Start & SitDecember 2, 2010

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Week 13: Fantasy Commandments - 2 comments

By Drew Szczerba

This article won’t be groundbreaking. (If you haven’t read the first 12 installments of Start/Sit, I encourage you to assume that sentence was necessary.) This article is about commandments. Many columns and columnists have tried to establish a set of rules or “commandments” for fantasy sports. The most recent such column (I think) was Matthew Berry’s “The 10 Fantasy Commandments” posted on It provides guidelines for proper etiquette in fantasy football. For many fantasy leagues, increased etiquette is a necessary idea. Still, in reading that article and others before it, I noticed that it’s difficult to limit the list to 10. With that in mind, here are a few commandments I haven’t seen.

Thou shalt recognize that your league format isn’t universal
I’m glad the term “standard league” no longer applies to fantasy football. The wide array of scoring systems forces owners to try different strategies and see what works best. Plus, if you lose, you can always say that it was because you never played in a league with such a (challenging/unique/stupid) scoring system. In that respect, it’s kind of a “win-win.” Except for you. Cause you lost. Anyway, if there’s a downside to multiple league formats, it’s that too many owners assume their format is universal. That assumption generally leads to the following conversation:

“Hey, we can only start two receivers. Who would you bench out of Andre Johnson, Roddy White, or 1995 Jerry Rice?”

“Wow, your league sucks. What is it like four teams?”

Or the reverse scenario:
“Hey, we can only start two receivers. Who would you bench out of David Clowney, Mardy Gilyard, or Dancing with the Stars Jerry Rice?”

“Wow, your team sucks.”

Don’t be these people. If you can’t give an opinion without insulting the person asking for your advice, just say you don’t know. If you’re on a message board, simply don’t respond. Just because a league happens to allow for more/less/retired players, doesn’t mean it’s inferior to your league.

Thou shalt not complain about points left on the bench
In a 16-week fantasy season, how many weeks would you expect a player on your bench to outscore someone in your starting lineup?
A) zero (I have unrealistic expectations)
B) 1 – 15 (I have realistic expectations)
C) 16 (I have Thomas Jones)

For most people, the answer is B. Moreover, it’s probably on the high-end of that range. Everyone leave points on the bench. Everyone including the person you’re complaining to.

Thou shalt not abuse the commissioner
Being commissioner of a fantasy league is a thankless job. Even with a thorough league constitution (which is a must), issues can arise. When they do, try to be mindful of the following:
1) The commissioner can’t change the rules midseason.
2) If he or she does, it’s time for a new commissioner (or a new league).
3) When rules are addressed in the off-season, the commissioner won’t be able to make everyone happy.

Everyone has different opinions on the best way to handle trades, waivers, scoring, playoffs, payouts, keepers, etc. Try to make your opinions known without making the commissioner’s job more difficult.

Are there any additional commandments you can think of? Let us know. Until then, let’s get to this week’s 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 13.

1Michael VickPHIHOU95.00
2Aaron RodgersGBSF92.33
3Philip RiversSDOAK90.50
4Peyton ManningINDDAL88.67
5Drew BreesNOat CIN87.00
6Tom BradyNENYJ82.43
7Matt CasselKCDEN81.33
8Kyle OrtonDENat KC80.50
9Matt RyanATLat TB78.83
10Ben RoethlisbergerPITat BAL77.57
11Eli ManningNYGWAS76.90
12Matt SchaubHOUat PHI76.33
13Jay CutlerCHIat DET75.67
14Ryan FitzpatrickBUFat MIN73.67
15Sam BradfordSTLat ARI72.33
16Josh FreemanTBATL71.00
17Mark SanchezNYJat NE70.67
18Chad HenneMIACLE70.00
19Joe FlaccoBALPIT68.67
20Jon KitnaDALat IND67.33
21Donovan McNabbWASat NYG65.67
22Matt HasselbeckSEACAR64.87
23Brett FavreMINBUF64.05
24Carson PalmerCINNO63.67
25David GarrardJACat TEN62.33
26Troy SmithSFat GB58.67
27Jason CampbellOAKat SD55.33
28Kerry CollinsTENJAC54.87
29Derek AndersonARISTL54.33
30Jimmy ClausenCARat SEA53.87
31Jake DelhommeCLEat MIA38.00
32Drew StantonDETCHI35.44

