Start & SitOctober 8, 2010

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Week 5: Percentage Plays - 11 comments

By Drew Szczerba

Let me start off this Week 5 edition of Start & Sit by saying that I’m a huge fan of parity. I think it’s a big part of what makes football great. The NFL has a certain balance of good teams and bad teams that draws interest in a way that other sports don’t. In fact, I’m such a fan of this “balance” that I’ll sometimes combine bad picks with good ones in this very column. You may have noticed it over the past four weeks. I love parity. Or at least I did. Now, I’m not so sure. Why the change of heart? The Kansas City Chiefs. They’re 3–0. No big deal, right? Wrong. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. There are no others. All of the teams you think might be unbeaten have a loss. Even the Colts, who usually reel off eight or nine wins to start the season, are struggling. Apparently, the decision to go without a head coach after Tony Dungy retired is finally catching up with them. What does it all mean? It means there’s too much parity. It also means we’re only picking winners this week. Let’s get to Start/Sit.
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 5.

1Aaron RodgersGBat WAS95.33
2Drew BreesNOat ARI94.00
3Peyton ManningINDKC93.83
4Matt SchaubHOUNYG82.67
5Philip RiversSDat OAK81.92
6Tony RomoDALTEN80.33
7Matt RyanATLat CLE79.08
8Eli ManningNYGat HOU76.67
9Joe FlaccoBALDEN72.67
10Carson PalmerCINTB69.08
11Donovan McNabbWASGB68.17
12Kyle OrtonDENat BAL67.83
13Ryan FitzpatrickBUFJAC67.17
14Kevin KolbPHIat SF66.42
15Sam BradfordSTLat DET66.25
16Shaun HillDETSTL61.17
17Mark SanchezNYJMIN61.00
18Brett FavreMINat NYJ60.45
19Matt CasselKCat IND59.33
20Alex SmithSFPHI58.67
21David GarrardJACat BUF58.17
22Josh FreemanTBat CIN56.75
23Bruce GradkowskiOAKSD53.95
24Max HallARINO50.50
25Vince YoungTENat DAL49.83
26Todd CollinsCHIat CAR49.67
27Jimmy ClausenCARCHI48.95
28Jake DelhommeCLEATL41.73

