Bye weeks begin this week and several stud TEs are off. Don’t get caught a man down. Also, the Raiders are on a bye week, so all the LaMont Jordan and Randy Moss owners have a week off before deciding how to get 10 cents on the dollar for those fantasy busts.
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!!
Bye Weeks: Drew Bledsoe, Trent Green, Damon Huard, Aaron Brooks, Philip Rivers
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle vs. N.Y. Giants
Tom Brady, New England vs. Denver
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Arizona
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. San Francisco
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle
Drew Brees, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): What shoulder injury? Brees lit up the Packers in Lambeau for 353 yards and two TDs. He has a tougher matchup this week against the Falcons, but with the Dirty Birds likely to shut down Deuce and Mr. Bush, Brees will need to go up top to provide some offense for the Saints. Look for Brees to surpass the 300-yard mark for the second week in a row.
Daunte Culpepper, Miami (vs. Tennessee): I know, I know, Culpepper has looked AWFUL in the first two weeks. But, Miami didn’t exactly play the league cellar dwellers. This week, C-Pepp gets his chance to make his mark against the dreadful Titans. Look for Culpepper to post his best numbers as a Dolphin.
Jake Delhomme, Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay): Delhomme has struggled without top WR Steve Smith having not thrown in TD in two games and has yet to crack 200 yards passing. This week he faces a hungry Bucs team in Tampa Bay. Until Smith returns, Delhomme is a below average start at best.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Cincinnati): Big Ben looked lost against the Jags in his return last week. Do you think the Bengals remember the 386 yards and three TDs Roethlisberger posted the last time the Bengals came to Pittsburgh? I do. Big Ben will struggle against an aggressive Bengals defense. Look elsewhere.
Bye Weeks: Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Larry Johnson, Lamont Jordan, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. N.Y. Giants
Edgerrin James, Arizona vs. St. Louis
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle
Ronnie Brown, Miami vs. Tennessee
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Arizona
Corey Dillon/Laurence Maroney, New England (vs. Denver): Dillon left the game against the Jets in week two with a leg injury. With the way the Pats hide their injuries, you may not know his status until Sunday. If Dillon can play, he makes a very strong start against the Broncos who have allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the first two games. If Dillon can’t go, look for big numbers from Maroney.
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (vs. Indianapolis): Taylor looked very strong against a tough Steelers defense last Monday night. This week, he’ll face a Colts defense that saw Tiki Barber run wild against them in week one. Look for Taylor to continue his hot start with another solid performance this week.
Willis McGahee, Buffalo (vs. N.Y. Jets): McGahee has performed reasonably well considering he’s faced two tough defenses to start the season. Look for his breakout game to come this week at home against the Jets who allowed over 140 yards rushing against the Pats last week.
Reuben Droughns, Cleveland (vs. Baltimore): Droughns had an MRI on his shoulder after last week’s game against the Bengals. Even though Droughns scored a TD, his rushing numbers (14 carries for 32 yards) were far from impressive. The Browns offense will be in neutral this week as the Ravens come to town, so keep Droughns and his sore shoulder on your bench this week.
Deuce McAllister, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): Deuce scored two TDs last week helping his fantasy owners forget about Reggie Bush for a week. The Falcons have allowed 105 yards rushing…in two games! McAllister will struggle to get on track against the Falcons forcing the Saints to go to the air where Reggie Bush is much more valuable. Don’t expect much from the Deuce this week.
Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. Green Bay): Jones has rushed for a total of 79 yards in the first two games for Detroit. While Green Bay is certainly a downgrade from Detroit’s previous two opponents (Chicago, Seattle), don’t expect Jones to be the top RB for the week. He’ll perform better than his first two weeks, but not well enough to make an impact in your starting lineup.
Bye Weeks: Terry Glenn, Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton, Samie Parker, Dante Hall, Eddie Kennison, Randy Moss, Alvis Whitted, Ron Curry, Jerry Porter, Keenan McCardell, Vincent Jackson, Eric Parker
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Arizona
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. St. Louis
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. St. Louis
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Chris Chambers, Miami vs. Tennessee
Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets* vs. Buffalo
Donte’ Stallworth, Philadelphia* vs. San Francisco
Antonio Bryant, San Francisco (vs. Philadelphia): The Niners and their high-powered offense (who would have guessed!), having posted 20+ points in each of the first two games, host Philly this week. Bryant has been Smith’s top target and while Vernon Davis will make amends for his goose egg from last week, they’ll be enough action in the passing attack for Bryant to make it three weeks in a row of 100+ yards receiving.
Donald Driver, Green Bay (vs. Detroit): Driver has caught 15 passes in the first two weeks of the season. Favre and Driver will connect early and often against Detroit on Sunday as the Pack look to bounce back from a tough loss at home last week.
Darrell Jackson, Seattle (vs. N.Y. Giants): Yes, Deion Branch will play this week, but it will be D-Jax that leads the way in the Seahawks passing attack again this week. As Branch becomes more familiar with the offense, he’ll steal more chances from Jackson, but it won’t happen this week.
Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. Seattle): How many jump balls can Burress win this season? Expect his 6’5″ frame to continue his success against Seattle who will have a tough time slowing down the high-powered Giants offense.
Javon Walker, Denver (vs. New England): Walker has yet to score a TD and the Pats will pressure Plummer into several mistakes at Gilette stadium limiting the success of the Denver passing game. It’s tough to sit a high draft pick such as Walker, but explore other options if possible.
Drew Bennett, Tennessee (vs. Miami): Bennett has been one of the few bright spots for the Titans after an 0-2 start. Miami is also 0-2 and will have the edge playing at home. After Collins’ performance last week, I’d be hesitant to start anyone in the Titans passing offense anytime soon.
Bernard Berrian, Chicago (vs. Minnesota): Warning! Warning! Waiver wires everywhere are seeing Berrian’s name posted. Don’t push the panic button and drop a proven veteran for Berrian. Berrian will be a decent #3 WR from week to week, but as you’ll find out this week, he’ll be inconsistent and not worth a start against the Vikings on the road.
Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. N.Y. Jets): Four catches for 44 yards after two games? Yuck. Evans won’t be this bad all season, but the Bills will find success on the ground resulting in fewer chances in the passing game for Evans to bust out of his funk this week. Be patient.
Bye Weeks: Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Courtney Anderson, Antonio Gates
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Vernon Davis, San Francisco (vs. Philadelphia): You won’t see another zero from Davis this week. He’ll find the openings against the Eagles combining with Antonio Bryant giving the Niners a solid day in the passing attack. Five catches, 50 yards and a TD is not out of the question.
Randy McMichael, Miami (vs. Tennessee): The Dolphins will open up the offense more against the Titans this week which should give McMichael more time in pass patterns and less time in pass protection. Look for McMichael to be a main target at the goal line as Culpepper performs well.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Cincinnati): Miller quickly returned to the pack last week with one catch after his huge week one performance. Expect low numbers again from Miller as the Bengals will pressure the Steelers forcing Miller to block often limiting his receiving chances.
John Gilmore, Chicago (vs. Minnesota): Do not be fooled by the two-TD performance last week. The TE you want from Chicago is Desmond Clark. In December, Gilmore could still be sitting at two TD catches.