Start: Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs. In his last three games, Cassel has thrown 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. The last time he faced Denver, he threw for 469 yards and four scores. I’m betting the rematch is another shootout, only this time the score is close enough to warrant a handshake. Both Cassel and Kyle Orton are must-starts.
Start: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills. Fitzpatrick was a “Sit” last week. The pick wasn’t terrible (265 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but it easily could’ve been. Fortunately, I got some help from (Stevie Johnson, God, Troy Polamalu), which prevented Fitzpatrick from having a huge day. Still, if he can have a decent game against the vaunted Steelers defense, he should be able to put up numbers against Minnesota. The Vikings defense isn’t as scary as it used to be. They’ve surrendered eight passing touchdowns in the last three weeks. Prediction: 280 yards and two scores.
Sit: Any Quarterback, Detroit Lions. Prior to last week, no team gave up fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Chicago. In Week 12, the Bears contained Michael Vick about as well as anyone. Now they’ll take a step down in class to face either Drew Stanton or Shaun Hill, the latter of which is nursing an injured finger. Hill can be a nice match-ups play when healthy. Unfortunately, this is a bad match-up and he’s not healthy. If Hill can’t go, the Lions will turn to Stanton as their starting quarterback. Don’t make the same mistake.
RankRunning BacksTeamOppAverage
1Maurice Jones-DrewJACat TEN88.00
T-1Steven JacksonSTLat ARI88.00
T-1Chris JohnsonTENJAC88.00
4Arian FosterHOUat PHI87.33
5Michael TurnerATLat TB86.33
6Peyton HillsCLEat MIA86.00
7Jamaal CharlesKCDEN85.33
8Matt ForteCHIat DET82.67
9LeSean McCoyPHIHOU81.33
10Knowshon MorenoDENat KC80.00
11Rashard MendenhallPITat BAL78.00
12Mike TolbertSDOAK77.33
13LaDainian TomlinsonNYJat NE76.00
14Adrian PetersonMINBUF75.62
15Ray RiceBALPIT75.33
16Fred JacksonBUFat MIN74.00
17Thomas JonesKCDEN73.67
18Ahmad BradshawNYGWAS72.67
19Felix JonesDALat IND72.03
20Cedric BensonCINNO72.00
21Darren McFaddenOAKat SD71.67
22Mike GoodsonCARat SEA71.00
23Shonn GreeneNYJat NE70.33
24Brandon JacobsNYGWAS69.00
25Ronnie BrownMIACLE67.33
26Marshawn LynchSEACAR67.00
27Beanie WellsARISTL66.83
28Justin ForsettSEACAR66.33
29LeGarrette BlountTBATL65.67
30Brandon JacksonGBSF64.00
31Toby GerhartMINBUF63.67
32Brian WestbrookSFat GB63.33
33Ricky WilliamsMIACLE62.67
34Chester TaylorCHIat DET62.33
35Tashard ChoiceDALat IND62.20
36Tim HightowerARISTL62.00
37BenJarvus Green-EllisNENYJ61.33
T-37Darren SprolesSDOAK61.33
39Donald BrownINDDAL60.37
40Reggie BushNOat CIN60.17
41Maurice MorrisDETCHI59.33
T-41Danny WoodheadNENYJ59.33
43Michael BushOAKat SD59.00
44Jonathan StewartCARat SEA58.67
45Chris IvoryNOat CIN57.40
46Mike HartINDDAL56.63
47Jason SnellingATLat TB55.07
48Keiland WilliamsWASat NYG55.00
49Anthony DixonSFat GB54.00
T-49Jerome HarrisonPHIHOU54.00
51Bernard ScottCINNO53.00
52Rashad JenningsJACat TEN52.67
T-52Isaac RedmanPITat BAL52.67
54C.J. SpillerBUFat MIN52.60
55Ryan MathewsSDOAK52.58
56Cadillac WilliamsTBATL52.33
57James DavisWASat NYG50.67
58Willis McGaheeBALPIT49.00
59John KuhnGBSF47.67
60Jahvid BestDETCHI47.13
61Pierre ThomasNOat CIN40.53
62Derrick WardHOUat PHI38.67
63Fred TaylorNENYJ35.47
64Javon RingerTENJAC34.67
65Correll BuckhalterDENat KC33.33
66Mewelde MoorePITat BAL33.00
67Mike BellCLEat MIA32.00
68Ryan TorainWASat NYG25.40
69Joseph AddaiINDDAL24.17
70Deji KarimJACat TEN19.67
T-70Kenneth DarbySTLat ARI19.67