Start: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills. The Jaguars have already surrendered 10 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, and no quarterback has thrown for under 290 yards against them this year.
But he’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Though the Jaguars are coming off a surprise victory over Indianapolis, they always play the Colts tough. Don’t let that fool you. Last year, they played two nail-biters against the Colts. In each subsequent game they lost by double digits and yielded over 30 points.
But he’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions last week against the Jets. He also ran for 74 yards. The Jets defense is good. The Jaguars, not so much.
But he’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Let’s be serious. The Bills wouldn’t release an all-world quarterback like Trent Edwards unless Fitzpatrick was a can’t-miss stud.
Fine, I’ll start him.
Sit: Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings. There are a lot of reasons not to like him this week. Through three games this season, Favre has thrown two touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s averaging less than 200 yards per contest. He’s dealing with elbow tendinitis, along with a lingering ankle injury. Plus, the Vikings are on the road and face a tough Jets defense and a crowd that is sure to be happy to welcome Brett back. I think the arguments I’ve just listed are going to far outweigh the one argument in favor of starting Favre. I’m speaking, of course, of Randy Moss. Without a doubt, Moss makes the Vikings a better team. However, I’m betting the Jets defense makes Minnesota wait a week to realize that benefit.
RankRunning BacksTeamOppAverage
1Chris JohnsonTENat DAL89.75
2Frank GoreSFPHI89.33
3Maurice Jones-DrewJACat BUF89.08
4Adrian PetersonMINat NYJ85.92
5Michael TurnerATLat CLE84.63
6Steven JacksonSTLat DET81.93
7Arian FosterHOUNYG81.83
8Cedric BensonCINTB79.28
9Jamaal CharlesKCat IND78.50
10Ray RiceBALDEN75.45
11Jahvid BestDETSTL74.11
12Matt ForteCHIat CAR74.08
13Ahmad BradshawNYGat HOU72.21
14Peyton HillsCLEATL71.33
15Joseph AddaiINDKC71.03
16DeAngelo WilliamsCARCHI70.79
17LaDainian TomlinsonNYJMIN70.67
18Fred JacksonBUFJAC70.50
19Ryan MathewsSDat OAK70.04
20Thomas JonesKCat IND69.50
21Mike TolbertSDat OAK69.17
22C.J. SpillerBUFJAC66.33
23Beanie WellsARINO66.02
24Michael BushOAKSD65.69
25Tim HightowerARINO64.25
26Shonn GreeneNYJMIN62.50
T-26Cadillac WilliamsTBat CIN62.50
28Jason SnellingATLat CLE62.17
29Ryan TorainWASGB61.50
30Jonathan StewartCARCHI59.78
31Pierre ThomasNOat ARI59.59
32Chris IvoryNOat ARI59.00
33LeSean McCoyPHIat SF57.63
34Darren SprolesSDat OAK56.83
35Brandon JacksonGBat WAS55.50
36John KuhnGBat WAS54.50
37Brandon JacobsNYGat HOU54.37
38Willis McGaheeBALDEN53.00
39Felix JonesDALTEN52.92
40Marion BarberDALTEN51.58
41Chester TaylorCHIat CAR49.25
42Steve SlatonHOUNYG48.50
43Bernard ScottCINTB48.33
44Jerome HarrisonCLEATL47.15
45Ladell BettsNOat ARI47.00
46Laurence MaroneyDENat BAL46.50
47Knowshon MorenoDENat BAL46.08
48Correll BuckhalterDENat BAL45.35
49Kevin SmithDETSTL44.27
50Donald BrownINDKC42.93
51Maurice MorrisDETSTL41.50
52LeGarrette BlountTBat CIN41.33
53Mike BellPHIat SF40.00
54Rashad JenningsJACat BUF39.47
55Derrick WardHOUNYG38.67
56Kareem HugginsTBat CIN38.62
57Javon RingerTENat DAL38.08
58Keiland WilliamsWASGB35.00
59Kenneth DarbySTLat DET34.83
60Anthony DixonSFPHI29.17
61Toby GerhartMINat NYJ28.25
62Brian WestbrookSFPHI27.98
63Tashard ChoiceDALTEN23.17
64Darren McFaddenOAKSD23.08
65LeRon McClainBALDEN22.33

