What’s the first question you ask when someone asks you to join a fantasy football league – what are the rules? Having a good set of rules written down for everyone in your league can help solve many arguments that come up from time to time in your league. How do waivers work? What are the rules for a tie? How is the draft order determined? These are all things that your rules should address. If you don’t have a written set of rules for your league, there are many templates and examples that can be found by simply googling “Fantasy Football Rules.” Not having a written set of rules can lead to league arguments, with some members saying, “Well, I didn’t know that was a rule.” With so many different leagues around, and with many different formats, spelling out those rules can help your league run smoothly and avoid arguments over disputes in your league. If you don’t have a written set of rules, I’d write some right away before an argument that can break up your league occurs. Now on to the calls for the week.
Andy Dalton is having a decent rookie year. He has nine touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown and seven interceptions. He is making a nice bye week fill-in for teams that are missing their top quarterback. He’s not going to win you any games, but he’s not going to lose them for you either. This week he plays at Tennessee, which is ranked in the middle of the pack against quarterbacks. The past four games, the Titans have given up an average of two touchdowns and 281 yards per game. Dalton should be able to get in the mid-200s for yards and most likely two touchdowns as well. He makes a nice bye week fill-in if you’re missing Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford from your starting lineup this week.
Matt Cassel has been hit-and-miss all season. This week he should be a big hit with his game against Miami. The Dolphins rank 30th against quarterbacks and every quarterback except one has two total touchdowns or more against them. The one quarterback that only had one touchdown was Philip Rivers, but he did throw for more than 300 yards in that game. Cassel should easily be able to exceed his season averages of 195 yards and one touchdown. Cassel would be a good call this week.
Matt Schaub saved his fantasy value with his rushing touchdown last week. Unless he can rush in another touchdown this week, you shouldn’t have him in your lineup. Cleveland ranks in the Top 10 against quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Their defense is pretty stingy when it comes to giving up fantasy points. Every time Schaub has faced a Top 10 passing defense he throws for one touchdown and less than 225 yards. If you can’t live with that, I’d look elsewhere for your quarterback this week.
Ben Roethlisberger has turned around his season in the last four weeks. He started slow, but over the last four weeks he has 11 touchdowns versus only two turnovers. His streak of helpful fantasy games will come to an end this week against Baltimore. The Ravens have the second-best defense against quarterbacks. When Roethlisberger met the Ravens in Week 1, he had one touchdown and five turnovers. His history against the Ravens isn’t good. This would be a good week to sit Roethlisberger if you have another option on your bench.
Would you believe me if I told you Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells has a touchdown in every game he’s played in this year except one? Wells has missed one game with injury and put up one dud stat line on the season. The rest of his games he’s been a solid running back. I never thought I would use Wells and solid in the same sentence. Wells gets a great matchup with St. Louis this week. St. Louis gives up a league-high 165 rushing yards per game. Wells should be able to have a field day with the Rams and you should be seeing huge numbers by having him in your lineup.
Pierre Thomas has very quietly put up two decent stat lines in the last two games. During the bye weeks this can get you over the hump. This week with Mark Ingram out of the lineup or very limited, Thomas should be able to continue his helpful stats against Tampa Bay. Thomas should see a lot of the touches that got Ingram a touchdown when the Saints played the Buccaneers just three weeks ago. Sneak Thomas into your lineup if you’ve got to fill a spot for an injured running back or one on bye.
Rashard Mendenhall has been almost as big of a disappointment as Chris Johnson this year. A first-round draft pick that is struggling to stay in fantasy lineups. Mendenhall’s matchup this week isn’t good against the second-ranked Baltimore rush defense, and it’s not getting any better. Including his game this week against Baltimore, he faces Top 10 rush defenses every week for the next six weeks or he has a bye. I’d say it’s time to cut bait with Mendenhall and get what minimal value you can right now.
The only bigger bust than Mendenhall has been Johnson. I am very grateful I’m not one of the scorned Johnson owners. Instead of CJ2K, I’ve started calling him CJ30Mill, in honor of the $30 million in guaranteed money from his new contract. After not blowing up last week against the worst rushing defense in the league – the Indianapolis Colts – Johnson should be on your bench for this week and the rest of the season.