If you’re still reading this in Week 15, chances are you’re in the playoffs. Congrats on making it this far. There are plenty of intriguing matchups to look for this week as the Panthers and Titans will keep running over everyone and the Broncos, Saints, Cardinals and Chargers will air it out like nobody’s business.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. This list will change from week to week.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!
Jay Cutler, Denver at Carolina
Drew Brees, New Orleans at Chicago
Kurt Warner, Arizona vs. Minnesota
Philip Rivers, San Diego at Kansas City
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Cleveland
Tony Romo, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Jacksonville
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Detroit
Chad Pennington, Miami (vs. San Francisco): Pennington completed 23 of 29 passes last week for 181 yards and a TD against the hapless Buffalo Bills. This week, he faces a San Francisco defense that gave Brett Favre and the Jets offense fits last week. Playing in front of the home crowd will help Pennington as he’ll find more room to throw against the Niners this week as Miami continues to make a run for the AFC East title.
Tyler Thigpen, Kansas City (vs. San Diego): The last time Thigpen faced the Chargers he threw for 266 yards and three TDs back in Week 10. Look for more of the same as Thigpen and the Chiefs should have no problem moving the ball in the air against the San Diego defense ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): Flacco had played decent as of late until the Redskins shut him down on Sunday night. Flacco won’t find things getting any easier against the Steelers this week who are first in practically every defensive category including fewest passing yards allowed.
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants (at Dallas): Manning had one of his worst games offensively last week against the Eagles and the wind was only a small factor in his poor performance. This week’s game in Dallas won’t be much better for Manning who threw for only 147 yards in their first meeting.
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Detroit
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Cleveland
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Arizona
Ladainian Tomlinson, San Diego at Kansas City
Michael Turner, Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
Matt Forte, Chicago vs. New Orleans
Reggie Bush, New Orleans at Chicago
Clinton Portis, Washington at Cincinnati
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina (vs. Denver): Anyone who watched Monday night’s game knows why Williams is on the list. His 186 yards on 19 carries with two TDs will get just about anybody’s attention. With the Broncos up next look for another big day from both Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but Williams will be the top dog once again.
Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets (vs. Buffalo): Jones didn’t do much against San Francisco last week rushing for only 56 yards, but he did score a rushing TD for the sixth time in seven games. Look for the yardage to reappear this week as Buffalo is on a steady decline and the Jets will get back to basics this week which should translate into 20+ carries for Jones and big stats.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (at Houston): In back-to-back weeks, “Flash” has run over 100 yards rushing. That’s soon to be three straight weeks as he will do the bulk of the damage this week against the Texans (sorry LenDale White owners) who will have trouble holding Johnson to the 74 yards that they did back in Week 3.
Brandon Jacobs, N.Y. Giants (at Dallas): Jacobs is questionable this week with a knee injury and the last thing Tom Coughlin wants to do is risk injuring Jacobs even more before the playoffs. Yes, it’s time for the Giants to start thinking about resting players for the playoffs as much as us fantasy players hate to even think it. Look elsewhere Jacobs owners. You’ll be glad you did.
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh (at Baltimore): Parker is clearly not 100% after another subpar outing last week against the Cowboys rushing for only 25 yards on 12 carries. The Ravens are ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and they’ll be looking for payback from Pittsburgh for their 23-20 victory back in Week 4.
Tashard Choice, Dallas (vs. N.Y. Giants): Even if Marion Barber can’t go this week, Choice may be the starter but he won’t have much success against the Giants defense. The Cowboys will pass early and often, but Choice will need to protect Tony Romo limiting his role in the offense this week.
Brandon Marshall, Denver at Carolina
Marques Colston, New Orleans at Chicago
Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. Minnesota
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Minnesota
Randy Moss, New England at Oakland
Wes Welker, New England at Oakland
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants
Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Tennessee
Greg Jennings, Green Bay at Jacksonville
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Detroit
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Denver
Calvin Johnson, Detroit at Indianapolis
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Washington
Eddie Royal, Denver (at Carolina): Royal continues to find room in the Broncos passing attack despite the presence of Brandon Marshall. The Panthers defense will have their hands full trying to slow down Marshall and Royal will make the most of it. Seeing Royal crack the 100-yard mark for the fourth time this season is more than just a possibility.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego (at Kansas City): For those Jackson owners that benched him last week, you’re not too late for redemption! Jackson had his biggest game of the season last week catching five passes for 148 yards and a TD. Look for another solid week against the Chiefs who rank 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Ted Ginn Jr., Miami (vs. San Francisco): Even though rookie Davone Bess has been producing more than Ginn in place of the injured Greg Camarillo, look for Ginn to have a solid game against the 49ers this week as teams start to factor Bess into their defensive game plan. Don’t be surprised if Ginn makes an impact on special teams this week, also.
Donnie Avery, St. Louis (vs. Seattle): If you were one of the lucky owners to get your paws on Avery off the waiver wire late in the season, now is your chance to put your acquisition to the test. Remember what Wes Welker did against Seattle last week? That could very easily could be Donnie Avery this week. Don’t miss out.
Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): Don’t expect a repeat performance of the eight catches for 137 yards that Mason posted the last time he faced the Steelers back in Week 4. Pittsburgh has come together defensively and Mason’s shoulder injury could be a factor.
Bernard Berrian, Minnesota (at Arizona): I hope you heeded by advice and avoided Berrian last week despite his huge stats in Week 13. This week will be another stinker for Berrian as the thought of Tarvaris Jackson at QB sends chills down my spine.
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati (vs. Washington): Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now “Ocho Cinco” isn’t even starting. Ouch.
Mark Clayton, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): In Week 5, Clayton had zero catches for zero yards and one rush for -1 yards against the Steelers. Need I say more?
Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans at Chicago
Antonio Gates, San Diego at Kansas City
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. San Diego
Jason Witten, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants
Owen Daniels, Houston vs. Tennessee
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Detroit
Chris Cooley, Washington at Cincinnati
Tony Scheffler, Denver (at Carolina): In the past two games, Scheffler has averaged six catches for 75 yards. While a TD would be nice, you can’t ignore those stats at the TE position. Look for another solid day from Scheffler and the RB carousel may lead to more looks in the red zone.
Anthony Fasano, Miami (vs. San Francisco): Fasano caught his third TD pass of the season last week along with three catches for 36 yards. With Chad Pennington likely to find success in the passing game, Fasano will be running the short routes that Pennington loves so much making him a solid start.
Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota (at Arizona): Hasn’t Shiancoe been exposed enough on the Start/Bench list? Thanks Fox Sports.
Todd Heap, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): Remember when this would sound crazy? Heap on the bench list? No way! Way. All Ravens offensive players should be firmly planted on your bench this week. No exceptions.