat CLE43.38
50Willis McGaheeBALat PIT41.50
51Javon RingerTENDEN41.25
52Michael BushOAKHOU39.74
53Fred TaylorNEat MIA39.55
54Danny WoodheadNEat MIA37.88
55Maurice MorrisDETat GB37.48
56Jerome HarrisonCLECIN36.99
57Mike BellPHIWAS26.54
58Julius JonesSEAat STL26.50
59Sammy MorrisNEat MIA25.88
60Rashad JenningsJACIND25.00
61Keiland WilliamsWASat PHI22.13
62Mewelde MoorePITBAL16.75
63Anthony DixonSFat ATL16.63
64Dmitri NanceGBDET15.88
65Brian WestbrookSFat ATL15.24
66James DavisCLECIN15.13
67Isaac RedmanPITBAL14.25
68Danny WareNYGCHI12.63
69LeRon McClainBALat PIT12.50
70Michael BennettOAKHOU10.63

Start: Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants. I recently came across the following article and was only mildly surprised:
“Brandon Jacobs Fathead Turns Out To Be Actual Brandon Jacobs” New York, NY — An 11-year-old boy received what he thought was Fathead as a gift. The Fathead depicted Brandon Jacobs running with intensity indicating that accuracy is not a primary concern in the wall graphics industry. Still, the child was reportedly happy with his present. That is until he noticed that it moved approximately three feet each Sunday. A Fathead spokesman apologized for the mix up. He added, “We haven’t had this happen since the Ron Dayne incident.”
Sit: Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins. Everything was set up perfectly for Portis last week. He was the primary back in a respectable offense playing against a suspect defense. The result? Seven rushes for 44 yards. Fast forward to Week 4, and things have taken a turn for the worse. The Redskins play at Philadelphia. More importantly, Portis may lose touches to Ryan Torain, who was activated from the Redskins practice squad last week. It’s unclear how Torain will be used, but Portis owners should probably look elsewhere in Week 4. If you’re still considering Portis even with the deck stacked against him, consider how he performed when everything was in his favor.
RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAverage
1Reggie WayneINDat JAC96.63
2Roddy WhiteATLSF91.50
3Randy MossNEat MIA91.38
4Brandon MarshallMIANE90.63
5Greg JenningsGBDET89.13
6DeSean JacksonPHIWAS86.38
7Wes WelkerNEat MIA84.21
8Chad OchocincoCINat CLE83.63
9Calvin JohnsonDETat GB83.00
10Marques ColstonNOCAR82.13
11Andre JohnsonHOUat OAK81.36
12Austin CollieINDat JAC80.63
13Larry FitzgeraldARIat SD80.59
14Donald DriverGBDET80.38
15Jeremy MaclinPHIWAS75.63
16Braylon EdwardsNYJat BUF75.50
17Anquan BoldinBALat PIT75.38
18Santana MossWASat PHI75.25
19Hakeem NicksNYGCHI75.15
20Malcom FloydSDARI74.50
21Louis MurphyOAKHOU74.00
22Johnny KnoxCHIat NYG73.88
23Steve SmithNYGCHI73.75
24Terrell OwensCINat CLE73.00
25Hines WardPITBAL71.50
26Steve SmithCARat NO69.28
27Nate WashingtonTENDEN67.88
28Kevin WalterHOUat OAK67.63
29Michael CrabtreeSFat ATL67.38
30Mike Sims-WalkerJACIND67.13
31Legedu NaaneeSDARI66.25
32Jacoby JonesHOUat OAK66.13
33Devin HesterCHIat NYG65.75
34Lance MooreNOCAR64.25
T-34Jerricho CotcheryNYJat BUF64.25
36Devery HendersonNOCAR63.75
T-36Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKHOU63.75
38Mike WilliamsSEAat STL63.45
39Jabar GaffneyDENat TEN62.75
T-39Davone BessMIANE62.75
41Eddie RoyalDENat TEN62.25
T-41Demaryius ThomasDENat TEN62.25
43Jordan ShipleyCINat CLE62.13
44Mark ClaytonSTLSEA61.13
45Robert MeachemNOCAR60.63
46Mario ManninghamNYGCHI59.51
47Brandon LloydDENat TEN59.13
48James JonesGBDET59.00
49Lee EvansBUFNYJ58.25
50Mike WallacePITBAL57.38
51Mike ThomasJACIND55.50
T-51Kenny BrittTENDEN55.50
53Deion BranchSEAat STL54.50
54Joshua CribbsCLECIN53.58
55Deon ButlerSEAat STL51.75
56Danny AmendolaSTLSEA51.08
57Derrick MasonBALat PIT50.25
58Jason AvantPHIWAS50.00
59Harry DouglasATLSF49.38
60Josh MorganSFat ATL49.18
61Roscoe ParrishBUFNYJ48.38
62Mohamed MassaquoiCLECIN48.00
63Stephen WilliamsARIat SD47.75
64Brian HartlineMIANE47.38
65Joey GallowayWASat PHI45.88
66Justin GageTENDEN44.00
67Jordy NelsonGBDET42.75
68Golden TateSEAat STL42.63
69Steve JohnsonBUFNYJ38.88
T-69Blair WhiteINDat JAC38.88
71Buster DavisSDARI38.50
72T.J. HoushmandzadehBALat PIT36.38
73Brian RobiskieCLECIN35.75
74Earl BennettCHIat NYG35.50
75Brandon LaFellCARat NO35.48
76Laurent RobinsonSTLSEA33.51
77Pierre GarconINDat JAC32.36
78Bryant JohnsonDETat GB31.13
79Julian EdelmanNEat MIA31.00
80Patrick CraytonSDARI30.00

