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Start/Bench List – Week 10

Bye weeks are finally over. It’s time for the cream to rise to the top with everyone playing their best options. The Lions, Eagles, and Colts will light up the night sky this week as the Falcons, Broncos, Jags, and Pats will make their nose on the ground. Saddle up and get ready for the 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. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.

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!!



Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Chicago
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Buffalo
Tom Brady, New England vs. N.Y. Jets
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Seattle
Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. Cleveland
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Washington
Drew Brees, New Orleans* vs. Pittsburgh

Removed from Studs list:
-Carson Palmer, Cincinnati


Jon Kitna, Detroit (vs. San Francisco): Kitna cracked the 300-yard mark in passing yards for the second time this season last week against the Falcons. This week, Kitna and the Lions host the 49ers who defeated the Vikings in a stinker last week 9-3. Prior to last week’s game, San Fran allowed 41 & 48 points including five passing TDs. Look for Kitna to continue to his hot streak and rip apart the Niners secondary.

Tony Romo, Dallas (vs. Arizona): I’ve enjoyed the Tony Romo era thus far. Just think what his stats from last week (284 yards passing, 2 TDs) would have looked like if TO caught that dropped pass. We’re talking 350 yards passing, three TDs , and quickly becoming the talk of the fantasy world. Romo won’t be denied his big stats this week as the Cardinals will struggle stopping big D even after a week of rest.


Jake Plummer, Denver (vs. Oakland): Here’s something I didn’t think I’d be saying anytime soon: Plummer has played really well lately. Plummer has thrown four TDs with zero INTs in the past two weeks. However, (you didn’t expect the high praise to last, did you?), Plummer faces the Raiders who have allowed the 2nd least amount of passing yards in the NFL. Oakland’s offense may be putrid, but their defense is for real. Keep the snake in his cage this week.

Damon Huard, Kansas City (vs. Miami): Huard has thrown six TDs and no INTs in the past three games, so why is he on the bench list? As young Flanagan said in Cocktail, “All good things end badly, otherwise they wouldn’t end”. Trent Green is on the mend and Miami will pressure Huard into several mistakes.


Running Backs

(* = new addition to the list)

LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Cincinnati
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Chicago
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Miami
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Detroit
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Seattle
Kevin Jones, Detroit vs. San Francisco
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Washington


Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (vs. Houston): Taylor was used sparingly last week as the Jaguars dominated the Titans last week. Look for Taylor to improve upon the 84 yards rushing he posted back in week seven when the Texans shocked the Jags in a 27-7 victory. Playing the rematch in Jacksonville, Taylor will perform well and is worthy of a start.

Laurence Maroney, New England (vs. N.Y. Jets): Maroney hasn’t posted big numbers the last few weeks as the Patriots have focused on the passing attack. Maroney rushed for 65 yards and a TD the last time he faced the Jets way back in week two and should surpass those totals as the Pats get back to the ground game to which Maroney will be the primary beneficiary.

Mike Bell, Denver (vs. Oakland): The struggles Mike Bell suffered against the Steelers will be a distant memory after this week’s matchup against the Raiders. After watching Maurice Morris run wild on Monday night, you can bet Mike Bell is anxious to face Raider nation and assuming Tatum Bell is still not 100%, Bell will receive the bulk of the carries and will produce accordingly.



Edgerrin James, Arizona (vs. Dallas): James faces the Cowboys rush defense that ranks fifth in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed this week. James has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game and has scored only one TD in the past five games. Expect another sub-par performance from the gold-toothed one.

Deuce McAllister, New Orleans (vs. Pittsburgh): McAllister has averaged only 2.2 yards per carry over the last two games and he faces another defense that is tough against the run this week in Pittsburgh. Don’t expect much from the Deuce as their running game will struggle on the road in Steel country.

Reuben Droughns, Cleveland (vs. Atlanta): That 125-yard rushing performance two weeks ago from Droughns seems like it happened a long time ago, doesn’t it? Droughns has rushed for less than 40 yards in two of the past three games and won’t find much running room in Atlanta this week.


