Start & SitNovember 4, 2011


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Week 9: Running Back Frenzy - 8 comments

By R.J. White

While it certainly could be said about other weeks in other seasons, the large number of injuries to the running back position has certainly made a mockery of our RB rankings this week in terms of pre-season expectations. Aside from the fact that Fred Jackson and Beanie Wells are top-six plays, something in August that would have looked insane, especially with Jackson facing the Jets, our top 24 (all projected starters in a 12-team, two-RB league) includes such pre-season luminaries as Michael Bush, Mike Tolbert, Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, Brandon Jacobs, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Jackie Battle. I hope you’ve been building up RB depth along the way, because if you don’t have at least one of those guys, you may be screwed this week.

RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentAverage
1Aaron RodgersGBat SD93.07
2Drew BreesNOvs. TB89.33
3Michael VickPHIvs. CHI88.47
4Tom BradyNEvs. NYG86.87
5Eli ManningNYGat NE86.00
6Ben RoethlisbergerPITvs. BAL74.40
7Tony RomoDALvs. SEA73.80
8Philip RiversSDvs. GB73.60
9Matt SchaubHOUvs. CLE70.87
10Matt RyanATLat IND65.67
11Josh FreemanTBat NO61.80
12Mark SanchezNYJat BUF60.87
13Ryan FitzpatrickBUFvs. NYJ58.27
14Matt HasselbeckTENvs. CIN58.13
15Matt CasselKCvs. MIA57.40
16Tim TebowDENat OAK56.07
17Joe FlaccoBALat PIT51.73
18Sam BradfordSTLat ARI51.53
19Jay CutlerCHIat PHI48.40
20Alex SmithSFat WAS47.13
21Andy DaltonCINat TEN46.87
22Curtis PainterINDvs. ATL46.20
23Tarvaris JacksonSEAat DAL45.67
24Carson PalmerOAKvs. DEN45.53
25John BeckWASvs. SF44.40
26Colt McCoyCLEat HOU40.93
27Matt MooreMIAat KC35.13
28A.J. FeeleySTLat ARI25.20
29Kevin KolbARIvs. STL24.13
30John SkeltonARIvs. STL20.27

Start: Matt Ryan. He’s coming off the bye and he’ll likely have receiver Julio Jones back in the fold. Oh, and he’s facing the 0-8 Colts, the same team that was destroyed by the Saints two weeks ago. The running game is going to excel, but Ryan should still be a lock for multiple TDs in this one.

Sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has a super tough matchup against a great Jets secondary, and the Jets have been surprisingly soft against the run this year. This could be a game dominated by Fred Jackson.

RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentAverage
1Matt ForteCHIat PHI93.20
2Arian FosterHOUvs. CLE92.27
3Ray RiceBALat PIT87.53
4Fred JacksonBUFvs. NYJ85.93
5Michael TurnerATLat IND85.87
6Beanie WellsARIvs. STL84.47
7LeSean McCoyPHIvs. CHI83.73
8LeGarrette BlountTBat NO78.47
9Steven JacksonSTLat ARI77.93
10Frank GoreSFat WAS77.47
11Michael BushOAKvs. DEN75.60
12Cedric BensonCINat TEN72.40
13Mike TolbertSDvs. GB72.40
14Darren SprolesNOvs. TB71.67
15Shonn GreeneNYJat BUF69.93
16Brandon JacobsNYGat NE68.27
17Chris JohnsonTENvs. CIN66.20
18BenJarvus Green-EllisNEvs. NYG63.53
19DeMarco MurrayDALvs. SEA63.47
20Rashard MendenhallPITvs. BAL63.07
21Pierre ThomasNOvs. TB60.33
22Marshawn LynchSEAat DAL58.47
23Reggie BushMIAat KC57.40
24Jackie BattleKCvs. MIA57.07
25Ryan TorainWASvs. SF56.40
26Willis McGaheeDENat OAK55.68
27Daniel ThomasMIAat KC55.52
28Peyton HillisCLEat HOU54.13
29James StarksGBat SD51.53
30Joseph AddaiINDvs. ATL50.53
31Ben TateHOUvs. CLE50.27
32Kendall HunterSFat WAS50.13
33Knowshon MorenoDENat OAK48.27
34Delone CarterINDvs. ATL46.53
35Javon RingerTENvs. CIN42.20
36LaDainian TomlinsonNYJat BUF41.93
37Donald BrownINDvs. ATL41.20
38Bernard ScottCINat TEN41.07
39Marion BarberCHIat PHI39.20
40Ryan GrantGBat SD38.87
41Ryan MathewsSDvs. GB38.20
42Ahmad BradshawNYGat NE37.80
43Chris OgbonnayaCLEat HOU35.67
44Kevin FaulkNEvs. NYG33.87
45Roy HeluWASvs. SF33.07
46Isaac RedmanPITvs. BAL31.07
47Dexter McClusterKCvs. MIA29.73
48Chris IvoryNOvs. TB29.33
49Thomas JonesKCvs. MIA27.73
50C.J. SpillerBUFvs. NYJ26.93
51Danny WoodheadNEvs. NYG25.87
52Phillip TannerDALvs. SEA24.80
53Ricky WilliamsBALat PIT22.87
54D.J. WareNYGat NE21.60
55Taiwan JonesOAKvs. DEN19.33