Ed. Note: LeSean McCoy is unexpectedly slated to play in Week 5, and the ratings have been updated accordingly. Knownshon Moreno and Rashad Jennings have been ruled out, while Pierre Thomas is likely on his way to being inactive as well.
Start: Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders. Darren McFadden left last week’s game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. He is unlikely to play against the Chargers. That leaves Michael Bush as the only game in town. Bush appears to be all the way back from a thumb injury that caused him to miss time earlier in the season. Last week, he rushed seven times for 40 yards and a score. He figures to get a lot more work against San Diego in Week 5.
The Chargers were excellent against the run last week, holding Tim Hightower and Chris Wells to a combined 43 yards on the ground. Still, there’s reason to think the Raiders will have more success running the ball. That reason is Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski isn’t Peyton Manning, but he’s much better than the shockingly awful quarterback situation in Arizona. Gradkowski should be able to keep the San Diego defense honest, giving Bush room to run. Solid RB2.
Sit: Any Running Back, Green Bay Packers. Let me start by saying that there’s no truth to the rumor about the Packers rushing attack. A team is not allowed to have the first 25 fans in attendance run the ball once. Besides, Green Bay is on the road this week. Still, if any team had incentive to inquire about such a rule it would be the Packers. Brandon Jackson is averaging 3.0 yards per carry. John Kuhn is yet to run for 40 yards in a single game. If you have to pick one, I guess it would be Jackson. The Packers have stated that he’s still the primary ball carrier, though the word “carrier” seems optimistic. The bottom line is you want no part of Kuhn, and you should stay away from Jackson unless you truly don’t have any other options.
RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAverage
1Roddy WhiteATLat CLE93.42
2Calvin JohnsonDETSTL90.50
3Miles AustinDALTEN88.17
4Reggie WayneINDKC87.63
5Greg JenningsGBat WAS85.17
6Larry FitzgeraldARINO82.47
7Marques ColstonNOat ARI81.17
8Andre JohnsonHOUNYG80.67
9DeSean JacksonPHIat SF79.83
10Mark ClaytonSTLat DET78.25
11Randy MossMINat NYJ78.00
12Hakeem NicksNYGat HOU77.93
13Anquan BoldinBALDEN77.83
T-13Steve SmithNYGat HOU77.83
15Chad OchocincoCINTB76.25
16Donald DriverGBat WAS76.17
17Jeremy MaclinPHIat SF70.17
18Malcom FloydSDat OAK70.08
19Terrell OwensCINTB69.92
20Dwayne BoweKCat IND69.50
21Lee EvansBUFJAC68.67
22Braylon EdwardsNYJMIN67.83
23Austin CollieINDKC67.68
24Johnny KnoxCHIat CAR67.17
25Mike Sims-WalkerJACat BUF67.00
26Mike WilliamsTBat CIN66.75
27Lance MooreNOat ARI66.50
28Santonio HolmesNYJMIN66.03
29Michael CrabtreeSFPHI64.83
30Percy HarvinMINat NYJ63.87
31Nate WashingtonTENat DAL63.58
32Derrick MasonBALDEN63.50
33Robert MeachemNOat ARI63.00
34Devery HendersonNOat ARI62.83
35Devin HesterCHIat CAR62.67
36Louis MurphyOAKSD61.82
37Dez BryantDALTEN61.79
38Danny AmendolaSTLat DET60.92
39Legedu NaaneeSDat OAK59.75
40Santana MossWASGB59.50
41James JonesGBat WAS59.33
42Mike ThomasJACat BUF58.83
43Brandon LloydDENat BAL58.67
44Eddie RoyalDENat BAL58.33
45Pierre GarconINDKC58.16
46Mohamed MassaquoiCLEATL57.83
47Mario ManninghamNYGat HOU57.58
48Roy WilliamsDALTEN57.33
49Kevin WalterHOUNYG57.25
50Laurent RobinsonSTLat DET56.76
51T.J. HoushmandzadehBALDEN56.67
52Kenny BrittTENat DAL56.25
53Jabar GaffneyDENat BAL55.50
T-53Jerricho CotcheryNYJMIN55.50
55Josh MorganSFPHI53.82
56Chris ChambersKCat IND53.67
T-56Dexter McClusterKCat IND53.67
58Jason AvantPHIat SF53.50
59Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKSD52.42
60Harry DouglasATLat CLE52.25
61Demaryius ThomasDENat BAL51.68
62Jacoby JonesHOUNYG50.93
63Roscoe ParrishBUFJAC50.83
64Bernard BerrianMINat NYJ50.17
65Stephen WilliamsARINO49.33
66Nate BurlesonDETSTL48.92
67Sammie StroughterTBat CIN46.92
68Earl BennettCHIat CAR46.00
69Brandon LaFellCARCHI44.83
70Steve JohnsonBUFJAC44.67
71Joshua CribbsCLEATL44.33
T-71Blair WhiteINDKC44.33
73Buster DavisSDat OAK43.50
74Bryant JohnsonDETSTL42.67
75Brandon GibsonSTLat DET42.17
76Patrick CraytonSDat OAK39.50
77Greg CamarilloMINat NYJ37.33
78David GettisCARCHI36.67
79Brian RobiskieCLEATL35.67
80Joey GallowayWASGB35.50
81Ted Ginn Jr.SFPHI35.23
82Michael JenkinsATLat CLE34.17
83Jordy NelsonGBat WAS33.50
84Devin AromashoduCHIat CAR26.41
85Brian FinneranATLat CLE26.00
86Andre CaldwellCINTB23.00
87Devin ThomasWASGB22.83
88Brad SmithNYJMIN21.33
89Michael SpurlockTBat CIN21.17
90Anthony ArmstrongWASGB20.67
91Arrelious BennTBat CIN20.33
92Tiquan UnderwoodJACat BUF15.33
93Derrick WilliamsDETSTL13.67
94Jacoby FordOAKSD13.50
95Steve SmithCARCHI12.83
96Kasim OsgoodJACat BUF12.67
97Armanti EdwardsCARCHI12.50
98David AndersonHOUNYG10.67
99Chansi StuckeyCLEATL8.67
100Victor CruzNYGat HOU5.83

