Start & SitNovember 18, 2010

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Week 11: Better Alternatives - 12 comments

By Drew Szczerba

I couldn’t believe it. None of us could. At the time, it didn’t make sense. But now, just a few days later, I totally get it. As you probably know by now, the Redskins signed Eagles third string quarterback Donovan McNabb to a $70 million extension. Okay, that was a cheap shot. Throw the flag. But, when you examine the events that led up to the contract extension, can you really blame me? Two weeks ago, McNabb was benched for his awful play. Depending on who you believe in the Redskins organization, he was also benched for not knowing the playbook, being out of shape, and not giving his team the best chance to win. Quite a resume. So how exactly did Washington go from, “This guy stinks” to “We need to give this guy a boatload of money?” The answer can be summed up in one word: alternatives.
Before the season, the Eagles were criticized for trading McNabb within the division. Many wondered why they would take such a seemingly unnecessary risk. However, the Eagles knew they had two other quality quarterbacks in Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. Put simply, the Eagles had alternatives. Contrast that with the current situation in Washington. The Redskins benched McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. For those who aren’t familiar with Grossman’s work, just know that he’s essentially the difference between Peyton Manning and Dan Marino. From there Washington turned to JaMarcus Russell. For those who aren’t familiar with Russell’s work, call your cable operator and demand full coverage of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, as they own his rights.
After watching the likes of Grossman and Russell, one may begin to view a guy like McNabb through rose-colored glasses. Think about it. If you’re working out JaMarcus Russell, can McNabb really be “out of shape?” Moreover, I defy you to watch Rex Grossman run a two-minute drill and then claim Donovan’s grasp of the playbook is anything less than solid. After analyzing his would-be replacements, McNabb looks a lot better … and richer.
With that, 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 11.

1Drew BreesNOSEA94.33
2Peyton ManningINDat NE93.00
3Michael VickPHINYG92.67
T-3Philip RiversSDDEN92.67
5Aaron RodgersGBat MIN90.33
6Tom BradyNEIND83.33
7Eli ManningNYGat PHI83.00
8Ben RoethlisbergerPITOAK81.00
9Kyle OrtonDENat SD78.67
10Mark SanchezNYJHOU78.00
11Joe FlaccoBALat CAR76.67
T-11Josh FreemanTBat SF76.67
13Matt RyanATLat STL76.33
14Matt CasselKCARI75.67
15Carson PalmerCINBUF75.00
16David GarrardJACCLE74.00
17Shaun HillDETat DAL73.21
18Vince YoungTENWAS72.60
19Sam BradfordSTLATL72.33
20Ryan FitzpatrickBUFat CIN71.67
T-20Jay CutlerCHIat MIA71.67
22Jon KitnaDALDET70.33
23Donovan McNabbWASat TEN69.67
24Troy SmithSFTB68.33
25Matt SchaubHOUat NYJ67.40
26Jason CampbellOAKat PIT65.00
27Colt McCoyCLEat JAC64.67
28Matt HasselbeckSEAat NO63.18
29Tyler ThigpenMIACHI63.00
30Derek AndersonARIat KC62.33
31Brett FavreMINGB59.87
32Brian St. PierreCARBAL52.33
33Tim TebowDENat SD13.67
34Matt LeinartHOUat NYJ13.33