Start: Michael Bush. Darren McFadden is expected to be sidelined, leaving Bush to get 20-plus carries in a game where the Raiders should still be trying to hide new QB Carson Palmer. No one expects the Broncos to jump out to huge lead, so Bush should rack up consistent yardage throughout.

Sit: Javon Ringer. A popular waiver add last week, teams are likely chomping at the bit to get Ringer out there. However, while he could get hot and dominate the carries for Tennessee, he could also wind up with only a couple touches. Play it safe and keep him on the bench unless truly desperate.

RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentAverage
1Roddy WhiteATLat IND85.33
2Dwayne BoweKCvs. MIA85.07
3Wes WelkerNEvs. NYG84.53
4Vincent JacksonSDvs. GB80.27
5Jeremy MaclinPHIvs. CHI79.13
6DeSean JacksonPHIvs. CHI79.13
7Victor CruzNYGat NE78.67
8Miles AustinDALvs. SEA78.47
9Mike WallacePITvs. BAL77.07
10Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. STL76.44
11Greg JenningsGBat SD75.73
12Dez BryantDALvs. SEA73.13
13Brandon LloydSTLat ARI71.53
14Mario ManninghamNYGat NE71.33
15Marques ColstonNOvs. TB71.33
16A.J. GreenCINat TEN70.87
17Steve JohnsonBUFvs. NYJ70.60
18Pierre GarconINDvs. ATL68.53
19Julio JonesATLat IND67.33
20Brandon MarshallMIAat KC66.13
21Darrius Heyward-BayOAKvs. DEN64.20
22Mike WilliamsTBat NO63.13
23Santonio HolmesNYJat BUF62.53
24Anquan BoldinBALat PIT61.73
25Sidney RiceSEAat DAL61.67
26Jordy NelsonGBat SD59.73
27Jonathan BaldwinKCvs. MIA59.73
28Nate WashingtonTENvs. CIN58.80
29Reggie WayneINDvs. ATL57.20
30Malcom FloydSDvs. GB54.93
31Deion BranchNEvs. NYG54.53
32Greg SalasSTLat ARI54.20
33Eric DeckerDENat OAK53.73
34Steve BreastonKCvs. MIA53.73
35Denarius MooreOAKvs. DEN51.53
36Antonio BrownPITvs. BAL51.07
37Michael CrabtreeSFat WAS49.80
38Jabar GaffneyWASvs. SF49.73
39Early DoucetARIvs. STL49.44
40Lance MooreNOvs. TB48.67
41Greg LittleCLEat HOU47.93
42Brandon GibsonSTLat ARI47.53
43James JonesGBat SD46.40
44Devin HesterCHIat PHI46.07
45Doug BaldwinSEAat DAL45.67
46Hakeem NicksNYGat NE45.33
47Jacoby FordOAKvs. DEN44.87
48Demaryius ThomasDENat OAK44.40
49David NelsonBUFvs. NYJ43.93
50Arrelious BennTBat NO43.13
51Robert MeachemNOvs. TB42.67
52Kevin WalterHOUvs. CLE42.53
53Eddie RoyalDENat OAK42.40
54Torrey SmithBALat PIT41.07
55Plaxico BurressNYJat BUF40.53
56Mohamed MassaquoiCLEat HOU39.27
57Preston ParkerTBat NO39.13
58Braylon EdwardsSFat WAS39.13
59Damian WilliamsTENvs. CIN38.80
60Devery HendersonNOvs. TB38.67
61Laurent RobinsonDALvs. SEA38.47
62Ben ObomanuSEAat DAL38.33
63Jerome SimpsonCINat TEN38.20
64Johnny KnoxCHIat PHI38.07
65Jacoby JonesHOUvs. CLE37.87
66Austin CollieINDvs. ATL37.20
67Josh CribbsCLEat HOU36.60
68Anthony ArmstrongWASvs. SF36.40
69Andre CaldwellCINat TEN34.20
70Hines WardPITvs. BAL32.40
71Roy WilliamsCHIat PHI31.73
72Earl BennettCHIat PHI31.40
73Davone BessMIAat KC30.13
74Donald JonesBUFvs. NYJ26.93
75Brian HartlineMIAat KC26.80
76Patrick CraytonSDvs. GB26.60
77Donald DriverGBat SD26.07
78Naaman RooseveltBUFvs. NYJ24.60
79Jason AvantPHIvs. CHI23.47
80Harry DouglasATLat IND22.33

