Hopefully, all of you Tomlinson owners are sitting at 8-1 or 7-2 so losing the big man for a week isn’t that painful. If you’re one of the lucky owners with both Tomlinson and Carson Palmer, well, week eleven will be here before you know it. Look for some fresh faces on the Start/Bench list this week as teams start to prep for the fantasy playoff run.
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. I will try to answer as many inquires as possible.
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!!
Bye Weeks: Carson Palmer, Aaron Brooks, Drew Brees, Steve McNair
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Drew Bledsoe, Dallas vs. Philadelphia
Tom Brady, New England* vs. Miami
Kerry Collins, Oakland (vs. Denver): The Raiders/Chiefs high-scoring affair did not live up to expectations last week, but Collins still threw two TDs. Facing the Broncos in Oakland this week, Collins should return to his normal output which is 250 yards passing with at least one TD.
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle (vs. St. Louis): Hasselbeck didn’t need to do much last week as Shaun Alexander ran wild. Expect the Seahawks passing attack to turn some heads as Bobby Engram returns to full speed and Hasselbeck comes close to matching the numbers he posted the last time the Seahawks faced the Rams (316 yards passing, two TDs, zero INTs).
Byron Leftwich, Jacksonville (vs. Baltimore): Despite the emergence of Ernest Wilford as the #2 WR on the Jaguars depth chart, Leftwich and the rest of the Jaguars passing attack are not recommended this week against the Ravens. Fred Taylor’s status is in doubt which means the Ravens will focus on stopping Leftwich and they’ll have success in doing so.
Trent Green, Kansas City (vs. Buffalo): Green has started to snap out of his season-long funk posting back-to-back solid games, but has still fell way short of pre-season expectations. Green faces the Bills this week in Buffalo who have allowed the least amount of passing yards in the NFL. Don’t look for a third straight solid performance from Green.
Bye Weeks: Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry, Antowain Smith, Aaron Stecker, LaDainian Tomlinson, Chris Brown, Travis Henry
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Minnesota
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. St. Louis
LaMont Jordan, Oakland vs. Denver
Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Larry Johnson, Kansas City (vs. Buffalo): With Priest Holmes unlikely to play this week, LJ gets the full workload and will succeed against a Bills run defense that ranks next to last in rushing yards allowed in the NFL.
Duce Staley, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland): With both Parker and Bettis hurting, Staley gets the nod for the Steelers after a successful return to the lineup last week. With Charlie Batch likely to remain very conservative again this week, Staley will have plenty of chances to post big numbers and he’ll have success against a Browns defense that has had difficulty stopping the run.
Tatum Bell/Mike Anderson, Denver (vs. Oakland): Yes, the dreaded RBBC gets a starting nod this week. I know this is painful, but get used to it. This is the latest trend in the NFL. Luckily for those of you that own either Bell or Anderson, both backs have two 100-yard rushing games in the past three games. Anderson is the safer play, but Bell is the big play threat and he has delivered as of late. Expect more of the same this week.
Curtis Martin, N.Y. Jets (vs. Carolina): Martin has averaged more than three yards a carry in only three games this season. While he has scored a TD in each of the past four weeks, Martin will struggle this week at Carolina as the Panthers defense is starting to click on all cylinders.
Reuben Droughns, Cleveland (vs. Pittsburgh): I hope you rode on the Droughns bandwagon while you had the chance, because it’s now time to jump off. Droughns left last week’s game with leg cramps and this week he faces a Steelers defense ranked fourth in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed. Not a good combo.
Michael Bennett, Minnesota (vs. N.Y. Giants): Freeze! Step away from the keyboard you waiver wire hounds. Bennett will split time at best with Mewelde Moore introducing the Vikings as the latest contestant on “Who can screw with fantasy owners the most by using a RBBC”. Neither makes a strong play against the Giants in the Meadowlands.
Bye Weeks: Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry, Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth, Az-Zahir Hakim, Keenan McCardell, Eric Parker, Drew Bennett, Brandon Jones, Courtney Roby
Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Denver
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Detroit
Santana Moss, Washington vs. Tampa Bay
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. N.Y. Jets
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay vs. Washington
Removed from Studs list:
-Terrell Owens, Philadelphia: Suspended
Terry Glenn, Dallas (vs. Philadelphia): The last time Glenn faced the Eagles he caught seven passes for 118 yards and two TDs. Glenn should have similar success in the area of 100 yards and a score as the ‘Boys are well-rested for their Monday night NFC East showdown.
Donald Driver, Green Bay (vs. Atlanta): Since Driver is practically the last WR standing in Green Bay, it’s safe to say Favre will look his way often. Without Ahman Green, the Packers have struggled with the run, so Favre will air it out and Driver will be the main beneficiary.
Deion Branch, New England (vs. Miami): Branch has caught at least five passes in all but two of the Patriots games this season. With Corey Dillon still not 100%, look for Brady to earn his newly acquired stud status and find Branch often in Miami this week making both players solid starts.
Reggie Brown, Philadelphia (vs. Dallas): Terrell who?? TO’s replacement starting off on the right foot last week catching five passes for 94 yards and a TD. With the Eagles as likely to run the ball as Owens is to remain quiet for more than five minutes at a time, Brown will have ample opportunities to erase Owens from the Eagle fans memory.
Andre Johnson, Houston (vs. Indianapolis): Johnson had his best game of the season last week as he caught nine passes for 91 yards. Finally healthy, Johnson should be considered a starter, but this week he’ll struggle against a superior Colts team.
Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Jacksonville): Mason is yet to have a 100-yard receiving game and has only one TD on the season. Does that sound like someone you want to start against the Jaguars defense who rank third in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed? I didn’t think so.
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland): Steelers – Roethlisberger + Batch = Bench all your Steelers WRs/TEs.
Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. Buffalo): The last time the Chiefs faced a tough pass defense was in week six against the Redskins and Kennison was held without a catch. Don’t let that happen to you this week. You’ve been warned.
Bye Weeks: Matt Schobel, Ernie Conwell, Zach Hilton, Antonio Gates, Erron Kinney, Ben Troupe
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Buffalo
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Minnesota
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Green Bay
Courtney Anderson, Oakland (vs. Denver): Anderson has had an up-and-down season, but with Collins likely to have success in the air, he’s worth the risk of a few catches with some red-zone action.
Jason Witten, Dallas (vs. Philadelphia): Every time I take Witten off the studs list, he posts another 5+ catches for 50+ yards receiving. Another performance like his 7-80 the last time Dallas played Philly and Witten makes his way back to the studs. If that’s not enough motivation, I don’t know what is.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland): See Hines Ward.
Marcus Pollard, Detroit (vs. Arizona): Pollard has been inconsistent this season and the rotating door at QB has helped matters. With the Lions likely to have more success on the ground this week than last (Harrington was the leading rusher last week), Pollard’s chances will be limited. Look elsewhere for your TE this week.