This is the week with the most teams on bye (six) all season. No other week has this many teams on bye, so this should be the thinnest you’ll be all year as for you choices for your starting lineup. That being said, if you’ve got a player on your roster and you’re not starting him this week when your other players are on bye, you might as well just drop him. If you’re not starting him as a bye week filler, when are you going to start him?
Now, if that guy you’re hanging onto is a handcuff for another player on your roster, or a player that would see their playing time shoot up drastically if the guy in front of them gets hurt, keep hanging on to that guy. If you’re hanging onto a player thinking that you’ll use them when the time is right, this is that time. Otherwise, they’re just taking up space on your roster. Now onto the calls for the week.
If you grabbed Andrew Luck in your draft and you’re wondering if you should start him this week, the answer would be yes. Luck is playing against a Cleveland defense that is allowing an average of over 300 yards passing and 2.5 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks on the season. Cleveland’s defense is the second worst in the league at giving up fantasy points to quarterbacks. Getting Luck in your lineup would be a ‘good call’ this week.
Andy Dalton is slowly becoming one of my favorite young quarterbacks. He’s not hitting that sophomore slump that most young quarterbacks hit. He’s had three 3-touchdown games already this year. He had just one three touchdown game all of last year. Dalton’s matchup with Pittsburgh this week, seems to look tough of paper, but the Steelers defense has only seen two Top 10 quarterbacks this year (Peyton Manning and Michael Vick). Dalton is improving every week, and he looks to be a strong play that would be a ‘good call’ to be in your lineup this week.
If you’ve got another option besides Matthew Stafford this week, I’d use him. Stafford has only thrown four touchdown passes all year, and the Chicago defense he’ll be going against in Chicago has only allowed four touchdown passes all year. If you think Stafford is going to throw more than one into the end zone this week, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Stafford might have a decent week for yardage, but an interception or two and just one touchdown just isn’t going to get it done this week. Stafford is a ‘bad call’ and I’d sit him if you’ve got another decent option.
Another quarterback who’s going against a stingy defense this week is Matt Schaub. The Baltimore defense just lost Ray Lewis but Jameel McClain is more than an adequate fill-in. The Baltimore defense won’t just lie down with the loss of their defensive leader. The loss of Lardarius Webb will also hurt, but his replacement, Jimmy Smith, is a first round draft pick that has been groomed to takeover a starting corner spot. The Baltimore defense is hardly going to drop much in their defensive strength with these two losses, so that means the Ravens will continue to be a tough defense and Schaub hasn’t exactly been all that strong this year, anyways. Schaub has yet to break 300 yards passing in any game and besides his four touchdown effort in Denver in Week 3 he’s looked fairly mediocre. I’d sit Schaub.
If you drafted Doug Martin waiting for him to blow up, well this is the week that happens. This week he gets to run against the most fantasy friendly defense, and he gets to do it on his home turf. The Saints have allowed 26 points to Alfred Morris, 46 points to Jamaal Charles, and 27 points to Ryan Mathews. Every starting running back that’s faced the Saints this year has had 15 fantasy points or more. This is the week for Martin. LeGarrette Blount might come in and steal a goal line touchdown, but it won’t matter with how much Martin will be running all over the Saints defense outside of goal line situations. Start Martin with confidence, he’s a ‘good call’ this week.
C.J. Spiller looked a little off his game as he was hobbled a bit for a couple of weeks, but he looked back to his normal self last week. He had 12 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground and four catches for 22 yards via the air. Spiller gets a friendly matchup with the Titans, who rank 27th in stopping the run. Fred Jackson’s age is showing and he hasn’t gotten more than 16 carries in any game this year. The Buffalo backfield is clearly in a timeshare situation and Spiller is the most productive player in it. Spiller should have no problem getting you points this week and should definitely be started if you’ve got him.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis would be a ‘bad call’ for you to start this week. The Pittsburgh defense has been holding average running backs in check this year, and Green-Ellis is just an average running back. The Steelers have allowed just 64 rushing yards to Willis McGahee, 23 rushing yards to Shonn Greene, and even LeSean McCoy had just 53 yards on the ground against them. Green-Ellis hasn’t broken over 100 rush yards since Week 5 of last year. His value has been propped up by touchdowns, but he only has two of those since he left New England. Don’t be expecting much from Green-Ellis if you start him this week, but I wouldn’t start him if I were you.
