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 ESPN.com. 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.
|5||Drew Brees||NO||at CIN||87.00|
|8||Kyle Orton||DEN||at KC||80.50|
|9||Matt Ryan||ATL||at TB||78.83|
|10||Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||at BAL||77.57|
|12||Matt Schaub||HOU||at PHI||76.33|
|13||Jay Cutler||CHI||at DET||75.67|
|14||Ryan Fitzpatrick||BUF||at MIN||73.67|
|15||Sam Bradford||STL||at ARI||72.33|
|17||Mark Sanchez||NYJ||at NE||70.67|
|20||Jon Kitna||DAL||at IND||67.33|
|21||Donovan McNabb||WAS||at NYG||65.67|
|25||David Garrard||JAC||at TEN||62.33|
|26||Troy Smith||SF||at GB||58.67|
|27||Jason Campbell||OAK||at SD||55.33|
|30||Jimmy Clausen||CAR||at SEA||53.87|
|31||Jake Delhomme||CLE||at MIA||38.00|
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.
|1||Maurice Jones-Drew||JAC||at TEN||88.00|
|T-1||Steven Jackson||STL||at ARI||88.00|
|4||Arian Foster||HOU||at PHI||87.33|
|5||Michael Turner||ATL||at TB||86.33|
|6||Peyton Hills||CLE||at MIA||86.00|
|8||Matt Forte||CHI||at DET||82.67|
|10||Knowshon Moreno||DEN||at KC||80.00|
|11||Rashard Mendenhall||PIT||at BAL||78.00|
|13||LaDainian Tomlinson||NYJ||at NE||76.00|
|16||Fred Jackson||BUF||at MIN||74.00|
|19||Felix Jones||DAL||at IND||72.03|
|21||Darren McFadden||OAK||at SD||71.67|
|22||Mike Goodson||CAR||at SEA||71.00|
|23||Shonn Greene||NYJ||at NE||70.33|
|32||Brian Westbrook||SF||at GB||63.33|
|34||Chester Taylor||CHI||at DET||62.33|
|35||Tashard Choice||DAL||at IND||62.20|
|40||Reggie Bush||NO||at CIN||60.17|
|43||Michael Bush||OAK||at SD||59.00|
|44||Jonathan Stewart||CAR||at SEA||58.67|
|45||Chris Ivory||NO||at CIN||57.40|
|47||Jason Snelling||ATL||at TB||55.07|
|48||Keiland Williams||WAS||at NYG||55.00|
|49||Anthony Dixon||SF||at GB||54.00|
|52||Rashad Jennings||JAC||at TEN||52.67|
|T-52||Isaac Redman||PIT||at BAL||52.67|
|54||C.J. Spiller||BUF||at MIN||52.60|
|57||James Davis||WAS||at NYG||50.67|
|61||Pierre Thomas||NO||at CIN||40.53|
|62||Derrick Ward||HOU||at PHI||38.67|
|65||Correll Buckhalter||DEN||at KC||33.33|
|66||Mewelde Moore||PIT||at BAL||33.00|
|67||Mike Bell||CLE||at MIA||32.00|
|68||Ryan Torain||WAS||at NYG||25.40|
|70||Deji Karim||JAC||at TEN||19.67|
|T-70||Kenneth Darby||STL||at ARI||19.67|
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.