Start: Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers. For the second straight game, Tolbert rushed for over 100 yards and found the end zone. Now he faces an Oakland defense that was gashed by a less-than-impressive Miami rushing attack. Both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams set individual season high rushing totals last week. I’m betting Tolbert follows suit and surpasses his own season high in Week 13. Prediction: 120 yards and a score.
Sit: LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Blount was held to just 46 total yards the last time he faced Atlanta. He’s had two good games since becoming the starter. Those games were against Arizona and Carolina. I know it’s a small sample size, but it seems Blount is more match-ups prone than most. He’ll have good games; just not against a tough Falcons defense.
RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAverage
1Dwayne BoweKCDEN93.33
2Roddy WhiteATLat TB89.00
3DeSean JacksonPHIHOU87.67
4Reggie WayneINDDAL85.33
5Andre JohnsonHOUat PHI84.83
6Jeremy MaclinPHIHOU84.00
7Greg JenningsGBSF83.33
8Larry FitzgeraldARISTL81.33
9Marques ColstonNOat CIN80.67
10Miles AustinDALat IND80.33
11Calvin JohnsonDETCHI80.03
12Santonio HolmesNYJat NE79.67
13Mario ManninghamNYGWAS79.33
14Mike WallacePITat BAL79.00
15Steve JohnsonBUFat MIN78.67
16Brandon LloydDENat KC77.33
17Mike WilliamsTBATL75.67
18Wes WelkerNENYJ74.33
19Johnny KnoxCHIat DET74.00
20Pierre GarconINDDAL73.00
21Santana MossWASat NYG72.67
22Percy HarvinMINBUF72.23
23Terrell OwensCINNO72.00
T-23Nate WashingtonTENJAC72.00
25Jabar GaffneyDENat KC70.67
26Dez BryantDALat IND70.33
T-26Deion BranchNENYJ70.33
T-26Braylon EdwardsNYJat NE70.33
29Eddie RoyalDENat KC70.00
30Hines WardPITat BAL69.43
31Anquan BoldinBALPIT69.00
32Chad OchocincoCINNO67.67
33Danny AmendolaSTLat ARI67.33
34Ben ObomanuSEACAR67.00
35Jason AvantPHIHOU66.67
36Robert MeachemNOat CIN66.33
T-36Lance MooreNOat CIN66.33
T-36Michael CrabtreeSFat GB66.33
39James JonesGBSF66.00
40Davone BessMIACLE65.33
41Steve BreastonARISTL65.00
42Devin HesterCHIat DET64.67
T-42Earl BennettCHIat DET64.67
44Steve SmithCARat SEA63.67
45Randy MossTENJAC63.33
46Derrick MasonBALPIT63.00
T-46Lee EvansBUFat MIN63.00
48Malcom FloydSDOAK62.93
49Brian HartlineMIACLE62.67
50Blair WhiteINDDAL62.33
51Dexter McClusterKCDEN61.33
52Mike ThomasJACat TEN60.83
53Seyi AjirotutuSDOAK60.00
T-53Justin GageTENJAC60.00
55Derek HaganNYGWAS59.33
56Devery HendersonNOat CIN59.00
T-56Brandon GibsonSTLat ARI59.00
T-56Anthony ArmstrongWASat NYG59.00
59Michael JenkinsATLat TB57.67
T-59Kevin WalterHOUat PHI57.67
61Sidney RiceMINBUF57.53
62Chris ChambersKCDEN57.33
63Brandon MarshallMIACLE56.23
64Donald DriverGBSF56.20
65Mohamed MassaquoiCLEat MIA55.80
66Golden TateSEACAR55.73
67Jordy NelsonGBSF55.33
68Roy WilliamsDALat IND55.00
T-68Danario AlexanderSTLat ARI55.00
70Nate BurlesonDETCHI54.83
71Jordan ShipleyCINNO54.00
72Brandon LaFellCARat SEA53.67
T-72David GettisCARat SEA53.67
74Joshua CribbsCLEat MIA52.67
75Josh MorganSFat GB52.33
76Brian RobiskieCLEat MIA52.00
77Louis MurphyOAKat SD50.47
78Greg LewisMINBUF50.33
79T.J. HoushmandzadehBALPIT49.67
80Mike WilliamsSEACAR47.67
81Jacoby JonesHOUat PHI43.67
82Jacoby FordOAKat SD43.00
83Deon ButlerSEACAR42.33
84Arrelious BennTBATL42.00
85Early DoucetARISTL41.67
T-85Sammie StroughterTBATL41.67
87Mike Sims-WalkerJACat TEN41.33
88Mardy GilyardSTLat ARI39.00
89Harry DouglasATLat TB37.73
90Brandon TateNENYJ37.00
T-90Brad SmithNYJat NE37.00
T-90Michael SpurlockTBATL37.00
93Emmanuel SandersPITat BAL36.00
94Julian EdelmanNENYJ34.67
95Bernard BerrianMINBUF34.40
96Donald JonesBUFat MIN33.00
97Steve SmithNYGWAS32.90
98Devin AromashoduCHIat DET32.00
T-98Antwaan Randle ElPITat BAL32.00
100Bryant JohnsonDETCHI31.67
101Ted Ginn Jr.SFat GB30.67
102Austin CollieINDDAL29.07
103Kenny BrittTENJAC27.67
104Vincent JacksonSDOAK25.33
105Jerricho CotcheryNYJat NE21.90