Start: Steve Smith, New York Giants. After two pedestrian games to start the season, Smith exploded last week against Tennessee with nine catches for 103 yards. His effort was all the more impressive considering the Titans stingy pass defense. This week Smith will face a 3-0 Bears team that has surprised many on both sides of the ball. While the Bears defense has been better than expected, they tend to be a “bend but don’t break” type of unit. (This is not to be confused with the Packers “bend but don’t break even if breaking is your only chance at winning” defense). The Bears defense is actually a good match up for Smith since he is a possession receiver, and Chicago will give up some yards as they wait for an offensive mistake. Last week, Chicago allowed the Packers primary underneath receiver, Donald Driver, to find openings in coverage and catch nine passes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steve Smith duplicate his Week 3 effort and find the end zone too.
Sit: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers. This Sunday, like most Sundays, Steve Smith will show us why he’s one of the best receivers in the league. He’ll make quick cuts and get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. He’ll run excellent routes. Despite constant double teams, Smith will find a way to get open. So why is his name in the “sit” portion of this column? I think you know the answer. Jimmy Clausen is not an NFL quarterback — at least not yet. Unfortunately, it looks like he’ll get another chance to start this week at New Orleans. I don’t see him improving much no matter how much he works with Carolina quarterbacks coach, Rip Scherer (you’ve got to be kidding).
RankTight EndsTeamOppAverage
1Dallas ClarkINDat JAC96.38
2Jermichael FinleyGBDET93.75
3Antonio GatesSDARI92.75
4Vernon DavisSFat ATL86.38
5Tony GonzalezATLSF82.63
6Zach MillerOAKHOU82.25
7Dustin KellerNYJat BUF81.13
8Chris CooleyWASat PHI78.00
9John CarlsonSEAat STL76.38
10Aaron HernandezNEat MIA76.00
11Brent CelekPHIWAS75.00
12Jeremy ShockeyNOCAR74.13
13Jermaine GreshamCINat CLE73.38
14Greg OlsenCHIat NYG71.38
15Marcedes LewisJACIND66.50
T-15Rob GronkowskiNEat MIA66.50
17Todd HeapBALat PIT64.92
18Tony SchefflerDETat GB64.38
19Brandon PettigrewDETat GB62.88
T-19Heath MillerPITBAL62.88
21Bo ScaifeTENDEN61.00
22Owen DanielsHOUat OAK60.85
23Ben WatsonCLECIN58.13
24Jeff KingCARat NO57.75
25Daniel FellsSTLSEA55.00
26Anthony FasanoMIANE54.63
27Kevin BossNYGCHI53.63
28Daniel GrahamDENat TEN53.25
29Ben PatrickARIat SD52.63
30Jonathan StuparBUFNYJ49.63