|2||Roddy White||ATL||at TB||89.00|
|5||Andre Johnson||HOU||at PHI||84.83|
|9||Marques Colston||NO||at CIN||80.67|
|10||Miles Austin||DAL||at IND||80.33|
|12||Santonio Holmes||NYJ||at NE||79.67|
|14||Mike Wallace||PIT||at BAL||79.00|
|15||Steve Johnson||BUF||at MIN||78.67|
|16||Brandon Lloyd||DEN||at KC||77.33|
|19||Johnny Knox||CHI||at DET||74.00|
|21||Santana Moss||WAS||at NYG||72.67|
|25||Jabar Gaffney||DEN||at KC||70.67|
|26||Dez Bryant||DAL||at IND||70.33|
|T-26||Braylon Edwards||NYJ||at NE||70.33|
|29||Eddie Royal||DEN||at KC||70.00|
|30||Hines Ward||PIT||at BAL||69.43|
|33||Danny Amendola||STL||at ARI||67.33|
|36||Robert Meachem||NO||at CIN||66.33|
|T-36||Lance Moore||NO||at CIN||66.33|
|T-36||Michael Crabtree||SF||at GB||66.33|
|42||Devin Hester||CHI||at DET||64.67|
|T-42||Earl Bennett||CHI||at DET||64.67|
|44||Steve Smith||CAR||at SEA||63.67|
|T-46||Lee Evans||BUF||at MIN||63.00|
|52||Mike Thomas||JAC||at TEN||60.83|
|56||Devery Henderson||NO||at CIN||59.00|
|T-56||Brandon Gibson||STL||at ARI||59.00|
|T-56||Anthony Armstrong||WAS||at NYG||59.00|
|59||Michael Jenkins||ATL||at TB||57.67|
|T-59||Kevin Walter||HOU||at PHI||57.67|
|65||Mohamed Massaquoi||CLE||at MIA||55.80|
|68||Roy Williams||DAL||at IND||55.00|
|T-68||Danario Alexander||STL||at ARI||55.00|
|72||Brandon LaFell||CAR||at SEA||53.67|
|T-72||David Gettis||CAR||at SEA||53.67|
|74||Joshua Cribbs||CLE||at MIA||52.67|
|75||Josh Morgan||SF||at GB||52.33|
|76||Brian Robiskie||CLE||at MIA||52.00|
|77||Louis Murphy||OAK||at SD||50.47|
|81||Jacoby Jones||HOU||at PHI||43.67|
|82||Jacoby Ford||OAK||at SD||43.00|
|87||Mike Sims-Walker||JAC||at TEN||41.33|
|88||Mardy Gilyard||STL||at ARI||39.00|
|89||Harry Douglas||ATL||at TB||37.73|
|T-90||Brad Smith||NYJ||at NE||37.00|
|93||Emmanuel Sanders||PIT||at BAL||36.00|
|96||Donald Jones||BUF||at MIN||33.00|
|98||Devin Aromashodu||CHI||at DET||32.00|
|T-98||Antwaan Randle El||PIT||at BAL||32.00|
|101||Ted Ginn Jr.||SF||at GB||30.67|
|105||Jerricho Cotchery||NYJ||at NE||21.90|
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.
|2||Tony Gonzalez||ATL||at TB||78.67|
|3||Marcedes Lewis||JAC||at TEN||78.00|
|4||Jason Witten||DAL||at IND||76.33|
|6||Chris Cooley||WAS||at NYG||73.33|
|9||Dustin Keller||NYJ||at NE||71.67|
|10||Vernon Davis||SF||at GB||71.60|
|17||Greg Olsen||CHI||at DET||66.33|
|20||Heath Miller||PIT||at BAL||65.67|
|21||Ben Watson||CLE||at MIA||65.00|
|25||Zach Miller||OAK||at SD||61.87|
|26||Daniel Fells||STL||at ARI||60.00|
|27||Fred Davis||WAS||at NYG||59.33|
|29||Jeremy Shockey||NO||at CIN||55.20|
|30||Daniel Graham||DEN||at KC||53.33|
|31||Joel Dreessen||HOU||at PHI||52.00|
|33||Jimmy Graham||NO||at CIN||42.33|
|35||Evan Moore||CLE||at MIA||39.33|
|37||Billy Bajema||STL||at ARI||35.00|
|38||Jeff King||CAR||at SEA||33.00|
|39||Jonathan Stupar||BUF||at MIN||32.33|
|40||Dante Rosario||CAR||at SEA||28.23|
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.
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.
|6||Matt Bryant||ATL||at TB||78.67|
|T-7||Sebastian Janikowski||OAK||at SD||78.00|
|9||Robbie Gould||CHI||at DET||77.67|
|11||Garrett Hartley||NO||at CIN||75.67|
|13||Nick Folk||NYJ||at NE||75.00|
|14||Phil Dawson||CLE||at MIA||74.67|
|T-14||Josh Brown||STL||at ARI||74.67|
|16||Matt Prater||DEN||at KC||74.33|
|18||Neil Rackers||HOU||at PHI||72.67|
|T-18||Josh Scobee||JAC||at TEN||72.67|
|24||Shaun Suisham||PIT||at BAL||71.00|
|25||Graham Gano||WAS||at NYG||70.67|
|26||Jeff Reed||SF||at GB||69.00|
|28||David Buehler||DAL||at IND||68.33|
|29||John Kasay||CAR||at SEA||67.33|
|30||Rian Lindell||BUF||at MIN||66.67|
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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