Uh-oh. I hope I’m not starting the Start/Bench version of the Madden jinx. Sorry about that, all you Adrian Peterson owners. My raving about him last week had nothing to do with the fact that I was facing him in two different leagues. Really. On that note, I can’t believe the season Terrell Owens is having. I hope he keeps it going this week :). With a full schedule of teams playing this week for the first time since week three, you should have plenty of options to make up for the injuries you’ve sustained.
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. The first two weeks the studs list remains the same (except for injury). After week two, players are added/removed as needed.
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!!
Tom Brady, New England vs. Buffalo
Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Washington
Brett Favre, Green Bay vs. Carolina
Derek Anderson, Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Jets
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City
Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Arizona
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Miami
Matt Schaub, Houston (vs. New Orleans): All reports out of Houston are that Schaub is ready to play this week after suffering a concussion back in week 9. Not only is Schaub expected to return but word is Andre Johnson will be ready to play as well. I’ll believe that when I see it, but Schaub is a solid start with or without the services of Johnson as the Saints are ranked 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Kurt Warner, Arizona (vs. Cincinnati): I liked Warner last week and he delivered with 259 yards passing and three TDs. Even with a bad non-throwing shoulder, I like Warner to perform well against the Bengals who would have trouble stopping Warner if both shoulders had torn ligaments and his shoes were tied together for the entire game.
Vince Young, Tennessee (vs. Denver): I know the Vince Young owners out there must be salivating after last week’s game. His time has finally come! Just in time for the playoffs! Don’t go planning your victory parade just yet. The Broncos defense will give Young much more difficulty than the Jaguars were able to last week returning Young and the Titans to a run-first, run-last offense.
, Kansas City (vs. Indianapolis): Croyle gets the starting nod this week, but the matchup is not favorable as the Colts are ranked second in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Without Larry Johnson, the Chiefs offense will struggle as the Colts get back to their winning ways at the expense of Croyle and company.
(* = new addition to the list)
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Miami
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Jacksonville
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City
Reggie Bush, New Orleans vs. Houston
Willis McGahee, Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Jets
, Tennessee vs. Denver
Portis, Washington* vs. Dallas
Removed from Studs List
-Adrian Peterson, Minnesota: knee injury; out for week 11
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville (vs. San Diego): Jones-Drew cracked the 100-yard mark last week for only the second time this season despite continuing to share carries with Fred Taylor. Look for the pendulum to continue to swing Jones-Drew’s way as he’ll post another solid game at home against the Chargers defense this week.
Taylor, Minnesota (vs. Oakland): Adrian who? With Peterson on the shelf, Taylor will get the start for the Vikings at home this week. Taylor won’t rush for 296 yards, but he’ll have enough success to warrant a start against a Raiders defense that is ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.
, Arizona (vs. Cincinnati): James hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game since week two. However, the Edge faces a Bengals defense that has allowed a 100-yard rusher in five of the past seven games. Look for James to run wild this week. Don’t miss out.
Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. N.Y. Giants): The Cardinals held Jones to -4 yards on four carries last week and the Giants run defense has been better this season. While Jones will rush for more yards this week, his eight receptions from last week is unlikely. Poor rushing stats + below average receiving numbers = a spot on your bench.
Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets (vs. Pittsburgh): The Jets offense has looked decent with Kellen Clemens running the show, but Jones and the rest of the Jets shouldn’t come close to your starting lineup this week. The Steelers have allowed the least amount of rushing yards in the NFL and Jones won’t be able to change those numbers this week.
Cedric Benson, Chicago (vs. Seattle): Despite facing a below average run defense last week, Benson could only manage 76 yards on 29 carries for a 2.6 yards per carry average. The Seahawks looked awesome defensively on Monday night and the Seattle faithful will continue to help out this week slowing down the Bears offense keeping Benson in check.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Randy Moss, New England vs. Buffalo
T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Arizona
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Washington
Braylon Edwards, Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Wes Welker, New England vs. Buffalo
Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Arizona
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Cincinnati
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. San Francisco
, N.Y. Giants vs. Detroit
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Green Bay
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. N.Y. Giants
Marques Colston, New Orleans* vs. Houston
Patrick Crayton, Dallas (vs. Washington): Crayton has had his ups and downs this season catching as many as seven passes in a game to as little as, well, none. Crayton posted solid numbers last week (five catches for 66 yards and a TD) and Romo should utilize Crayton and Witten over the middle all day long against the Redskins.
Kevin Walter, Houston (vs. New Orleans): Even if Andre Johnson returns this week, Walter will be Schaub’s main target. The Saints were shredded by the Rams passing attack last week and the Texans should have similar success at home with Walter being the main beneficiary.
Bernard Berrian, Chicago (vs. Seattle): Berrian continues to succeed with Grossman at QB and will perform well against the Seahawks who will stop the Bears on the ground but will struggle defending the pass. This could be the week that Berrian surpasses the 100-yard mark for the first time this season.
Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Cleveland): The last time the Ravens played the Browns, Mason caught ten passes for 78 yards. Even though Mason only has two TDs on the season, he should post solid numbers in PPR leagues once again as the Browns are ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Roddy White, Atlanta (vs. Tampa Bay): White has been solid all season, but the whole Falcons passing game will struggle this week at home. With all teams available (no more bye weeks!), you should be able to find a better option than “Rowdy” Roddy White this week.
Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. New England): Evans ended his two-game, 100+ yards receiving streak last week against Miami and will struggle even more at home against the Patriots. Evans had one catch for seven yards the last time the Bills faced New England and he won’t post stats worthy of a start this week, either.
, N.Y. Jets (vs. Pittsburgh): Cotchery had a solid game against the Redskins two weeks ago with Coles out due to a concussion. With Coles likely to return and the Steelers pass defense on the horizon, Cotchery does not come recommended this week in the Meadowlands.
Justin Gage, Tennessee (vs. Denver): Don’t get too excited about Gage’s seven catches for 90 yards and a TD last week. The Titans won’t have the same success passing the ball against the Broncos who are ranked ninth in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Jacksonville
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Indianapolis
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Washington
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Detroit
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Jets
Chris Cooley, Washington vs. Dallas
Removed from Studs List
-Dallas Clark, Indianapolis: Concussion; missed week 10
Donald Lee, Green Bay (vs. Carolina): Lee has caught four passes in six of the Packers nine games including his second TD last week. With no end in sight for the success of the Packers passing attack and Bubba Franks still on the shelf, expect more numbers out of Lee as he continues to be a valuable weapon for Favre.
Owen Daniels, Houston (vs. New Orleans): Randy McMichael has had a horrible season and he managed to catch four passes for 41 yards and a TD last week against the Saints. Daniels hasn’t scored yet, but he’s caught at least five passes in five games this season and should be open plenty for Schaub’s return this week at home against the Saints.
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta (vs. Tampa Bay): The majority of Crumpler’s stats from last week came on the last offensive play of the game for the Falcons. While Crumpler looks healthy, it’s unlikely he’ll post strong numbers against a well-rested Bucs defense coming off a bye week.
Chris Baker, N.Y. Jets (vs. Pittsburgh): Baker had one of his best games of the season before the bye week catching four passes for 42 yards. Clemens will look Baker’s way on Sunday, but the Steelers defense is the best in the league against the pass. Bench all Jets receivers including Baker.