Fear not, Colts owners. The Indy studs should remain in your lineup for at least another week. Dungy will play his starters which is good news for you playoff teams relying on Manning, James, Harrison & Wayne taking you to the promised land.
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!!
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. San Diego
Tom Brady, New England vs. Tampa Bay
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Detroit
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants (vs. Kansas City): Despite the five INTs in the past two games, the younger Manning makes an appearance on the start list this week. Manning has thrown for over 300 yards in two of the past three weeks and the prospect of facing a Chiefs defense ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed should be enough motivation to start him.
Kurt Warner, Arizona (vs. Houston): Warner has also thrown for over 300 yards in two of the past three weeks and should find similar success on the road in Houston as the Reggie Bush sweepstakes continues.
Michael Vick, Atlanta (vs. Chicago): Vick bruised his ribs against the Saints on Monday night, but is expected to play this week. Even if Vick was 100%, he would not come recommended as the Bears are 2nd in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed. Look elsewhere as Matt Schaub is almost guaranteed some playing time in Chicago.
Jake Delhomme, Carolina (vs. New Orleans): The last time Delhomme faced New Orleans, he didn’t exactly light the world on fire (212 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs). With recent struggles combined with the success of DeShaun Foster and the inability of the Saints to stop the run, expect limited numbers for Delhomme as Carolina goes the safe and steady route this week.
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Kansas City
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. San Diego
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. Tennessee
LaMont Jordan, Oakland vs. Cleveland
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Indianapolis
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. N.Y. Giants
Tatum Bell, Denver (vs. Buffalo): Bell was the primary ball carrier last week and he responded with decent numbers (16-63, 3.9 per carry). Expect bigger success from Bell this week as the wheels have officially fallen off the wagon in Buffalo.
Clinton Portis, Washington (vs. Dallas): Portis heads into this matchup vs. Dallas with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games under his belt. Look for Portis to improve on the 52 rushing yards he totaled the last time the Skins played the Boys as this matchup is in Washington and Portis will thrive at home.
Greg Jones, Jacksonville (vs. San Francisco): Ignore the fact that Fred Taylor is said to be starting next week. That’s “coach-speak” meaning once we get a comfortable lead, we’ll take out our injury-prone players (I think Fred Taylor’s picture is in the dictionary next to the words injury-prone). This should translate into solid numbers for Jones who is still looking to make his mark.
Willis McGahee, Buffalo (vs. Denver): Three yards on eight carries? Wha’ choo talkin’ bout Willis? Expect another disappointing game this week for the self-proclaimed best running back in football.
Corey Dillon, New England (vs. Tampa Bay): Dillon is looking healthy again, but he won’t have much success this week against Tampa Bay who has played well against the run. With New England just one win (or a Miami loss) away from clinching a playoff berth, expect Belichick to start to lay off the throttle on Dillon’s workload this week in an attempt to keep him healthy for the playoff run.
Michael Bennett, Minnesota (vs. Pittsburgh): Even though Bennett was named the starter over Mewelde Moore for this week’s game, he is not recommended against the Steelers. Pittsburgh ranks 4th in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed and they’ll have their way with Bennett and the rest of the Vikings rushing attack.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Houston
Santana Moss, Washington vs. Dallas
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. New Orleans
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. San Diego
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. San Diego
Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay vs. New England
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Detroit
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Philadelphia
Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. Houston
Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. Kansas City): Manning to Burress should be a common theme on Sunday against the Chiefs. Burress only has three 100-yard receiving games this year, but this week should make it four. Don’t miss out.
Reggie Brown, Philadelphia (vs. St. Louis): Brown posted solid numbers last week (5-72) and his stat line should look similar, if not better, when all is said and done against the Rams who rank 28th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. N.Y. Giants): Kennison has 90 receiving yards in five games this year including each of the past two weeks. With the Chiefs offense kicking it up a notch, expect more big things from Kennison against the G-Men who are known to give up big plays in the passing game.
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (vs. San Francisco): Smith had his best game in over two months last week against Indy (who knew!). Look for continued success as the Jags host San Fran and their anemic pass defense.
Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Green Bay): Who had week 14 in the “When will Mason complain to the media about Boller” pool? Yes, nothing says teamwork like a WR bad-mouthing his QB to the press. What did you expect Derrick? It’s Kyle Boller! Needless to say, it’s highly unlikely that Mason will post solid numbers after such an incident.
Andre Johnson, Houston (vs. Arizona): Johnson is too inconsistent to risk starting him in your playoff lineup. While Arizona has been average at best in defending the pass, they are worse at stopping the run and Domanick Davis is doing everything in his power to make the Houston Texans fans forget all about the thought of Reggie Bush in the Texans backfield next season. The Texans will have success on the ground limiting Johnson’s output in the passing attack.
Mike Williams, Detroit (vs. Cincinnati): Hey rookie, did you ever see “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”? You’re going the wrong way! You’re supposed to improve as the season goes along, not post back-to-back games of one catch for six yards in the final games of the season. With all the distractions in Detroit, you can really blame Williams, but you can’t even consider starting him either.
Antonio Bryant, Cleveland (vs. Oakland): The Charlie Frye era hasn’t been anything spectacular for Bryant who was expected to thrive as the #1 WR after Edwards’ injury. Look for the Browns to play conservative on the road content in controlling the clock and playing it sage. As expected, this will not translate into big numbers for Bryant and the rest of the Browns passing game.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. N.Y. Giants
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Kansas City
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Chicago
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Indianapolis
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Green Bay
Jason Witten, Dallas* vs. Washington
Jerramy Stevens, Seattle (vs. Tennessee): Stevens caught his third TD pass of the season last week and should post another solid game this week against the Titans who will be hell-bent on stopping Alexander opening things up for Stevens in the middle of the field.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Minnesota): Despite taking a more active role in blocking, Miller is an attractive option this week against the Vikings. Pittsburgh will open things up offensively and Miller will thrive. Start the rookie and enjoy.
David Martin, Green Bay (vs. Baltimore): Martin has played admirably in place of the injured Bubba Franks, but don’t expect that trend to continue this week against the Ravens.
Steve Heiden, Cleveland (vs. Oakland): Similar to Antonio Bryant, Heiden will see limited action in the passing game this week as the Browns will run the ball until the cows come home. There’s plenty of better options out there at TE this week.