Wide Receivers

(* = new addition to the list)

Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Arizona
Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Jacksonville
Darrell Jackson, Seattle vs. St. Louis
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Buffalo
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Buffalo
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Seattle
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. San Francisco
Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Pittsburgh
Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. Dallas
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Javon Walker, Denver* vs. Oakland

Removed from Studs list:
-Chad Johnson, Cincinnati
-T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati


Donte’ Stallworth, Philadelphia (vs. Washington): Stallworth quickly went from a pleasant fantasy surprise to a nightmare to owners as injuries erased the 222 receiving yards and two TDs of the first two weeks of the season. Stallworth returned in week eight to catch three passes for 52 yards in a very limited offensive Eagles attack. After a bye week, look for Stallworth to be healthy and return to McNabb’s top target which will mean plenty of opportunities against a Redskins passing defense that is ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Doug Gabriel, New England (vs. N.Y. Jets): Trying to pick which Pats receiver will post a big game is like trying to predict the weather. You know you only have a few choices, but things could shift in a matter of minutes that totally impact your decision. We know Brady likes to spread the ball around, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that the 10 catches for 173 yards Gabriel has posted in the past three games is the start of something and not a plateau. If you’re a gambler, take a shot on Gabriel this week as the Pats will have success moving the ball in the air against the Jets.

Donald Driver, Green Bay (vs. Minnesota): Driver has caught at least seven passes for 90 yards in half of the Packers games this season including nine catches for 96 yards and a score last week against the Bills. As Green Bay heads to Minnesota this week, look for the Packers to continue to attack opposing defenses via the air and Driver will once again serve as Favre’s main target and will reap the benefits.

Terry Glenn, Dallas (vs. Arizona): Romo will air it out this week so all Cowboy receivers should be considered for your starting lineup. TO, Glenn, and Witten will all see action and each is worthy of a start as Romo will spread it around and all receivers, including Glenn, enjoy the results.



Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. Miami): With Huard likely to struggle against Miami this week, Kennison will be hard pressed to improve on the two catches he has posted in two of the past three games for the Chiefs. Keep Kennison on your bench until Trent Green returns.

Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. Indianapolis): Don’t let the long TD last week fool you. Evans has only three catches in the past two weeks and even if the Bills are forced to pass, with McGahee out, the Colts will focus on the pass and will keep Evans contained. Look elsewhere.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Tennessee): With the new commitment to the run, the Ravens and Mason are not likely to see big numbers in the passing attack anytime soon. It’s time to cut bait and move on.

Santana Moss, Washington (vs. Philadelphia): Moss missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury and is questionable for this week’s matchup against the Eagles. Moss does not have a good matchup this week, and since he’ll more than likely play at less than 100% (if at all), you should keep him on your bench.


Tight Ends


Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Cincinnati
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Miami
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Atlanta
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Chicago
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Tennessee
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Cleveland
Desmond Clark, Chicago vs. N.Y. Giants


L.J. Smith, Philadelphia (vs. Washington): Smith caught only one pass for eleven yards last week, but expect McNabb to look his way more often this week as the Eagles will toss it up early and often. Look for somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-6 catches for 60-70 yards and a score.

Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota (vs. Green Bay): Wiggins hasn’t given fantasy owners much to smile about this season. With the Vikings likely needing to partake in a shoot-out to keep pace with the Packers, Wiggins should post solid numbers if you’re looking for a flier to start this week.


Owen Daniels, Houston (vs. Jacksonville): Daniels caught two passes for 20 yards and a TD the last time the Texans faced the Jaguars. Expect the Jags to buckle down on defense this time around leaving Daniels with even fewer opportunities to post stats.

Jerramy Stevens, Seattle (vs. St. Louis): Stevens dropped a would-be TD last week in a sloppy game on Monday night. This week, Stevens will be the fourth option for Wallace as the Seahawk receivers take center stage leaving Stevens behind to sweep up the place when everyone leaves.

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