Start & SitDecember 16, 2010

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Week 15: Title Hopes - 8 comments

By R.J. White

You’ve battled for 14 weeks, and now, thanks either to a rock solid strategy, long term planning, or a huge performance from Ryan Torain or Tim Hightower out of the blue, you’re on the cusp of greatness. Win just one more game and you’re playing for the fantasy title. Admit it; you’ve been dreaming about the 2010 fantasy championship ever since the curtain officially closed on the 2009 season. Now’s the time to go get it.

Usually what you see in the Start/Sit column is a melding of multiple Cafe rankers’ individual performances. Together, the average rating is taken for each player, and it’s in this “strength in numbers” approach that the Cafe has done well at pegging breakouts and busts this season. I bring this up now because, unfortunately, due to real life and the hectic holiday season, you’ll be seeing my own personal rankings alone this week. I offer this information now as a warning: the few the rankers, the more likely we’ll see some volatility in the rankings. All it takes is for me to be unreasonably high on a player like Kenny Britt and to get it wrong, and your season could go down the drain. As a result, I urge you not to take the Week 15 rankings as gospel. Go with your best judgment and you should be fine.

After all, it’s gotten you this far, hasn’t it?

1Peyton ManningINDJAC92
2Tom BradyNEGB90
3Drew BreesNOat BAL88
4Michael VickPHIat NYG85
5Philip RiversSDSF84
6Matt RyanATLat SEA79
7Jon KitnaDALWAS78
8Matt SchaubHOUat TEN77
9Kyle OrtonDENat OAK76
10Josh FreemanTBDET75
11Kerry CollinsTENHOU74
12Jason CampbellOAKDEN73
13Eli ManningNYGPHI71
14Ben RoethlisbergerPITNYJ69
15Sam BradfordSTLKC69
16Joe FlaccoBALNO68
17Jay CutlerCHIat MIN67
18Matt HasselbeckSEAATL65
19Donovan McNabbWASat DAL64.8
20David GarrardJACat IND64
21Chad HenneMIABUF63
22Carson PalmerCINCLE61
23Ryan FitzpatrickBUFat MIA60
24Aaron RodgersGBat NE55.2
25Alex SmithSFat SD55
26Rex GrossmanWASat DAL54
27Mark SanchezNYJat PIT50
28Matt FlynnGBat NE48
29Shaun HillDETat TB47.2
30Drew StantonDETat TB47
31Jimmy ClausenCARARI46
32Jake DelhommeCLEat CIN45
33Matt CasselKCat STL43.8
34Brodie CroyleKCat STL43
35Colt McCoyCLEat CIN42.4
36Joe WebbMINCHI40
37John SkeltonARIat CAR39

Start: Matt Schaub, Texans. Arian Foster has been doing a ton of damage all season, and the Texans passing offense, finally close to 100 percent, is starting to catch up. Schaub is coming off an incredible 393-yard game against a pretty good Baltimore defense where he tossed three TDs. Don’t expect that kind of production this week against Tennessee, but he should be able to at least match the two-TD performance he had against the Titans in Week 12.
Sit: Aaron Rodgers, Packers. New England is playing lights out right now, and although you’ve relied on Rodgers to navigate you through the fantasy season, now is not the time to bank on his health against such a good team. He was getting shut down by the Lions even before his injury in Week 14, and honestly, there aren’t many Rodgers owners without first-round byes that are still in the playoffs. To those teams that took last week off, keep the Packer QB on the sidelines.
RankRunning BacksTeamOppAverage
1Maurice Jones-DrewJACat IND96
2Arian FosterHOUat TEN93
3Michael TurnerATLat SEA93
4Peyton HillsCLEat CIN91
5Darren McFaddenOAKDEN87
6Chris JohnsonTENHOU83
7Knowshon MorenoDENat OAK81
8Adrian PetersonMINCHI81
9LeGarrette BlountTBDET80
10Ahmad BradshawNYGPHI80
11LeSean McCoyPHIat NYG79
12Steven JacksonSTLKC78
13Jamaal CharlesKCat STL77
14Ryan TorainWASat DAL76
15Jonathan StewartCARARI75
16Tim HightowerARIat CAR75
17Rashard MendenhallPITNYJ71
18Brian WestbrookSFat SD70
19Fred JacksonBUFat MIA70
20Brandon JacobsNYGPHI70
21BenJarvus Green-EllisNEGB68
22Felix JonesDALWAS68
23Ray RiceBALNO68
24Matt ForteCHIat MIN67
25Ronnie BrownMIABUF67
26Ricky WilliamsMIABUF65
27Mike GoodsonCARARI63
28Cedric BensonCINCLE61
29Cadillac WilliamsTBDET60
30Thomas JonesKCat STL59
31Jahvid BestDETat TB59
32Mike TolbertSDSF58
33Donald BrownINDJAC58
34Tashard ChoiceDALWAS58
35Anthony DixonSFat SD58
36Rashad JenningsJACat IND58
37Michael BushOAKDEN57
38Marshawn LynchSEAATL55
39Brandon JacksonGBat NE55
40Pierre ThomasNOat BAL54
41Shonn GreeneNYJat PIT53
42Maurice MorrisDETat TB53
43James StarksGBat NE53
44Danny WoodheadNEGB52
45Ryan MathewsSDSF52
46LaDainian TomlinsonNYJat PIT51
47Derrick WardHOUat TEN51
48Mike BellCLEat CIN51
49Dimitri NanceGBat NE51
50Chris IvoryNOat BAL48
51Reggie BushNOat BAL48
52Willis McGaheeBALNO48
53Keiland WilliamsWASat DAL48
54Justin ForsettSEAATL47
55Lance BallDENat OAK47
56C.J. SpillerBUFat MIA46
57Bernard ScottCINCLE45
58Jarvarris JamesINDJAC44
59Beanie WellsARIat CAR42.7
60Chester TaylorCHIat MIN41
61Toby GerhartMINCHI41
62Darren SprolesSDSF40
63Isaac RedmanPITNYJ39
64Jerome HarrisonPHIat NYG39
65Marion BarberDALWAS31.2