Ed. Note: Austin Collie’s status is up in the air.
Start: Mark Clayton, St. Louis Rams. During the preseason, fantasy owners looked at the Rams passing game and said, “I don’t know who the number one receiver will be, and it probably won’t matter.” At the time, such an attitude made some sense. Fast forward to Week 5 and Clayton is clearly Sam Bradford’s go-to guy. More importantly, Bradford’s play has made it so that being “his guy” actually means something. Now you’ve got the Rams’ obvious number one receiver and a rookie quarterback playing like a veteran.
But that’s not all. The Rams have a sweet match-up against the defensive-allergic Detroit Lions. The Lions have given up a touchdown to the opposing teams’ top receiver in three straight games. Put it all together and Clayton should bring the yards and find the end zone this week. Seven catches for 90 yards and a score.
Sit: Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars. One Jaguars fan thinks Sims-Walker is a good bet to bounce back this week while the other two aren’t so sure. I’m betting 67% of Jacksonville’s fan base is about to look pretty smart.
RankTight EndsTeamOppAverage
1Dallas ClarkINDKC96.50
2Antonio GatesSDat OAK93.83
3Jermichael FinleyGBat WAS92.00
4Vernon DavisSFPHI88.67
5Tony GonzalezATLat CLE83.58
6Zach MillerOAKSD78.97
7Jason WittenDALTEN77.64
8Chris CooleyWASGB76.83
9Dustin KellerNYJMIN76.33
10Kellen WinslowTBat CIN74.72
11Brent CelekPHIat SF74.67
12Greg OlsenCHIat CAR74.50
13Visanthe ShiancoeMINat NYJ73.23
14Marcedes LewisJACat BUF71.17
15Jeremy ShockeyNOat ARI70.10
16Jermaine GreshamCINTB69.08
17Brandon PettigrewDETSTL68.67
18Todd HeapBALDEN66.33
19Kevin BossNYGat HOU66.04
20Tony SchefflerDETSTL64.67
21Bo ScaifeTENat DAL61.08
22Ben WatsonCLEATL60.50
23Tony MoeakiKCat IND53.17
24Owen DanielsHOUNYG52.98
25Ben PatrickARINO51.17
T-25Daniel GrahamDENat BAL51.17
27Dante RosarioCARCHI51.13
28Jonathan StuparBUFJAC46.00
29Daniel FellsSTLat DET42.83
30Billy BajemaSTLat DET39.08
31Jeff KingCARCHI38.58
32Leonard PopeKCat IND35.00
33Martellus BennettDALTEN29.33
34Donald LeeGBat WAS29.00
35Fred DavisWASGB21.17