Start: Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos. It’s been three weeks. Three long weeks since Orton has been featured in this space. I can’t believe I let it get this far. Some will say this is not the week to start Orton due to stingy Chargers pass defense. To those people I offer the following irrefutable facts:
1) Under standard scoring systems, Orton hasn’t scored under 17 points in any game.
2) Last week, Orton lit up Kansas City with four passing touchdowns.
3) The Chiefs hadn’t allowed more than two passing scores in any other game.
4) The Chargers have only allowed 250 yards passing twice all season.
5) Those two games were their last two games.
Sit: Matt Schaub, Houston Texans. Schaub hasn’t been Schaub this year. And, while he may yet salvage a respectable fantasy season, it’s unlikely to be this week against the Jets on the road. In keeping with the theme of this article, you can find a better alternative.
RankRunning BacksTeamOppAverage
1Adrian PetersonMINGB91.67
2Chris JohnsonTENWAS91.33
3Frank GoreSFTB90.00
4Peyton HillsCLEat JAC89.33
5Jamaal CharlesKCARI87.33
6Arian FosterHOUat NYJ87.00
7Ahmad BradshawNYGat PHI84.00
8Maurice Jones-DrewJACCLE83.67
T-8Rashard MendenhallPITOAK83.67
10Darren McFaddenOAKat PIT83.00
11Michael TurnerATLat STL82.33
12Ray RiceBALat CAR81.67
T-12Steven JacksonSTLATL81.67
14Knowshon MorenoDENat SD79.67
15Thomas JonesKCARI79.33
16Cedric BensonCINBUF77.67
17LaDainian TomlinsonNYJHOU77.00
18LeSean McCoyPHINYG76.67
19Felix JonesDALDET76.33
20Fred JacksonBUFat CIN76.00
21BenJarvus Green-EllisNEIND74.33
22Ronnie BrownMIACHI72.33
23Mike TolbertSDDEN72.00
24Keiland WilliamsWASat TEN71.00
25Brandon JacksonGBat MIN70.67
26Donald BrownINDat NE70.33
27Reggie BushNOSEA69.60
28Matt ForteCHIat MIA69.33
29Ricky WilliamsMIACHI69.00
30Jahvid BestDETat DAL68.53
31LeGarrette BlountTBat SF68.00
32Shonn GreeneNYJHOU67.33
T-32Marshawn LynchSEAat NO67.33
34Willis McGaheeBALat CAR67.00
T-34Danny WoodheadNEIND67.00
36Brandon JacobsNYGat PHI66.00
37Tim HightowerARIat KC65.00
38Mike GoodsonCARBAL64.00
T-38Marion BarberDALDET64.00
40Justin ForsettSEAat NO63.00
41Jarvarris JamesINDat NE62.00
42Michael BushOAKat PIT61.67
43Jason SnellingATLat STL58.67
44Toby GerhartMINGB57.33
45Cadillac WilliamsTBat SF56.00
46Beanie WellsARIat KC49.78
47Maurice MorrisDETat DAL48.00
48Darren SprolesSDDEN45.33
49Ryan TorainWASat TEN44.30
50Chester TaylorCHIat MIA40.00
51Bernard ScottCINBUF39.67
52Mewelde MoorePITOAK39.33
53Tashard ChoiceDALDET36.67
54Mike BellCLEat JAC36.33
55Ryan MathewsSDDEN36.00
56Jerome HarrisonPHINYG33.67
57Javon RingerTENWAS32.00
58Ladell BettsNOSEA31.67
59John KuhnGBat MIN31.33
60Derrick WardHOUat NYJ31.13
61Correll BuckhalterDENat SD30.03
62Sammy MorrisNEIND20.00
63Deji KarimJACCLE19.67
T-63Kenneth DarbySTLATL19.67
65Laurence MaroneyDENat SD18.67