Start: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins. Moss started off hot this year, but has cooled off considerably since then. According to a Washington spokesperson, his recent performance against the Vikings (5/40/0) means he’s only one lackluster effort away from getting a contract extension. Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder didn’t mince words when he stated, “I told Santana how I felt. He’s either going to catch passes or I’m making him the highest paid receiver in NFL history.” You don’t need Donovan McNabb to tell you that Snyder isn’t bluffing. Still, I don’t think Moss is in it for the money. Solid WR2 this week.
Start: Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens. Looking a little deeper, you could do worse than starting Mason this week. He’s coming off of his best game of the year (8/87/1). More importantly, he’s playing Pittsburgh. That’s normally not a good thing, but Mason is averaging 79 yards receiving per game against the Steelers over the last three years.
Sit: Randy Moss, Tennessee Titans. The NFL recently ranked Moss 65th on its “100 Greatest Players” list. I assume he’ll fare better when the much anticipated “100 Greatest Decoys” are unveiled.
RankTight EndsTeamOppAverage
1Jacob TammeINDDAL82.67
2Tony GonzalezATLat TB78.67
3Marcedes LewisJACat TEN78.00
4Jason WittenDALat IND76.33
5Visanthe ShiancoeMINBUF75.00
6Chris CooleyWASat NYG73.33
7Todd HeapBALPIT72.67
T-7Kevin BossNYGWAS72.67
9Dustin KellerNYJat NE71.67
10Vernon DavisSFat GB71.60
11Jermaine GreshamCINNO70.67
12Kellen WinslowTBATL70.50
13Tony MoeakiKCDEN70.08
14Brent CelekPHIHOU67.67
15John CarlsonSEACAR66.67
16Brandon PettigrewDETCHI66.43
17Greg OlsenCHIat DET66.33
T-17Anthony FasanoMIACLE66.33
T-17Rob GronkowskiNENYJ66.33
20Heath MillerPITat BAL65.67
21Ben WatsonCLEat MIA65.00
T-21Bo ScaifeTENJAC65.00
23Aaron HernandezNENYJ64.67
24Antonio GatesSDOAK63.83
25Zach MillerOAKat SD61.87
26Daniel FellsSTLat ARI60.00
27Fred DavisWASat NYG59.33
28Andrew QuarlessGBSF55.33
29Jeremy ShockeyNOat CIN55.20
30Daniel GrahamDENat KC53.33
31Joel DreessenHOUat PHI52.00
32Ben PatrickARISTL46.67
33Jimmy GrahamNOat CIN42.33
34Donald LeeGBSF40.80
35Evan MooreCLEat MIA39.33
36Randy McMichaelSDOAK36.00
37Billy BajemaSTLat ARI35.00
38Jeff KingCARat SEA33.00
39Jonathan StuparBUFat MIN32.33
40Dante RosarioCARat SEA28.23

