Did someone turn back the clocks to 2006 last week? I could’ve sworn I saw Terrell Owens and LaDainian Tomlinson dominating. The Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers uniforms sure have changed since last I remember them. We’ll be back to 2010 this week as some youngsters steal the spotlight with Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks leading the way.
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.
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.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City
Philip Rivers, San Diego at Oakland
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Washington
Drew Brees, New Orleans at Arizona
Matt Schaub, Houston vs. N.Y. Giants
Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Tennessee
Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Cleveland: Ryan has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game this season. With Michael Turner not producing in the running game as expected, look for Ryan to air it out against the Browns this week. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are both on tap for big days on the road in Cleveland.
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants at Houston: Manning threw for only 195 yards last week with no touchdowns, but when your defense sacks the opposing quarterback like 35 times, you don’t need to do much offensively. The Giants’ defense won’t be as good this week against the Texans, so Manning and the passing game will take center stage. The Texans have allowed an average of 337.8 yards per game this season. Get your Giants’ receivers in your lineup starting along with Manning as fast as you can.
Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets vs. Minnesota: The way the Jets have been running the ball, it’s been an easy road for Sanchez. Complete a third down pass here and there or roll-out of the pocket dropping the ball off to Dustin Keller for a 7-8 yard gain to move the chains. Without a running game, it’s a different story. The Vikings are rested and have played the run well this season. Look for Minnesota to force Sanchez to put the ball up more often than he likes forcing some turnovers and below average stats.
Brett Favre, Minnesota at N.Y. Jets: Speaking of turnovers, Favre has six interceptions on the season compared to only two touchdown passes. Say what you will about not having Sidney Rice, Favre is simply making bad decisions. Even with having an extra week to prepare for the Jets’ defense, Favre won’t fare well against his former team and you shouldn’t suffer along with him. Keep him on your bench to fight another day.
Arian Foster, Houston vs. N.Y. Giants
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Philadelphia
Adrian Peterson, vs. N.Y. Jets
Chris Johnson, Tennessee at Dallas
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at Buffalo
Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Detroit
Michael Turner, Atlanta at Cleveland
Ray Rice, Baltimore vs. Denver
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina vs. Chicago
Mike Tolbert, San Diego at Oakland: Don’t fret over Ryan Mathews returning. Tolbert rushed for 100 yards last week and should do the same this week against a Raiders’ run defense ranked 31st in rushing yards allowed. Mathews may see his fair share of carries, but at the end of the day, Tolbert will have the better stats.
, Kansas City at Indianapolis: Thomas Jones has certainly cut into the chances for Charles to shine in Kansas City. Similar to the situation in San Diego, Jones may be the starter, but Charles will come out on top from a fantasy perspective this week against the Colts who have allowed an average of five yards per carry to their opponents this season.
LaDainian Tomlinson, N.Y. Jets vs. Minnesota: OK, OK, I’m finally jumping on the Tomlinson bandwagon. I was counting down the weeks until Shonn Greene took over the starting job and posted huge numbers, but Tomlinson looks great this season. He’s got the cut-back moves and the acceleration to find the hole and gain big yards as his 6.1 yards per carry can attest. Tomlinson will post solid numbers this week as he’ll find running room between the tackles, while Greene will run outside and find nothing but purple jerseys waiting for him.
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City: Addai’s two scores made up for an otherwise mediocre fantasy performance last week rushing for only 63 yards with three catches for 19 yards. The Chiefs’ run defense has been solid this season as they are averaging only 75 yards rushing per game. Look for the Colts to find success in the air (surprise, surprise) minimizing Addai’s chances whether or not Donald Brown is able to play this week.
Marion Barber, Dallas vs. Tennessee: Combine the fact that the Cowboys are openly committing to give Felix Jones more touches with the Titans’ defense that has faired better against the run than the pass this season, and you’ve got yourself enough reasons to keep Barber on your bench. It would be a different story if Barber was contributing as a receiver out of the backfield, but three catches for six yards combined in the first three games of the season won’t cut it.
Ahmad Bradshaw, N.Y. Giants at Houston: Bradshaw had a huge game last week rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown against a helpless Chicago Bears’ defense but he also suffered an ankle injury. The Texans have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in the NFL this season, but their pass defense has been awful. Look for the Giants to adapt with Eli Manning lighting it up and Bradshaw getting the rest he needs to heal that ankle.