Start: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots. Hernandez appears to be the primary beneficiary of Kevin Faulk’s injury. The tight end has caught six passes in each of the last two games and went for over 100 yards in one of those contests. This week he gets Miami, a team that surrendered two scores to the Jets’ Dustin Keller. This is not to say Miami’s defense is bad. It isn’t. In fact, it’s not Miami’s defense that makes Hernandez a good start. It’s New England’s. The Patriots haven’t stopped anyone, and I’d be surprised if this game isn’t a high scoring affair. Look for Brady to spread the ball around and, more importantly, look for Hernandez to make good on his fair share of targets.
Sit: Owen Daniels, Houston Texans. Daniels still isn’t 100%. He’s not running nearly as fast as he would if he was fully healthy. Though he is showing a slight statistical improvement each week, he’s clearly taking a long time to recover. During that time, other players are emerging in the Houston offense and Daniels’ role is being diminished. He belongs on your bench until further notice.
RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAverage
1JetsNYJat BUF93.50
4RavensBALat PIT86.75
5BengalsCINat CLE81.63
9BearsCHIat NYG78.25
10ColtsINDat JAC78.13
13SeahawksSEAat STL74.63
15PatriotsNEat MIA70.25
16TexansHOUat OAK70.13
18RedskinsWASat PHI65.75
1949ersSFat ATL65.63
20CardinalsARIat SD65.00
22BroncosDENat TEN62.63
25PanthersCARat NO56.13
26LionsDETat GB55.00

Start: Indianapolis Colts. When I think of the greatest individual rivalries in sports history, there are three that stand out from the rest. As you can imagine, I’m speaking of Ali-Frazier, Bird-Magic, and Garrard-Edwards. In each case, one man pushed the other to be better than he ever thought he could be. And in each case, a nation watched as … okay, that’s probably enough.
When you acquire a quarterback that was released by the quarterback factory known as the Buffalo Bills, it says a lot about your existing quarterback situation. David Garrard is a below average signal caller, but he’ll likely hang on to the job for at least a few weeks. Either way, you want to be starting defenses against Jacksonville.
Sit: Houston Texans. There are only a handful of must-start defenses. Houston isn’t one of them. However, the Texans defense does warrant consideration as a match-up play. Before the season, a Week 4 game against Oakland seemed like a very favorable match-up. Today? Not so much. The Raiders aren’t an elite offense, but they seem to be responding well to Bruce Gradkowski, who took over for Jason Campbell in Week 2 after Campbell did his best JaMarcus Russell impersonation. Since then, Gradkowski hasn’t committed the types of mistakes that used to make starting a defense against Oakland such a winning proposition.
1Nate KaedingSDARI87.88
2Mason CrosbyGBDET85.38
3David AkersPHIWAS84.38
4Robbie GouldCHIat NYG82.38
5Neil RackersHOUat OAK81.88
6Rob BironasTENDEN81.00
7Stephen GostkowskiNEat MIA79.88
8Mike NugentCINat CLE79.75
9Matt PraterDENat TEN78.50
10Matt BryantATLSF78.13
11Dan CarpenterMIANE77.75
12Jeff ReedPITBAL77.63
13Nick FolkNYJat BUF76.88
14Sebastian JanikowskiOAKHOU76.50
15Adam VinatieriINDat JAC76.25
16John CarneyNOCAR74.53
17Jay FeelyARIat SD73.13
18Josh ScobeeJACIND71.38
19Billy CundiffBALat PIT71.25
20Graham GanoWASat PHI71.00
21Olindo MareSEAat STL70.88
T-21Josh BrownSTLSEA70.88
23Rian LindellBUFNYJ69.13
24Joe NedneySFat ATL68.63
25Jason HansonDETat GB68.38
26Lawrence TynesNYGCHI67.50
27Phil DawsonCLECIN67.25
28John KasayCARat NO67.00

Start: Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots. Full disclosure: he’s the only kicker named “Steve” and I wanted to make the title of this article more fitting.
Sit: John Carney, New Orleans Saints. Look, he may have a good game. This is merely personal preference. I’d rather not have a kicker who was just signed, and I don’t like that Garrett Hartley is still on the roster.