Start: Victor Cruz. Hakeem Nicks isn’t looking likely to be active this week (which is why we’ve discounted him into the “bench” area of the rankings), and that leave Cruz and Mario Manningham to get the start against a terrible Pats defense. Cruz has proven adept at long TDs, and he could have several this week. He’s a must-start if Nicks is out.

Sit: Johnny Knox. The highest drafted Bears receiver in fantasy, Knox has fallen out of a starting role. In the Bears’ last game, Roy Williams actually showed a little why Chicago made him a starter. Throw in the return of Earl Bennett and a matchup against a great Eagles secondary, and Knox shouldn’t be anywhere near a starting lineup.

RankTight EndsTeamOpponentAverage
1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. TB90.67
2Jermichael FinleyGBat SD85.07
3Jason WittenDALvs. SEA83.47
4Antonio GatesSDvs. GB81.60
5Fred DavisWASvs. SF77.73
6Aaron HernandezNEvs. NYG76.53
7Vernon DavisSFat WAS75.80
8Tony GonzalezATLat IND75.67
9Rob GronkowskiNEvs. NYG73.87
10Owen DanielsHOUvs. CLE72.20
11Dustin KellerNYJat BUF68.87
12Kellen WinslowTBat NO63.47
13Brent CelekPHIvs. CHI55.80
14Jake BallardNYGat NE54.33
15Kevin BossOAKvs. DEN52.20
16Jared CookTENvs. CIN51.47
17Dallas ClarkINDvs. ATL50.87
18Lance KendricksSTLat ARI46.20
19Heath MillerPITvs. BAL43.73
20Ben WatsonCLEat HOU42.93
21Ed DicksonBALat PIT41.40
22Leonard PopeKCvs. MIA41.07
23Daniel FellsDENat OAK40.73
24Evan MooreCLEat HOU38.93
25Scott ChandlerBUFvs. NYJ38.60
26Anthony FasanoMIAat KC37.80
27Zach MillerSEAat DAL33.00
28Todd HeapARIvs. STL27.16
29Donald LeeCINat TEN26.53
30Jermaine GreshamCINat TEN16.88

Start: Dustin Keller. A potential fantasy cut last week while on a bye, Keller returns to a pretty solid matchup against the Bills. If you struggled through a season with Dallas Clark, Keller may be your man this week.

Sit: Heath Miller. It would be easy to pick on Clark again, but let’s mention Miller as a sit. He racked up most of his fantasy points on the Steelers’ first drive last week, and Baltimore figures to play the middle of the field much tighter. I don’t expect a repeat from Miller this week.

RankKickersTeamOpponentAverage
1Sebastian JanikowskiOAKvs. DEN79.00
2Neil RackersHOUvs. CLE72.60
3Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. NYG66.13
4John KasayNOvs. TB65.67
5David AkersSFat WAS65.27
6Mason CrosbyGBat SD65.07
7Dan CarpenterMIAat KC63.00
8Nick NovakSDvs. GB60.73
9Robbie GouldCHIat PHI60.60
10Alex HeneryPHIvs. CHI60.13
11Mike NugentCINat TEN59.20
12Dan BaileyDALvs. SEA59.00
13Rian LindellBUFvs. NYJ58.73
14Billy CundiffBALat PIT56.93
15Nick FolkNYJat BUF56.87
16Matt BryantATLat IND56.67
17Rob BironasTENvs. CIN53.80
18Adam VinatieriINDvs. ATL53.33
19Josh BrownSTLat ARI48.47
20Graham GanoWASvs. SF47.73
21Phil DawsonCLEat HOU47.60
22Shaun SuishamPITvs. BAL45.93
23Lawrence TynesNYGat NE45.60
24Steven HauschkaSEAat DAL45.20
25Jay FeelyARIvs. STL45.13
26Connor BarthTBat NO44.60
27Ryan SuccopKCvs. MIA41.73
28Matt PraterDENat OAK41.47

Start: Mike Nugent. I was surprisingly able to add Nugent in a few leagues this week — the Bengals have consistently moved the ball and set Nugent up for some nice weeks, and I don’t see that changing against Tennessee.