Start: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers. If you have Davis, you’re probably starting him anyway. However, there’s a chance you might look at his match-up against Philadelphia and his recent yardage totals – 22 and 36 – and consider looking elsewhere. Don’t do it. Davis remains the 49ers’ best offensive weapon. He scored last week on an impressive catch and run and is always a threat to get in the end zone. Keep Davis in your lineup.
Sit: Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars. We all heard about Lewis being the Jaguars early-season MVP. I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, Lewis has already caught three touchdown passes. On the other hand, the term “Jaguars MVP” seems like a bit of an oxymoron. Either way, the yards haven’t been there for Lewis in recent weeks. He was only targeted twice last game and I don’t think he gets many more looks in Week 5.
RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAverage
2SaintsNOat ARI82.17
4BearsCHIat CAR81.17
5ChargersSDat OAK79.83
6PackersGBat WAS78.35
8EaglesPHIat SF77.67
9VikingsMINat NYJ76.72
10FalconsATLat CLE75.00
13GiantsNYGat HOU69.18
14TitansTENat DAL67.67
18RamsSTLat DET64.33
19JaguarsJACat BUF64.17
20BroncosDENat BAL63.83
23ChiefsKCat IND59.50
28BuccaneersTBat CIN52.75

Start: New York Jets. The Jets defense has been good, but not great, over the last couple of weeks. Now they face Minnesota and their newly acquired disgruntled receiver. While I do think Randy Moss will eventually become gruntled, I don’t think it will be this week. The Jets should get a couple of key players back, including Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis. Even if Moss doesn’t face off against Revis on every snap, he’d have to go against Antonio Cromartie, who has proven he’s one of the most productive (and reproductive) players in the league. I think the Moss acquisition will help the Vikings in the long-term, just not the short-term.
Start: New Orleans Saints. They play Arizona, a team whose quarterback situation has been described as “shockingly awful.”
Sit: Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are yet to surrender more than 14 points in a game this year, and they should be well rested as they take on the Jets on Monday Night Football. However, fantasy defenses are all about matchups. After a terrible opening game against the Ravens, “the Sanchise” has been one of the better quarterbacks in the league. In fact, even with the Baltimore game, Sanchez hasn’t thrown an interception all season. Combine that with a healthier Jets defense, and there’s a good chance Sanchez and company will play it close to the vest. Unless the Jets offense is compelled to take chances, I don’t see the Vikings forcing more than a single turnover.
Sit: Kansas City Chiefs. They play Peyton Manning this week. I know the Chiefs are undefeated, but don’t get cute. There are better match-ups out there. Over 20 of them.
1Nate KaedingSDat OAK87.67
2Mason CrosbyGBat WAS84.17
3David AkersPHIat SF82.00
4Robbie GouldCHIat CAR78.75
5Neil RackersHOUNYG78.17
6Rob BironasTENat DAL77.58
7John CarneyNOat ARI77.50
T-7Lawrence TynesNYGat HOU77.50
9Matt BryantATLat CLE76.50
10Mike NugentCINTB76.17
11Adam VinatieriINDKC75.50
12Matt PraterDENat BAL74.83
13Ryan LongwellMINat NYJ74.42
14Jason HansonDETSTL73.50
15Josh ScobeeJACat BUF71.50
T-15Nick FolkNYJMIN71.50
17Sebastian JanikowskiOAKSD70.67
18Rian LindellBUFJAC70.00
19Josh BrownSTLat DET69.67
20Jay FeelyARINO67.83
21Ryan SuccopKCat IND67.17
22David BuehlerDALTEN66.17
23Joe NedneySFPHI66.00
24Billy CundiffBALDEN65.92
25Phil DawsonCLEATL64.75
26John KasayCARCHI64.17
27Graham GanoWASGB63.92
28Connor BarthTBat CIN53.00

Start: Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers. Crosby faces the Redskins who have allowed eight field goals (10 attempts) over the last three weeks. Hopefully, Washington continues to play just enough defense to keep the field goals coming.
Sit: Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders. Janikowski has only connected on 64% of his field goal attempts this year.