Start: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens. Don’t be fooled by his mediocre stat line last week against Atlanta. Rice looked sharp and was productive when given the chance (4.9 yards per carry). Unfortunately, the Falcons got up early and Baltimore was forced to abandon the running game. The good news is the Ravens have a more favorable match-up against Carolina in Week 11. The Panthers have implemented a strict policy against getting up early (or late) in games. Start Rice in all formats.
Sit: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks. Let me be the first to congratulate the Seahawks on clinching the NFC West by notching their fifth victory against … (editor’s note: the information provided here is being researched for possible inaccuracy). Anyway, Lynch is still the starter, but it was Justin Forsett who was the better runner last week. Forsett looked explosive, averaging over seven yards per carry. Possible RBBC.
RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAverage
1Calvin JohnsonDETat DAL92.00
2Roddy WhiteATLat STL91.67
3Andre JohnsonHOUat NYJ89.20
4Hakeem NicksNYGat PHI88.67
5Dwayne BoweKCARI87.33
6Reggie WayneINDat NE86.00
T-6DeSean JacksonPHINYG86.00
8Miles AustinDALDET84.33
9Dez BryantDALDET83.67
10Larry FitzgeraldARIat KC83.00
11Terrell OwensCINBUF82.33
T-11Mike WilliamsTBat SF82.33
13Marques ColstonNOSEA81.67
14Brandon LloydDENat SD80.67
15Anquan BoldinBALat CAR80.33
16Percy HarvinMINGB79.57
17Santonio HolmesNYJHOU79.33
18Greg JenningsGBat MIN78.67
19Mario ManninghamNYGat PHI78.00
T-19Braylon EdwardsNYJHOU78.00
21Steve JohnsonBUFat CIN77.33
T-21Mike WallacePITOAK77.33
23Randy MossTENWAS76.00
24Nate WashingtonTENWAS75.00
25Mike ThomasJACCLE74.33
T-25Michael CrabtreeSFTB74.33
T-25Danny AmendolaSTLATL74.33
28Pierre GarconINDat NE74.00
29Brandon MarshallMIACHI73.67
30Jeremy MaclinPHINYG72.33
31Lee EvansBUFat CIN72.00
T-31Santana MossWASat TEN72.00
33Malcom FloydSDDEN71.80
34Chad OchocincoCINBUF71.67
35Johnny KnoxCHIat MIA71.33
36Nate BurlesonDETat DAL70.67
37Mike Sims-WalkerJACCLE69.67
T-37Mike WilliamsSEAat NO69.67
39Wes WelkerNEIND69.33
40Hines WardPITOAK68.08
41Steve BreastonARIat KC67.67
T-41James JonesGBat MIN67.67
T-41Robert MeachemNOSEA67.67
T-41Lance MooreNOSEA67.67
45Jabar GaffneyDENat SD67.33
T-45Deion BranchNEIND67.33
47Steve SmithCARBAL67.28
48Roy WilliamsDALDET65.67
T-48Jacoby FordOAKat PIT65.67
T-48Brandon GibsonSTLATL65.67
51Jacoby JonesHOUat NYJ65.33
52Davone BessMIACHI64.67
53Derrick MasonBALat CAR63.87
54Eddie RoyalDENat SD63.33
55Louis MurphyOAKat PIT62.90
56Mohamed MassaquoiCLEat JAC62.33
T-56Patrick CraytonSDDEN62.33
T-56Arrelious BennTBat SF62.33
59Earl BennettCHIat MIA60.67
T-59Kevin WalterHOUat NYJ60.67
61Devery HendersonNOSEA60.33
62Austin CollieINDat NE60.07
63Devin HesterCHIat MIA60.00
64Chansi StuckeyCLEat JAC57.00
T-64Brandon TateNEIND57.00
66T.J. HoushmandzadehBALat CAR56.67
T-66Josh MorganSFTB56.67
68Bernard BerrianMINGB55.93
69Jordan ShipleyCINBUF54.33
70Deon ButlerSEAat NO53.67
71Ben ObomanuSEAat NO52.33
72David GettisCARBAL51.33
73Brandon LaFellCARBAL42.33
74Michael JenkinsATLat STL41.67
75Justin GageTENWAS41.33
T-75Anthony ArmstrongWASat TEN41.33
77Joshua CribbsCLEat JAC40.00
78Legedu NaaneeSDDEN38.67
79Harry DouglasATLat STL38.33
T-79Seyi AjirotutuSDDEN38.33
81Jordy NelsonGBat MIN37.67
82Jason AvantPHINYG37.33
83Mardy GilyardSTLATL36.75
84Early DoucetARIat KC36.67
85Sammie StroughterTBat SF35.00
86Antwaan Randle ElPITOAK34.33
87Emmanuel SandersPITOAK31.67
88Greg LewisMINGB31.00
89Donte StallworthBALat CAR30.33
90Demaryius ThomasDENat SD24.50
91Brad SmithNYJHOU23.00
92Donald DriverGBat MIN22.33
93Brian RobiskieCLEat JAC21.33
94Michael SpurlockTBat SF20.67
95Devin AromashoduCHIat MIA20.33
96Brian FinneranATLat STL19.67
97Bryant JohnsonDETat DAL19.33
T-97Joey GallowayWASat TEN19.33
99Riley CooperPHINYG18.67
100Julian EdelmanNEIND18.33