Start: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys. Last week may have produced the craziest stat of the year. Jason Witten caught 10 passes on 10 targets from Jon Kitna. Don’t think about that for more than a few seconds or else your brain will automatically shut down. Just know that Witten is worth starting in Week 13. He faces the Colts, who have allowed touchdowns to opposing tight ends in two of the last three games. The one tight end who didn’t score during that time was Antonio Gates. I’m not counting that one (they give me a fair amount of authority here at the Café) because Gates was playing through what appeared to be a great deal of pain.
Sit: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers. He has turf toe on one foot and torn plantar fascia on the other. He’ll probably be a game-time decision again. You don’t have to wait that long to decide. Look elsewhere.
RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAverage
4SteelersPITat BAL81.67
5BearsCHIat DET81.33
6SaintsNOat CIN80.00
8RamsSTLat ARI75.67
T-10JetsNYJat NE74.00
12BrownsCLEat MIA73.33
13FalconsATLat TB72.67
21RedskinsWASat NYG69.00
22RaidersOAKat SD66.67
2349ersSFat GB65.67
24CowboysDALat IND65.00
26BillsBUFat MIN64.33
27JaguarsJACat TEN64.00
28PanthersCARat SEA63.67
31TexansHOUat PHI60.67
32BroncosDENat KC59.00

Start: San Diego Chargers. You stop Peyton, you get the nod.
Sit: New England Patriots and New York Jets. I’m betting the over in what is being dubbed, “The biggest game of the regular season.” I hate media exaggeration. It’s like they don’t even care that Seattle is hosting St. Louis in Week 17. Hello?!? That four-seed isn’t going to settle itself.
1David AkersPHIHOU87.67
2Rob BironasTENJAC84.67
3Mason CrosbyGBSF82.67
4Nate KaedingSDOAK81.00
5Adam VinatieriINDDAL80.33
6Matt BryantATLat TB78.67
7Lawrence TynesNYGWAS78.00
T-7Sebastian JanikowskiOAKat SD78.00
9Robbie GouldCHIat DET77.67
T-9Ryan LongwellMINBUF77.67
11Garrett HartleyNOat CIN75.67
12Jay FeelyARISTL75.33
13Nick FolkNYJat NE75.00
14Phil DawsonCLEat MIA74.67
T-14Josh BrownSTLat ARI74.67
16Matt PraterDENat KC74.33
17Dan CarpenterMIACLE73.33
18Neil RackersHOUat PHI72.67
T-18Josh ScobeeJACat TEN72.67
T-18Shayne GrahamNENYJ72.67
21Billy CundiffBALPIT72.33
22Ryan SuccopKCDEN71.67
23Olindo MareSEACAR71.33
24Shaun SuishamPITat BAL71.00
25Graham GanoWASat NYG70.67
26Jeff ReedSFat GB69.00
27Clint StitserCINNO68.67
28David BuehlerDALat IND68.33
29John KasayCARat SEA67.33
30Rian LindellBUFat MIN66.67
31Connor BarthTBATL66.33
32Dave RaynerDETCHI64.67

Start: Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders. He may account for 100% of Oakland’s offense.
Sit: John Kasay, Carolina Panthers. Not this week.

Drew is a lifelong Jets fan. Playing and writing about fantasy football has proven helpful in easing the pain.
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2 Responses to “Week 13: Fantasy Commandments”

  1. User avatar daullaz says:

    Apologies in advance for any terribly out-of-whack rankings. I didn’t have time to go through the tables with a fine-toothed comb and fix some mistakes this week.

  2. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Before BuckToothZombie says it, I’ll say it: Blair White will be a good play this week! :)

    Randy Moss at 45 – and that’s likely too high. “The times, they are a changing.” Bob Dylan.


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