Sit: Rob Bironas. On the other hand, the Titans offense isn’t that dangerous without a credible rushing attack, and Cincinnati hasn’t given up many points this year.

RankTeam DefenseTeamOpponentAverage
1San Francisco 49ersSFat WAS73.43
2Baltimore RavensBALat PIT71.20
3Dallas CowboysDALvs. SEA70.00
4Oakland RaidersOAKvs. DEN68.30
5Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. MIA65.50
6Green Bay PackersGBat SD64.87
7Pittsburgh SteelersPITvs. BAL62.53
8St. Louis RamsSTLat ARI61.27
9Arizona CardinalsARIvs. STL60.83
10Houston TexansHOUvs. CLE59.73
11Atlanta FalconsATLat IND59.20
12Buffalo BillsBUFvs. NYJ58.13
13Philadelphia EaglesPHIvs. CHI57.07
14Chicago BearsCHIat PHI55.50
15Seattle SeahawksSEAat DAL52.83
16New York JetsNYJat BUF51.80
17Denver BroncosDENat OAK51.60
18Washington RedskinsWASvs. SF48.73
19Cincinnati BengalsCINat TEN46.23
20Tennessee TitansTENvs. CIN44.80
21New York GiantsNYGat NE43.93
22New Orleans SaintsNOvs. TB43.83
23Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBat NO43.50
24Miami DolphinsMIAat KC38.87
25New England PatriotsNEvs. NYG38.60
26Indianapolis ColtsINDvs. ATL35.07
27Cleveland BrownsCLEat HOU34.27
28San Diego ChargersSDvs. GB32.70

Start: Oakland Raiders. While always a dangerous fantasy asset, Tim Tebow has been very accommodating to opposing fantasy defenses this year. The Raiders should be the next one to clean up on the scoreboard thanks to Tebow.

Sit: New York Jets. The Bills have been the hardest offense to score points upon for fantasy defenses this year, limiting mistakes with a great ground attack and quick passing game. That could lead to mediocrity for the Jets this week.

 
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
 
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8 Responses to “Week 9: Running Back Frenzy”

  1. Youngsir620 says:

    with matt stafford on a bye week who should i start at QB?

    Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, or Tim Tebow?

    ReplyReply
  2. User avatar daullaz says:

    I’d go with Tebow. I see him with a ground TD and at least 10 fantasy points on rushing alone. He certainly has more upside than your other options. Cutler/Dalton could get the nod, but I don’t like either’s matchup. I think it comes down to Tebow and Dalton, and I’d lean Tebow.

    ReplyReply
  3. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Does Mathews still sit at 41, if he plays – which is what Rotoworld is hinting at?

    ReplyReply
  4. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Also – Yahoo ranks the NYG defense as 19th against TEs. Can you talk a little bit more about why Finley is ranked #2 this week?

    And maybe why Celek is so low against the 32nd ranked defense against TEs (giving up an average of 12 FPs and 1 TD per game to TEs)?

    Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  5. MistaBigxxL says:

    The Packers are facing the Chargers this week. I don’t know about where they rank against tight ends but their defensive strategy lately has been to focus the opposing team’s #1 WR. If they choose to double cover Greg Jennings it will be to Finley’s benefit.

    ReplyReply
  6. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Just saw Roddy White as the #1 WR – Here’s hoping he performs that well, but if he doesn’t get a top-10 WR performance against IND, it will be interesting to see if anyone ranks him in the top-10 again. He’s been there all year, but really has yet to perform like that.

    ReplyReply
  7. User avatar daullaz says:

    @joejlitz: It would be hard for me to play Mathews … even if he’s active, I can’t see him getting more than 10 touches, nor getting the goal-line looks. Re: Finley — Jennings should be relatively bottled up, so I expect a lot of scoring opps for Finley. FF has the Giants as the second best defense against TEs by the way. Re: Celek — I don’t quite trust him yet, while I’m willing to give the top 10 the benefit of the doubt.

    ReplyReply
  8. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Thanks, D. Good job with the rankings!

    ReplyReply

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