Start: LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers. I’ll take the Lions’ dominant defensive performance in Week 14 against the Packers as an anomaly, as Detroit was the easiest team for fantasy RBs to score points against heading into the game. Blount’s TDs this season have been sporadic, but he sees enough carries to be worth playing in great matchups such as this. I could see a game similar to the one he had against the Falcons in Week 12: 20 carries, 103 yards, one TD. You’ll take that, right?
Sit: LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets. LT2 was magic early in the season, posting five TDs in the span of four games from Weeks 3 to 6. The Jets then took their bye in Week 7, and Tomlinson hasn’t reached the end zone since. He also hasn’t topped 60 rushing yards in that time frame, and while his receiving totals were masking the dropoff for a while, he’s been terrible for fantasy owners over the last three weeks, catching just two balls in each game. Are you willing to put the season on the line with the fading back against the Steelers of all teams? Yeah, I thought not.
RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAverage
1Roddy WhiteATLat SEA94
2Reggie WayneINDJAC91
3Marques ColstonNOat BAL85
4Calvin JohnsonDETat TB83
5Greg JenningsGBat NE82
6Andre JohnsonHOUat TEN81
7Hakeem NicksNYGPHI81
8Kenny BrittTENHOU81
9Miles AustinDALWAS79
10Pierre GarconINDJAC79
11DeSean JacksonPHIat NYG78
12Deion BranchNEGB75
13Brandon LloydDENat OAK75
14Dwayne BoweKCat STL74
15Wes WelkerNEGB73
16Mike WallacePITNYJ72
17Vincent JacksonSDSF71
18Mike WilliamsTBDET71
19Steve JohnsonBUFat MIA70
20Brandon MarshallMIABUF70
21Chad OchocincoCINCLE70
22Santana MossWASat DAL70
23Lance MooreNOat BAL69
24Jeremy MaclinPHIat NYG68
25Mike WilliamsSEAATL68
26Santonio HolmesNYJat PIT66
27Terrell OwensCINCLE66
28Anthony ArmstrongWASat DAL66
29Sidney RiceMINCHI65
30Malcom FloydSDSF64.8
31Nate WashingtonTENHOU64
32Mohamed MassaquoiCLEat CIN63
33Johnny KnoxCHIat MIN62
34Brandon GibsonSTLKC62
35Austin CollieINDJAC61.6
36Arrelious BennTBDET61
37Larry FitzgeraldARIat CAR60
38Davone BessMIABUF60
39Louis MurphyOAKDEN60
40Roy WilliamsDALWAS59
41Hines WardPITNYJ58
42Jacoby FordOAKDEN58
43Laurent RobinsonSTLKC58
44Michael JenkinsATLat SEA58
45Derrick MasonBALNO57
46Ruvell MartinSEAATL56
47Randy MossTENHOU56
48Mike Sims-WalkerJACat IND55
49Robert MeachemNOat BAL55
50Sam HurdDALWAS55
51Brian RobiskieCLEat CIN55
52Earl BennettCHIat MIN54
53Danny AmendolaSTLKC54
54James JonesGBat NE54
55Anquan BoldinBALNO53
56Jacoby JonesHOUat TEN53
57Eddie RoyalDENat OAK53
58Nate BurlesonDETat TB53
59Steve SmithCARARI52
60Mario ManninghamNYGPHI52
61Donald DriverGBat NE52
62Michael CrabtreeSFat SD51
63Devery HendersonNOat BAL51
64Danario AlexanderSTLKC50
65Jordy NelsonGBat NE50
66Ben ObomanuSEAATL49.6
67Joshua CribbsCLEat CIN49
68Blair WhiteINDJAC49
69Braylon EdwardsNYJat PIT48
70David NelsonBUFat MIA48
71Dexter McClusterKCat STL48
72Jason AvantPHIat NYG48
73Jordan ShipleyCINCLE48
74David GettisCARARI48
75Derek HaganNYGPHI48
76Jabar GaffneyDENat OAK47
77Devin HesterCHIat MIN46
78Mike ThomasJACat IND45
79Percy HarvinMINCHI44
80Jerricho CotcheryNYJat PIT44
81Emmanuel SandersPITNYJ44
82Brandon LaFellCARARI44
83Josh MorganSFat SD41
84Kevin WalterHOUat TEN41
85Early DoucetARIat CAR40