Start: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints. I know that Colston is one of roughly 108 weapons in the Saints offense. I know that sometimes makes predicting his weekly output a difficult task. Point taken. However, I also know that Colston has seen over eight targets in each of his last three games after only one such contest prior to that. He may not be the only weapon in town, but he’s establishing himself as Brees’ favorite.
Sit: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins. Speaking of the only weapon in town, Santana Moss is finding it difficult to get open without a complementary receiver. After his hot start, he’s seen more double teams and no one else has stepped up in the Washington offense. Until someone does, opposing defenses will continue to limit Moss, whose yardage totals have declined in each of the last five weeks.
RankTight EndsTeamOppAverage
1Jacob TammeINDat NE86.33
2Dustin KellerNYJHOU83.67
3Jason WittenDALDET80.00
T-3Marcedes LewisJACCLE80.00
5Zach MillerOAKat PIT79.17
6Antonio GatesSDDEN78.73
7Brandon PettigrewDETat DAL77.33
8Todd HeapBALat CAR76.67
9Chris CooleyWASat TEN76.33
10Visanthe ShiancoeMINGB76.00
11Ben WatsonCLEat JAC75.67
12Jermaine GreshamCINBUF75.00
13Heath MillerPITOAK72.33
14Tony GonzalezATLat STL71.33
15Kevin BossNYGat PHI71.00
16Greg OlsenCHIat MIA70.67
17Vernon DavisSFTB70.17
18Aaron HernandezNEIND69.33
19Anthony FasanoMIACHI69.00
20Kellen WinslowTBat SF68.77
21Jeremy ShockeyNOSEA68.00
22Bo ScaifeTENWAS65.00
23Brent CelekPHINYG64.00
24John CarlsonSEAat NO63.67
25Joel DreessenHOUat NYJ63.33
26Daniel FellsSTLATL62.67
27Randy McMichaelSDDEN61.67
28Rob GronkowskiNEIND61.00
29Tony SchefflerDETat DAL57.07
30Daniel GrahamDENat SD49.33
31Tony MoeakiKCARI49.00
32Ben PatrickARIat KC46.67
33Jeff KingCARBAL46.00
34Andrew QuarlessGBat MIN45.67
35Fred DavisWASat TEN42.67
36Jonathan StuparBUFat CIN34.00
37Donald LeeGBat MIN33.47
38Dante RosarioCARBAL28.57
39Shawn NelsonBUFat CIN26.67
40Owen DanielsHOUat NYJ22.67

Start: Dustin Keller, New York Jets. Keller started off hot this year, but has cooled off considerably over the last few weeks. Fortunately, in Week 11, he’ll face a Houston team that boasts the NFL’s worst defense against the pass and has surrendered four touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the last three games. The Texans have proven to be a potent remedy for countless struggling pass-catchers. They are the Dr. James Andrews of pass defenses. Credit Keller for seeking help before it was too late.
Sit: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots. Gut feeling? Yeah. It’s certainly tough to wager against a guy who scored three times against a tough Pittsburgh defense. Still, I think the Steelers dared Gronkowski to beat them by focusing on the receivers and putting Troy Polamalu on fellow TE Aaron Hernandez. Needless to say Gronkowski delivered. However, it’s tough to surprise defenses in consecutive games. I’m betting the Colts account for Gronkowski and make someone else beat them.
RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAverage
2RavensBALat CAR86.00
3PackersGBat MIN84.57
5BearsCHIat MIA82.33
T-5GiantsNYGat PHI82.33
10RaidersOAKat PIT78.33
T-10BuccaneersTBat SF78.33
12LionsDETat DAL78.00
15FalconsATLat STL76.00
T-17RedskinsWASat TEN75.00
19BrownsCLEat JAC74.33
20ColtsINDat NE72.00
24BroncosDENat SD70.00
27SeahawksSEAat NO67.67
28BillsBUFat CIN65.33
30CardinalsARIat KC62.67
31TexansHOUat NYJ60.33

