As always we try to stick away from the obvious “start Calvin Johnson” etc, but we are always open to fielding specific lineup questions if you leave them in the comments below. In the same breathe, we aren’t going to tell you to sit Frank Gore because they are playing a team that has a strong defense. That would be a waste of everyone’s time.
This week. Two parts. Thursday and then an update Friday.
Colts at Titans
Start ’em – Colts D: You think they are embarrassed after the egg they laid at home last week? You’re damn right they are. I think they get after Ryan Fitzpatrick in this game big time.
Sit ’em Ryan Fitzpatrick: He’s a turn over machine. He is average at best. He is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sure he went to Harvard, but he’s still illiterate when it comes to reading a defense.
Jets at Bills
Start ’em RB Chris Ivory: The Bills are 22nd in the league in run D. The Jets will pound the rock all game. Ivory gets enough carries in this one to grab a starting spot in this week’s lineup
Sit ’em WR Stevie Johnson: After watching last week’s game, he and E.J. Manual are just not in sync. The latest reports are that he may not even suit up for this one as he is struggling with a groin injury. I think there are better options at this point. Keep an eye on this because if they start clicking, Johnson could be a WR3 down the stretch.
Sit’em RB CJ Spiller: Spiller is going to be a matchup guy for the rest of 2013. It’s the disappointing reality you have to face with him, and fooling yourself will only damage your fantasy team. When the Bills played the Jets earlier in the season Spiller managed under 11 total yards of offense. He’s a little healthier now, but the Jets rush defense is just as formidable. Plus Buffalo coaches were quoted this week as saying they view both Spiller and Fred Jackson as #1 RB’s. Umm…nothing is good about CJ this week.
Ravens at Bears
Sit ’em RB Ray Rice: So here’s the deal. The Bears are second worst in the league in Run Defense. The Raven are 30th in run offense. Something has got to give. There is no way I am starting this guy anymore unless I have to, but if you have to, this is the week to do it.
Start ’em WR Alshon Jeffery: In 5 of his 6 games, Jeffery has gone over 10 fantasy points in both standard PPR and non-PPR leagues, he’s topped 100 yards in 4 of the 6, and he was targeted an insane 18 times last weekend. Dude is red hot, and now that Cutler will miss at least another week – that means Jeffery should remain high in the mix because Cutler sometimes only has eyes for Brandon Marshall…welp not this week. Jeffery is a Wr2 this weeks and this is our little shout out for him maturing into the weapon we thought he was.
Browns at Bengals
Start ’em WR Marvin Jones: Look up what Joe Hayden did to AJ Green the last time these teams met. See? (7 catches for only 51 yards) That is why you are starting Marvin Jones. He will see an uptick in targets this week and is a WR3 start.
Sit ’em RB Chris Ogbonnaya: Word is the coming out of their bye the Browns would like to shift more of their workload to Obonnaya. It makes sense since Willis McGahee is breaking down, and Chris can in theory catch passes out on the edge. Ogbonnaya isn’t bad perse, painfully average maybe, but the real problem here is the Bengals rush defense has a way of smothering players. Obonnaya represents a very low flex play option this weekend – very low.
Raiders at Texans
Start ’em – Texans D: If Matt McGloin starts, Texans D all day. If Pryor starts then the Texans are still an above average play – IF the team hasn’t quit amid all the turmoil (Kubiak stroke, Foster injury, terrible record etc) to me this is a fairly big sized IF…but you can’t anticipate them quitting until it actually happens so ride them this week and see how they play.
Sit ‘em – RB Rashard Jennings: He has had 2 good games in a row against bad Defenses. Regardless of rankings, the Texans front is formidable. I don’t think he gets the yards needed for an effective start in this one.
Cardinals at Jaguars
Start ‘em – Cardinals Defense: OK. Ya, I am recommending another defense, but let’s be real here. The Jags O-line is average on their best day and the Cardinals can really bring the heat. If the Cards get up by a 2 scores in this game look out. They will pin their ears back and blitz like hell.
Start ‘em – RB Andre Ellington: He is a virtually an every week flex start. If he got in the end zone more, he would be surefire starter in all formats. Mendenhall has been struggling all season, maybe finally Ellington gets the lion share of the carries.
Lions at Steelers
Start ‘em – Joique Bell: Now I don’t love this play at all. It all has to do with injuries to the Lions WR’s. Johnson has said he’ll play this Sunday and his knee issues are just maintenance, but Bell could be a nice flex option if the Lions get up early and need to control the clock. As Burleson won’t play this week either, the Lions could decide to keep it conservative with the lead. This is a tepid flex start that could become hot if Megatron suffers a setback and can’t transform into a football player on Sunday.
Redskins at Eagles
Start ‘em – Yes, TE Jordan Reed and WR Pierre Garcon are every week starts from here on out. Watch some of the games. These are the only 2 guys that RG3 looks for.