Start: Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs. Sure, he’s caught just one more pass than you have over the last two weeks, but I’m still dancing with the receiver that brought me to the playoffs. Prior to his abduction in Week 13, Bowe had scored 13 TDs in seven games. Let me type that number out so you have a second chance to reflect on it. Thirteen. Most receivers don’t reach that mark in a season, and Bowe did it in seven games. That kind of talent doesn’t just disappear, and I’m willing to put my season on the line to prove it.
Sit: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. This may seem to run counter to what I just typed, but the truth is that if you’re in the fantasy playoffs, it ain’t cause of anything Fitzgerald did. I’m being a bit too harsh on the uber-talented wideout, as he’s actually a top-20 fantasy receiver over the course of the year, but fantasy teams sure didn’t sign up for one 100-yard game all season and just five TDs in 13 games. Carolina plays the pass very well, mainly because they tend to play the run very poorly. While Arizona broke their losing streak in impressive fashion last week, that John Skelton jersey belongs back on the rack; the rookie QB isn’t likely to magically turn Fitzgerald’s season around.
RankTight EndsTeamOppAverage
1Vernon DavisSFat SD91
2Jacob TammeINDJAC86
3Jason WittenDALWAS85
4Kevin BossNYGPHI79
5Kellen WinslowTBDET77
6Owen DanielsHOUat TEN77
7Zach MillerOAKDEN77
8Anthony FasanoMIABUF77
9Marcedes LewisJACat IND76
10Rob GronkowskiNEGB75
11Tony GonzalezATLat SEA72
12Bo ScaifeTENHOU70
13Chris CooleyWASat DAL69
14Aaron HernandezNEGB65
15Jermaine GreshamCINCLE64
16Brent CelekPHIat NYG63
17Dustin KellerNYJat PIT60
18Brandon PettigrewDETat TB59
19Fred DavisWASat DAL59
20Andrew QuarlessGBat NE58
21Heath MillerPITNYJ58
22Ben WatsonCLEat CIN57
23Greg OlsenCHIat MIN56
24Jeremy ShockeyNOat BAL55
25Todd HeapBALNO54.6
26Tony MoeakiKCat STL54
27Jimmy GrahamNOat BAL53
28Visanthe ShiancoeMINCHI53
29Joel DreessenHOUat TEN53
30Ed DicksonBALNO50
31Randy McMichaelSDSF46
32Brandon ManumaleunaCHIat MIN44
33Antonio GatesSDSF42
34Daniel FellsSTLKC39
35Jonathan StuparBUFat MIA37
36Dante RosarioCARARI37
37Cameron MorrahSEAATL37
38Billy BajemaSTLKC37
39Ben PatrickARIat CAR35
40Daniel GrahamDENat OAK35