Drew is a lifelong Jets fan. Playing and writing about fantasy football has proven helpful in easing the pain.
Rate this article: DreadfulNot goodFairGoodVery good (15 votes, average: 4.53 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!

Post to Twitter

Related Cafe Articles

• Other articles by Drew Szczerba

No related articles.

12 Responses to “Week 4: All About Steve”

  1. ThruSeer says:

    I love your Start/Sits. They have helped me rock for the last couple years since my good buddy showed me this site. When he told me about it, he did it like he was bestowing upon me the secret of immortality. It wasn’t the secret to immortality, but it’s helped me put friends and family in their place. Thanks for everything.

    p.s. You guys are missing Mark Sanchez from the QB list.

  2. User avatar Luca Brasi says:


    I only smoked one hitter this morning but I can’t seem to find Mark Sanchez on your QB list. Am I really this stoned or did you leave him off for a reason?

  3. User avatar Case Ace1 says:

    RE Sanchez:

    Sorry all,
    I’d put him between Henne and Hasselbeck. #16 overall.

  4. Megalodon says:

    Why is Ricky Williams so high? I am intrigued..

    Wait, I realized what I wrote and I meant, why is he high on your chart?

    You know what I mean.

  5. User avatar daullaz says:

    I must have left Sanchez out while I was preparing the tables. It will be fixed momentarily.

  6. User avatar WWM says:

    Im curious as to why beanie wells is so low and williams is higher than wells. (you know what I mean, too) I help with the rankings and got giggle out of that.

    good luck this week to you all


  7. Wayyy to down on SJax in my opinion at #25!!! Ryan Matthews before SJax where Matthews i banged up (albeit Sjax is too but Sjax will play and be used effectively)….and Ricky at #19?!?!….and Mark Clayton at #44 (after guys like Shipley, Royal, Hester, Cotchery etc..) even though Clayton is averaging 11 pts per game, a top-10 overall WR currently, scoring twice against Ashmougha (OAK), and facing an incredibly weak seattle defense…what?

  8. User avatar tclangham says:


    I ranked Mark Clayton around #14 this week and I am starting him in 2 leagues. Don’t know why he is coming in that low of a rank.

    SJax is offically listed as a “game time decision” where as Mathews has fully practiced 2 days this week. But both still rank as RB2’s and Flex plays.

  9. Some of these rankings seem ridclous in my opinion…Ronnie Brown at #7 RB and Ricky Williams #19….thats like saying if you have Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams…they would pick Ronnie over Turner and Ricky over SJax….and Tolbert should take a drop from #27 with Matthews being probable for the game..

  10. MistaBigxxL says:

    I’m surprised to see Shonn Green ranked as high as he is… is it just that NY is playing Buffalo? I would like somebody to convince me to play him but until I read these ranking I had no intention of doing so. In my opinion Peyton Hillis is a better start.

  11. User avatar joejlitz says:

    SJAX will be questionable every week, but should rarely be below 15. 25 is nuts.

  12. User avatar Navyseal says:

    Time to start thinking about adjustiing the WR rankings based upon a multitude of factors. The 3 that jump out at me are firstly, perhaps it’s about time to start ranking DEN WR Eddie Royal higher than the #41WR wouldn’t you say? I mean, he is on pace for 100 rec, 1200yds, and 8TDs thru the 1st Qtr of the season, Denver has no run game to speak of, and unheralded but extremely ACCURATE QB K.Orton is doing the best Drew Brees impression outside of Brees himself. Secondly, it’s also probably time to let AZ L.Fitzgerald fall outta the top-20 & MIA WR B.Marshall outta the top-5/10. Let’s face it, AZ’s offense is non-existent, atrocious, just horribly inconsistent/ineffective right now and it’s hurting ALL AZ fantasy starters, most of all Fitz, who doesn’t look 100% healthy or 100% interested for that matter. As for run-oriented Miami’s newest WR addition, Marshall, he has had exactly ONE double-digit fantasy outing to date, albeit an outstanding one (10/166/1), his only 100yd OR game w/ a TD — he is only on pace for a whopping FOUR TDs at this point, and Sparano has now relegated him to the SLOT in many formations for cryin’ out loud; Bess looks more dangerous and appears to be the quicker of the two… just my 2c

    keep up the great work gang!


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.