Start: New Orleans Saints. We’ve already established that Marshawn Lynch isn’t going anywhere.
Sit: Seattle Seahawks. So yeah, I think the Saints win this one.
1Matt BryantATLat STL87.33
2David AkersPHINYG86.33
3Rob BironasTENWAS85.00
4Sebastian JanikowskiOAKat PIT84.67
5Dan CarpenterMIACHI83.00
6Billy CundiffBALat CAR82.67
7Ryan SuccopKCARI82.33
8Adam VinatieriINDat NE82.00
T-8Lawrence TynesNYGat PHI82.00
T-8Nate KaedingSDDEN82.00
11Robbie GouldCHIat MIA81.67
12Aaron PettreyCINBUF81.33
T-12Nick FolkNYJHOU81.33
14Mason CrosbyGBat MIN81.00
15Matt PraterDENat SD80.33
16Shayne GrahamNEIND80.00
17Rian LindellBUFat CIN79.67
T-17Connor BarthTBat SF79.67
19Garrett HartleyNOSEA78.67
20Phil DawsonCLEat JAC78.33
21Graham GanoWASat TEN77.67
22Neil RackersHOUat NYJ77.00
T-22Ryan LongwellMINGB77.00
24Josh ScobeeJACCLE76.33
25Jay FeelyARIat KC75.67
T-25Dave RaynerDETat DAL75.67
27Josh BrownSTLATL74.67
28Shaun SuishamPITOAK74.33
29John KasayCARBAL71.00
T-29Olindo MareSEAat NO71.00
31Shane AndrusSFTB70.33
32David BuehlerDALDET69.33

Start: Dan Carpenter, Miami Dolphins. Better alternatives are few.
Sit: Josh Brown, St. Louis Rams. Better alternatives are many.

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

  1. you’ve got to be kidding me. you got rivers rated lower than brees and manning? broncos def gave up 35+ points to matt cassel, comon man…
    pats defense had always had manning number and seahawk def isn’t really that bad.

  2. User avatar Case Ace1 says:

    I’d think with Rivers ranking (tied for third overall), you’re starting him either way. Also, I think the Seahawks are a considerably better team at home. I don’t think Brees has much trouble with them in New Orleans.

  3. User avatar biju says:

    Too many people are putting Marshawn Lynch’s struggles on him. Remember we get back our LT this week (hopefully) which will make a huge difference on the run game. In his game against Arizona and with a healthy Okung, Lynch started the game with 4 carries for 57 yards. Okung was injured and Lynch went 20 for 32 for the rest of the game.

    I’m not saying the Seahawks will win, but don’t be surprised if Okung returns and Lynch has a good game here as the Saints rush defense is middle of the road.

  4. tmacuf says:

    Hmmm, Why is Vernon Davis so low? He was the top scoring TE last year in my leagues format and he is # 2 this year in the same format. Overthinking the matchup…

  5. User avatar Navyseal says:

    I personally dropped D.McNerd and instead picked up RB K.Williams (WAS), at least Williams is a PRODUCTIVE member of the Skins offense… McNabb just hasn’t been himself this season, and with regard to him reportedly picking up the playbook/terminology too slowly, let’s not forget about McNabb’s pitiful showing on the infamous “Wunderlicht” exam as a rookie back in ‘98, a test which all NFL QB’s take in an attempt to establish their potential “football I.Q.’s”… just sayin’…

  6. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Mcnabb scored a 14. Marino scored a 16. Big deal.

  7. 2centworth says:

    Rankings should be used as a start and sit tool. Arguing if Rivers or Brees will have better numbers is worthless, because you’re going to start both.

    What the QB ratings are telling me is that the Cafe likes Sanchez over Kitna this week.

  8. jrics23 says:

    need advice… who to start?? Fred Jackson vs. Cincy or Santonio Holmes vs. Houston

  9. User avatar LMack says:

    Alex Smith scored a 40. How’s that working out for him?

  10. User avatar Fartman says:

    why is Vernon Davis rated at 17, he is the second best TE out there…. you got to be kidding me…
    with Gates questionable Vernon Davis should be #1

  11. jmp14 says:

    I read somewhere that TB is stingy vs tight ends. still, VD isn’t your stereotypical TE. I’d throw him out there over Heath Miller, at the very least.

  12. 2centworth says:

    btw, Vernon was rated low because the Cafe has a Health Rating. Apparently Vernon scored low in that department. Anyone notice how he aggravated his injury?


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