Drew is a lifelong Jets fan. Playing and writing about fantasy football has proven helpful in easing the pain.
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11 Responses to “Week 5: Percentage Plays”

  1. Sit Janikowski, the 3rd ranked Kicker is most leagues!? 64% and he’s still THIRD! That’s quite the group of “rankers” you’ve got there…

  2. I not only jumped on Fitzpatrick, I also grabbed Lee Evans who is good for one huge game a year. I’ll either be considered billiant or it’ll backfire miserably.

  3. User avatar LMack says:

    The rankings here aren’t too bad,

    After Week 3
    Ultimately, it was FantasyFootballCafe, a top five finisher overall for 2009, that took home the week three crown on the strength of five top five finishes and one category win. The Fantasy Football Café is clearly among the top places to get your fantasy fill.

  4. User avatar seahawks506 says:

    good job again, I’ve been so busy with stuff so thanks for taking over the articles. Maybe after everything gets settled I could give you a week off or something, but until then you’re doing great case ace

  5. User avatar Navyseal says:

    With all due respect, perhaps it’s finally time to start thinking about getting out ahead of the unmistakeable “curve” currently developing and re-adjusting the WR rankings based upon a multitude of factors. The three receivers that “jump” out at me, appearing to be “mis-ranked” on a weekly basis now are DEN WR Eddie Royal, AZ WR Larry Fitzgerald, and MIA WR Brandon Marshall (on a BYE this wk). IHMO, it’s high time to start giving E.Royal at least a modicum of respect— in view of his production thus far; his continued ranking in the #40-#45 range seems wrong. The diminutive “man-in-the-slot” is on pace for 100 rec, 1200yds, and 8TDs thru the 1st Qtr of the season after all. He is finally coming into his own as a sort of “Welker-lite”, who incidentally is consistently ranked in the top10-15. To wit, Denver has no REAL run game to speak of, while unheralded but extremely ACCURATE QB K.Orton is doing the best Drew Brees impression outside of Brees himself. Secondly, it would probably be more prudent to just let L.Fitzgerald fall outta the top-10. Let’s face it, AZ’s offense is non-existent, atrocious, just horribly inconsistent/ineffective right now w/ their QB quandary, 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 Marshall, sure, he is again on pace for a 100rec+ campaign, his 4th in a row — however, he remains freshly mired in Miami’s run-oriented offense; consequently, he has had exactly ONE double-digit fantasy outing to date, albeit an outstanding one (10/166/1) – his only 100yd game OR game w/ a TD — if we extrapolate that out over 16 games then he is on pace for a whopping FOUR TDs at this point, and NOW it seems Tony Sparano has relegated him to the SLOT in many formations for cryin’ out loud, when Marshall’s skills and talents (yac) are best-suited by lining him up WIDE, on the outside where he is a threat to stretch the field and HIT the proverbial “homerun” from time to time… hell, Bess looked more dangerous vs N.E. most recently and appears to be the quicker of the two… just my 2c

    keep up the great work gang!

  6. User avatar LMack says:

    I would be surprised if the rankings didn’t start to become a little fluid and jumping off the proverbial ship of some players.

  7. User avatar HomerJay says:

    Where would you put Dexter McCluster? I’ve yet to see him ranked this week.

  8. Kidjete says:

    Torain at 29 (a guy with no competition for carries going against the team giving up the most yards yards per carry) yet Forte is 12 (that is averaging 2 yards a carry and will be up against 8 all day long because they have a dead armed 39 year old QB starting)? Okkkkkay chief.

  9. Sit Janikowski…still laughing…

  10. User avatar Bucknut76 says:

    Thank god for the Forte ranking. I don’t know what Kidjete is smoking to rank Torain so high… Sounds like he had both and started Torain over Forte. lol. Let’s hope not…

    Nice rankings this week. Helped me to start Brandon Lloyd this week. (Eddie Royal is right where he should be) Keep up the great work.

  11. Kidjete says:

    I was looking at the matchup and every other site on the net. Forte had 2 fluke long runs and that was it. Otherwise the running game sucked as usual. Yeah the end result panned out but that was one of the few that did.


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