Start ’em QB Nick Foles: I called WR Riley Cooper last week, and this week I’m fully endorsing Nick Foles. My Foles love was unrequited b/c the Eagles kept jerking him in and out of the lineup, and his concussion slowed things down. But you simply cannot argue with 16 TD’s and 0 Int’s….even the most skeptical of fans have to open their eyes at this point. Foles is an every week starter as a top 10 fantasy QB the rest of the season. Against a terrible Redskins’ pass defense he may very well be the highest scoring QB in week 10. So if you’re someone choosing between “Nick Foles or”this week…it’s Nick Foles. No question.
Falcons at Buccaneers
Start ‘em – RB Brian Leonard: I don’t love Brian Leonard’s talent at all, but he will get the majority of the carries at home vs an iffy Falcons D. The Bucs Oline did some work last week against the Dolphins and Seahawks back to back. Let’s make that three straight.
Sit ‘em – RB Steven Jackson: They say when RB’s lose it, they just lose it. There is nothing gradual about it. Steven, you have been awesome for many years, but I am afraid, you might have lost it. If the line play improves there is hope Steven, I haven’t given up on you fully, but you aren’t a start until you show me something.
Chargers at Dolphins
Start ’em WR Rishard Matthews: A lot of people will look at last week’s 120 yard 2 Td performance by Matthews out of no where and think that they’ve missed their chance to hit that lotto ticket. It’s true that Matthews has been virtually invisible since he was drafted 2 years ago. But it’s my bet that Matthews is a better player than his limited playing time warranted, and now with the season ending injury to WR Brandon Gibson, I’m hoping that last week is the start of Tannehill looking for him often. Matthews should be viewed as a very risky play week to week, but I like him here against a Chargers defense that is terrible against the pass. (28th in the league). I think Matthews could post another 100 yard effort – but the TD’s seem optional this week.
Start ’em WR Keenan Allen: Miami is not as bad as San Diego against the pass, but they have their holes. In his last 5 games, Allen has broken 100 yards 3 times and has 3 TD’s – and this is more about saluting his effort than telling you something you don’t know: while a 40 yard dud like last weekend is possible every now and then, Allen has worked his way to low level WR2 at this point – and he seems an advisable start here.
Niners at Saints
Sit ’em QB Colin Kapernick: This isn’t an overreaction in my mind to last week’s disaster with Carolina. Kap will probably have better #’s against a weaker Saints’ defense, but consider the Saints pass defense is ranked 3rd in the NFL right now. Then consider TE Vernon Davis is still not taking contact in practice after suffering a concussion last week. If Davis can’t go, or is limited – it takes an anemic pass offense and puts it on life support. Kapernick will be able to get some of it back for you with rushing yards, but if the Saints say break the 20 point mark…how will the Niners try to keep up? It’s fashionable to be down on Colin this season, and while it may not be his fault, and it may be overblown….I think this week you put him on your fantasy bench. Hopefully brighter days are ahead with Davis getting healthier and maybe Michael Crabtree returning.
Packers at the Giants
Start ’em WR Jarrett Boykin: You may think that advising a WR from a team with its 3rd string QB on the road in his 1st full NFL start is risky. Consider however, that QB Scott Tolzein managed to target Boykin over and over again vs the Eagles for a total of 8 catches for 112 yards. The Giants defense is still awful, don’t let games against Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, and Terrell Pryor fool you – they haven’t faced an NFL QB in a month. Tolzein will probably get beat and beaten up, because he’s not any good at this point in his career – but just like against the Eagles last week there’s nothing stopping Boykin from juicy garbage fantasy time points.
Start ’em RB Andre Brown: In the preseason I was adamant that Brown was the better player than RB David Wilson – and here we are 11 weeks later- the Giants having gone through nearly that many RB’s, and it’s Andre Brown’s time. Brown may never be durable, he may never break off a long TD run, but he can simply put his head down and move the chains. Hopefully you followed our advice and picked him up off of waivers before last week when he came out for a 30 carry 118 yard 1 TD season debut. The Packers have an above average run defense, but the Giants have to try and ride Brown because their passing game is just not clicking. Brown will have even bigger days to come, but you can consider him a very high end flex play/low end RB2 this weekend.
Sit ‘em – WR Dwanye Bowe: Regardless of the arrest, he was going to be on my sit list. He has shown NOTHING all year. Aside from some garbage yards, if the Chiefs are down early, I don’t see him producing much at all. He hasn’t done it all year. He isn’t going to start now.
Sit ‘em – TE John Carlson: He had a career game last week. He also played a Redskin D that is having problems with their pass D. If you need to start him, I get it. Times are tough in TE land. Pursue other options unless you are stuck. Last year Christian Ponder played in Seattle and he through for under 100 yards. I don’t see why this game is going to be any different.
Start ‘em – WR Golden Tate: Tate has been playing great the past few weeks. He seems to have Russell Wilson’s confidence. He is great after the catch and high points the ball as well as anyone in the league. Regardless of Harvin coming back, Tate will be the #1 in Seattle for the rest of the year.
Start ‘em – RB Deangelo Williams: Carolina is going to pound the rock all game. DeWilly is going to end up splitting carries in this game, but he has the most speed of any of the backs in the Panthers backfield. I would expect a game similar to last week. Which is good for a flex start.
:By Ron & Mike