Shonn Greene had a career game last week, and probably bought himself another month of confidence from the Jets coaches. Greene is turning into the Lee Evans of running backs. Evans always seemed to have one or two huge weeks every season, and the rest of the time he was struggling to be an average pass catcher. That’s how I feel about Greene right now. He had two huge games back-to-back last year in Weeks 13 and 14, but the rest of the season he was struggling to be a starter in your lineup. This week he won’t repeat what he did last week with a trip to New England and their surprise 7th toughest fantasy defense against running backs. I think you’ll be lucky if Greene even breaks 10 points this week.
Denarius Moore is the most targeted wide receiver on the Raiders (35 targets), has the most receiving yards (287), and the most receiving touchdowns (2), and this is all in just four games of work this season. Moore is building a nice rapport with Carson Palmer, and should have a nice game this week against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed over six catches and 80 yards to every opponents’ number one wide receiver, but one. In the last two weeks they’ve allowed over 100 yards and a touchdown to both A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall. Moore should have no problem getting you good numbers this week and would be a ‘good call’ for you to start.
It looks like Cleveland has found the deep threat they were looking for in Josh Gordon. Spending that supplemental draft pick on Gordon is starting to look like a wise move. Gordon has six catches for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns in just the last two games, and all of his touchdowns have been over 20 yards. Gordon is leading the league in yards-per-catch at 22.8. With a trip to Indianapolis and their 26th ranked defense against receivers, he should have no problem slipping behind the safeties for another touchdown this week. If you’ve got him, start him.
Brandon Lloyd has looked pretty happy in his new home, New England. The return of Aaron Hernandez and a game against the Jets might make things a bit uncomfortable this week, though. The Jets are the 4th toughest team for wide receivers to play against. They haven’t allowed a receiving touchdown since Week 2, and no receiver has had more than 87 receiving yards against them. Lloyd would be a ‘bad call’ if you’re starting him this week.
Randall Cobb is a rising star on the Green Bay Packers, but this week is one of those weeks you’re going to want to sit him. The Packers travel to St. Louis to play against the number one ranked defense against wide receivers. Besides, Calvin Johnson’s 111 receiving yards in Week 1, St. Louis hasn’t allowed any receivers to get more than 92 yards against them. They’ve also allowed just two touchdowns on the season. Cobb isn’t going to have a big week and is a ‘bad call’ for you to start this week.
Aaron Hernandez is back, and he had a touchdown last week as well. Two games played, two touchdowns. If you’ve got him he’d be a ‘good call’ to get back into your lineup.
It looks like those early season drops for Jason Witten are gone. He’s caught 19 of the 21 passes thrown his way in the past two weeks. Start him with confidence now that Tony Romo is confident throwing to him again.
If you’ve been starting Martellus Bennett the past few weeks hoping he would repeat his production from the first three weeks of the season, you should stop. Bennett has five catches for 41 yards in the past three weeks. In Week 1 he had four catches for 40 yards in just that one game. Until, Eli Manning starts throwing his way again Bennett is a ‘bad call’ for you to start.
Jermichael Finley is another guy you’re going to want to sit this week. Since Brandon Pettigrew had 77 receiving yards in Week 1, the St. Louis defense has allowed a maximum of 45 yards to any tight end they’ve faced. Finley doesn’t have a good matchup this week and it takes a good one to get any production out of him these days.
Twitter question of the week: Who’s your MVP of the league right now? Reply to @curtkestila with your response.
Good luck this week and I hope you make all the right calls.