Start: Jacob Tamme, Colts. The pass-catching tight end began his job in the starting role on a very high note, catching TDs in his first two games and recording seven catches in each of the following three weeks. He’s taken a downturn of late, combining for only eight catches and 83 yards over the last two weeks while failing to reach the end zone. Tamme owners may be ready to jump ship, but I’d caution against it. He’s had an extended week to recuperate from his knee injury, and with the Colts’ season potentially on the line against the division-leading Jaguars, Peyton Manning should be in top form. I think Tamme should notch at least seven catches and one TD, and I’m obviously still starting him.
Sit: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots. The rookie tight ends for the Patriots have been trading fantasy relevancy back and forth over the last month and a half, and now it’s Rob Gronkowski who’s back on top, having dominated the playing time in Week 14. I find it hard to trust either Pats tight end right now, but especially hard to go with the guy that barely saw any action in the Patriots’ last game. Having said that, expect Hernandez to post a 20-point fantasy line out of nowhere. Gotta love it.
RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAverage
5BearsCHIat MIN83
7CardinalsARIat CAR82
10BillsBUFat MIA77
11JetsNYJat PIT76
14BrownsCLEat CIN73
1549ersSFat SD73
16SaintsNOat BAL73
18FalconsATLat SEA72
20EaglesPHIat NYG68
22BroncosDENat OAK66
25TexansHOUat TEN66
26RedskinsWASat DAL65
27ChiefsKCat STL65
29LionsDETat TB63
30PackersGBat NE61
31JaguarsJACat IND56

Start: Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Rookies Jimmy Clausen and John Skelton have a formidable matchup on their hands. Which QB can throw away his team’s chances to win the fastest? The Arizona fantasy defense had been posting big lines early in the season before struggling in Weeks 10-13 and ultimately turning things around against the Broncos last week. The Carolina fantasy defense has been largely awful this season but does have four consecutive good performances heading into Week 15. I give the Panthers the slight edge due to recent performances.
Sit: Green Bay Packers. They’ve been one of the top fantasy defenses in the land this season; why sit them? For starters, they’ve been a bit ordinary over the last four weeks, turning in good points against totals while failing to come up with big plays. Secondly, they run smack into the New England juggernaut this week. You should be avoiding that Pats offense with your fantasy defensive picks.
1David AkersPHIat NYG95
2Nate KaedingSDSF85
3Dan CarpenterMIABUF83
4David BuehlerDALWAS81
5Neil RackersHOUat TEN81
6Garrett HartleyNOat BAL79
7Josh ScobeeJACat IND79
8Josh BrownSTLKC78
9Jay FeelyARIat CAR77
10John KasayCARARI76
11Shayne GrahamNEGB75
12Matt BryantATLat SEA71
13Shaun SuishamPITNYJ71
14Phil DawsonCLEat CIN71
15Lawrence TynesNYGPHI69
16Adam VinatieriINDJAC68
17Sebastian JanikowskiOAKDEN68
18Graham GanoWASat DAL68
19Ryan SuccopKCat STL67
20Rob BironasTENHOU66
21Nick FolkNYJat PIT64
22Rian LindellBUFat MIA64
23Billy CundiffBALNO63
24Mason CrosbyGBat NE62
25Connor BarthTBDET61
26Robbie GouldCHIat MIN58
27Shane AndrusSFat SD58
28Matt PraterDENat OAK57
29Ryan LongwellMINCHI56
30Clint StitserCINCLE55
31Olindo MareSEAATL53
32Dave RaynerDETat TB51

Start: Dave Buehler, Cowboys. He has a good matchup against the Redskins, great fantasy lines in each of his last three games, and favorable weather conditions — which is a big factor this late in the season.
Sit: Rob Bironas, Titans. He has just one fantasy performance above six points over his last six games. I do expect the Titans to score against the Texans, so Bironas shouldn’t get totally blanked again, but he could have another no-FG, multiple-XP game like last week’s four point effort. I’ll pass.

R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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8 Responses to “Week 15: Title Hopes”

  1. Tmacdunk says:

    Start: Dave Buehler, Cowboys. He has a good matchup against the Redskins, great fantasy lines in each of his last three games, and favorable weather conditions — which is a big factor this late in the season.

    The Boys play in a dome so id hope the weather would be favorable :p

  2. 2centworth says:

    Nice job. I have a feeling the Falcons Def will let me down. I thinking about starting the Raiders.

  3. KCCrazies says:

    I need either Matt Forte and Cedric Benson. I can’t start both. Please choose and tell why.

  4. Megalodon says:

    Tim Tebow is named the likely starter, id downgrade B Lloyd to the bench

  5. User avatar 011472 says:

    Surprising to see such a high ranking for Jennings with Rodgers ranked so low. Would you consider sitting him behind guys like Garcon and Britt?

  6. Osirius says:

    Raiders destroyed Denver last they played. I picked them up this week to start over the Packers I’ve been using all season.

  7. User avatar WWM says:

    jennings gets a sit now that flynn is behind center.

  8. User avatar dweenmachine says:

    Love the last line in the part about sitting Aaron Hernandez… self-fulfilling prophecy? ;-)


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